Coronavirus: What Steps Should Condo Associations take?

Community associations are wisely thinking about how to meet daily responsibilities while mitigating the spread of this virus. According to the CDC’s current information, person-to-person spread is occurring between people in close contact (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms, but this is currently not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

While there are still unknowns about the virus’s transmission, Goldman & Pease offers our current perspective on how you can take proactive steps to responsibly meet your obligations to residents and owners at this time.

Provide Information to Residents

When communicating to unit owners, we recommend that Boards encourage residents to take their own precautions to limit exposure to the virus or other contagious illnesses such as the flu.  At the end of the day, owners will be most responsible for their health and safety, as most guidance to avoid illness highlight an individual’s responsibility.

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Shared Living in the Small Condominium Setting: Rights and Obligations of Unit Owners and Trustees

By Howard Goldman –

With the rising cost of real estate and lack of affordable housing in many communities, people are searching for ways to maximize their investment through shared living. Whether it be by including an in-law suite for an aging parent, a basement apartment for a long-term tenant or sprucing up a guest room to rent via AirBnB, many homeowners are embracing shared living as the way of the future.

Room for rentShared living arrangements provide many benefits to individual homeowners but may be bothersome to neighbors who are worried about health and safety, parking, and security risks. These concerns are compounded in the condominium setting where there are so many people living in a condensed area.

Recently, Goldman & Pease has handled a number of disputes arising out of shared living arrangements in smaller condominiums that are self-managed.  This article will discuss issues related to shared living arrangements in the condominium context and the rights and obligations of unit owners and trustees with respect to striking a balance between allowing unit owners freedom to use their homes as they see fit and protecting the condominium community from the risks associated with certain shared living arrangements. [Read more…]

June 14, 2017 – Legal Update Lunch Seminar

LEGAL UPDATE LUNCH SEMINAR
 MEDIATE MANAGEMENT CO.

Date: Wednesday, 10:30a.m. June 14, 2017

Presented by: Goldman & Pease LLC

  1. APARTMENT OR CONDOMINIUM SHARING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AIRBNB
  • What are the security risks, nuisances, and property damage that result from engaging an Airbnb rental?
  • What are the best practices for avoiding problems that neighbors and property managers frequently encounter when tenants or condo unit owners use Airbnb.com?

[Read more…]

Condo Surveillance and the Law

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Security is a major issue for condominium communities today.  Attorney Howard Goldman shares his perspective and provides legal insight into the state of condominium surveillance and security in the below article from New England Condominium.

Surveillance and the Law

Maintaining Safety While Respecting Privacy

By A.J. Sidranksy | New England Condominium

Secure. The word has many meanings. According to Google definitions it can mean “to fix or attach something to something else. It can mean to protect against threats or make safe. Or it can mean to feel free from fear or anxiety.” Perhaps that feeling of security is the single most important thing we can to feel in our homes.

Security is a major issue for condominium communities today. The choice of a condominium or other communities overseen by HOAs may be made over a private home based on the desire of the potential purchaser for additional security or to have peace of mind that security concerns are being addressed on a community-wide basis. An article that appeared in CONDO.ca on-line states that “security was the number 1 concern among people looking to purchase a condominium.”

The state of surveillance and security has come a long way over the past few decades. Where security issues used to rest on the employment of security personnel and perimeter fencing, today’s security arrangements are more hi-tech and complex. Along with technology, has come litigation and legislation. [Read more…]

Drones Take Off: What Condo Leaders Need to Know

By:  Howard S. Goldman, Esq.

I. Introduction

droneDrones are no longer the military robots or science fiction creations that we once imagined them to be. In fact, in 2016, according to the Consumer Technology Association, an estimated 3 million drones were purchased for use by hobbyists and businesses alike. Non-military drones are generally used either commercially or by hobbyists. All drone usage is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, but hobbyists are only required to obtain a $5 registration, and can be as young as 13 years old. Businesses operating small drones are regulated by stricter standards.

II. Drones and the Law: An Overview

The FAA’s rules regulating drone usage are known as “part 107”. Under part 107, all drones must be registered if they weigh between .55 and 55 lbs. Drones over 55 lbs. must be registered through the FAA’s Aircraft Registry.

In Massachusetts, commercial drone operators must be 17 years old, be certified to fly a drone by the FAA, stay out of airport space and other controlled airspace, operate during daylight hours only, fly no more than 400 feet above the ground at no more than 100 miles per hour, and not fly over any person not directly involved in flying the drone.

Several federal bills have been proposed to help regulate drone usage. These have all been within the privacy rights and expectations of privacy guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment, and would create a much stricter standard for everyday drone usage. [Read more…]

Choosing An Attorney For Your Association

NE-Condo

 

By Michael Odenthal | New England Condominium

Not every condominium or homeowners’ association is going to run afoul of the law—the happy truth is that litigation and legal trouble are relatively rare occurrences. But even the most upstanding board of trustees in New England must navigate a labyrinth of community association rules in order to best serve its ownership, and the odds are that its trusty group of volunteers will consist of few, if any, qualified legal professionals.

So what to do in order to ensure that an association’s business remains on the up-and-up? Hiring one of the aforementioned legal eagles would be a good start, sure, but how best do you ascertain which attorney or firm is ideal to guide your association right and true?  Turns out, choosing a legal pro isn’t so different from choosing any other kind of service provider your HOA might need—even if the stakes are somewhat higher. [Read more…]