New York Condominium Associations and Co-Ops: Holding Meetings and Social Distancing
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, many Condominium Associations and Co-op Boards are left asking themselves how they are supposed to handle Association matters efficiently while continuing to obey Local, State, and Federal mandates to practice social distancing. For Associations in New York, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 provides a lifeline that Community Association Boards can use in order to conduct business and hold meetings.
PRIVACY RIGHTS IN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS
As technology has improved and at the same time has become less expensive, the ability to maintain privacy has been rapidly diminishing. For about $30.00 and a half hour of your time, you can look up almost anyone on the internet, find out their current and past employment, their current and past addresses, the names and addresses of their relatives, whether they have ever been arrested, received a motor vehicle summons, or gotten a divorce. Your movements are increasingly recorded as you appear in public or semi-public places, by municipal cameras, private security cameras, “Ring” devices, drones, and even satellite imagery. Over time, computers will be getting smaller – about the size of a grain of sand. They will eventually be incorporated into clothing. You may literally be able to wear a shirt that records a person or event.
GRIFFIN ALEXANDER IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
To begin, we hope you, your friends, family, and loved ones are safe, happy, and healthy. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in government orders, quarantines, social distancing, and general unrest. The world has begun to feel increasingly isolated. Despite this, Griffin Alexander, P.C, is still here to help you. In these trying times, we are continuing in our unwavering commitment to help our clients.
Associations and Our Pools – What should we do?
In this unusual and unprecedented time, many Associations are wondering how this pandemic will affect their existing contracts, such as pool contracts. Many are contemplating whether they should even open their pools at all this season. These are all great questions and because some contracts are already executed and in place, it is important to thoroughly review your contract to see what the fine print says. Most contracts will not include spot-on provisions that apply to our current unusual situation. However, a lot of contractors may have policies set into place about how they will operate for the upcoming season.
The Coronavirus Tragedy of 2020: The Community Association Guide
COVID-19, which is being commonly referred to as “Coronavirus” is considered a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Coronavirus Tragedy of 2020 continues to impact the entire world. The Federal Government declared Coronavirus a National Emergency. Areas where large amounts of people gather have been closed or prevented audiences to be present (Broadway, Disneyland/Disney World, etc.), including sporting events (NBA, NHL, UFC, MLB, etc.). Italy’s recorded deaths surpassed those of China recently. Coronavirus is a continuously increasing threat to the entire world.
Conducting an Association Election by Mail
Community Association elections are generally performed based upon a combination of statutory and By-Law requirements. Not all By-Laws are the same, however, and before conducting an election it is essential to review the By-Laws for your particular Association.
Dealing with Absent Owners in Communities
A condominium association works as a whole because each separate unit is individually owned but has an undivided interest in the common elements appurtenant to each unit. But what happens when a Unit Owner decides to leave for an extended period of time or chooses to lease its individual unit out to someone else? For example, there was a Unit Owner who was oversees and she was leasing her unit out to a tenant who vacated, without providing notice. The absent Unit Owner had no ability to find a new tenant, especially being out of the country. Since there was no one paying rent or maintenance fees to the association, it was essentially an abandoned unit.
Like it or not, our climate is changing. The number of hurricanes and tropical storms has grown over the last several decades in number and intensity. Here is a brief summary:
EXTENDED LIEN PRIORITY TO EXTEND ASSOCIATION BUDGETS
A new bill, passed on April 29, 2019 (N.J.S.A. 46:8B-21), signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, extends lien priority for condominium associations and creates similar lien priority protections for homeowner associations. For many years, the New Jersey Condominium Act has permitted the filing of liens against condominium units when assessments remain unpaid. Homeowner association, because they were not included in the Act, provided for the filing of liens in their governing documents. These liens served as the basis for foreclosure against units in serious arrears. The ability to file liens and foreclose provided a substantial benefit to the fiscal stability of community associations throughout the State. Without the ability to file liens and foreclose on them, abandoned units, units falling into serious disrepair due to owner inability to afford to pay maintenance or afford repairs, and units in which residents are otherwise judgment-proof, would substantially increase the monetary burden on those who do pay their maintenance fees, and would reduce the marketability of all Units in the community.
RESPONDING TO A LAWSUIT
Lawsuits arising from claims between landlords and tenants, or between community associations and unit owners, are unfortunately not uncommon. Whether acting as the Plaintiff or Defendant, it is important to understanding the basics of each type of suit before initiating or replying.