Are HOAs required to ensure ADA compliance? (CT)

Per ADA stipulations, every public facility is required to provide reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. The ADA applies to “public accommodations.” Homes are generally private. However, there are ways in which the usage of spaces like common areas can transform certain areas into “public spaces” that are subject to ADA compliance requirements.  Read the article…………………………….

How do HOAs enforce rules?

A homeowners association, or an HOA, does have the right to create rules for residents of the community. They do have to follow these rules, even though the rules are not technically laws. For instance, there are often rules governing where to park vehicles, how to do home renovations, how to handle holiday decorations and […]

Can a HOA evict a resident in Connecticut?

When an individual purchases a property within a homeowner association’s jurisdiction, they automatically become members. A homeowner association (HOA) is responsible for ensuring that the community is functioning smoothly and looks its best. Read the article…………………………….

Pet ownership and homeowner’s associations in Connecticut

Homeowner’s associations play a crucial role in managing community living. This often includes setting guidelines for pet ownership. Establishing transparent and fair pet policies is essential for maintaining harmony and ensuring the well-being of residents and pets within the HOA community.    Read the article…………………………

What is The Open Meeting Act? (CT)

The Open Meeting Act, also known as the Sunshine Law, aims to enhance accountability and transparency in governing bodies. It mandates that all meetings of homeowners associations, including board and yearly meetings, must be accessible to all members.   Read the article……………………………

Condos and Coops are Impacted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Changes

Government backed mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued temporary project review requirements relating to significant deferred maintenance in condominiums, co-ops, and similar developments. To assess a project’s eligibility, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each promulgated a standardized “Condo Project Questionnaire Form” to obtain information related to significant deferred maintenance, the plan for addressing […]

Common reasons residents may sue an HOA (CT)

Being on a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) board can sometimes feel thankless. Never more so than when you face a lawsuit from one of the residents for whose benefit you are trying to manage the place.    Read the article…………………………………….

Can an HOA impose fines on homeowners? (CT)

One of the key responsibilities of HOAs is to enforce rules and regulations that ensure a harmonious living environment for all residents. Typically, these rules are outlined in the association’s governing documents.   Read the article……………………….

Weighing the pros and cons of HOAs taking out loans (CT)

In every homeowners association (HOA) community, unexpected expenses such as large repairs or renovations can arise. When these situations occur, it may be necessary for the HOA to look for outside financing to cover the costs.   Read the article………………………..

Transparency in HOA’s architectural review process

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a crucial role in maintaining a neighborhood’s aesthetic and structural integrity. When homeowners want to make changes to the exterior of their homes, such as adding a new fence or changing its paint color, they often need approval from the HOA.    Read the article………………………..

A guide to condo owners’ assessments and collection policies (CT)

Moving into your dream condominium can get you all excited to enjoy all the perks it has to offer. However, receiving a letter from the homeowners association (HOA) mentioning assessments and fee collections may not be very welcoming. The jargon-filled letter may leave you wondering what it all means for you.   Read the article………………………..

Bank Loans for Capital Improvements (CT)

More often than not, it seems community associations find that, despite their best efforts, they are often short on funds when it comes to tackling major repairs and capital improvements. An entire division of the banking industry has now entered the business of lending money to community associations so that they can complete these needed […]

Board Votes (CT)

Every day, all across our great state of Connecticut, condominium Boards of Directors hold votes. Items as important as hiring a contractor or seemingly simple as selecting the type of flowers to plant alongside the pool may be subject to a vote. In an ideal situation, all votes of the Board of Directors are held […]

How Maintenance Standards Protect the Association (CT)

Recent revisions to the Common Interest Ownership Act (also known as the CIOA) offer an opportunity to defer some insurance expense liability to unit owners who do not adhere to maintenance standards for certain wear items that may fail in the interior of a condominium unit. Specifically, properly adopted maintenance standards may allow the Association […]

Contracts and Community Associations (CT)

One of the items our office is often asked about is entering into contracts. Contracts are generally simple enough to understand. Party A agrees to provide a good or service to Party B. Party B agrees to pay Party A for said good or service. Seems like a simple proposition, so why do so many […]

Board Members, and Owners, have to Watch Each Other

A condo owner who served 15 years on the board was arrested and accused of stealing millions of dollars of monthly maintenance fees and diverting them for personal use. The accused served as President for some years, and even President and Treasurer during other years. At one point, he was the only signer on the […]

Condo Boards have to be Careful in Giving Licenses

Condominiums that want to give exclusive use of common space to a particular unit owner, often use a license agreement to do so. Selling common space requires approval by unit owners and sometimes all of them voting in favor of a sale because all unit owners in a condominium owns a percentage of the common […]

Conducting Better Meetings: Tips for Saving Time & Staying On Track

Residents in condo and HOA communities are frequently quite busy. Boards generally consist of elected volunteers who nearly always have other jobs and lives outside their duties as trustees. So while a professional management company can handle much of the day-to-day operations of a multifamily community, no decision can be made without those board members […]

Maintaining Aging Buildings: Older Structures Have Special Concerns

Nothing lasts forever, even with good maintenance—including most building components. Exterior elements are perhaps most subject to wear and tear in any climate. Their construction and material type dictate their maintenance needs and repair schedules; masonry façades clearly have different needs than wood or clapboard fronts. But with a good care program and a bit […]

Burden of Association Insurance Companies (CT)

Occasionally, insurance carriers for common interest communities elect to cancel or refuse to renew the policy. The tension created after a loss when the manager or board finds that the policy has been cancelled can drive a person to drink. Through incompetence, negligence or just plain mistake, the board may find that the association is […]

Pets that Bite – What’s a Board and Management to Do? (NY)

Pets are fantastic but when they demonstrate the propensity to bite, action has to be taken. If a board and management do not do so and follow up relentlessly, they can end up in protracted lawsuits when people are injured. This happened to the Element Condominium board on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and […]

Guest Bans or Restrictions – What’s a board to do in light of COVID-19?

Guests and invitees to a community may create a higher risk that the COVID-19 virus will be spread throughout the community. While some guests, such as caregivers or health care workers, are likely essential to a resident to whom they are visiting, other persons, such as social guests, contractors or non-essential repair persons, may not […]

Coronavirus – What can condo, coop and HOA Boards and Management Do?

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak (“COVID-19”) a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control has detailed recommendations for individual preparation and response to the outbreak of COVID-19. The President just declared a National State of Emergency and many states including New York declared a State of Emergency. This is […]

Landscapers: the good, the bad and the troublemakers (CT)

It’s that time of year…finally!!! It’s been a long winter and the residents are tired of being indoors. With the snow gone, the lawn and gardens are on full display. Are you happy with the landscaper? Many times, things do not go as planned with a landscaper. Promises are made to get you to sign […]

Common Sense Rules Regarding Children at Play May Violate Federal Fair Housing Law

It is getting warmer out (slowly) and your association may be reviewing your recreation and pool rules, especially those regarding children, to get ready for the summer season. In the summer there are children out of school playing around and about the complex, and everyone swimming in the pool. Be careful in making rules specifically […]

Removing a Board Member (CT)

Sometimes board members act in a way that is contrary to the best interests of the association, or they may appear to be engaging in self-dealing, favoritism toward their friends, not showing up for board meetings, or not paying their monthly common fees or otherwise flouting expected behavior. The board or unit owners could try […]

Unit Owners and Interference with Association Vendors

Every so often we receive calls from Board members or property managers exasperated by the actions of a meddling, “helping” or interfering unit owner who has taken it upon themselves to instruct Association vendors on the proper manner to do their job. These vendors range from landscapers, snow plowing contractors, carpenters, roofers and even insurance […]

Condominium Foreclosures and the Banking Industry (CT)

Many times, our clients will rely on the foreclosure process when unit owners are not paying their common charges. On occasion the unit owners will have a mortgage on their unit. When this is the case, the Association has to list the mortgage in its foreclosure action to ensure that the Bank has notice of […]

General Collection Procedures and Tips (CT)

One of the most important functions of boards and property managers is to make sure common fees are collected and accounted for every month. This stream of income is vital to the successful operation of the association. When accounts become delinquent and are forwarded to our office for collection, our goal is to collect the […]

Taking out an Association Loan: Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish! (CT)

Many older associations are finding they need to borrow money for major upgrade or replacement projects, such as for roofs, windows, and paving. The Board of Directors will usually start this by speaking with a banker, which is the logical first step. However, problems may occur if a unit owner vote is taken on a […]

Be Aware Of Cheapest Contractor

Everyone, including condominium associations and unit owners, want to save money. One way to save money is to hire the cheapest contractor. The cheapest contractor, unfortunately, can be unlicensed and/or uninsured. If the contractor causes property damage or someone is injured, the Association or unit owner could be liable. Even if the Association and unit […]

The Importance of D&O Coverage

Personal liability for board members is always a concern. The CIOA requires associations to purchase property insurance, flood insurance (when applicable), commercial general liability insurance and fidelity insurance, but it is silent on the issue of Directors’ & Officers’ coverage. Even the Non-Stock Corporation Act does not mandate the coverage. Frankly, it’s one of the […]

Emotional Support Animals

With the growing popularity of emotional support animals, condominium associations are increasing forced to confront the issue of whether or not to permit emotional support animals to reside in units at associations that do not allow pets. Emotional support animals differ from service animals in that service animals are specially trained animals that assist people […]

The Finer Points of Fining a Unit Owner- Part 1 of 2 (CT)

The Association has the power to fine a unit owner for violating the rules. So, it’s okay to send a note telling them and adding the fine to their account? NO. NO. NO. To quote a phrase from the movie, Mr. Mom, “You’re doing it Wrong”. Doing it wrong can cause a great deal of […]

Community Embezzlement Case Studies – Connecticut

In our series of blog posts titled: “Association Greed – Board Members, Managers & Missing Money” we highlight wrongdoing by community association managers and board members. In this first installment: Community Embezzlement Case Studies – Connecticut – we go over the facts of the crime and how you can prevent it at your community.  The […]

Financial Best Practices and Transparency – The Latest Tools to Help Communities Safeguard their Funds

Protecting community finances key assets such as bank accounts and reserve accounts is one of the board’s top jobs. Your associa-tion’s financial soundness affects every member of the community through the ability to pay for services, maintain your property and overall unit values. This article will provide an overview of several financial best practices and […]

How To Write Up Board Meeting Minutes

The regular monthly meeting of the board of directors of Peaceful Community Association was called to order at 7:06 p.m. at the Boxwood Recreation Center, Tuesday, March 2, 200X, by the president, Mr. Matthew Dunford. The secretary was present.A quorum was present with the following directors in attendance: Mr. Matthew Dunford, Ms. Hailey Applegate, Mr. […]

Self Management: Investigating the Hybrid Management Option

Self managing your community can be a good way to save money. However, sometimes the size or complexity of a property or the projects at hand may become too much for a volunteer board to handle on its own. If your community is having difficulty dealing with issues you may want to consider a “Hybrid […]

Rules For Board Members To Act Without Meeting

This will address the queries CCOC has received regarding two-thirds consent voting. We believe this should clarify your questions.  In 2009, the Connecticut legislature required condominium executive board meetings to be open to unit owners and gave unit owners an opportunity to comment at executive board meetings. A board could act outside of a meeting […]

Connecticut Laws on Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals

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 […]

Harassment in Associations – Boards Must Act

It has been illegal for a condominium board to discriminate against a unit owner on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. What if a resident complains that other residents or even board members are the resident because of membership in one of these groups? In the past, a […]

Moving Management Companies Can Result In Lost Files: How To Prevent

The new management company cannot seem to find all our files – what can we do?”  A recent complaint received by CCOC is but one of many echoing the same cry for help.  This is a major problem for Associations, but where does the onus lie: the management company or the Association. The answer, unfortunately, […]