Declaration Amendment – Sometimes There is No Other Way to Accomplish Something

A unit owner sought to expand their unit by building additional living space on the roof of the association. The declaration, like all declarations, defined the various units and their locations. Unlike many declarations, this one allowed top floor unit owners to expand their units on the roof of the building. Expanding a unit would, by definition, take common element and convert it into unit space. Although almost everyone involved would rather have avoided amending the declaration to allow the build-out on the roof, the Husch Blackwell Condominium & HOA Law Team strongly advised against simply allowing the construction as it would potentially give rise to a number of possible claims against the association board, the unit owner who was seeking the expansion, and the association. In the end, the unit owner’s attorney and the association were able to agree upon the language needed to amend the declaration to the ultimate benefit of all (the roof unit could be built and the other unit owners would pay lower assessments as their percentage interest was reduced as a result of the additional square footage in the association).    Read the article…………..

When Things Go Bad – Dealing With the Press

In Associations sometimes things go bad. Despite all of the very best intentions and efforts someone gets hurt or is rightfully offended. Worse yet, at times the press because of either the newsworthiness of the story or a relationship between the reporter and the allegedly aggrieved party, decides to become involved. In those instances you need to know how to handle yourself. Here are some basics of what you need to know:      Read the article…………….

FEMA Publishes Guidance for Handling Flood Losses

In September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Hurricane Harvey and Irma claim handling process for buildings insured under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP), specifically recognizing that catastrophic flooding from those storms demands “fast and accurate payments to all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders.   Read the article……………….

HOA Governance: The Pros and Cons of an HOA Rental Cap

The policies of any HOA are sometimes a touchy subject because, at any one time, homeowners are simultaneously responsible for and subject to the rules set out by their home owner’s association. There are a number of perfectly normal policies that are put into place like a stylistic agreement to keep the neighborhood looking nice and everyone’s property values going in the right direction. However, problems sometimes arise when a particular policy favors the homeowners who moved in (and began voting) first and limits the actions of those who joined the neighborhood and HOA later on. One of these common but highly contested policies is the HOA Rental Cap.     Read the article……………..

Maintaining your storm water management pond

Storm water management ponds – either detention, retention or a combination of both – are designed to collect storm water and filter out pollutants before it infiltrates the ground. However, to ensure your storm water pond works at its optimal level, regular maintenance is required. Responsibility for maintenance of these ponds can vary. If you have a Homeowner’s Association or business agreement, that may spell out who is responsible for maintenance. If you’re still unsure who is responsible, contact your community’s public works or engineering department.    Read the article…………..

How Enhancement Matching Grant Programs can Benefit Your HOA

There are always improvements that need to be made around the property covered by your homeowner’s association. In some cases, however, low-income areas or a lack of attention to those improvements over several years can lead to big needs that the homeowners association budget simply isn’t able to cover alone. For these areas and projects, matching grant programs are a great way to get the job done and make the neighborhood look great again.     Read the article…………….

They gave their daughter a cute mailbox – and ended up in a 3-year legal battle (PA)

You know who didn’t appreciate the Tigger mailbox? Members of the Laurel Oaks Homeowners Association that oversees the Bucks County neighborhood that the Webers call home.  It so riled the association that the battle over a cute mailbox ended up in court in 2014. Not only that but, earlier this month, arguments in the still-languishing case was heard by a trio of Commonwealth Court judges.    Read the article……………

Cordray pleads directly with Trump to save CFPB’s arbitration rule

“Many have told me I am wasting my time writing this letter – that your mind is made up and that your advisors have already made their intentions clear,” Cordray told Trump in a letter. “But you are a smart man, and I think we both know what is really happening here.”