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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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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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