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Maryland Developer Declaration Does Not Establish Assessment Lien

A developer’s Declaration notifies the purchaser of the property of a potential lien for unpaid assessments, but is not sufficient to create an assessment lien, according to a recent decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals–the top state appeals court.

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HOA Not Entitled To Fees Where Gist Of Successor Homeowner’s Suit Was Fraud Based (CA)

In Mims v. Park Hill on Pepper Avenue Community Association, Case No. E065990 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Sept. 13, 2017) (unpublished), successor homeowner initially sued HOA on various fraud-based claims based on the failure to provide her notice that the

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Justices: Condo Association Can’t Reset Clock on Construction Defect Claim (NJ)

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a condominium association can’t restart the clock on the six-year statute of limitations for construction defects after acquiring a former rental property.  The justices reversed an Appellate Division ruling that found three

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Board Changes Its Mind – and Winds Up in Court (NY)

What happens when a co-op board approves an alteration project and then changes its mind? What usually happens is a lawsuit. Consider the case of Salvatore Moltisanti.  In 2012, Moltisanti purchased an apartment in the four-building 1,672-unit Co-op Village on

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5th Cir. Holds Threat of Lawsuit to Collect Partially Time-Barred Debt Did Not Violate FDCPA (TX)

In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently decided that attorneys representing a condominium association did not violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by threatening non-judicial foreclosure on debt that was partially

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Twin Creeks v. Sunset Ridge, 03-16-00653-CV (TexApp Dist 08/25/2017)

In this case of first impression, appellee sued appellant seeking a declaration that an amended restrictive covenant filed by appellant that required club membership was invalid as to condominium owners under the Uniform Condominium Act §82.0675(a) due to appellant’s failure

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Must communities retrofit for handicap accommodation

The question often arises as to whether condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations need to install wheelchair ramps, elevator or swimming pool lifts or redo common area bathrooms to accommodate handicap persons.  The general answer is that associations may have to

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Court case supports collection of unpaid fees (IL)

My Aug. 26 column “teased” that I would address in a future column the circumstances under which the purchaser of a foreclosure condominium at a judicial sale may be responsible for all unpaid sums due from the prior, foreclosed owner.

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Illinois App. Court (1st Dist) Holds 7-Month Delay in Paying Overdue HOA Assessments May Not Extinguish HOA Lien

The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently reversed a trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of a mortgage servicer and against a condominium association (COA) holding that a material question of fact existed regarding whether the servicer

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Revisiting Claims for Breach of Implied Warranty of Habitability: Illinois Appellate Court

On February 17, 2017 the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District considered three consolidated appeals brought by a condominium association seeking damages for defects in the design and construction of a condominium building. Sienna Court Condominium Ass’n v. Champion

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Debt Collections Practices and Laws: Should They Concern Your HOA?

The fairly recent case of Agrelov v. Affinity Management Services, LLC, Case No. 15-14136, (11th Cir., November 9, 2016), is instructive for associations and their managers with respect to debt collections.  In that case, the homeowners were assessed a fine

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Snakebite Victim Waits While Insurance Companies Duke it Out in Court (FL)

The legal machinations involving three insurers duking it out in court over Florida premises liability is overshadowing the suffering of a Florida woman who has undergone various amputation procedures involving her lower extremities following a snakebite on the grounds of

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Fla. App. Court (5th DCA) Reverses Foreclosure Judgment That Excluded Interest, Escrow

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fifth District, recently reversed final judgment of foreclosure entered in favor of a mortgagee that omitted interest and escrow amounts due, and remanded to the trial court to modify judgment

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Superior Court Explains The Personal Participation Doctrine (DE)

When is a corporate employee responsible for tortious conduct in that capacity? This decision answers that question in a very helpful way. For example, mere nonfeasance is not enough to impose liability on a corporate actor.   Read the decision (PDF)…………

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4/3 DCA Determines Civil Code Section 5235(c) Only Allows Costs Award To Prevailing HOA If Homeowner Action Is Frivolous (CA)

The Fourth District, Division 3 faced a first impression statutory interpretation of Civil Code section 5235(c), which provides that “[a] prevailing association may recover any costs if the court finds the action to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation,” in

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Constantly Changing Condominium Laws (IL)

A recent opinion from the Illinois’ First Appellate District, Country Club Estates Condominium Assoc. v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, 2017 IL App (1st) 162459, provides that “prompt” payment of assessments is required to extinguish presale assessments under the Condominium Property

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Fourth DCA Confirms Association Lien Foreclosure Valid Despite Pending Mortgage Foreclosure (FL)

Despite a slowing in the number of Florida mortgage foreclosure cases, many community associations still face situations where a foreclosing lender fails to timely complete its foreclosure resulting in the property sitting abandoned and not contributing financially to the community.

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HOA Winning $1,881 In Damages Against Homeowner Also Was Entitled To Attorney’s Fees Of $201,750 (CA)

We do not really need to get into the specifics of Mustafa v. Mountain View Park Homeownerss Assn., Inc., Case No. E063529 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Aug. 8, 2017) (unpublished), but the end result in sobering for purposes of our

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Recent Decision Limits Liability of Condo Sponsor’s Principal (NY)

On May 24, 2017, a New York appeals court dismissed construction defect claims against a condominium sponsor’s managing members and principals. The plaintiff Board of Managers sought to hold these individual defendants personally liable for the corporate sponsor’s breach of

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U.S. District Court Allows Association’s Claims To Proceed For Actions During Period of Developer Control (MD)

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has denied a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of a developer, and allowed claims of a property owner’s association to proceed that concern actions taken while the board was

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SC Ct of App Rules on Jury Trials and Class Action Waivers in Master Deeds-Decision is good for developers

Based upon a settlement reached with Respondents, Petitioners filed a motion seeking dismissal of their petition for a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals. They also asked the Court to vacate the opinion of the Court of Appeals

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Nevada Supreme Court rulings favor HOAs

The state Supreme Court on Thursday issued two rulings bolstering homeowners associations’ ability to sell houses through foreclosure.  Nevada’s highest court unanimously ruled that a 2014 decision upholding HOAs’ ability to foreclose ahead of mortgage lenders can be retroactively applied

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Headstrong HOA Board Member Puts Himself in Harm’s Way Over Fair Housing Issues

In a recent case decided by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the court heard a matter involving the intersection between community association governance and fair housing law. In this case, Wilfred Welsh, a board member of the Chaplin Woods Homeowners

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Case Law Update: What a Recent Appellate Decision Can Tell Associations Seeking Their Attorney’s Fees for Litigation

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision in the matter of Gonzalez v. Int’l Park Condominium I Association, Inc. that is instructive for associations and their attorneys when associations become involved in litigation and seek payment

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Two New District Court Of Appeal Cases – Third Party Purchaser Assessment Liability And Fining Notice Requirement (FL)

If your homeowners’ association has not updated its declaration’s assessment collection provisions, then your association might be giving away its otherwise collectable assessment revenue! The problematic declaration provisions are similar to the following: “The sale or transfer of any Lot

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Court Can’t Ban Resident From Discussing HOA Online–Fox v. Hamptons at MetroWest Condos

This is the third time this year I’m blogging about homeowners’ associations suppressing online speech (see my posts on the Revock and Milazzo cases). I’m pretty sure HOA online censorship is a growth industry (indeed, my CRFA primer calls out

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Court reverses restriction on man’s blogging about his condo association, management company and neighbors

From today’s opinion of the Florida Court of Appeal in Fox v. Hamptons at Metrowest Condominium Association Inc., which strikes me as generally quite right:   Read the article……………

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Subcontractor’s Alleged Negligence Was “Occurrence,” Seventh Circuit Says

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has ruled that a subcontractor’s alleged negligence was an “occurrence” for purposes of a commercial general liability

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Are Free Elections Guaranteed in New Jersey’s Planned Communities?

Governor Chris Christie recently signed a bill that changes how elections in Fair Lawn’s Radburn neighborhood are run — which will impact the approximately 7,000 common interest communities in New Jersey. The so-called “Radburn Bill” changes how residents are elected

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Regarding the Radburn: New Law Enhances Voting Participation Rights in New Jersey Community Associations (NJ)

On July 13, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law P.L. 2017, Ch. 106 (S-2492/A-4091). The new law makes significant changes to the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (“PREDFDA”), N.J.S.A. 45:22A-43 et seq., with respect to

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Developers’ Rights Decisions: Puzzling, Perturbing, and Problematic

Litigation is unpredictable. That’s no surprise to anyone who fights court battles regularly. It is also a theme reflected in three recent court decisions dealing with developer rights.  In the first case, Condominiums at Lilac Lane v. Monument Garden, LLC,

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California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute: A Potent, Yet Confounding, Weapon

Lawsuits designed to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional right of free speech or the right to petition, denominated as “strategic lawsuits against public participation” (or “SLAPP” suits), have taken on increasing significance over the last several decades. The

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Nevada HOA Super-Priority Litigation Update: Nevada Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Lenders on Standing Issue

The Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and their servicers scored a significant victory last week in the Nevada Supreme Court. In Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (Case No. 69400), the court held that mortgage servicers have standing to

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Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Palm Decision Regarding Association Collections

In Lake Point Tower Condominium Ass’n v. Waller, 2017 IL App (1st) 162072, decided on June 28, 2017, the Association filed a forcible entry and detainer action against Defendant to obtain possession of Defendant’s condominium. Subsequently, Defendant filed a motion

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Appeals court rules construction defendants not liable in Miami injury case (FL)

The 3rd District Court of Appeal has affirmed lower court rulings of five summary judgments in cases in which a woman alleges she was injured at a condo community due to negligence in repairing the sidewalk.  The case centers on

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Court Concludes Rental Restrictions are Reasonable (CA)

Recently, many residential common interest developments have experienced an influx in the number of short-term rentals within their community. This problem is exacerbated by the increased popularity of websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Although profitable, short-term rentals have a

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MD Highest Court Holds That Condos May Not By Rule Suspend A Unit Owner’s Access To Common Elements For Delinquent Assessments

The Maryland Court of Appeals has invalidated a rule adopted by a condominium to suspend access to common elements for unit owners who are delinquent in paying assessments. In an opinion issued on June 23, 2017 in the case of

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Supreme Court Leaves Standing Wells Fargo Win on Nevada Lien Law

The U.S. Supreme Court left standing a federal appeals court ruling that could help Wells Fargo and other major banks affected by a Nevada statute covering homeowners’ association liens ( Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. ,

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Court rules that Michigan HOA cannot collect assessments after restrictive covenant expires

In Deghetto v Beaumont’s Seven Harbors White and Duck Lack Association, issued June 22, 2017 (Docket No. 330972) (Unpublished Opinion), the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that a homeowners’ association could not continue to collect assessments after the restrictive

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What Should Condominium Associations Do After Cypress Point? (NJ)

It has been several months since the New Jersey Supreme Court decided Cypress Point Condo Ass’n v. Adria Towers, LLC.  The issue in Cypress Point was whether rain water damage caused by a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constituted “property damage” caused

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Condominium Association Cannot Collect Unpaid Fees from Lender’s Assignee (NJ)

On June 6, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that a foreclosing mortgagee is not liable for unpaid condominium maintenance fees simply because it winterized the unit and changed the locks.  In the published decision Woodlands Community Association Inc.

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Business Judgment Rule Doesn’t Apply When the Board Acts Outside its Authority

Is an HOA Board of Directors (“Board”) entitled to protection under the Business Judgment Rule (“BJR”) when it applies an unambiguous view restriction contained in the governing documents in a manner other than written?    Read the article…………….

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NJ App Div Holds Foreclosing Lender Who Simply Winterized and Secured a Condo Is Not a Mortgagee in Possession and Not Responsible for Condo Fees

In a noteworthy decision for New Jersey lenders approved for publication, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that a lender who simply winterizes and secures an abandoned property in foreclosure is not deemed a mortgagee in possession subject to

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Does a Foreclosure Complaint Prevent a Community Association from Enforcing Rules and Regulations? (NJ)

A New Jersey Chancery Court was called upon to rule whether the filing of a foreclosure complaint by a condominium association prevents the association from taking other actions to enforce its rules and regulations as they would apply to the

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Supreme Court Rules in Vallagio: No Amendment for You! (CO)

This week, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Vallagio at Inverness Residential Condo. Ass’n v. Metro. Homes, Inc., 2017 CO 69, holding (1) the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) permits a developer–declarant to retain the right of consent to amend

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Supreme Court Affirms Declarant Consent Required for Removal of Arbitration Provision for Construction Defect Claims

On June 5, 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its ruling in Vallagio at Inverness Residential Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Metropolitan Homes, Inc. et al. (Supreme Court Case No. 15SC508).  The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals and ruled:

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Injunction Against Condo Owner Illustrates Just How Ugly Things Can Get

The old adage “don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch” definitely applies in community association living. Unfortunately, conflicts between boards of directors and recalcitrant unit owners are par for the course in associations, so it is incumbent on the

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Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege in Bad Faith Litigation (SC)

The United States District Court has confirmed in a recent decision that in most circumstances, the attorney-client privilege will be waived in bad faith litigation in South Carolina. In Contravest, Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., the district court was

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Colorado Supreme Court gives a boost to builders in construction defects battles

The Colorado Supreme Court gave builders a reason to cheer Monday, ruling that a homeowners association in Centennial was wrong to ignore a requirement that it first get consent from the developer before changing the way disputes over construction defects

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HOA Fee Award Reversed Because HOA Elections Win Did Not Qualify For Award Under Frivolous Fee-Shifting Standard

Thompson v. Lakewood Hills Homeowners’ Assn., Case Nos. A144674/A146081 (1st Dist., Div. 5 May 19, 2017) (unpublished) highlights how the basis for fee entitlement can drive the result in a case. In a word, HOA was awarded fees/costs by the

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