A TIP TO AVOID COLLECTION DISPUTES:
A substantial part of our practice is collecting unpaid homeowner assessments. We’ve created what we call “Common Sense Collections” where, in most instances, collection and attorney fees are paid by the delinquent owner NOT The Association.
HOWEVER – owners are entitled to scrutinize “their ledger” and ask “how did you come up with the total?”
When we get this question, we can already tell the owner is about to challenge the amount allegedly owed.
Because we, the attorneys, do not keep your books, we do not know all of the details about the charges on the ledger. Unless we see something out of line, we properly assume that the ledger is correct.
But here is the catch – once an owner requests an accounting of their ledger, the Association has the legal obligation to clarify the charges, interest, late fees, collection costs…
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Editor’s note: this week’s column was researched and written by Mr. Hunter’s associate attorney, Michael Tarwater Jr.
We are often asked about pet restrictions in the context of homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and their enforceability with respect to assistance animals for persons with disabilities.
An HOA’s governing documents often restrict the type, size, and quantity of pets allowed. Like all good rules, there are exceptions.
In this case, they come in the form of the federal Fair Housing Act. The act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, or familial status in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, mandates that HOAs provide reasonable accommodations to homeowners with disabilities.
The act should not be confused with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA governs only public spaces, including public housing. It is not applicable to HOAs in most cases, since most HOA-owned common areas are…
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This week’s column was written by Michael Hunter’s law partner, Bill Hamel.
Most swimming pools have a list of rules posted somewhere on the premises. We’ve all seen them. The rules contain common sense prohibitions against dangerous pool activities, such as having glass in the pool area and diving into the shallow end.
And almost every set of pool rules contains a statement similar to this: “No one under the age of 18 may use the pool unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.” It makes sense, right?
According to a 2012 federal court opinion from California (Iniestra v. Cliff Warren Investments), a pool rule requiring adult supervision violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) because it discriminated against families with children.
In explaining its opinion, the federal court found the rule requiring adult supervision to not make perfect sense if its goal was to ensure the safety of…
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Q:Members of our community have been involved in a lawsuit over the possible installation of a solar-panel farm just outside the entrance to the community. We won the lawsuit based on the fact that 1) The solar farm would not be in “harmony” with the surrounding residential communities and 2) it would have a negative impact on home values. The owner of the property where the solar farm was proposed is now appealing the case. The litigation has been funded solely by volunteer homeowner contributions thus far, but we are wondering if our homeowners’ association could legally help defray some of the costs as the appeal progresses. At this point our HOA board is of the opinion that they cannot help us because the site of the dispute (the solar farm) lies outside our community. Can you offer guidance?
A: HOAs are often engaged, willingly or unwillingly, in legal…
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Successful HOAs promise security for the residents. However, protecting an entire neighborhood is difficult, and it can be easy to get caught by pitfalls. Check out these three common security mistakes for associations, and learn some tips on how to avoid them.
Failing to Perform Audits
A neighborhood can seem safe on the surface, but when examined more closely, there are many danger areas. Routine audits help identify and eliminate these trouble zones. Some communities may think that one audit is enough, but that isn’t the case. Criminals evolve, and so should the HOA’s security measures. Taking routine audits throughout the year helps spot these vulnerable areas. Once identified, the board and association manager can take the necessary steps to implement new security measures.
Not Getting the Community Involved
The actual community is the number one resource an HOA has when it comes to security, so it’s a huge mistake…
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Solar power is growing in popularity, and as more and more people want to take advantage of this money-saving, environmentally-friendly power, HOAs are changing their perceptions and allowing homeowners to install solar panels. Check out some of the benefits of solar power and which panels are the best for homes.
Solar panels allow homeowners to use a renewable energy source that cannot be abused because no one can own the sun. Panels may be expensive, but once they are paid for, the savings skyrocket because the sunlight is free. Plus, solar panels are great for the environment. Solar energy is a completely clean energy. There is no byproduct, so users reduce their carbon footprint and help protect the environment for future generations.
Solar Panel Options:
At 16 percent, this solar panel isn’t the most efficient solar panel. It is, however, very durable and is…
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