It’s one of everyone’s favorite places in the community – the clubhouse. It’s used by the association for residents to enjoy an afternoon mah-jongg game, cards, community-organized special events and more. These spaces are usually bright and airy, spacious, well-decorated and set up to host events large and small. For this reason, some associations decide to rent their clubhouses out for weddings and other private functions. However, associations need to be aware of the potential liability exposure opened up by doing this. We spoke with Robert Travis of Community Association Underwriters of America (CAU) in Newtown, Pennsylvania, who explained that liability issues are complex when a community clubhouse is rented out to a resident or third-party. He gave us some tips to prevent clubhouse rental engagements from ending on a sour note.
Unfortunately, board members of community associations are sometimes loathed by some residents. Issues can arise at any time, especially during board elections. When insults and accusations fly, they sometimes cause serious damage to the reputations of those on the receiving end. In some cases, board members go on to sue owners or residents for defamation. But, what exactly constitutes as defamation? We spoke to Attorney Robert C. Griffin of Griffin Alexander, PC in Randolph, New Jersey to shed some light on this topic.
Does your community require a major repair, such as new facade, windows or roofs? Major repairs can be extremely costly. Luckily, loans are available for community associations that require funds for a particular project or repair. We spoke to Jared Tunnell, Senior Vice President at National Cooperative Bank to learn more about community association loans and what steps condominium and homeowner associations should take before acquiring a loan.
Associations, and people in general, have a tendency to take their trees for granted. They stand like fixtures in our communities, providing shade, beauty, wildlife havens and defending against soil erosion. But neglected trees can decay and cause a myriad of problems if not treated correctly and promptly. Trees can potentially become liabilities, insect incubators and just plain old eyesores if not properly taken care of.
A condominium receives a call from an owner who claims his roof is leaking. The association sends maintenance to the unit and the leak is fixed within 15 minutes. The owner argues that the association should pay for interior damage allegedly having resulted from this leak. Who is liable for the damage?
Boards of community associations are tasked with the onerous responsibility of running their communities, and ensuring all facets of doing so are given their necessary attention. But how can boards make sure they’re attending to everything they’re supposed to, and doing it properly? Boards are legally bound to exercise due diligence in their roles leading their associations, but what exactly is due diligence, and how can board members make sure they’re complying?
The transition process from declarant to homeowner control can be a stressful time for an association. However, having a better understanding of the overall process can help alleviate some of the stress and allow for a successful transition. There are responsibilities the board has and should be aware of so that the transition process can run more smoothly and effectively.
Whether done intentionally or unintentionally, the unauthorized practice of law can land a property manager in hot water. Not only could a manager’s job be on the line, but there are also legal issues associated with practicing law without a license. Therefore, rather than addressing legal matters on their own, managers should instead turn to counsel, said Denise Becker, Senior Vice President of Homestead Management Services, Inc. in Pine Brook and Hillsborough, New Jersey.
For some, one of the downsides of living in a condominium or homeowner association has always been close proximity to your neighbors. This can especially become a problem when your neighbors are loud and inconsiderate. But what if the rowdy family “next door” is a feral cat colony? What are your options when feline squatters settle in your community?
As winter comes to an end, associations are beginning to prepare for the warm weather spring and summer will bring. One item on everyone’s preparation list is ensuring the community’s outdoor areas are in tip top shape. We spoke to Aaron Kurdyla, Director of Operations for High Tech Landscapes, who took us through the process.