Condo Media - August 2010 - (Page 20)

ASKED & ANSWERED Records Update Changing Laws and Regulations Q A QUESTION: What documents should community associations have updated regularly to avoid potential conflicts with changing laws and regulations? ANSWER: The association’s rules and regulations, master deed and declaration of trust all should be updated periodically, suggests Ellen Shapiro, a partner in the Massachusetts law firm Goodman, Shapiro and Lombardi. On that list, the rules and regulations are easiest to update because changes don’t require owner approval. Although, Shapiro notes, it is a good idea for the board to solicit the input of owners, if not their approval, on any significant changes. She suggests that boards (and association attorneys) review the association’s rules every two or three years to make sure they remain consistent with municipal, state and federal laws and regulations, all of which are subject to change. A community’s “needs and preferences” also may change over time, Shapiro notes, and the rules should reflect those changes, as well. Shapiro recommends a review of the community’s master deed and its Financial Services for Community Associations Call us today to discuss your financing*, deposit and cash management options. We understand the needs of an association and the important role of board members in managing your community. Contact Jordan Arovas at (508) 235-1351 or, or Fidel Vasquez at (617) 877-8917 or Visit approval * All credit products are subject to the normal credit approval process. Some applications may require further Certain consideration and/or supplemental information. Cert terms and conditions may apply. tain The Webster S ymbol, Webster Bank and Webster We Find a Way are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Of fice. Webster Symbol, Webster Bank and Webster We Find Way are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. T he Webster Bank, N.A. Webster Bank, N.A. Member FDIC Member FDIC declaration of trust every seven to 10 years, to make sure that not only are restrictions in those governing documents consistent with applicable laws and regulations, but also that they continue to reflect “modern trends and social and cultural mores as they change.” For example, Shapiro notes, many documents contain, or used to contain, provisions prohibiting trucks. These provisions, written at a time when trucks were primarily commercial vehicles, did not anticipate that they would become, as they are today, “the family car” for many people. Once common provisions barring flags now run afoul of state and federal laws specifically permitting those displays; provisions barring antennas now conflict with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations limiting the authority of associations to restrict those installations; and no-pet provisions conflict with laws allowing animals that provide assistance to owners with physical or emotional disabilities. Updates may be required to specify (as modern documents now do) that flags are allowed, subject to association rules governing their size and location; antennas are restricted “except as required by the FCC”; and pets are prohibited “except as required to comply with the Fair Housing Act.” Shapiro also includes the association’s fine schedule, which may have been established “during very different economic times” on the list of association policies and procedures “that need to be tweaked occasionally” to make sure they are still relevant and achieve the purposes for which they were designed. CM 20 CONDO MEDIA • AUGUST 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - August 2010

Condo Media - August 2010
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Sue & Be Sued
Vendor Spotlight
Industry Perspective
Volunteer Spotlight
Advertisers Index
Classified Service Directory

Condo Media - August 2010