Tag: Common Areas

Rec Equipment Decisions Can Lead To Bias Allegations

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The Maryland law generally prohibits condo associations and HOAs from imposing “unreasonable limitations” on the location and use of portable basketball hoops on an owner’s property. A state legislator initiated the…

Take the Time to Re-Examine Rules for Potentially Discriminatory Impact

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The episode provides a strong reminder to associations, boards, and managers that seemingly innocuous rules, new or existing, could lead to unwanted publicity and litigation stemming from allegations of discrimination. The…

When Sharing Across Communities Creates Conflict Rather Than Cohesion

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Master associations come in different flavors, but Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations, says he usually sees them when multiple “sub-associations” in the same geographic vicinity share certain common…

Avoid the Potential Pitfalls of Sharing Common Areas Among Communities

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Our experts have some ideas for preempting those through effective negotiation. How It Happens Master associations come in different flavors, but Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations, says he…

One Association’s Loss Could Prove To Be a Future Victory for Others

When an owner drops a lawsuit against a community association, the association can recover its attorneys’ fees, right? Not necessarily. A California association recently learned this lesson the hard way. Ironically, though, the court’s ruling could prove helpful for other associations. In 2008, the association obtained majority approval from the members to spend about $5.3…

Association’s Ultimate Victory Doesn’t Guarantee Attorneys’ Fees Award

When an owner drops a lawsuit against a community association, the association can recover its attorneys’ fees, right? Not necessarily. A California association recently learned this lesson the hard way (Champir, LLC v. Fairbanks Ranch Ass’n). Ironically, though, the court’s ruling could prove helpful for other associations. Traffic Light Project Halted In 2008, the association…

When Is Your Association Liable for Injuries Sustained on the Premises?

A third-party security guard who slipped and fell on a puddle while on duty sued the Georgia condo association where she was working. The association doesn’t have its own employees, so it hires third-party contractors to perform the necessary functions. For example, in May 2012, it retained Sizemore Security Services to provide “safety officers” for…

HOA Isn’t Liable for Security Guard’s Slip and Fall

A third-party security guard who slipped and fell on a puddle while on duty sued the Georgia condo association where she was working (River Place at Port Royal Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Sapp). Read on for a useful refresher about when an association or manager can be held liable for injuries sustained on association premises…

Sewage Hits the Fan in Messy Court Case

An owner sued an association for breach of contract and negligence after its tenant moved out because its unit was flooded with raw human sewage. What happened? The owner in the case leased its building to retailer Pier 1; the lease was set to expire in February 2016, but Pier 1 had the option to…

‘Continuous Operation’ Language Declaration Requires Association to Keep Lift Working

An owner sued an association for breach of contract and negligence after its tenant moved out because its unit was flooded with raw human sewage. An Indiana state court found a breach of contract but dismissed the negligence claim (Castleton Corner Owners Ass’n, Inc. v. Conroad Associates, L.P.). Here’s what you need to know about…