On Tuesday of this week, H.R. 3700 – Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015 passed out of the U.S House of Representatives, and yesterday it was received in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Why is this significant?
We often get questions about how important it is that a particular notice goes out as required by the Bylaws or the Declaration or a particular policy. Typically, a manager or a board member will call and explain that they’ve been sending out notices a certain way for a number of years (nobody can really remember why, or for how long because the practice pre-dates current management and all of the current board members), but a homeowner just contacted the manager or the board member and said that the notice didn’t comply with the governing documents. How important is that?
Unless Congress decides to not oppose S. 1685, all communities (including condominiums, planned communities and co-ops) could be restricted from disallowing HAM radio towers. S. 1685 is proposed legislation that is scheduled for mark-up in the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, November 18. S. 1685 directs the FCC to adopt rules and regulations that prohibit private land use restrictions (i.e., restrictive covenants) if the restriction: (1) precludes HAM radio communications; (2) fails to reasonably accommodate such communications; or (3) does not constitute the minimum practicable restriction on such communications to accomplish the legitimate purpose of the restrictive covenant.…
We’ve written many times before that community associations are bound by the provisions of the Fair Housing Act. There is a lot of information available about the Fair Housing Act, who it applies to, what it takes to comply, and what the consequences are for failure to comply. Notwithstanding all of the available information, some communities and managers (and apparently their legal counsel) still don’t "get it."
HUD recently announced a decision in connection with a complaint involving familial status. In the case, the association had rule in effect since 1998 known as the "children rule" which prohibited children from playing in the common areas. In July 2011, the association amended the rules to prohibit riding bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, skates and rollerblades; playing; picnicking; and sunbathing in the common areas.
On the cusp of America’s birthday, I get to thinking about our national flag – what it represents, and the emotions it evokes in people throughout the world. We all have our own ideas about these things, and how important it is to demonstrate our allegiance. Some people, while as patriotic as anybody else, prefer to not make outward demonstrations, while others feel strongly about flying the flag. All of which gets me to the role of homeowners associations, and their role in all of this.
Now that S.B. 177 has been killed, it might be useful to talk about what our concerns were with its provisions. We don’t disagree that the process of resolving construction defect claims needs to be corrected. What we oppose is the resolution on the backs of consumer home buyers by effectively taking away their rights to some recourse in the event they suffer from significant defects in the design or construction of their homes.
Following the rule making hearing last week, and much input from industry stakeholders, on March 9, 2015, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) adopted the permanent rules regarding managing licensing, effective upon expiration of the temporary rules on May 6, 2015. You can find the revised rules here: http://cdn.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DORA-DRE/CBON/DORA/1251651466155.
The law firm of Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne, LLP is proud to announce that Molly Foley-Healy has been admitted to the College of Community Association lawyers. Molly is now one of fewer than 150 lawyers nationwide to be admitted to this prestigious organization, and joins Mark Payne as the firm’s second CCAL member. CCAL was established in 1993 by Community Associations Institute (CAI), with membership limited to attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the evolution and practice of community association law. CCAL members are also recognized for their commitment to high standards of professional and ethical conduct.
We all know that everybody hates their homeowners association – or do we? Many people might be surprised, particularly those who do hate their associations and think that everybody thinks the way they do, and maybe our state legislators, who tend to hear the complaints but not the good stories. Whatever the case may be, apparently not everybody hates their homeowners associations – far from it.
A recent survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies finds that 90% of people rate their overall community association experience as positive; 90% of people say the association’s board members "absolutely" or "for the most part" serve the best interests of the community; 92% say they are on friendly terms with their association boards; 83% say their community managers provide value and support to residents and their associations; 88% of residents who had direct contact with their community manager say it was a positive experience. Here is a copy of the survey results.
We get questions about property insurance for community associations all the time – What insurance is the association supposed to carry? What insurance are the owners required to carry? Who pays the deductible under the association’s policy? Are there special coverages that the association should carry, even though it is not required to? These, and a whole host of other insurance questions are the topics of whole books on the issue. We don’t pretend to be experts in insurance – there are insurance professionals (and even some attorneys) who are. But it is probably useful to provide some basic understanding of association insurance coverage. This topic will warrant additional discussion in future blog posts. But for now, here’s some basic information.
As with so many other issues that an association has to deal with, when you need to know what insurance your association must carry, you should review your governing documents. Most of the time the declaration will set out in some detail what the requirements are. However, sometimes we see declarations that simply say that an association will carry the insurance required by CCIOA.