Attorney Lydia Chartre recently shared her expertise on a variety of topics with readers of www.HOAleader.com, a resource for HOA and condo board members nationwide.  To read the full articles, click the links below:

Facts

Owner sought records from a Michigan association (the “Association:”).  The Association refused to produce records presumably on the grounds that the requests were long, difficult to follow and failed to state a proper purpose.  The requests, clarified in the complaint, consisted of the following:

  1. Bills or invoices showing the cost of past litigation;
  2. Records relating to orders for wrist bands for access to the pool;
  3. Work orders or invoices for light bulb replacements in Owner’s building;
  4. Board minutes from April 2019 until September 2019;
  5. Records relating to when Owner’s checks from approximately June 2019 through September 2019 were received by the Association and posted to Owner’s account;
  6. Board minutes for 2018; and
  7. Financial statements for 2017 and 2018.

The Association largely ignored the Owner’s requests, which led to the Owner suing the Association. Continue Reading Record Requests – Even if Lengthy and Difficult to Follow, They Need to Be Produced if Sought for a Proper Purpose

In a 2020 survey by The Foundation of Community Association Research, 80% of respondents encountered unexpected and unplanned-for infrastructure issues in the last three years.  Reserve Advisors and our Dan Miske discuss aging infrastructure, the role of the reserve study, and when to consider an independent structural analysis. They will review the liabilities of the Board and share practical steps your Association should consider taking.
To watch the webinar, click HERE.

Please join Husch Blackwell’s Condominium & HOA Law Team on March 25, 2022, for this informative virtual seminar. We’ll cover what is new with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collections and the new mortgage underwriting requirements.

Topics

  • FDCPA Update – How Regulation F now affects managers
  • Collections – 5 things that help your associations actually get paid
  • The New Lender Questionnaire – What do we do with this? Navigating the new mortgage underwriting requirements

Continue Reading Association Academy: What’s New in 2022! Things You Need to Know

Facts

This case involved a dispute between the owner/operator of a golf course and the owners of adjacent property in a residential community.  Originally all the land was owned by one entity, that then sold lots overlooking the golf course at a premium.  The deed for the property in the residential community described the property by reference to the lot and the recorded subdivision plat that included a map of the subdivision depicting a golf course.  The plat map was recorded with the county.  The developer later transferred the golf course to another entity.  The purchaser, CE, was losing money on the golf course and proposed to develop the land.  The adjacent property owners sued.  The property owners and CE filed cross motions for summary judgment. Continue Reading Implied Easements – Can You Prohibit a Neighboring Property Owner from Changing the Use of its Property?

Facts

The Spagenskis (“the Homeowners”) lived in a community in San Diego County with their German shepherd Kato.  The community was governed by Sunset Greens Homeowners Association (the “Association”) in accordance with a declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CC&R’s”). From February 2019 to May 2019, Kato attacked three dogs in the community.  In the first incident, Kato injured a resident and her dog, and after the incident, Kato was placed in home quarantine by the Humane Society.  The Association ordered the Spagenskis to comply with the CC&R’s to ensure that Kato would be kept under control.  Three months later, Kato attacked two other dogs and other residents in the community.  One of the injured dogs died while undergoing surgery.  The Humane Society, once again, placed Kato in-home quarantine for another 10 days.  Following the second incident, the Association directed the Spagenskis to remove Kato from the community and filed suit, seeking injunctive relief for breaching the CC&R’s and nuisance clause. Continue Reading Association’s Vested Discretion in Declaring an Aggressive Dog a Nuisance

In a 2020 survey by The Foundation of Community Association Research, 80% of respondents encountered unexpected and unplanned-for infrastructure issues in the last three years.  Join Reserve Advisors and our Dan Miske as they discuss aging infrastructure, the role of the reserve study, and when to consider an independent structural analysis. They will review the liabilities of the Board and share practical steps your Association should consider taking.
Date: December 17, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Click HERE to Register
Facts

In 2015, Unit Owner’s dog, Maggie, was an 11-year old golden retriever.  Maggie bit another dog living at the Association and had previously “displayed aggressive behavior or injured another dog” at the Association.  After the latest bite, the Association issued a notice of violation that Maggie had to be removed from the Association.  The Unit Owner complied.  But, in April 2016, 11 months later, the Unit Owner snuck Maggie back into his unit.  The Unit Owner alleged that the return of Maggie “significantly” improved his depression for which he claimed the need of an emotional support animal.  In 2017 the Association sent the Unit Owner another notice to remove Maggie or face eviction.  Unit Owner sued claiming the Association refused to accommodate his disability in violation of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”).

Suit 1

At trial the jury found (yes it went all the way to a jury so this was not cheap):

  1. The removal of Maggie made the residence unavailable to the Unit Owner;
  2. The Unit Owner was disabled under the FHA;
  3. The Association would not have taken adverse action against the Unit Owner but for Maggie; and
  4. Maggie alleviated one or more of the symptoms of the Unit Owner’s disability.

However, the jury also found that Maggie “posed a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals and no reasonable accommodation would have eliminated or acceptably minimized the risk Maggie posed.”   As a result, the jury found in favor of the Association. Continue Reading Emotional Support Animals – If It’s Aggressive, It’s Not Reasonable

Facts

In May of 2016 the Association implemented a rule that allowed owners to bring furniture to the pool area for their use “but they must remove these items daily when they leave the pool area.”  Unit Owner claimed he needed a reasonable accommodation to leave his orthopedic lounge chair at the pool for medical reasons.  The Association initially allowed the chair to be left at the pool, but also requested further clarification of the request, specifically seeking: 1) a doctor’s recommendation that the chair was medically necessary for the owner’s physical disability, 2) confirmation that the chair he was using was in fact an orthopedic lounge chair, and 3) the weight of the chair.  The unit owner submitted three doctor letters:

  • Doctor 1 stated the Unit Owner’s “disability required the “use of an appropriate chair to accommodate his disability.”
  • Doctor 2 stated that he recommended that the Unit Owner “use an orthopedic lounge chair for his neck and back issues and also that he not lift ‘equipment or materials over 15 pounds.’”
  • Doctor 3 stated that the Unit Owner’s “anti-gravity chair helps his prostate condition.”

The Association took the position that the doctor letters did not clearly address the Unit Owner’s situation or the need for a certain type of chair, and then rescinded the initial accommodation.  The Association did state that it would reconsider the matter if the Unit Owner submitted all requested documents. Continue Reading Residents are Not Owed Preferred Accommodations for Disability

Facts

Association Board adopted a resolution that unit owners in the Association who self-rented but did not join the rental pool would need to pay 20% of their rental income to the Association because the self-renters “did not contribute financially for the extra expense of their leasing activity or for the beneficial services provided by the rental pool.”  The resolution also 1) disallowed future self-rentals; and 2) grandfathered in the current self-renters.

The Suit

Claims

The Association sued the self-renters seeking a declaration that its resolution disallowing future self-rentals and imposing a rental fee was enforceable.  The self-renters counterclaimed alleging: a) breach of contract; b) injunctive relief; c) that the resolution was arbitrary and unenforceable; and d) that the Association was improperly allocating certain fees on the self-renters. Continue Reading Fees for Self-Renters Who Don’t Enter the Rental Pool are Legal