Reality TV and Community Associations

Reality TV and Community Associations

With the plethora of reality TV shows involving home renovations and real estate searches, your association may be asked to sign an agreement to allow a production company to film your community.

Since most governing documents grant the owners the right of ingress and egress over the common areas for access to the unit, an association may not be able to prohibit the film crew from filming in the owner’s unit. However, without an agreement, the film crew may be limited in its ability to feature the recreational facilities, or the common areas, or use the name of the association. As you can expect, most of these agreements are one-sided in favor of the production company. Therefore, you will want to have your association attorney review any such agreement before signing.

One of the issues with these types of agreements is that they typically require that the agreement remain confidential. That is a problem for community associations because the agreement would be considered an official record and subject to inspection by any owner. Also, the agreement would have to be approved at a board meeting, and there would be no legal reason for such a meeting to be closed. Therefore, the confidentiality provision should be closely reviewed. Other important provisions to review (as with all contracts entered into by an association) are the insurance and indemnification provisions. It is also not uncommon for these agreements to require that any litigation be in California, rather than Florida.

While the association may believe that the publicity of being featured on such a show would be favorable, the board will need to weigh the benefits with the liability that may arise and the unfavorable nature of the production agreements.