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California Court of Appeal Ruling Eliminates Strict Liability Standard for Supplier of Chinese Building Products

On January 26, 2017, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, issued a 51 page ruling in Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc., D068406 (San Diego Superior Court No. 37-2009-00104348-CU-CD-CTL) which eliminated strict liability

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Construction Defect – Application of the Right to Repair Statute to Material Suppliers (CA)

Civil Code § 8951 et seq. (the “Act”) establishes a set of building standards pertaining to new residential construction and provides homeowners with a cause of action against, among others, material suppliers, for a violation of the standards(§§ 896, 936).

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Condominium Corporation Seeks Court Order Requiring Mental Examination of Unit Owner

In a recent case, TSCC No. 2395 v. Wong, a condominium corporation that was dealing with a unit owner whose behavior had become increasingly threatening, abusive, intimidating and dangerous, applied to the Court for an order that the unit owner

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Court Defers to Association’s Interpretation of its Bylaws (WA)

The Washington Court of Appeals recently held that an association’s board of directors was validly constituted and properly passed bylaw amendments, so the board (and the management company as the board’s agent) had the authority to charge and collect fines

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Michigan court rules in favor of condominium association in interpreting newly amended MCL 559.167 (SB 610)

The Oakland County Circuit Court held that the MCL 559.167, as amended by 2016 PA 233, does not recreate “need not be built” units that were eliminated under the prior version of MCL 559.167. The ruling will have an impact

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Board members immune from personal liability (TX)

Plaintiff condominium owners sued association and board members to restore their homes after hurricane and fire damage. when complex was instead demolished,. Trial court granted summary judgment in favor of board members, and severed the remaining claims against the association.

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Court Affirmed Dismissal Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Condo Board Members

In Brown v. Hensley, a condominium complex was damaged by a hurricane, and the board of the complex allowed the complex to be demolished. No. 14-14-00981-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 727 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] January 26, 2017, no pet.

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Appeals court decides Centex must pay into HOA reserve (FL)

The 5th District Court of Appeal recently decided in favor of a pair of homeowners representing themselves in a case against their homeowner association at Sullivan Ranch.  According to a report by the Orlando Sentinel, Sara MacKenzie, who had only

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Legal Brief: Logan’s Reserve HOA v. McCabe (PA)

On January 4, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court confirmed that the Uniform Planned Community Act (68 PA.C.S.A. Section 5101 et seq) does NOT permit owners to withhold assessments where they are dissatisfied with the association’s performance.   In Logan’s Reserve

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9th Cir. Limits Scope of FDCPA ‘Enforcement of Security Interest’ Exception

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a notice regarding overdue homeowners association (HOA) assessments contained language that overshadowed and conflicted with the homeowner’s federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act debt validation rights.  Limiting the

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Appellate Court Overturns $24 Million Judgment for HOA in SB800 Case (CA)

The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District just overturned a $24 Million verdict in favor of a San Diego County HOA. Despite the jury verdict in favor of the HOA, the Court of Appeal overturned the verdict, and

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Condo Co-owner Magician Failed to Impress in Icy Slip-Fall Case (MI)

Although Michigan’s winter of 2016-2017 has been relatively mild so far, this is usually the season when attorneys see an increase in slip and fall accident claims due to snow and ice. However, Michigan case law that developed over the

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The Super-Priority Saga Continues – Nevada Supreme Court Holds That NRS 116’s Notice Provisions Are Constitutional (NV)

The Ninth Circuit sent shockwaves through the mortgage industry when it held that NRS 116—the statute allowing an HOA to impose a nominal super-priority lien that can extinguish a senior deed of trust when foreclosed—was facially unconstitutional under the Due

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OK to sue condo association for not granting access to dog-free elevators (IL)

A Chicago federal judge has cleared the way for Holly Geraci, the wife of prominent Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Peter Francis Geraci, to proceed with her lawsuit against the association that manages the condo building in which she lives, saying Geraci

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Florida Fourth DCA Adopts Strict Compliance Standard when Joining Homeowner Associations to Foreclosure Actions

On November 23, 2016, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a case concerning a foreclosing lender’s obligation to pay homeowner association assessments in Federal National Mortgage Association v. Mirabella at Mirasol Homeowner’s Association, Inc., Case

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Reservation of Rights Requirements Adopted by South Carolina Supreme Court

The South Carolina Supreme Court’s recent decision in Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc., Appellate Case Nos. 2013-001281 and 2013-001291, 2017 WL 105021 (S.C. Jan. 11, 2017) affirms what is and is not covered “property damage” under commercial general

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Court Ruling Gives Condo Boards the Power to Evict (NY)

In a major victory for condominium boards, the state’s highest court has ruled unanimously that a Manhattan condo unit-owner who refused to pay his common charges since 2007 can be evicted from his apartment, The New York Law Journal reports.

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Court Decision Clarifies HOA Developer Reserve Funding Obligations (FL)

Last month, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals issued yet another opinion in Mackenzie v. Centex Homes, by Centex Real Estate Corp., Case No. 5D16-1254 (Fla. 5th DCA, December 22, 2016) reinforcing that a developer is obligated to contribute money

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Good News for HOAs: Courts Clarify Deadline for Governing Document Lawsuits (FL)

Homeowner association board members and their attorneys can breathe easier now that two Florida appeals courts have clarified the deadline for challenging an association’s governing documents. Through an affirmative defense based on time limitations, associations should see quick, concise and

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Court Declares Condo By-Law Authorizing Allocation/Lease of Common Element Parking Spaces to Unit Owners is Valid

In a recent case, Cheung v. YCC No. 759, a unit owner in a commercial condominium unsuccessfully challenged the validity of a by-law that allocated/leased 4 common element parking spaces to each unit. Before the enactment of the by-law, parking

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Possession after Judicial Foreclosure (WA)

Recently, the Division 1 Court of Appeals of Washington issued its opinion in the case of Viewcrest Condominium Association v. Robertson, 2016 WL 7470025 (December 27, 2016). The decision by the Court in Viewcrest will need to be considered when

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Washington Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Homeowners Association

The Washington Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Camas homeowners association’s actions concerning board membership and delinquent assessments in a recent unpublished opinion.    Read the article…………..

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Leverage Shift: Community Associations Facing Developer Transition Benefit From Court of Appeals’ Decision (NC)

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that should make it easier for owners associations to pursue remedies against developers if they discover construction defects in the common elements after control of the association is transferred from

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Industry Alert – Florida Supreme Court Rules on Bartram v. US Bank, NA.

The Florida Supreme Court issued the much anticipated opinion in Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A on November 3, 2016, providing long awaited guidance as to the statute of limitations on successive mortgage foreclosure actions, post dismissal. The Court answered a

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Foreclosures – Enforcement of Judgments – Equitable Redemption (CA)

In 1982, the California Legislature enacted the Enforcement of Judgments Law (“EJL”), Code of Civil Procedure section 680.10 et seq., setting forth the standards for enforcing judgments by writ of execution. The EJL made sales pursuant to foreclosure judgments absolute,

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Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under an “ongoing operations” additional insured

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NH Supreme Court issues key condo financing ruling

In NH Housing Finance Authority v. Pinewood Estates Condominium Association, the question was whether a foreclosing mortgagee could be held liable for the unpaid assessments incurred by a prior delinquent owner. The NHHFA had acquired, in a foreclosure sale, title

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An Important Lesson for Condominium Developers (MI)

On December 15, 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion in the matter of Woodland Estates, LLC v. City of Sterling Heights and County of Macomb. Woodland Estates, LLC (the “Developer”) filed a lawsuit against the City

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Court Clarifies Condo Owners’ Right to Inspect (NY)

In its 2013 decision in Pomerance v. McGrath (Pomerance I),1 as noted by one of the authors in a prior article on the subject,2 the Appellate Division, the First Department handed down the first appellate decision delineating the rights of

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Superior Court rules Philly condo residence dispute does not need to go to arbitration

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania said an occupancy agreement, not an operation agreement, was the key document in deciding the fate of a residential dispute action centered around a condominium in Philadelphia’s affluent Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.   Read the article…………….

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Vague ruling means uncertainty for slip-and-fall ice lawsuits in Illinois

Can you be held liable if someone slips and falls on ice outside your house? The Illinois Supreme Court says … maybe.  An Illinois Supreme Court opinion gives owners of icy sidewalks a reason to bust out some more salt.

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South Carolina Court of Appeals Rules on Jury Trials and Class Action Waivers in Master Deeds

The South Carolina Court of Appeals has offered insight into its opinion on the issue of whether a developer may contractually create and enforce jury trial and class action waivers in a master deed. The Court’s position is good news

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Michigan Court rules that MCL 559.132 does not allow for a Condominium to be expanded to add units after 6 years

On December 1, 2016, the Grand Traverse County Circuit Court ruled that units could not be added to a condominium after the expiration of the six (6) year time frame contained in MCL 559.132 in Irish v Scheppe Investments, Inc.,

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SCOV Law Blog: Determining Responsibility When Land is Leased (VT)

Allan Sherman waxed that while, “Camp is very entertaining,” the truth was, “They say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining.” So while everyone is soaking in the serene environment, lakefront property is continually embroiled with a fearsome foe

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Favorable Ruling for Condo Associations in Second DCA (FL)

Recently, in Ventana Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Chancey Design Partnership, Inc., et al., 2016 WL 4259999 (Fla. 2d DCA), the Second District Court of Appeal held that the Plaintiff, Ventana Condominium Association, Inc. (the “Ass’n”), was not the successor in

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Rare Safe Harbor Victory for Homeowner Associations (FL)

In Federal National Mtg. Ass’n. v. Mirabella at Mirasol HOA, Inc., Case No. 4D 15-4792 (Fla. 4th DCA, November 23, 2016), Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals relied on specific language in the Homeowner Association Acts’ safe harbor provision to

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AirBNB & VRBO: Do My Neighbors Have a Say? (TX)

Following his transfer to Houston, Ruel Benda decided to keep his posh gated neighborhood Rodeo Drive house and started advertising it on AirBNB. His profits were so good that he began renting for 7 days or less. Insisting that Benda’s

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Preserving Developer Rights and Protecting Association Interests

Relations between the developers who produce condominiums and the owners who purchase them are not always harmonious, to say the least. They clash over many issues, but disputes over retained developers’ rights and construction defects are among the most common.

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Lawyers Can Violate FDCPA by Making Factually Inaccurate Allegations in Bankruptcy Pleadings

Judge Castillo’s case involved a law firm that filed a motion to modify the automatic stay on behalf of a condominium association. The motion alleged that the debtors had not paid condominium assessments after being in chapter 13 for a

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Construction company claims insurance provider failed to protect it (CA)

A trial date has been set for the end of January in an insurance coverage case to determine who is responsible for water and mold damage sustained in a condominium.  Saarman Construction Ltd. was hired by a homeowners association to

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Associations Rejoice: Florida Appellate Courts Breathe New Life into Controlling Documents for Community Associations

It has been commonplace in Florida for condominium owners or homeowners to move into a community and then challenge the propriety or validity of the governing documents which, by virtue of purchasing in the community, they agreed to be bound

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IL Supreme Court: Law shields homeowners from suits over snow removal, not ‘unnatural’ ice

The Illinois Supreme Court has put the freeze on certain slip-and-fall suits, by affirming an appellate ruling that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act immunizes homeowners against suits arising from weather-caused slippery sidewalks, but not from ice buildup caused

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MI Ct of App Rules That Deed Restrictions Recorded Outside of the Chain of Title are Unenforceable

In Petersen Financial LLC v Twin Creeks LLC, issued November 22, 2016 (Docket No. 329019) (Published Opinion) the Michigan Court of Appeals held that deed restrictions that were not within the chain of title were not enforceable. In 2000, Twin

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Failure to Hold Formal 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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Jury sides with homeowners association in Tanglewood property suit (TX)

A Harris County jury has sided with a homeowners association in the affluent Tanglewood neighborhood that was sued by residents over plans to build a house on their lot.  Stewart and Marla Feldman, along with a trustee, sued Tanglewood Homes

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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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