Year: 2020

March 30, 2020

We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. But a new Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency loan program comes close, and it could be a financial lifesaver for many businesses, including condominium association management companies. Part of the massive pandemic relief legislation enacted recently by Congress, the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, as the title suggests, is designed to help small businesses maintain their operations and sustain their payrolls until the pandemic [Read More...]

March 27, 2020

As of this writing, both Massachusetts and New Hampshire now operate under orders from their respective governors for all non-essential businesses to be closed to the public and for work to occur on a remote or modified basis (e.g. restaurants serving take-out only).  On March 23rd, Governor Baker issued this order for Massachusetts effective at noon on March 24th until noon on April 7th (unless extended).  On March 26th, Governor Sununu issued a similar order [Read More...]

March 27, 2020

WHAT ABOUT URGENT BUSINESS IF MEETINGS ARE TO BE AVOIDED? Some associations may have an urgent need to conduct particular business during the COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps even in response to the crisis.  Unfortunately, in the upcoming days and weeks, the governing boards of community associations will likely find it to be more and more difficult to meet in person to conduct association business.  The governing boards of many community associations, and in particular the boards [Read More...]

March 27, 2020

DEALING WITH ASSOCIATION OPERATIONS DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS During this time of virus-related crisis, many boards and property managers are facing mounting questions and concerns regarding the day-to-day operations of their associations.  As indicated in our recent email bulletin, MEEB remains operational during this crisis and is committed to the continuing provision of legal services of the highest caliber.  This note is intended to assist with some of the most common questions relating to association [Read More...]

March 27, 2020

A LITTLE GOOD NEWS We’re going to start with some good news, because there isn’t much of it. Existing home sales increased by more than 7 percent year-over year in February, posting the highest annual rate (5.77 million units) in 13 years. New home sales increased by more than 14 percent, year-over-year. That’s it for the good news, and it is tempered considerably by the time frame; These upbeat stats are based on sales that [Read More...]

March 20, 2020

The first legal case ever referred to me involved a steak and tuna sub.  I don’t remember the first case I ever took or generated on my own.  Just the first case I never took. The year was 1995.  I was a young lawyer working in a small law office in Boston.  My brother was at his second go around at Bryant College, which mostly involved playing for their golf team and shenanigans. So one [Read More...]

February 27, 2020

OWNERSHIP LAGGING What’s up with the home ownership rate? More precisely, why isn’t it up? After sinking in the aftermath of the “Great Recession,” the rate rebounded from the low point of 62.9 percent four years ago, to 65.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a Census Department report. But it’s been stuck near that level since the fourth quarter of 2018, despite favorable interest rates and solid employment growth. Part [Read More...]

February 26, 2020

You’ve learned condo board lessons from The Godfather, now it’s time to learn lessons from The Office.  The source of most of the wisdom comes directly from Michael Scott’s complete lack thereof.  “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.”  – Michael Scott  Of course this is patently false! But the takeaway that is an expert [Read More...]

February 19, 2020

By Gary Daddario I was intrigued, but not surprised, to see that “libel and slander” was one of the headline topics at CAI’s National Law Conference this year. Our firm gets several calls every month from board members who want to sue owners for saying mean, nasty, unfair, untrue, “slanderous” or “libelous” things about them. CAI’s attention to the issue suggests that our experience isn’t unique – this is a national concern, and it’s not [Read More...]

February 5, 2020

Patrick is an associate in the firm’s litigation department. He joined the firm in 2019 and focuses his practice on condominium, real estate and construction litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Patrick was an attorney for a well-established civil litigation firm where his practice focused primarily on matters related to personal injury, products liability and subrogation. Patrick’s trial and appellate experience includes trials in state courts in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as [Read More...]

January 30, 2020

FEELING BETTER Consumers are feeling better about the housing market, and the housing market appears to be feeling better about itself. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) remained near an all-time high in December, propelled by a 16 percent year-over-year increase in the number of respondents declaring this a good time to buy a home. Sellers are also upbeat. “Good time to sell” responses increased by 7 points in this survey. “The continued strength [Read More...]

January 29, 2020

In response to the increased number of requests for assistance animals in housing accommodations throughout the country, on January 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidance clarifying how housing providers, including condominium and community associations, should handle such requests.  The new guidance addresses some of the questions that have arisen in the past few years, including the trend of online certificates and certifications of disabilities. As a result of [Read More...]

January 14, 2020

With the beginning of the new year, Ed Allcock became a very busy person. Not that he wasn’t already busy as a managing partner of MEEB and head of its litigation division. But Ed has also assumed two new positions this year, serving simultaneously as president of the New England Chapter of CAI (CAI-NE) and as chair of CAI-National’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). Ed credits “circumstances and the luck of the draw” for [Read More...]

January 2, 2020

EMPLOYMENT RAVES Analysts reached for superlatives – “blowout” and “blockbuster” among them ─ to describe November’s surprisingly strong employment report. Employers added 266,000 workers to their payrolls, blowing well past the 187,000 economists had predicted. October’s anemic 128,000 gain was revised upward slightly, to 156,000, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5 percent. Average hourly earnings increased by 7 cents – a 3.1 percent year-over-year gain. The strong employment report replaced suspicions that a [Read More...]