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Federal Laws Affecting Community Associations

by Mary Arnold, CMCA®, AMS® on Sep 26, 2018 8:16:00 AM

A community association derives its legal obligations from several sources:

1. Federal, state and local statutes, regulations and case law (court decisions)

2. Legal documents are unique to the community association

3. Lender requirements

Example: requirements set by secondary mortgage and institutions such as FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.

4. Standards set by professional bodies

Example: auditing standards set by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

There are many federal laws the impact condo and community associations. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant penalties against the association. May states have additional laws that may add another layer of compliance requirements.

Provisions most relevant to community association operations include:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Fair Labor and Standards Act (FSLA) • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Code
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Fair Housing Act

Community associations are well advised to find a resolution that protects the association's interest while addressing individual complaints. Sometimes it is more important to resolve a problem amicably than to stand firm, especially when the disagreement has the potential to escalate into a discrimination allegation. Whenever in doubt, consult with your legal professional.

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