As association attorneys we are in need of the governing documents in order to answer questions posed by the board or the manager. Frequently we have those documents in that association’s file if we regularly represent that association. We do need to keep up to date on any changes in the rules and regulations or architectural guidelines which may be made without our input or review. Of course, we do believe it is a good investment for associations to allow us to review proposed rule or guideline changes before implementing to insure enforceability.
We have found that managers and board members who have not had any experience with the process of obtaining FHA project approval have unrealistic expectations about the processing time.In this edition we let you know the “ins and outs” of the application for such approval. We handle both initial applications and recertifications and there is a significant difference.
Q: We are a self managed association and members often ask for copies of records such as financial data and minutes of meetings. Often they ask for minutes before they are approved. One request is for our contract with the landscaper. We don’t feel that all these requests are appropriate.
I understand that at this time all associations are required to have a complaint procedure in place in order for their members to be able to let the CIC Board know of issues they have with their association. I also know that the Annual Report form requires an Association to state whether or not it has a complaint procedure. What is the consequence if an association fails to comply after getting the DPOR’s letter about non-compliance when they have checked “no” on the Annual Report?
As you may be aware we have obtained FHA Project Approval for a number of condominium communities. Some have not been able to submit applications because they were unable to meet all the criteria imposed by FHA.
We are pleased to report that recently we got word that finally FHA has relented on several of the troublesome application issues that CAI and others have been working on. FHA modified the Certification so that the signer no longer certifies that they will advise FHA of any changes in circumstances that would disqualify the project after approval. FHA substituted “to the best of my knowledge” at the appropriate spot where it used to be unqualified. The penalty for false statements remains. It has been and remains my opinion that proof of intent or gross negligence would be required. Enforcement would be rare, as you can well imagine, given the shortage of resources available to pursue such in the great scheme of things….probably way behind Medicare fraud. This was a great breakthrough achieved primarily by the relentless pursuit of it by the Government Affairs Office of the Community Associations Institute.
Q: We are a self managed association and members often ask for copies of records such as financial data and minutes of meetings. Often they ask for minutes before they are approved. One request is for our contract with the landscaper. We don’t feel that all these requests are appropriate. What do we have to provide to our owners?
I have a contract on my Virginia condo to close next week. After the contract was signed, a special assessment was voted on and passed. The first due date for the assessment is after the closing.
The contract says "Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, Seller will pay any special assessments and will comply with all orders or notices of violations of any county or local authority, condominium unit owners’ association, homeowners’ or property owners’ association or actions in any court on account thereof, against or affecting the Property on the Settlement Date."
The title agency is saying that because the special assessment was passed before the closing I must pay the whole assessment. Is this the correct interpretation of the above language from the contract? I will pay it if I have to, but as it is not even due until after the settlement date; I would like to confirm.
HERE ARE FIVE WAYS that boards can minimize collection-related legal fees and maximize collectability:
Since the virtual collapse of secondary market financing options for the purchase and refinance of condominium units occurred several years ago, it is more important than ever for Condominium projects to obtain certification from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Veterans Administration (VA) and Fannie Mae. FHA and VA currently account for an overwhelming majority of the available financing options for condominium units in today’s market.
Q. Our association is fairly new and we have just taken over control from the developer. I have been elected Treasurer and want to make sure we are doing all of the steps necessary to manage the Association’s finances. One of my major concerns is collection of delinquent assessments. We are not a large Association and almost everyone knows everyone else. We have just a few who are always behind and a couple who are way behind. I don’t want to be the bad guy, but I also know that everyone must pay their dues. Can you make some suggestions that will get us on the right track?