Community Association Law: Benefits Beyond the Highrise
Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C. (KMK) recently added community association law to its list of practice areas. We can now help associations and their boards with a wide range of legal services needed to establish, manage, and operate these communities.
Condominium ownership is a unique form of homeownership. Individual condominium owners are members of condominium associations that are governed by an elected Board of Directors. It naturally follows that condominium boards will face unique and complex day-to-day hurdles and obstacles in managing and operating the association.
Associations rely on the governance framework established by their governing documents, namely the Declaration of Condominium, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and Rules and Regulations. However, many associations work with antiquated and often ambiguous governing documents. Associations will require strategic guidance from knowledgeable community association attorneys in the interpretation and, when necessary, amendment of these governing documents.
In Wisconsin, all condominium associations, even if unincorporated, constitute a legal corporate entity. Association boards frequently need assistance and guidance in all areas of corporate governance, including, election and voting issues, governing document enforcement, preparation of policies, rules, and procedures, board member powers and duties, and conducting association meetings. A community association attorney must be able to interpret the corporate governance mandates of the governing documents while reconciling that guidance with the state’s corporate law statutes.
An association attorney must also be able to:
- navigate disputes between associations and its members involving maintenance and repair responsibility;
- ensure governing documents comply with all applicable laws at the local, state, and federal level;
- review, draft and negotiate contracts and loan documents with essential third-party service providers; and,
- develop and implement effective collection policies as well as enforce an association’s right to payment of assessments.
The Community Association Law department at KMK possesses the expertise and experience to guide condominium associations through all these complex situations and so much more. However, our non-association clients also benefit from our understanding of this particular area of law.
- We can assist real estate clients navigating the sales and purchases of condominium units, the development of condominiums, and the resolution of property disputes and title issues involving condominium property.
- We can represent insurers and insureds alike in insurance coverage disputes concerning association master policies and individual homeowners’ policies.
- We can help clients attempting to assert lien and bond claims as well as the foreclosure of mortgages against properties located in condominiums.
The Community Association Law department attorneys at KMK are experts in interpreting governing documents and pride themselves on making the documents easy for boards and owners to understand. They also have a deep understanding of the Wisconsin Condominium Ownership Act, as well as real estate law, contract law, and insurance coverage. While we actively seek creative ways for our clients to avoid the courtroom through negotiations, mediation and arbitration, we nevertheless are nationally recognized as one of the premier collections and bankruptcy law firms and have a robust litigation department with a proven record of success throughout Wisconsin and the United States.
If you would like to speak with an experienced community association attorney about these and other related issues, please contact KMK attorney Charles M. Fiergola via email or contact another member of the department by calling our main office at 414-962-5110.
Founded in 1937, Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C. (KMK) is a leading law firm with a global reputation for success and a rich tradition of results, providing legal expertise in business and financial services, business litigation, and commercial collections. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s Best Law Firms, KMK is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI. For more information, visit www.kmksc.com.