Articles Posted in Contracts

By Sandra Gottlieb, Esq., Swedelson Gottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

The_service_oriented_condo_property_manager_-_Google_Search.pngWe recently attended a very informative program put on by Community Association Institute’s Greater Los Angeles Chapter titled The Service-Oriented Manager, and we were reflecting on all of the amazing services that many community managers provide for their community association owners and residents. Of course, as attorneys, we considered the potential liability to which some of these services can expose an association. For example, the speakers were talking about car washing, driver services and faxing documents for residents. And we questioned whether the manager (or the board for that matter) of an association that, for example, provides fax service for the residents, would allow the residents to receive faxes or other personal services without a signed Release and Indemnity Agreement.

For example, with respect to faxing of documents, what if the association’s staff failed to deliver to a resident an important fax, and as a result, the resident claims they suffered damage? Or what about a staff member who fails to recognize that a fax did not go through or was sent to the wrong fax number? We trust you get the point, and this does not apply just to faxes.
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By David Swedelson, California Condo and HOA Attorney, Senior Partner SwedelsonGottlieb

All too often we are called in to deal with a dispute over a contract that the association entered into with a contractor or vendor. And I am often surprised to learn that the board and management really do not understand what a binding contract is (and what it is not).
What needs to be understood is that the foundation of every legal transaction is the document known as a contract.
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By Sandra Gottlieb, Esq.

Understandably, service providers such as cable or satellite dish companies will regularly seek long-term contracts of five years or more with homeowner associations. They explain that this is because their up front costs related to getting their systems set up within the association are significant, and they want to be reasonably sure that they can earn a profit.

Long-term contracts can provide potential cost savings to many homeowner associations, and a proper contract prepared by an attorney experienced in common interest development law can ensure that the association gets what it pays for. However, some boards of directors are unaware of provisions in their governing documents that may limit the board’s ability to enter into long-term contracts. Sometimes, CC&Rs or Bylaws will not allow the board to enter into any contracts with a term in excess of a certain number of years (usually one year) without the vote and approval of the members (usually a majority of the voting power). Some more recent CC&Rs or bylaws provide for certain exceptions for laundry room leases or contracts, cable television or telecommunication services.

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