Robert DeNichilo has contributed to the Following Articles at

When Pets Do Damage in Your HOA

In pet-friendly homeowners associations, fights can erupt over whether common-area damage is the result of pets—and over whose pets are the culprits.

Here’s a common example: In one Chicago condo association, owners are bickering over whether the brown spots on the lawn are from a new dog’s bathroom habits and what the owner must do to fix the problem.

Here, we cover how to determine the cause of and get reimbursed for pet damages to common areas. Click here to read the entire article.

Guard Your HOA’s Membership List Carefully

If an owner or someone else asks to see your association’s member list, can you say no? If your state requires that you provide members your list, can you redact some information? Are there restrictions on how members can use the list?

To answer those questions for your association, you’ll need to review your own state’s law and your governing documents. Here’s how a sampling of states address the issue. Click here to read the entire article.

When to Turn to Small Claims Court for HOA Collections

In this week’s tip, we give you the skinny on when it’s wise and not-so-wise to go after delinquent homeowners in small claims court. Many attorneys recommend against it, but there are exceptions.

“In certain circumstances, small claims is a very viable option, such as when it’s a small amount of money,” says Robert M. DeNichilo, an attorney at DeNichilo & Lindsley LLP in Irvine, Calif., who specializes in representing community associations.Click here to read the entire article.

How Open Must Your HOA Meetings Be?

Your owners’ tenants are beginning to show up at association meetings. And on occasion, a potential vender stops by. This week’s tip addresses whether you can and should boot those nonmembers.Click here to read the entire article.

Who Can Attend Your HOA Meetings?

Does your state or homeowners association have rules covering who can attend owners’ and board meetings? Here we explain potential restrictions and whether your board can and should allow exceptions.

How you treat “outsiders” depends on your state’s laws and your governing documents. Click here to read the entire article.

Can You Use Small Claims Court to Collect Unpaid HOA Fees?

One California small claims judge’s opinion has caused confusion over homeowners associations’ ability to use small claims court to collect unpaid fees. Here, we explain the California brouhaha and offer insights about using small claims court in other states as well. Click here to read the entire article.

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