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Articles About Documents and Rules  for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

 

Amending Documents in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • Wait…We Need Lender Approval On Our Amendments? May 16, 2017 So you’ve gone through months, if not years, of hard work with board members, committee members, and the owners to finally amend the declaration for your community, and owners have finally approved those amendments. Celebration time, right? Well maybe, or maybe not so fast.  Unfortunately, many communities (particularly condominiums) have declarations that require a percentage of, or sometimes all, mortgagees (i.e., lenders) to approve amendments. This is in addition to owner approval. How does an association obtain this mortgagee approval, ...
  • 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 ...

Amending Documents Archives

 

Creating Rules & Regulations for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • A Roof Deck Project Is Not a Place to Save Pennies (NY) August 16, 2017 Paul Gans, project manager at New Bedford Management, has learned from experience that roof deck projects can turn into minefields. At several properties, he was hired when roof deck projects were partially complete – and headed for disaster. The problem was that the decks were being laid directly on the roof membranes.    Read the article……………
  • Who pays for $100,000 sinkhole in Md. couple’s backyard? August 16, 2017 A Charles County couple woke up to find not one, but two sinkholes in their backyard.  Now they might be getting stuck with a $100,000 bill to fix the sinkholes, even though they formed after a drainpipe that serves their neighborhood busted.    Read the article…………..
  • HOA Bylaws by the Book August 16, 2017 As an HOA manager, you know one thing for sure. Getting things in writing (translation: iron-clad legalese) is essential. Since your HOA bylaws serve as your governing course of action — and your go-to procedure manual — it’s pretty important for them to be clearly understood and closely followed. Aye, but here’s the rub: homeowners (even board members) tend to get confused between bylaws and other governing documents. So let’s clarify the difference.    Read the article…………….
  • Singapore: Condo management sparks row by telling residents they can’t smoke on their balconies August 16, 2017 The management agent of the Meadows @ Peirce recently sent out a circular telling residents they should not smoke in their balconies and window areas, in addition to common areas where smoking is prohibited by the National Environment Agency (NEA).  It cites a clause from the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) that prohibits owners from doing anything that can be a nuisance to others.    Read the article…………..

Creating Rules & Regulations Archives




Enforcing Documents & Rules

  • A Roof Deck Project Is Not a Place to Save Pennies (NY) August 16, 2017 Paul Gans, project manager at New Bedford Management, has learned from experience that roof deck projects can turn into minefields. At several properties, he was hired when roof deck projects were partially complete – and headed for disaster. The problem was that the decks were being laid directly on the roof membranes.    Read the article……………
  • Who pays for $100,000 sinkhole in Md. couple’s backyard? August 16, 2017 A Charles County couple woke up to find not one, but two sinkholes in their backyard.  Now they might be getting stuck with a $100,000 bill to fix the sinkholes, even though they formed after a drainpipe that serves their neighborhood busted.    Read the article…………..
  • HOA Bylaws by the Book August 16, 2017 As an HOA manager, you know one thing for sure. Getting things in writing (translation: iron-clad legalese) is essential. Since your HOA bylaws serve as your governing course of action — and your go-to procedure manual — it’s pretty important for them to be clearly understood and closely followed. Aye, but here’s the rub: homeowners (even board members) tend to get confused between bylaws and other governing documents. So let’s clarify the difference.    Read the article…………….
  • Singapore: Condo management sparks row by telling residents they can’t smoke on their balconies August 16, 2017 The management agent of the Meadows @ Peirce recently sent out a circular telling residents they should not smoke in their balconies and window areas, in addition to common areas where smoking is prohibited by the National Environment Agency (NEA).  It cites a clause from the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) that prohibits owners from doing anything that can be a nuisance to others.    Read the article…………..
  • Unhappy Property (Manager) Loses in South Carolina August 16, 2017 “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.” – Anonymous In South Carolina, as in most states, there exist various consumer protection and licensing laws, intended to protect the public from the unauthorized practice of law (or “UPL”, as it is often referred). Of course, only lawyers licensed in the state in question can practice law in that state, but the question sometimes arises as to what actually constitutes “practicing law”.    Read the article…………….

Enforcing Documents & Rules Archives

 

General Articles About Documents & Rules

  • HOA Bylaws by the Book August 16, 2017 As an HOA manager, you know one thing for sure. Getting things in writing (translation: iron-clad legalese) is essential. Since your HOA bylaws serve as your governing course of action — and your go-to procedure manual — it’s pretty important for them to be clearly understood and closely followed. Aye, but here’s the rub: homeowners (even board members) tend to get confused between bylaws and other governing documents. So let’s clarify the difference.    Read the article…………….
  • When Should You Audit Your Association’s Documents? August 11, 2017 My mother is an accountant, so I grew up learning to budget my allowance in one of those big bound ledger books with the green grid lines. My mother had shelves full of the big ledger books, along with an entire room full of banker’s boxes full of paperwork. The stacks of boxes were fun to climb on but I was never really curious enough to look inside – they were all the same to me – full of manila ...
  • Bad legal documents can be an expensive problem July 28, 2017 Last time I spent the entire column talking about properly, i.e. ethically, amending your declaration and bylaws, a lot of column space and words because it truly is really important to do things the right way. This time, the points are shorter, but no less important.  Drafting the documents: Condominium documents, particularly the declaration and bylaws are contracts and need to be treated with the full weight and authority of these legal documents    Read the article…………….
  • Condo Docs – What You Need To Know Before Buying A Condo July 26, 2017 So you’ve been checking out Panama City Beach condos for sale, and you’ve found a condo you love. Once you start the purchasing process, you’re going to be faced with a lot of documents. Condominium documents (sometimes called “condo docs”) are required documents that in the buying/selling process of a condo – must be reviewed and signed off. These condo docs are extreemly critical for the new buyer since a condominium is a property with shared ownership. All condo owners ...

General Articles About Documents & Rules Archives

 

Dispute Resolution for Community Associations

  • Mediation, Mitigation or Meditation, Which Works Best For An HOA Dispute? August 9, 2017 The 3 “M”s. Each has value in and of itself in finding solutions. I published an E-newsletter a few months ago (archived at californiacondoguru.com) on mitigation that was fun. The concept in my mind was triggered by an art teacher who confused my remarks about being a mediator to referring to me as a mitigator. It was fun to write and think about it as a separate concept. Look up the newsletter if you want to read more on it. ...
  • Mediation and Arbitration Study for HOAs and Condos (NC) August 4, 2017 The General Assembly met yesterday (August 3) to consider several issues remaining from the legislative session. Bills that would impact North Carolina’s homeowner and condominium associations weren’t really on the agenda, but one proposal was adopted that has a provision concerning community associations.   Read the article…………..
  • Got Conflict? Get Mediation! August 2, 2017 Understanding what mediation is, how it works, the benefits for all parties, and the types of disputes that can be resolved with mediation, demonstrates how mediation can be an effective alternative to litigation.     Read the article………….
  • No signs of healing in Oakmont as political fallout deepens after pickleball vote (CA) July 19, 2017 The political acrimony in Oakmont deepened Tuesday with calls for the president of the homeowners’ association to step down and a surprise call to ask residents to decide — by popular vote — the future of a terminated pickleball court project in the east Santa Rosa retirement village.   Read the article……………

Dispute Resolution Archives

 

Pets in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Weslaco Woman Fighting to Keep Pet Pig on Property (TX) August 10, 2017 Mix a pig, a city, and a homeowners association – you get conflict. A Weslaco mother is fighting to save Winston, her pet pig.  A year and a half ago, Charla Layne purchased the pet she claims to be three-quarters Kunekune pig and one-quarter Potbelly pig. She said Winston weighs 250 pounds and he mingles with the family’s many dogs.     Read the article…………..
  • Is Your Dog a Good Citizen? You’d Better Hope So, for Insurance’s Sake August 1, 2017 This seems to be particularly favorable with homeowners association, co-op, and condo boards, according to Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for the Insurance Information Institute. “Many insurance agents will accept certificates from AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program and other dog training programs,” says Worters.    Read the article…………..
  • Who let the dogs out? Community members wrestle with loose dog concerns, attacks (HI) August 1, 2017 Tensions mounted Friday night, as eight residents shared emotional encounters they’d had with loose dogs in Waikoloa Village the past eight months or so. Many led to human and pet attacks.  Beverley Brand, a director on the Waikoloa Village Association (WVA) board, called the public meeting in the HOA Community Room in response to increased complaints she’d heard recently. Nearly 30 neighbors listened as representatives from the police department and Hawaii Island Human Society shared suggestions on how to address ...
  • Toronto wants future condo towers to be more pet-friendly July 31, 2017 There are between four and eight pets on every Toronto highrise floor, city planners believe, and now they’re looking for new ways to handle that.  The city is turning to consultants to come up with a set of design guidelines to make high-density areas better for pets, and will also be looking for advice from the public.    Read the article………………
  • What Can an HOA Board Do About Barking Dog Complaints? July 21, 2017 So you moved into a beautiful new luxury homeowners association. Your home is on a quiet street in an established neighborhood. Every evening you sit on your newly purchased adirondack chairs in your shady backyard, sipping on a bottle of wine — while your roommate is lapping his water from an old beat up water bowl — your “roommate” in this case happens to be a 120 pound fur baby named Rex and he is not on good terms with ...

Pets Archives

 

Renting in a Community Association

  • Rental Caps: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly August 15, 2017 A rental cap is a mechanism put in place to limit the number or percentage of units which may be rented at any one time in a community. While not every community needs, wants, or should have a rental cap in place, before you spend the time and money on getting one drafted and approved by the owners, it is important to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether or not a rental cap is beneficial for your community. ...
  • Sometimes Rentals Work FOR Associations July 25, 2017 One of the topics that confound community associations and their boards is what to do about renters. Many times, the question is what can be done to limit them, prohibit them or somehow control them. The goals of a landlord can be different from the goals of a resident owner, and there are plenty of opportunities for conflict. But is there a time when it pays for the association to be a landlord? What if a zombie house – a ...
  • Court Concludes Rental Restrictions are Reasonable (CA) July 5, 2017 Recently, many residential common interest developments have experienced an influx in the number of short-term rentals within their community. This problem is exacerbated by the increased popularity of websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Although profitable, short-term rentals have a significant negative impact on community associations, such as increased damage to common area and violations of the Association’s governing documents. To address these concerns, many associations are amending their CC&Rs to include restrictions imposing a minimum lease period (e.g., thirty ...
  • Communication to Renters: Why It Matters To Your Association June 10, 2017 Does your board and management team communicate to the renters in your community? If no, why not? In communities where renters makeup a significant portion of the residents, they are often overlooked by the people running the community.  “I’ve never understood why a board wouldn’t want to communicate with its tenants,” according to Marc Kaplan, managing director of the rental division of FirstService Residential. “In New York City, high-rise buildings are largely mixed with owners and renters. If you don’t ...
  • Company Helps Condos Crack Down On Illegal Renters (FL) May 6, 2017 For as long as condo associations have existed there have been issues with parking, rentals and people breaking rules.  It is a constant struggle for property managers. That is until now. A software engineer may have stumbled upon a foolproof solution.  For the first time in years, Josh Travieso feels like he’s finally gotten the upper hand in his condo association.    Read the article…………….

Renting Archives

 

Parking Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • Beach Bummed (FL) June 29, 2017 Sandpiper has nine units, with 10 private parking spaces … until now.  That’s because the City of Hollywood is reclaiming five spots to make Oklahoma Street wider.  Jeanette Garcia, Sandpiper resident: “They proceeded to tell me that the property that we had as our parking spaces was not really our property.”    Read the article…………..
  • Company Helps Condos Crack Down On Illegal Renters (FL) May 6, 2017 For as long as condo associations have existed there have been issues with parking, rentals and people breaking rules.  It is a constant struggle for property managers. That is until now. A software engineer may have stumbled upon a foolproof solution.  For the first time in years, Josh Travieso feels like he’s finally gotten the upper hand in his condo association.    Read the article…………….
  • Bossier neighborhood takes parking complaint to parish government (LA) May 5, 2017 Fed up with street parking they say causes safety and convenience issues, residents of the Rosedale Place neighborhood in Bossier City have taken their grievances to the parish government in hopes of finding an enforceable resolution.  Representatives from the Rosedale Place Homeowners Association (HOA) spoke to the Bossier Parish Police Jury on Thursday to ask for possible solutions, including a potential ordinance banning parking on the streets in the neighborhood.    Read the article……………
  • MCL 559.139: Transferring limited common element parking spaces in Michigan Condominiums May 5, 2017 In densely populated urban areas in Michigan, it is not uncommon for a co-owner to sell another co-owner a parking space at a premium when parking space is limited. However, condominium associations and co-owners often confuse the process of selling units with the process of selling a limited common element parking space. In determining the proper procedure for selling a parking space in a condominium, a co-owner must first determine whether the parking space is a unit or a common ...
  • 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……………..

Parking Archives

 

Noise Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • No clear resolution to dispute in Wallingford between neighbors, Thurston Foods (CT) August 3, 2017 The Town Council asked the mayor in February to facilitate a meeting between the company and two homeowners’ associations to discuss a plan in which the company and associations would each pay a portion of the cost to build a sound barrier wall between Thurston’s facility and Padens Court, a nearby residential development.    Read the article……………
  • Singapore: Condo unit owner fails in bid to end ‘noise’ from pool pumps August 1, 2017 For over two years, a condo unit owner tried to get his estate’s management corporation (MC) to resolve the noise from a swimming pool pump system, which his occupier had found “unbearable”.  The unit is located below the rooftop pool at Luma, a 27-storey development in River Valley Grove.  The MC tried everything, from hiring an acoustics consultant to conducting noise tests in the unit, one of 75 in the development. But nothing worked, so owner Lim Yew Loon eventually ...
  • What Can an HOA Board Do About Barking Dog Complaints? July 21, 2017 So you moved into a beautiful new luxury homeowners association. Your home is on a quiet street in an established neighborhood. Every evening you sit on your newly purchased adirondack chairs in your shady backyard, sipping on a bottle of wine — while your roommate is lapping his water from an old beat up water bowl — your “roommate” in this case happens to be a 120 pound fur baby named Rex and he is not on good terms with ...
  • Noise complaint could put Board of Health in a pickle(ball) (MA) June 21, 2017 “My windows were shaking,”Lawrence Richmond, who lives in the Great Island section of the Pinehills, said about a match between highly skilled competitors played on the tennis court he lives near. The sport, which is similar to tennis, is played using a plastic ball.  Richmond said he went to the building inspector’s office to complain, but they declined to get involved. “We don’t want to get into a big shooting match,” over the sport, Richmond said. But he thinks the ...
  • Phantom Smell Syndrome May 31, 2017 QUESTION: I am on the board of a retirement community. We have a resident complaining of cigarette smoke. We investigated and could not smell any smoke, nor is there anyone around her who smokes. She is threatening to go to Fair Housing if we don’t do something about it. What should we do?    Read the Q&A…………..