2018 – and the first half of 2019 – have been anything but dull, from the global level all the way down to co-op, condo and community association communities. While it’s somewhat beyond New England Condominium’s scope to opine on geopolitical currents or the latest round of congressional testimony, we reached out to an array of real estate and legal professionals across several different markets to discuss how the events of 2018 spilled into 2019, as well as what they think the second half of 2019 may bring to the multifamily housing industry.
Thomas O. Moriarty, Principal at law firm Moriarty Troyer & Malloy LLC in Braintree, Massachusetts
“I think that there will be litigation over short-term rentals. Condominiums have been attempting to limit the presence of rental services such as Airbnb in their associations. The proliferation of such services and the frequency of association efforts to prevent it is likely to lead to disputes. It is impossible to frame a specific issue, because the approaches taken by boards to address the problem—as well as the language of the amendments adopted as a result -- vary from association to association. But I think that the industry should expect that challenges are on the horizon.”
David A. Brauner, Counsel with Windels Marx Lane & Mittenford, LLP in New York City
“Over the past few years, the New York City Council and New York State Legislature have been attempting to restrict co-op board action via legislation, stemming from arguments about transparency, and that boards should be mandated to provide reasons for all their decisions. I think that would effectively reduce the impact of the Business Judgment Rule. They’ve also discussed term limits and other related matters. And while I recognize that there were a handful of bad instances which triggered the concern, in my mind effecting legislation of this nature could undermine the ability of a board to effectively function. In particular, it would make it increasingly difficult to get people willing to serve on the board out of fear of exposure to liability, and out of fear of second-guessing good faith decisions that these people —who are essentially volunteers—make.