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Mary W. Barrett has been practicing in Stark & Stark’s Community Associations Group since 1998. She concentrates her practice in the representation of homeowners associations, condominium associations, and cooperatives throughout New Jersey.


What are the different types of association meetings? How do you know what type of meeting to have? Community associations have board meetings and member meetings; knowing the difference and scheduling the right meeting is critical.

Board Meetings for Community Associations

At board meetings, the board of trustees conducts its business. The board may have working sessions, executive sessions, and open sessions. At an open board meeting, the board may vote to approve contracts, adopt rules and regulations, or make other binding decisions for the association. All binding decisions of the board must be made at an open board meeting, however, for confidential matters the decisions must be approved without disclosing confidences.

Continue Reading What Are the Different Types of Community Association Meetings?

As we reported in our previous blog, on July 1, 2021 Governor Murphy signed a COVID-19 liability protection bill and, by doing so, gave community associations some immunity from certain legal claims arising from COVID-19. The law provided that a community association “shall be immune from civil liability for damages arising from, or related

Step One – Start Early. The time to start working on your next election is the day after your last election.

  • Make notes for next year. What worked well? What could be done better?
  • Clearly note the new (and existing) trustee terms in the minutes. Too often trustee terms get confusing, especially when there are appointments to vacant positions.
  • Save the draft minutes so they can be located and approved at the next annual meeting.
  • Consider amendments that will make the election process easier: electronic voting, electronic notice, quorum reduction, absentee ballots, eliminating double ballot procedures. Get those amendments approved and recorded at least three months before your next annual meeting.

Continue Reading Five Steps to Successful Trustee Elections

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, Governor Murphy signed a COVID-19 liability protection bill and, by doing so, gave community associations some immunity from certain legal claims arising from COVID-19. The law provides that a community association “shall be immune from civil liability for damages arising from, or related to, an exposure to, or transmission of, COVID-19 on the premises” providing the association has prominently displayed a sign “at the entrance of any communal space shared by…residents and their guests, such as pools, gyms, and clubhouses.” The sign must state the following:


Continue Reading Does Your Community Association Want the New COVID Immunity? Post Your Signs Now!

Governor Murphy has now announced that community association pools may open in New Jersey on June 22. If you didn’t hear that announcement, you probably did hear the collective cheers from Cape May to Mahwah.

But, just because pools and some other amenities may open, you must ask: should you open yours?

Continue Reading Pools (and Some Other Amenities) are Opening in New Jersey! Should You Open Yours?

Effective May 18, 2020, proposed regulations to PREDFDA were adopted and published by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards (DCA).

A Brief History

In July 2017, several amendments to PREDFDA (N.J.S.A.45:22A-43) were signed into law becoming known as the “Radburn Election Law” (P.L.2017, c. 106). These amendments broadly focus on membership voting rights, elections, and by-law amendments. In June 2019, proposed regulations to the Radburn Law were introduced and the public was given a period of time to comment on the proposed regulations. While comments were mixed, there was strong opposition to many of the provisions. The regulations have now been approved and published.

How This Impacts Associations

While the provisions of the Radburn Regulations are substantial, following are the provisions which are most significant and/or most relevant to the majority of community associations:

Continue Reading Radburn Law Regulations

On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit issued an important decision in the case of Riccio v. Sentry Credit, Inc., approving oral communication as a method to dispute the validity of a debt. This decision overruled Graziano v. Harrison 950 F.2d 107 (3d Cir. 1991), a long-standing case requiring a writing to dispute a debt and will affect all consumer debt collectors including those collecting debt for community associations.

Continue Reading Validity of Debts May Be Disputed by Oral Communication: Third Circuit Rejects Requirement of a Writing to Dispute Consumer Debt Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

The coronavirus pandemic, with its stay at home mandates and work restrictions, is hitting the economy hard. Community association boards and managers should anticipate adverse impacts in the collection of assessments as early as April and must be prepared to address these delinquencies.

Continue Reading Staying the Course: Assessment Collection During (and After) the Coronavirus Pandemic

If you watch or read the news lately, the coronavirus seems to be everywhere. And that’s the problem, right? With the uncertainty of what might be coming, community association boards and managers may want to take actions to help protect their residents and limit the spread of this virus. Rethinking close quarters gatherings – such as social events and meetings – may be prudent or even mandated to help residents keep the recommended “social distance.” This coronavirus may run its course soon, but another type of crisis could be around the corner. Boards and managers should have contingency plans in place for meetings so that they and the owners can continue to conduct business.

Continue Reading Community Association Meetings During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Or Any Other Time of Crisis)

When community association board members hire a transition attorney for their condominium or homeowners association, they may not know exactly what to look for. They may not know much about transition to begin with, or may not know the right questions to ask in order to find the right transition attorney. If your association is looking for a transition attorney, or you are reconsidering the one you have, the following may help you to identify the right transition attorney.

Continue Reading How to Know You Have the Right Transition Attorney for Your Community Association