Two years ago, the law in Wisconsin was clarified relative to what records unit owners were entitled to inspect and copy. That list used to require a comparison of Ch. 703 and Ch. 181 Wis. Stat. Now what is required to be maintained and produced to unit owners is set forth in 703.20 Wis. Stat. Below is a summary of those lists:

Continue Reading Association Records – What You Need to Know

About twenty years ago my friend attorney Jonathan Levine wrote a handout that was entitled “MINUTES…NOT HOURS!” It gave a great account of what was and what was not needed in the minutes. Rather than re-write what he wrote, I simply copied (with minor additions) his list below:

Continue Reading Minutes of Meetings – What You Need to Record

What is the Corporate Transparency Act?

The Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) was enacted by Congress on January 1, 2021 (31 USC 5301, et seq.). The stated purpose of the law is to address “the disclosure of corporate ownership and the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.” WHAT? So how does this relate to my Association? The CTA requires small corporations, limited liability companies, and companies created by filing a document with the State (“Reporting Company”) to disclose information about their beneficial owners. Beneficial owners are “any individual who, directly or indirectly:”

  1. Exercises substantial control over a corporation or limited liability company, or
  2. Own 25% or more of the interest in a corporation or limited liability company. 
Continue Reading Corporate Transparency Act – Does Your Association Want to Give the U.S. Government $10,000

Walsh v. Hawthorn Hills Owners of Rochester, Inc. 2023 WL 4144757, Not Reported in N.W.Rptr (Michigan, 2023)

What you need to know:

  1. A new construction project (street lights) can be a general and recurring expense and therefore fall under the annual budget.
  2. The key to determining whether something is or is not potentially part of the budget is what is provided in the association documents. 
Continue Reading Can a New Capital Project be Paid by Annual Assessments – YES

Desch v. South Fork of Hillsborough County II Homeowners Association, —So.3d— (2023).

What you need to know:

  1. Past practice likely won’t be sufficient to sustain a manager’s assessment to a lot owner.
  2. If your association documents set forth a process by which something must be done (e.g. assessments) FOLLOW IT. 
Continue Reading Do Assessments Require Board Action – YES

What you need to know:

  1. The Inflation Reduction Act extended the Federal Residential Solar Energy Credit and raised it from 26% to 30%;
  2. The Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy published the following guidelines for determining if homeowners are eligible to receive the 30% tax credit;
  3. Members of homeowner associations, condominiums, and tenant-stockholders of cooperative housing corporations are eligible for the tax credit if they pay part of the costs of installation of an eligible solar energy system.
Continue Reading Solar Panels – Can I get a Tax Credit for Installing Them?

Hogg v. Villages of Bloomingdale I Homeowners Association, Inc., 357 So.3d 1271 (2023)

Lessons learned:

  1. An Association can’t seek reformation of a declaration after the applicable statute of limitations has passed – meaning that once the applicable statute of limitations has passed a change to the declaration requires a properly passed amendment.
  2. Before the statute of limitations has passed, a court of equity has the power to reform a declaration where, due to a mutual mistake, the declaration does not accurately express the true intention of the declarant. 
Continue Reading Statute of Limitations Prohibits Association from Bringing Action to Reform Declaration

What you need to know: In some States amendments to a HOA declaration that was not reasonably foreseeable is not enforceable. 

MacLeod v. Mogollon Airpark Inc., Not Reported in Pac. Rptr., 2023 WL 2582622 (Cal. 2023)


  1. Was the CC & R amendment prohibiting occupancy of certain guest houses to less than 4 months a year? 
  2. Was the owner entitled to attorney fees for winning the appeal?
Continue Reading An HOA Amendment that was not Reasonably Foreseeable under the Original Declaration may not be Enforceable Without the Consent of 100% of the Owners

Wis. Stat. 895.52 and the related cases

The starting point for recreational immunity is to understand that the purpose of the law is to induce property owners to open their land for recreational use. Therefore, recreational users are to bear the risk of the recreational activity. Held v. Ackerville Snow Club, 2007 WI App 43, 300 Wis. 2d 498, 730 N.W.2d 428, 06-0914. This immunity protection applies to condominiums and homeowner associations, even though for condominiums the association is not the owner of the land, because the association is an occupant of the land.  Bethke v. Lauderdale of LaCrosse, Inc. 2000 WI App 107, 235 Wis. 2d 103, 612 N.W.2d 332, 99-1897.  

Continue Reading Recreational Immunity in Wisconsin – What You Need to Know

What you need to know:

Where the governing documents or the statute place the authority to interpret the governing documents with the board, the board’s interpretation will be binding unless unreasonable. However, if a director has a conflict of interest, the director can’t be part of the decision making process or the vote and must recuse herself/himself.

Continue Reading Conflicts of Interest and The Boards Power to Interpret the Governing Documents