Community Associations

rise to every common ownership challenge

creating desirable communities

Find an Attorney
Ruth O. Katz
Principal
301-657-0188
Charles C. Lamari
Associate
301-841-3844
Patrick L. O'Neil
Principal
301-657-0738
Associate
301-657-2730
Shirley M. Steinbach
Of Counsel
301-657-0172
Jeremy M. Tucker
Principal
301-657-0157

Lerch Early’s community associations attorneys provide practical counsel to board members and managers of common ownership communities throughout Maryland, the District, and Virginia on governing and managing effective and thoughtful associations.

Board members and property managers from more than 350 associations rely on Lerch Early attorneys for advice on how to govern appropriately and manage effectively.  Our knowledgeable and responsive attorneys serve as general counsel, prepare and review association documents, enforce covenants, represent the association in transition from developer control, defend the association against all claims, undertake and defend litigation matters, and collect delinquent assessments.

One client notes that Lerch Early’s energetic community associations attorneys “are very knowledgeable, provide sound advice on legal issues and have been very helpful in keeping my staff updated on issues affecting community associations…They are very practical in their approach.”

Our attorneys regularly advise our clients on a variety of legal issues facing community associations, including covenant enforcement, Fair Housing issues, insurance claims, assessment collection, and document creation, review and amendment. Our straightforward approach gives clients the information and guidance they need to make decisions. We work with boards of directors and their management agents to avoid problems and minimize risk.

Clients value the personal attention and responsiveness they receive from our attorneys. We realize that important issues often arise outside of normal business hours, so one of our attorneys is always available for consultation, either in the office or by phone or e-mail.

We don’t dabble in community association law – we have significant knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern community associations. Our attorneys and paralegals spend 100% of their time on the strategic and day-to-day issues that face property managers and board members. Our attorneys also are leaders in the community association industry, so our up-to-date knowledge allows us to advance issues important to our clients and keep them informed about pending matters and changes to the law that may affect their organizations.

Experience
  • Counseled an association on amending its bylaws to create lease restrictions , smoking regulations, and enforcement authority.
  • Counseled a condominium on how to deal with a case of suspected employee theft, including notice to owners and termination of the employee.
  • Addressing numerous capital repairs matters, including a large-scale defective paving project for one client, a defective siding project for another, and working through a number of multimillion dollar plumbing and façade projects for several others.
  • Representing a number of 55 and older communities throughout Maryland. Intimately familiar with the relevant fair housing issues and the economics of representing communities with members on fixed incomes.
  • Obtained a motion to dismiss before the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities, defending an association’s approval of a fence.
  • Secured victory in the DC Court of Appeals on a Fair Housing issue in a cooperative where an owner alleged that the coop failed to accommodate her disability by denying her the right to sublet.
  • Successfully defended an appeal before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals for an association regarding the “business judgment rule” of an association’s board decision on roofing materials.
  • Successfully defended a claim before the Arlington County Circuit Court in which a resident alleged that an association’s turning off his key fob for nonpayment of assessments was a breach of fiduciary duty, breach of easement, a Fair Housing Act violation, and retaliation under the FHA.
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