Legal Corner: Speakerphone and Skype policies for boards

by Ronald S. Shubert, Esq.   Q: A number of presidents of community association boards have asked about the legality of the use of speakerphones or skyping of board members at meetings. A number of boards have members out of town at various times. May boards adopt a policy allowing for the participation of absent board members by speakerphones or skyping? A: Yes. First, it is important to thoroughly review your association by-laws to determine whether or not there is a prohibition against the use of speakerphones or skyping. Typically, in by-laws that I have drafted in reference to participation by speakerphone or skyping, I have provided language that allows for members of the board to participate in a meeting by means of a conference […]

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Legal Corner

by Ronald S. Shubert, Esq. Our board has several questions concerning the collection of past due assessments. They are as follows: Q: We have a unit that has a reverse mortgage on it and the homeowner is now deceased. What is our recourse? A: A reverse mortgage is no different then a purchase money mortgage in that it is a lien on the property and, if not paid upon the death of the owner, the bank or holder of the mortgage, will foreclose it. In the case of a purchase money mortgage, the homeowner borrows money from a lender to purchase the home. In the case of a reverse mortgage, the homeowner borrows money against the equity of the home. There are several ways of […]

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Legal Corner

by Ronald S. Shubert, Esq.   Q: Our board is facing a difficult situation. A homeowner, who appears to have emotional issues, is harassing other homeowners and the board. The harassment consists of standing in front of the homeowners’ homes and peering in the windows as well as calling the property manager and the attorney daily to lodge complaints. Harassment has escalated to filing a complaint by the homeowner with the Division of Human Rights, because the homeowner wants security cameras installed throughout the community, at the association’s expense. He feels he is being discriminated against because of an alleged disability, which he refuses to disclose. The police have been called on numerous occasions by him, after he claims he was run over by his […]

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Legal Corner

by Ronald S. Shubert, Esq. Q: I am the president of a condominium, which passed a rule that the condominium is a no-smoking property. A resident has made a complaint to the Division of Human Rights against the condominium, because one of the owners is smoking on the property and causing serious health issues for one of the other owners. The other night, the smoker and a friend were up most of the night drinking and smoking. The police were called, but indicated there wasn’t much they could do. The following morning, I received a call from a board member stating that the police were on the property and arrested the friend of the smoker and took away his vehicle. The board is looking for […]

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Legal Corner

    by Ronald S. Shubert, Esq.     Q: We have received a complaint from a unit owner in the condominium complaining of the smell of cigarette smoke which has entered her unit through the walls, floors and ventilation systems. The unit owner is insisting that the board of managers has an obligation to remedy the problem. We do not have any rules that prohibit smoking in the units, only a rule that prohibits smoking in the common areas. What are we legally obligated to do?

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