An association in southeastern Wisconsin is made up of condominiums that are also rented out for the owners (condotels). In this particular case, a unit owner, who lived in Illinois, was in financial difficulty and wanted to file bankruptcy and turn their condominium over to their bank.  The bank’s attorney prepared a deed in lieu and sent it to the unit owner, which the unit owner then had recorded.  The bank became the owner and was responsible for not only the dues from that date forward, but also what was owed by the unit owner.  The bank did not want to acknowledge this. Continue Reading Banks & a Deed in Lieu

A condominium association in Milwaukee has historically faced heavy delinquency issues. Through The Husch Blackwell Condominium & HOA Law Team’s assertive collection methods, the firm collected more than $290,000 in assessments, interest and legal fees for the association since 2013. A substantial portion of the $290,000 resulted from the sale and/or rental of 10 units that became owned by the association. Continue Reading When an Association Owns a Unit – Recouping Delinquent Assessments Through Unit Rental/Sales

Under the law in most states, and certainly in Wisconsin, the Board of your condominium association controls any changes to the exterior appearance.  This is generally based on a statute that can’t be changed even by the governing documents.  However, things are changing.  Across the country many laws are being passed that require the Board of Directors of various condominium associations to approve certain changes to the exterior.  This can range from artificial turf to solar panels.  In addition, the world is changing relative to emotional support animals, sexual harassment and security.  Continue Reading 2018 Condo & HOA Issues

Those of us involved in condominium management, whether as board members, officers, property managers or attorneys, know that VRBO and AirBnB have changed the way units are rented. Short term rentals are viewed by many associations as a problem that should be solved.  Specifically, these associations and managers would prefer that short rentals (most often defined as less than six months or one year, but I have seen it defined as less than 30 days) be prohibited.  The problem is getting enough people to agree on the various issues: Continue Reading Can I Use the Prohibition on “Commercial Activity” to Preclude Short Term Rentals?

Yes! Thankfully, if the association has not been doing so, there is a way to reduce your back-tax liability, interest and penalties.

  • Do you have parking that is rented out by the Association?
  • Do you charge different monthly assessments for those with a parking spot?
  • Do you charge a fee for a boat dock or storage of a boat, canoe or similar water craft?

Of course you do. No worries, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, like most states, would be happy to perform an audit for you.  Unfortunately, they will then also seek to collect all of the taxes due.  Continue Reading Parking Spaces – Should Your Association be Charging and Collecting Sales Tax?

You might think that when a tenant breaks a rule, that you can simply fine him like you would fine an owner-occupant. Or, you might think that you can just notify and fine the owner/landlord for his tenant’s violation, since he’ll ultimately be responsible for the fine anyway, right? These assumptions are intuitive; however, anyone who has been around condominiums and HOAs long enough can tell you that the laws governing them are not always intuitive. In fact, sometimes it seems like the legislators threw common sense right out the window! Continue Reading Fining for Tenant Violations? You Might be Doing it Wrong.

If you are a condominium association who is preparing to complete a lien foreclosure on a Unit, you are sure to have many questions about what to expect if you become the owner of the Unit through the foreclosure process. Should the Association rent, sell or hold the Unit and what are the risks associated with each?  Should the Association pay the taxes? What about the mortgage? Should the Association deed the Unit to the mortgage company or start a quiet title action?  What will/can our property manager help the Association do? These are all questions the Association will have to answer.

This white paper will walk you through your options, banish common misconceptions associated with foreclosure, and provide you the answers that will help you adequately prepare and make the best out of a bad situation.

If you are seeing a lot of unfamiliar faces coming and going from a unit in your Association, it is possible that the owner is renting his unit on a short term basis. The Short Term Rental (“STR”) market is thriving worldwide, through such well-known websites as AirBnB and Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) to name a couple. But what does this mean for your Association and how do you deal with it?

Continue Reading Dealing With Short Term Rentals/AirBnB