An association is not authorized to share, distribute or publish private information to the public relating to its members.

For most states, nonprofit codes will advise what personal contact records an association is required to keep, but this information should never be voluntarily distributed to third parties without member consent.

The risk is that an association cannot control how released contact information will be handled. Third parties could easily use this information to make deals for advertising purposes, to release private ownership information, or to jeopardize the member’s safety.

Member information should always be presented as an opt-in scenario, in which the members can take affirmative steps to share their information, instead of an opt-out in which the information is given by the association, and members have to take steps to remove that information.

To learn more, click here.

Litigation by unit owners against condo associations is fairly common. Regardless of the claims’ merit, boards often find themselves having to expend significant resources to defend against claims or to avoid potential litigation. However, recent case law may help reduce the number of meritless claims that associations have to defend against.

In 1618 Sheridan Rd. Condominium Association v. Marshall Spiegel, a Cook County Circuit judge imposed a $1 million sanction against a lawyer and his client for filing a frivolous lawsuit. This penalty against the owner may help to deter other frivolous lawsuits.

Additionally, in Georgia Peters v. The Royalton Condominium Homes, Inc. the court refused to set a precedent that would require associations to exercise a higher standard to discover defects or dangers on their property. In this case, a member of an association was struck by another member's vehicle in the parking lot. It seemed like a simple personal injury case, until the Plaintiff raised 18 allegations of negligence against the association.

The Plaintiff claimed the association failed to properly address safety concerns in a parking lot. The court found that the Plaintiff “was in the best position to prevent the injury and placing a burden on the defendant to guard against the negligence of others ‘would place an intolerable burden on society.’”

While associations should always act to mitigate any potential safety issues on community property, this decision may help to prevent them from being held to unreasonable standards.

To learn more, click here.

 

Generally, common expenses must be assessed against all owners. However, a dog pickup service is an example of a common expense that only applies to specific owners.

While all owners would benefit from a pet waste free living space, it does not make sense to charge all owners, or even, all pet owners.

Charging dog owners for certain expenses can be complicated, especially when owners’ dogs will vary in number, size, and duration of stay in the building. Calculating charges could quickly become messy. 

The best approach is to encourage responsible pet ownership by providing easy access doggy pickup bags and disposal containers.

Read more here

This Saturday, September 14th, Haus Financial Services Owner, Lauren Peddinghaus, is co-presenting a seminar for condo owners and prospective owners. 

If you own a condo, or are interested in purchasing one, attend this seminar to learn:

  • How unpaid assessments and owner foreclosures, bankruptcies and tax liens may affect your association.
  • Get an overview of the various options for addressing these issues in your association.
  • Discover strategies for determining the best action plan to protect your investment without breaking the bank.

To learn more, click here

 

A recent news story investigated how Chicago businessman, Michael Lazarus, is buying up several units in a Lakeview condo building. This has created major upset among long-time owners who may now have to sell their homes for less.

In 2017, this association’s Board of Directors got ride of a rule limiting the ownership of units by a single person, or company, to two. Lazarus now owns 17 units, which is almost 30% of the building.

In an ABC 7 interview about the situation, Haus Financial Services’ owner, Lauren Peddinghaus, explained how the situation affects the value of other units.

She said it is very risky for so many units to be owned by one person or entity. If that entity goes under, the whole building could be compromised.

According to a 2018 report, the share of home sales bought by investors has reached its highest level in 20 years. Community associations are facing an imminent threat of legislation impacting their ability to adopt and enforce rental restrictions on real estate investment companies buying up homes.

As a results, community associations should start having conversations now about adopting rental restrictions.

To learn more, click here.

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