Top Ten Claim Drivers
Start the New Year off right! Take a look at the top reasons community members bring a claim against the association. Learn from what others have experienced so that this year can be your best year yet!
The Association as an Employer
You may have run for a position on your homeowner, condominium or cooperative association (“Association”) board as a way to meet your neighbors and to have a say in questions that impact you and the community. However, you may not have considered that as a board member you may need to make decisions regarding those who are employed by the Association.
Assistance Animals: A Potential Exception to Your Association’s “No Pets” Policy
Requests for assistance animals are quite common. Although associations make decisions based upon the association’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), policies and what they believe is in the best interest of the community, the law requires consideration of requests for assistance and/or service animals as a reasonable accommodation and a possible exception to the association’s policies.
Consistency and Care Help to Mitigate the Risk of Discrimination Claims
You’re going about your business as a board member, reviewing various requests made by homeowners in the community. You base your decisions on what you think is best for the community, in light of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&R”) and other relevant documents. But did you consider that some of the homeowners’ requests may be protected under the law? If so, the denial of a homeowner’s request made by the board may seem like a decision based on sound judgment, but it may lead to a lawsuit later. It's important to have a process in place to address discrimination claims when they arise, as well as to help mitigate the risks of discrimination claims being made.
Do Your Pool Rules Comply with Anti-Discrimination Laws?
A homeowner, condominium, or cooperative association (“association”) should consider the safety and enjoyment of its owners and guests when they are at the pool. Pool rules should be designed to promote everyone’s safety and enjoyment, while also incorporating federal, state and local antidiscrimination laws that apply.
CONDOMINIUM SAFETY: States Are Taking Action
Learning comes from experience, and when it comes to condominium and cooperative association (“association”) safety, states are taking action based upon what they have learned. Florida is leading the way with a new law which requires associations to take action to maintain their buildings’ structural integrity and financially prepare for major repairs all in the hope that it will prevent another tragedy like the June 24, 2021, Surfside condo collapse.
What it Means to be a Member of the Board: An Onboarding Guide
Being a board member of your condominium, cooperative, homeowner or community association (the “association”) means taking on real responsibilities that go beyond planning events or picking new furniture for the common areas. It is a serious role and one which you should be proud to have! However, you must consider the responsibilities that come with it.
Reserve Studies: An Important Resource, Required or Not
As a board member, have you ever thought about what would happen if a routine inspection of your community uncovers serious structural defects requiring immediate repair either due to a construction defect or the impact of weather over time? The Board would need to act quickly to address the concern, as the safety of the community’s homeowners could be at risk. Such unexpected and urgent repairs can be quite costly, and associations often find themselves financially unprepared. However, if you think ahead and plan for the unexpected by collecting dues from homeowners for an amount that is more than what is needed to run the association day to day, you will be ready, and reserves help you do just that!
Dues, Assessments, and Foreclosures During the Pandemic and Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life on a global scale. Businesses slowed or stopped completely. Unemployment was at record numbers; and although businesses are reopening their physical locations and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines may signify the beginning of the end of the pandemic, the economic impact may continue for quite some time. Consequently, many community, homeowner and condominium association (collectively, CA or association) boards are struggling with their obligations to collect dues and assessments from residents who are suffering economic hardship.
Cyber Crime Liability Protection
While the standard insurance coverage available to community associations covers general liability, D&O and commercial property, it typically doesn’t provide coverage for cyber liability-related claims. If left unprotected in the event of a cyber-liability claim, an association could be at significant financial risk.
CNA/IHG D&O policyholders, have access to free Employment Practices training to mitigate employment related claims. Beyond HR, provides various training tools, checklists, and webinars for employers to use to mitigate discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination claims.
Foreclosure Risk Management For Homeowners Associations
There is no general rule of law regarding foreclosures. Requirements may vary by jurisdiction. Consideration of some simple due diligence practices may save Associations later headaches and lead to greater satisfaction of the debt without the need for conclusion of the foreclosure process.
Community Manager Errors & Omissions Coverage What You Need To Know
For reasons I will leave to property managers to discuss amongst themselves, there have been a number of myths regarding property manager exposure in the community association industry.
The Employment Application
An employment application is an information-gathering tool that will assist you in your hiring decisions and should contain language that will reduce employment-related liability exposures.