Full list of Topics
Q: A weather disaster has severely damaged many of the homes in the planned community I manage. The local government is determining whether the community should be demolished. Several board members want to do this, but homeowners are protesting. The board members are worried that if they take action, they’ll be held legally responsible. What are the chances of this, and are there any recent cases that address this issue?
Age-restricted communities have become a real force in the housing market, providing a great alternative for elderly people who want to stay active and remain in their homes rather than move into nursing homes or assisted living facilities as past generations often did. But they’ve also presented challenges for their associations—members who are “aging in place” at such communities are more likely to develop medical problems or issues that are an inevitable part of getting older.
A recent tragic accident at a Florida theme park has raised questions about the use of warning signs in communities where alligators are a known threat. The state’s gated communities often have golf courses, lakes, and ponds that attract alligators. Florida is one of many states that face dangerous wild animals as threats to residents, as other areas around the country are home to poisonous snakes, among other wildlife. Since the widely reported alligator attack, associations, including yours, might be asking whether they should post warning signs about dangerous animals.
As nonsmokers become more assertive about their right not to breathe secondhand smoke, there has been increasing litigation over the issue of smoking in condominiums.
A recent California case is an example of this, and it may push boards to consider eliminating smoking in the common areas of condominium communities. Although the case involves an apartment complex, there are similarities with how smoking in condominiums has been litigated—and will continue to be litigated.