Karpoff to Speak at the 2012 Community Association Law Summit

November 12, 2012

Hill Wallack LLP Partner Michael S. Karpoff, Esq. will speak on “Disabled Residents and the Law Against Discrimination: Reasonable Modifications of Facilities and Accommodations of Rules and Policies” at the 2012 Community Association Law Summit. This seminar is presented in cooperation with the New Jersey Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section.

The summit will be held at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on Thursday, December 6, 2012, and has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 6.8 hours of CLE credit, of which 1.0 qualify for ethics/professionalism credit. CLE credit is also available for PA and NY.

For more information on this seminar or to register to attend, please click here.

Justice Department Cracks Down on Fair Housing Discrimination

October 11, 2012

By Ronald L. Perl, Esq.

On October 10, 2012, the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit in Florida against a 249 unit homeowners association and its former manager. The Justice Department alleges that the association violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children.

The lawsuit charges that Townhomes of Kings Lake HOA, Inc., and its former managing agent violated the Fair Housing Act by adopting and enforcing policies that unduly limited the number of individuals who can reside in each townhome. The suit also alleges that the association violated the Fair Housing Act by threatening to evict a couple and their six minor children from a four-bedroom townhome they were renting and by taking other actions to interfere with their occupancy.

The lawsuit resulted from a complaint filed by the family with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After they moved into the home, the management company and the association objected to the number of children living there. The association’s policy allowed only six individuals to occupy the home, which was far more stringent than what governmental regulations permitted. The association also adopted similarly restrictive limitations on the number of individuals who could live in two and three-bedroom townhomes in the development. HUD investigated the complaint, issued a charge of discrimination and the matter was referred to the Justice Department. The lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by the association and management, monetary damages for the affected family, and a civil penalty.

While no judicial determination has been made regarding the validity of this complaint, the case illustrates why associations should exercise caution and seek the advice of counsel when considering occupancy restrictions.

You can read more about this lawsuit here.

If you have a question about this case or any other issue concerning your community association, please contact one of our Community Associations attorneys. For breaking news or updates on new blog posts, follow us on Twitter at: @njcondolaw.

Keeping the Dogs at Bay: Defending a Fair Housing Act "Animal" Case

On January 15, 2011, Terry A. Kessler, Esq., a partner in Hill Wallack LLP’s Community Associations Group, lectured on defending community associations from Fair Housing Act complaints involving service and emotional support animals during CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers' Law Seminar, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the full text of an article written by Michael S. Karpoff, Esq. on this important subject, please click here.

The Ethics of Honoring the Attorney-Client Privilege

On January 31, 2009, Michael S. Karpoff, Esq., a partner in Hill Wallack LLP’s Community Associations Group, lectured on the attorney-client privilege and its effect on community associations during CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers' Law Seminar, which took place in Palm Springs, California. For the full text of Mr. Karpoff's article on this important subject, please click here. Reprinted with permission of the Community Associations Institute.