Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - General Counsel

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore

Kansas, of course, is in the heart of Tornado Alley and home to the most famous tornado of them all: the one that swept Dorothy into the Land of Oz. Recently, however, Oregon and Washington felt the effects of multiple tornadoes. Two tornadoes touched down in Oregon in October. Tornado warnings were also issued for several cities in Washington. The tornadoes and strong winds wreaked havoc on homes across Oregon and Washington. Although not frequent, tornadoes do occasionally touch down in both Oregon and Washington. Because we are not accustomed to tornadoes, many are probably wondering whether their homes and associations are covered. Fortunately, property damage caused by strong winds and tornadoes are typically covered under standard homeowner policies. To be safe, a simple phone call to your broker or agent will confirm the coverage. read more

Neutrality

Association boards deal with a variety of unit owner behaviors and personalities. Some are positive, some are negative, and some are downright inexplicable. This can lead to both real and perceived bias. read more

New FHA Rules to Create New Association Duties

On September 13, HUD released new rules for the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that will impact community associations. Under these new rules, which take effect on October 14, 2016, a community association could face liability for the discriminatory acts of residents who harass or create a hostile environment for other residents. read more

The Business Judgment Rule

Community Association board members frequently ask, "What is the standard we're held to when we vote and make decisions?" The standard of conduct in Oregon and Washington is colloquially known as the "Business Judgment Rule." Application of the Business Judgment Rule comes into play in nearly all board decision making from deciding how far to pursue a collections matter to selecting a contractor for multimillion dollar repairs to raising or lowering monthly assessments. read more

The Price is Wrong

As a kid, whenever I was home sick I'd be faced with the inevitable problem faced by thousands in my situation: what to watch on daytime television. As soap operas were not my speed, I'd almost always settle on game shows. My favorite, like many, was the Price is Right. Some days I'd be lucky enough to catch my favorite part of the show; the $1 bid. When the other contestants grossly overestimated the value of the showcase, the entire audience (and one sickly kid watching from home) would be yelling for the contestant to bid $1. A victory for that contestant felt like a victory for all of us. read more

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