July 2017 Condo Association News Roundup


Happy Summer!  Hopefully your Condo Association is having plenty of social events (link) to celebrate the weather.  While summer can bring a lull, there is plenty going on in the July 2017 Condo Association news.  There are updates on Michigan’s new Airbnb tax that was covered last month (link).  There’s good advice on a proper checklist for Owners altering their homes or properties.  And finally, there is a great bit of “horrible Condo Association porn” – for those of you who enjoy reading about bad things happening in Condo Associations.  Enjoy the July 2017 Condo Association News roundup!  

HB 4503 AND SB 329: Recent Skirmishes Regarding Short-Term Rental and Their Effect on Community Associations

Matthew Heron, Michigan Condo Law Blog, 7/13/17

Michigan is an interesting state in that it recently legalized the collection of tourism tax from Airbnb and other short term rentals.  I believe  that this is a major step towards the legitimization of short-term rentals within the state, as it creates a tax flow and thus an incentive for the state government to make short-term rental companies successful.  

Enjoying the Detroit skyline may be cheaper thanks to Airbnb.

This excellent analysis notes that while that is well and good for the state level, the state law does not address municipalities.  In short, the state is getting its cut, but the local jurisdictions are not.  This creates tensions between the state and local jurisdictions, particularly related to zoning.  The author, Matt Heron, notes that given the state level support, and the fact that boosting Michigan tourism is a strong driver, elected officials may continue to promote the availability of short-term rentals via law changes.  If you live in Michigan, you may want to consider what policies your Condo has.  

HOA Homefront: Is your HOA architectural application process complete?

Kelly G. Richardson, Orange County Register, 7/22/17

The ability to control a community or a building’s architectural standards is often one of the main goals of a HOA or Condo Association.  A power found in the Bylaws and often enforced by committees and the Board, it can be one that drives Owners to frustration.  However, a well-run Association will utilize architectural control to bring the community value.

Chicago is pretty at night, but is that beauty skin deep?

This OC Register article provides an extremely valuable checklist for communities to evaluate their architectural control plans.  Many of the items are focused on ensuring the community is protected, such as proof of appropriate permitting, proof that any contractors are appropriately insured, and ensuring the work doesn’t occur during odd hours or result in nuisances to neighbors, like odors or dust.  It also includes tips for protecting the Association when the work being done may affect a common area.

This is a great read for Owners, Board members and Management alike.  

Condo living on the Gold Coast: Lawsuits, fines, insults

Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune, 7/21/17

There are always Condo Association horror stories if you’re looking for bad things that happen in the Condo world. You should keep that news in perspective.  However, if you’re looking to enjoy “horrible Condo Association porn” – this is the article for you!

In a building where Condos can cost $800,000, bad behavior runs rampant.  Assault charges, lewdness, lawsuits after Board members were kicked off Boards, Owners abusing staff – you name it, this Chicago Condo building has it all.  

What’s most interesting about the article is it doesn’t explore what the “regular” Owners think, or where they are in all of this.  A Condo building of that size must have hundreds of regular Owners.  Why weren’t they forming networks?  Or resisting their Board?  All of these back-and-forth legal battles cost the Condo Association a large amount of money.  While “horrible Condo Association porn” articles are fun to read, they’d be more valuable if they took a more holistic view of the community as opposed to just the salacious silliness.  

That’s all for the July 2017 Condo Association News! Did you know that you can get even more news articles by signing up for our mailing list?  Mailing list subscribers get monthly bonus news stories and analysis.  Join the list today!

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