Becker & Poliakoff

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“A Guide to Community Association Governance in New Jersey” – Community Trends

Living in a community association offers an array of benefits – well-maintained common areas, a sense of community, and shared amenities. However, a smooth-running community association relies on a strong foundation built upon a clear and documented framework called the “governing documents.” This framework, however, can be complex and downright overwhelming at times. The governing […]

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“How to Proactively Utilize Your Community Association Attorney” – Community Trends

Normally, attorneys must be reactive when asked to address an important question, issue, or even a pending lawsuit, so it is a pleasant surprise when attorneys are asked to be proactive and impart their wisdom and advice to our community association clients. Here are a few suggestions for how your community association can proactively utilize […]

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“Searching With My Good Eye Closed: Addressing Mental Illness in Community Associations ” – Community Trends

On December 19, 2022, a 73-year-old resident of a condominium in Toronto, Canada shot and killed five people — including three members of the association board — allegedly over a long-running dispute with the association. According to the police reports and court documents, the resident had for a significant time claimed that vibrations and emissions […]

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“Community Association FAQs: Legal Edition” – Community Trends

As you would probably expect, attorneys get asked a lot of questions. One of the first things they teach you in law school is how to answer every legal question with the standard response: “It depends.” As it turns out, that is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn as a fledgling attorney…

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“Eradicating Discriminatory Covenants in Community Associations” – Community Trends

Senator Troy Singleton introduced legislation that would authorize New Jersey community associations, without the vote of the members/owners, to remove from their documents “any restriction, covenant, or condition that prohibits or limits the conveyance, encumbrance, rental, occupancy, or use of real property” based on race, creed, national origin

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“Planning For A Possible Increase in Delinquencies as a Result of the Pandemic” – Community Trends Magazine

The coronavirus pandemic has been with us for approximately one year and among many unanswered questions is the potential future impact on the ability of community associations to collect monthly maintenance fees. While the majority of communities have not seen a significant increase in delinquencies as a result of the pandemic, there remains concern that […]

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“Code of Ethics: Does Our Community Need One?” – Community Trends Magazine

While some may believe that a “Code of Ethics” or “Code of Conduct” is nothing more than a policy advising fellow owners how to conduct themselves like adults – and, make no mistake, it serves that purpose quite well – every community association needs one. As much as we may hope that common sense and […]

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“The Legalities of Electronic Voting Post-Radburn” – Community Trends

By now, most everyone has heard about the Radburn legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Christie on July 13, 2017. What you may not have known is that until the Radburn legislation became effective, there was no specific statutory authority in New Jersey regarding electronic voting for community associations.

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“New DCA Rules Regarding Benefit Derived and Reserves” – Community Trends Magazine

For decades associations and developers in transition have been plagued by ill-defined concepts embodied in the rules of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) governing the developer’s obligation to pay common expenses for units under development and individually owned “in proportion with the benefit derived by the unit from items included in the […]

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“Does my Community Association Need a Social Media Policy?” – Community Trends

While social media can be an informal and inexpensive way for community associations to increase information and engagement among their residents, association boards must be wary of potential pitfalls and legal risks if that social media presence is poorly managed.

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“Manager vs. Professional” – Community Trends

Scenario: Condo X is a community with lots of families with children. In the summer the association’s large pool is very popular every day of the week. Many of the parents are attentive to their children at the pool. However, some families drop off their children at the pool and leave them there to swim unattended. Other parents stay at the pool but

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“New Jersey Supreme Court Distinguishes Luchejko and Holds Community Association Is Not Immune from Liability for Failure to Clear Ice and Snow from Private Sidewalks” – Community Trends

In August 12, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Qian v. Toll Brothers Inc., that community associations are not immune from liability for their failure to adequately clear snow and ice from sidewalks within the community. The report of this decision in newspapers and by others has caused concern for community associations

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Fiduciary Duty and the Remediation of Construction and Design Defects

The existence of a construction or design defect in a community association gives way to a unique paradox in the nature and scope of the fiduciary duty board members owe to the association and its members. On one hand, the board has a fiduciary duty to maintain and provide for the necessary repairs to the […]

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The FDCPA and Debts That Can Cause Despair: Issues Implicated in Connection with Debt Collection for Community Associations

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692) commonly known and referred as the FDCPA is a federal statute that regulates the conduct of debts collectors in connection with activity to collect consumer debt on behalf of creditors. Although normally associated with and discussed in the context of credit card debt collection and other […]

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Neighboring Tree Threatens Your Community, What Can You Do?

(As originally published in the January 2013, “Restore the Shore” issue of Community Trends, CAI-NJ) In the aftermath of a severe storm you may find that a neighboring property’s tree has fallen on to your community’s property.  Even leaning trees or overhanging branches may create a nuisance; or worse, a potentially hazardous condition.  In the […]

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“Protecting Your Association From Fraud” – Community Trends

If you live in an association — whether it is a condominium, homeowners association or cooperative — protecting your community from fraud should be your number one resolution for 2011. Chances are that someone, somewhere, has unfettered access to your association’s bank accounts, financial records and, most importantly, your money.

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