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Collection of assessments is one of the biggest headaches for many Community Associations.  Most of the time, collections follow a standard process.  It might be slow and take several steps.  But, since assessments are liens on the unit and since an Association can collect all of its attorneys’ fees and costs, an Association can collect all of its assessments most of the time.

However, when a Unit Owner files for Bankruptcy, the collection process changes.

Collecting Unpaid Assessments during a Bankruptcy

I have worked with a number of Associations who thought that once a Unit Owner filed for Bankruptcy, they had to write off all of their uncollected assessments.

I also have seen plenty of others do nothing while the Bankruptcy process lumbers on.  This just makes the already large delinquency even bigger.

Associations can collect unpaid assessments when a Unit Owner is in Bankruptcy. 

Continue Reading Condominiums, Homeowners’ Associations and Bankruptcy: How Does a Unit Owner Bankruptcy Affect Collections?

Now that the weather is warming, residents are taking to the sidewalks, walking trails and open spaces of their Community Associations.  Here are some reminders for property managers and board members.

Homeowners’ Associations are not required to protect residents from dogs

With everyone out walking their dogs and children soon to be out of school, Associations often ask if they are required to make rules and regulations to control dogs.  Associations are not required to protect residents from other people’s pets.

But, if the Association does create rules and regulations to control dogs, it needs to enforce them.

Continue Reading Reminders for Condominiums and Homeowners’ Associations: People Coming Out of Their Homes Edition

At the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021, airlines began changing their rules with respect to emotional support animals.  United, American, Delta, Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines (as well as many local and regional air carriers) have decided that emotional support animals are not permitted on flights.  Trained service dogs, however, are still permitted on flights.

Despite these recent changes, the rules that apply to airlines are not the same as the ones that apply to housing.  I have written a number of posts about emotional support animals and where they can go:

These blog posts cover situations when someone requests an emotional support animal in relation to housing.  These cases often come up when a condominium or apartment building does not permit pets and someone requests a reasonable accommodation to allow a support animal.

In today’s post, I want to make sure that associations and landlords do not get confused and try to follow the recent examples of the airlines.

Continue Reading Are Dogs Allowed on Airlines? An Update on Emotional Support Animals

On February 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it will begin to enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  This is a significant change because in many states, including Pennsylvania, a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identification has not been treated as a protected class.

Moving forward, housing providers, like landlords and condominium and homeowners’ associations, will need to treat sexual orientation and gender identity the same way that they treat race, color, gender, nationality, disability and familial status.

Reasonable Accommodations

Most of my posts on Lancaster Law Blog that deal with the Fair Housing Act talk about emotional support animals. All of the emotional support animal stories involve someone with a disability requesting a reasonable accommodation.

Continue Reading The Fair Housing Act Will Enforce Prohibition on Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

This time of the year, our thoughts turn to family and friends.  Maybe we reflect on the past year or look forward to the next.  For association boards and property managers, these happy thoughts are interrupted by questions about snow removal. When do we call snowplows? What kinds of deicers should we use? And does our association have any liability for slips and falls?

Continue Reading HOA Snow Removal: Your Questions Answered

Any time I can use Schoolhouse Rock to explain a complicated legal issue, I have to jump on it.  Today is one of those days.  On June 9, the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives adopted Concurrent Resolution 836.  The Concurrent Resolution said that the state of disaster emergency due to COVID-19 was over

For weeks, associations, municipalities, children’s day camps and public swimming pool organizations have been trying to decide if they could open summer recreation facilities such as pools, parks and playgrounds.  The state has only recently released directions on how to open businesses, like construction, in a socially distant way.

Going into the Memorial Day

Beginning on May 1, 2020, Pennsylvania will allow businesses that are involved in construction to open. These construction businesses must follow state guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Reopening construction will allow some workers to return to their jobs and some people to move into their new homes.  

However, just because Pennsylvania construction

In the past few weeks, we have looked at many of the economic stimulus and consumer protection parts of the CARES Act. A minor section in the Act has also corrected the “Retail Glitch” of 2018’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This correction will now allow business owners to depreciate improvements and equipment –