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

What you need to know:

A Declaration can be amended to allow certain units to exit an association provided the governing documents and relevant statutes are followed, but obtaining an attorney opinion first will likely help you if the matter goes to court. 

Continue Reading Can Some Units be Removed from an Association?

What you need to know:

Whether you are a buyer or seller when it comes to real estate contracts, you must strictly follow the statutes. 

Hollar v. MarketPro South, Inc., 2023 WL 157643 Slip Opinion (U.S. Dis. Ct. Utah 1/11/2023)

Continue Reading Cancellation of an Offer to Purchase – Strictly Follow the Statute

What you can’t do:

  1. Breed, size, and weight limitations may not be applied to an assistance animal.
  2. Pet conditions and restrictions such as pet deposits cannot be applied to assistance animals.
  3. You may not ask an applicant or tenant to:
    • Provide access to medical records or medical providers or
    • Provide detailed or extensive information or documentation of a person’s physical or mental impairments.
  4. A request for a reasonable accommodation may not be unreasonably denied, or conditioned on payment of a fee or deposit
  5. The response to a reasonable accommodation may not be unreasonably delayed.
  6. You are not entitled to know an individual’s diagnosis or require disclosure of:
    • Medical records,
    • A diagnosis or
    • The severity of a disability.
  7. You may not insist on specific types of evidence if the information which is provided or actually known to the association meets the requirements of the FHA (Fair Housing Act).
Continue Reading 7 Things You Need to Know about Emotional Support Animals in 2023

Recently, Attorney Naomie Kweyu Husch Blackwell LLP, scored a huge bench trial win in a southeastern Wisconsin circuit court on a foreclosure and money judgment action.

Summary

If you want the best chance of collecting outstanding assessments, late fees, interest and attorney fees, you need to be organized, have a collection policy and follow your documents. Doing so can make a big difference to your association, as one of our clients recently learned – read more below:

Continue Reading Association Successfully Recovers ALL Attorney’s Fees From Unit Owners Who Refused to Pay Attorney Fees

Need to Know:

  1. Unit Owners and association members often say mean and rude things about Board members, even though those Board Members are volunteers. 
  2. For a Board Member to have a viable claim for defamation the Board member must recognize that the courts view them as limited public figures, which means they MUST be able to allege and prove that.
    • The defendant published a false and defamatory statement about the plaintiff, and
    • The statement was made with actual malice, i.e., with knowledge the statements were false or with what amounts to conscious disregard of their falsity.
Continue Reading Defamation Claims by Directors and Officers Against Members – What you Need to Know

Facts:

The plaintiffs, the Channons, planned to sell their condominium unit.  The Illinois Condominium Property Act required them to obtain specific disclosure documents from the Association or its agent prior to a sale, and to provide them to potential buyers on request.  The Channons then entered into a “standard sales contract” with a potential buyer who asked for the disclosures.  The Channons obtained the disclosures from the property manager, Westward Management, for a fee of $245.  After obtaining the disclosures, the Channons filed a class-action lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that the property manager charged “unreasonable fees for the statutorily required documents” and that the property managers conduct “violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (“Fraud Act”).”

Continue Reading Fee Limits for Statutory Mandated Documents – How Much Can the Association Charge?