Wicker bill removes roadblocks for amateur radio operators

According to a summary of the bill, the legislation would prohibit homeowner association rules that prevent or ban amateur radio antennas on residential properties, clarify the approval process for installing amateur radio antennas, and give amateur radio operators a private right of action.  Read the article…………………………….

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) (AZ)

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) is now in effect and Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C. has received several questions on this complex new law that impacts corporations, including Arizona HOAs/condos. Read the article…………………………….

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: A New Era of Transparency for Homeowners

In a significant shift towards transparency, Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, has recently announced that it will make its once-secret “Condo Unavailable Projects and Phases Report” accessible to the public. The decision to make this report publicly available reflects a broader industry trend towards transparency, acknowledging the pivotal role that information plays in […]

Alert to Business Owners: New Law Requires Disclosure of Information

In 2021, Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act, 31 U.S.C. Section 5336 (the “Act”) which requires the reporting and collection of beneficial ownership information for applicable entities. Beneficial ownership information refers to identifying information about the individuals who directly or indirectly own or control a company.   Read the article………………………………

Compliance with the Federal Corporate Transparency Act (FL)

Complying with the Federal Corporate Transparency Act may surprise many Florida Corporations, including many Condominium and Homeowner Associations. In 2021, as part of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, the Federal Government passed a Federal law called the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”).    Read the article………………………………….

The Corporate Transparency Act: Your Questions, Answered (NC)

The Corporate Transparency Act was created to provide law enforcement with beneficial ownership information related to specific business entities to detect, prevent, and punish terrorism, money laundering, and other misconduct.    Read the article…………………………….

How the Corporate Transparency Act Applies to Community Associations

In 2021, Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act. Before you stop reading, this law likely applies to your community association and/or the communities you work with every day. This blog post is a bit technical, but please, read on!   Read the article…………………………………..

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)’s Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements: What Do Community Associations Need to Know?

In 2021, Congress passed a law to create more transparency as to the individuals that control organizations and corporate entities. The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), adopted in 2021, may begin affecting community associations on January 1st, 2024. Pursuant to the CTA, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has enacted a new rule to primarily combat […]

Corporate Transparency Act Poses Challenges for Homeowner Associations: Most HOAs Will Need to File in the Coming Year

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) will require most homeowner associations (“HOAs”) to file a beneficial ownership report in the coming year. Although the CTA exempts certain non-profit entities from having to file, most HOAs will not satisfy the requirements to be exempt from the CTA. Raising awareness of this new legal requirement, and collecting the […]

Website Accessibility: The ADA and FHA

In recent years, and trending more frequently as of late, we have heard about businesses, big and small, receiving demand letters related to their website accessibility, alleging ADA noncompliance, and threatening to file suit and seek damages on behalf of the people with disabilities they represent. Here we will cover what web accessibility means and […]

Proposed Bill Would Extend FEMA Aid to Condos, Co-ops, & HOAs

A current bill working its way through Congress would correct a gap in the way the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delivers recovery assistance in the wake of natural disasters. Sponsored by Reps. David Rouzer (R-N.C.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) the bipartisan H.R. 3777, also called the Disaster Assistance Fairness Act, would […]

What Is The HOA Open Meeting Act? Are There Guidelines?

While the Open Meeting Act does not universally apply to homeowners associations nationwide, it is still worth understanding what this law entails. In doing so, HOA boards can conduct more effective and collaborative meetings.   Read the article………………………..

But My Constitutional Rights?! (VA)

Among the criticisms often levied at community associations is a claim that boards of directors cannot infringe on residents’ Constitutional rights. With Bill of Rights Day being celebrated on December 15th, marking the anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution in 1791, now is a timely opportunity to […]

What Does IRS 528 Say?

When it comes to federal taxes, many homeowners associations find themselves in a bind. While HOAs are required to pay taxes and file tax returns, they fall into a specific category under the Internal Revenue Service — IRS 528.  Read the article………………………..

Top Three Electrifying Tips (NY)

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 has passed. It comes with significant rebates and tax incentives for electrifying homes and apartments. If taken advantage of at the fullest, the IRA will help NYC coop and condo owners and boards minimize their fines as part of Local Law 97.   Read the article………………………..

Are HOA Debts Subject to the FDCPA? (AZ)

he Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal law that establishes protection for consumers from abusive debt collection practices. The FDCPA covers debt used for “personal, family, or household purposes” incurred by a consumer. Generally, when people think of the FDCPA, they are considering credit card debt, third party-debt buyers, medical bills, student […]

Are HOA Debts Subject to the FDCPA? (AZ)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal law that establishes protection for consumers from abusive debt collection practices. The FDCPA covers debt used for “personal, family, or household purposes” incurred by a consumer. Generally, when people think of the FDCPA, they are considering credit card debt, third party-debt buyers, medical bills, student […]

What are Federal HOA Laws and How Do They Impact Arizona HOAs?

Arizona has many state specific laws for planned communities and condominiums, but there are several overriding federal laws that apply to all HOAs. All HOA board members and individual property owners should understand the federal HOA laws that apply to their association and how they impact operations in Arizona HOAs.   Read the article………………………..

Federal investigators talk about Surfside condo collapse probe (FL)

Investigators with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) said the point of the probe is to not only find out what happened and who may be responsible for this deadly collapse, but it’s also to prevent similar tragedies at other high-rises.   Read the entire article……………………………….

What Are the Federal Laws That Regulate HOA Communities?

Homeowners associations operate in much the same way as non-profit corporations. In fact, in many states, homeowners associations even have to register as such with the Secretary of State. And, as with other corporations, HOAs must abide by certain federal laws that apply to them. Familiarity with these laws is essential in helping keep the […]

FCC Clarifies Revenue Sharing Rules on Broadband Internet in Condominiums, Housing Coops, and other Multi-Unit Buildings

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded that revenue sharing agreements and exclusive use sale-and-lease back wiring arrangements between internet service providers and community associations are anti-competitive and violate the commission’s rules. The FCC found that exclusive marketing arrangements between community associations and internet service providers may continue but require arrangements be disclosed to residents.    Read […]

The “Validation Notice” and Complying with New FDCPA Regulations

If your association refers delinquent accounts to our firm (or any other law firm or collection agency), you may notice a few changes to debt collection policies and procedures, such as references in collection status reports to sending a “validation notice” as the first written communication sent to a debtor. Why? Because on November 30, […]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: What new lending guidelines mean for your condominium or co-op

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released new guidelines in late 2021 that bring additional requirements for condominiums and housing cooperatives. Buildings with five or more attached units must meet updated structural safety standards to secure loans for mortgages backed by the government-sponsored enterprises  Read the entire article……………………………….

New FCC Rules Affect Broadband Competition in Multi-Tenant Properties

On February 15, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report and Order (Order) that prohibits cable operators and other service providers from entering or enforcing agreements for exclusive or “graduated” revenue-sharing with owners of residential or commercial apartment buildings, condominiums, shopping malls, and other multi-tenant environments    Read the entire article……………………………….

Land Use and Zoning Basics for Community Associations (NC)

Recently, I detailed a variety of land use laws and land use regulations pertinent to community associations and community association managers.  The webinar, which is part of Ward and Smith’s Community Association Building Blocks series, analyzes how municipalities and municipal governments utilize comprehensive zoning ordinances and land use plans to regulate development and how associations […]

New Freddie Mac Underwriting Guidelines for Condominium and Cooperative Projects

Freddie Mac has promulgated new temporary underwriting requirements for mortgages secured by units in condominium and cooperative projects in need of “Critical Repairs”1 and those with current or planned special assessments. The guidelines come in the wake of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, and apply to all condominium and cooperative […]

Fraud Alert: Mortgagee Questionnaire Scams

In response to the tragedy at the Surfside condominium in Florida, Federal mortgagees are starting to update their questionnaires that are required to be completed in conjunction with the financing of a condominium unit sale. These changes include questions about the current status and condition of the property that are difficult to answer, along with […]

Loans for Condos? New Rules Start to Have an Effect (FL)

Fannie’s tighter loan requirements post-Surfside collapse started Jan. 1; Freddie’s start Feb. 28. In the meantime, the list of no-loan condo projects will likely keep growing.   Read the entire article……………………………….

2022 May Add Up to Trouble for Condominiums (CO)

With the turning of the calendar from 2021 to 2022 new Fannie Mae lending guidelines become effective on January 1, 2022. One of the new lending guidelines includes a prohibition on the purchase of loans in communities with significant deferred maintenance or unsafe conditions. These new guidelines are a direct result of the Surfside tragedy […]

FEMA to Issue New Homeowner Flood Form

For the first time in more than 20 years, FEMA has announced plans to make changes to its Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). Under the proposal, FEMA would introduce a new Homeowner Flood Form, to be published at 44 C.F.R. 61 appendix A(4), that would provide flood coverage for one-to-four residential properties.   Read the entire […]

Fair Housing Laws, Disabilities and Associations (WA)

42 U.S.C. 3604 (Section 804 of the Fair Housing Act) applies to Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium Owners’ Associations. 42 U.S.C. 3604 states, in pertinent part:  It shall be unlawful … to discriminate against any person in … the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap. … [F]or the […]

Shrinking Federal Subsidies Could Cause Flood Insurance Costs to Soar

Many of the people who own homes, including co-ops and condominiums, near New York City’s 500 miles of waterfront or in flood-prone inland areas just got some unwelcome news. Starting Oct. 1, federal subsidies for flood insurance will begin to disappear in a nationwide experiment to force Americans to pay something closer to the real […]

Camas and Lacamas Shores HOA receive notice of citizens intent to sue via federal Clean Water Act (WA)

Steve Bang’s patience has finally run out. After seven years of discussions with the Lacamas Shores Homeowners Association (LSHOA), city of Camas staff, council members, and state representatives and agencies, Bang’s attorneys at Plauché & Carr LLP sent a notice of intent to sue for violating federal clean water standards.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Megan’s Law HOA Disclosures Regarding Registered Sex Offenders – Proceed with Caution! (CA)

Megan’s Law is a federal law that permits authorities to release information about registered sex offenders (“Registered Offender”). California has a database of Registered Offenders available for public viewing on the internet (see www.meganslaw.ca.gov). Searches can be done by a Registered Offender’s name, or by city, zip or within a predetermined radius of a selected […]

Understanding the Zoning Ordinances That May Impact Your Community

There are hundreds of zoning ordinances in effect in many municipalities across the United States, including the city and county you live in. They cover a wide range of architectural, health, and safety standards that can help your homeowners’ association (HOA) protect and enhance its property values. While HOAs aren’t responsible for creating these ordinances, […]

What Federal Government Policies on Equity Mean for Community Associations

On January 20, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing all federal agencies to advance equity. What is equity, and how will the executive order impact community associations?  President Biden’s executive order defines equity as “the consistent and systemic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities […]

IRS on Homeowner Associations

A membership organization formed by a real estate developer to own and maintain common green areas, streets, and sidewalks and to enforce covenants to preserve the appearance of the development may be exempt as a social welfare organization if it is operated for the benefit of all the residents of the community.   Read the article………………………………..

FCC Continues to Undercut Local Authority on OTARD

The FCC’s over-the-air reception devices (known as OTARD) rules (47 C.F.R. §1.4000) limit local governments’, homeowner associations’ and condominium boards’ oversight authority over certain antennas and satellite dishes for certain size specifications. In the Primary Purpose Report and Order released on Jan. 7, the FCC expanded its rules to eliminate the primary purpose test used […]

New Laws Regarding Emotional Support Animals (FL)

Other than political debate, perhaps nothing else evokes more of an “emotional” response than the issue of emotional support animals in a no pet community. While this is not a new issue, and has been discussed many times in this forum and others, new laws in Florida may affect how your community may handle a […]

The FHA, ADA, & Community Associations: What Boards Need To Know (Part 2) (NC)

In a recent article, we began our discussion of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they relate to community associations. A large part of understanding the FHA and ADA is knowing who they protect, the provisions of those protections and what housing providers such as homeowner’s associations must […]

HOA Collections And The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

HOA dues collection can be a chore, which is why many HOAs turn to third parties for assistance. When it comes to collecting dues, though, it is important to stay compliant with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.    Read the article…………………………………