Governing Documents in Community Associations

August 11, 2017

In this episode of Community Matters podcast, we discuss the documents that every community association in Pennsylvania is governed by, including the Declaration of Covenants, the bylaws of the association and rules and regulations. We discuss the hierarchy of these documents, what each document consists of and how they can be amended and enforced. Our guest is Sara Austin, Esq., with the Austin Law Firm in York, PA. Sara is a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary. In addition to being a member of CAI, Austin is the 2016-17 President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and is a Past-President of the York County (PA) Bar Association and Leadership York. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and a past board member of Community First Fund. Contact Sara via the Austin Law Firm website.

Community Matters is now available in the iTunes store and on Google Play. Subscribe there or download the podbean app and be the first to receive notifications when new episodes are posted.



The Top 5 Directors & Officers Liability Issues and How to Avoid Claims

July 27, 2017
In this episode of Community Matters podcast, Angela Costigan, Esq., with the Law Firm of Costigan & Costigan will address the most frequently litigated Directors and Officers Liability issues, and how to avoid claims on these issues, including:
  1. The careful calculation of resale certificates.
  2. Assessing fines and penalties.
  3. Suspending voting rights.
  4. The establishment of architectural review boards.
  5. Financial disclosures.

Our presenter for this episode is Angela Costigan, a partner at the law firm of Costigan & Costigan, LLC, with offices in Philadelphia, PA, Moorestown, NJ and Hammonton, NJ. Angela received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Italian, Spanish and French and her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She is licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and focuses her practice on the defense of condominium and homeowner associations. Contact Angela via the firm website.

Community Matters is now available in the iTunes store and on Google Play. Subscribe there or download the podbean app and be the first to receive notifications when new episodes are posted.

Medical Marijuana’s Impact on Community Associations

July 13, 2017

In this episode of Community Matters, we're talking pot – that is, the legal kind. Medical Marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states and in some, so is recreational marijuana. Community associations have long dealt with the issue of cigarette and other types of smoking, but does medical marijuana require new ways of thinking for community association managers and elected leaders?

We’ll find out in this podcast, where our guest is Scott Reidenbach, Esquire. Scott is the founding principal of Reidenbach & Associates, a law firm based in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Scott and his firm concentrate in the areas of Condominium and Community Association Law, Construction Litigation, Real Estate and related areas. Contact Scott through his website at

Community Matters is now available in the iTunes store and on Google Play. Subscribe there or download the podbean app and be the first to receive notifications when new episodes are posted.


Records Retention: What to keep and for how long?

June 27, 2017

One of the questions we often get from condominium and homeowner association volunteer leaders and property managers has to do with records retention. That will be the focus for this episode of CAI’s podcast – we’ll be talking about documents such as financial records, tax returns, audits, meeting minutes, board resolutions, among others. How long should these documents be kept and stored, and where? We’ll find out in this podcast, where our guest is Marshal Granor, Esquire, with Granor & Granor, PC in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Marshal’s practice is limited to drafting and editing community association governing documents, non-litigation dispute resolution, creative problem solving and providing guidance to association boards. He is one of the principal authors of the Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act and is a Fellow of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers. Marshal is also a member of CAI’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee.  Contact Marshal via email or visit his website.



Efficient & Effective Association Meetings

June 12, 2017

Community association board and committee meetings can be dreadful for all those involved. Meetings typically run long, homeowners tend to vent on issues not on the agenda, and sometimes little is accomplished. But this does not need to be the case. By establishing some simple rules, your community association meetings can become more effective and more efficient.

Our guest in this podcast is Jeff Evans, LSM, PCAM, principal with Management Matters, a community association management consulting and expert witness firm in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania. Jeff served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Lake Naomi Club in Pocono Pines, PA for 30 years. Contact Jeff via email or visit his website


Why Your Community Association Needs a Reserve Study

May 19, 2017

In this episode of CAI's Community Associations Podcast, we talk with John Hershey, founder of J. Hershey Architecture Inc., about the purpose of a reserve study and why community associations of all sizes and types should have a regularly updated reserve study. John is an LEED accredited professional architect, reserve specialist and president of the firm, which specializes in consulting, design and construction management. J. Hershey Architecture has offices in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago and Orlando. John has over 30 years of architectural experience, and has expertise in transition studies, reserve studies and bid repair documents. He also provides construction management services. For more information on the firm, visit the firm's website or email John.


Sometimes Rentals Work FOR Community Associations

April 28, 2017

One of the topics that confound community associations and their boards is what to do about renters. Many times, the question is what can be done to limit them, prohibit them or somehow control them. However, in the right circumstances, possession and rental of a delinquent unit can be a real boon to an association plagued with a zombie property. A vacant property that is a whole in the budget and a bane to the community can be turned into a valuable asset.  A petition for possession, whether through a receiver or directly by the association is a  new strategy to combat delinquents that can be very effective for a progressive board with creative and aggressive counsel.

Our guest in this episode is Hal Barrow, Esq., Partner and Co-Founder of Barrow|Hoffman. Hal has represented hundreds of community associations since 1985. A magna cum laude graduate of Widener University School of Law, Hal has tried cases in state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania. Hal is an active member of CAI, the Community Association Institute, and has served as President of the Pennsylvania and Greater Delaware Valley Chapter and as past chair of CAI’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action​ Committee. For more information, email Hal or visit Barrow|Hoffman's website at this link.


Social Media: Rules for Employers

April 10, 2017

The continuing growth of social media has created an array of pitfalls and challenges for employers, including community associations. Hiring decisions have been complicated because of publicly available information on social media, employees are using social media platforms to publicly air workplace grievances and complaints, and pictures and other information posted make an employee’s conduct outside the job only a click away for managers and colleagues in the workplace. These are just a few examples of the many issues, created by social media, that employers are dealing and coming to grips with on a daily basis. A misstep by employers in dealing with the array issues created by social media could lead to lawsuits, fines and other legal exposure.

We'll cover many of these issue in this episode of CAI's podcast. Our guest is Greg Hanscom, Esq., an associate in the Philadelphia office of attorneys Fisher & Phillips. Greg’s practice is devoted to representing employers in a wide array of litigation and non-litigation matters and focuses, in part, on discrimination claims brought under various federal, state and local statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance. For more information, email Greg or visit their website at this link.


Project Management: Finding the Right Professional for Your Community Association

April 7, 2017

If your condo or community association is starting a capital improvement project, you want the job done right. Hiring the right professionals can mean the difference between happy residents and a satisfied board of directors and a disaster. In this podcast, Maria Elena Solis, CMCA, with Lemus Construction, talks with CAI's Mike Shaw about how to properly administer a capital improvement or replacement project.

Maria Elena Solis, CMCAM, is a member of the chapter Board of Directors and also serves on the Business Partners Council. She served for several years as a community association manager, and earned the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) certification. She is now with Lemus Construction, a 2017 chapter Diamond Partner. For more information, contact Maria Elena via email or visit their website.


Condos & HOAs: Fiduciary Duty Explained

March 28, 2017

In this episode of CAI's Podcast, we will be talking about the important topic of fiduciary duty and what it means in the context of your condominium, cooperative or homeowner association. This is an important legal and financial term for elected board members and managers in community associations and we hope you will find this information useful to your community.

Our guest is Gregory Malaska, Esquire, with the law firm Young & Haros in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Greg focuses his law practice in community association law, representing dozens of planned communities through Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley in a diverse array of transaction and litigation matters including organizational document drafting, transitions from developer to association control, covenant enforcement, assessment collection, corporate management and employment matters. Greg is a member of the Board of Directors of CAI’s Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley Chapter and is past chair of CAI’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee as well as CAI’s Pocono Mountains Regional Council. Visit Young & Haros online or email Greg directly for more information.