In the United States, community associations represent the fastest-growing form of home ownership. These organizations include townhome associations, condominium associations and cooperatives. According to a 2010 estimate from the Community Associations Institute, there were 62 million Americans living in community associations. That’s about 25 million homes. There are law firms that serve the legal needs of these associations, including their boards of directors and property management companies.
It’s the legal responsibility of community associations to protect the investments that their members have made in the neighborhood. They do this by passing and enforcing a wide range of rules regarding homes and common areas. They also may be responsible for the maintenance and repairs of community assets and resolving disputes between members. In order to fund these actions, they will usually collect fees from members. Most of the time, the associations will be able to handle these activities independently.
There are some instances when a community association will need professional legal help. This may be required when drafting or amending governing documents, negotiating vendor contracts, collections and general advice and guidance about various issues. A law firm can also represent a community association in issues involving third parties, including mediation, arbitration and litigation.
If a community association is having trouble obtaining compensation from their insurance company after an incident, hiring a law firm that works on community association property insurance claims should be a top priority. Some law offices will be willing to offer a free initial consultation to discuss the legal options available to the community association. If an attorney evaluates a denied claim and determines that the insurance company acted in bad faith, the attorney may suggest filing a lawsuit.