Prepared by KO lawyer’s Community Association, Club and Resort Law legal team, consisting of Joshua Krut, Scott Hyman and Jami Beasley Watkins. This report will help you find important information relevant to legal developments in the community association industry over the last twelve months.
Please pay special attention to the fire sprinkler retrofit advisory (page 2). In case you are not aware, December 31, 2016 is a very important deadline for certain condominium buildings to opt out of the requirement for the installation of an approved and supervised automatic fire sprinkler system. Failure to comply with this deadline will require certain condominium associations to initiate an application for a building permit demonstrating that the association will become compliant by December 31, 2019. We strongly recommend reviewing this important advisory and immediately retaining a qualified engineer to ensure that the necessary steps are being taken in advance of this New Year’s Eve deadline.
We have also included information on the statutory amendments that did and did not pass (page3). Importantly, all community associations are now required to complete the processing of a service member’s rental application within seven (7) days after submission of the application. Accordingly, all associations will want to review their application and leasing procedures to ensure that they are ready and able to comply with such a quick turnaround time. There were also several interesting amendments that were not passed, involving estoppel certificates and fees, liens for fines, official records, and the Marketable Record Title Act. We have included summaries of these amendments even though they were not passed because the issues contained therein may arise in subsequent legislative sessions, and associations should be aware of the trending issues affecting the industry.
Equally as informative and educational are the case law rulings (page 5) that have been published which affect association operations. You will find that these decisions are generally favorable to community associations, as long as associations take advantage of the guidance set forth in the cases and avoid certain pitfalls by learning from the mistakes suffered by other associations. The cases include valuable lessons for associations as it pertains to foreclosures and confidential communications with property managers.
Finally, we have included information summarizing two important issues affecting associations today. First, we discuss new guidance published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development involving the Fair Housing Act and criminal background checks (page 8). Second, we address the increased scrutiny that many associations have been facing with respect to their high transfer fees (also known as screening fees or application fees), which are used to conduct background checks on applicants (page 10). We hope you find this information useful in ensuring that your community is up to speed on the everchanging dynamics of community association living, and we hope that it helps to ensure that your community continues to be a desirable place to reside. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Our goal is to help you achieve your goals.
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