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New Jersey Condo & HOA Articles Archive

/ Owner - July 1, 2012
  • Tort Immunity in New Jersey Community Associations (NJ)
    The word “immunity” can conjure up many feelings, especially after living through the past few years of COVID-19. This is somewhat ironic because a different type of immunity became a flashpoint for community associations at the during the pandemic – tort immunity.   Read the article…………………………………
  • How To Handle Neighbor Disputes In A Fair Manner
    Whenever a group of people live near each other, disputes are bound to occur. Even if your community is a peaceful one, sometimes neighbors have issues with each other. However, if your Board knows how to manage neighbor disputes fairly, they do not have to escalate into an out-of-control situation.    Read the article…………………………..
  • Free Speech vs. House Rules: Balancing Both in Contentious Times (NJ)
    The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees the right to free speech and expression – but how does that right apply to the residents of multifamily co-op or condo buildings? Does it apply at all? Can you – or the guy down the hall in 2B – display political, social, or religious statements from a window, terrace, or front door? The answer may surprise you.  Read the article……………………………….
  • Adequate Community Insurance Coverage: How Much is Enough? (NJ)
    The topic of insurance can provoke fear in the most steadfast of board members. It’s both terrifying in what its purpose implies, and yet at the same time mind-numbingly boring. It’s also one of the most important components in protecting our communities.   Read the article………………………..
  • Resources for Multifamily Boards: Where Communities Go to Stay in the Know (NJ)
    The Community Associations Network (www.communityassociations.net) is an online resource that aggregates news and information related to co-ops, condos, and HOAs. There, boards and service professionals can access the latest on legislation, events, and issues pertaining to association living and governance throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Read the article………………………..
  • Community Association Transition Litigation and the Selection of Experts
    In the realm of civil litigation, the involvement of “experts” can make or break a case. An expert is a qualified individual with specialized knowledge, skill, training, education, or experience in a particular field relevant to the issues at hand in the case. These experts are called upon to provide their professional opinions, analyses, or interpretations on complex or technical matters that are beyond the understanding of the average person or the typical juror.   Read the article………………………..
  • The Cheshire Cat and Insurance Carriers
    Insurance carriers are like the Cheshire Cat. They lure customers with catchy advertisements, and then issue policies filled with complex and confusing terms. After major losses, they arrive on the scene, then suddenly disappear, citing one or more policy exclusions in complex terms, a la the Cheshire Cat.   Read the article………………………..
  • Dealing With Harassment: Separating the Impolite from the Illegal
    While occasional annoyances and interpersonal friction are simply part of the cost of communal living, some behaviors cross the line from minor nuisance into legitimate harassment. Knowing the difference is important—but it can be tricky to discern, and even more difficult to address.    Read the article………………………..
  • Is Your Community Association Receiving the Benefits of the Municipal Services Act? (NJ)
    New Jersey’s Municipal Services Act, N.J.S.A. 40:67-23.2 to -23.8, which went into effect in 1993, is the first (and possibly still the only) legislation in the country that requires cities and towns to provide certain municipal services or reimbursements to community associations within their borders.  Read the article………………………..
  • 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 make housing cooperatives, condominiums, and homeowners associations eligible for the same FEMA assistance available to single-family homeowners after a catastrophic property loss.   Read the article………………………..
  • Is Your Community Association Receiving the Benefits of the Municipal Services Act? (NJ)
    New Jersey’s Municipal Services Act, N.J.S.A. 40:67-23.2 to -23.8, which went into effect in 1993, is the first (and possibly still the only) legislation in the country that requires cities and towns to provide certain municipal services or reimbursements to community associations within their borders.   Read the article………………………..
  • Appellate Division Affirms: Binding Dispute Resolution Provisions in Standard AIA Construction Contracts Are Enforceable (NJ)
    In a recent unpublished opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that an agreement to arbitrate set forth in the binding dispute resolution provision in a standard form American Institute of Architects (AIA) construction contract between a condominium association and contractor was enforceable.   Read the article………………………..
  • Another Win for Dogs: Court Allows Emotional Support Dog Violating Association Pet Policy (NJ)
    On March 23, the New Jersey Appellate Division decided the case of Players Place II Condominium Association, Inc. v. K.P. and B.F., (A-1304-20) (App. Div. March 23, 2023). Despite a finding that the proposed emotional support dog was too large for the condominium association’s pet policy and a failure by the unit owner to even establish the need for an emotional support animal of that size, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial judge’s equitable remedy to permit the unit owner to have the oversized dog at the condominium.  Read the article………………………..
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Common Interest Communities Where to Put Them – and Who Pays?
    The trend is clear: electric vehicles are the future. General Motors, for instance, announced last year that they intend to convert their entire fleet to electric by 2040. New York City has pledged a carbon-neutral footprint by 2050. Since 2015, the release of new electric vehicle (EV) models have increased by 34% worldwide   Read the article………………………..
  • Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of Inverse Condemnation on Private Beach Claim (NJ)
    In the case of one example, the NJDEP instituted eminent domain proceedings against the Bayhead Point Homeowners Association, Inc., which owns an unbuildable two and one-half acre lot along the Atlantic Ocean in Point Pleasant Beach.   Read the article………………………..
  • Nature in the Valley: Brandon Farms meadow offers lessons for all
    My email box was completely filled with forwards of the New York Times Dec. 14 article entitled, “They Fought the Lawn. And the Lawn’s Done.” What made the story so compelling was that it had all the elements of a blockbuster film: a simple scenario with a relatable protagonist who overcame significant challenges in her desire to do good.   Read the article………………………..
  • Legal Construction Column: Direct Action Statute (NJ)
    In July 2022, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an opinion, Crystal Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Kinsale Insurance Co., which considered whether (1) a condominium association that had obtained default judgments against a structural engineering firm and a construction inspection company resulting from construction defects, could assert claims against those judgment debtors’ insurance company under New Jersey’s Direct Action Statute and (2) an arbitration provision in the insurance company’s policy issued to its insureds applied to the lawsuit filed by the condo association.    Read the article………………………..
  • NJ Appellate Division Holds That HOA Declaration Trumps Prior Recorded Mortgage in Certain Instances
    The New Jersey Appellate Division, in a published opinion, recently held that in certain instances, a recorded homeowners’ declaration of covenants can trump a prior mortgage. See Fulton Bank of N.J. v. Casa Eleganza, LLC, 473 N.J. Super. 387 (App. Div. 2022). In Casa Eleganza, Plaintiff Fulton Bank of New Jersey (“Plaintiff”) acquired title via mortgage foreclosure sale to a portion of the residential community Iron Gate at Galloway (“the Property”).  Read the article………………………..
  • Sign, Sign, Everwhere a Sign…..In My Association
    Every year, usually around election season, the signs come out.  Let’s discuss some recurring sign issues that pop up (pun intended) in community associations year after year.   Read the article………………………..
  • When a Board Goes Bad The Cure: Get Involved (NJ)
    Board responsiveness and transparency are critical components in the good governance of co-op, condo and HOA communities. It’s the responsibility of the board and its members to act on behalf of the community – a legal obligation known as fiduciary duty.   Read the article………………………..
  • NJ Supreme Court Ruling Addresses Enforceability of Arbitration Clauses in Construction Defect Disputes Involving Direct Claims Against a Judgment Debtor’s Insurer
    The Supreme Court of New Jersey recently ruled that a condominium association may bring a direct action to recover damages based upon construction defect claims against an insolvent judgment debtor’s insurer. The Court further held, however, that a mandatory arbitration provision in the underlying insurance policy will be applicable to such claims. The case is Crystal Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Kinsale Insurance Company, decided on July 18, 2022.    Read the article………………………..
  • “Direct Action Statute” Can Permit Judgment Claimants to Collect from Debtors’ Insurance Policies (NJ)
    In Crystal Point, the Condominium Association obtained two default judgments for construction defect claims against a structural engineer and its companion construction inspection entity. The default judgment defendants could not be located and efforts to execute upon the default judgments were returned uncollectible.  Read the article………………………..
  • Who’s a Good Board? Pros Weigh in on Co-op, Condo, HOA Leadership
    The 347,000 planned communities in the United States—a number that includes cooperatives, condominiums, and homeowners associations—are generally governed by volunteer members of the building or community elected by their fellow unit owners or shareholders. There are no requirements or prerequisites for serving on a board, other than what might be specified in the governing documents of a particular community—usually status as a member in good standing and a minimum age, for example.   Read the article………………………..
  • Supporting Aging Residents: Empathy, Strategy, & Care
    Aging shareholders often contend with two serious problems: declining health and limited finances.  As people age, it’s of course more common for them to live with health challenges related to genetic propensity, lifestyle choices, and the aging process itself;   Read the article………………………..
  • Transition not substantial completion starts the clock: New Jersey amends statute of limitations for homeowner and condominium association construction defect cases
    In?2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in Palisades at Fort Lee Condominium Association, Inc. v. 100 Old Palisade, LLC, et al., held that the statute of limitations for construction defect claims brought by a condominium association begins to run upon “substantial completion” of the structure.  Read the article………………………….
  • Grilling in an HOA Community (Go-To Guide)
    It’s officially grilling season, which means it’s time to fire up the barbecue and enjoy some delicious food. However, if you live in an HOA community, there are some guidelines that you need to follow to stay within the rules. Here are four helpful tips that’ll ensure your cookout goes smoothly.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Best HOA Summer Projects for Board Members
    As the weather gets warmer, many homeowners associations (HOAs) are gearing up for their busiest season. There are a lot of things to do to keep your community running smoothly, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Let’s take a look at some of the best HOA summer projects for board members to improve their community association.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lender Questionnaire: To Answer, or Not to Answer, That is the Question!
    Prompted by the Champlain Towers Condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) recently issued new temporary requirements as an attempt to mitigate risk in community association loan underwriting. Many other industries within the community association world, such as insurance, have adjusted costs and guidelines in an effort to mitigate risk due to the unprecedented tragedy.  Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Co-ops, Condos, & Social Media: To Tweet…or Not to Tweet?
    While some co-op and condo communities have tried social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter as ways to build community spirit and facilitate better communication between neighbors, management, and even the board, most have remained ‘old-school,’ sticking with newsletters, bulletin boards (both digital and cork) in the lobby or mail room, and email blasts to residents.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • New Jersey Legislature Amends Statute of Limitations for Defect Claims Brought by Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations
    Common interest communities in New Jersey likely have more time to assert construction and design defect claims under the New Jersey Legislature’s 2022 amendment to N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1. Condominium associations, cooperative corporations, and other real estate development associations now have six years from transfer of control of the association from the developer to the unit owners – rather than from substantial completion of the project – to bring a claim for construction and design defects.1   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • HOA Preparedness: Preventing Water Damage
    It’s finally springtime, which means flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the rain will soon be pouring. And all that rain can lead to one thing: water damage. If you’re an HOA board member, it’s essential to prepare your community association for the rainiest season.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • New changes aim to protect New Jersey condo associations
    New Jersey condominiums must follow The New Jersey Condominium Act, as well as state laws, master deeds and rules. In return, owners and residents can reasonably expect a safe and well-maintained living environment.  However, old or vague rules and policies don’t always provide the protection or clarity that condo members need.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Universal Design & the ADA: Design for Every Body
    The idea that ‘form follows function’ is one of the basic concepts underlying nearly every design discipline—but function for whom? For many people living with disabilities, it often seems that ‘function’ covers a very narrow range of ability—rendering many forms clumsy at best, and completely useless at worst. While a cascading stairway might provide drama to a public space, for example, it may present an insurmountable obstacle to anyone making use of a wheelchair or other mobility aid.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Flood Risk Rises for Condos & Co-ops: How to be Physically & Financially Ready (NJ)
    With hurricanes and other torrential storm events on the rise around the nation, the issue of flooding has come as something of a wake-up call for homeowners and local governments alike. The real-world effects of climate change are upon us, even in areas where such events were rare before—if they occurred at all—and certainly in places like New York and New Jersey, where the destruction of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012 arguably marked the start of an era of more frequent, much more intense inclement weather events.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The Best (and Worst) Neighbors in America: New Survey Spells it All Out
    The results of a recent study conducted by digital real estate marketplace HomeAdvisor reveal that Americans relate to and interact with their neighbors very differently today than in decades past.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • HOA Inspection Checklist
    An HOA inspection checklist is a valuable tool for community managers and Board members. It can help you keep track of the condition of the community, identify any potential problems, and make sure that all areas are being regularly inspected.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • HOA Snow Plowing Contracts
    As a board member, preparing your community for winter weather is crucial. One easy way to do so is to have a snow plowing contract with a vendor. By contracting with a vendor to remove ice and snow from the shared roadways, parking lots, and walkways in your community, you’ll be able to ensure homeowners are safe and hazardous conditions are reduced.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • New Bill Clarifies Statute of Limitations For Community Association Transition Litigation Matters (NJ)
    On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 396, which automatically tolls (i.e. pauses) the 6-year Statute of Limitations for construction defect claims by condominium and/or homeowner associations and cooperative corporations until the first election when unit owners take majority control of the association board (“Transition”).   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Stay Safe with an HOA Emergency Preparedness Plan
    No one can accurately tell when a severe storm, natural disaster, or unforeseen building issue will occur. That’s why it’s essential community associations take the necessary precautions to prepare.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • HOA Board Meeting Etiquette (Do’s & Don’ts) (NJ)
    Holding regular HOA board meetings is essential to ensure your community association operates efficiently. At AR Management, we’re commonly asked by board members, “What’s the right protocol to run a productive and successful meeting?” We’ve found that the answer resides in maintaining professional HOA board meeting etiquette.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Does an HOA Have to Have a Board?
    Many individuals question, “Does an HOA have to have a board?” The simple answer is yes. An association cannot function without one. They play an integral part in ensuring the HOA operates efficiently, effectively, and transparently.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • How to Easily Update Your Community’s Investment Policy (NJ)
    The Coronavirus pandemic has been with us for almost two years and its impact on the financial market has many community associations asking: “how can we reasonably obtain a greater return on our capital reserve fund investments?”   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Holiday Decorations: What’s Allowed? (NJ)
    The holiday season is here, and now is a great time to decorate the exterior of your home. For homeowners living in an HOA, it’s essential to check your governing documents to see which HOA holiday decorations are allowed to be displayed. In some cases, local ordinances will restrict specific holiday displays like noisy decorations and bright lights. That’s why it’s imperative to review your HOA’s holiday decoration policies before putting up your festive lights and wreaths.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • 5 Steps Your HOA Board Must Take for Winter Preparation (NJ)
    Winter is coming, which means it’s time your HOA board begins preparing its community for the icy and snowy weather. Winter storms can bring many issues that cause property damage, power outages, and travel restrictions. To ensure your community is snow and rain-proofed, it’s vital to have the right winter preparation plan in place. Here are five steps AR Management recommends HOA boards take to ensure homeowners remain safe and warm.      Read the entire article……………………………….
  • 5 Benefits of Ongoing HOA Preventative Maintenance
    As a society, we’re often told, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what this phrase commonly hides are lingering issues that should be dealt with right away before they become potential disasters.  Within an HOA, it’s vital boards stay proactive to prevent potential disasters from occurring by implementing an ongoing HOA preventative maintenance plan.     Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Make the Most Out of Your HOA Landscape for Fall
    Fall is almost here, and that means it’s time for boards to start preparing their HOA landscape for the new season. If you’re looking for the best lawn-care tips to improve and maintain your HOA landscape, here are five essential maintenance must-dos to follow.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Eradicating Discriminatory Covenants in Community Associations (NJ)
    In October 2020, State Senator Troy Singleton intro-duced legislation that would authorize New Jersey com-munity associations, without the vote of the members/owners, to remove from their documents “any restriction, covenant, or condition that prohibits or limits the convey-ance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property” based on race, creed, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or other factors outlined in New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”).    Read the entire article (PDF)……………………………….
  • Smart Ways to Maximize Your HOA Time as a Board Member (NJ)
    As a board member in an HOA, managing your time equally can be a challenge. With so many tasks for you to accomplish, determining which ones to do first can cause daily struggles. That’s why it is vital you maximize your HOA time for greater productivity.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Is a New Statute of Limitations on the Horizon for Community Association Construction Defect Claims?
    Under New Jersey’s current statute of limitations, N.J.S.A. §2A:14-1, all construction defect claims, i.e. property damage claims, must be filed within six years from when the potential claimant knew or should have known he or she had a claim. Tempered only by the equitable doctrine referred to as the “discovery rule,” which stops the limitations clock from running under certain circumstances, New Jersey’s six-year statute applies equally to all property damage claimants.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • NJ Court Reaffirms Rule Against Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims and Finds Fraud Claims Inherently Intentional
    Awarding summary judgment to an insurer under both liability and directors & officers (D&O) coverage parts, a New Jersey trial court reaffirmed the principle that claims of defective workmanship without resulting “property damage” are not covered under a general liability policy, and further dismissed claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, finding that such claims were inherently intentional and do not state a covered “occurrence.”   Read the entire article……………………………….
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