10/27/2017 | Legal Update
Handling Requests For Assistance Animals - Guidance For Boards When Things Get Hairy
Our Community Association attorneys understand the unique challenges faced by condominium and homeowners associations. We regularly counsel associations throughout Wisconsin in the following areas:
Board & Corporate Governance
The day-to-day operations of a community association can be complex and unpredictable. As a board member you need someone you can trust—someone who will guide you through tough situations. We represent community associations in all facets of corporate governance, including election and voting issues, amendment of governing documents, interpretation of governing documents, preparation of opinion letters, preparation of policies and rules, attending difficult and contentious meetings and handling other corporate issues.
Some examples of the work we perform on behalf of associations include:
Litigation to Protect the Community
We believe in pursuing all avenues of dispute resolution including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and, if necessary, litigation. We pride ourselves in successfully and cost-effectively guiding our clients through all stages of the litigation process, including trial and appeals.
We have assisted associations with covenant enforcement, breach of fiduciary duties, contract litigation, property damage claims, fair housing and discrimination claims, assessment enforcement and quiet title.
We also aggressively pursue construction defects. Leaking roofs and windows, plumbing problems, cracks in walls and foundations and drainage problems are construction defects that unfortunately are all too common in multi-family residential communities. These problems constitute one of the most complex and potentially costly issues faced by a community association and its Board.
Collection & Finance
Every community association needs effective policies and processes for collecting delinquent assessments. Timely collection of assessments is not only necessary to make sure that the association can pay its bills as they become due, but is also important for loan underwriting, FHA certification and borrowing funds.
We assist association clients with the preparation of a comprehensive written collection policy, provide guidance on association and manager adherence to the policy, and counsel clients on diligent pursuit of their policy’s specific procedures in taking collections actions.
There are several methods we use for collecting delinquent assessments after the lien has been filed and a demand letter has been sent. These methods include a monetary judgment obtained through Small Claims Court (if the debt is less than $10,000.00) or a foreclosure lawsuit. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Our experienced counsel will work with you to identify and successfully implement the best option for each collection situation.
Senior & Fair Housing
Both state and federal laws prohibit unlawful discrimination by community associations. In addition to claims based on familial status, associations frequently encounter disability accommodation issues. We are well-versed in dealing with fair housing matters. Our attorneys draft policies and procedures to protect associations from discrimination claims and deal with accommodation requests. We provide counsel and representation in agency complaints and court actions arising from claimed violations of civil rights laws.
Senior housing compliance for communities that are restricted to residents 55 years and older presents unique challenges. We provide legal guidance on matters specific to senior housing, including the enforcement of age restrictions, age verification and dealing with conflicts over rule enforcement.
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