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  • Unit owners can’t use records for solicitations (IL) October 17, 2017 Q. I recently read about a change in Section 19 of the Condominium Property Act concerning books and records of an association. I understand owners will no longer have to state a “proper purpose” to examine and inspect certain books and records of the association. Can you describe what books and records requests this will impact?      Read the Q&A…………….
  • Electronic Signatures Can Now Be Used to Amend Restrictive Covenants (MI) October 17, 2017 The legislative history of MCL 450.835a demonstrates that Michigan House Bill 5591 (2016) was originally introduced to deal with an extremely large Michigan Homeowners Association that was having difficultly amending its documents. The Lakes of North Association in Northern Michigan that had approximately 4,700 members and was composed of 8,028 lots. The restrictive covenants required 2/3 of the owners to physically sign an amendment to a restrictive covenant in order for it to be effective. Given the practical problems in gathering physical signatures of owners of more than 5,351 lots, the legislature agreed to allow electronic signatures to be attached to an amendment as part of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, MCL 450.831, et seq..     Read the article……………..
  • AB 634 Signed! Reduced HOA Control of Solar Energy System Installations (CA) October 16, 2017 The Governor has signed AB 634 into law changing HOA control over solar energy system (“Solar”) installations. HOAs may no longer adopt policies and guidelines that prohibit Solar installations on common area roofs protecting HOA property and homes from damage and members are stripped of the right to protect common area property by membership vote. HOA’s must conform to a statewide, one-size-fits-all Solar policy summarized here.    Read the article………………
  • Ham Radio Legislative Activity In The U.S. Senate October 16, 2017 Last week, The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee was scheduled to mark-up S 1534 The Amateur Radio Parity Act (a.k.a. HAM radio legislation) when it was withdrawn from the docket. Florida Senator Bill Nelson and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz cosponsored and filed an amendment with their fellow Senators on the Senate Commerce Committee. The original Senate bill sponsors, Connecticut Senator Blumenthal and Missouri Senator Roger Wicker are said to have disliked the amendment to their bill, so the bill was pulled from the docket and will be rescheduled for November.    Read the article…………….
  • Can Your Community Association Stop Bullying and Harassment in Their Tracks? (FL) October 16, 2017 Bullying in any form cannot be condoned either in schools, workplaces or communities. While a newly filed bill by Rep. Emily Slosberg (HB 123) has the laudable goal of protecting Florida’s senior citizens from being bullied, just how feasible is it in a community association context? From some of the board and membership meetings I’ve attended over the years, it is not at all easy to spot who is the bully and who is the bullied and the reality is that sometimes the bully becomes the bullied and vice versa.  HB 123, if passed, would create a new law known as the “Stand Up for Seniors Act.” The law appears to apply only to “55 and over” communities in Florida.    Read the article…………
  • New Florida HOA Laws: Board Member Term Limits October 11, 2017 Among the major changes to Florida’s condominium laws in 2017 is a new provision mandating term limits for board members. The new legislation marks a significant departure from the past policies for most associations pertaining to the tenures of their board members, and it only applies to condo associations and not HOAs.   Read the article………………..
  • Condominiums and Conflicts of Interest: How to interpret the rebuttable presumption (FL) October 9, 2017 The legislature recently amended Chapter 718 of the Florida Statues, relating to condominiums, to create a rebuttable presumption that a conflict of interest exist in certain situations. A conflict of interest is a real or seeming incompatibility between one’s private interests and one’s public or fiduciary duties. Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014). For example, if a board member owns a landscaping company that provides services to an association, the board member’s private interest in obtaining a profit may be incompatible with the board member’s fiduciary obligation to choose a landscaping company that will provide the best service at the lowest price. If there is a rebuttable presumption of a conflict of interest, a court would start with the presumption that the relationship creates a conflict and the contracting entity or the officer or director would need to prove that ...
  • Summary of new laws affecting associations- Part 3 of 3 (IL) October 7, 2017 This is the final installment in a three-part series.  On Aug. 24, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB0189, and it is now known as Public Act 100-0292. The law amends both the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Illinois Condominium Property Act. The changes become effective Jan. 1.  This is the third of three columns that summarize the changes. Discussion of changes to the Condominium Property Act continues today.    Read the article…………….
  • Political Rallies in the Clubhouse? SB 407 is Now Law (CA) October 5, 2017 SB 407 is somewhat mind-boggling, both in terms of what it requires of associations and the breadth of governmental intrusion into private property principles. The full text of the law is available on California’s Legislative Information website.  Read the article……………..
  • New Maryland Laws Governing Condominiums and HOAs October 4, 2017 Beginning on October 1, 2017, several new laws will go into effect in Maryland governing condominiums and homeowners associations (“HOA”). With so much of new residential real estate being developed as part of an HOA or a condominium regime, these new laws will affect many homeowners in Maryland.   Read the article…………
  • New Board Member Term Limits Law has Significant Impact for Florida Condo Associations October 3, 2017 Among the major changes to Florida’s condominium laws in 2017 is a new provision mandating term limits for board members. The new legislation marks a significant departure from the past policies for most associations pertaining to the tenures of their board members, and it only applies to condo associations and not HOAs.    Read the article…………….
  • New law affects how associations run (IL) October 2, 2017 This is part 1 of a 3-part series on a new law affecting associations.  On Aug. 24, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB0189, and it is now known as Public Act 100-0292. The law amends both the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act and the Illinois Condominium Property Act. The changes will become effective Jan. 1, 2018.  This is the first of three columns that will summarize the changes. This week, we will focus on changes to the Common Interest Community Association Act, and begin the discussion of the much more numerous changes to the Condominium Property Act.    Read the article…………….
  • More new laws that affect local HOAs (NV) October 2, 2017 This is the second column in a three-part series about the recent state laws that will affect Southern Nevada homeowners associations.  These laws were passed during the 2017 legislative session and will have an impact on our HOAs.     Read the article……………..
  • Governor Brown Signs CLAC-sponsored Assembly Bill 1412 (CA) October 2, 2017 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law this week Assembly Bill 1412, legislation sponsored by the California Associations Institute’s California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC) and authored by Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-68th District) that provides important liability protections for volunteer directors of mixed-use community associations.  Existing law limits the personal liability of volunteer officers or directors of associations that manage exclusively residential common interest developments for tortious acts or omissions made in good faith and within their scope of duty. AB 1412 extends these protections to volunteer officers or directors in associations that that manage mixed-use communities, including both residential, commercial and/or office.
  • Robert Bumgarner: Restoring free speech rights to homeowner association members (CA) October 2, 2017 If you live in a community that’s managed by a homeowner association, you know that they often stifle the free speech rights of individual owners.  That’s because First Amendment constitutional speech protections apply to governmental restrictions on free speech, not to private corporations like those that control common interest developments.  This year, the legislature addressed that issue by unanimously passing Senate Bill 407, a law that’s aimed at restoring constitutional free speech rights to 12 million Californians who live in common interest developments. Gov. Brown signed SB 407 into law on Sept. 11, 2017.  Here are some of the issues that prompted that action by the legislature:     Read the article……………..
  • MCIOA Amendments Change Construction Defect Claims Process (MN) September 29, 2017 You have likely heard about the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA) amendments for some time — legislation, H.F. 1538, which was recently signed into law by Governor Dayton. These changes add language to the MCIOA concerning construction defect claims. These changes do not prevent construction defect litigation; however, they do present new steps that must be taken before initiating a suit.      Read the article……………..
  • Connecticut Laws on Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals September 25, 2017 Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Connecticut’s public accommodations law, people with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by their service animals in restaurants, hotels, stores, theaters, and other places that are open to the public. Connecticut’s law is more limited than the ADA, because it covers only dogs that assist those who are blind, deaf, or mobility-impaired; it doesn’t cover psychiatric service animals and service animals that assist those with other types of disabilities, as the ADA does. However, public accommodations in Connecticut must follow both state and federal law.   Read the article……………..
  • Several new laws affect local HOA boards (NV) September 24, 2017 This is the first in a three-part series that covers new laws affecting Southern Nevada homeowners associations.  It’s that time of year again to review the new Nevada Revised Statutes 116 laws that impact our associations. There will be a series of articles over the coming weeks. Many of these new laws will require associations to modify their rules and regulations.     Read the article………..
  • How Condo Law Change Will Impact New Development (MN) September 15, 2017 Newsflash Minnesotans: our state laws governing condominiums and townhomes changed at the conclusion of the 2017 legislative session. For a business litigator who emphasizes a significant portion of her practice representing real estate developers in complex business disputes, I’ve been particularly interested in the evolution of these changes. Why? Because condominium development has stalled in recent years, and the prevailing belief amongst experts in the field (including my clients) is that the dearth in condominium development has little to do with our economy (indeed, there is no shortage of demand for condos), but rather the influx of construction defect litigation in recent years. Those who know of this cottage industry of litigation know what I am talking about—litigation commenced by homeowners’ associations, often with minor or meritless construction defect complaints, where the attorney’s fees and other costs are excessive, making ...
  • American flag fight prompts new legislation (MA) September 14, 2017 Two state lawmakers from Massachusetts have filed legislation to protect the rights of condo owners to fly the American flag after a 25 Investigates report in July.  Condo owner Liz Heller first contacted 25 Investigates after receiving a $60 fine from the condo board for Liberty Commons in Leominster. The violation cited Heller for displaying a “prohibited personal item” for three days leading up to the Fourth of July. The prohibited item in question was an American flag hanging from her front door.   Read the article……………
  • New Amendments to the Illinois Condominium Property Act and Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act September 13, 2017 Legislation that will take effect on January 1, 2018 will impose new obligations on Illinois condominium associations, including a requirement that every association maintain an official unit owner list that includes every unit owner’s phone number and email address. The legislation also covers a wide range of other issues, including authority for boards to resume granting exclusive use of unused common element space when units are legally combined, a statutory “deemed consent” arrangement when mortgagee approvals are needed for Declaration amendments, and expanded deadlines for submission of unit owner override petitions.    Read the article…………….
  • SB 407 Signed! Legislation Broadens Assembly and Speech Rights within HOAs (CA) September 13, 2017 New Civil Code 4515 will be added to the Davis-Stirling Act to ensure that homeowners association residents may exercise their rights of peaceful assembly and political speech.  HOAs are playing an increasing role in the lives of California’s residents as compared to the roles traditionally played by cities and counties. HOAs are growing in number, size and sophistication. As a result, a HOA’s actions and governance structure often have more immediate effects on the issues homeowners feel “closest to home,” such as property values and community services. This is why California law will at times hold HOAs—which are private corporations—to the standards of “quasi-governmental entities.”     Read the article………….
  • HOA residents’ political speech rights get state protections (CA) September 13, 2017 Legislation to protect the political speech rights of residents living in one of California’s more than 52,000 common interest developments (commonly called homeowners associations or HOAs) is now the law in California.  “For too long homeowner association boards have infringed upon the rights of residents to engage in the political process by preventing them from exercising basic rights that the rest of us might take for granted,” says the legislation’s author, state Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.     Read the article……………
  • How a New Law Affecting Condo Associations Could Mean Brisk Business for Web Designers (FL) September 7, 2017 Website developer Todd Paton knows it will likely be months before his new target market seeks him out, or even begins to pay attention to his pitches.  Yet, Paton and his colleague Dhiren Chauhan are busy building a platform to service Florida condominium associations. Their target demographic has so far shown little interest in anything other than static, brochure-like websites. But Paton expects this to change, thanks to a new law set to take effect July 1.    Read the article…………….
  • Condo law changes, coming soon, ease things for owners (IL) September 6, 2017 Q: I am on the board of a self-managed condominium association and understand there is pending legislation that proposes to amend many different sections of the Illinois Condominium Property Act. What is the status of this legislation and will you highlight the salient provision    Read the article……………..

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