Couple hoping to rebuild after Marshall Fire hits snag with HOA over style (CO)

“We talked to the architects, obviously, and said, ‘What happened here?’” Seth said. “And they said, ‘Well, we were under the impression there was — that was a guideline and there was flex room.’”  The HOA shared design guidelines adopted by the architectural committee with the whole community before the Goldmans submitted their plans, the […]

Adding a Little Free Library in a community association

Q: I love the concept of “Little Free Libraries” and would like to start my own, but I live in a community association that does not allow additional structures to be built. Do you know if they exist in community associations and how they got approved by the association board?   Read the Q&A……………………………….

Understanding Your Community’s Architectural Request Review Process

When you live in a community association, there are rules and regulations pertaining to the upkeep of the exterior of your property. But what if you’d like to make a change to your property, like paint your house or put up a new fence? That’s where the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) comes in. This group […]

Caution! Flooring Penetrations May Result in Structural Issue (CA)

Many of our multi-story condominium communities are wood framed with wood flooring. Most high-rise communities are concrete structures with concrete flooring. Whether wood or concrete, flooring is an integral part of the structural integrity of the building.     Read the entire article……………………………….

Paradise Palms a Las Vegas gem, and Clark County moves to preserve it (NV)

It was the first master-planned community in Las Vegas, built between 1960 and 1965 with architecture that reflects its time: homes that ranged from 1,200 to 2,200 square feet (most were 1,800 or less) with “flat, folded plate, butterfly, pyramid and open gable rooflines, mixed with various decorative block accents.”   Read the entire article……………………………….

Restrictive Covenants and Accessory Buildings: Is It Better to Ask Your HOA for Forgiveness or Permission? (MI)

United States Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is quoted as saying, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” Possibly because this saying is so popular, it can cause headaches for homeowners associations. This is particularly true when owners erect accessory buildings, such as a detached garage, in-law suite, out building, pool […]

Will The Association’s Denial Of An Architectural Request Withstand Challenge? Many Won’t—Find Out Why (FL)

For many homeowners associations, a top priority is ensuring that the homes in the community are maintained in conformity with the “community-wide standard.” But, what is this subjective standard? How is compliance measured? What is the process to be judged when a request to the association’s architectural review committee (ARC) is made?    Read the entire […]

How to Avoid Conflict with Owners Over Architectural Guidelines

I HEARD THE news story from the OC Register a few months ago: a Tustin woman is embroiled in a battle with her homeowners association over garage doors she installed without seeking architectural approval. Her defense? According to the homeowner, she’s made other alterations to the exterior of her home over the years without hearing […]

What’s in Your Community’s Architectural Guidelines? (CA)

MANY ASSOCIATIONS ADOPT architectural guidelines when the community is formed and don’t look back. Some boards keep the guidelines forever stuck in time. Even though the community evolves and changes and becomes its own unique place, the guidelines are often forgotten, ignored, or things are done the way they always have been done. But architectural […]

Architectural Guidelines in Oregon & Washington HOAs

Many community associations are governed by architectural design guidelines. Often, those guidelines are enforced by an architectural review committee (sometimes called architectural control committees or architectural design committees). The guidelines allow owners to know what types of changes require approval, acceptable materials and colors, and the process to appeal a decision.    Read the entire article……………………………….

HOA management company charges ARC fee (NV)

Q: Our homeowners association never charged to submit an Architectural Review Committee form. New management is on board, now, and with no written notice to homeowners, they are charging a fee. I would think that we should be notified. What’s the ruling on that?   Read the entire article……………………………….

Condo questions: Can one be a member of a board and ARB? (FL)

Q: My homeowner’s association has an Architectural Review Board that holds meetings and decides over applications for architectural changes in our community. They have advanced notices for meetings, similar to a board meeting. One of the members of the board of directors is also on the ARB.    Read the Q&A……………………………….

Why Does an HOA Need an Architectural Control Committee?

When purchasing a home in an HOA, the buyer agrees to certain rules and regulations. They’re also agreeing to keep their home and yard up to certain standards and to adhere to the aesthetic of the overall community. This is where the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) comes in!    Read the entire article……………………………….

The Ultimate Guide to Interpreting & Enforcing Architectural Restrictions (NC/SC)

Architectural guidelines, review, and enforcement are undoubtedly some of the more confusing and contentious responsibilities of volunteer community leaders. Though reviewing applications, approving or denying them, and enforcing the guidelines may sound straightforward, many things must be considered when reviewing architectural-related matters in your community.    Read the entire article……………………………….

State and Local Municipal Regulations and Community Associations

Community Associations come with their own set of governing documents, and often there are parameters under which we must comply. Often called the Architectural Control Application process, homeowners and developers must submit an application that describes their intentions concerning new construction buildings or components. The community association reviews and approves or denies that request based […]

HOA Architectural Review Committee: Who Are They?

Most homeowners associations have an architectural review committee. But, what exactly does this committee do? Do they hold absolute power over architectural changes in the community?      Read the entire article……………………………….

Tying Up HOA Loose Ends

As homeowner associations age, certain illegal “additions” to the common area tend to creep in like storage sheds, fences, patio roofs, awnings and gardens. These add-ons flourish when the Board is asleep at the wheel or disinclined to challenge the offenders. Eventually, a Board is elected that understands things have gotten out of hand and […]

Quick 4-1-1 on Unapproved Architectural Modifications (AZ)

Here’s a question I’m often asked…  An owner in our association made one of the following changes to their property without architectural approval… Here are some of the most common unapproved modifications we hear about on a regular basis: painting their home, adding a new garage door, changing out windows, building bonus rooms, guest homes, […]

Architectural control provisions and proceedings pursuant to deed restrictions upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals

In Steeplechase of Northville Owners Association v Talukder (unpublished decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals dated January 14, 2021; Case No. 349434; 2021 WL 137777), the deed restrictions or restrictive covenants governing a neighborhood required architectural approval from the property owners association’s committee for structures, landscaping items and other matters, including water fountains. The […]

Enclosed Balconies May Not Be Forever (NY)

Many co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners enclose their balconies. After all, who doesn’t want extra living space? However, the case of Village Mall at Hillcrest Condominium v. Banerjee asks a more ticklish question: Was consent to enclose the balcony in a condominium properly obtained – and was it then properly revoked by the board?    Read […]

What is an ACC, and What Do They Do?

In any successful HOA, it’s important that architectural changes adhere to the standards and aesthetics of the community. In a smaller association, this responsibility is often fulfilled by board members. However, in larger associations with numerous properties and property owners, a special committee, referred to as the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), handles this task.   Read […]

Soundproofing tips for condo flooring

When wall-to-wall broadloom flourished in the 1970s and ‘80s, high-rise residential properties experienced little to no impact noise complaints resulting from flooring.  But as hardwood flooring emerged in the marketplace, so did the increase in calls to property managers about noisy neighbours upstairs—walking around, dropping items and moving furniture.     Read the entire article……………………………….

Upstairs v. Downstairs: Was the Access Lawsuit Worth It? (NY)

When co-op and condo boards set out to perform mandated maintenance to their building exteriors, they frequently need to gain access to neighboring properties to perform the work. It’s customary for both parties to negotiate an access, or licensing, agreement. Usually the negotiations are cordial, but sometimes they break down in acrimony.   Read the article………………………………….

Condominium Material Alteration Issues Can Be Complicated (FL)

Those living in a condominium often differ about how the condominium should look. Owners and their Board of Directors often disagree. Because the purchaser of a condominium often buys for its appearance, Florida’s legislature limits substantial changes to the appearance or what is known as material alterations or additions. Material alterations or additions have been […]

Illegal reno threatens West Van townhouse structure: lawsuit (BC)

The District of West Vancouver and a pair of residents are headed for court over alleged illegal renovation work that may be threatening the structural integrity of a townhouse complex at West Royal Towers.    Read the article…………………………………..

Architectural Guidelines And Political Signs: It’s All In The Governing Documents For Community Associations (NC)

Architectural rules and guidelines can be a tricky topic to navigate for board members and committees charged with leading community associations. In order to properly govern their communities, those serving on boards or architectural review committees (ARCs) must have a thorough understanding of their associations’ governing documents, the enforceability of rules pertaining to architectural requests, […]

Is the Architectural Control Committee a Government of Laws or of Men? (VA)

Founding father John Adams observed that a republic is, “a government of laws, and not of men.” Adams contrasted a republic with an empire, where, “what pleases the prince has the force of law.” In Adams view, a government of laws surpasses one where a single individual (or a small group) holds unlimited power. If […]

Neighbors rally for couple sued by the Dixie Springs Architectural Control Committee over wall height (UT)

In November 2019, the Dixie Springs Architectural Control Committee filed a lawsuit against retired police officer Andrea Kaz and retired firefighter Steve Kaz for the height of a wall they built around their home.  The lawsuit was launched after Chris Howell, former president of the Dixie Springs Architectural Committee (ACC), approached the Kazes and told […]

The Association’s Strong Hand for the Removal of Non-Approved Structures (FL)

Enforcing HOA restrictions can be a formidable task, implicating myriad overlapping declaration provisions, association rules, and Florida law. And going to court to get injunctive relief – a court order requiring an owner to comply – can seem even more daunting. The elements that are required to establish a basis for injunctive relief are: (1) […]

Right move, but wrong method (FL)

Planting a drought-tolerant landscape might not be top-of-mind for you right now after the recent deluge, but for one reader, it is painfully so.  A longtime Palmer Ranch resident, this woman said she didn’t want her name published, but only called to share some advice with other readers.  Concerned with high lawn-care bills and water […]

Architectural Review: the Forgotten Coronavirus Dilemma (FL)

I know, I know, another coronavirus article. Can you blame me? It never ceases to amaze me as an attorney how life creates fact patterns which no writer could come up with using their imagination. For that reason, issues surrounding coronavirus continue to evolve and present new challenges.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Boards and Managers Play Traffic Cop as Alterations Reboot (NY)

As Phase Two of New York City’s reopening picks up steam, co-op and condo boards and their property managers are finding themselves cast in the unfamiliar role of traffic cops. They have to decide which apartment renovations and alterations can move ahead first, and how those projects can proceed with a minimum of risk and […]

Tips for managing HOA architectural change requests

When trying to decide if an architectural change request should be approved, an HOA will generally look to the association’s architectural standards to help them make a fair and subjective decision.    Read the article………………………….

HOA Architectural Guidelines

Homeowners want to make their houses feel like homes. They want to enjoy their property, and create an inviting space to live and relax. Generally, a homeowner will be allowed to make improvements and modifications to the interior of their home, however, homeowners who belong to an HOA don’t have complete freedom to make exterior […]

HOA Design Review Application Form (VA)

Most homeowners’ associations require owners to submit a Design Review Application Form to approve changes to exterior features of their lots, be it a deck, patio, fence, driveway, or addition. Some even require approval to remove or add trees or change the grading. Owners often misunderstand their rights because the Design Review Application form includes […]

Can Your Association Require A Survey as Part of the Architectural Process? (NC)

For some property owners, the Coronavirus pandemic has been an opportunity to spend some meaningful time at home working on long neglected projects. This could mean finishing up a landscaping plan, cleaning out a natural area, or finally getting around to building a fence. As owners go about these tasks, it is inevitable that some […]

What is an ARC or ACC in HOA?

Most basically an ACC (Architectural Control Committee) | ARC (Architectural Review Committee) is An Architectural Control Committee (ACC) is a standing committee within the HOA, of people appointed by the HOA Board, who sit in judgment of modifications that owners want to make to their homes. The ACC serves at the pleasure of the HOA […]

The Ultimate HOA Architectural Review Guide

One very important aspect of maintaining the home values in the community is to have an established HOA architectural review board in place. Even though many HOAs have a system in place to review and approve any architectural requests from association members, few are fulfilling their obligations in a way that is simple for their […]

How To Keep Home Modification Within The Association Guidelines (CA)

Inevitably, there will be times when homeowners association residents want to make changes to their homes. And when living in a homeowners association, it is a bigger decision than choosing which paint is the best. There are guidelines about what can and can’t be done, which all homeowners need to follow. But sometimes their choices […]

Rosie on the House: Home projects in HOA communities (AZ)

When pulling into your driveway, do you often think “this house needs a fresh coat of paint” or “I’d like a front lawn?” If you live in a homeowners association community, there are steps and considerations you need to take before picking up the paintbrush or laying sod.    Read the Q&A……………………………