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Sierra Crest Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Villalobos (TX)

This was an action to enforce restrictive covenants in a residential subdivision. Appellees built a retaining wall on a lot they owned within the Sierra Crest Subdivision. Alleging that the wall was built without approval, was defective, and posted a

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Hartmann, et al v. Carriage Court II HOA (VA)

On October 20, 2016, the Virginia Supreme Court issued an unpublished opinion in Hartmann, et al. v. Carriage Court II Homeowners Association, Inc., finding no reversible error in the judgment of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County that association was

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With No Proof of Duty to Preserve or Bad Faith, Plaintiffs’ Request for Sanctions is Denied (LA)

In Reyes et. al. v. Julia Place Condominiums Homeowners Association, Inc., et. al., No. 12-2043 (E.D.L.A., Oct. 7, 2016), Louisiana District Judge Carl J. Barbier, in denying the plaintiffs’ request for sanctions, stated that the plaintiffs “have failed to produce

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Firm’s Attorneys Discuss Ramifications of Thwarted Condominium Termination with Reporters (FL)

They were asked by the journalists for their insights into the ramifications of a decision last week by the Third District Court of Appeal that has significant implications for the future of condominium terminations in Florida.  The case pitted the

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Courts Open the Vault to Co-op and Condo Documents (NY)

Brenda Pomerance, a patent lawyer and unit-owner at Link condominium at 310 W. 52nd Street, has been in court since 2011 fighting to gain access to board documents. Pomerance, who suspected the board of serious mismanagement, wanted to get the

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NH Supreme Court issues key condo financing ruling

Sales of condominiums in New Hampshire continue to rise. According to data published by the NH Association of Realtors, sales through September increased 6.9 percent over 2015, on top of 16 percent growth the year before. Meanwhile, average days-on-market for

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Board of Directors in Condo Corporations Rule (ON)

In the recent decision, 3716724 Canada Inc. v Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 375[1], the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the “business judgment rule” applies to decisions of boards of condominium corporations. As such, in applying the “business judgment rule”,

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Ritz-Carlton Sunny Isles largely wins in appellate ruling: views preserved (FL)

In a case pitting the Tropicana Condominium Association against the developers of the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, an appellate court largely sided with the developers.  The court ruled to limit the reach of a state law that allows

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11th Circ. Frees Travelers From ‘Bad Faith’ Settlement

The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America does not have to honor a settlement agreement between an insured Florida homeowners’ association and a homeowner, ruling the trial judge properly

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Can a Condominium Association Face a Second Foreclosure Suit? (FL)

The Florida Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bartram v. U.S. National Bank Association is instructive for condominium associations and community managers dealing with a unit in foreclosure, including those trying to determine whether or not to appear and defend a

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Case Law Highlights

We’ve had some exciting court decisions in the condominium field over the past year or so. Here are my Five Favorites.    Read the article…………..

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Attorneys Fees Awards Against HOAs

In this blog and in my law practice, I focus on practical solutions to clear & present legal dangers to property rights of owners of properties in HOAs, condominiums or cooperatives. Many raise questions about getting attorneys fees awards against

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Mittal v. Council of Unit Owners of University One Condo (MD)

Eyler, Deborah, S., Kehoe, Shaw Geter, JJ. Opinion by Kehoe, J. *This is an unreported opinion, and it may not be cited in any paper, brief, motion or other document filed in this Court or any other Maryland Court as

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Defendants Homeowners/ HOAs Fee Recovery As Prevailing Party Affirmed On Appeal (CA)

Homeowner/landowner cases seem to bring a lot of angst and emotions, maybe not as much as the recent presidential election, but still on the top level on a range scale from 1 to 10—we would say most disputes are in

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Bourne Valley Redux (Superiority of title) (NV)

The dispute between lenders and the purchasers at homeowners’ association foreclosure sale regarding superiority of title has embroiled the State of Nevada since at least as early as 2012. Since the issue rose in volume and prominence in Nevada, major

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Beware CC&Rs — They Can Bite

In teaching Real Estate Transactions and Litigation to advanced Law and Business students at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Law, I find that one of the most difficult concepts to explain is the impact of property use restrictions in the form

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Judge won’t force condo association to allow woman to rent condo as ‘reasonable accommodation’ (IL)

A 94-year-old Oak Park woman could not get a federal judge on her side in a dispute with her condo association, who she says owes her the right, under federal law, to rent her condo while she undergoes medical treatments,

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$7.3 Million Awarded to Downtown Los Angeles Arts District’s Barker Block Homeowners Association

This is believed to be the largest single settlement against KOR for construction defects on one of its many high profile residential projects in California.  “These proceeds will immediately go to reconstructing and replacing all of the building systems that

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Recent Court Decision Interprets New Jersey Condominium Act To Determine Voting Rights of Investor Owners

For investment purposes, many people purchase condominium units with the intention of renting the unit. On occasion, sophisticated investors will purchase, either individually or more typically through a Limited Liability Company (LLC), blocks of units in a condominium, and subsequently

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The Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act Is Construed Broadly (Again)

Prevailing parties in litigation generally do not recover their attorney’s fees unless a contract or statute expressly provides for it. However, prevailing parties in litigation typically do recover their costs and disbursements. Minnesota statutes provide that prevailing parties in district

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New Appellate Ruling Increases Residential Builders’ Exposure to Defect Liability in Illinois

Illinois law on the implied warranty of habitability (IWH) is continuously changing, and residential builders should take notice of a new opinion issued by the Appellate Court, First District, on October 26 in a construction defect dispute. Although the procedural

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Condominium Owners Whose Homes Have Foreclosure Action Maybe Helped By Supreme Court Ruling (CT)

Many condominium associations have found that their foreclosures are defective because the association failed to adopt a foreclosure rule, if no rule, failed to vote that a foreclosure be started against the unit.  The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that

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Board Powers Are Immense, but Not Limitless

The Toren Condominium, designed by the estimable firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and featuring a striking “rhombus-shaped tower,” generated a lot of oohs and ahhs when it opened in downtown Brooklyn in 2010. The 38-story, 240-unit luxury tower also

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Lawsuits Against HOAs Potentially Benefit Other Owners

In many HOA disputes, only one (or a small handful of) owners desire to challenge board actions that negatively impact a larger class of owners in the community. If the court finds that the board action was invalid, then the

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Panel: Chicago commission OK to order condo association to pay lesbian couple’s $68K legal bills

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations acted properly in awarding more than $68,000 in legal fees to a lesbian couple who had complained their building’s owners association had harassed and discriminated against them for being lesbians, a state appeals panel

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The Shakespeare Case and What it Means to Utah HOA’s

On June 22, 2016 the Utah Supreme Court published the Fort Pierce Industrial Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Association v. Shakespeare case, 2016 UT 28. This case established a bright line rule that the Court rejected strict construction

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Short Term Rental Court Case Summaries

A summary of cases relating to community associations and short-term rentals.      Read the article…………..

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BC Court Imposes $16.8 Million Levy on Condo Owners to Remediate Water Leak Damage

The British Columbia Supreme Court has ordered a Vancouver strata corporation to impose a $16.8 million special levy against the unit owners to pay for repairs necessitated by water leaks in the condominium for over two decades. The Court also

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Ninth Circuit Denies Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Stay Publication of Decision Holding Nevada HOA Super-Priority Lien Statute Facially Unconstitutional

As we have previously covered in a series of blog posts, the Nevada Supreme Court held in September 2014 that Nevada Revised Statute chapter 116 allows homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to non-judicially foreclose on homeowners who have overdue assessments, which may

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Messing With The HOA Can Be Expensive

Most homeowners in a common interest development probably understand that it can be a real hassle to get into a dispute with the Homeowner Association (HOA). Not so many, though, may know that it can become pretty expensive as well.

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Court of Appeals Enforces Covenant Restricting Height of Trees and Hedges

The Washington Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished opinion that a row of trees violated a covenant restricting “hedges” to a height of six feet or less. The parties own property in a neighborhood on Whidbey Island that is

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Sometimes It’s Hard to Waive Subrogation: Pacific Indemnity v. Deming

According to the recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Pacific Indemnity Company v. Deming, 2016 WL 3607028, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12374 (July 5, 2016) common contractual provisions that defendants frequently assume amount

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Indemnity Provisions can leave Associations holding the bag for someone else’s wrongdoing!

A recent Broward County negligent security lawsuit filed on August 31st raises issues about who should pay the consequences when a security breach results in a resident’s death. In this case, a community with an entrance feature protected by a

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Appealability/HOA: Failure To Appeal Post-Judgment Fee Award Was Fatal To Homeowners’ Challenge Fees Awarded To HOA (CA)

For you readers out there which follow our post, we have many, many times observed that practitioners should independently appeal any separate fee awards no matter when made just to be safe. This next case illustrates why this needs to

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Safe Harbor: Lender Liable For Pre-Foreclosure Assessments After Failing To Foreclose HOA Lien (FL)

A recent decision by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal in Ballentrae H.O.A., Inc., v. Federal National Mortgage Association, Case Nos. 2015-1025 and -1026 (Fla. 2nd DCA, September 2, 2016) has once again brought to the forefront the issue

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Ruling Quashes Lingering Questions on Partial Payments to Condo Associations (FL)

Two years ago a ruling by the state’s Second District Court of Appeal created a major wrinkle in the acceptance of partial payments by condominium associations when the payments had been endorsed and presented as full and complete remittances of

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The Earth Movement Exclusion: How Does it Affect Construction Defect Cases?

One of the biggest considerations for parties on both sides of any lawsuit is whether insurance coverage will apply to the plaintiff’s claims. This is especially true in construction defect cases, where the cost of repairing the alleged damage can

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Fla. App. Court (2nd DCA) Holds Non-Party HOA Not Subject to Foreclosure, HOA Lien Not Limited

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Second District, recently reversed a summary judgment in favor of a mortgagee in two consolidated actions for declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the extent of the mortgagee’s liability for unpaid

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Homeowners Association/Reasonableness Of Fees/Section 1717: $25,614 Post-Judgment Enforcement Fee Award To HOA Affirmed On Appeal

The attorney for the prevailing homeowners association (HOA) did something very smart in Bryan Ranch Homeowners Assn. v. Lawrence, Case No. A147659 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 16, 2016) (unpublished), which we will now describe.  There, a homeowner and HOA

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Important Ruling for Associations Seeking to Foreclose in Advance of Lenders

Community associations and their attorneys are applauding the recent ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners Association, which eliminates an unintended roadblock that was being used to derail association foreclosure cases throughout the

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Fundamentally Altering the Employee/Employer Relationship between Community Associations and their Management Companies & Independent Contractors

Until last year, condominium and homeowner associations and their management companies understood the relationship between an employer and its employees and who would be considered the employer of those employees. However, a 2015 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board

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The North Carolina Court of Appeals Says… Not Much in its Recent HOA Cases

As homeowners’ association and commercial real estate attorneys, we typically hold our breath when the North Carolina Court of Appeals issues new opinions (“opinions” is the term it uses to refer to its case decisions). While the judges are all

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Sanchez v. Cobblestone Homeowners Ass’n (NC)

In the case of Sanchez v. Cobblestone Homeowners Ass’n of Clayton, Inc. 2016WL4598554 (September 6, 2016), the defendant Cobblestone HOA (HOA) informed plaintiff that her property was not included in the HOA declaration. Accordingly, she was not required to pay

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New Florida Foreclosure Case May Lead to Less Participation and Greater Risk for Real Estate Investors

On August 24, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Ober v. Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, No. 4D14-4597, 2016 WL 4468134 (Fla. 4th DCA August 24, 2016) that is likely to have broad implications on Florida’s foreclosure

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Business Judgment Rules does not Apply to Unauthorized Acts

The South Carolina Supreme Court held that association board decisions must be evaluated individually to see if the business judgment rule applied, and the business judgment rule did not apply when the board acted beyond its authority. Although this case

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Ninth Circuit Issued Ruling in Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA (NV)

Last week, the Ninth Circuit held, in Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA that Nevada’s super-lien priority statute, NRS § 116.310, prior to certain amendments enacted in 2015, was facially unconstitutional.  Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3116 establishes that

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New Jersey Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling for Developers and General Contractors Regarding Coverage Under CGL Insurance Policies

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s August 4, 2016 holding in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC is the latest decision to fall in line with the “strong recent trend” by state and federal courts to recognize that

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NJ Supreme Court Decision Paves the Way for Condominium Associations in Transition to Recover Damages against the Developer and Subcontractors

On August 4, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC, et al., which held that faulty workmanship by a subcontractor that causes property damage is a covered loss

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Bethany Marina Townhouses Ph. II Condo. Inc. v. BMIG, (DE)

After several years of not completing outstanding condominium units, and for nonpayment of boat-slip fees, the condominium association motioned for summary judgment against the developer. Based on the condominium declaration language and the formalizing of annexations by plan amendment, the

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Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies Condition Precedent for HOA Foreclosure Actions

On April 26, 2016 the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a decision in The Neighborhood Association, Inc. v. Jill M Limberger, et al, 321 Conn. 29, which held that pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §47-258(m)(1)(C), prior to any foreclosure action of

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