Enforcing Rules & Regs

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How to Hold a Condo Association Hearing

Once you’ve prepared for a Condo Association hearing, you’ll have done all of the necessary legwork to minimize conflict and maximize the outcome. While preparation makes things easier, you will still need to go through with the hearing itself. These

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Condo resident sues Palm Beach over code enforcement fines (FL)

A Palm Beach resident has filed suit against the town alleging that code enforcement and police officers violated his privacy rights when they entered his condo without permission and fined him nearly $25,000.  The suit was filed Jan. 13 by

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You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Laws, community association governing documents and policies are designed to help boards of directors identify their roles and responsibilities. They provide a framework of expectation for community members. And they can be immensely useful in dealing with inappropriate and ill-advised

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Does a condo board have to enforce every single rule and regulation?

Q: I live in a condominium complex where there is no enforcement of the house rules. I have noisy neighbors, neighbors with three cars (for their two-person, one-bedroom condo), neighbors who erect anything and everything on the common elements. The

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Dealing With Difficult People in Your HOA

Dealing with difficult people in any setting can be a real challenge. But in volunteer-based homeowner associations, where there is none of the leverage managers have with employees, there is an entirely new level of difficulty. And, believe it or

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How to Prepare for a Condo Association Hearing

Hearings are a necessary evil for any large Association. Condo Associations create rules – sometimes lots of them. Generally, a cease and desist deters most Owners from breaking the rules. Every now and then, however, you need to hold a

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How to Handle Condo Association Rules Being Ignored

A common question Owners ask is what to do if a Condo Association rule is being ignored and going unenforced. Understandably, this can cause significant consternation among Owners. Rules are meant to be followed, and if an Association isn’t following

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Owner Function: Comply with Documents

As an owner within an association you should read, understand and comply with your governing documents. If you do not understand the documents, ask your neighbors, your board, or your personal attorney. Failure to understand your association’s governing documents (Bylaws,

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If you are on a condo board enforcing rules in a reasonable fashion is part of your responsibility

The acid test for the board of directors success is do the owners (they elect the board) love living in their association?. Does the owners approval rating of your boards compare to our current approval rating of congress? If so

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Live in an HOA? Hosting Thanksgiving? Remember these things…

First off, you’re welcome for this little list of helpful reminders about hosting Thanksgiving at your home that’s in an HOA. We know you are busy brining, basting, baking, mashing, mixing, cleaning, and whatever else it is you have to

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HOA disciplinary hearings: not a public court process (CA)

Ifeveryone followed the Golden Rule (“do unto others…”), homeowners association disciplinary hearings would be rare. Unfortunately, hearings are a necessary, regular, and unpleasant board responsibility. These hearings are governed by Civil Code 5850 and 5855, which establish a simple system.

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The Shakespeare Case and What it Means to Utah HOA’s

On June 22, 2016 the Utah Supreme Court published the Fort Pierce Industrial Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Association v. Shakespeare case, 2016 UT 28. This case established a bright line rule that the Court rejected strict construction

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Condo Association Rules Enforcement

Condo Association rules are always a thorny issue. On the one hand, people want to live without feeling like they have to walk on eggshells. On the other, there are often enough jerks out there who do obnoxious things that

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How Well Did You Communicate The HOA Rule?

Every HOA has rules. Every HOA Board has to create rules, and get compliance from community members.  Seems easy, right? Usually never.  Why? Because communication falls through or falls flat.  Hopefully, when HOA rules are written they are not overly

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When Residents Are Disruptive: Tips for Keeping the Peace

Despite living in association, sometimes disputes erupt. Some residents just can’t be reasoned with. They’ll bother the board or other residents in various ways: noise at all hours, smells, maybe even just being a pest. No matter what it is,

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New FHA Harassment Rule & Policy Recommendation

On October 14, 2016, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new rule on quid pro quo and hostile environment housing practices under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) goes into effect. This new rule creates liability for housing

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Neutrality

Association boards deal with a variety of unit owner behaviors and personalities. Some are positive, some are negative, and some are downright inexplicable. This can lead to both real and perceived bias.  Regardless of the behavior or how much the

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Are You Observing Constitutional Rights in Disciplinary Hearings?

Boards of directors of community associations (and, unfortunately, even the attorneys advising them) will sometimes mistakenly believe that co-owners are not entitled to certain Constitutional rights of due process with respect to disciplinary hearings. They might warn a co-owner not

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Homeowners Association/Reasonableness Of Fees/Section 1717: $25,614 Post-Judgment Enforcement Fee Award To HOA Affirmed On Appeal

The attorney for the prevailing homeowners association (HOA) did something very smart in Bryan Ranch Homeowners Assn. v. Lawrence, Case No. A147659 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 16, 2016) (unpublished), which we will now describe.  There, a homeowner and HOA

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The Truth about HOAs: Don’t Blame Governing Documents, Blame Inconsistent Enforcement

MYTH: ENFORCING YOUR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS LEADS TO UNHAPPY HOMEOWNERS.  Most people believe that enforcing the Rules and Regulations and other restrictions in the Declaration leads to unhappy homeowners. It feels right, because no one likes to get a

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Can an Association Suspend an Owner’s Right to Use Common Facilities? (FL)

Association boards frequently ask what recourse they have against owners who fall behind on paying assessments, or violate other provisions of an association’s governing documents. While most associations’ governing documents provide for the right to fine owners and place a

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Is Selective Enforcement of Restrictions Acceptable?

Q: Some of my neighbors and I recently received notices for violations of our community’s restrictive covenants (CCRs) based on the condition of our lawns. However, the homeowner across the street from me has four or five commercial vehicles parked

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The ‘PS’ of Community Living: Rules Enforcement

Question: We live in a nice community, but every so often someone breaks one of our rules. Sometimes the infraction is minor — such as washing their car on the public street. Other times, the violation is more serious, such

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Summer Time Rules

It is that time of year again in Ohio! The warm weather entices everyone to go outside and enjoy all of summer’s possibilities. With the increased activity on your community association’s property, boards should review their rule booklets to help

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HOA Board Function: Enforce Governing Documents

Another important function of the association’s board of directors is to enforce governing documents. Unfortunately this function is often viewed with disdain by owners against whom enforcement is being sought. Owners on the receiving end of enforcement proceedings often feel

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New Ruling Strengthens Association’s Ability to Demand Homeowners Maintain Appearance of Their Residence (FL)

For most homeowners association communities, one of the primary functions for the associations in their enforcement of the community’s declaration is ensuring that all of the homeowners are maintaining the exterior appearance of their property. Poorly maintained homes detract from

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Are There Exceptions to the Rules in a Homeowners Association?

Associations have rules to preserve the appearance of the community, protect the value of the common property and individual homes, and make the neighborhood more harmonious for all. What you may not know is that in some rare instances, the

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Enforcement of CC&R’s

Condominium and homeowner association CC&Rs are, in many ways, similar to contracts. If one party breaches the terms of the contract, the other party may seek the help of the legal system for damages or to require the breaching party

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Hoverboards: Addressing Their Risks for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

Two-wheeled personal mobility devices, or hoverboards, were the ubiquitous holiday gift in 2015. Small, new and exciting, these contraptions quickly shot to the top of the wish list for many individuals, even those not technologically savvy. Once the wrapping paper

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Association Rules Specifying Children Can Spell Trouble!

Once upon a time, community associations passed rules which all but shouted that children were a nuisance. Rules were routinely passed which clarified that little Tommy and Tina couldn’t use the pool, clubhouse, exercise room or other amenities without Mom

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Alamo (CA): License-plate camera plan divides neighborhood

A homeowners association is facing pushback from some residents who say they don’t want a license-plate camera system — like some area cities use — that the association board is considering.   Read the article…………

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Courts Say Condo Boards Can’t Levy “Confiscatory” Penalties

The bylaws of many condominiums authorize the board of managers to impose fines for violations of the rules and regula­tions, and also authorize the collection of late fees for failure to pay the common charges on time. However, recent court

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Squatters in HOAs: Can Anything Be Done?

Since the country’s economic crisis began in September 2008, it is estimated that more than six million homes were lost to foreclosure. And foreclosure was often just the start of problems for these properties. With that volume, many times these

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Are law enforcement vehicles subject to Community Association “commercial vehicle” bans?

One common provision in homeowners association’s and condominium association’s governing documents is a prohibition against the keeping of “commercial vehicles” within the community.   Read the article………

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Properly Written – and Enforced – House Rules Can Keep Your Building From Becoming a Living Hell

Today’s New York Post carries a story about a unit owner in a luxury Upper East Side condo who has sued his upstairs neighbors for allowing their kids to play floor hockey in the hallway, sometimes as early at 6:30

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How to Approach Homeowners Who Break the Rules

Rules and guidelines are developed by homeowners associations and monitored by the community association management team to ensure that properties within the community are safe, well-maintained, and retain the highest possible value. Community management services like regular inspections play a

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Tips for Enforcing HOA Rules Respectfully

Rules and regulations are part of the territory when it comes to running and living in an HOA community. These rules are what keep things running smoothly and protect the value and integrity of the neighborhood. While every homeowner might

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Court Upholds Association Foreclosure for Unpaid Fines

A Connecticut court recently upheld a foreclosure action after an owner refused to pay fines assessed for her failure to construct a deck in accordance with board approved plans. Although this case was decided by a Connecticut court and is

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Rules Violations Create Community Conflict

Rules are rules in a homeowner association. Whether an infraction is minor or a flagrant violation, consistent enforcement among homeowners is a must. Rules should be written so that violations aren’t left up to interpretation. If your HOA Board is

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Denying Access: Consequences for Arrears and Non-Payment

The synopsis for the 2013 horror film The Purge is pretty extreme: in the future, society implements a 12-hour period called “the purge,” wherein any and all crime is legalized. Always wanted to vandalize your boss’s car? Thinking about shoplifting

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Is your association selectively enforcing its deed restrictions?

When a community association takes legal action to force an owner to comply with deed restrictions, the owner’s first defense is almost always “selective enforcement”. This defense essentially alleges that the association is not treating its members fairly and equally.

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Can an HOA Change Its Mind about Fines?

A rather unusual community association decision was issued yesterday by the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Without question, the facts are rather convoluted and not of that much interest to other associations, but there’s one takeaway worth noting.   Read the

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Rules are Rules

Funny story. A condominium association I represent is located in such a way that I could see their amenities – a small swimming pool and tennis courts – from my office window. One summer, the association was involved in some

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Association Regulations Can Lose Their Teeth If Not Enforced

Question: Our homeowners’ association board and management company do not enforce the restrictions contained in our governing documents. While the association occasionally sends out a letter to an owner advising them of a violation, there is no fining committee and

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Noise Rules: Keep it Down—But Keep it Fair

When you live in a multifamily building, however, peace and quiet can be hard to come by. From the guy upstairs who gargles loudly at precisely 6:47 a.m. every morning to the neighbor with the yapping Chihuahua—at some point the

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Going by the Book – The Importance of Following the Rules

It happens in business, government, and industry every day: employees learn the rules of a new job, and very shortly thereafter, they start taking shortcuts to circumvent them. Rarely is this done with malicious intent. More often, it is simply

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You Ask. We Investigate.® HOA Traffic Tickets (CA)

The homeowners association board in Sun City Shadow Hills Del Webb in Indio recently raised traffic citation fines from $50 to $200. This has some residents upset. They say this retirement community should not be issuing fines that high without

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Access Denied! . . . Or is it? The Condominium Association’s Right to Request Entry to a Unit to Inspect for Default

An association of co-owners within a condominium project is responsible for enforcing the condominium project’s master deed, bylaws and any rules and regulations. In many instances, the association will be able to determine whether an alleged violation warrants a declaration

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What Roger Goodell and the NFL Can Learn from HOAs

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman’s recent voiding of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension caused shockwaves across the NFL. Though the NFL has appealed the judicial ruling, Deflategate is, well, deflated and all but gone. There are, however,

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Clearly defining nuisance activity in your governing documents can help association boards avoid future headaches

A nuisance is generally defined as a person, thing or circumstance which causes inconvenience or annoyance. For some people living in shared ownership communities, there is no escaping a nuisance situation that has risen to a level which impacts the

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