We are receiving many requests for advice from associations with indoor facilities asking whether they should close their indoor facilities due to the recent surge of the Omicron variant. In providing our advice we rely on publicly available data. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) reports on COVID rates over 7- and […]Read More
How to Easily Update Your Community’s Investment Policy
The Coronavirus pandemic has been with us for almost two years and its impact on the financial market has many community associations asking: “how can we reasonably obtain a greater return on our capital reserve fund investments?” Many community associations’ investment capabilities are limited by their governing documents to deposits in an interest-bearing savings account […]Read More
5 feet or 10 feet, Which Is It? The Confusion Within the New Jersey Fire Code Regarding Portable Propane BBQ Grills
Everyone enjoys a good BBQ, and making sure they are safe should be a priority for any board in a community association. In the mid 2000’s, community associations throughout New Jersey saw a flurry of rule adoptions to comply with the New Jersey Fire Code at the time, which generally prohibited portable propane BBQ grills […]Read More
The Radburn Act and Amending the Bylaws
Q: The governing documents require approval of two-thirds of the owners in order to amend. Our board of trustees is indicating that we need to modernize our governing documents to comply with the Radburn Law. It is my understanding that this only needs to be done if the required votes for amendment is in excess […]Read More
5 Essential Dos and Don’ts of Great Managers
Dos Keep your Board educated concerning emerging trends. Board members aren’t tied the latest cases, legislation, and changes that impact their roles as board members. Many allied professionals – attorneys, accountants, engineers, insurance agents – will send emails or links to posts about important new issues in their fields. Great managers take the time to […]Read More
Part III: Who Pays When Causation, Claims and Coverage Cross?
Part Three of a Three-Part series: The leak came from another unit, how is it my responsibility? In week one of our three-part series, we learned that the association is generally not responsible for property damage in a unit barring some negligence on its part or available insurance coverage. Last week, we examined the types […]Read More
Part II: Who Pays When Causation, Claims and Coverage Cross?
Part Two of a Three-Part series: They are responsible, shouldn’t their insurance carrier provide coverage? Last week in part one of our series, “Who pays when causation, claims and coverage cross?” we discussed responsibility for property damage. We learned that responsibility is not as simple as determining “where the leak came from.” Indeed, responsibility for […]Read More
Part I: Who Pays When Causation, Claims and Coverage Cross?
Part One of a Three-Part series: My oriental carpet was damaged by a roof leak; shouldn’t the association pay for the cost to replace my carpet? The answer is, “it depends.” Having insurance does not always equate to a legal responsibility for damage caused (or repairs necessitated). Likewise, a legal responsibility for damage or repairs […]Read More
Fear Not the Dreaded Legal Fees: Part Two
Very often boards of condominiums and other community associations hesitate to engage in litigation against unit owners who fail to pay common expense assessments due to fear of the legal expense. In addressing this concern, I often advise boards that likely if you do nothing, you will receive nothing. In New Jersey legal fees are recoverable against non-paying […]Read More
What’s In Your Policy…Is Your Coop or Condo Ready for NYC Smoking Rules?
Last August, New York City enacted Local Law 147 which requires owners of class A multiple dwellings to adopt and disclose a smoking policy. Although touted as a disclosure policy, there are several requirements that owners need to be aware of since the law takes effect this August. Under the law, the definition of owner includes the […]Read More
FDCPA & Debts That Can Cause Despair
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) 15 U.S.C.A. § 1692, et seq. applies to attorneys engaged in the collection of debt for community associations. The language contained in demand letters is a frequent source of FDCPA litigation. Liability is often imposed based on certain words contained in or omitted from the letter. Damages recoverable […]Read More
Let No Man Put Us Under
In a decision dated, May 8, 2018, approved for publication, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that N.J.S.A. 46:3-17.4, precludes an unsecured creditor from forcing the partition of real property owned by a debtor and a non-debtor spouse as tenants by the entirety not used a martial residence. Raul Augustin Jimenez, et als. v. Raul Anibal […]Read More
Q&A: Barking Dog – Please Help!
Q: Our community has a resident who leaves their unattended, large service dog on the balcony. The dog barks once or twice every time it sees anyone walk by. This goes on all day and evening. The tenant is a renter and efforts to have them keep the dog inside have failed. Please help! A: […]Read More
Becker New Jersey Community Update
Becker Merges With New Jersey Community Association, Construction Litigation Law Firm The firm is pleased to announce its merger with the Law Offices of Arnold J. Calabrese, a New Jersey-based community association and construction litigation law firm. The merger adds two attorneys – Arnold J. Calabrese and Karl T. Meth – to Becker’s Morristown, NJ, office. Calabrese and Meth, […]Read More
UPDATE: Recent Clarifications from the New Jersey Department of Health on the Amendments to the Public Recreational Bathing Code
In our most recent blog post, we responded to a reader considering eliminating the lifeguard at their pool. This is something that many communities have considered doing this pool season as a result of the amendments to the Public Recreational Bathing Code, N.J.A.C. 8:26-1 (the “Code”), particularly the requirement that facilities with pools larger than 2,000 square feet […]Read More
Q&A: Amendments to the New Jersey Public Recreational Bathing Code and the Effects on Your Community Association
Q: Our association is considering eliminating the lifeguard at our pool. Do we need to do anything other than post “swim at your own risk” signs? A: Many communities throughout the State of New Jersey are giving serious consideration to eliminating the lifeguard at their pool in light of the amendments to the Public Recreational Bathing […]Read More
Q&A: Handling a Homeowner Request to Review Counsel’s Invoices
Q: A resident is demanding copies of attorney invoices, but aren’t these subject to the attorney-client privilege? A: The simple answer is: it depends. While “it depends” is not the most satisfyingly complete answer, owners generally have a right to see our invoices. However, when an invoice pertains to or contains attorney-client privileged information, your counsel should […]Read More
Q&A: Board Member Confidentiality Agreements
Q: Can board members adopt a policy requiring all members of the Board to execute a confidentiality agreement? A: While there is no New Jersey case law directly on point, the likely answer is that with respect to material that is confidential, the governing board of a common interest community may adopt […]Read More
Q&A: Charging for Copies of Financial Documents
Q: Is there a limit how much we can charge to pull, provide and copy requested paperwork? Can we make a profit? A: Yes, there is a limit to the amount a condominium association can charge its residents to provide copies of records the association is required to keep open to inspection by its […]Read More
Hudson County Court Distinguishes Controversial Palisades Decision
On December 7, 2017, a Hudson County Superior Court Judge, in the matter of Grandview II at Riverwalk Port Imperial Condominium Association, Inc. v. K. Hovnanian at Port Imperial Urban Renewal III, LLC, et al, Docket No. HUD-L-2839-14 (“Grandview II”), denied summary judgment to an architect retained by the developer who argued that the statute of […]Read More
Q&A: Access to Financial Documents
Q: How often do HOAs need to provide financial reports that include a balance sheet, receipts for work contacted and bank statements to the contributing members? A: It is not readily apparent from the question whether the reader is asking on behalf of a condominium association, or a homeowner’s association, as many use the term “HOA” interchangeably. […]Read More
Did the New Jersey Supreme Court Reduce the Time for a Common Interest Community to Assert Construction Defect Claims?
On September 14, 2017 the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a long anticipated decision in the matter of The Palisades at Fort Lee Condominium Association, Inc., v. 100 Old Palisade, LLC (“Palisades”). The decision may have an immediate impact on recently constructed condominiums, or those to be constructed in the future, that have construction deficiencies. While innately fact-driven […]Read More
Does Your Homeowners Association Have Adult Only Swims
Did you know that adult only swims in homeowner associations can be discriminatory? The Federal Fair Housing Act [the “Act”] prohibits policies that discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services, or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, […]Read More
Q&A: Enforcement of Violations
Q: One resident constantly complains about another resident who is in violation of a HOA rule. As a board we are aware of the violation but allow the situation because of the personal situation involved. We have communicated to the complaining resident we do not wish to discuss why we allow this violation. Do […]Read More
Q&A: Mandatory Evacuation During a Hurricane?
Q: Can we order our residents to evacuate our association in cases of things like hurricanes? Does a state emergency order play a role? If the state orders a mandatory evacuation can we fine residents who remain? A: Generally, if the State or local authorities have not issued an evacuation order, the answer […]Read More