As many of you know, on July 30, 2020, Governor Evers of Wisconsin issued Executive Order #82 declaring a public health emergency to combat COVID-19, and Emergency Order #1 requiring individuals, with certain exceptions, to wear face coverings if:

  1. “The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence; and
  2. Another person or persons who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space.”

Neither order defines “private residence” and the statutes are of very limited help on whether the common element and/or limited common element of a condominium association is part of a unit owners “private residence.”  The manner of condominium ownership does very little to clarify the issue, since the common elements are owned by the various unit owners.  Hence, each unit owner has a real property ownership interest in the common element. 
Continue Reading Must Wisconsin Condominium Residents Wear a Face Covering (Mask) in Indoor Common Element

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a global economic crisis impacting individual unit and home owners, and the associations they comprise.  An unfortunate result will be an increase in bankruptcy filings.  Learn how to prepare and protect your Association now.

Want to learn more about Wisconsin condominium and HOA law from experienced condo and HOA

We’ve reached the point in the COVID-19 pandemic where states are starting to reopen.  So now what?  What does this mean for your Association?  Find out what your Association needs to do to reopen its common elements in this Vlog.  (Don’t mind the videography, it’s a work in progress!)

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First, I want to thank Julie Howard and her firm NowackHoward in Atlanta, Georgia for much of this Blog (adjusted for Wisconsin Law and my commentary).  She is the former president of the College of Community Association Lawyers (“CCAL”), an excellent association attorney, and has been kind enough to allow Husch Blackwell to use much of their article.

The law does NOT require a Board to extend additional time to owners to pay assessments just because of the COVID 19 pandemic.  While such policies may show a concern for members of a community, probably without realizing it, those policies may also have significant adverse effects on the Association, especially in 2020.

With this background, Associations should first look to see which of their expenses are variable (those that can be cut or reduced because of the pandemic).  Secondly, the Board must ask can the Association really afford to extend the payment of assessments for some or all of its owners?  Associations faced this same challenge during the last financial crisis.  In an editorial published on February 5, 2008 in The Atlanta Constitution, George Nowack (another former president of the CCAL) explained that because many Associations had allowed members to not pay and suspended collection actions, the balances on unpaid accounts reached levels that members gave up trying to pay.  The lesson learned from that past is that a Board is not doing any member a favor if it allows an Association’s accounts receivable to go unaddressed.  That advice is equally true today.
Continue Reading Assessment Collections and COVID-19

Community Associations Institute and fellows of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL) present special virtual, LIVE Q&A presentations about the issues facing community associations due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The link is below.  If you have a question that is not answered on the web page, please let us know and we will be