Make Sure Your Enforcement Charges are Collectible

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Lawsuit Money

Attorney Stephen Guerra

By Steve Guerra

In the course of running a Condominium Association, various charges may be provided by the Condominium Documents to be assessed against or posted to the accounts of co-owners who are either delinquent or in violation of other provisions of the Condominium Documents. These charges are variously referred to as interest, late, fees, fines and attorney’s fees. Many times we find that due to procedural errors, or because the lack of understanding of the uniqueness of each type of charge, the charges become subject to legal objection as being excessive, constitutionally invalid, unreasonable or in violation of statute. For these reasons, it is important that Associations understand the nature of each of these charges, the legal requirements for validity, and the proper procedures to follow in order for these charges to be enforceable.

There are two main enforcement categories facing all Associations from which these charges flow. The first is in the area of collection of delinquent assessments. The second is in the area of enforcement of behavioral-based restrictions contained in the Condominium Documents, including the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. Common to both areas are attorney’s fees and, potentially, fines. Continue reading

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SURVEILLANCE, SECURITY AND PRIVACY AN OVERVIEW OF PRACTICAL AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS

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Evan M. Alexander, Esq. *

            Every person desires to have a safe and secure place to call home regardless of whether you live in an attached condominium, site condominium or subdivision. Choosing a home in a low crime area helps to ease worries of safety and security; however, crime occurs in all neighborhoods. High quality video security systems are readily available and may help to give owners an added sense of safety and security. Modern systems even enable an owner to monitor their property remotely in real-time from a smart phone.

Competing with this concept of security is a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Community associations that are dealing with issues related to surveillance and security systems must consider what rights and obligations they have under relevant laws, the association’s governing documents, the general safety and security of the community, individual owner’s safety, security and privacy interests, and the potential that owners may think the association is taking on the responsibility of maintaining community security if the association decides to install its own systems. Continue reading

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DRONES: REGULATION UNDER STATE AND FEDERAL LAW, AND CONTROLLING VIA A COMMUNITY’S GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

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Michigan Condominium Act

Evan Alexander

 

Evan M. Alexander, Esq. *

Unmanned aircrafts, commonly known as drones, are becoming increasingly popular both for recreational and business uses. Technological advancements have increased those potential uses and brought the costs down. Given the popularity, constant technological advancements and the potential risks and dangers, it is important for community associations to be proactive in addressing potential issues before they become real problems. This article will provide a brief review of recent legislation and some insight into a community association’s rights.

Michigan Regulation

Effective April 4, 2017, Michigan enacted the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act (the “Act”) which addresses the operation and regulation of unmanned aircrafts (a/k/a drones). An “unmanned aircraft” under the Act is defined as “an aircraft flown by a remote pilot via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an on-board computer, communication links, and any additional equipment that is necessary for the unmanned aircraft to operate safely.” (MCL 259.303(d)) Additionally, an “unmanned aircraft system” expands upon the definition to include all of the associated support equipment and other equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. Continue reading

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