• Governor Brown Signs “Clean Up” Legislation for Revised Davis-Stirling Act

    Governor Brown Signs “Clean Up” Legislation for Revised Davis-Stirling Act

    California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed SB 745 into law. The bill is a multi-issue omnibus bill, and as to community associations primarily acts to “clean up” some issues related to the reorganizing of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, which becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2014. As enacted in 2012, AB 805 reorganized and […]

     
  • Should associations articulate the reason for denying a proposed renter or purchaser?

    Should associations articulate the reason for denying a proposed renter or purchaser?

    Many associations have the authority under their governing documents to scrutinize proposed leasing and sales transactions and to issue an approval or denial in connection with same.  Boards are often advised that it is safer to simply say tha...

     
  • Could academic principles transform private residential communities?

    Could academic principles transform private residential communities?

    My husband and I just returned from dropping off our daughter for her freshman year of college at a very beautiful school with a rigorous undergraduate business program. While we were bracing ourselves for the flood of emotions associated with droppi...

     
  • Buying Votes?

    Buying Votes?

    QUESTION: Our board is doing a rewrite of our bylaws and CC&Rs. My problem is that they are offering $5 gift cards to those who return their ballots. Is it legal to use HOA funds in this way? ANSWER: Yes it is legal. Doing so is not the same as buying votes. Instead, it is […]

     
  • Bank awarded fees after condominium association pushes too far!

    Bank awarded fees after condominium association pushes too far!

    On August 14, 2013, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal ruled that a bank which had taken title to two condominium units was entitled to its attorney's fees from a condominium association just as any other condominium owner would be pursuant to S...

     
  • Christina Ciceron

    Christina Ciceron

    I am pleased to announce that attorney Christina Ciceron has joined Adams Kessler. Christina is a seasoned association attorney who is a rising star in our industry. HOA Counsel. Prior to joining our firm, Christina was a partner in a firm specializing in both homeowner association general counsel work and construction defect litigation. In addition […]

     
  • Community associations and property insurance: many questions, many concerns.

    Community associations and property insurance: many questions, many concerns.

    Last Thursday, I was fortunate to participate on a panel at State Senator Eleanor Sobel's request to discuss property insurance issues at the Hallandale Beach City Hall. Joining me on the panel were: Robin Smith Westcott, Florida's Insurance Consu...

     
  • No Lawyers Allowed

    No Lawyers Allowed

    A recent case sheds light on whether members can bring their lawyers to board meetings. The Isla Verde Association is located in Solana Beach, just north of San Diego. Gregg and Janet Short moved into the Association and wanted to remodel their home. The Association disapproved their scope of construction. So they hired a lawyer. […]

     
  • Where does your condominium, cooperative or HOA board hold its meetings?

    Where does your condominium, cooperative or HOA board hold its meetings?

    All the shared ownership statutes provide that association members have the right to attend meetings of the board, certain committee meetings and, naturally, the annual membership meeting. However, the statutes don’t specify a particular place where those meetings must be held.
    The Florida Condominium Act states that the annual meeting must take place within 45 miles of the condominium property but other than that, the statutes don’t provide much guidance about wise or convenient choices for meeting venues.  Sometimes, an association’s governing documents will specify where meetings must be held. However, if the documents do not, boards would be well advised to give some due consideration to the location selected. After all, the goal should be to encourage, not discourage, attendance and participation at your meetings.
    Here are some of the locations I’ve seen used over the years for association meetings:
    • The community’s clubhouse: this one is a logical choice. However, please be sure the lights and air conditioning work. Believe it or not, I once attended a meeting in a clubhouse with no electricity.
    • Director’s home or unit: this one is more problematic as the size of the residence could pose a problem depending on how large the potential turnout. Some people would also not feel comfortable attending a meeting in a director’s home if they happen to be feuding with that particular director.
    • Management company: this location is usually selected when the board fears a meeting might get out of hand. Boards contemplating using this venue should consider the costs, if any, involved to do so and the inconvenience factor depending on the office location.
    • Attorney’s office: See above.
    • House of worship: this choice can be uncomfortable for those association members who are of a different faith.
    • Library:  usually a good choice so long as it is close to the community.
    • Denny’s:  yes, I once attended a board meeting at a Denny’s. It was neither convenient nor tasty.
    • Pool deck: this could be a delightful choice during our gorgeous winter months in Florida but being outside in our steamy summer months could very well mean fewer folks showing up. The reverse is true for our northern neighbors selecting meeting venues.
    • Under a tree: yes, in one HOA, the board selected a large oak tree in one of the community’s parks as the place where meetings should be held. While it had a certain amount of charm, there were weather, seating and bug issues.
    • Rooftop:  one of our cooperative clients routinely held meetings on their roof which was beautifully finished in a garden-like setting. However, a couple in the building was afraid of the height and complained relentlessly about the meeting location until it was changed.
    So where does your board hold its meetings? Is the locale selected for your convenience or the members?  Is any thought given to the room temperature, time of the meeting, available bathroom facilities and other factors that might influence whether or not people look forward to attending?
    Meetings should be an opportunity for your board to shine. Why not design them to showcase your hard work by encouraging maximum attendance and participation with a little thoughtful planning in advance?




     
  • Film Shoots

    Film Shoots

    QUESTION: Our board is considering renting our common area for film shoots. We have done this twice in the past with disastrous results of massive intrusion and abuse of our lovely pools and clubhouse, and cars and trucks and food preparation and consumption. We own 1/240th of the common areas. We are nonprofit also! Does […]