KASS: Contact ACLU about privacy concerns

By: Benny Kass//September 12, 2018//

KASS: Contact ACLU about privacy concerns

By: Benny Kass//September 12, 2018//

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Q:     My condo association which is managed by Associa, has announced that we all need to sign up on Associa’s website, TownSq, to get notices, request service, etc. When I checked the privacy policy on the site I found it to be very invasive and have refused to sign up. I checked our state law and it appears that only notices of Board meetings and elections have to be posted and distributed by mail or email. I have complained to building management that I do not want to sign up on the website and would like any building notices ( like water shut off, Board minutes, elevator use, etc.) to continue to be emailed to me and they have refused.

Any suggestion besides my trying to get our law changed so the Condominium Act includes that people cannot be forced to give their personal information to a company whose privacy policy says they will share with their vendors. Kathy.

A:   Associa is a national organization of community association property managers. Some people like them; others are very disturbed about some of their practices and requirements they want to impose on the associations they represent.

I would first see if you can talk with the association’s attorney. He/she may have some suggestions. If not, then you should consider retaining your own attorney (get a group of similarly minded owners to assist with the legal fees) and see what you can do. I would also contact the local American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and explain your concerns. ACLU is constantly concerned about privacy and its evasions.

As for getting your local law changed, contact the state representative that covers where you live, and explain the situation. That may result in getting this problem to the forefront.


Q:   I   own a small commercial building that has two tenants. One tenant’s lease is up and I would like to re-rent it for a higher rent. However, the tenant refuses to leave the building. Any suggestions? Neal.

A:   First, make sure you know the local landlord-tenant laws in your state. Typically, there are strong laws in place for residential tenants, but very few such restrictions for commercial tenants. The terms of a commercial lease are binding in most cases on both landlord and tenant.

In some states, there may be a law that when a lease ends, it automatically becomes a month-to-month. That’s the law for residential tenants in the District of Columbia.

You   really only have two alternatives: talk with the tenant and find out when he plans to move out, and have him give you a letter to that effect. If he does not move as stated in the letter, you can take him to court for breach of contact.

You can also just bring an action to evict in your local landlord-tenant court. This can be expensive, and you want to make sure that your lease provides that attorney fees will be awarded to the prevailing party.

And of course, you should ask him to sign a new lease at a higher rent, if he wants to stay for an extended period of time. Worth asking!

By the way, many commercial leases have what is known as a “holdover” clause, where the rent will automatically go up – fairly high – if the tenant holds over after the lease termination date.


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