Looking Forward to Another Great CCAL Seminar

January 15, 2015 1 comment

CCAL Law SeminarThirteen years ago, when I thought I was quite knowledgeable about what I then called condominium law, I traveled to Southern California to attend my first College of Community Association Lawyers Law seminar. At the conference, I learned that there was a lot to learn about community association law, including that it involved much more than condominium law.

Having gone to every annual CCAL conference since then, and having taught courses at about half of those, I’m more aware than ever that there’s still a lot to learn. And many other Utah community association practitioners and even one board member will be joining me in San Francisco for the 36th Annual Community Association Law Seminar, to be held on January 28-31. As of today, there are 17 Utahans registered, including managers, insurance agents and a community association board member. Sarah Orme will, of course, be joining me once again, and I will be co-presenting with Karin Hobbs, among others. Our session will cover effective mediations with insurers.

If you’re reading this post, you must have some interest in Utah community association law, and if you’ve never been to a CCAL Law Seminar, this is an excellent opportunity. Beware, however, that if you attend one conference, you’re likely to make it an annual event. Almost all of the Utah registrants have been before, and most of them have made it an annual event.

Categories: Uncategorized

Attention Park City and other Summit County Associations!

June 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Summit Community Solar
Upcoming Events!
Summit Community Solar
Solar for HOA Boards:


Are you on an HOA Board? Do you live in an HOA?  


Summit Community Solar is hosting a workshop that is specifically for HOA boards and managers who may have questions about solar.  Let your board members know that this is a great opportunity to learn about solar and help inform decisions on the topic. If you are a representative of an HOA or a LOA in Summit County, come prepared with your questions about solar and your HOA. 

Summit County Richins Library, Auditorium
1885 Ute Blvd
Park City, 84098


Date & Time:

Thursday, June 20th
4:30 – 6 PM 


Questions? Contact us at (801) 903-2031 or  solar@utahcleanenergy.org 


RSVPs preferred. Use the links above, call, or email!  


Categories: Uncategorized

Essentials of Community Association Contracts

January 30, 2013 2 comments

contractOne of the sessions I attended at the CCAL Community Association Law Conference last week was the Essentials of Community Association Contracts.  Entire sessions could surely be filled discussing each kind of contract that community associations commonly enter into, including management agreements, maintenance contracts, and construction contracts, but this course gave a great overview of various considerations for each kind of contract.  Here are a few of the considerations that apply to many different types of contracts, and that board and management committee members should keep in mind before signing:

– There are advantages and disadvantages to arbitration clauses.  Advantages include lower cost (sometimes) and greater flexibility, and disadvantages include limited discovery and limited grounds for appeal.  So, it is important to consider these advantages and disadvantages as they pertain to every situation, and to not simply agree to an arbitration clause.

– Define your terms carefully and clearly, including when the contract will be completed, when payment will be made, when warranties begin to run, etc.

– Be sure that the terms of your contracts, especially management agreements, are consistent with your governing documents.  For example, be familiar with any limits on the length of the engagement and the process for terminating the manager or management company that are set forth in your governing documents, and be sure the contract is consistent with these provisions.

– Be sure that you satisfy any necessary preliminary requirements before entering into a contract.  For example, before entering into a construction contract, get membership approval and/or zoning approval, if necessary.

Categories: Uncategorized

34th Annual CCAL Community Association Law Conference

January 26, 2013 1 comment

My associate, Sarah Orme and I have spent the last couple of days at the 34th Annual CCAL Community Association Law Conference, attending a number of informative sessions on community association law, including:

  • The always informative and amusing case law update (community associations present amusing stories, and Wil Washington and George Nowack always make them even more amusing;
  • A keynote speech on influencing people, by New York Times bestseller Joseph Grenny;
  • A Fair Debt Collections Practices Act update;
  • Rogue Board Members;
  • Ethical Issues in Representation of Community Associations;
  • Transparency in Community Associations;
  • Cloud Comuting to Increase Firm Efficiency;
  • The Essentials of Community Association Contracts;
  • Legal and Insurance Ramifications of Water Infiltration and Other Damages;
  • Survey and Analysis of Standard of Care Statutes Across America;
  • Law Firm Management; and
  • iPad Applications for the Community Association Management/ Practitioner

As time permits over the next days and weeks, we’ll summarize what we learned.

Categories: CCAL

Are HOA Records Open to Inspection?

December 3, 2012 2 comments

Presumably, most readers come here to learn about Utah community association law, but I want to try to turn the tables, because I’ve perplexed myself.

I’m wondering if anyone out there can point to any authority that would require the board (management committee if you prefer) of an unincorporated homeowners association to produce records for inspection.  I could have sworn there was such a provision in the Utah Community Association Act, but I can’t find it.

Any help out there?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Parliamentary Procedure for Idiots

October 4, 2012 Leave a comment

My friend and fellow CCAL member, Jim Slaughter, who teaches me something new about Parliamentary Procedure at every CCAL conference, just published a new book on running meetings.  Here’s his announcement:

As some of you know, I have two books on meeting procedure coming out this fall.  The first,The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track (from Penguin), is available today.


I don’t plan to go into bookselling, but at least want the listserve to know about the book.  This one is geared a bit more towards board meetings of nonprofits, condominium, and homeowner associations.


Here is the publisher description:

A new resource simplifies parliamentary procedure for average users in meetings of condominium and homeowner associations, school boards, city councils, county commissions, and nonprofit boards.  Easy, accessible, and to the point, The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track gives everything readers need to conduct shorter, fairer, more orderly meetings.  This slim volume includes:

  • ·        The fundamentals of parliamentary procedure, with tips on which rules to use for specific meetings
  • ·        What procedures are best suited for large assemblies
  • ·        When relaxed procedures may be appropriate for a smaller group or board
  • ·        Simple suggestions for making, seconding, and debating motions, plus advice on frequently used motions from Robert’s Rules of Order
  • ·        A primer on voting, from knowing when it’s required, to breaking ties, to handling absentee and proxy votes
  • ·        Straightforward strategies for setting and sticking to an agenda
  • ·        Efficiently recording meeting minutes
  • ·        Tips for handling disruptive members and tyrannical chairs


The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track offers parliamentary procedures guidance that has been proven in action and includes changes from the September 2011 revision of Robert’s Rules of Order.


Tom Skiba, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Community Associations Institute, was kind enough to provide the following review:  “Big board?  Small board?  Every governing board needs to have a common framework for meetings, motions, minutes and all the other elements of parliamentary procedure.  This Fast-Track Guide provides clear and simple guidance to educate board members and help your board govern efficiently and effectively.”


If you’re interested, the book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online and traditional bookstores.





Categories: Uncategorized

New FHA Guidelines — CAI’s Summary

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

The Community Associations Institute Issued a Press Release today, respecting new FHA guidelines.  In the interest of time, I’m quoting it, pending an opportunity to review and report, myself:

The Federal Housing Administration released a long-awaited revision of its condominium project approval guidelines on September 13th. The revisions to FHAcondominium guidelines are contained in Mortgagee Letter 2012-18 and expire on August 31, 2014. FHA states it is making temporary adjustments to its condominium standards in response to market conditions.
CAI has the new guidelines, Mortgagee Letter 2012-18, under review. FHA appears to
have been responsive to several key CAI concerns including delinquency rates, fidelity
insurance coverage, the condominium project certification statement, and limitations on
commercial space.
Preliminary staff analysis show FHA policy changes in the following areas—
» Delinquencies—No more than 15 percent of units may be more than 60 days delinquent. The 15 percent limitation includes all units in the project and FHA will not consider any exceptions to this standard. Previously, the guidelines used 30 day delinquency as a threshold. The change to 60 days is very beneficial to community associations.
» Employee Dishonesty Insurance—All new and established condominium projects with more than 20 units shall obtain and maintain employee dishonesty insurance coverage. The association’s policy must—
o cover all officers, directors and employees of the association
o all other persons handling or responsible for funds administered by the association
o the coverage amount must be no less than three months assessments on all units plus reserve funds unless State law mandates a maximum dollar amount of required coverage.
o If the condominium engages the services of a management company—
the company must have obtained its own fidelity coverage that meets FHA association coverage requirements; or
the association’s policy names the management company as an insured; or the association’s policy includes an endorsement stating that management company employees subject to the direction and
control of the association are covered by the policy
This is a substantial change to the previous requirements that required management companies to obtain separate fidelity insurance for each condominium.
» Project Certification (Appendix A)—FHA will require that the individual submitting a condominium project for approval certify that—
o To the best of their knowledge, the information in the approval request is accurate
o They have reviewed the project application and upon the advice given by an attorney it meets all State and local laws
o They have reviewed the application and it meets all current FHA condominium approval requirements, and
o They have no knowledge of circumstances or conditions that may have an adverse impact on the condominium project (construction defects, substantial operational issues, or litigation, mediation, or arbitration issues)
Previous guidelines required much more onerous project certification attestation that had put the individual submitting the project approval for the condominium at risk for legal liability.
» Commercial Space Limitations Limitations——FHA will consider condominium projects with ——
commercial space of between 25 and 35 percent for projects through the HRAP process only. FHA will consider, on a case-by-case basis, exceptions for mixeduse condominiums with commercial space of up to 50 percent, but requires substantial documentation for consideration. All exception requests must be submitted for review through the Philadelphia Homeownership Center.
CAI will publish additional information and guidance following a complete analysis of
the guidelines.

Categories: Uncategorized

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