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When a Property Owner Association Approves Plans Then Rescinds Its Approval, Can It Be Held Financially Responsible? (CO)

The Supreme Court of Colorado answered that question in Mac McShane and Cynthia Calvin v. Stirling Ranch Property Owners Association, Inc. (2017 CO 38).  Mac McShane and his wife, Cynthia Calvin (“Owners”) bought property, hoping to build a multi-story home

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PropLogix Wins Suit Against Condominium Association

PropLogix was granted a default judgment in a suit filed against a Kissimmee condominium association after the association failed to appear in court. (Case no. 2016 SC 4316)  In December, PropLogix sued Villas of Emerald Lake Condominium Association, Inc. in

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Appeals court reverses summary judgment against homeowner (FL)

Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a homeowners’ association.  The appeals court ruling follows a July 2016 decision by the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. The circuit court

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Appeals Court Reverses Big Smoking Verdict Against Co-op (NY)

A year ago, state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron sent shivers through New York City’s co-op community when he ruled that Susan Reinhard, a shareholder at the Connaught Tower co-op at 300 East 54 Street, was entitled to $120,000 in

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Florida Supreme Court May Decide Fate of Liens Recorded After Foreclosure Judgments

Real estate investors, municipalities, and community associations may gain some clarity about post-judgment liens if the Florida Supreme Court decides to hear Ober v. Town of Lauderdale By-the-Sea, Case No.: 4D14-4597 (Fla. 4th DCA, January 25, 2017). The case has

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Failure to Hold Formal HOA Board Votes Dooms Two Charlotte HOAs (NC)

There are times in the practice of homeowners’ association law when courts make rulings with which we as attorneys disagree but where an underlying principle or best practice is affirmed. A prime example is the N.C. Court of Appeals’ opinion

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What your HOA Board Needs to Know Before You Attempt to Change Your Restrictive Covenants.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently rendered an opinion reiterating that all amendments to the restrictive covenants (“CCRs”) governing a planned community must be reasonable. As background, the existing law is that amendments to the CCRs must be reasonable

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Construction Defect Statute of Repose: Post-Closing Punch-list Work May Delay Its Start

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals is shaking up the construction defect statute of repose once again.[1] A recent 5th DCA opinion implies that the 10-year construction defect statute of repose does not start to run at the closing of

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Homebuilders and Contractors Beware: Construction Defect Claims May Be Filed More Than 10 Years After Construction is Complete (FL)

A statute of repose sets a firm deadline by which a lawsuit may be filed after the occurrence of a particular event. Once the statute expires, a prospective defendant is no longer exposed to legal action. Florida has a ten-year

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Insurance Coverage for Property Damage Caused by Defective Workmanship

One of the principal points of contention between insurers and insureds is whether defective construction work is, or can be, an occurrence, thereby triggering coverage.  The New Jersey Supreme Court has joined a growing number of jurisdictions holding that commercial

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New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Finds Lien Held by Homeowners’ Association Is Subject to Modification

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey recently overruled a creditor’s objection to the debtors’ proposed chapter 13 plan, rejecting the association’s argument that its claim is secured by a consensual lien and may not be

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How a Miami Suit Grew So Contentious, No One Knew Who Won

After years of litigation, there’s finally a winner in a legal fight pitting a Miami condominium association against two unit owners over whether receivers can vote in place of delinquent unit owners.  The dispute grew so contentious it cycled through

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From the Court to the Board: Lessons From Recent Decisions (NY)

Over the past few months there have been several interesting and insightful court decisions. Here are a few legal cases that provide some helpful lessons for boards and managers alike.   Read the article………….

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Maryland Appeals Court Slams Owner’s Door

A homeowner’s unauthorized installation of a new entry door was slammed by a Maryland appeals court. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled, in Spoon v. Deering Woods Condominium, that a Howard County condominium acted properly in requiring a unit

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Florida appeals court reverses decision in condominium lien case

A Florida appeals court recently reversed a lower court’s decision in a case involving liens on condominium units.  The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Business Law Group, et al, reversing the Circuit Court for Pasco

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Turnover Troubles: Homeowners Can Take Down Goliath

One of the most recognizable narratives in human history is the famed story of David and Goliath. Often, we find that homeowners are David in the seemingly impossible fight against Goliath, the community developer. This analogy is never more apparent

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Case Update: Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC (IL)

In the case of Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC, the Illinois Supreme Court will review an issue pertinent to the collection of up to six months of a foreclosed owner’s assessments from a subsequent purchaser under Section

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“Succeeds to the Interests of” Does Not Require Assumption of Obligations

The individual insured, Robert Primo, previously served as a director and treasurer of Briar Green Condominium Association in Houston, Texas. In 2008 and, shortly before resigning, Primo wrote himself two checks from Briar Green’s account totaling roughly $100,000. Briar Green

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Lawyer wins $160,000 judgment against condo neighbours

An Ottawa lawyer and aspiring judge has won $160,000 in damages in a defamation lawsuit he brought against neighbours of a condominium he owns in Costa Rica.   David McNairn brought the action in Ontario, after two neighbours sent emails

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The Legality of Post-Bankruptcy Condo or Homeowner Association Assessments

A recent bankruptcy case illustrates how bankruptcy affects condominium or homeowner’s association assessments. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that a condominium association was not in contempt when it attempted to collect post-bankruptcy assessments from debtors

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When Can Employer be Liable for Employee Drinking and Driving?

In some cases, employers in California may be liable when their employees are intoxicated and cause accidents. Plaintiffs may be able to sue the employers under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. Employers may also be liable if they negligently

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Slip and Falls on the Condominium Premises and the Open and Obvious Doctrine

A few years ago, I wrote an article titled “Legal Update: Slip and Fall on the Condominium Premises: Does the Condominium Owe a Statutory Duty to Its Co-owners?” The article centered around a 2015 published decision by the Michigan Court

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Appeals court upholds constitutionality of lump sum association fee statute (LA)

Homeowners in the Eastover subdivision in New Orleans lost an appeal at the Louisiana Fourth District Circuit Court of Appeal, which found a state statute that facilitated the collection of association dues to be constitutional.  In a March 22 ruling,

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Appeals Court Revives Fair Housing Act ‘Blog Post Harassment’ Lawsuit

A recent ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals menaces free speech in condominiums, apartment buildings, and the Internet. It allowed individual bloggers to be sued because their blog posts allegedly created a “hostile housing environment” for condo residents

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Why Condo Associations Are Sweating After A Judge’s Ruling (HI)

It’s probably going to take years to unravel the legal and financial uncertainty now facing condominium associations and law firms that used nonjudicial foreclosures — private sales without supervision by courts — to collect unpaid maintenance fees or other assessments

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Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit

In blog posts and comments, two residents of a Virgin Islands condominium complex criticized two other residents who were (in line with rights prescribed to them under federal law) keeping emotional-support dogs despite a no-dog rule in the complex. Among

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Access to HOA Membership List Must be for a Proper Purpose (CA)

As part of the ongoing management of a homeowners association (“HOA”), the HOA is obligated to prepare and maintain certain “association records,” most of which must be made available for inspection by the HOA’s members. However, the right to inspect

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Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL)

Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA

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IL App. Court Holds Post-Foreclosure COA Dues Need Not Be Paid Monthly to Extinguish Pre-Foreclosure COA Lien

Reversing a trial court’s ruling in favor of a condominium association and against a mortgagee, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently held that the Illinois Condominium Property Act’s (“Condo Act”) provision creating a mechanism to extinguish liens for

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Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

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Court of Appeals Upholds Homeowners Association’s Application of Bylaws

The Washington Court of Appeals recently upheld a homeowners association’s interpretation and application of its bylaws in a published opinion. Members of the association challenged its authority to impose membership fees and liens because they claimed that its board of

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New Jersey Superior Court Holds Condominium Association Was Not Entitled to Redeem Tax Sale Certificate on Condominium

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County, Chancery Division-General Equity Part recently held that a condominium association’s attempt to redeem a tax sale certificate on a condominium on which it held a lien was not valid because it was

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Recent Appellate Division Decision Expands Private Party Remedies Under New Jersey Spill Act and Demonstrates Condominium Owners’ Potential for Environmental Liability

The New Jersey Appellate Division’s recent decision in Matejek v. Watson was notable in two respects. First, it provides a private party an order compelling another party to participate in an environmental investigation without proving liability, something not previously allowed

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Insurance Policy Did Not Prevent Association Recovery from Subcontractors for Defective Work

On February 17, the First District Appellate Court issued an opinion regarding the Implied Warranty of Habitability in the case of Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Court et al. The opinion involved three separate appeals: the first relating

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Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits (CA)

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

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Can Blogging Violate the Fair Housing Act?–Revock v. Cowpet Bay West Condo Ass’n

This case is a collision between dogs as emotional support animals and a “no dogs” condominium association rule. The civil rights implications of a “no pets” rule are pretty obvious; such a rule can exclude the disabled. At the same

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Chapter 13 Plan, Not Texas Law, Governs HOA Payments

A Texas homeowners association that applied Chapter 13 plan payments first to pre-bankruptcy delinquencies, leading to improper late fees, penalties and interest, was penalized by a bankruptcy court March 27 ( In re Daulton , 2017 BL 96621, Bankr. S.D.

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Paris Meadows, LLC v City of Kentwood: Objecting to the Taxation of Common Elements (MI)

In Michigan the question of whether the common elements of a condominium are taxable appears to be well-settled. In Paris Meadows, LLC v City of Kentwood, 287 Mich App 136; 783 NW2d 133 (2010), the Michigan Court of Appeals held

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Don’t forget your Declaration: Appeals Court confirms necessity of the Declaration and Covenants in collection actions (IL)

The First District Appellate Court confirmed that Associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants regarding Assessment default into the record in a lawsuit to collect Assessments. In Blackstone Condominium Association v. Speights-Carnegie, (Feb. 3, 2017), the Appellate

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After the Spanish Court case: Limits of Board authority to maintain collection action highlighted in recent appellate court opinion

In the recent case of 4934 Forrestville Condominium Association v. McKinley, the First District Appellate Court held in the context of an Association’s action to collect delinquent assessments under the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, that a Unit Owner’s

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Condo’s and the Environment (NJ)

GREG RENEE MATEJEK v. NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION CLAREMONT HILLS PARCEL TWO CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION The facts as found by the trial judge at the conclusion of a bench trial are relatively simple. Briefly, oil was discovered on the

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HOA Losing Tree Trimming CC&R Properly Hit With $200,000 In Fees And $20,621.15 In Costs

We have explained that HOA – homeowner disputes can be costly. Especially where one party prevails, in this case the homeowner. In Lingenbrink v. Del Rayo Estates Homeowners Assn., Case No. D070966 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Mar. 22, 2017) (unpublished),

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Colorado finally corrects thirty-year old flaw in construction defect statute of repose

The Colorado Supreme Court has finally settled a decades-old conundrum surrounding the state’s construction defect statute of repose.  A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations insofar as both restrict the time a party can bring a

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Long Canyon Phase II and III Homeowners Assoc. v. Cashion, 03-15-00498-CV (TexApp Dist 03/03/2017)

Appellant, a homeowners association, alleged in a letter to owners Chris and Lisa Cashion that the Cashions damaged a drainage easement. The letter, part of a long-standing dispute, threatened fines and a lawsuit. The Cashions responded by suing for harassment,

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Association Deficits Don’t Excuse Developer From Funding HOA Reserves (FL)

For the developer of the Sullivan Ranch community in Mount Dora north of Orlando, it appears that its decision to stop funding reserves after it established the account and began funding it in 2007 has significantly backfired. The Fifth District

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Rulings Clarify Application of Safe Harbor Caps on Association Dues” (FL)

In Brittany’s Place Condominium Association v. U.S. Bank, the Second District Court of Appeal settled some lingering questions as to whether a lender or servicer that takes title to a residence via a mortgage foreclosure must also be the current

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Don’t forget your Declaration: Appeals Court confirms necessity of the Declaration and Covenants in collection actions

The First District Appellate Court confirmed that Associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants regarding Assessment default into the record in a lawsuit to collect Assessments. In Blackstone Condominium Association v. Speights-Carnegie, (Feb. 3, 2017), the Appellate

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ALLIED PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY v. METRO NORTH CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company issued a commercial general liability policy insuring a subcontractor who worked on a multi-unit residential property owned by Metro North Condominium Association. In 2006 the Metro North property sustained extensive water damage caused by

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Handgun Regulation in Community Associations

An entire textbook and law school class could be devoted to the topic of handgun regulation. This article will focus on two recent United States Supreme Court (“Court”) decisions, briefly discuss some of the ways in which the Court’s decisions

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Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Third Party Buyer is Liable for Delinquent Assessments to Mortgagee’s Subsidiary

According to Section 9(g)(4) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, any purchaser of a condominium unit who acquires a property either at a foreclosure sale or by post-foreclosure purchase from the mortgagee must pay the last six months’ worth of

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