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Why did FEMA deny that claim? Uh, that mold was there before the storm (MS)

The Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association wanted $1,079,150 to dredge Paradise Bayou and canals.  FEMA: Denied. The Country Club and POA facilities do not serve the public.  A review of a database provided by the Associated Press found

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FEMA Assistance Available in HOAs (FL)

When we are affected by weather-related damage, it’s reassuring to know that private communities such as ours can rely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in certain circumstances.  While we must continue to be proactive and adhere to our

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Lake County to collect storm debris from gated communities and private roads (FL)

On Sept. 20, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution requesting FEMA assistance to remove vegetative storm debris from private property, gated communities and non-county maintained roads, up to a collection cost of $500,000.  Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs),

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Floods And Flood Insurance: Don’t Be Up The Creek Without A Paddle

As we, our neighbors, families, and friends, here and in Puerto Rico, are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the prospect of making claims on our homeowner’s insurance policies can seem overwhelming in

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FEMA rules about gated communities muddle cleanup of Hurricane Irma debris

Mounds of storm debris in a Gotha gated community worry homeowners association president Mike George, who wonders if Hurricane Irma’s mess will ever get picked up — and by whom.  “The whole area really got blasted,” said George, standing in

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Can Your Homeowners Association Handle The Fair Housing Act?

As one of the touchier subjects in residential housing, the Fair Housing Act has a huge effect on community association management and homeowners associations. See IKO Community Management’s breakdown:   Read the article…………….

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Residents of Towson neighborhood confront racist legacy of covenants (MD)

Hiteshi Auburn liked the tree-lined streets and sturdy brick homes of Rodgers Forge. She loved how the children played outside and walked to school.  But most of all, it was the sense of community that attracted her family to the

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Housing Discrimination: Who’s Protected? Protected Groups That Buildings Need to Know

In this series, The Cooperator has examined discrimination laws in relation to multifamily buildings. Among the issues we’ve covered included people with physical and mental disabilities. A disability is just part of the general housing protections that people in New

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HamRadioNow: It Ain’t Parity Until We Say It’s Parity

The Amateur Radio Parity Act drew plenty of critics in its original form (HR 1301, the early days) from hams who thought the government shouldn’t stick its nose into private contracts  After the ARRL and the CAI (Community Associations Institute)

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US Attorney Announces Settlement with Florida Condominium Complex Over Alleged FHA Reverse Mortgage Fraud

On July 20, 2017, acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced a civil settlement with the owner of a Florida condominium complex over fraudulent reverse mortgage transactions. Defendant had been accused of violating the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the

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Co-op and Management Company Fined $125,000 for Discrimination (NY)

In a chilling reminder of the high cost of flouting the Fair Housing Act, a Westchester County co-op and its management company have agreed in federal court to pay $125,000 in compensatory damages and attorney’s fees to an applicant who

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Pool Guidelines

Time to cool down and make a splash! Summer means pool time for many community associations. Are your pool guidelines in line with the Fair Housing Act (FHA)? Check the FHA blog for specifics:   Read the article…………..     Read the

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Puerto Rico Laws Block Condos From FHA Loans

Rogers told Caribbean Business, however, that condos in Puerto Rico may not be able to benefit from the easing of FHA condo financing programs because local laws have become a roadblock preventing HUD from granting the certifications.  To become certified,

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Understanding HOA Fair Debt Collection Practices: Practice Tips

If you work for an HOA, serve on its Board of Directors, or own a property covered by one, there are a few things you should know about debt collection practices. So, to help you develop a greater understanding of

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What NC Community Associations Need to Know about Fair Debt Collection

Nearly all Community Associations (“Associations”) must cope with owners who fail or refuse to pay their periodic assessments (also known as “Dues”). When this happens, the Association, typically acting through its property manager, may first attempt to collect the delinquent

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HUD secretary hints that housing agency may ease terms for condo mortgages

Could condos financed with low-down-payment government-backed mortgages stage a surprise comeback under the Trump administration, which generally seeks to reduce federal involvement in housing? Would this be promising news for millennials and buyers with moderate incomes looking to purchase their

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Fair Debt Collections Guidance

When the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C 1601, was first enacted, it specifically exempted creditors attempting to collect their own consumer debts. With the enactment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), large financial consumer lenders have

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PREEMPTION! The FCC’s Adoption of the OTARD Rules and their Application to Condo’s and HOAs

In Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”), Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to adopt rules concerning Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”) in order to provide limitations and guidance on governmental and non-governmental restrictions on viewers’

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Action 9 goes to work for disabled vet denied a mailbox (FL)

A disabled veteran claims he can’t get mail at a condo he’s renting because the association only allows owners to use the mailboxes. Todd Ulrich asks if the condo association has gone too far and what rights renters have. Every

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Man alleges Key Colony Homeowners Association failed to pay overtime (FL)

A man alleges he was wrongfully denied overtime pay by his Key Biscayne employer.  Alberto Montes De Oca filed a complaint on March 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Key Colony Homeowners Association

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What’s the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination. HOAs are “housing providers” under the Act – they may not discriminate against certain classes of people. Associations who do discriminate risk lawsuits and large fines.  Few associations discriminate on purpose, but

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What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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Obscure Regulation Halts Reverse Mortgages, FHA Lending in Some Towns

Thanks to the abrupt enforcement of a decades-old regulation that the Federal Housing Administration had seemingly ignored, consumers looking to buy homes or take out reverse mortgages in some 55+ communities have had their FHA loan applications rejected at the

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When Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Apply to Community Associations?

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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Former employees accuse Bal Harbour Tower Condominium Association (FL) of labor code violations

A Miami-Dade County employer is accused of not paying overtime wages to two former employees.  Berkant Hakli and Karim Laroussi filed a complaint on behalf of others similarly situated on Feb. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern

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Avoiding Discrimination and Its Legal Consequences: The Power of Equality

Despite the fact that most people would agree that discrimination is a bad thing, discrimination persists, which suggests either that existing laws against it are sometimes ignored, or that the legal definition of ‘discrimination’ isn’t always clear. Fortunately, when it

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Ham Radio Antennas – Congress Still Can’t Decide What To Do

During the 2015-2016 federal legislative season, the Ham Radio lobby introduced H.R. 1301, a bill which sought to prohibit associations from banning Ham Radio antennas in their communities. As originally proposed, H.R. 1301 was detrimental to an association’s control over

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New “Amateur Radio Parity Act” Bill Introduced in US House of Representatives

H.R. 555 — a new “Amateur Radio Parity Act” bill — has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which passed in the House late last

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Should your Condominium Association be VA Certified? (MI)

One out of every 11 citizens in Michigan is a veteran and may receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA may help service-members, veterans, and certain qualified surviving spouses of service-members and veterans become homeowners

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Pool management company serving Loudoun communities hit with child labor violations (VA)

A Northern Virginia pool management company that provides everything from lifeguard services to repairs at as many as 25 pools in Loudoun and about 45 in the region has been cited by the state’s Department of Labor and Industry for

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Don’t Delay: No Change in the December 1, 2016 Deadline for Compliance with the Department of Labor’s Final Rule on Overtime

United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued a Final Rule revising the FLSA regulations regarding overtime exemptions

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FHA Proposes Condominium Rules Update (CAI)

On September 27, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released a proposed regulatory update to its condominium unit mortgage insurance program. On balance the rule has many positive aspects, including a limited “spot approval” process. The rule further allows individual

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New Flood Zones Could Slash Insurance Premiums (NY)

Federal officials, responding to an appeal from Mayor Bill de Blasio, have agreed to redraw the city’s flood maps, which is likely to reduce or eliminate insurance premiums for thousands of buildings currently in flood zones, Crain’s reports.    Read

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The ILSA Condo Exemption – Not Out of the Woods Yet

ILSA includes among its remedies an automatic right of rescission, even for closed transactions and without any proof of harm, and it therefore has been a popular statute for bringing buyer’s remorse claim

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Compromise On Ham Radio Legislation Offers Satisfactory Resolution

A bill that was recently brought before the U.S. House of Representatives is seeking to limit the amount of control community associations have over amateur radio operators. However, a compromise was reached between a prominent lobbying group and a membership

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New FHA Harassment Rule & Policy Recommendation

There certainly must be a fine line for homeowner associations to ensure they are taking reasonable action to address quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment when appropriate,

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Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act

This final rule amends HUD’s fair housing regulations to formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving allegations of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability.

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FEMA Reps Roasted Over Costly Flood Map Error In Ocean City (MD); ‘Disagreement’ Between City, Feds Still Being Worked On

In simpler terms, FEMA concluded the eastern edge of the long-established dune line should be the line of demarcation of sorts for the higher flood insurance rates

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HUD Restrictions on Criminal Background Checks May Affect Condominium Sex Offender Bans

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance restricting the use of criminal background checks to screen prospective residents.

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FHFA Vows to Keep Fighting HOA Super-Priority Liens

in foreclosures involving homeowner associations (HOAs) and super-priority liens, saying it will “aggressively” fight any HOA that tries to extinguish a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac lien through foreclosure.

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FEMA ‘error’ may cost condominium owners (MD)

Hundreds of Ocean City condominium owners are finding themselves waist-deep in insurance premiums in the wake of new flood maps that local officials criticize as flawed.

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Condos to be scrutinized by Fannie and Freddie

Under the Uniform Mortgage Data Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have developed two standardized Condominium Project Questionnaire forms.

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CFPB corrects error in TRID rule

homeowner’s association dues, condominium fees, and cooperative fees” are “subject to tolerances,” when it should read that those fees are “not subject to tolerances.”

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Drone On – May I See Your Flight Registration Please?

On Monday, December 14, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced new rules impacting users of any small unmanned aircraft (“UAS”) (i.e., drones or unmanned aerial vehicles) ranging in weight between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds.  Read the article…………..

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Government Affairs Alert

The Amateur Radio Parity Act (S. 1685) is scheduled for mark-up in the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee today (November 18). Your Senator serves on the Senate Commerce Committee and it is very important he/she hears from you today to oppose

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Is The New Clean Water Rule A Cleaner Way To Predict Federal Jurisdiction Over Property Or Does It Just Muddy The Waters?

On August 28, 2015, a new rule issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) became effective. The new rule is intended to redefine the term “waters of the United States”

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Navigating Local, Federal Laws Can Be Challenging For Property Owners Associations

One of the chief complaints I hear from potential clients is that it’s a confusing, time-consuming chore to ensure their property owners association is in full compliance with local, state and federal regulations. This is never a surprise considering the

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The other side of the “Amateur Radio Parity Act”

In this episode of HamRadioNow, ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN fights back against misrepresentation of the Amateur Radio Parity Act by Homeowner Associations (HOA)    Listen to the show……………   Read AARL’s response to CAI……

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How FHFA Impacts Your HOA

One of the great things about an HOA is that it is a community. However, because of that, everyone must play their part. So what happens when someone fails to do their part and even fhfaabandons their home? HOAs came

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EPA cracks down on stormwater violations, draining municipal resources

The visit from environmental inspectors had the nerve-rattling effect of an IRS audit.  Three U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staffers and a pair of engineers from Colorado spent two days in Manor Township, Lancaster County, poring over page after page of

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