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TIPS TO AVOID SELECTIVE RULES ENFORCEMENT 
HOW TO BEGIN ENFORCING RULES AFTER THE PREVIOUS BOARD IGNORED THEM. 

BY FRANK SIMONE

CAHDec600pxSelectiveRules.jpgOne of the most challenging aspects of effectively managing a condominium or homeowners association is dealing with board member turnover and, as a result, inconsistency in rule enforcement. When members decide to run, they often do so because they feel the current leadership is not doing a good job, including on rule enforcement. However, due to a board's failure to act, a newly elected board attempting to right the ship by enforcing the association's bylaws may find itself having to respond to selective enforcement defenses, and this creates a problem.

How can boards avoid the selective enforcement defense?

    • Provide written notice. Inform all members that on a certain date, the association will begin enforcing the restriction.
    • Grandfather current members. If the restriction involves permanent or semi-permanent matters, such as balcony enclosures or pet ownership, then prior violators may need to be grandfathered. However, if proper notice is provided, the association may enforce the restriction against future violators.
    • Begin enforcement. If the restriction involves temporary matters, such as parking violations or amenity use, then the association may begin enforcing that restriction uniformly once proper notice is given.

If your association is concerned whether it is interpreting or enforcing its rules and regulations properly, you should reach out to your association attorney and consult with your community manager.

Frank Simone is general counsel of KW Property Management & Consulting, a Miami-based property management company.

>>Read more about selective rules enforcement.

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how to handle troublesome tenants 
Steps community associations can take to safeguard residents.

by judyann lee, esq.

What actions should an association take to deal with problem tenants?

A homeowners association's covenants act as a contract with its owners. A tenant has no contract with the association. The tenant's contract is the lease with the owner or landlord. Any violation of the association's governing documents by the tenant has to be enforced by the association against the owner, who in turn must enforce the lease, assuming a violation of the governing documents is a breach of the lease.

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There are several steps an association can take to combat this kind of bad behavior.

  • Require the owner or landlord to include compliance with the association's governing documents in the lease, and require all owners to provide their tenants with a copy of the governing documents.
  • Require owners to provide the association with a copy of all leases, along with contact information for the absentee landlord.
  • Enact a policy that allows the association to collect the rent from the tenant for any amounts owed to the association, if the governing documents and state laws allow it.
  • Require all leases to contain a provision that authorizes the association to evict problem tenants if the landlord refuses to do so, if the governing documents and state laws allow it.

The association must carefully document complaints, notify an owner of his or her tenant's violations and demand that the landlord take prompt steps to correct them, conduct hearings, issue fines, and evict problem tenants if it has the authority to do so. Failure to take these steps could lead to a lawsuit against the association.

Judyann Lee is an attorney at McMillan Metro, P.C. in Potomac, Md.

>>Read more about handling troublesome tenants.​


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post responsibly 
avoid legal risks and negative effects of social media in your community. 

CAHDec600pxSocialMedia.jpgPlatforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor, as well as websites, online newsletters, and email blasts, allow community associations to facilitate communication between homeowners, provide real-time updates, and give members the ability to offer instant feedback to the board.

At the same time, social media can be abused by users through practices such as cyberbullying, defamation, and invasion of privacy, says attorney Katrina Solomatina of Berding & Weil in Walnut Creek, Calif.​

Adopting a social media policy can allow communities to assign responsibility over its use and minimize abusive practices, Solomatina notes.

It's important for communities to determine who will manage and update social media platforms, who will monitor and respond to comments, who can control or remove content, who can post, and what type of content is prohibited. Community associations should adopt a policy that covers the above.

When an association operates a closed group or discussion board, like Nextdoor, for residents, Solomatina recommends a user policy.

>>View the user policy terms.

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don't have a combustible christmas
protect your tree, protect your home. 

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  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire. Look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don't break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn't be shedding its needles readily.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety. Throw out any damaged lights.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement. Be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture, and décor.
  • Bedtime means lights off! Turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.​
  • When your tree begins to drop its needles, it's time to say goodbye until next year. 


American Christmas Tree Association


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EVENT | JAN. 15–​18​ | LAS VEGAS

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR LAW SEMINAR

CAI's Community Association Law Seminar is the industry's premier event exploring case law and emerging trends impacting the community association housing model. It is brought to you by the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), the most respected group of community association law professionals in the world. The Law Seminar is the leading national law conference for attendees earning their state MCLE requirements, CIRMS and Insurance CEU credentials. [Register Here]​​

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EVENT | JUNE 10–​13​ | HOLLYWOOD, FLA. 

2020 cai annual conference and exposition: community now 

Registration is now open! Come discover worldwide trends and issues shaping community associations at the leading event for community association managers, management companies, business professionals, and homeowner volunteer leaders. Learn how to apply new ideas and strategies as soon as you get home.

We know the future is unpredictable, so let Community NOW give you the education you need today that sets you up for success tomorrow. ​​[Register Here]​​

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