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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

  • The Condo Association Board Advocate Profile June 26, 2017 The Condo Association Board Advocate is the first of the Condo Association Board personality series. The Condo Association Board Advocate is a valuable member of your Condo Board. In short, they’re looking out for the little guy. This is usually a great thing for the Owners. But is it great for the Association?    Read the article………………
  • Funding Your Future: Predicting & Budgeting Your Association’s Repairs & Improvements June 26, 2017 All community associations require routine maintenance, repairs, and replacement over time to ensure they remain in good condition. The task of ensuring the Association retains sufficient funding to pay for this maintenance, repair and replacement work falls squarely on the shoulders of the Board of Directors. Balancing the Association’s financial and maintenance needs is a critically important responsibility every Board grapples with.          Read the article…………..
  • Court rules that Michigan HOA cannot collect assessments after restrictive covenant expires June 26, 2017 In Deghetto v Beaumont’s Seven Harbors White and Duck Lack Association, issued June 22, 2017 (Docket No. 330972) (Unpublished Opinion), the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that a homeowners’ association could not continue to collect assessments after the restrictive covenant expired.     Read the article……………
  • Ten Things Property Managers Wish Owners Knew June 26, 2017 We are human too. Property managers really do want to help you resolve issues. Profanity and shouting are counterproductive. We cannot enforce rules that are not in your documents.       Read the entire list……………

Creating Rules & Regulations Archives




Enforcing Documents & Rules

  • The Condo Association Board Advocate Profile June 26, 2017 The Condo Association Board Advocate is the first of the Condo Association Board personality series. The Condo Association Board Advocate is a valuable member of your Condo Board. In short, they’re looking out for the little guy. This is usually a great thing for the Owners. But is it great for the Association?    Read the article………………
  • Funding Your Future: Predicting & Budgeting Your Association’s Repairs & Improvements June 26, 2017 All community associations require routine maintenance, repairs, and replacement over time to ensure they remain in good condition. The task of ensuring the Association retains sufficient funding to pay for this maintenance, repair and replacement work falls squarely on the shoulders of the Board of Directors. Balancing the Association’s financial and maintenance needs is a critically important responsibility every Board grapples with.          Read the article…………..
  • Court rules that Michigan HOA cannot collect assessments after restrictive covenant expires June 26, 2017 In Deghetto v Beaumont’s Seven Harbors White and Duck Lack Association, issued June 22, 2017 (Docket No. 330972) (Unpublished Opinion), the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that a homeowners’ association could not continue to collect assessments after the restrictive covenant expired.     Read the article……………
  • Ten Things Property Managers Wish Owners Knew June 26, 2017 We are human too. Property managers really do want to help you resolve issues. Profanity and shouting are counterproductive. We cannot enforce rules that are not in your documents.       Read the entire list……………
  • Security Cameras in Michigan Condominium Projects June 26, 2017 Whether inside a grocery store, at a gas station or even in your neighborhood, security cameras are everywhere in modern society. As technology evolves and cheaper and better cameras come onto the market each year, Michigan condominiums are experiencing an increase in surveillance and/or security camera usage. Security cameras raise significant legal questions that impact decisions made by the Board of Directors and co-owners. When considering the pros/cons of security cameras, some common questions arise:    Read the article……………..

Enforcing Documents & Rules Archives

 

General Articles About Documents & Rules

  • The Most Important Condo Association Documents You’re Not Reading June 22, 2017 Most Condo Association business is as exciting as watching paint dry. Unfortunately, this further extends to most Condo Association documents, as well. The fact that these documents are boring and often intimidating leads most Owners to ignore them. These same Owners who ignore documents find themselves shocked and upset when suddenly they are on the hook for thousands of dollars or find themselves in violation of a rule. No one wants to be caught unprepared – particularly when there’s money ...
  • What Homeowners Should Know About the HOA Documents June 14, 2017 A few months ago I wrote an article titled “Should Owners Really Read the HOA CC&R’s”. I must admit, the title was intended to get the attention of community association professionals. As a result some of the comments on social media were a resounding “Yes! How could you ask such a stupid question?”. While I agree… I’m not convinced that some of them actually read the article — Ironic right? Anyway… The article revealed the “startling news (heavy sarcasm)” that ...
  • Homeowners’ Associations in Florida and the Marketable Record Title Act: Are Your Governing Documents Still Valid? June 1, 2017 Florida homeowner and condominium associations’ governing documents (declaration, bylaws and articles of association) are critical for maintaining order and enforcing rules and regulations. These governing documents are recorded in the public records of the county where the association community resides. The purpose of recording these documents is to provide notice to all interested parties. If these governing documents ceased to exist by operation of law, the association would be in grave danger. Therefore, it is imperative that homeowner and condominium ...
  • Kass: Decoding condo documents: Know the difference between declaration, bylaws May 23, 2017 Q:  Please explain the difference between a condominium declaration and the bylaws. I am a new member of our board of directors, and no one seems to understand what these documents really are.   Read the Q&A…………..

General Articles About Documents & Rules Archives

 

Dispute Resolution for Community Associations

  • How to Win a Fight With Your Condo Association or HOA – Without Going Broke June 23, 2017 More than 68 million Americans live in community associations, according to the Community Associations Institute, meaning 1 in 5 of us is required to follow the rules and regulations of a condo, cooperative or homeowners association.  According to a 2016 CAI survey, 65 percent of residents find living in an association positive, with another 22 percent neutral on the experience. But a 2015 survey by the Coalition for Community Housing Policy in the Public Interest found that 72 percent had ...
  • When the HOA Should Step in to Resolve Homeowner Disputes June 20, 2017 Homeowners in your association are bound to get into disagreements at one time or another. It can be tricky for the board to decide when HOA dispute resolution is necessary, or when they should stay out of it and let the disputing parties resolve their differences among themselves.  This article will explore circumstances where it may be necessary for the HOA to step in to resolve homeowner disputes, and when they should not get involved.    Read the article………….
  • How to Avoid Condo Association Lawsuits June 12, 2017 Every Condo Owner – and Board – seeks to live in a harmonious community – one where people have great parties and other events, special assessments don’t happen, and things are great. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, things go south. In today’s litigious society, when things go south, lawyers get involved.    Read the article……………..
  • Got Condo Conflict? Got HOA Headaches? No cooperation in your Co-Op? Here are 5 Tips & Techniques for Community Dispute Resolution! June 7, 2017 Condo conflict driving you mad? HOA headaches wearing you down? No cooperation in your Co-op? How do you fix it? Conflict resolution is the solution! With the right training, education, and resources, Associations can reduce the high cost of conflict by changing the way they manage it. Conflict prevention, management, and resolution education and training, along with the use of skilled professionals, can benefit Community Association Managers (CAMs) and the Associations they serve. When CAMs and Boards are trained to ...

Dispute Resolution Archives

 

Pets in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Beware When Revising Your Pet Policy June 9, 2017 Want to make sure you get a quorum at your annual meeting? Announce that the board is going to discuss one or more of the following: redoing the lobby; raising maintenance; modifying the building’s pet policy.  “Any change to a building’s pet policy has the potential to rankle apartment owners like few other changes a board can make,” attorney Steve Wagner, a partner at Wagner Berkow and a board member of his own 412-unit Manhattan co-op, tells Brick Underground. “After ...
  • HOA & Pet Policy: What You Need to Know May 22, 2017 Almost everyone has a soft spot for animals, and just about every HOA allows pets within certain guidelines. Since pets are a reality, it is important for your HOA to establish clear, understandable, and easy to find guidelines on pets. No one wants to live next door to a dog that always barks, or a cat that uses flowerbeds as a litter box. And we know no HOA wants their community to show up on Animal Cops for an animal ...
  • 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 ...

Pets Archives

 

Renting in a Community Association

  • 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…………….
  • 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 ...

Renting Archives

 

Parking Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • 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……………..
  • 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 ...

Parking Archives

 

Noise Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • 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…………..
  • 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…………..