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Articles About Documents and Rules  for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

 

Amending Documents in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • Mountain Law: Colorado court of appeals clarifies aspects of amending restrictive covenants (CO) December 13, 2017 Recent Colorado court decisions clarify aspects of amending the declaration of restrictive covenants in common interest communities (CICs).  CICs, which include most condominiums and covenant-controlled subdivisions, are generally governed by a comprehensive statute known as the Colorado Common Interest Community Ownership Act (CCIOA) that went in effect in 1992. Vis-à-vis CICs created before 1992 (so-called “pre-CCIOA communities”), only certain provisions of CCIOA apply. The list is set out in Section 117 of CCIOA, which I refer to as the “secret ...
  • Court rules in favor of MI Condo Association related to amendment of bylaws, compliance with parliamentary procedure and director compensation related to website December 7, 2017 Vidolich v Saline Northview Condominium Association, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued December 5, 2017 (Docket No. No. 334579), involved a lengthy battle between Vidolich, a co-owner in the Northview Condominium, and the Saline Northview Condominium Association (the “Association”). Vidolich was a member of the Association’s board until he resigned over a procedural dispute and he was the Association’s website designer and operator until he deleted the website and replaced it with what he concedes was a “gripe ...
  • Got Drafting Errors? Amend Your Governing Documents November 27, 2017 The bylaws of a condominium are self-governing documents. They address how the board administers policies and oversees the maintenance and operation of the association. They also cover such things as board membership qualifications, meetings, and voting. The bylaws are generally considered to be rather straightforward, but once in a while you come across a set with sections that are vague and confusing. Such was the case with a small building on the Upper West Side that had converted to a ...
  • Outdated Governing Documents Invite Lawsuits (NY) November 6, 2017 Most co-ops in New York City were converted back in the 1980s, and that’s when their proprietary leases were written. This critical document outlines the relationship between the co-op as a landlord and the shareholder as the tenant, or lessee. It still amazes me how many co-op boards have not updated their ancient proprietary leases. A lot of the language just does not apply or address the various issues that come up in today’s world.    Read the article………………..

Amending Documents Archives

 

Creating Rules & Regulations for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Future unknown for closed golf course in Gainesville (VA) December 15, 2017 With hundreds of houses neatly tucked along a series of quiet cul-de-sacs, the Virginia Oaks neighborhood in Gainesville is like any other upscale golf course community in Northern Virginia, except for one key difference.  There isn’t a golf course at the center of it anymore.  Though the rolling hills and tree stands once associated with the Virginia Oaks Golf Course still stand in the middle of the 563-home community just off U.S. 29, the putting greens have turned various shades ...
  • Three Reasons to Become an HOA Board Member December 15, 2017 Do you have great ideas about how your community can be managed more efficiently?  Would you like to become more involved in your HOA’s daily operations?  Do you have the time, dedication and enthusiasm to regularly volunteer your skills for the benefit of your community?  If so, then you’re a perfect candidate to run for a seat on your HOA board of directors. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to run, here are three reasons you ...
  • Myanmar: Condominium Law rules open market to foreign buyers December 15, 2017 After a near two-year wait, the Ministry of Construction has issued rules for the Condominium Law that will open the property market to foreign buyers.  Under the rules, foreign buyers will be able to own up to 40 percent of the total floor area of registered condominiums – a prospect that local developers hope will spur market activity.  The introduction of the rules also means all buyers of registered condominiums will be eligible for strata title and thus support the ...
  • Case Law Update: Nottingham Village Condo Ass’n v. Pensom: Litigation Evaluation Meetings (MI) December 15, 2017 In some condominium governing documents, there are provisions that require a co-owner vote before the association can file a lawsuit. These provisions range from the rather mundane to extremely onerous.  In Nottingham Village Condominium Association v. Pensom, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 333311, Dated December 12, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals just upheld a bylaw provision that stated, before any civil lawsuit was filed, “the Board shall call a special meeting of the ...

Creating Rules & Regulations Archives




Enforcing Documents & Rules

  • Future unknown for closed golf course in Gainesville (VA) December 15, 2017 With hundreds of houses neatly tucked along a series of quiet cul-de-sacs, the Virginia Oaks neighborhood in Gainesville is like any other upscale golf course community in Northern Virginia, except for one key difference.  There isn’t a golf course at the center of it anymore.  Though the rolling hills and tree stands once associated with the Virginia Oaks Golf Course still stand in the middle of the 563-home community just off U.S. 29, the putting greens have turned various shades ...
  • Three Reasons to Become an HOA Board Member December 15, 2017 Do you have great ideas about how your community can be managed more efficiently?  Would you like to become more involved in your HOA’s daily operations?  Do you have the time, dedication and enthusiasm to regularly volunteer your skills for the benefit of your community?  If so, then you’re a perfect candidate to run for a seat on your HOA board of directors. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to run, here are three reasons you ...
  • Myanmar: Condominium Law rules open market to foreign buyers December 15, 2017 After a near two-year wait, the Ministry of Construction has issued rules for the Condominium Law that will open the property market to foreign buyers.  Under the rules, foreign buyers will be able to own up to 40 percent of the total floor area of registered condominiums – a prospect that local developers hope will spur market activity.  The introduction of the rules also means all buyers of registered condominiums will be eligible for strata title and thus support the ...
  • Case Law Update: Nottingham Village Condo Ass’n v. Pensom: Litigation Evaluation Meetings (MI) December 15, 2017 In some condominium governing documents, there are provisions that require a co-owner vote before the association can file a lawsuit. These provisions range from the rather mundane to extremely onerous.  In Nottingham Village Condominium Association v. Pensom, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 333311, Dated December 12, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals just upheld a bylaw provision that stated, before any civil lawsuit was filed, “the Board shall call a special meeting of the ...
  • Crisis Averted: Phoenix Extends Rural Water Shutoff Deadline (AZ) December 15, 2017 In a much-anticipated decision, the City of Phoenix announced today it will extend a deadline to allow water-hauling companies to use water from city hydrants to serve residents of New River and Desert Hills, averting a crisis for up to 1,500 homeowners who do not have working wells and are not part of any municipal water service.   Read the article………………

Enforcing Documents & Rules Archives

 

General Articles About Documents & Rules

  • Understanding HOA Governance: Your Secret Weapon December 13, 2017 Many homeowners aren’t entirely clear about the mechanics of governance that apply to their homeowners association. It’s understandable–when you become a member of a homeowners association, you become a member of a non-profit mutual benefit corporation. This corporation is governed by Bylaws, Rules & Regulations, Covenants, Conditions& Restrictions (CC&Rs) and usually involves a property management company. For a quick run-down of who does what, review our article titled, “Community Management: 3 Things You Need to Know.” In the meantime, sorting ...
  • Outdated Governing Documents Invite Lawsuits (NY) November 6, 2017 Most co-ops in New York City were converted back in the 1980s, and that’s when their proprietary leases were written. This critical document outlines the relationship between the co-op as a landlord and the shareholder as the tenant, or lessee. It still amazes me how many co-op boards have not updated their ancient proprietary leases. A lot of the language just does not apply or address the various issues that come up in today’s world.    Read the article………………..
  • HOA Homefront: Can a board grant exclusive use in common-area space? November 4, 2017 Q:  My homeowners association has a board that changes all the time. People with agendas run, and many times they leave after one year. The question is whether the HOA can continually “grant” various owners rights into the greenbelt/common area. Shouldn’t there be disclosures to the entire membership of each and all such rights granted, and not just adjoining neighbors? In theory we all own the common area, and it is being chopped up and “permitted” to be used exclusively ...
  • Michigan Court of Appeals rules that modular home violates restrictive covenants November 1, 2017 In Thiel v Goyings, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued August 8, 2017 (Docket No. 333000), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the construction of a partially prefabricated home violated the restrictive covenants in the Timber Ridge Bay Subdivision. Specifically at issue were restrictive covenants that provided as follows:     Read the article………………..

General Articles About Documents & Rules Archives

 

Dispute Resolution for Community Associations

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Arbitration Is Not Mediation (NJ) December 6, 2017 A recent decision by the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court demonstrates the need for precision in defining what method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) an association utilizes or agrees to. Carelessly referring to the ADR procedure as an arbitration can make the ultimate decision binding upon the parties, even if one of the parties had something else in mind.   Read the article……………….
  • Dealing With Difficult People In Your Homeowner’s Association November 21, 2017 Living in a homeowner association, there is likelihood of running into someone that is, how should we say it, less than happy. We all have to deal with difficult people at some point. Some focus on what they don’t like about a person (loudmouth, condescending tone, etc) and then hope they will change. Not surprisingly, this rarely creates the change we desire.     Read the article………………….
  • Homeowner Association Not Bound by Buyers’ Arbitration Agreement With Builder November 17, 2017 Claims by a homeowner association against a developer are not subject to arbitration agreements between the developer and individual homeowners, where the claims are pressed on the association’s own behalf, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Thursday in a published decision.  The appeals court set aside an order by a Superior Court judge compelling arbitration in a suit against U.S. Home Corp. by the Greenbriar Oceanaire Community Association. A motion judge compelled arbitration of all disputes in the case on ...
  • Managing Conflicts in Your HOA Community November 15, 2017 Let’s be honest, there is no way to avoid conflict entirely. Which means at some point your HOA will deal with some sort of disagreement. There are many types of conflict, and just as many dos and don’ts for how to manage them.  Here are some ways your board can handle a situation, should it arise:    Read the article……………….

Dispute Resolution Archives

 

Pets in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • The “Mini Pig of Venice” is facing eviction (FL) December 11, 2017 Save Hamilton, he’s not a swine. That’s the main message behind a new change.org petition that is calling for people to support the pig in a battle between the Woodmere Lakes Homeowners Association and the owners of Potbellied pig.  The pig’s owners say their homeowner’s association is finding them in violation for keeping a swine on their property. But, they say that’s all wrong because “Hamilton is a purebred Miniature Potbellied Pig and as such a common household pet and ...
  • Pet Rules for HOA Harmony December 6, 2017 Our association is proud to be pet-friendly, and we’re happy your four-legged family members are part of our community. Of course, like any good neighbor, it’s important that these pets don’t create an unpleasant environment for everyone else. To avoid unnecessary disputes and potential rule violations, here are some guidelines owners should follow to ensure their furry friends continue to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.     Read the article…………………
  • A Better Way for Boards to Vet Dogs (NY) December 5, 2017 There’s no end to the war stories about co-op and condo boards in no-pet buildings battling residents who feign some sort of condition, then make bogus requests for an emotional “support pet.” There’s a different challenge at pet-friendly buildings, where boards try to make sure that a new resident’s dog will fit in with the resident humans and their pets. At one Upper East Side co-op, a volunteer “interviews” the pooches of prospective apartment buyers. They call her “the dog ...
  • Clearwater man fights to keep squirrel as pet in his condominium (FL) November 11, 2017 A Clearwater man is fighting to keep a squirrel as a pet inside his condominium.  Ryan Boylan says he rescued the squirrel shortly after Hurricane Matthew more than a year ago.    The rodent was stuck under someone else’s car.  “She’s just like an inside cat. She just walks around and hides pecans and hazelnuts which are her two favorites,” said Ryan Boylan, squirrel owner.     Read the article……………..
  • How To Clearly Disclose And Enforce Fair Pet Rules October 26, 2017 According to the American Pet Products Association as reported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “44 percent of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35 percent have a cat.”  Because of the desire for pets, animals shelters are emptying and breeders have their work cut out for them. It’s time that homeowners associations also get on board by updating their CC&Rs and operations based on this trend.     Read the ...

Pets Archives

 

Renting in a Community Association

  • Enforcing Occupancy Requirements in Your Condominium (WI) December 14, 2017 If your condominium association documents include restrictions on occupancy (how many people can reside in a unit), be aware of what the federal law states on the issue to avoid potentially costly lawsuits brought by disgruntled unit owners.   Read the article……………….
  • Kass: Can condo board ban owners from renting to relatives? November 8, 2017 Q:  I live in a 20-unit condo building. In 2002, the board decided to protect our owner-only occupancy rule by having our attorney prepare a form that all owners were required to sign acknowledging that only owners can live in our complex. Until recently that was the way the building operated. The owners were in agreement in 2002 and 80 percent signed on.   Read the Q&A………….
  • HOA Governance: The Pros and Cons of an HOA Rental Cap October 31, 2017 The policies of any HOA are sometimes a touchy subject because, at any one time, homeowners are simultaneously responsible for and subject to the rules set out by their home owner’s association. There are a number of perfectly normal policies that are put into place like a stylistic agreement to keep the neighborhood looking nice and everyone’s property values going in the right direction. However, problems sometimes arise when a particular policy favors the homeowners who moved in (and began ...
  • We Want Our Neighborhood Back: A North Carolina Homeowners Association’s Guide to the Use and Enforcement of Rental Restrictions October 27, 2017 Lending you a cup of sugar, offering to watch the kids, or grilling out on a summer afternoon— whatever the activity, our neighbors are a key part of what makes our communities familiar and unique. Neighbors help make a neighborhood into your neighborhood. Ideally, the people you share your community with hold similar values and goals for the place you’ve chosen to call home.    Read the article……………..
  • A Rude Awakening: Your Board May Not Have the Right to Screen Leases and Sales at All! (FL) October 9, 2017 Even in the frenzy of post-Irma repairs, ordinary life continues and for most volunteer boards and professional managers that means screening applicants who wish to lease or purchase in their communities.  However, purchase and rental screening has become such a part of the fabric of community association life that some boards and managers have forgotten to confirm the source of authority for such activity. Several boards were recently dismayed when I advised them that they do not have authority either ...

Renting Archives

 

Parking Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • Establishing Effective Condo Association Parking Policies October 26, 2017 Parking is one of the hottest and most contentious topics in a Condo Association. Issues like more cars than parking spaces, improperly recorded deeds, and handicap parking can make for a complicated situation for Boards and Management. In today’s post, Better Condo Life is teaming up with Kevin Hirzel of Cummings, McClorey, Davis and Acho, PLC to help you tackle the complicated issues related to Condo Association parking policies and laws. Mr. Hirzel brings a wealth of expertise on Condo ...
  • Illegally parked cars frustrate residents (GA) September 27, 2017 Phillips also said there had been a wreck recently in the neighborhood involving a car parked in the street and an ambulance had to drive through one homeowner’s yard to get to a call due to cars blocking the street. The Bryan Mill Homeowners Association has been involved in the issue, Phillips told the council, and has issued fines to those with cars parked in the street, but that has no impact on the problem. He said the offending homeowners simply ...
  • What really constitutes a commercial vehicle? Time for a clearer answer when it come to condos (VA) September 23, 2017 What’s the difference between a sedan with a commercial logo on its door and a truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds?  There is no difference, according to many condo associations: Both are considered commercial vehicles by such associations’ rules, and both are prohibited from the condo communities’ parking spots.  The distinctions between the two sorts of vehicles may seem obvious. Yet I’ve been told of a local real estate agent who had to move her SUV off her condo community ...
  • Drafting and Enforcing Parking Restrictions September 2, 2017 Despite the going green initiatives and increased use of public transit, ownership and use of automobiles remains a necessity for most. Our need for automobiles translates to parking problems in many communities with limited parking availability. To help alleviate their parking problems, many of these communities have adopted parking restrictions and regulations.   Read the article……………….
  • Town to HOA: work out own parking issues (VA) August 22, 2017 Culpeper Town Council is taking a hands-off approach to ongoing parking woes in the Madison Grove housing development behind Lowe’s that is pitting neighbor against neighbor over large trailers and boats being left for months on the curb of a cul-de-sac.  “He parks his trailer and boats in front of other people’s homes, not his own,” said HOA officer Mike Showalter, a Prairie Court resident where the reported problem is occurring. “The neighbors are completely fed up with this situation.”

Parking Archives

 

Noise Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Dealing with Noisy Neighbors October 23, 2017 Does your neighbor’s loud music, barking dog or late-night visitors keep you up at night? If you live in a condominium building, your answer is probably ‘yes.’ A recurring complaint that we receive from condominium unit owners is that they are able to hear their neighbors through shared walls, followed by the frustration of feeling as if there is no recourse. Here are some tips on how to deal with noisy neighbors:   Read the article………………
  • What to Do When Your Neighbor’s Dog Won’t Stop Barking October 16, 2017 We’re all in agreement here – dogs are simply amazing. But, there are few things more annoying than a dog that barks nonstop, especially if it’s not your dog.  Perhaps you work a night shift and can’t sleep during the day because a neighbor’s dog is barking nonstop; or you have just put your baby down for a nap, only to have her sharply awakened thanks to the dog a couple doors down. It could be that you work from home ...
  • How to Drown Out Your Neighbors’ Psychotic Lovers’ Quarrels: Noise reduction solutions for the noisiest of noisy neighbors October 7, 2017 I thought I had gamed the system this time—after two years of living below Marcus, a photographer with an appetite for swarms of high-heeled women and 4 a.m. weeknight furniture shuffling, my husband and I had secured a top floor prewar Chicago condo. With a brick exterior and solid wood floors, the loudest sound we expected to hear was the soft patter of rain against the bedroom skylight. Au contraire—turns out we’d landed next door to a F5 double-twister; an ...
  • The Nuisance – You Know It When You See It? October 4, 2017 Many common interest community declarations contain provisions prohibiting “nuisances”, and homeowners and directors alike use these provisions as a “catch-all” category when it comes to annoying people and situations in their communities. But what exactly is a nuisance and how do you know if one exists?  For example, it is not uncommon to receive complaints from owners about offensive cooking odors emanating from their neighbors’ units. Although cooking may not be prohibited in the declaration, the odor deemed offensive by ...
  • Generator noise may constitute a nuisance if sufficiently pervasive September 30, 2017 Question: Our HOA declaration contains a nuisance clause. Our neighbors installed a whole-house power generator within 8 feet of our fence and 18 feet from our master bedroom window. We were not aware of the unit until we lost power and the unit instantly fired up and shook us out of bed. We cannot sleep when the unit is running because of the noise and vibration from the unit.   Read the Q&A……………..