Articles Posted in Current Affairs

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From the Community Association Attorneys at SwedelsonGottlieb

The minimum wage is going up. As a result of a change in the law to take effect on January 1, 2017, the statewide minimum wage will gradually increase over the next six years until it hits $15 per hour. Further, Los Angeles and San Francisco already have their own laws in place to hit this mark even sooner and may see higher increases depending on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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The wage increase will affect an associations existing employees and will likely impact any association’s existing and potential vendor contracts. Roughly one-third of all California employees are paid minimum wage, and many vendors serving associations rely heavily on minimum wage employees. In the past, California has increased the minimum wage by 1-3% annually, but the pending increase represents a 50% rise over six years, which represents a considerable cost for any vendor to absorb. As a result, vendors will undoubtedly pass along their higher labor costs to the associations they serve.

new_leglisation_notice_to_owners_to_provide_contact_information_-_Google_Search.pngBy the Community Association Attorneys at SwedelsonGottlieb.

Starting January 1, 2017, every California community association will be required to ask its members to provide their contact information and property status. New Civil Code § 4041 will require, starting January 1, 2017, that each association must solicit the following information from its members:

1. The mailing address where notices from the association are to be delivered;

fair_housing_harassment_-_Google_Search.pngFrom the Community Association Attorneys at SwedelsonGottlieb

An update to the Fair Housing Act, effective October 14, 2016, clarifies an association’s responsibility to address discriminatory conduct and harassment by its residents. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related services due to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.). Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act

This update to the Fair Housing Act clarifies that an association is directly liable for failing to take prompt action to end any third party’s discriminatory housing practice if the association knew or should have know about it and had the power to correct it. A commentator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stated, “a community association generally has the power to respond to third-party harassment by imposing conditions authorized by the association’s CC&Rs or by other legal authority […].”* Accordingly, an association must take some action to address any alleged discrimination by residents or other people within its authority.

By David Swedelson, Partner at SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

Google_Image_Result_for_http___blogs-images_forbes_com_olliebarder_files_2015_09_pokemon_go_title_jpg.pngHave you noticed some unusual behavior from some association residents lately? You may have seen them walking outside swiping their smartphones. They may have a newfound interest in going to parks. And when they talk, they use unfamiliar words like Pikachu, Snorlax, and Pokéstops. If this sounds familiar, then your residents are into Pokémon GO.

I have heard about this new phenomena, but knew little about it. I saw an article entitled Back In The Race: The Employer’s Guide To Understanding (And Dealing With) Pokemon GO that was directed to law firms and decided to use it as the basis for this blog post as to how Pokemon GO would impact California community associations. (Follow this link to read the article)

By David Swedelson, Partner at SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

communityassociationlawblog_com-Zika_Virus_and_Your_Community_Association__1_page_.png Although the Zika Virus has not yet been found in California, that does not mean that it will not find it’s way here. Florida community association attorney and blogger Donna DiMaggio Berger addresses a community association’s obligation to protect owners and residents from the foreseeable risk of harm from something inside the community and adds the Zika Virus to the list. Maybe we in California should take note. (follow this link to read Donna’s blog)

As Donna states regarding an association’s obligation to protect residents from harm, “[w]hether or not that duty is spelled out in the governing documents, there is the expectation that the association will ensure that residents do not get sucked into a non-compliant pool drain and drowned, trapped inside an unsafe elevator or mugged in the parking lot.”

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SwedelsonGottlieb’s Senior Partner Sandra Gottlieb is honored to make another appearance on the second “episode” of The HOA Show, an educational luncheon presented by the Channel Islands Chapter of Community Associations Institute. Join us on April 26th for this fun format, where you can find out more about the following topics:

• Current events, trends and ideas occurring in the HOA industry and your communities • Is HOA living all negative? Navigating your way through Homeowner complaints, issues and demands.

• New industry developments & technology news: drones, electronic voting and dealing with issues of potential defamation on social media • Privacy Issues: Can members record a board meeting and use it as evidence against the board? Can boards enforce a “no recording” policy?

The following is reposted from Community Association Institute’s (CAI) Government Affairs Division:

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On March 29, federal housing agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae released a standardized set of lender questionnaires for condominium unit mortgages. The Uniform Condominium Questionnaire is intended to reduce the burden on community associations that routinely provide condominium project information to mortgage lenders.

To comply with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage purchase guidelines, mortgage lenders must verify financial and property standards for condominium projects. Over the past two years, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae worked with CAI and the mortgage lender community to develop a uniform condominium questionnaire to ease the process of obtaining this information. Lenders will now have two options when requesting information from a condominium association.

Join SwedelsonGottlieb Senior Partner David Swedelson, co-presenter Karen Kokowicz of Coro Community Management & Consulting and the Channel Islands Chapter of Community Associations Institute on September 22, 2015, and learn how to communicate better in your association.

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Follow this link to register for this event.

This program will cover:

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Don’t miss these essential educational opportunities for association directors and their managing agents. We want to ensure you stay informed about the latest state requirements and best practices for governing and managing your association.

Information on each event held by the Community Association Institute’s Greater Los Angeles Chapter, Channel Islands Chapter, and Orange County Regional Chapter follows below.

CAI-Greater Los Angeles Chapter The Ins and Outs of Board Elections

Posted by David Swedelson, senior partner at SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

defibrillator_-_Google_Search.pngThe Los Angeles Times reports that “most fire trucks and ambulances run by the Compton Fire Department have been stripped of defibrillator machines, a crucial lifesaving device that rescuers use to deliver a shock and try to restart the heart of cardiac arrest victims.” “County regulators ordered the department to remove the devices last week after fire officials were unable to produce documentation showing Compton firefighters had been properly trained to use the equipment.”

To read the rest of the Times article, follow this link.

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