The National Labor Relations Board Had a Change of Heart on Joint-Employer Liability

Previously, we wrote on a decision published by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) wherein the NLRB concluded that, where a contracting party has reserved the authority to exercise control over the employees of another, said contracting party will be found to be the “joint employer” of the other entity’s employees. In the case of […]

Federal Government Shutdown & Community Associations

Funding for federal government agencies expires January 20. If congressional leaders and President Trump are unable to strike a budget deal, operations at federal government agencies will be sharply curtailed.  What does this mean for community associations? CAI has verified federal government shutdown activities and impacts at the following agencies.     Read the article……………….

Discriminatory Housing Practices by Third Parties

Many of our clients have asked us to provide guidance with regard to 24 CRF 100.700, a new rule promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) pursuant to its authority under the Fair Housing Act (the “Act”). As set forth more fully below, 24 CRF 100.700 arguably imposes additional obligations […]

FEMA Hold On, They Aren’t Going for the Home

For community associations, when an owner goes into foreclosure, the best-case scenario is that the bank or mortgagee moves the property swiftly through the foreclosure process, and a new owner then takes possession and begins paying the assessments as they come due. In the absolute best cases, the foreclosure process will take around a year; […]

FEMA Publishes Guidance for Handling Flood Losses

In September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Hurricane Harvey and Irma claim handling process for buildings insured under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP), specifically recognizing that catastrophic flooding from those storms demands “fast and accurate payments to all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders.   Read the article……………….

Floods And Flood Insurance: Don’t Be Up The Creek Without A Paddle

As we, our neighbors, families, and friends, here and in Puerto Rico, are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the prospect of making claims on our homeowner’s insurance policies can seem overwhelming in the face of the destruction caused by these storms. Much of the damage in our […]

US Attorney Announces Settlement with Florida Condominium Complex Over Alleged FHA Reverse Mortgage Fraud

On July 20, 2017, acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced a civil settlement with the owner of a Florida condominium complex over fraudulent reverse mortgage transactions. Defendant had been accused of violating the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”).    Read the article……………

Understanding HOA Fair Debt Collection Practices: Practice Tips

If you work for an HOA, serve on its Board of Directors, or own a property covered by one, there are a few things you should know about debt collection practices. So, to help you develop a greater understanding of HOA Fair Debt Collection Practices, we put together a few tips. Read on for the […]

What NC Community Associations Need to Know about Fair Debt Collection

Nearly all Community Associations (“Associations”) must cope with owners who fail or refuse to pay their periodic assessments (also known as “Dues”). When this happens, the Association, typically acting through its property manager, may first attempt to collect the delinquent dues themselves, rather than referring the matter to an attorney. In such cases, Associations should […]

Fair Debt Collections Guidance

When the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C 1601, was first enacted, it specifically exempted creditors attempting to collect their own consumer debts. With the enactment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), large financial consumer lenders have found that many of the protections afforded consumers by the FDCPA are being applied directly […]

PREEMPTION! The FCC’s Adoption of the OTARD Rules and their Application to Condo’s and HOAs

In Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”), Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to adopt rules concerning Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”) in order to provide limitations and guidance on governmental and non-governmental restrictions on viewers’ ability to receive certain over the air telecommunications. In October 1996 the FCC adopted 47 […]

What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking those federal laws can have costly consequences. One such area of federal law that governs […]

Obscure Regulation Halts Reverse Mortgages, FHA Lending in Some Towns

Thanks to the abrupt enforcement of a decades-old regulation that the Federal Housing Administration had seemingly ignored, consumers looking to buy homes or take out reverse mortgages in some 55+ communities have had their FHA loan applications rejected at the last minute in recent months.  Starting this past fall, applicants in the Sun City and […]

When Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Apply to Community Associations?

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking those federal laws can have costly consequences. One such area of federal law that might […]

Avoiding Discrimination and Its Legal Consequences: The Power of Equality

Despite the fact that most people would agree that discrimination is a bad thing, discrimination persists, which suggests either that existing laws against it are sometimes ignored, or that the legal definition of ‘discrimination’ isn’t always clear. Fortunately, when it comes to condos, co-ops and HOAs there are laws at the federal, state and local […]

Ham Radio Antennas – Congress Still Can’t Decide What To Do

During the 2015-2016 federal legislative season, the Ham Radio lobby introduced H.R. 1301, a bill which sought to prohibit associations from banning Ham Radio antennas in their communities. As originally proposed, H.R. 1301 was detrimental to an association’s control over aesthetics, placement, and prior approval with respect to Ham Radio antennas. The Federal Legislative Action […]

New Flood Zones Could Slash Insurance Premiums (NY)

Federal officials, responding to an appeal from Mayor Bill de Blasio, have agreed to redraw the city’s flood maps, which is likely to reduce or eliminate insurance premiums for thousands of buildings currently in flood zones, Crain’s reports.    Read the article…………

The ILSA Condo Exemption – Not Out of the Woods Yet

The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) is a federal statute that aims to prevent land sales fraud and uninformed purchases of unimproved real property by requiring registration of subdivisions with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and pre-contract consumer disclosure of a property report. ILSA includes among its remedies an automatic right of rescission, […]

Compromise On Ham Radio Legislation Offers Satisfactory Resolution

A bill that was recently brought before the U.S. House of Representatives is seeking to limit the amount of control community associations have over amateur radio operators. However, a compromise was reached between a prominent lobbying group and a membership organization representing community associations that has amended the proposed bill granting both the operators and […]

New FHA Harassment Rule & Policy Recommendation

On October 14, 2016, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new rule on quid pro quo and hostile environment housing practices under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) goes into effect. This new rule creates liability for housing providers, including homeowner associations, for failing to take reasonable actions to address these types of […]

Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act

This final rule amends HUD’s fair housing regulations to formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving allegations of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. The rule specifies how HUD will evaluate complaints of quid pro quo (“this for that”) harassment and hostile environment harassment […]

HUD Restrictions on Criminal Background Checks May Affect Condominium Sex Offender Bans

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance restricting the use of criminal background checks to screen prospective residents. The guidance warns property owners that a blanket policy rejecting residents solely because they have a criminal record may violate the Fair Housing Act, because it could have a discriminatory impact on minorities. […]

Drone On – May I See Your Flight Registration Please?

On Monday, December 14, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced new rules impacting users of any small unmanned aircraft (“UAS”) (i.e., drones or unmanned aerial vehicles) ranging in weight between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds.  Read the article…………..

Navigating Local, Federal Laws Can Be Challenging For Property Owners Associations

One of the chief complaints I hear from potential clients is that it’s a confusing, time-consuming chore to ensure their property owners association is in full compliance with local, state and federal regulations. This is never a surprise considering the many nuances related to subjects such as governing documents, recorded plat maps, design guidelines, and […]

How FHFA Impacts Your HOA

One of the great things about an HOA is that it is a community. However, because of that, everyone must play their part. So what happens when someone fails to do their part and even fhfaabandons their home? HOAs came up with a solution to recoup that lost money quickly. However, it seems the Federal […]

EPA cracks down on stormwater violations, draining municipal resources

The visit from environmental inspectors had the nerve-rattling effect of an IRS audit.  Three U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staffers and a pair of engineers from Colorado spent two days in Manor Township, Lancaster County, poring over page after page of government records. They spent hours eyeballing government properties, construction sites and storm drains. They grilled […]

(Ham Radio) Legislative Issues Advocacy Fund to Power Capitol Hill Educational Campaign

If Congress approves H.R. 1301, and it is signed by the president, the legislation would compel the FCC to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 http://www.arrl.org/prb-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners’ association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions” (CC&Rs). […]

Feds complicate HOA pool rules

Most swimming pools have a list of rules posted somewhere on the premises. We’ve all seen them. The rules contain common sense prohibitions against dangerous pool activities, such as having glass in the pool area and diving into the shallow end.       Read more……….

How about the latest on Super Lien States, VA loans, and HOAs?

Some astute compliance folks out there have noticed a problem with VA guarantees and judge’s rulings on how Home Owner Associations’ liens come before the mortgage. In VA Guaranty documentation requirements, the VA requires proof that the HOA is willing to subordinate on a loan level prior to guarantying the loan.    Read more………….   Scroll […]

FHFA move threatens associations and owners

In late December the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a statement expressing concern about state statutes that allow community associations to obtain lien priority over first mortgages for unpaid association assessments. By asking a federal court to intervene, FHFA is trying to bail out mortgage servicers that have failed to fulfill basic contractual obligations […]

New Condominium Exemption To The Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act

As we previously reported, a significant amendment to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) becomes effective on March 26, 2015. HR2600 adds an exemption from registration for a “condominium unit.” This is a so-called “b” exemption, meaning the anti-fraud rules of ILSA will still apply to condominium unit sales. This alert provides an […]

Condominium Units Now Exempt from ILSA Registration

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 2600, which amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) to exempt condominium pre-sales from the registration requirements of the ILSA.   Read more……..

A Radio Tower in Every Yard?

Most often the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (also known as the “CCR’s,” “Declaration of Condominium,” “Restrictions,” or by other names) is the highest governing document within an association. Typically, the terms of this document cannot be waived without express authority. After all, the Declaration is a binding contract among the members of the […]

Court Ruling Finds Fannie Mae Does Not Qualify for Safe Harbor Protection from Liability for All Unpaid Assessments in Foreclosure Cases

A recent ruling in Broward County Circuit Court could have significant implications for Fannie Mae and the community associations with units in various stages of bank foreclosure. In the case of Federal National Mortgage Association v. Park Place at Pompano Condominium, the court ruled that Fannie Mae was not entitled to the statutory “safe harbor” […]

Federal Legislation re: Ham Antennas

Last month, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R. 4969, legislation that may invalidate community association rules and architectural standards that govern the installation and use of amateur radio towers and antennas.  If H.R. 4969 becomes law, homeowners who want to install a radio tower or antenna for amateur radio use would not have to go through the […]

Accessibility (Design and Construction) Requirements for Covered Multifamily Dwellings Under the Fair Housing Act

The Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) are jointly responsible for enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act (the “Act”), which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability.  One of the types of disability discrimination prohibited by the Act is the failure to design […]

Neither a Community Association Nor its Management Have Liability under the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

We have had to extricate several of our clients from claims or lawsuits relating to the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). It is well settled law that the FDCPA applies to the collection of delinquent and unpaid assessments for condominium and homeowner associations. However, the FDCPA does not apply to collection efforts which […]