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Utah condominium and HOA lawyers
Utah Condominium and HOA lawyers

Hobbs & Olson | Carpenter Hazlewood will be the sponsor of the Utah Chapter of the Community Association Institute’s monthly luncheon on November 10, and it’s a topic of significant importance and interest. The speakers will speak on individual owner coverage, referred to as HO-6 policies. All Utah Condominium and Utah HOA owners should have HO-6 coverage to supplement the association’s coverage; this session will assist owners in finding the right policies for your needs.

Good Points, New York Times

The New York Times recently had an article on the importance of renter’s insurance; everything the article asserts is true — probably even more true — for owners in condominiums and other community associations.  The article encourages buying insurance, but also explains what coverages you should look for, and what to do if you have a claim.

And, as I’ve pointed out previously, it’s really, really important for Utah community association owners to have insurance.  Under the new 2011 laws, you’ll be responsible for any damage to your unit and its contents, up to the association’s deductible. And I and many others are suggesting that associations should consider increasing that deductible.

How’s Your Fidelity Coverage?

I’ve said it more than once, and I will undoubtedly say it again: Your association needs adequate fidelity coverage:
(From KHON in Honolulu, HI)

An Ewa Beach man accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his employer turned himself into police.

According to residents at Pearl 1 condominium in Aiea, the 51 year old man worked as a resident manager until a few months ago.

Police say over a three year period from 2007 and 2010, he forged and cashed numerous checks from the condo’s business account, adding up to $30,000.

He was arrested Thursday on 36 counts of forgery and one count of first degree theft.

He was released pending investigation.

Risk Transfer in Associations

I’m in Lebanon, N.H. tonight, preparing to teach the CAI M205 Course, Risk Management.  A main focus of the course is that communities (and their boards and managers) should manage risks through various approaches, including risk transfer to others.  One of the points that should come out is summarized as follows:

Some associations set a high deductible and transfer responsibility to the owner for insuring losses to his/her unit that fall below the association’s deductible.

And that, of course, is what the 2011 revisions to the Utah Condominium Act and the Utah Community Association Act are designed to facilitate. Your association should take advantage of the opportunities which will be allowed by this new legislation.
To learn more about this method of risk management, sign up for one of our upcoming courses.

Our Upcoming Seminar On the New Laws

I recently sent a flyer out to community associations across the state, announcing an upcoming seminar on the many changes to Utah’s Community Association Laws. Unfortunately, many clients and followers were not on that list. Since you should clearly be aware, and are encouraged to attend, I quote from the flyer, with my apologies for the oversight:

For several years, the Legislative Action Committee of the Utah Chapter of the Community Associations Institute has been advocating for a major recodification of Utah’s law respecting condominiums and HOAs.  When it became apparent that such a recodification was not possible, the legislature focused on several issues, in a number of different bills.  These bills will make sweeping changes in how all Utah community associations will operate.

Major changes include new provisions respecting the collection of assessments, including changes which may allow for non-judicial lien foreclosures; clarification and expansion of associations’ insurance obligations; increased obligations for reserve accounts and related disclosures, and notice and record disclosures.

And perhaps most significantly, a requirement that all associations – regardless of size – register and remain registered with the Utah Department of Commerce as a prerequisite to lien-based assessment collections.

This $25 course will be taught from 9 a.m. to noon, on three different dates, at three different locations: May 14 at the Utahcondolaw Training Center at 466 East 500 South, SLC, 84111; May 28 at the Daybreak Community Center, 4544 West Harvest Moon Drive South Jordan, 84095 and June 11 in Park City at 3247 Santa Fe Road.

If you want to attend, register online here, or give us a call at 801.519.2555.  We’d love to see you.

Things Every Board Member Should Know

I had a rewarding evening at the UCCAI Roundtable last night, teaching and discussing a list of things that board members should know.  It was a very engaged and interactive discussion with about 30 participants; mostly HOA and condominium board members: feedback was universally favorable.

For those of you who couldn’t attend; here’s the list of things you should know:

  1. Whether your association is a condominium;
  2. Whether you can fine your residents (and if so, how to fine);
  3. Whether your association is adequately insured;
  4. Whether you, as a board member, are adequately insured by your association;
  5. How assessments should be calculated in your association and how assessments are actually being calculated;
  6. What your association’s governing documents are, and what they say;
  7. That your association’s insurance requirements may change effective as of July 1, 2011;
  8. That your association will need to be registered with the Utah Department of Commerce as of July 1, 2011;
  9. That you need to know about the Fair Housing Laws;
  10. How to hire the right people for your association.

If you don’t know them, you should join UCCAI, and sign up to follow this blog.  If you can’t wait to know them, contact one of the lawyers at Hobbs & Olson

UCIOA Lite?

I’m at the Utah Chapter of Community Association Institute’s Annual Legislative Review, and Bruce Jenkins is explaining the plans for the introduction of a streamlined version of the Uniform Community Interest Ownership Act in the 2011 legislature.

As described in the materials distributed, the proposed legislation:

(1) Proposes a new and extensively vetted insurance scheme applicable in both condominium and all other community associations that: (1) eliminates the need to reference declarations for coverage determinations, (2) ensures that the common area structures and the entire unit (including additions and upgrades) are covered ty the association’s insurance, (3) allows an association the flexibility to choose whether to notify carriers of claims that they believe are under the deductible, (4) eliminates ambiguity between the association’s policy an an owner’s policy, (5) provides for a mechanism for an association to allocate a deductible among owners to insure for that allocation, and (6) eliminates the ill-advised practice of establishing associations that rely upon owners obtaining insurance to cover losses in attached housing (housing in which multiple units are attached).

(2) Provides a basic infrastructure of minimal regulation so that community associations other than condominiums have the basic necessary legal framework to assist in sustaining long term functionality.

(3) Updates and clarifies those statutory provisions related to the collection of assessments in condominiums and community associations including adding important clarification to the existing practice of nonjudicial foreclosures and providing specifically for the right of any owner to opt into the judicial process and require the oversight of a court in any assessment foreclosure proceeding.