Georgia HOA & Community Association Law Resources

George Nowack Speaks Out About ‘Profit Off the Pandemic’: Homeowners Fear Fines, Legal Action From HOA for Unkept Yards

George Nowack Speaks Out About ‘Profit Off the Pandemic’: Homeowners Fear Fines, Legal Action From HOA for Unkept Yards

NowackHoward, LLC
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May 4, 2020, Atlanta, Ga. – Appearing on 11 Alive News, Atlanta, George Nowack offers insight and perspective to the rising fears among homeowners that HOAs and their community management companies are seeking to profit off of the financial hardships of the very neighborhoods they represent. While there has been no evidence that this has happened, there are rising incidents of homeowners, already experiencing financial hardship, being threatened with fines for non-compliance with their community covenants.

‘Profit off the pandemic’: Homeowners fear fines, legal action from HOA for unkept yards.

Speaking on behalf of NowackHoward, LLC, George offered both suggestions and cautions for homeowners and their homeowner associations. Having experienced a situation similar, though not identical, during the financial crisis a decade ago, George encourages a practical, empathetic approach. As a contributor to some of the very laws that are shaping this conversation, George has a sense of clarity that can help guide associations and their management companies as they strike a balance between the practical functions of doing business and the very real challenges faced by their homeowners.

For homeowners, George recommends:

  1. Treat your dues as a bill that “must be paid.”
  2. Reach out early if you need an accommodation.
  3. Paying something is far better than paying nothing.
  4. Don’t just “not pay,” speak to the board of directors directly and quickly.

For associations, George recommends:

  1. Maintain business-as-usual, as much as you can, but with compassion.
  2. Be flexible and deal with each homeowner on a one-on-one basis.
  3. Consider payment plans, extensions, and waivers for those in need.
  4. Consult with your attorney and ensure you stay in compliance with your association’s governing documents.

The COVID-19 response has sparked unprecedented situations for homeowners.  However, while accommodations must sometimes be made, the infrastructure and maintenance of the shared association common property must continue, forcing boards of directors and management companies to keep diligently pursuing payment of assessments.

“Do not just stop paying. Contact the board,” said Nowack. “One of the benefits that will hopefully come out of this is putting the community back into community associations.”

About George Nowack

George Nowack has dedicated his entire legal career to representing community associations. George is also an expert on Fair Housing Law. He has already successfully defended 68 associations in Fair Housing Act claims, more than any other attorney in the country. An active member of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) since 1982, George was one of the earliest members of Georgia’s CAI Chapter and served as Georgia Chapter President in 1990. With more than 500 articles used in seminars and workshops, George has also written weekly columns on community association issues for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution and the Gainesville Times, and other publications. George and NowackHoward have both earned the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the legal profession’s most prestigious rating service.

About NowackHoward LLC

NowackHoward LLC is Atlanta’s most experienced and effective law firm concentrating in advising and representing homeowner and condominium associations. Lawyers at NowackHoward are among the most experienced attorneys in the United States focusing on this specific area of the law. NowackHoward lawyers have helped write almost every law in Georgia that pertains to condominium and homeowner associations and worked to get them passed, helping create more harmonious communities. With both founding partners receiving the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the legal profession’s most prestigious rating service, NowackHoward has become home to Georgia’s top-rated community association lawyers.