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Dealing with a Difficult Developer

Q: The developer of our community is refusing to turn over control of our homeowners’ association (HOA) to the homeowners even though all of the houses are sold. He maintains that he owns the two streets in our small subdivision

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Condo developers outmaneuver neighbor resistance in Linden Hills (MN)

Developers looking to erect luxury condos in Linden Hills needed a favor from the Minneapolis Planning Commission.   Andrew Commers and John Gross were asking for a few.  “Eight on 44th” is the project. It would include eight glass encased condos.

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Privé Island Scores Yet Another Legal Victory With Judge Rulings (FL)

Privé at Island Estates, the iconic twin tower residential development on the last developable island in South Florida, announced its second legal victory, ruled by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas, on September 20th with granted development access rights through the

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Cinco Ranch flooding victims: Who’s in charge?

More than 790 of the 8,700 homes in the Cinco Ranch master-planned community outside of Houston were destroyed during Hurricane Harvey last month. In the wake of this destruction, according to the Houston Chronicle, some residents have been left wondering

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Homeowners ask “where’s our HOA money?” Developer won’t share details (AL)

Homeowners in an Alabaster subdivision claim they’re being “rooked” paying hundreds of dollars every year with no details on where it’s going. No meetings, no detailed budgets, no communication from their Homeowners Association. They brought their complaints to our Fighting

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Creating community: from developers to community associations

If you are looking for a newly built home in San Diego County, the odds are that home will be in a community association.  When done right, community associations provide an immediate sense of community for new homeowners.Community associations are

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Developers Say Boards Are Using Access Agreements as “Ransom” (NY)

In a landmark court ruling last year, co-op and condo boards won the right to demand license fees, plus attorney and architect fees, when granting access to their buildings to developers at neighboring properties. That legal ruling has introduced a

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Condo owners may need to take legal action against developer who refuses to sell new units

We bought into a condo development five years ago. The condo documents said the declarant didn’t have to follow the condo rules or pay dues on his units until the last unit was sold.  We didn’t worry because the declarant

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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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Tiber saga continues with wave of new lawsuits (VA)

Two months after opening its first finished unit, the legal wrangling surrounding a long-troubled West End condo project is continuing with a fresh round of lawsuits.  Three of the four original partners on The Tiber, a high-end development at Libbie

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Right To Terminate Developer Contracts Must Be Exercised Within Three Years (MD)

Section 11-133 of the Maryland Condominium Act gives a council of unit owners the right to terminate leases, management contracts, employment contracts, and other contracts entered into by the developer during the period that the developer had control of a

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Chicago condo deconversions trending, signals multifamily hotter than ever (IL)

Overall, there’s been a steady increase in renter households the past several years and multifamily construction has reached the highest levels since the 80s, according to a report from FreddieMac. In Chicago, vacancy rates are expected to remain tight this

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Real Estate Matters: Wiggle room doesn’t let condo developer off hook

Q: We bought into a condo development five years ago. The condo documents said the declarant didn’t need to follow the condo rules or pay dues on his units until the last unit was sold.  We didn’t worry because the

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Port Charlotte residents cry foul over developer’s HOA control (FL)

Kings Gate residents pay more than $1 million in homeowners association fees every year — but without any input on how it’s spent, they say.  Some within the 55-plus neighborhood off Rampart Boulevard near Interstate 75 are trying to gain

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New Condo Complaints Heat Up (NY)

Look back to the end of the last housing cycle, and the downturn was marked by a flurry of complaints from condo owners and their boards against developers, claiming defects in new or renovated buildings. Roofs and pipes leaked, balconies

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Condo ‘Deconversions’ Soar in Chicago (IL)

A growing number of Chicago condominium associations are looking to sell their buildings to developers for “deconversion” into rental apartments, according to GlobeSt.com, and current economic conditions have made residential developers willing to buy.    Read the article………….

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Industry Perspectives — Quebec flood waters a reminder to build better: CCMPA

On May 11, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood in front of a group of reporters in Gatineau, Que. He’d just taken an aerial tour to survey the area’s flood damage. With Premier Philippe Couillard by his side, he talked about

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Development: Unique Condo Uses

I’ve been working on a large number of condo developments in the past few weeks so I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss some interesting uses for the condo concept.  Before the Act was amended in 1998 there

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Ruling in Fairport Harbor condo owners’ association case headed for appeals court

The attorney for a Fairport Harbor Village landowner filed a brief May 23 in the 11th District Appeals Court challenging a Lake County Common Pleas Court ruling involving its use of undeveloped land at a condominium development there.  The appeal

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Unit Owners Beware: The Developer May Have Stacked The Board Against You (FL)

Are you concerned that the developer of your condominium did not deliver on the promises made to you when you purchased your condominium unit? Are you concerned with the construction of the condominium in which you live? For most individuals

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Colony developer and neighboring residents agree on plan for the property (FL)

When the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort was in its 1970s heyday, Aquarius resident Frank Morneau remembers coming and going through a private entrance between the two properties to buy a morning paper or visit the dining areas. His children

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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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The Risks of Delegating Infrastructure Maintenance to Community Associations

Common-interest community associations, including home owner associations (HOAs), condominium associations, and housing cooperatives, play a critical role in the maintenance of local infrastructure. Over the past few decades, a growing number of cities and counties have delegated the responsibility for

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Representing condominium developers (MA)

Like most condominium lawyers, I represent condominium associations and developers. In this article, however, I am going to summarize some of my thoughts on representing condominium developers.  I am deliberately being provocative and aggressively pro-developer in this article. As Sasha

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Hospitals-Turned-Condominiums: The Latest Conversion Trend (NY)

In New York City, the real estate game is hard fought and won by aggressive players. Everyone wants a piece, from developers to buyers. So when space — a rarity in the crowded metropolis — becomes available, it gets used.

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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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Traçage condos rebrand, eye construction as legal woes end (LA)

After more than 10 years of delays and over a half dozen lawsuits from neighbors, a Warehouse District high-rise condo complex is moving forward with a new name and fewer developers.  Spectrum Capital, the financial arm of the former Tracage

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Financial woes downstream for Falling Waters (IN)

With years of financial and legal woes now in the past, developers of the Falling Waters subdivision are hoping to get back on track, welcoming new buyers to the upscale development.  “The homeowners are just ecstatic,” said Babe Woodward of

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Small victory for homeowners in Helen’s View case (WA)

A small victory in the ongoing legal case between the Helen’s View Homeowners Association and developers seeking to build on an HOA remainder parcel happened last week as a county Superior Court judge ruled to remove lis pendens, or a

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Association Deficits Don’t Excuse Developer From Funding HOA Reserves

Developers must establish and fund reserve accounts for their projects during the initial years while they retain control of the homeowner associations. However, there are various legal and bookkeeping maneuvers that they often employ to attempt to avoid or diminish

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Developers want my condo, so how can I fight it?

Q: I enjoy reading your informative Q&A columns. I currently have a condo unit I rent out to a tenant. Recently a real estate developer called me and left a voice message about selling my unit at a premium. I

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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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What Condominium Owners Should Know About Developer Turnover of the Association: Part I

During the construction and initial sales of units within a condominium association, the developer will manage the association’s operations and governance. This means the developer controls the association’s board of directors. Once the development is constructed and a certain percentage

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Trump Tower developer sues Vancouver construction company for alleged shoddy work and bad management

The developer of Trump International Tower and Hotel is suing a local construction company, claiming that shoddy work and poor management of trade contractors delayed the high-profile project.  Holborn Developments (West Georgia) Ltd. filed a notice of civil claim on

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How can a condo owner thwart sale of the building to a developer?

Q:  I currently have a condo unit that I rent out to a tenant. Recently, a real estate developer called me and left a voicemail message about selling my unit at a premium. I am sure he has done this

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Pre-Filed South Carolina Legislation Signals Push to Regulate Developers

In 2016, the South Carolina legislature organized a study committee, titled the “South Carolina Committee on Homeowners Associations,” which explored various issues affecting the level of authority that developers have over their own development projects. Various opinions on developer control

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Windermere Country Club owner files lawsuit against Orange County (FL)

Unhappy with Orange County commissioners’ unanimous decision to deny him the development rights to a 155-acre plat on his property, the owner of the Windermere Country Club Golf Course is trying – again – to obtain the right to develop

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When the Sponsor Won’t Let Go (NY)

Roy Smith moved into the Wainwright, a 67-unit rental building in Forest Hills, Queens, back in the fall of 1990. When the building was converted to a condominium two years later, Smith was able to buy his apartment at the

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Federal Appeals Court Finds Luxury Condo Owner’s Suit Filed too Late Against Insurer (NV)

A luxury high rise condominium located in Las Vegas, Nevada, was found to have been barred from recovery of its $5 million window damage claim, according to a ruling by the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.  The

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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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This could be the biggest condos-to-apartments switch in the city (IL)

After taking over one North Side condominium tower and converting it back into apartments, a New Jersey investment firm is plotting a similar deal at an even bigger one overlooking Belmont Harbor.      Read the article…………

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At $35 million, this condo deal was ‘quite an adventure’ (IL deconversion)

The Clark Place condominium tower in Lincoln Park is an apartment building once again after a $35 million deal to buy out its owners.  Strategic Properties of North America has completed its acquisition of the 133-unit building at 2625 N.

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As Building Code Adoption Increases, Insurance Losses Decrease

Maintaining a safe and secure building is a major concern for property owners and managers. Due to the important role buildings play in society, architects and engineers begin plotting out the the safety measures and standards well before the actual

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Resort With A Real Estate Ownership Component: A Turnaround Case Study

Whether the setting is sun-and-sand, snow-and-ski, or an indoor water park, today’s destination resorts commonly feature real estate ownership programs. Structured as whole ownership, fractional ownership, or timeshare, these “residential” condominiums typically feature fully equipped kitchens and multiple bedrooms. This

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Millennium Tower Developer Considers Drilling To Bedrock For New Highrise (CA)

Amidst the legal and PR kerfuffle they’ve been dealing with over the last few months regarding the sinking and tilting Millennium Tower, developer Millennium Partners appears to be reconsidering the foundation of their latest project already under construction at 706

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Downtown Sarasota condo sidelined by lawsuits

The 18-story Jewel is more than a year behind schedule, as the developer and contractor trade lawsuits.

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Pine Forest POA, government battle back in court in May (TX)

Control of the Pine Forest Property Association’s board has been a hot-button item since last year, when the city of Bastrop, Bastrop County and the Bastrop school district sued a developer

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Condominium Deconversions: Examination of a Section 15 Sale (IL)

developers looking to convert condominium associations into rental properties have descended upon the condominium association market, flooding many associations with offers to purchase all of the units from the owners.

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