HOA, Condo, Co-op Policy News Links (Oct 2016)

Shared By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities



Short-term rentals are a contentious issue in some Association-Governed Communities. It seems that neighborhoods are divided between investor-owners who want positive cash flow and owner-occupants who want peace, quiet, and familiar neighbors. But if you purchase property in a resort community or a hot vacation destination, isn’t it unrealistic to expect a truly residential neighborhood? And with housing costs so out of control, it’s hard to blame homeowners for taking on the occasional AirBnB or VRBO guest to supplement their incomes.

New Arizona Law Could Affect Homeowner Associations



This lawsuit makes clear that, in the state of Indiana, a simple majority of your neighbors can impose the obligations of an Owners Association on you, like it or not, by way of amending Covenants that run with the land.

COA orders couple to pay fees to lot owner’s association

Oliva Covington, Indiana Lawyer

The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a couple to pay a Bartholomew County lot owner’s association $6,000 in assessment fees despite the couple’s claim that they are not members of the association.

In the case of Marvin Hamilton and Linda Hamilton v. Schaefer Lake Lot Owners Association, Inc., 03A05-1511-SC-1906, Marvin and Linda Hamilton challenged the Bartholomew Superior Court’s order to pay a total of $6,000 to the Schaefer Lake Lot Owners Association, a homeowners association for property owners on Schaefer Lake in the town of Hope.

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Some in the community management industry have voiced opposition to HUD’s new rule. Others applaud it. Here is one attorney’s summary of an Association’s obligations to address discriminatory behavior related to Fair Housing Law. No, the sky is not falling. Since an Association-Governed Community can fine a resident for not keeping the trash can in the garage, or hanging unauthorized holiday decorations on the condo unit’s door, why not take similar action to stop discrimination?



The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has adopted new regulations regarding discrimination in condominium and homeowners association that will impact a board’s obligations and potential liability in certain owner disputes.

Under the new regulations, Associations may be liable under the Fair Housing Act for the discriminatory actions of residents who harass or create a hostile environment for other residents.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits harassment in housing and housing-related transactions against a person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status. The protections provided by the Fair Housing Act apply to an owner’s use and enjoyment of their home.

Under the new regulations—which became effective as of October 14, 2016—an Association may be liable for “Failing to take prompt action to correct and end a discriminatory housing practice by a third-party, where the [the Association] knew or should have known of the discriminatory conduct and had the power to correct it.” For the purposes of this rule, the third-party can be another owner or resident in the association.

Read more here.


Maryland statute now requires additional sale disclosure documents, and puts a cap on fees that can be charged for those disclosures – $250, plus an additional $100 for rush charges. Small steps in the right direction.

Maryland Condo and HOA Resale Disclosure Law Revised

Thomas Schild law Grop LLC

New resale disclosure requirements for Maryland condominiums and homeowner associations apply beginning October 1, 2016. Condos will now be required to provide prospective purchasers with the current reserve study report or a summary of the report, and a statement of the status and amount of any reserve or replacement fund. There are also changes regarding disclosure of unsatisfied judgments against the condominium and pending lawsuits to which the condominium is a party.

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This amendment was predictable, because CAI LACs have been successfully undoing open meeting legislation in other states, beginning with Florida. The problem with holding these discussion meetings in private and by email is that there is no required record of these workshops. Only the motion and vote is required to take place at an open meeting. But that further reduces transparency for owners.

New law loosens restrictions on community association board meetings

By Pamela Dittmer McKuen, Chicago Tribune

For community associations, change is afoot.

New legislation will ease some of the restrictions on how board members conduct their affairs, allowing them to convene privately for an expanded number of reasons starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Both the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Common Interest Community Association Act were amended by Public Act 099-0567 to allow closed meetings to discuss the following: probable or pending litigation, third-party contracts and employment issues, violations of the rules and regulations of the association and an owner’s unpaid share of common expenses. Boards also may interview prospective employees and contractors and consult with the association’s attorney.

The current law allows boards to discuss only litigation, employment, rules violations and delinquent owner accounts in closed meetings — sometimes called executive sessions — that take place within the framework of a properly noticed meeting open to all owners. That is, the board calls an open meeting, recesses for the closed session, and then reassembles for the open session.

With the new legislation, boards can meet at any time to discuss the sanctioned issues. They can communicate in person, on the telephone or via email. However, like the current legislation, the amended version requires all voting be done in open meetings.

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