District of Columbia Articles

Back to homepage

Why parking is becoming more scarce at new condo buildings (DC)

Of all the features buyers are looking for in a home, a dedicated parking space is at the top of many wish lists for District house hunters.   A separately deeded parking space can sell for significant amounts of money. For

Read More

Don’t be confused when it comes to condo insurance

Condominium insurance is often misunderstood, and for good reason.  Typically, owners are protected under two insurance policies: a master policy for the condo association and an individual, or HO-6, policy. The confusion arises over what each policy covers and the

Read More

Real Estate Condo associations should build up reserves for a rainy day

A recent front page article in The Washington Post on the financial problems many aging condominiums in the Washington area are facing prompted me to write this column about the absolute necessity of maintaining adequate reserves.  Boards of directors can’t

Read More

Arbitration Provisions and Unconscionability

This case is a lesson in: Do what the judge tells you to do.  Ruiz v. Millennium Square Residential Association, Civil Action No. 15-1014 (JDB), out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is a fairly staid

Read More

Condo fees are a crucial element in the decision to buy a place

In addition to paying property taxes and a mortgage, condo owners have to pay a monthly maintenance fee, called a condo fee, that goes toward running the building as a whole.    Read the article………….

Read More

Non-Competes:Take ’em or Leave ’em?

Non-compete agreements increasingly have become the topic du jour among both CEO’s of community association management companies and community managers.    Read Part 1……………   Read Part 2……….

Read More

HOA must make homeowners a part of its rule-making process

If a homeowners association votes to amend a restriction, does that change go into effect immediately after notification to property owners via the minutes and any future owners via the disclosure package or not until the paperwork has been completed

Read More

Condominium Insurance Considerations: Owner-Occupant and Owner Who Rents Out

Owners of condominium units should review their condominium insurance needs carefully. A unit-owner’s policy is essential. In fact, in some jurisdictions, such as the District of Columbia, it is required by law. Even with a policy in hand, all too

Read More

What you need to know before you buy into a condo association

If you’re thinking about buying a condo, townhouse or single-family house in a community with an association, you might want to do more than check out the size of the bedrooms and the finishes on the counters. You also might

Read More

CAI Best Practices: Ethics

Simply put, when someone is employing ethics, he or she recognizes what is right and what is wrong and is choosing to do the right thing; however, as a great deal of business ethics literature will attest, “the right thing”

Read More

Drones could get expanded role in real estate

Drones — also known as “unmanned aerial vehicles ” — are everywhere. Our military uses them in warfare, archeologists scan ancient Peruvian ruins to avoid damage, and others survey hydroelectric dams. One even illegally landed early Monday on the White

Read More

Making the transition for a new condominium association

Transition between developer control and owner control is perhaps the most important aspect of any community association. If done properly, the association will be off to a good start; if done poorly, it may take a long time to get

Read More

Nevada and D.C. Courts Give Priority of Position to HOA Assessment “Superliens” Over First Mortgages

In late August, the D.C. Court of Appeals rendered a decision in Chase Plaza Condominium Association, Inc. v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., CA-5826-10 (August 28, 2014) determining that a homeowner’s association’s (HOA’s) statutory “super-priority” lien, or superlien, for unpaid

Read More

CAI’s Guide to FHA Certification

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) plays a major in role in housing finance through its Condominium Mortgage Insurance Program. FHA issued regulatory guidance to set standards condominium associations must meet for a

Read More

Exception to the Disaster Rules

FEMA is drawing the line on distributing recovery funds. Individual homeowners can get aid after a devastating storm but not community associations for their common elements.  Flood waters that swamped part of Nashville’s River Plantation community in May 2010 disappeared

Read More

Be sure to read your condo documents

In the D.C. metropolitan area, when you’re under contract to purchase a residence governed by a homeowners’ or condominium association, the seller of the property must give you a set of documents known as a Resale Package or, in the

Read More

The Pros of Joining Your Condo or Co-op Board

In the initial excitement of homeownership, many condo and co-op owners consider attending monthly condo board meetings with the idea of becoming active board members. Most experienced condo dwellers will warn against blithely walking into a board meeting, having learned

Read More

The Cons of Condo Board Membership

As we pointed out in the first part of this series, condominium and co-op owners have plenty of reasons to join their homeowners association board, particularly if they want a say in decisions that can affect their monthly budget and

Read More

From Good to Great: Principles for Community Association Success

Every community has its own history, personality, attributes and challenges, but all associations share common characteristics and core  principles. Good associations  preserve the character of  their communities, protect  property values and meet  the established expectations of homeowners. Great  associations also

Read More

Housing counsel: Can condos bar people ‘living in sin?’

Can condominium associations ban people who are “living in sin”? That’s what the headlines called it when a Florida condo enacted rules prohibiting unmarried couples from buying units there.   Read more…….

Read More

A second-hand lesson in dealing with a smoking neighbor

Second-hand tobacco smoke is not in and of itself a nuisance. That is now the law in Maryland based on a case just handed down by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.   Read More……

Read More

Know your rights under the Fair Housing Act before you sue

A recent Virginia case involving the U.S. Fair Housing Act is a cautionary tale for disabled people suing their homeowners associations for accommodations and for the associations fighting the disputes. Because both sides made mistakes, neither can claim a complete

Read More

Steps that should be taken to protect a community association’s funds

When property management companies go out of business, they can leave behind trails of unpaid bills and large losses from community associations’ reserve and operating accounts. There are many ways to protect your association funds.  Read More……

Read More

Introduction to Community Association Living

Community Volunteer Leadership Development Program Community volunteer leaders and members can maximize the benefits of community association living by better understanding the history, purpose, and function of community associations. One way to do so is by participating in the Center

Read More

Governance Guidelines

There are basic expectations that apply to virtually any common-interest community. With this in mind, the Center for Community Association Volunteers developed the Community Association Governance Guidelines – 12 principles that can help association board members increase harmony, reduce conflict

Read More

Rights & Responsibilities for Better Communities

More than a destination at the end of the day, a community is a place people want to call home and where they feel at home. This goal is best achieved when homeowners, non-owner residents and association leaders recognize and

Read More

Community Association Fundamentals

Each common-interest community has its own history, personality, attributes and challenges, but all associations share common characteristics and core principles. CAI developed the Community Association Fundamentals to foster a better conceptual understanding of how associations function and the roles of

Read More

Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members

This model code of ethics is not meant to address every potential ethical dilemma encountered by a community association board member, but is offered as a basic framework that can be modified and adopted by any common-interest community.    Read

Read More

So Now You’re On the Board

The first steps to superior board performance are clarifying your board’s job and then following through with appropriate plans, actions and evaluation of results. The checklists presented here are intended to assist you in those tasks. They cover a significant

Read More