West Lebanon fire damages condo (NH)

A two-alarm fire damaged the second story of a condominium unit at 23 Pleasant St. on Friday afternoon. Hank Clarke was bringing his recycling outside when he noticed smoke coming from a neighbor’s roof at the Village Green Condominiums. Read the article…………………………….

Condo Column: Forced savings – for a good reason

It’s budget season. That means you have to start worrying about next year. But one thing that should worry you, and which is directly related to your association’s budget, is the fact that Fannie Mae is tightening its requirements for lending.   Read the article……………………………

Gile Hill condo owners face steep fee hikes (NH)

Condominium owners at Gile Hill are facing steep increases in their monthly homeowner fees to cover the costs of insurance and long-term maintenance.  Last month, the board of directors for the Gile Hill Condominium Owner Association notified the condo owners that their monthly dues would increase to $550 per unit beginning in January 2024.   Read […]

Condo Column: Insurance tips (NH)

Some may think the topic of insurance is dull, and perhaps to some it is, but it’s also extremely important at your condominium association. Your board of directors likely knows the basics, i.e. that the Condominium Act requires every association to carry an insurance policy to cover the full replacement value of all structures on […]

Condo Column: Special Meetings (NH)

Let’s say you disagree with a board’s decision. It could be something as small as a $50.00 fine or something bigger such as not allowing a third car for your now driving child or perhaps it’s bit more important, such as discovering evidence believe a Board member is stealing money.   Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: The danger of unplanned costs (NH)

Most condominium associations, though certainly not all, have their annual meeting somewhere in the later fall. So, it’s around this time boards of directors start looking at the budget for next year.   Read the article………………………..

Homeowners Association Asks Town To Take Over Sewer System (NH)

The Northwoods Estates homeowners association wants the town to assume ownership of its sewer infrastructure.  Jim Dyckman, president of the homeowners association, asked the Select Board on July 24 to sponsor a warrant article for required Town Meeting approval.   Read the article………………………..

Car fire spreads to nearby condos in Portsmouth (NH)

Five people were displaced Thursday when a car engine caught fire and flames spread to a nearby two-unit condominium in Portsmouth, leaving both residences uninhabitable.  Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: The Corporate Colossus

One downside of the trend in the past several years that has seen the price of condominiums skyrocket is that many people can no longer afford the down payment to purchase one. In turn, this has led us to a nation and state of renters.   Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: The bully ‘round the corner (NH)

Bullying is not just in playgrounds anymore. News journalists and condominium columnists report on it more and more often and condominium attorneys see it more and more often and condominium owners certainly are subject to it more and more often.?   Read the article………………………..

Condo Columns: The sociopath next door

There are more sociopaths surrounding us than we want to believe, including in your condominium association. The most commonly cited statistic is that one percent of the United States population is comprised of sociopaths.   Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: Alternative short-term uses (NH)

As I have discussed in the past, the New Hampshire Legislature has not yet addressed the issue of whether using a condominium for short-term rentals is a commercial enterprise, which would illegalize them in most associations, or whether they are not so different from a tenant in a condominium with a six-month lease. In both […]

Condo Column: A board appreciation

Many of these columns have given boards of directors (and owners) advice on how to operate their condominium association a little bit better. But I have too often overlooked thanking board members for the work they do. So, I started out writing a thank you, but thought it might be a bit better if it […]

Condo Column: Up in a puff of smoke (NH)

Likely the most overlooked portion of preventive maintenance in a condominium association is the inspection and cleaning of flues and chimneys.    Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: The hidden danger (NH)

A recent item came to my attention that I thought I might share with you. E-bikes and escooters are becoming more and more common. If you haven’t yet seen one in your condominium association you likely will soon. They can save a lot of environmental wear and tear, are faster than walking to work, and […]

Condo Column: Full replacement value (NH)

Someone told me this is a bit boring. So, I apologize in advance, but it’s important.  One of the issues that has arisen lately in Condo World, is a bit of a pushback against the statutory requirement for every condominium association to have a master casualty and liability policy that will cover the full replacement […]

Condo Column: The giving season (NH)

I love Christmas. I really do. Sadly, it seems to be the only time of year when people are allowed to be nice to one another for no reason. You wish someone a Merry Christmas and they actually pause, light up a little bit, say thank you, and give a return Merry Christmas. And each […]

Condo Column: The giving season

I love Christmas. I really do. Sadly, it seems to be the only time of year when people are allowed to be nice to one another for no reason. You wish someone a Merry Christmas and they actually pause, light up a little bit, say thank you, and give a return Merry Christmas. And each […]

Condo Column: The fairness of it all (NH)

There’s a fairly well known adage in the law that notes, “You can’t murder your parents and then ask the court for pity as an orphan.” The New Hampshire Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in line with this adage in which it affirmed a superior court decision where the presiding judge upheld fines levied […]

Condo Column: An eggcellent idea? (NH)

I practice community association law. Most people think that means just condominium law, but it also includes homeowner associations, commonly called HOAs. Generally, in a condo association the owner owns their Unit and that’s it. The “yard” is actually owned by the Association as common area to be used by all. In a homeowners association […]

Condo Column: Snow contractor contracts (NH)

It is inevitable that the leaves will fall, the tree limbs become barren, the Halloween candy will have been eaten, and the Thanksgiving preparations made, leaving nothing left to distract condominium boards of directors from the task of preparing for winter. That means the annual snow removal contract.  Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: A limit on liability (NH)

Well, this is good news. I am involved in a slip and fall case at a condominium association where the boyfriend of an owner allegedly slipped and fell on a porch and injured his ankle. Almost three years after the incident, which was never reported to the association, the boyfriend filed suit claiming negligence on […]

Condo Column: An eggcellent idea? (NH)

“Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.” – Mark Twain  I ran across an article recently that raised a thought I had never had, but which I thought might be of some service. But first, a step backwards before we move forward.    Read […]

Condo Column: Costs and fees (NH)

Frequently a condominium association runs into a situation where a member of the fellowship of the miserable wants attention. The owner sends multiple emails contesting a fine a board of directors has imposed, or a directive from the board that someone has to remove the car parked on the grass, or any of a number […]

Condo Column: The dawn of new lawns? (NH)

If asked, most people would venture a guess that the most grown crop in the United States is corn or wheat. But far and way the most grown “crop” in America is grass. In fact, if you lumped the lawns together, a NASA-led study in 2005 estimated lawns would cover about 63,000 acres, i.e. about […]

Tilton condo owner agrees to cease cemetery disturbance (NH)

The owner of two condominium units adjacent to Lake Winnisquam has agreed to honor a cease-and-desist order that the selectboard issued following months of discussion about the developer’s desecration of the Philbrick family cemetery.   Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: Condos and credit agencies don’t mix (NH)

Every once in a while I get an inquiry from a condominium board of directors about reporting a delinquent owner to a credit reporting agency. I understand the urge. Boards frustratingly spend way too much time collecting money from someone who uses the pool, has their unit insured by the association, gets landscaping and snow […]

Condo Column: An update on NH legislative action

Last February I wrote a column noting a pending condominium bill in the New Hampshire Legislature and the potential dangers if it passed. Here’s a link to the article. To refresh, the pending legislation would have required all disputes to be resolved in favor of the owner. So, a condo association would not have been […]

Condo Column: When a home is not a home (NH)

I ran across a case recently that I thought might be of interest. Most residential associations are just that, places where structures are to be used for residential units. But rarely is there a fight over what exactly “residential” means.   Read the article………………………….

Condo Column: Access to your money (NH)

An issue arises occasionally at condominium associations that arose lately at an association I am fortunate enough to represent, and a board member thought it might make a worthwhile column. He was right, so here we are. Besides, I don’t want to lose one of the readers or a client.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Condo Column: The crypto mistake (NH)

There have been rumblings in Condo World about cryptocurrency, i.e. digital money with no physical presence like coins or bills. A lot of people have made a lot of money by investing in it and seeing it double, triple or more in worth in a very short period of time. Good for them.   Read the […]

Condo Column: A feral frenzy (NH)

I have spent the last few columns noting the proposed Legislative changes winding their way through this Legislative session, and I will let you know how it all turns out when the session ends on June 30. But I thought I would try for something a bit less heavy this column, and let you know […]

Condos push back on sewer inspection proposal (NH)

A proposal to have condominium and homeowner associations inspect and report the condition of their sewage systems needs further study before any decision can be made whether to implement it, the City Council has agreed. Read the entire article……………………………….

Gov. Island asks judge to put end to 10-year legal ordeal (NH)

Saying enough is enough, the homeowners association for Governors Island asked a superior court judge to take strong action against one of its members for repeatedly failing to remove structures on his property in violation of association regulations, and failing to abide by numerous court orders stretching back nearly 10 years.    Read the entire article……………………………….

Condo Column: The bad budget bill (NH)

As noted from my last two columns, it has been an interesting Legislative session in Concord for condominiums, starting with the proposal of Senate Bill 324 that would effectively shut down condominiums. But that’s not the only piece of legislation currently pending that is of concern. The New Hampshire House of Representatives wanted its chance […]

Condo Column: NH bill proposes a tax break for condo owners

Thanks to a client of mine, I learned about pending legislation in the New Hampshire Legislature this year that rightfully should be very helpful to condominiums. But let me first give some background.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Condo Column: Review declaration and bylaws with attorney at transition (NH)

As we transition to the New Year I thought it might be helpful to give a particular pointer on that moment in time, be it days, weeks or a month, when an association transitions from being controlled by the declarant to the the owners themselves.    Read the entire article……………………………….

Condo Column: The transition from developers to owners (NH)

Much like being a parent who raises a child, only to have the heartbreak of dropping that child off at college, there comes a time when a declarant, after building the units; getting the grounds landscaped in the spring and summer and plowed in the winter; paving the roads; and opening the clubhouse; says goodbye […]

The Pacaso Puzzle (NH)

Pacaso is the fasted rising company in American history to reach “unicorn” status, i.e. a company valued at more than a billion dollars, and how it did so relates to condominium associations.  In previous columns I have talked about the pros and cons (mostly cons) of short-term rentals in condominium associations, including the stream of […]

The misplaced reservation about reserves (NH)

I have written in the past about the need for properly funded reserve accounts. But what happens if a board of directors doesn’t properly fund the reserves, and later tries to make up for the shortfall by specially assessing owners?  Read the entire article……………………………….

Mr. Busy and Peter Rabbit (NH)

If you live or have lived in a condominium association, nothing gets the dander of owners to rise faster than fights over pets. Some love them; some hate them. Everyone has an opinion.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Waving the flag: Condo associations have to tread firmly, fairly (NH)

Now that the July 4th holiday is behind us a bit, I thought it might be safer to wade into the issue of flag flying at condominium associations.  Many owners believe they have the right to fly the American flag at their condominium association and that the association cannot put any restrictions on them doing […]

What’s in a family? (NH)

One of the trends in condominium associations is an increase in the number of people living in units. Kids return after college or stay long after high school graduation; like the Brady Bunch, someone remarries and brings their two children into the existing family with two kids, now there are six living where three used […]

The compassionate condo community

The graying of America continues. The number of Americans who are over 65 creeps upward. Today, that number is about 50 million. It is likely to expand to near 100 million by 2060.  And our longevity is creating a bit of a problem. When social security was enacted the average life expectancy was 65. Now, […]

Condo Board meetings are not for all (NH)

Regardless of how many units are in your association or how many members are on your board of directors, you still have to have an occasional meeting of the board. And that means you have to learn how to keep your board meetings on task and not let them devolve into chaos.    Read the entire […]