4 construction defects every HOA should watch out for (CT)

Construction defects can pose serious challenges for homeowners associations (HOAs), especially when dealing with disputes with developers. As an HOA, your role is to oversee the maintenance and management of the community’s common areas, as well as to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents. Identifying common defects early can save your community from […]

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations and Community Associations (CT)

Legislation regarding the installation of electric vehicle(EV) charging stations at community associations, known as Connecticut General Statutes Section 47-261g, became effective on October 1, 2022. This legislation prevents associations from imposing unreasonable restrictions on the installation of EV charging stations.    Read the article…………………………….

Using mediation to resolve HOA foreclosure disputes (CT)

Foreclosure can be tough for everyone involved, especially within a Homeowners Association (HOA). When foreclosure is looming, both community relationships and financial stability are at risk. In such cases, mediation can be a powerful, less aggressive and more cost-effective solution compared to court proceedings.    Read the article…………………………….

4 common legal issues facing HOAs

Homeowner associations are a valuable part of community management, and their contributions to our neighborhoods help maintain property values and pleasant living environments. In carrying out their mandate, HOAs may sometimes fall into legal trouble with homeowners, among other parties.    Read the article…………………………….

Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) (CT)

The CTA is creating quite a stir in the community association field throughout the country. The CAI national legislative action committee has made considerable efforts to meet with and gain concessions from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) trying to gain an exemption or delay. FinCEN is a bureau of the United States Department of […]

Can an HOA mandate where people park? (CT)

A homeowners’ association can have a serious impact on how people use their own property. The HOA can legally make rules about stylistic or design choices when adding onto a home, for example. They can enforce noise restrictions or have rules about when people can put up decorations.   Read the article…………………………….

Why might a resident take your HOA to court? (CT)

Running a homeowners association (HOA) can be incredibly challenging at times. Residents won’t always agree with everything you do, despite you doing them to protect the interests of the HOA and the residents in general.  Dealing with a legal challenge from one or more residents can be frustrating, time-consuming and costly for an HOA. Understanding […]

Condo Column: Condo Law Legislative Update – 2024 (CT)

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” – Plato.  This year’s slate of pending legislation includes an old, worn out retread, and some new ones. None have as yet passed and are in various committees.    Part 1…………………    Part 2…………..    […]

Why do residents break HOA rules? (CT)

If you run an HOA, or a Homeowners’ Association, you know that residents are going to break the rules. One of the challenges for an HOA is determining how to enforce these rules and what steps to take when residents break them consistently.    Read the article…………………………….

Why Condo, Cooperative, and HOA Boards Need a Legal Eye on Their Documents

As a board member or property manager for a condominium, cooperative or HOA, you shoulder significant responsibility. You make decisions impacting the finances, safety, and quality of life for a whole community. Your actions are, of course, guided by your entity’s governing documents – but were these documents designed to protect the association and its […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]