Preventing delinquencies is a common goal for most associations. Likewise, collecting from delinquent owners is a requirement from time to time. Communicating the association’s collection strategy to all owners is key in preventing delinquencies in the first place.
Question: We have a member who is delinquent in their association maintenance fees. The Board feels bad for the owner and their current situation. We want to make a hardship exception for this individual. Can we make a hardship exception for this owner to delay payments or to waive late fees?
The attorney-client relationship protects communications between lawyers and their clients from disclosure. Attorney-client privilege exists so that clients and their lawyers can speak openly and honestly about issues that the client faces. In a lawsuit the privilege is important because it protects clients from disclosing information that could be potentially damaging
As attorneys, our job is to help associations stay out of the courtroom. We do this by practicing proactive lawyering and helping associations develop a risk management team to help keep unwanted litigation to a minimum. Every association should have a team of professionals on its side, including attorneys, insurance agents, bankers, and accountants. But even the most well-run association can be slapped with a lawsuit from a disgruntled owner or vendor. Using an association’s team of experts when a lawsuit comes in is key to successfully defending any claims of wrongdoing
At associations where pets are prohibited, or that have certain restrictions with regard to pets, many Boards are faced with requests from owners to have service animals or emotional support animals. Often, Boards will ask: Do we have to allow this? Is the animal allowed everywhere in our Association? What kind of medical professional must certify that the animal is needed?
Dealing with delinquent owners can be trying for many associations. Even with a proper collection policy, it is sometimes the case that the monthly late fees added to their account do not motivate delinquent owners to pay on time.
Taking enforcement action against a neighbor is never pleasant; however, it can become particularly burdensome when pets are involved. It is a Board member’s duty to enforce the governing documents, and some violations can be relatively easy to address (including failure to leash or clean up after a pet).
As your legal counsel, we become part of your team, providing the legal component to your business decisions.