9/9: Cagle, Carpenter, Hazlewood

Ask The Experts
Saturday, September 9th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good afternoon and welcome back to ask the experts on talk thirteen seventy. I mean host Matt Alford is this is a show about your health your life of your home and more with our rotating cast of experts. You'll find details on all of our shows on top thirteen Sunday dot com slash experts. Catch up on past shows there and of course if you have a question for any of our experts send us an email. Ask the experts at talk thirteen seventy dot com again that's ask the experts at talk thirteen sending dot com. Today in studio we have Gregory K go on and on cue from the giggle carpenter Hazelwood law firm. Gregory Adam welcome to the program thank you were happy be here thanks revenues. So I understand that the law firm focuses on the representation. Of homeowners association. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about the firm and your background. Q Kirk under Hazelwood is. Part of a regional law firm that focuses on the representation of homeowners associations we have a little over forty lawyers from wide. That operate within twelve offices spread across six states here in Texas we have four offices. Two here in Austin won and Allison won in San Antonio and we have about five attorneys here in Texas. And we represents several hundred homeowners associations and in my name's Gregory cable and I've been practicing law for about nineteen years in represented homeowners associations for most of that time. Thanks I had. I've been Carson lost for about twelve years now here in Austin my name is at imputed and I just joined the firm of K go carpenter Hazelwood here in Austin. And I'm excited to answer your questions play and media has have me. Certainly an extensive year over an experience especially for the TV together. I'm pretty sure that that does well with a lot of people I walk in through your doors have asked for advice for help. It does. It's homeowners association walls really eight niche practice area. As he governed by a lot of statutory laws and common law and then each association is governed by their individual governing documents. And it's just an area of the law that is sort of unique in specialized. In many ways and so lawyers who who really do this area of law are. Are really worth their weight in gold and this is what we really do. Many of our lawyers are or have been recognized by admission into a national organization called the college of community association or years. On the back seven of our attorneys have been admitted in that organization and only has a 175 nationwide. And that's more than any other law from the United States. Well before we go any further I wanna go ahead letter Lester snow of a way to contact you guys and that is that they can visit her website. At CCH law dot com or you can email them at info at CCH law. Dot com. Well Gregory Adam we get a lot of calls from listeners all the time about H always animate you guys know a lot about H ways. Can you tell us about why there are so many H weighs and what their purposes. And it's actually kind of an interest being. Question that we get a lot homeowners associations are just organizations made of the property owners to. Govern and administered they're realistic about whether it's a subdivision where condominium. The real reason why we have homeowners associations is because for developers it's sort of on a practical necessity. And there are a lot of walls that govern how developments are created. And often times those walls require homeowners associations. For example condominiums. And in other cases it just becomes necessary be for for practical reasons. For instance when a developer develops a detached single family residential neighborhood type of community. You are responsible for insuring that drainage of storm water once they change the topography of the land when they put the streets and utilities. Remains the same post development as it was pre development. And that often requires them to construct all sorts of drainage facilities whether it side drainage channels retention or detention ponds. Somebody has to own those forever yeah and maintain those for ever for the benefit of the community. Cities and Chinese don't want to comment financial obligation. And as a result of the developer needs to look to somebody else to to assume that responsibility. So they create homeowners associations they convey those areas to the owners association says common areas. They impose duties upon the homers association to pay for those the makers of those are those areas. And day in power of the homeowners associations to Levy assessments. To pay for that made us and that's one of the main reasons that has led to the proliferation of a choice of the number of years. I am one of the more interesting things that that sort of he gets reported in the industry although there's never really a source for this information so we we sort of take it over for an assault. But the estimated number of H a ways reportedly bought it it in the United States and has its reported that kind of time in the industry. Is that only 500 H who has existed in 1960 back. And by 2015. It's estimated to be approaching nearly 350000. Chiefs. Does that across in the entire United States crossing entire United States Texas alone is estimated to have around 20000. Between California Florida and Texas. California sort of being that he states with the most number of a two ways. But between those three states alone they're estimated to comprise nearly 13 of all PH racing states. You were very do you tell about what exactly DH he'll waive fees going to end. Meet along with probably a lot of other listeners. Just assume that it's. Just like a fee to clean the the swimming people in their like maybe apartment or condominium well certainly the fees or use for different for that as well as other things that. Homeowners associations are nearly always nonprofit corporations they have budgets. Days are clear to make a profit they are there to take care of responsibilities that have been that have been assigned to them for the benefit of all the owners. So they face are real purpose for the communities. When there will run. They they really benefit the community and bring valued community. Not only are. All of this different a choice separate. And have different budgets and provide different services and amenities to their owners. But all of that information bylaw is available to the owners so if you had these specific questions about your homeowner's association. But you don't know where to go that's something that an HO a lawyer. I liked. Tingle up your Hazelwood can help you find out. If you're not getting information from those and haven't. Well I'm already learning so much just by sitting here with. With the two of you but I do understand that make eagle carpenter Hazelwood teaches educational classes on its way law. He tell our listeners a little bit more about that. Yeah we're actually really excited about it's it's I knew. Thing that we've started here in Texas I'm firm wide we've we've been. Pretty dedicated to providing educational opportunities for board members and property managers. And homeowners for a long time that recently we created to curriculums designed specifically or when specifically for board members and one specifically for property managers. And we are going to be teaching the classes associated with that curriculum every month in San Antonio Austin and Dallas. The one for board members as they for our curriculum. It covers quarter legal concepts associated with governing their communities. The classes are one hour each and meet teach him over a period of four months and they just were starts back over and it's it's free. We provide refreshments is free to board members and and the association does not have to be a clan of the phone to attend. It's really about giving back to the community and providing opportunities for board members who want to be. Effective leaders of their community the opportunity to to learn about the various legal concepts that govern their community. And we're excited to get started teaching these classes and country can tell that they Greg's excited but he's also a little bit modest and one of the things he didn't mention was not only is he going to be. At teaching these classes and he's he's more than qualified to do that he actually wrote the book on Texas HOA La. And there's never been another book published. About the specific topic and Greg's the author so if anybody is qualified to teach classes and it's my law partner Gregg hagel. So how to our listeners get more information about taking one of these classes and and sitting in with the master I have a half. Well Ali information about the classes that were offering to the community are they all the information available at our website at WW WC CH log dot com. And in Adams correct I am the author of the book called Texas homeowners association law it is is gonna sound like a lot but it's actually about 900 pages. While but it's a legal reference book written on it topic by topic basis in plain English for non warriors. And it covers all of the legal concepts that board members would be interest in learning about that homeowners who live in a community with the homeowners association. With the interest in learning about. And it's currently in its third edition and every edition is sold out so I hope it's been well received people who have who have commented about it I think I think it's a pretty good book. If anybody had any desire to get more information about the book they can get that at Texas HUH law dot com now before we go into the break and you wanna ask one more question. There are different distinct types of H aways and ever heard. Of property owners associations. Homeowners associations condominium associations town home associations. Community associations and even ranch owners associations. So. Are these all the same thing or these something different than they are all various names that are used to describe one net of two types of homeowners associations. So as more years we tend to use the term. Property owners association globally to describe both types of association. We tended sometimes use the term homeowners association we're gonna refer to a residential property owners association as opposed to a commercial property owners association. But doesn't that kind of terms that lawyers use described in this sort of distinguish between. Globally. These owner organizations vs residential commercial. But it. They're really the distinction comes down to the type of real estate. Development. That is being governed by the owners association and in Texas we only have two types. We have condominiums. And we have subdivisions. And if the homeowners association is governed or in ministers are governs a subdivision development. Then people often refer to those us homeowners associations. I can refer to them a subdivision association so it's pretty clear what we're referring to. And then owners associations which govern condominiums are typically referred to as condominium associations. They are harder entirely different statutory laws that regulate. Those two types of associations. So it's important when you're thinking about well. What kind you know what what the laws that apply in my organization. You really have to know are you a condominium association or what I can refer to as a sub division association because that will dictate which laws govern your organization. And your community. You're listening to ask the experts in Syria with me is Gregory K go and Adam Q. And listeners what their questions on H always can always visit CCH law dot com or send an email at info at CCH law dot com. We're about to break we'll be right back. Answering more questions about H away so. Welcome back to ask the experts I'm your guess as Matt Albers and joining me in the studio is Gregory K Owens and I'm cute. From the cable carpenter Hazelwood law firm. Gregory you're one of the questions that maybe you can clarify for our listeners is. Townhouses and what exactly are they. Well that's a very Christian and I I get that question on the time. There's really only two forms of rules say ownership in Texas and it may not be true and other states every state has different laws say that at least here in Texas. We only recognize two. Sort of forms of real estate ownership and it can be summarized as you either ROA unit within a condominium development or you only a lot with me subdivision development. But often times when when clients called the firm and we ask what kind of homeowners association is it is a condominium association her subdivision association. They'll tell us well it's a town home association and we have to tell them that that's not true test at a real thing under Texas law. It's I always tell people it's a marketing term and developer will build something. Bill constructed it may be attached construction detach construction but whatever it is we'll slap the name such and such town homes and then people. Will associate will whatever that architecture. Is with what eight count home office and so. When they think about town homes they think of it is from an architectural perspective but when we think of what a real estate development as we think of it for who owns the dirt and in what do you actually own. And so ten homes can actually be subdivisions where can be. Condominiums. That we don't have town homes here it's just marketing term well thanks for clearing that up for us Adam can you. Maybe to our listeners a little bit about some hot issues H aways are currently being. Confronted with yes for sure one of the hottest topics right now. That we keep getting asked about our short term Reynolds. And in some instances that's because a Condo association wants to allow short term rentals and another. Instances maybe it's a subdivision association wants to prevent short term Reynolds with the prevalence of the downtown residential developments that have sprung up the last ten or so years in Austin and the festival live music entertainment culture. And in web sites like air being beef and the prevalence us. These short term possibilities people look to their properties and want to capitalize on. The distance from the entertainment districts to downtown and wanna go ahead and rent those out while there well they're not using them. Property and what you run into our folks in the communities that like that idea and bought the property as a investment that want to utilize. That type of relationship and then you've got to other folks that just wanna live there and not be bothered by all the noise during SXSW and in each of those instances you really have to look to your governing documents to determine whether or not. This is something you can prevent or if it's something that you can allow or if it's if it somewhere where you've got the option to do either one the great. Thing about those topics like this hot issues is that something that the firm. Tries to to educate board members on because it's something that they. When they're having to. Balance the interest of the homeowners who want to be able to be short term rentals vs those who are opposed to it. How how do you do you govern that and in resolve those issues is really difficult times and so we offer classes for board members. That they get into this very topic so that they can make informed and and educated decisions when dealing with issues like short term rentals. Which is something that as Saddam Hussein is more and more prevalent. With the proliferation of the air being bees. In your listening sassy experts on the guest host Matt Alvarez. Craig I know nature is the author of taxes homeowner association laws on what led you to write the book. Well. I've been representing homeowners associations. For a number of years back in the Minty later part of 2005 a C 20052008. And I would get questions from board members all the time that that seem to be the same questions over and over and over. And I get the point where I you know there ought to be a resource for board members to get elected to serve on there as a leader of their community. If they can just a quick answers to you without having to call Walt calling Alphonse can get expensive at times and I was always concerned that. Because of that expense the board members would not call them all phone and would not do the right thing. Insulin ordered to help educate board members and give them any tools that they can use that didn't didn't cost when it would be higher while farmers to call the Weirton and and be billed as an hourly rate. I decided to write the book. And it started off what how would create a small project in the first edition but I think turned out to be about 600 pages. And it was certainly an experience to ride it. With all of the law changes over the last eight years that look is now grown up at into 900 pages yet at 300 pages yeah. 300 pages. That thank you Texas legislature. And it's it continues to be a valuable resource every edition of the book sells out and I did emails and calls all the time. And I tell you one of it the best compliments ever got about the book. And at the time and it but you know when when writing the book and I didn't necessarily think about it this way. But I wanna just look to be burden on waivers and I wanted to be written in plain English and when I was working with the publisher insisted. That we have and our our we have an editor that had no legal background whatsoever. And my instruction to the editor was if you have to rescind its more than twice to understand it and I have to re right. And the goal was to ride it in a way that you didn't have to be a lawyer or understand legalese to understand the law. And the best compliment I got an came from a property managers that I had worked with for many years who had been using the book. And the things she said to me was when I read the book I can hear your voice. And I thought how. Now well on that it acts in all his time writing and rewriting and rewriting sentences and paragraphs. To the point where I just thought it was it was silly. But here was somebody telling me that I was actually able to capture my own voice. And that she could hear my voice. When reading it and that today is the best compliment ever forgotten about but. Well now she listens to their leadership have to you actually hear your voice and data voice to the voice on the loose on the pages. Adam have you have you had the honor every in the book I have. One thing that's that's really need is a just joined the firm August 1 and prior to that Greg and I are actually competitors. But we've always got along really well and and and one of the ways that I became acquainted with him and his work was by of course reading the book and there's a funny story of that as well I I had actually didn't know if he'd written book when it first came out and I properties may injure brought it to my attention and so we'll have you. Have you read Greg's books yet. And I don't immediately and go out and get a copy and and read the whole thing because in order to be. A look at Texas a chilly lawyer you better have a copy of that but can you sure better be able to to speak to the contents and it. So is becoming more of Emanuel my handbook for everyone out there it is because it was written for non lawyers so. And it's equally valuable to property managers as the board members and even the homeowners. And I'd you know I'd get feedback from from various people who bought the book I guess we'll have emails about it. And and people really feel like it's something that's been useful to them which is really why I wrote it was too to be useful resource. It and an abstract Ian we used to be kind of business matters but Adam is is there really grateful we're who have always respected and we're thrilled actually to have Adam as part of the phone now and it's it's really a great partnership between the two of us and in representing associations here central Texas. Well Gregory before we go any further can we let our listeners know how to get a copy of the book. Absolutely. And if somebody wants to get more information about the poker actually buy the book they can go to WWW Texas into a lot to com. And in addition to be able to order the book from that website they can. They can get access to. Legislative update reports that I author and publisher about each legislative session. They can sign of to get eight email newsletter on changes a law as they occur. Either. By rulings of the courts ordered by the Texas legislature. So it's a great resource for homeowners and board members alike who want more information about the laws governing Texas a choice. And of course any listeners with questions about the show. Or any questions that they would like answered on the show sound can visit CCH law dot com where you can email them at info at CCH. Law. Dot com now Adam and Gregory maybe we can both answer these general questions for our listeners. And just him some more insightful information can you tell us more about your law firm. Take a carpenter Hazelwood is say regional law firm. Base in the southwestern part of the United States we have offices in six states including California Colorado. You talked at New Mexico Arizona and Texas. We have twelve offices within those six states for which are here in Texas we have two offices in Austin won in north Austin wanna south Austin. Plus Dallas and San Antonio. We represented associations across the state of Texas. And we provide all of the services normally associated with representing homeowners associations. From General Counsel services to assessment collection services for stricter current portion of services. We're on panel with many of the insurance companies so when associations could suit we. Opting to. Times get retained by the day insurance companies to defend owners' associations. We also represented a condominium associations that are suffering from construction defects. And we are all trial attorneys and few of us our serpent mediators they can handled alternative disputes. As a mediator as well representing homeowners associations in and mediation and arbitration. We also. Are really involved in giving back to the community through providing educational opportunities for homeowners in board members and property managers and information about all of these various services can be found at our website WWW CCH ball dot com. I think it's important to mention that. All of these training classes in educational opportunities are free of charge to those lieutenant Greg Greg yep that's right in we are sue we don't limit them to associations that we represented or property managers that we work with. Anybody who. It is interested in learning more information is welcome to attend and whether your client of the farmer not a client of the firm. Is is not really that important we just wanna we wanna help. Provide educational opportunities. So that these communities can be successful and the people who volunteered Alito can can be effective. That maybe we can get just one more question answered. Why is it important to hire a firm like K go carpenter Hazelwood. Well this area of the law is becoming more and more of a niche practice area as the legislature continues to enact more and more regulations to govern these organizations it's to the point where if you really don't know this period of all is somebody who who really doesn't practice in this area may not know all the nuances. Involved and the various regulatory schemes they govern these organizations there's a lot of overlap. And understanding which laws apply in which circumstances in which one trumps which well and when they both apply is. Is something that. That's important to knows that you can be advising associations of which laws actually apply and which laws govern their conduct. I'm not to say that lawyers who don't practice there can't learn it by. There's a value to having lawyers who knows seriously you're not paying two educate lawyers who do a lot of research at their hourly rate. So. From a cost savings perspective from an efficiency perspective from. Just having really good knowledgeable lawyers who can tell you what the law is. Ed but also you know who can speak outside of the box and a piece of issues. In a meaningful way. That brings a community together rather than devices it is really important and that having lawyers who really experienced in the serious important. The last thing you hear your lawyer says. Ha that's a problem I've never heard of before. They had let me do some research in my normal hourly rate to find out the answer for you. We're fortunate that we've all been doing this for a long time management unit for well over ten years and I'm approaching twenty years. If there aren't too many issues that Adam I haven't confronted before and and so not only do we know what law governs this but we really have experience in resolving the eat nearly every type of issue that night owner's association may be different with and we can talk to about. What are good strategies for resolving these ways and effective and been successful ways that don't involve fighting lawsuits. That really resolve disputes from a community perspective. Again listeners interest in having their legal questions addressed by Gregory K galore and a Q can do so. By emailing info at CCH a law dot com again that's info at CCH flawed dot com you can visit them on the web anytime at CCH law dot com. And of course he can give them a call at 877. 3360228. Again that's 8773360228. We're going to subsite into a quick break we'll be right back. But more ask the experts are here I'm talking thirteen seventy.