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New Hampshire Condo & HOA News Archive

/ Owner - July 1, 2012
  • Condo Column: Condo Law Legislative Update – 2024 – Part I (NH) March 1, 2024
    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. Proxies. In 2016 the Legislature amended the Condominium Act and added language regarding directed and undirected proxies. To refresh, a directed proxy is one where the owner who will not be attending an association meeting gives their right to speak and vote to someone by way of a written document, a proxy.   Read the ...
  • West Lebanon fire damages condo (NH) February 3, 2024
    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 December 1, 2023
    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) October 4, 2023
    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 the article……………………………….
  • Condo Column: Insurance tips (NH) September 29, 2023
    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 the property.   Read the article………………………
  • Condo Column: Special Meetings (NH) September 15, 2023
    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) August 18, 2023
    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) August 5, 2023
    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) August 4, 2023
    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 June 17, 2023
    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) May 12, 2023
    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 April 27, 2023
    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) April 13, 2023
    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 cases the occupant lives and sleeps there and uses it as a residence.   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: A board appreciation March 24, 2023
    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 came from a hypothetical fellow owner, perhaps you.   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: Up in a puff of smoke (NH) February 21, 2023
    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) February 10, 2023
    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 still provide a lot of exercise (with help for the tired or those going uphill), but there is also a downside. They catch on fire.  ...
  • Condo Column: Full replacement value (NH) January 5, 2023
    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 value of all structures on the property of the Association.   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: The giving season (NH) December 11, 2022
    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 person’s day was just made a little bit better.    Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: The giving season December 1, 2022
    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 person’s day was just made a little bit better.   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: The fairness of it all (NH) November 20, 2022
    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 by a board of directors totaling $700 and legal fees to be paid to the Association in excess of $12,000.00, and rising.
  • Condo Column: An eggcellent idea? (NH) October 28, 2022
    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 the owner owns the Lot, not just the home on the Lot.    Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: Snow contractor contracts (NH) October 20, 2022
    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) October 13, 2022
    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 the part of the snow removal contractor and the association that hired the contractor which negligence led to his injuries.    Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: An eggcellent idea? (NH) September 29, 2022
    “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 the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: Costs and fees (NH) September 1, 2022
    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 of other problems that has come to the attention of the board of directors that violates one or more provisions of the declaration or bylaws ...
  • Condo Column: The dawn of new lawns? (NH) August 25, 2022
    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 the size of Texas. In other words, we have more lawns in the United States than corn, wheat and fruit orchards combined.    Read the article………………………..
  • Tilton condo owner agrees to cease cemetery disturbance (NH) August 12, 2022
    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) August 11, 2022
    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 removal services, without paying for them.   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Column: An update on NH legislative action July 21, 2022
    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 allowed, for instance, to force someone to pay fines, move a car, stop having loud parties, illegal pets or even force owners to pay assessments.  ...
  • Condo Column: When a home is not a home (NH) July 7, 2022
    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………………………….
  • Keeping it green: Tips for negotiating a condo association landscaping contract (NH) June 3, 2022
    When did things get switched around? When a plumber arrives on site, the contractor fixes the problem and leaves a bill. The plumber doesn’t expect payment up front.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Condo Column: Access to your money (NH) May 19, 2022
    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) April 21, 2022
    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 entire article……………………………….
  • Condo Column: A feral frenzy (NH) April 8, 2022
    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 that as bad as some of the bills are, it could be worse. You could live in a community association where feral pigs are a ...
  • Judge tells homeowner in Gov. Island case he could lose his house if he doesn’t comply (NH) March 31, 2022
    A superior court judge has issued a forceful ruling in the decade-long legal battle between the Governors Island Club and one of its property owners who could potentially lose his house if he fails to abide by the judge’s orders.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Condos push back on sewer inspection proposal (NH) March 30, 2022
    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) March 26, 2022
    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) March 17, 2022
    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 in the sun, and now has House Bill 1146 working its way through the Legislature.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Condo Column: Proposed NH legislation would bring anarchy to condo associations February 11, 2022
    In the latest sign that the condominium apocalypse is near, legislation is now pending in the New Hampshire Legislature that will replace the democracy that is life in condominiums and replace it with anarchy.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Condo Column: NH bill proposes a tax break for condo owners January 28, 2022
    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) January 13, 2022
    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……………………………….
  • When it comes to condo associations, The Grinch is not always wrong (FL) December 17, 2021
    I love the holiday season. I love cheesy old Christmas songs, and new ones. I love finding that gift for my wife, our daughter, a family member or a good friend that they weren’t expecting.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Condo News: Not walking a mile in someone else’s shoes November 11, 2021
    There comes a time in life that you either learn the lesson or you don’t. For one condominium association in Florida, it’s a “don’t.”   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Condo Column: The transition from developers to owners (NH) October 7, 2021
    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 and hands over control and operation of the property to the owners.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The Pacaso Puzzle (NH) September 23, 2021
    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 people parking illegally, loud and disruptive moving in and out periods, occupants not knowing or abiding by condominium rules, etc. Pacaso is a company that ...
  • The misplaced reservation about reserves (NH) August 23, 2021
    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) August 9, 2021
    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) July 8, 2021
    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 so. But that’s not quite the law.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • What’s in a family? (NH) June 21, 2021
    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 to live; children grow up, get driving licenses, get cars and take up more parking spaces in an association.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The compassionate condo community June 4, 2021
    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, for women it is 81; for men 77 – probably the happiest four years for a lot of women.    Read the entire article……………………………….
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