The role of an association attorney can be a bit challenging for different parties in a community to understand. Within many collections of condominiums and townhouses, it's normal for there to be some type of governing body in place to enforce rules, collect fees, and address grievances. As one might imagine, such a situation can lead to circumstances that call for clarifications of matters of law. That's where an association attorney steps in.
Who is Represented?
Some homeowners make the mistake of assuming the association attorney they often see at meetings is there to help everyone. As much as they might want to help homeowners, the responsibility of an association attorney is to represent whomever is the control group. This is usually the association as an entity, its management, or its board of directors.
As is the case in many types of legal specialization, an association attorney cannot provide advice to parties that aren't their clients. Their counsel is for the benefit of the control group.
A big part of the job of an association attorney is educating folks who are part of the community. For example, if a homeowner needs an explanation of what the board's policy is on an issue like repainting a unit, the attorney would step in to outline what the current policy is.
Producing and Reviewing Documents
With so many people entering into agreements, there is a lot of paperwork moving around in most communities. If an association needs to address an emerging problem by putting new rules into writing, the attorney will produce those documents and verify that they're legally enforceable.
Liens, foreclosures, and other actions to collect money owed to the association also go through the attorney. To this end, demand letters are the responsibility of the association attorney. When litigation proves to be necessary, the association attorney will handle the job of assembling initial paperwork and presenting it to the court. Depending on the nature of the action, they may also represent the association during lawsuits.
Understanding the Association's Needs
From a big-picture view, an association attorney also has to learn what the needs of the board and the community are. They should stay current with legal trends regarding associations, and see that board members are kept up to date on recently produced precedents. The association attorney should also be familiar with the organization's structure in order to direct communications.
For more information, you can contact legal professionals like those at Sauro & Bergstrom, PLLC.