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Articles About Documents and Rules  for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

 

Amending Documents in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • A Step-by-Step Approach to Amending and Restating Governing Documents (CA) April 20, 2017 It seems as though the laws change as frequently as the tides. Some years see more legal changes than others – changes that greatly affect the way boards manage the association’s affairs. The laws governing community associations have experienced so much change within the past three to four years alone that it may make your community’s governing documents unreliable, especially as they relate to homeowner rights and the functions of the board, officers, and management. It only makes sense to ...
  • When Should You Update Your HOA Governing Documents? February 27, 2017 Many governing documents are established immediately after the community’s developer completes construction. Therefore, these documents follow a standard set of guidelines that are intended to protect the community–even though the houses are still empty. As the neighborhood or condo complex fills up with residents, a true community emerges and the governing documents may eventually need to be amended to reflect the changing real-life needs of residents.    Read the article………
  • How to Get the Vote February 14, 2017 Your association’s board has worked for six months to amend and restate the association’s governing documents, including the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and even the rules and regulations. The board has met with the association’s lawyer on several occasions, reviewed and provided comments on multiple drafts, and even arranged for multiple meetings with the membership to solicit comments and generate enthusiasm. There are two methods of obtaining the votes. The first is to notice a meeting of the members ...
  • Understanding Governing Documents Restatements (OR/WA) January 31, 2017 The process of amending governing documents is no easy task. Changes to the CC&Rs typically require between 66%-75% of the owners to approve. Bylaw amendments, on the other hand, are a little easier to modify, usually requiring a majority vote of the owners.  But suppose over the years your governing documents have been amended several times. Numerous amendments can make things complicated. When reading the CC&Rs or Bylaws, the reader must frequently refer to the amendments to confirm which sections ...

Amending Documents Archives

 

Creating Rules & Regulations for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • 10 Residential Amenities That Rock April 30, 2017 Gym, spa, blah blah blah. Sometimes the hit list of residential amenities sounds like the same old broken record. Any condominium or residential complex can offer an Olympic-size swimming pool. But a swimming pool aquarium? That would be extraordinary (if it actually existed). We’ve heard of the Porsche Design Tower’s automated car elevator. Now that’s thinking outside the box. Here are amenities that truly catch the eye (or ear or taste). Let’s call this amenities compilation “The Greatest Hits.”   Read ...
  • Mirror Lake Drive washout inconveniences VanStory Hills (NC) April 30, 2017 Fayetteville plans to restore two city-owned dams, such as in VanStory Hills, but not pay to restore other private dams, under new policy   Read the article…………..
  • Be prepared to answer the question “Why?” if you want to defuse conflict in your community April 30, 2017 “Why can’t we use the pool after dusk?” the wiry man at the microphone bellowed. “I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and I need to use the pool to stay in shape” and with that statement, he pointed to his trim waistline to indicate how well his exercise regimen had been working.  I waited along with the audience to see how the President who was chairing the meeting would respond.    Read the article…………..
  • Fire displaces families in St. Pete (FL) April 30, 2017 A condo fire in St. Petersburg displaced several residents Saturday afternoon after it likely spread from the kitchen of one of the units.  The fire tore through eight units of a building at the Peppertree Village Condos on MLK Street North. Several units also had water damage from firefighters attempts to extinguish the fire.  Firefighters believe the fire originated from a pot left on the stove in one of the upstairs units, yet the exact cause remains under investigation. Smoke ...

Creating Rules & Regulations Archives




Enforcing Documents & Rules

  • 10 Residential Amenities That Rock April 30, 2017 Gym, spa, blah blah blah. Sometimes the hit list of residential amenities sounds like the same old broken record. Any condominium or residential complex can offer an Olympic-size swimming pool. But a swimming pool aquarium? That would be extraordinary (if it actually existed). We’ve heard of the Porsche Design Tower’s automated car elevator. Now that’s thinking outside the box. Here are amenities that truly catch the eye (or ear or taste). Let’s call this amenities compilation “The Greatest Hits.”   Read ...
  • Mirror Lake Drive washout inconveniences VanStory Hills (NC) April 30, 2017 Fayetteville plans to restore two city-owned dams, such as in VanStory Hills, but not pay to restore other private dams, under new policy   Read the article…………..
  • Be prepared to answer the question “Why?” if you want to defuse conflict in your community April 30, 2017 “Why can’t we use the pool after dusk?” the wiry man at the microphone bellowed. “I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and I need to use the pool to stay in shape” and with that statement, he pointed to his trim waistline to indicate how well his exercise regimen had been working.  I waited along with the audience to see how the President who was chairing the meeting would respond.    Read the article…………..
  • Fire displaces families in St. Pete (FL) April 30, 2017 A condo fire in St. Petersburg displaced several residents Saturday afternoon after it likely spread from the kitchen of one of the units.  The fire tore through eight units of a building at the Peppertree Village Condos on MLK Street North. Several units also had water damage from firefighters attempts to extinguish the fire.  Firefighters believe the fire originated from a pot left on the stove in one of the upstairs units, yet the exact cause remains under investigation. Smoke ...
  • Condo Questions: Potential lawsuit looms over repair delays April 29, 2017 Q: A leak originated in the wall of the condo unit above me. As a result, my ceiling and pantry wall were damaged. As well, my wooden kitchen bar counter and dining room hardwood floor were damaged. The condominium corporation repaired the pantry and bar in two months, but has not fixed the hardwood floor, nor has it advised when it will happen. It has now been six months. How long should I have to wait before my repairs are ...

Enforcing Documents & Rules Archives

 

General Articles About Documents & Rules

  • Understanding Your HOA Documents March 14, 2017 Understanding your governing documents is essential to every association – without governing documents, an HOA would not exist! These documents serve a specific purpose in the community and allow the association to function.  An association board or individual board member may be held legally liable for failure to follow local, state, and federal laws, or to act in good faith based on reasonableness and good judgment. For these reasons, it is important that board members truly understand their association’s governing ...
  • HOA Homefront: Exclusive use common areas – what you might not know March 11, 2017 Many condominium buyers do not understand what they bought until long after becoming an owner.  Condominiums consist of two elements: A separate interest, called the unit, and an undivided equal share in everything else, called common area. However, there are usually also hybrid areas, called “exclusive use common areas,” devoted to the exclusive use or benefit of a single condominium, Yet they are still a common area.    Read the article………….
  • Association documents can provide answers on condo projects March 10, 2017 When it comes to major construction projects at condominiums, what can the board of a community association do on its own and when does it need the advice and consent of the membership?  For instance, can a condo board opt, for security reasons, to build a wall around the premises without the members’ approval?    Read the article………….
  • What Happens When Condominium Documents Conflict? March 8, 2017 When purchasing a condominium unit in Michigan, buyers are often surprised at the number of legal documents governing not only the condominium project itself, but also the association tasked with administering, managing and maintaining the condominium. Given the length and complexity of most governing documents, there can be conflicting provisions by, amongst and within the governing documents. This article explores what a Board of Directors should do when the documents conflict and the importance of including a hierarchy of what ...

General Articles About Documents & Rules Archives

 

Dispute Resolution for Community Associations

  • PA lawmakers to mull community mediation April 15, 2017 Pennsylvania lawmakers will discuss a proposed change Tuesday, to how the state handles disputes within private communities. The state House of Representatives plans to reconsider House Bill 595, which would expand the Attorney General’s power to mediate such cases.  “There are a lot of residents who feel they should have that protection,” said State Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-189), who introduced the legislation in February.  The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Uniform Planned Community Act in 1996. It defines a planned ...
  • Accessing Justice from Your Smartphone: The Civil Resolution Tribunal (BC) April 13, 2017 Starting June 1, 2017, certain small claims disputes will be adjudicated online rather than in a traditional courtroom in British Columbia, thanks to the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), the first online tribunal of its kind in Canada.  The CRT is a recent provincial initiative that will significantly change how certain small claims disputes and strata property matters are adjudicated in British Columbia. It is intended to provide a flexible dispute resolution forum where parties can engage online. This means that ...
  • The Role of the Community Association in Neighbor vs Neighbor Disputes April 10, 2017 Neighbor vs neighbor disputes are frequently a part of life in community associations. Common examples may include an owner allowing his dog to use his neighbor’s yard or an owner dumping trash on his neighbor’s yard. Although they may initially be trivial, these neighbor vs neighbor disputes can escalate into bitter personal rivalries. While many community associations believe it is necessary to intervene in an attempt to ensure good relations between neighbors, an association should only take action in such ...
  • Four Tips for Resolving Condo Association Disputes April 7, 2017 One of the most common issues that a Condo Board member faces is resolving Condo Association disputes. As a Board member, you are a combination of a legislator and an executive, so your job is often the role of mediator, judge, and sometimes executioner. Sometimes these activities are extremely formal – such as a Condo Association hearing. Other times you’re resolving issues between Management staff or Management and Owners. This process can be challenging and frustrating, but these tips will ...

Dispute Resolution Archives

 

Pets in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Holly Geraci loses lawsuit, must ride condo elevator with dogs (IL) April 24, 2017 The wife of a prominent Chicago bankruptcy attorney will have to share the elevator with dogs after losing a federal lawsuit last week against her condo association asking for canine-free carriage.  Holly Geraci filed the housing discrimination lawsuit in March 2015 against the Union Square Condominium Association, where she shares a penthouse with her husband, attorney Peter Francis Geraci. She said fear of dogs amounted to a disability under the Fair Housing Act and sought to avoid riding with them ...
  • Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims April 12, 2017 Dog bites man, man sues board. Are you adequately insured?  “My dog doesn’t bite.”  Don’t believe those four innocent words. Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid out in 2016 – a staggering $600 million – according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the insurer State Farm.    Read the article…………..
  • Atascocita man attacked by dog while defending his own (TX) April 11, 2017 “I couldn’t believe an animal could do that amount of damage in such a short period of time,” said the victim’s daughter.  Harris County Animal Control did not come out Monday night, so the dog was not seized.  Now, neighbors want to know why.  “We’ve made multiple complaints to the HOA, the Constable, Animal Control and we’ve gotten no resolution. It took a mauling for anybody to do anything,” said another neighbor who asked her identity not be revealed.   Read ...
  • Suntree residents restrict allowable pets (FL) March 22, 2017 Gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and a long list of other animals are no longer welcome in Suntree.  At least on paper.  Residents voted last week to approve a measure that restricts pets in the planned unit development to domesticated birds, cats, dogs and fish. Every breathing pet beyond the latter is on the shunned list.    Read the article……………
  • Pets & Condos March 6, 2017 As cities become more populated and land becomes more scarce, condominiums are becoming a home option of choice for many Canadians. For pet lovers who rent, condominiums are lifesavers, as most properties welcome animals. However, it’s best to be aware of all pet rules and regulations before purchasing or leasing a condominium as these vary per corporation.   Read the article…………..

Pets Archives

 

Renting in a Community Association

  • Associations Need to Seek Ejectment Rather Than Eviction for Some “Tenants” (FL) March 17, 2017 When the Condominium Act was amended several years ago to allow associations to demand and collect rent directly from the tenants of unit owners who were delinquent in the payment of their monthly fees, community associations thought it was an answer to their prayers. Associations were struggling to recover from the foreclosure crisis, and many homeowners made the decision to rent their units to make some money but, unfortunately, they also chose not to pay their associations.    Read the ...
  • Limitations on Community Association Approval or Denial of Service Member Rental Applications (FL) March 1, 2017 Effective July 1, 2016, § 83.683, Florida Statutes, requires landlords, condominium associations, cooperative associations and homeowners associations to process rental applications submitted by service members within seven days of submission. Within that seven day period, the landlord or association must notify the service member in writing of an application approval or denial and, if denied, the reason for the denial. If a rental application submitted by a service member is not timely denied, the landlord or the association must allow ...
  • Condo Tenants: A Potential Asset February 14, 2017 Question: We have been renting a condominium unit in a fairly large complex for the last several years, and our current plans are to stay here for several more years. For financial and other personal reasons, we do not want to buy. However, quite frankly we feel that we are second class citizens in this condominium complex. We recognize that we cannot serve on the Board of Directors. However, we want to get involved in various condominium activities, including the ...
  • Owner Function: Addressing Tenant Issues February 3, 2017 Another source of contention that is almost always avoidable deals with the actions of tenants. As an owner, you are generally responsible for the actions of your tenants within the association. If your tenant violates the association’s governing documents, you will likely receive a warning letter, hearing notice or ultimately you may be served with a lawsuit. This possibility can be avoided by ensuring that you provide copies of all governing documents to your tenant and ensuring your tenants understand ...
  • How to Avoid Being Responsible for Your Renters HOA Rules Violations January 19, 2017 How many times have you been at an HOA board meeting and heard, “it’s the renters who don’t follow the HOA rules” or “our homeowner’s association assessments are increasing because the renters don’t care about our building and following the rules!”  Approximately 4 in 10 homes in suburban America are occupied by renters. If your unit is one of those homes—or about to become one—here are a few tips that will help you and your renters live harmoniously under the ...

Renting Archives

 

Parking Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • HOA says truck owner cannot park on street (NV) March 28, 2017 The latest conflict between a Las Vegas homeowners association and a resident all comes down to his truck.  It is too big for his garage or driveway, but HOA will not let him park on the street in the area near Cactus Avenue and Southern Highlands Parkway.   Read the article……………..
  • Court Upholds Association Revocation of Parking Privileges (NJ) March 22, 2017 A New Jersey trial court has upheld the suspension of parking privileges against a delinquent condominium owner. In this case, the condominium association adopted a Resolution – based on authority from the governing documents – that revoked parking privileges for habitually delinquent unit owners. The unit owner involved failed to pay his common expense fees and had accrued a substantial balance. After notice and an offer of alternative dispute resolution, which was rejected by the unit owner, the Association revoked ...
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Coming to a Condominium or HOA near you! March 22, 2017 An autonomous vehicle, also known as a driverless car, self-driving car, or robotic car is a vehicle that senses its environment and operates without human input. On December 9, 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed 2016 PA 332 into law and amended the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code to make Michigan the first state that allows for autonomous vehicles to be operated on a public street or highway. Michigan Senate Bill 995 amended MCL 257.2b(2) and now defines an automated motor vehicle ...
  • Condominium Association Parking Restrictions and Enforcement March 16, 2017 One of the most common problem areas for condominium associations and their property management is parking. Spaces are at a premium in most communities, and issues arise when unit owners and tenants fail to park in their designated spots. Associations and their property managers must be well prepared in order to effectively contend with parking violations.    Read the article………….
  • Clear Lake Residents Ticketed for Parking in Their Driveway (TX) December 15, 2016 City is willing to meet with HOA’s to talk about the program and minimize the number of tickets being issued   Read the article…………..

Parking Archives

 

Noise Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Can board help with complaint of loud noise? April 8, 2017 Q: My neighbor is keeping me up at night with loud talking and video games. He lives above me and the condominium seems disinterested in this nuisance. What can I do?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL) April 6, 2017 Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA January 25, 2017). For more on the doctrine of Selective Enforcement, please review our October 2014 blog posting.  At issue was the enforcement of two restrictions that are typically related – Internal Alterations and Noise. The declaration of condominium in ...
  • Real estate Q&A: Music hits sour note at condo’s public pool April 6, 2017 Q: Our condo pool has a rule stating “no radio playing except when using earphones.” There are people in our condo — actually several board members — who frequently play musical instruments and sing out loud on the pool deck. I interpret the rule to mean that people in the pool area shouldn’t be subjected to anyone’s music. What do you think?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • Dealing with A Noisy Condo Tenant – Court Declines to Make an Eviction Order March 7, 2017 In a recent case, NNCC No. 6 v. Temedio, a condominium corporation applied to the Court for an order requiring a tenant to permanently vacate the leased unit due to loud noises and voices emanating from the unit, which constituted a breach of the corporation’s rules. The unit owner brought a separate application seeking an order that the lien for legal costs which was registered against the unit, be vacated.     Read the article……………
  • How To Get Your Neighbor’s Dog To Stop Barking Incessantly February 13, 2017 Dogs may be man’s best friend, but sometimes best friends won’t shut up and are annoying as shit. It’s especially aggravating when your neighbor’s dog likes to bark all night long, or yap every time you go anywhere near their house. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make that pup clam up and get the peace and quiet you need without being a jerk.     Read the article……………..