Law & Logic of Homeowner Association Capital ReservesWritten by Neda Dabestani-Ryba
Law & Logic of Homeowner Association Capital Reserves By Neda Dabestani-Ryba Prudential Carruthers REALTORS
In October 1999, Oregon was one of first states that enacted a significant improvement to its Condominium and Planned Community regarding capital reserve planning, a process by which homeowner associations plan and fund future repairs and replacements. For many associations, process became mandatory although there was an "escape clause" for pre-October 99 Oregon communities. But there's more to reserve planning than The Law. Where statute stops, Board's "fiduciary" duty kicks in. A "fiduciary" is one who is given trust or confidence of another. The Board is entrusted with care of biggest single asset that most people own, their homes. These people have right to expect homeowner association to be run like business that it is...a corporation often responsible for millions of dollars in assets. The reserve study concept was developed during 1980s as a result of many aging homeowner associations that found themselves in dire straits due to failure to plan for reserve expenses. The homeowners expected Board to plan for such events and all too many had no plan other than "dealing with it" when time came. Well, those "times" came all too soon and inevitability lived up to its reputation. Thus, obvious need for long range planning came about.
ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR FAIR HOUSINGWritten by Neda Dabestani-Ryba
ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR FAIR HOUSING By Neda Dabestani-Ryba Prudential Carruthers REALTORS
Policy Federal Fair Housing accessibility requirements for new multifamily buildings should be written in building code language certified as Fair Housing compliant by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD should be vigilant in compliance education and assistance as is NAHB. Use of Fair Housing Initiatives Program funding for enforcement actions should be curtailed. Any enforcement actions should be reasonable and reflect lack of clear guidance available for complying with Act. Background The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 requires new multifamily buildings constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 and consisting of four or more units to be accessible to disabled persons. HUD issued accessibility guidelines on March 6, 1991 and a supplementary design manual in August 1996 to provide guidance on complying with law. But HUD's guidelines were poorly promulgated and not written in building code language, making it impractical for builders and local officials to define compliance, which has led to conflicting interpretations and inadvertent failures to meet certain requirements. In response, building code language was cooperatively developed by NAHB, HUD, International Code Council, and disability advocates and completed in May 2000. HUD has certified that building code language satisfies accessibility requirements of Fair Housing Act and NAHB is promoting state and local adoption of compliant code language. Federal promulgation of requirements must still be intensified, however, if compliance is to be improved. Addressing noncompliance of existing covered buildings (constructed for occupancy after March 13, 1991) remains contentious. Federally funded private advocacy groups and state and local housing agencies, HUD, and Department of Justice are all actively involved in current enforcement actions and will continue to be. These actions are often threatening, based on questionably broad interpretations of federal requirements, fail to reflect lack of compliance assistance at time of construction, and divert resources that could otherwise be applied to more proactive solutions.