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Six years on, Kolter Signature Homes lawsuit goes to trial

After six years of legal maneuvering one of the longest-running cases over faulty construction in Florida is finally going to trial.   Jury selection starts Tuesday in a case pitting the San Matera Condominium Association against Kolter Signature Homes, and other

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Maryland Condo and HOA Resale Disclosure Law Revised

New resale disclosure requirements for Maryland condominiums and homeowner associations apply beginning October 1, 2016. Condos will now be required to provide prospective purchasers with the current reserve study report or a summary of the report, and a statement of

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The Earth Movement Exclusion: How Does it Affect Construction Defect Cases?

One of the biggest considerations for parties on both sides of any lawsuit is whether insurance coverage will apply to the plaintiff’s claims. This is especially true in construction defect cases, where the cost of repairing the alleged damage can

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Fla. App. Court (2nd DCA) Holds Non-Party HOA Not Subject to Foreclosure, HOA Lien Not Limited

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Second District, recently reversed a summary judgment in favor of a mortgagee in two consolidated actions for declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the extent of the mortgagee’s liability for unpaid

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Appalachian Highlands Ventures alleged to owe fees to condo owners association (WV)

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege they have suffered financial damages for not collecting payment for the defendants’ general operating reserve and propane fee in the sum of of $39,830.77.  The plaintiffs allege the defendants have failed to make

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New Fair Housing Act Regulations Become Effective October 14, 2016

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released final regulations related to quid pro quo and hostile environment housing claims under the Fair Housing Act. Some of the new regulations which go into effect on October

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New FHA Rules to Create New Association Duties

On September 13, HUD released new rules for the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that will impact community associations. Under these new rules, which take effect on October 14, 2016, a community association could face liability for the discriminatory acts of

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New Resident Screening and Avoiding Disparate Impact Claims

Most well-run community associations incorporate a new tenant application and approval process, and some even utilize such a program for new owners. A typical new resident screening program includes criminal background checks, credit checks, employment verification, and prior rental history.

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Homeowners Association/Reasonableness Of Fees/Section 1717: $25,614 Post-Judgment Enforcement Fee Award To HOA Affirmed On Appeal

The attorney for the prevailing homeowners association (HOA) did something very smart in Bryan Ranch Homeowners Assn. v. Lawrence, Case No. A147659 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 16, 2016) (unpublished), which we will now describe.  There, a homeowner and HOA

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Important Ruling for Associations Seeking to Foreclose in Advance of Lenders

Community associations and their attorneys are applauding the recent ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners Association, which eliminates an unintended roadblock that was being used to derail association foreclosure cases throughout the

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From a misplaced mat to a $170k lawsuit – the danger of breaching duties of care (Australia)

Damages of $171,500 plus costs have been awarded against a Mosman owners corporation for a breach of its duty of care to a resident who tripped on a frayed floor mat Left in a lift for more than a day

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Fundamentally Altering the Employee/Employer Relationship between Community Associations and their Management Companies & Independent Contractors

Until last year, condominium and homeowner associations and their management companies understood the relationship between an employer and its employees and who would be considered the employer of those employees. However, a 2015 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board

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The North Carolina Court of Appeals Says… Not Much in its Recent HOA Cases

As homeowners’ association and commercial real estate attorneys, we typically hold our breath when the North Carolina Court of Appeals issues new opinions (“opinions” is the term it uses to refer to its case decisions). While the judges are all

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Ham Radio Antennas – Associations Have to Allow Them, But Have Some Control

During the 2015-2016 federal legislative season, the Ham Radio lobby introduced H.R. 1301, a bill which seeks to prohibit associations from banning Ham Radio antennas in their communities. As originally proposed HR 1301 was detrimental to an association’s control over

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Pocahontas Co. (WV) man blames homeowner group for cutting off water supply

A Slatyfork homeowner is suing a homeowner’s association, alleging it wrongly cut off his water supply.  Derek Entemann filed a lawsuit Sept. 1 in Pocahontas Circuit Court against Snowshoe Overlook Condominium Homeowner’s Association Inc., alleging the water supply operator forced

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Sanchez v. Cobblestone Homeowners Ass’n (NC)

In the case of Sanchez v. Cobblestone Homeowners Ass’n of Clayton, Inc. 2016WL4598554 (September 6, 2016), the defendant Cobblestone HOA (HOA) informed plaintiff that her property was not included in the HOA declaration. Accordingly, she was not required to pay

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Accord And Satisfaction: Florida’s 2nd DCA Overturns St. Croix Confirming Condominiums Can Accept Partial Payments Without Risk Of Compromising Claim

Recent assessment disputes between condominium associations and unit owners has resulted in a clarification of a Florida law. The clarification changes the way that acceptance of money intended to be accord and satisfaction is understood by the court in the

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Sign of the Times

With the Republican and Democratic National Conventions behind us, campaign season is now in high gear. Many people feel very strongly about who should become our next President and would like to convince as many people as possible to vote for their preferred candidate. While not everyone has

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CAI Rebuts Misleading Opposition Arguments to Senate Bill 1282

CAI’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (PA LAC) has been supporting legislation (Senate Bill 1282 / House Bill 1101) which would clarify the manner in which county Recorders of Deeds may assess fees regarding the amendment of declarations for condominiums, cooperatives

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Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act

This final rule amends HUD’s fair housing regulations to formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving allegations of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. The rule specifies how HUD

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Resident alleges that unlit, uneven nature of her apartment’s walkway caused her to fall (LA)

Brenda Robin filed a suit against Villa D’Orleans Condominium Association Inc. & Arch Insurance Co. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Aug. 22.  According to the claim, the plaintiff was walking after dark on Feb. 17 at her residency,

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COA orders couple to pay fees to lot owner’s association

The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a couple to pay a Bartholomew County lot owner’s association $6,000 in assessment fees despite the couple’s claim that they are not members of the association.  In the case of Marvin Hamilton and

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Court Rejects Condominium Owner’s Attempt to Invalidate Assessments (WA)

In a recent unpublished opinion, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment denial of a condominium owner’s legal challenges to the assessments charged to his unit.    Read the article……………

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Court says ByWard Market condo board can block parking bid over security concerns (ON)

A commercial owner in the Place St. George condominium at 160 George St. approached the condo board in 2012 with a plan to convert about 30 existing monthly parking spaces to 24/7 pay-and-display hourly parking.  The board balked. “That was

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HOA Homefront: Should we worry about upcoming change in law for common areas?

Q. I have read your article on exclusive-use common areas and don’t get whether in a planned development the decks and balconies are in this category. In our association, some homes have decks, some have balconies, some have chimneys, some

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2017 IL Condo Act Amendment to Allow Condo Boards Exclusive Vote on Loans

On January 1, 2017, the Condominium Property Act will be amended. Language will be taken out that previously allowed an association’s declaration to require an owner vote to assign the association’s right to future income.  Since associations do not hold

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The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Fire Sprinkler Retrofits

As the 12/31/16 deadline for Florida high-rises to opt out of a full sprinkler retrofit looms large, the confusion regarding which multifamily buildings should opt out, why and what the consequences of that opt out vote will be escalates.  Here

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Nevada Supreme Court hears case on real estate crisis foreclosure sales

A case that could affect the validity of thousands of Las Vegas foreclosure sales stemming from the real estate crisis that began nearly a decade ago was heard Thursday by the Nevada Supreme Court.  The court is now expected to

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part IV: Overcoming Defenses and Sale of the Unit

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units within the community. This four-part blog will discuss the condominium

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Priority of Liens—Evolving Rules for Condominiums and Lenders (NY)

Cooperative housing corporations have a first lien on the shares and appurtenant proprietary leases for co-op apartments. As a result, in the event of a foreclosure (whether initiated by the co-op to collect maintenance arrears or the holder of a

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MI Supreme Court declines appeal in flooding suit against GR (condo)

The Michigan Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in the lawsuit against the city of Grand Rapids over flooding that damaged Plaza Towers.  In an order issued Tuesday, the court said the lawsuit is valid and the city

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Legislative Update Summary of Laws Effective January 1, 2017 (IL)

This summary highlights legislative updates in the Illinois Condominium Property Act, the Common Interest Community Association Act, the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act, and other statutes.    Read the article…………..

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Pokémon Go Class Action Says ‘Pokestop’ Disturbs Condo Residents (FL)

The Pokémon Company, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and app maker Niantic Inc. are facing a class action lawsuit filed by a condominium association that claims its unwanted “Pokestop” designation has created a major disruption to its residents.  The Villas of Positano

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Tax Deed Purchasers Make An End Run Around HOA Fees

Late last year Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals delivered an early Christmas present to these new parcel owners in the form of a decision in favor of Lunohah Investments in their case, Lunohah Investments, LLC v. Gaskell.  The court

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Associations Not Required to Disclose Privileged Information

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that the Maryland Condominium Act did not require disclosure of information related to legal advice or attorney work product (privileged information) to owners. Although this case was decided in Maryland, and it is

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Substantiation Of Reasonableness Of Fees

This involved hotel unit condo owners’ over 3-year battle against the HOA and various management entities in which owners sought over $64 million for overcharging for hotel unit management services. The defense (several groups of cross-defendants) was able to obtain

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Court lifts restraint against vocal condo critic in Hopkins (MN)

A Hopkins man engaged in a bitter, long-running dispute with the management of the Meadow Creek condominiums has been vindicated by the state’s second-highest court.  In a decision issued last week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that Mel Pittel

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Michigan Court rules that recreational use of a camper violates deed restrictions

In Vansteenhouse v Winslow, issued June 28, 2016 (Docket No. 326224) (Unpublished Opinion) the Michigan Court of Appeals was required to determine whether a property owner violated deed restrictions by having a camper on their property. The deed restrictions indicated,

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Northampton County Council opposes state legislation to exempt condo associations from property record fees (PA)

Northampton County Council Thursday night passed a resolution opposing proposed state legislation aimed at prohibiting counties from collecting fees to record real estate filings from condominium associations.    Read the article……………

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New Florida Foreclosure Case May Lead to Less Participation and Greater Risk for Real Estate Investors

On August 24, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Ober v. Town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, No. 4D14-4597, 2016 WL 4468134 (Fla. 4th DCA August 24, 2016) that is likely to have broad implications on Florida’s foreclosure

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Is Short-Term Leasing a “Commercial Use”?

In Houston v. Wilson Mesa Ranch Homeowners Association, Inc., the Colorado Court of Appeals held that short-term rentals did not violate a covenant prohibiting commercial use of a unit. However, this ruling did not indicate that all restrictions on short-term

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Racist/Discriminatory Language must be eliminated from Community Association Governing Documents (OH)

A recent lawsuit was filed against recorders in all 88 Ohio counties to require the removal of racist language from recorded documents. Discriminatory restrictive covenants can found in deeds and governing documents pre-dating the Fair Housing Act of 1968. These

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Business Judgment Rules does not Apply to Unauthorized Acts

The South Carolina Supreme Court held that association board decisions must be evaluated individually to see if the business judgment rule applied, and the business judgment rule did not apply when the board acted beyond its authority. Although this case

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Montgomery County CCOC To Require Negotiation of Association Disputes

After a year-long examination of the operations of the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC), the County Council has enacted a new law which makes changes in the CCOC dispute resolution process. More than 340,000 Montgomery County, Maryland

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Bank of America v. Kipps Colony II Condominium Association, Inc.: What Does It Mean for Attorneys? (FL)

The recent case of Bank of America, N.A. v. Kipps Colony II Condominium Association, Inc., — So. 3d —-, 2016 WL 3766582 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), is instructive for attorneys representing condominium and homeowners’ associations and emphasizes the need for

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Condominium Assessment Liens in Florida, Part III: Assessment Foreclosure Actions

A condominium association’s governing documents in conjunction with Section 718.116, Florida Statutes, are the genesis of the condominium association’s authority to impose and perfect assessment liens against individually owned units within the community. This four-part blog will discuss the condominium

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HUD Reaches Agreement With Florida Condo Association in Disability Discrimination Case

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with Delvista Towers Condominium Association, Inc., of Aventura, Florida, and its property management company, resolving allegations of housing discrimination against residents with disabilities. HUD claimed the condo

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Outside attorneys: Dunwoody Homeowners Association members on city boards is conflict of interest (GA)

The outside attorneys the Dunwoody City Council hired in June to weigh in on its directive that members of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association should be prohibited from serving on city boards agree with the city’s legal counsel that there “is

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New laws change condo association management (NH)

This is Part II of legislative changes to the Condominium Act that went into effect Aug. 1. The caveat is many of the actions boards and associations have been taking now must be explicitly in the bylaws (not even in

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The Condominium Fire Sprinkler Retrofit – A Continuing Saga (FL)

Each week, I receive a multitude of calls and e-mails from condominium association clients, and non-clients alike, regarding the condominium fire sprinkler retrofit requirements. The confusion arises because of a 2010 amendment to section 718.112 of the Florida Statutes which,

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