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Articles About Documents and Rules  for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

 

Amending Documents in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • 6 Big Reasons Why Your Assn. Should Consider Amending Your Documents (OR, 6 BIG REASONS WHY YOUR BYLAWS ARE PROBABLY TERRIBLE) October 13, 2017 (Or, 6 Big Reasons Why Your Bylaws are Probably Terrible)   There are a myriad of reasons why it may be in the best interests of an Association to amend its governing documents, which include the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, Master Deed, Condominium Bylaws, Subdivision Plans, as well as any Board-adopted Rules and Regulation.  Here are six of the biggest reasons why Associations usually amend (in no particular order of importance, and with all due respect to Developer attorneys and Co-owner ...
  • Updating Your Association’s CC&Rs October 10, 2017 Asked – Our documents were created in 1981 and have not been updated since that time. I imagine that we are out of legal compliance with some of the items listed within both documents. The HOA membership does not want to pay to have them rewritten and brought up to the codes and I am not sure what the implications are if we do nothing.    Read the article…………..
  • Top Reasons to Amend a Community Association’s Governing Documents August 21, 2017 Whether your community’s documents are relatively new or have been recorded for several decades, this article is intended to provide a basis for determining why amendments should be considered. Governing documents generally include the Declaration (or Master Deed for condominiums created under the Horizontal Property Act), Articles of Incorporation (for associations that are incorporated), Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, Plats, and Plans. The governing documents may also include Design or Architectural Guidelines. A Public Offering Statement is not part of the ...
  • 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, ...

Amending Documents Archives

 

Creating Rules & Regulations for Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • Have a condo? Pay attention to percentage ownership October 17, 2017 If you own a condominium, or plan to, read closely. You might not own exactly what you think.  When his association levied a special assessment, a reader of this column was unhappy to learn he was charged 20 percent more than his upstairs neighbors. How could this be?  It turned out his unit came with a higher percentage of ownership than the identical units above him.    Read the article………..
  • Insurance Carriers Exclude Color Matching Requirements from Policies October 17, 2017 The summer of 2017 saw a number of severe storms in the Midwest, with resulting insurance claims. As policyholders have made those claims, some have been surprised to see new provisions in their insurance contracts.  Things are not always black and white in insurance policies, especially when it comes to the impact of a Minnesota court decision that required insurers providing replacement cost coverage to reasonably match replacement siding. Since the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion in Cedar Bluff ...
  • In Case You Missed It: What You Should Know About the Radburn Bill (Webinar Video) (NJ) October 17, 2017 On August 22, 2017 and September 13, 2017, Hill Wallack‘s Ronald L. Perl, Esq., Caroline Record, Esq. and Jonathan H. Katz, Esq., in conjunction with Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C., presented two webinars dealing with what you and your community association should know about the new Radburn Bill.   Read the article……………..
  • Earmarking Reserves In Your HOA October 17, 2017 Most homeowner associations are entrusted with substantial common elements which must be maintained, replaced or renewed. All of this costs a lot of money. Borrowing said money is a very bad idea because it comes at a very high price in the way of interest and fees which must be repaid along with the principal. The cheapest and fairest way to pay for these expenses is to earmark a portion of the monthly, quarterly or annual fees and hold this ...

Creating Rules & Regulations Archives




Enforcing Documents & Rules

  • Have a condo? Pay attention to percentage ownership October 17, 2017 If you own a condominium, or plan to, read closely. You might not own exactly what you think.  When his association levied a special assessment, a reader of this column was unhappy to learn he was charged 20 percent more than his upstairs neighbors. How could this be?  It turned out his unit came with a higher percentage of ownership than the identical units above him.    Read the article………..
  • Insurance Carriers Exclude Color Matching Requirements from Policies October 17, 2017 The summer of 2017 saw a number of severe storms in the Midwest, with resulting insurance claims. As policyholders have made those claims, some have been surprised to see new provisions in their insurance contracts.  Things are not always black and white in insurance policies, especially when it comes to the impact of a Minnesota court decision that required insurers providing replacement cost coverage to reasonably match replacement siding. Since the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion in Cedar Bluff ...
  • In Case You Missed It: What You Should Know About the Radburn Bill (Webinar Video) (NJ) October 17, 2017 On August 22, 2017 and September 13, 2017, Hill Wallack‘s Ronald L. Perl, Esq., Caroline Record, Esq. and Jonathan H. Katz, Esq., in conjunction with Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C., presented two webinars dealing with what you and your community association should know about the new Radburn Bill.   Read the article……………..
  • Earmarking Reserves In Your HOA October 17, 2017 Most homeowner associations are entrusted with substantial common elements which must be maintained, replaced or renewed. All of this costs a lot of money. Borrowing said money is a very bad idea because it comes at a very high price in the way of interest and fees which must be repaid along with the principal. The cheapest and fairest way to pay for these expenses is to earmark a portion of the monthly, quarterly or annual fees and hold this ...
  • Polk circuit judge OKs portion of Poinciana homeowners’ lawsuit against HOA (FL) October 17, 2017 After nearly two years of effort, a lawsuit filed by three homeowners against one of the state’s largest homeowners associations is finally moving forward.  Polk County Circuit Judge Larry Helms ruled two counts alleging breach of contract can proceed to the discovery stage, though several other allegations were dismissed from the latest version of the homeowners’ lawsuit.   Read the article……………

Enforcing Documents & Rules Archives

 

General Articles About Documents & Rules

  • Have a condo? Pay attention to percentage ownership October 17, 2017 If you own a condominium, or plan to, read closely. You might not own exactly what you think.  When his association levied a special assessment, a reader of this column was unhappy to learn he was charged 20 percent more than his upstairs neighbors. How could this be?  It turned out his unit came with a higher percentage of ownership than the identical units above him.    Read the article………..
  • The HOA Document Hierarchy October 5, 2017 When you discover a glaring conflict between two of your HOA’s governing documents, there’s no need to despair. There is a ready-made solution waiting in the wings: a document hierarchy, typically imposed by the state, that orders your governing documents by authority. The governing-document hierarchy almost universally begins with the original HOA community plat or map at the top and the latest rules and regulations at the bottom. In many cases, you can use this hierarchy to quickly resolve conflicts ...
  • Reading Your CC&Rs September 20, 2017 Show of hands: Who has actually read their community’s CC&Rs cover to cover and word for word? Statistically speaking, not many have. And while it may feel unnecessary to read them, we assure you it’s better to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations before you’re fighting them or trying to implement them!   Read the article…………
  • Residents of Towson neighborhood confront racist legacy of covenants (MD) September 10, 2017 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 Towson neighborhood — where, she says, you can’t live long without getting to know your neighbors. So Auburn was disturbed to discover a piece of Rodgers Forge history that remains in its legal records.  “No person of any race other ...

General Articles About Documents & Rules Archives

 

Dispute Resolution for Community Associations

  • Withholding Your Maintenance Payments: Do You Have a Right to Do That During a Dispute? October 12, 2017 Conflicts between both unit owners and their co-op or condo, or between neighbors, can get ugly pretty quickly. Often due to many considerations–in particular the slow pace of anything in common-interest properties and the general reluctance to spend money–these conflicts can result in growing anger and frustration. The first response of many a frustrated shareholder or unit owner is to threaten financial retaliation, usually by withholding maintenance or common charges. But is this a viable option?   Read the article……………
  • What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution? (And Why Does the Association Use It?) October 11, 2017 Community associations and their members disagree from time to time. When they do, the association board attempts to resolve problems by using a three-step, problem-solving approach called alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It’s an effective and money-saving alternative to the traditional justice system; the three steps are negotiation, mediation and arbitration.   Read the article…………..
  • What’s a Board to Do? A Guide to Resolving Disputes in Your Community October 11, 2017 We have been asked on numerous occasions recently to give guidance to our community association clients about disputes that arise with and between their members. Communities throughout Maryland, and across the country, grapple with these questions every day. Resolving disputes within a community association can be one of the most daunting tasks facing members of the Board of Directors or property managers. It can be a confusing process to the lay person and oftentimes is not as cut and dry ...
  • How to Handle Neighbor Disputes in Your Homeowners Association September 7, 2017 You have two residents in your community who for whatever reason do not get along. Unfortunately they live right across the street from one another!  Your homeowners association manager receives phone calls and emails from these two weekly. Bill calls to complain about the lights on in Dan’s home. Dan calls to complain about cars parked on the street when Bill’s wife threw him a birthday party (and didn’t invite Dan).    Read the article…………..

Dispute Resolution Archives

 

Pets in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • 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 ...
  • The Top 3 Pet Policy Problems (And How To Solve Them) October 12, 2017 Are you ready to learn how to be a good neighbor if you have pets? Check out IKO Community Management’s top pet policy problems in HOA communities and how to solve them quickly:  Problem 1: You find dog waste in common areas on your morning run or post-dinner walk with your family. This is a problem because dog waste can cause the spread of disease and unwanted animal attention.  It can also negatively affect selling and renting properties in your ...
  • 6 Pet Rules Every Homeowner Should Follow October 5, 2017 If you’re wondering how to be a good neighbor, a great place to start is by understanding proper pet etiquette in an HOA community. Thankfully, many boards offer existing guidelines for you to follow, which makes everything easier.    Read the article…………
  • Pets are a growing part of condo life September 30, 2017 I’ve seen an explosion of four-legged friends in the building over the past year. It’s not just my condo; city planners estimate there are four to eight pets per floor in Toronto. It has come to the point that they’re looking into design guidelines to ensure highrises can adequately accommodate us all.  Getting a pet seems to be a next step toward adulthood these days. Especially as many of us millennials delay parenthood — or decide against having children altogether. ...
  • Condo complex penalized over ‘no pets’ policy (NY) September 16, 2017 The NYC Commission on Human Rights recently won its case in defense of a resident of Parkchester South Condominiums who was threatened with eviction over her service dog.  Michelle Berrios, a nurse practitioner who has lived in her condo for nearly 30 years, started butting heads with management in March 2015 over its ‘no pets’ policy.  A Parkchester security guard wrote her a ticket for owning a toy poodle named Brownie, according to a CHR news release.     Read the ...

Pets Archives

 

Renting in a Community Association

  • 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 ...
  • Tom Kelly: Condo financing taking dead aim on renters September 17, 2017 But the big question behind condo and alternative housing is financing. Will lenders bend their conservative outlook toward condos to support growth? In order to obtain financing, the percentage of owners in many buildings must equal 50 percent.  That’s what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest suppliers of mortgage money in the country, often require, and it is one of the main reasons condo associations are pushing for owner-occupants.  A court case, however, sent a message that condo associations ...
  • 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 ...

Renting Archives

 

Parking Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Association

  • 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.”
  • 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…………..

Parking Archives

 

Noise Issues in Condominium and Homeowner Associations

  • 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……………..
  • A New Way to Defuse Noise Complaints September 27, 2017 New York City is loud and getting louder. The number of noise complaints filed with the city’s 311 line has more than doubled since 2010. The main culprits, in no particular order, are raucous parties (which the police no longer interrupt), construction work (which takes place at all hours), sirens, air-conditioning units, bar patrons, barking dogs, and noisy children. For co-op and condo boards, noise complaints between neighbors are a persistent headache. That’s because it’s difficult – and expensive – ...