An interview with ProTec Building Services and Kieran J. Purcell, Esq.

An interview with ProTec Building Services and Kieran J. Purcell, Esq.

Dave Rauch of ProTec Building Services interviews Epsten, APC Shareholder, Kieran Purcell, Esq., to discuss a wide variety of topics including SB 326 and what it means for communities as the deadline nears. They also discuss future legislation we can expect to see here in California in response to the Champlain Towers collapse and other trends in the industry.

Click here to check out the full interview.

Video source credits to ProTec Building Services

Parking and Requests for Accommodation for a Disability

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By Jillian M. Wright, Esq.

Parking requests to accommodate a disability bring about a particular set of issues and questions.  What requests are reasonable? If the board deems a request reasonable, who pays for the accommodation, if a cost is involved? What if parking spots are so limited in the community that accommodating the request seems impossible? What to do?

When in receipt of an accommodation request, a board is strongly encouraged to engage in an interactive process and make a good faith effort to consider the following when deciding how to handle the request:

Does the requesting party have a qualifying disability?

If someone has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity like walking, talking, hearing, seeing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks or caring for themselves, then federal law considers them disabled. State law offers broader protection; disability is defined as an impairment that makes performance of a major life activity “difficult.” If a requesting party’s disability is obvious, e.g., they use a wheelchair, then it could be considered discriminatory to ask for verification of the disability.

Does the requesting party have a disabled person placard or license plate?

Oftentimes, when requesting a parking accommodation the requesting party will have a disabled person placard from the DMV. Presuming the plate or placard is current and valid, then this should constitute sufficient verification of a disability related to use of a vehicle

Is the request reasonable?

Every community’s parking situation differs and so too will the reasonableness of a request for accommodation. One main factor to consider is whether the request is even possible. For example, if the requesting party asks for a parking space closer to their unit but there are no common area spaces closer to the unit, the board likely does not have the power under the governing documents to displace another owner from their deeded or assigned parking spot.

A board should also consider whether there is a causal link between the disability and the request for a parking accommodation. Not every disability impacts the use of a vehicle and parking. If a person with a mental disability requests a parking accommodation, it would be reasonable to request verification to identify the link between the request and the disability.

Another consideration is cost. Typically, granting parking variances have minimal costs to the community while physical modifications can become costly. If the cost to the association is minimal and the benefit to the disabled person is significant it will be difficult to argue that the request is not reasonable.

Is the request necessary to allow equal enjoyment of the community or just convenient?

A requesting party is not entitled to an accommodation if the accommodation is merely convenient, but they are entitled to a reasonable accommodation if the accommodation is necessary to allow them the equal use and enjoyment of their home or the common area facilities.

One federal case illustrates this point well: In Sporn v. Ocean Colony Condominium Ass’n. (D NJ 2001) 173 F.Supp.2d 244, a disabled owner sought and received permission to use a parking space closer to his unit, but Sporn refused to relinquish his assigned space despite the association’s parking rules requiring such transfer. Sporn argued that he needed the space for his guests.  The Sporn court held, “an accommodation should not ‘extend a preference to handicapped residents [relative to other residents], as opposed to affording them equal opportunity'” and “accommodations that go beyond affording a handicapped tenant ‘an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling’ are not required …”(Citations omitted.) The association’s parking policy requiring the relinquishment of one’s deeded parking space granted the same rights to disabled tenants as it did to non-disabled residents. When plaintiff Sporn was asked to relinquish his parking space pursuant to the association’s parking policy, Sporn refused and when asked why he needed two spaces, Sporn did not offer any explanation related to the disability, but instead responded, “because during the summertime we couldn’t get any parking for any of our family that came down.” (Id.). This comment lead the Sporn court to determine that Sporn’s request for “reasonable accommodation” was really a request for accommodation coupled with a demand for special treatment.

Even if the board determines the requesting party is disabled and accommodation is necessary, unique concerns arise that are specific to parking accommodation requests:

Are common area disabled parking spots required by law/building code?

Not necessarily.  While disabled parking spots are common in public accommodations (hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.), if the community is not a public accommodation subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and was built prior to building code regulations requiring disabled parking spaces, then the association likely does not need to convert any open parking spaces to disabled parking spaces. When asked, each community should review its conditional use permit and consult with a licensed contractor or architect familiar with the applicable building code. Moreover, construction of additional disabled parking spots is often impossible because there is limited space or a limited number of common area parking spaces.

What if there are no open common area spaces to provide?

An association is only required to accommodate a reasonable request to the extent possible. If, for example, there are no spaces closer to the requesting party’s residence or there is no way to convert an existing common area space to make it more accessible, then the association should engage in the interactive process with the requesting party to determine if there is any reasonable alternative which alleviates some of the requesting party’s concerns. Every community and disability is different, so it is best to consult with legal counsel if approval of a reasonable accommodation seems impossible.

Does the association have to help pay for the accommodation?

Maybe! Some accommodation requests include physical alterations to the parking lot – painting new lines, making and installing a “reserved” sign, etc. Such alterations might sound more like a reasonable modifications rather than accommodations. Owners are often responsible for the cost to install reasonable modifications if it benefits them individually. However, the courts have treated requests for parking spaces as requests for reasonable accommodations, making associations responsible for some costs.  Providing a parking accommodation could include creating signage, repainting markings, redistributing spaces, or creating curb cuts.  This list is not exhaustive and there is no clear law on how much expense is unreasonable.

Can a disabled resident allow their non-disabled guests to park in a spot afforded to them as an accommodation?

Yes. As mentioned above, disabled persons must be afforded equal enjoyment of the community. If an association would allow any other resident to have guests park in their assigned parking spot, then the association must also extend this right to disabled persons, even if their guests are not disabled.

The resident has a disabled parking placard and claim that they can park anywhere with the placard regardless of the rules. Is this true?

No, not necessarily. While a resident with a disabled parking placard or license plate may park in all disabled parking spaces, when parking on private property they are still subject to the reasonable rules of the community. For example, they may not park in a fire lane or in a manner that blocks the ingress and egress of other residents. Another example: if there is a limit to parking in a guest spot for more than 72 hours, this rule applies to all guest spots, including disabled parking spots. The disabled parking placard or plate does not give them the right to store their vehicle in a guest parking spot. However, we strongly encourage consulting with legal counsel before towing a vehicle with a disabled parking placard or plate.

Can the association explain to other inquiring residents why someone is receiving a special parking accommodation or variance?

No. The association must keep all information relating to someone’s disability confidential.

This area of law is complicated. A board should carefully consider each reasonable accommodation request and engage in the interactive process to avoid discrimination claims, even if there is limited parking in your community. When in doubt, contact your legal counsel.

Epsten, APC Attorneys, Susan Hawks McClintic & Kieran Purcell Receive National Recognition as CCAL Fellows

Epsten, APC is pleased to announce that Susan (Sue) M. Hawks McClintic, Esq., Managing Shareholder and Kieran J. Purcell, Esq., Shareholder have been granted fellowship in the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). More than 4,000 lawyers practice community association law in the United States, yet fewer than 175 attorneys nationwide can distinguish themselves as CCAL fellows.

Read the Press Release

Reminder: The Deadline to Meet the Requirements of the State’s Responsible Beverage Service Training Program is August 31, 2022

By Dea C. Franck, Esq.

Community associations that maintain an on-premise license with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) need to be aware that starting on July 1, 2022, the Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program Act becomes effective (“Act”).

The Act mandates licensees to ensure that their current alcohol servers and managers…

  • register with the ABC,
  • undergo RBS training with an ABC approved RBS training provider,
  • pass an exam, and
  • become RBS certified by Aug. 31, 2022 or within sixty (60) days of employment.

The Act defines an “alcohol server” as someone who takes orders for, pours, or delivers alcoholic beverages to customers and/or who checks customer IDs for the purpose of alcohol beverage service or gaining entrance an ABC on-premise licensed establishment.  An “alcohol manager” is someone who directly hires alcohol servers and/or who trains or oversees alcohol servers at an ABC on-premise licensed establishment. RBS certifications are valid for three years and alcohol certifications must be renewed prior to expiration.

In addition, the Act also requires licensees to maintain records of their alcohol servers’ and managers’ certifications. Licensees can maintain these certification records through the ABC’s online certification system.

Be aware that these certification records are subject to inspection by the ABC and licensees who fail to comply with the Act are subject to disciplinary action by the ABC such as a temporary suspension of one’s license. The ABC will commence enforcement of the Act on September 1, 2022, so if you are a community association with an ABC on-premise license be sure that you understand and timely comply with the requirements of the Act.

For more information regarding the Act for licensees and license administrators, please go to

Budgeting Appropriately for Increasing Costs with Regular Annual Assessments

By David A. Kline, Esq.

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Civil Code section 5600(a) requires an association to “levy regular and special assessments sufficient to perform its obligations under the governing documents and [the Davis-Stirling Act].” To that end, Civil Code section 5605 gives boards of directors the authority to increase regular assessments by up to 20%, without a membership vote.

As costs naturally increase over time due to inflation, material costs increase due to supply chain shortages and insurance premiums increase in response to the rising risk of drought-fueled wildfires, directors of common interest developments often find it difficult to manage their association’s budget.

Although it is important for board members to carefully scrutinize an association’s costs, consistently and steadfastly refusing to increase regular assessments to account for rising costs can lead to disastrous results for homeowners. Eventually, a hefty special assessment may be needed when long deferred maintenance results in property damage, or worse.

Often, candidates for the board of directors make campaign promises to cut regular assessments claiming they will reign in years of alleged financial mismanagement. And, board members often tout an association’s consistent level of regular assessments as evidence the association is well-managed and financially stable. In fact, these arguments are misplaced. Artificially keeping assessments low can be a major red flag, often indicating significant financial struggles around the corner. This is especially true now with inflation and the difficulties of obtaining goods and services.

Too often, boards of directors ignore the advice of the association’s experts, defer routine maintenance, fail to adequately fund the reserve account in accordance with the approved reserve funding plan, or otherwise kick their problems down the road for future boards and homeowners to address. This simply delays the inevitable and often ends up costing the association and the owners more in the long term and may create the need for a large special assessment to perform needed work in the community. Owners are often shocked when hit suddenly with a large special assessment and may have difficulty paying it when they prepared their own household budget based on an assumption of their association’s financial well-being.

When boards decide to forego a long-term warrantied roof replacement project, opting instead for a short-term patch job, or delay replacing corroded and worn-out pipes despite multiple leaks, for example, associations may find themselves paying not just to replace the broken common area components (often at a greater expense than would be paid if the board had been more proactive), but may also have to pay for the avoidable resulting damage to the separate interests as well. This can be much more expensive for homeowners in the long run, especially if the association’s insurance carrier denies coverage for damage due to the association’s alleged failure to properly maintain the failed component.

This is not to suggest that delaying an important infrastructure project is never appropriate. It may be appropriate for a board to prioritize repairing damaged structural components that threaten the health and safety of the residents above less critical repairs. However, boards of directors, and candidates for the board of directors, should be candid with the members about the rising costs that they anticipate. Homeowners should not be surprised by moderate, incremental increases in regular assessments from one year to the next. Anyone who pays attention to the news is well aware of rising inflation and community associations are subject to this like everyone else.

Sudden unexpected special assessments are never welcome, but they are particularly frustrating when they could have been avoided with honest and transparent budgeting decisions – this includes annual assessment increases to keep up with rising costs.

Boards should expect small incremental increases to most budget line items each year to keep up with inflation and make these annual assessment adjustments as needed in an effort to avoid large increases or special assessments in later years.

Solar Energy Systems: Regulating Owners’ Installation on Shared Multi-family Common Area Roofs

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By Emily A. Long, Esq.

By Emily A. Long, Esq.

Since January 1, 2018, California common interest developments have been required to allow members to install solar energy systems[1] on shared multifamily common area roofs of buildings within which their units are located and on roofs of adjacent carports or garages. (See Civ. Code §§ 714.1, 4600 and 4746).  While we do not have an abundance of mid or high-rise common interest developments in the desert, we do see many buildings with shared multifamily common area roofs.

Luckily, the requirement to allow solar energy systems does not mean that associations are prohibited from implementing reasonable requirements to guide solar energy system installation and protect associations from liability. Below, we summarize some of relevant law’s important provisions on this topic, and provide further guidance on how to remain compliant.  Associations should work with counsel to develop guidelines that take into consideration the recommendations provided below.

  1. An association shall not establish a general policy prohibiting the installation or use of a rooftop solar energy system for household purposes on the roof of the building in which the owner resides, or a garage or carport adjacent to the building that has been assigned to the owner for exclusive use. (Cal. Civ. Code §714.1(b)(1).)

Owners cannot place solar panels or equipment on whatever common area they choose, but rather are limited to the buildings or structures in which they own. Also note, if a carport is adjacent to the building but is not assigned, the association is not required to allow an owner to place solar energy equipment on that carport.

  1. When reviewing a request to install a solar energy system on a multifamily common area roof, the association must require an applicant to notify each owner of a unit in the building on which the installation will be located of the application. (Cal. Civ. Code §4746(a)(1).)

For practical purposes, we suggest any association with common area roofs include this requirement in its guidelines to notify all owners in the same building. Associations may require the applicant to provide signatures from the notified owners or certified mail receipts showing the notification was sent as part of its application process. That way, if a neighboring owner challenges the owner’s solar installation, the association has proof that the owner complied with the guidelines.

  1. The association must require the applicant and each successive owner of that unit to maintain a homeowner liability coverage policy and provide the certificate of insurance within 14 days of approval and annually thereafter. (Cal. Civ. Code § 4746(a)(2).)

Unfortunately, the California Legislature did not clarify what an association can or should do if an owner does not comply with this requirement. We believe the Legislature would not force an association to permit a solar energy system to be installed if there is no proof that it is insured, so we think revocation of approval is appropriate in that instance. However, there are unanswered questions with respect to insurance and we recommend you discuss such concerns with association counsel.

  1. When reviewing a request to install a solar energy system on common area, the association may impose a requirement to submit a solar site survey showing the placement of the system. If the association requires this solar survey, it must “include a determination of an equitable allocation of the usable solar roof area among all owners sharing the same roof, garage, or carport.” (Cal. Civ. Code §4746(b)(1(B).)

This provision means the association can impose guidelines regarding aesthetic standards, so long as the guidelines do not “significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency or specific performance…” as described in Civil Code §714.  For example, an association can provide that the preferred location of all solar energy systems is one that results in the least visual impact.  However, if the only feasible location for solar panels to be placed is on a roof which directly faces the street and any other location would significantly decrease the system’s efficiency, the association cannot prohibit an owner from placing the solar panels on the roof that faces the street.

Additionally, this provision provides that an association “may” require that an owner provide a solar site survey showing the usable area of the rooftop and the proposed placement of the solar energy system.[2] We recommend every association with common area roofs require the submission of a solar survey in its solar guidelines. Alternatively, an association may perform its own solar site survey.

As for the “equitable allocation,” we interpret this provision to mean an association may require the owner to abide by the equitable allocation as called for in the site survey by using only the owner’s share of the rooftop and leaving the remainder available for other owners of units in the building. The phrasing of Civil Code §4746(b)(1) seems to indicate that the requesting owner may choose where the solar energy system is placed, so long as the owner owns a portion of the building on which it will be placed, and complies with other requirements.

  1. The association may require the owner and each successive owner to be responsible for costs of any damage to the common area, exclusive use common area or unit; costs for the solar energy system; and disclosures to prospective buyers. (Cal. Civ. Code §4746(b)(2).)

We highly recommend each association require an applicant to sign a license, maintenance, and indemnity agreement taking on the above responsibilities, which may then be recorded on title so all prospective buyers are put on constructive notice of the agreement. This agreement should include language which clarifies that the owner may be required to remove the solar energy system, at their cost, to allow for common area maintenance or repair.

  1. The association must still abide by Civil Code §714.

California Civil Code § 714(a) prohibits any declaration and other governing document provision(s) from prohibiting or restricting the installation of solar energy systems outright. As such, any restrictions on the installation of these systems are declared invalid if the restrictions “significantly” increase the cost of the system or “significantly” decrease the efficiency of the system.[3]  Civil Code § 714 also provides penalties for willful noncompliance and attorneys’ fees are recoverable by a prevailing party.[4]

Emily Long, Esq., Epsten, APC.  Epsten, APC is a community association law firm that has been providing solutions to Southern California common interest development legal issues since 1986.  You can reach Emily at [email protected].

“Associations should work with counsel to develop guidelines that take into consideration these recommendations for solar energy system installation on shared multifamily common area roofs.

[1] For purposes of these Guidelines, the term “solar energy system” refers to both solar domestic water heating systems and/or photovoltaic systems, as applicable to an Owner’s request.

[2] The cost to perform this survey shall not be deemed as part of the cost of the system as used in Civil Code §714.

[3]See Civil code § 714(d)(1)(A) and (B) for a further definition of what a “significant increase” or “significant decrease” means under the law.

[4] See Civil Code § 714(f) and (g).

*This article was originally published in CAI Coachella Valley’s HOA Living Magazine in the June 2022 edition and was adapted from the original article, Solar Panels and Solar Energy Systems: The Association’s Ability to Regulate Owners’ Installation on Common Area) as authored by Jillian M. Wright, Esq.

Emily Long, Esq., Epsten, APC.  Epsten, APC is a community association law firm that has been providing solutions to Southern California common interest development legal issues since 1986.  You can reach Emily at [email protected].

Associations should work with counsel to develop guidelines that take into consideration these recommendations for solar energy system installation on shared multifamily common area roofs.

CACM Law Seminar & Expo – Cheers to 30 Years!

“A Toast to…”

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the 2022 CACM Law Seminar & Expo.  We loved seeing you in-person after two long years and “toasting” with you to celebrate!

We hope you enjoy all of the toasts from our fellow colleagues… Cheers!

“Never cross-pollenating legal opinions” – Marybeth O. Green, Seabreeze Management Company  **WINNER**

“Here’s to you, here’s to me, here’s to Epsten for keeping HOA free (of lawsuits)” – Therese McLaughlin, Phonc Professional HOA Consultants, Inc. **WINNER**

“CACM” – Lisa C. Terry, TOTAL Property Management, Inc.

“Educated Managers & Management Companies” – Loni Peterson, Solera Oak Valley Greens Association

“Jon Epsten” – Mindy Dent, The Management Trust

“Kindness” – Karina Reta, Powerstone Property Management

“Everything good” – Amanda Nevarez, Powerstone Property Management

“A happy life” – Maxwell G. Cawthon, Weldon L. Brown Company, Inc.

“Covid because it brought out the best in people and it tested our strength” – Laura Hurtado, Meissner Commercial Real Estate Services

“End of the pandemic” – Shahla Agha, Powerstone Property Management

“To all the hard working managers” – Claudia Sitta, Professional Community Management

“Epsten, wishing you all the best” – Therese Chrzan, Castle Breckenridge

“Drinking!” – Megan Daniel, Powerstone Property Management

“My village” – Brianna Miers, Powerstone Property Management

“Being able to pivot!” – Devon Nichols, Powerstone Property Management

“Living in the moment” –  Aly Lopez, First Service Residential

“Good things to come in 2022” – Samantha Lacy, Powerstone Property Management

“Seeing everyone in person” – Steven M. Cammarata, Cammarata Management, Inc.

“Cheers to an amazing year” – Wendy Mullens, Balboa Management Group

“Happy Friday” – Marlena Martinez, The Management Trust

“Freedom” – Megan Daniel, Powerstone Property Management

“Lets continue to keep an open and honest outlook with everyone we meet” – Cheryl Weepie-Garcia, Huntington West Properties, Inc.

“All Managers” – Michelle Mata, The Management Trust

“Cheers! The pandemic is over!” – Joann Pucello, Phonc Professional HOA Consultants, Inc.

“May the road of happiness lead you to beautiful things!” – Linda Sanchez, Ross Morgan & Company, Inc.

“Another 30 years!” – Gerard K. O’Donnell, Interpacific Asset Management

“CACM may the next 30 years be as great as the last 30 years!” – Antoinette Stratton, Balboa Management Group

“Good riddens Covid-19” – Valerie Vanhorn, Walters Management

“New friends, starting all over, and all that attended today” – Cynthia Solis, Jenkins Real Estate and Property Management

“Boards, managers, and vendors all working together to achieve quality in the communities” – Laurel Dial, Consensys Property Management

“Emily and her amazing fam” – Meredith Leatherman, Albert Management, Inc.

“To CACM’s 30 years and to the next 30 years of great services and education” – Robert Muratalla, Professional Community Management

“Getting together after Covid” – Cari Burleigh, Seabreeze Management Company

“The resilience and courage of the American people” – Marina C. Masar, Dynamic Property Group

“Gathering again, mask free” – Roseanne Zemming, Cannon Management

“Friends, family & Jenkins” – Charla Duncan, Jenkins Real Estate & Property Management

“Happy 30th!” – Kaylynn Hudson, The Management Trust

“Life! It is too short, live it today before it is gone & smile” – Stephanie Schumann, The Management Trust

“Epsten!” – Brian C. Blackwell, West Coast HOA Management Firm, Inc.

“Finally being all together again” – Heather Panek, Cannon Management

“To old friends” – George Gallanes, Weldon L. Brown Company, Inc.

“It’s all going to be ok!” – Jessica Williams, The Prescott Companies

“Happy dirty 30!” – Paola Scrimsher, The Prescott Companies

“Health, love & happiness” – Dawn Livingston, GRG Management, Inc.

“To get rid of the Covid pandemic!” – Michelle Espinoza, Powerstone Property Management

“Positive happy today, tomorrow & always!” – Maria Miller, Niguel Shores Community Association

“49ers winning the Super Bowl” – Kelly Thompson, Action Property Management, Inc.

“Blessing of children” – Brenda P. Wesley, Weldon L. Brown Company, Inc.

“Erin GoBragh! May the luck of o’ the Irish be with us for another 30 years!” – Janine Weston, Hammer Real Estate

“Live music” – Rebecca McDonald, Walters Management

“Live life like there is no tomorrow. Never know what tomorrow will bring” – Christina Mercer, Powerstone Property Management

“Family’ – Salle Yerumyan, LBPM Properly Managed

“Covid almost over!” – Hugo Herrera, LBPM Properly Managed

“Continuing zoom meetings” – Catie Contreras, Action Property Management, Inc.

“Ukraine” – Jenny Mucha, Lake Forest II Master Homeowners Association

“Life is beautiful and so are you!” – Julie Gould, Pernicano Realty & Management, Inc.

“Our friend of many years, we miss you Brenda!” – Nancy Blasco, Stone Kastle Community Management, Inc.

“For the next 30 years. Meow!” – Grace Babcock, The Management Trust

“Life!” – Christie Alviso, Stone Kastle Community Management, Inc.

“Cheers to waking up to another day” – Dee Rowe, Walters Management

“Happiness, health, love & life” – Deena Arvizu, Walters Management

“Unity & equality” – Leeann Polarek, Baldwin Real Estate Management

“Professionalism and growth in an amazingly important industry” – Kelly McGalliard, PGA West Residential Association, Inc.

“Peace and health for everyone!” – Angelica Chacana, LBPM Properly Managed

“Health & happiness for a better 2022!” – Carol Calhoun, Associa Desert Resort Management

“Being able to see all our colleagues again” – Jamie Kim, Walters Management

“The dog poop that will still be on the lawn on Monday” – Debbie Graffam, Next Step Community Management

“The house always wins!” – Alysia Dale, Powerstone Property Management

“Sun City Lincoln Hills!” – Staci Erksine, Sun City Lincoln Hills Community Association

“Cheers to learning zoom!” – Tiffani Santiago

“A great dress!” – Kara Wright, Powerstone Property Management

“Waking up!” – Robert E. Sides, Regatta Seaside HOA

“A successful and healthy year to all of our friends, family & business partners!” – Ashley Herrera, Powerstone Property Management

“Living life” – Kimberly Harrigan, Camco Condominium Association Management Company

“Getting together!” – Maria Grant, The Management Trust

“More business account money!” – Marinel Castillo, LBPM Properly Managed

“Good times to come in future years” – Marilyn Smith, Powerstone Property Management

“Love each other” – Nicole Villegas, GRG Management, Inc.

“Covid is behind us!” – Jerry C. Storage, Desert Princess

“The amazing people that work in this industry. You are the reason I am able to do my job…seriously” – Vanessa Silva, The Management Trust

“Good health” – Miguel Torres, Powerstone Property Management

“Continual Growth” – Linda Sok, CondoServices

“30 more years” – Pam Cooper, Accell Property Management

“Life. Life is precious. Cherish every moment” – Amethyst Schy, The Management Trust

“God bless Ukraine” – Jerry McDonald, Coronado Shores Landscape & Recreation

“Life” – Amy Yankauskas, The Management Trust

“MLB coming back. Go Angels” – Mallory Whalen, Associa Equity Mangement & Realty Services

“Civility & restraint” – Devon Nichols, Powerstone Property Management

“Cheers to 30 years” – Kari Martin, The Management Trust

“30 years to CACM” – Brenda Baker, Condominium Management Services

“Pivot through 2022 – soar for the sky! The Sky’s the limit” – Amelia Marques, Huntington West Properties, Inc.

“Where would I be without you!” – Sheryl Kaonis-Rochon, EBMC

“Taking life to the next level. Surpassing all my wildest dreams” – Claire Hosking, Summit Property Management, Inc.

“Me & you” – Ana Ryustem, Interpacific Asset Management

“To those I loved & lost. Till we meet again” – Kathleen Wright, North Coast Village HOA

“Being in person again!” – Alyssa Carle, Powerstone Property Management

Use of Association Technology by Members

By Rhonda R. Adato, Esq.


  • Does your community have a media room?
  • Does your community offer computers for use by residents?

If so, this article is for you! Stay safe and ensure your community has a record of who is using association technology and how.

Logging into Association-Owned Devices

Some community associations allow residents to access the internet on association-owned devices, such as tablets or computers located in a community clubhouse or business center. However, it is important for such associations to consider implementing safeguards to keep residents accountable for their online activity and restricting accessing to certain websites and content, or in some unusual cases completely restricting access to the internet.

One method of monitoring and restricting access is requiring each resident to log in to association-owned devices using a unique, association-assigned username and password. This will make it easier for the association to track the activity of each resident, if needed. The association may also want to consider blocking specific residents from using its devices at all. For example, certain residents may be barred from accessing the internet as a result of prior criminal activities.

Our firm is not an expert in cybersecurity or information technology (“IT”). Therefore, we recommend consulting with a qualified expert regarding securing an association’s devices, implementing resident log-in requirements, restricting access to undesirable websites, etc. We also recommend consulting with association counsel regarding the type of digital safeguards each community is authorized to implement.

Finally, associations may want to consult with their insurance broker and legal counsel to ensure they’re adequately protected from potential liability in connection with a homeowner’s misuse of an association-owned device.

Here’s to (safely) surfing the Web!

Use of Timers to Stay on Schedule During Board Meetings

By Tiffany L. Christian, CDMP, PCM

One of the key components to running an efficient board meeting is to start on time and end on time. Easy enough, right? Well, we know that is not always the case.

Although most of us are meeting experts, the one challenge many of us face is when discussion goes on too long. Whether it’s discussion on an agenda item, homeowner forum or otherwise – it is difficult to interrupt someone when they are passionate about their topic and wont allow you or anyone else to get a word in edgewise.

So, here is an age-old pro-tip, with a techy twist… Use a (web) TIMER!

Meeting virtually? Even better! Open your web browser, search “Google Timer,” (or any other web browser you like), enter your time limit for the discussion at hand, click on the full-screen icon and share your screen via the virtual meeting platform.

As long as you notify your participants in advance that timers will be used to stay on schedule, you are golden. When the timer goes off their time is up.

If the meeting is virtual and they continue to speak, give them a courtesy 5 seconds and then take advantage of the “mute” audio feature.

You’re welcome. We are always here to help!
– Epsten, APC