Disputes That Will Impact Homeowners' Associations

New trends have emerged in housing that may impact homeowner associations soon, and they'll likely impact the financial well-being and the investments of property owners too.
Drones: 
Drones can cause headaches for condo boards when they snap photos of windows, said Marvin Nodiff, a community association attorney in St. Louis and a member of the College of Community Associations. Some residents, he said, have sued their boards for that reason. Safety and privacy are concerns for all communities. Boards should adopt rules regulating, controlling and monitoring who can use a drone and when. Fines should be spelled out in the rules for any violations. And association boards — and their property managers — should consult their insurance agent to make sure there is adequate coverage should a drone fall and damage property or injure a person.
Copyright: 
Copyright doesn’t seem like an obvious HOA issue. But the potential for copyright infringement issues and huge fines are becoming more common, according to USI Insurance Services, as more and more communities, to foster a spirit of friendship and a chance to get to know neighbors, are offering free movies. If your community plans to show a movie — free or otherwise — you must obtain a license from a performance rights organization.
Mold:
Mold has always been a concern, but flooding from the massive rainfall in recent years has made the problem worse. According to USI, “damage from mold is specifically excluded in most standard property insurance policies. Such policies provide coverage for damages that are sudden and accidental. They are not designed to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining a home.” Thus, associations must address their water problems. Cleaning up the mold but not remedying the cause is not acceptable. And even if the mold is in just one unit, that does not mean the rest of the association is immune from a subsequent occurrence.

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