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Bill In the MD General Assembly Would Permit Restrictions and Prohibitions On Smoking By Condos, HOAs

House Bill 500, now pending the Maryland General Assembly, provides for a proposed amendment to Section 11-104 of the Maryland Condominium Act that would allow a condominium’s bylaws to include “a restriction or prohibition on smoking tobacco products within the

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The Latest Construction Defect Bill Requires Notice, Disclosure, and Approval Prior to Commencing an Action (CO)

Prior to the beginning of the 2017 Legislative Session, the legislature promised to address construction defect reform. True to their words, five different and, in some cases, competing bills have been introduced, aimed at addressing construction defects. The latest bill,

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Court Narrows Defenses in Covenant Enforcement Action (FL)

When faced with an enforcement action by a community association, owners often argue the association is selectively enforcing the covenants. Some also argue the association waived its right to enforce because the association knew about the violation for a substantial

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A Win for Co-ops and Condos (and Landlords) on Water Credits (NY)

Co-ops and condos are at a notorious disadvantage to small homeowners when it comes to paying property taxes. But not when it comes to paying water bills. In a rebuke to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Appellate Division of the

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Hovious v. Bridgewater Homeowners Association, Inc. (In re Hovious)

The bankruptcy court enters judgment in favor of the debtor and against the home owners’ association but does not award any damages. The debtor argued the HOA violated the discharge injunction when it attempted to collect post-petition dues from the

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Can a piecemeal approach get Colorado to construction defects reform?

For years now, construction defects reform has been a top priority for city officials, for affordable housing advocates, for builders and developers, and for years, it hasn’t happened.  The way to make progress on construction defects reform is through narrowly

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Singapore: 33 proposed amendments to Act governing condos

The stage is set for a showdown between managing agents and residents at strata-titled properties such as condominiums over a proposed legislative amendment.  The tweak would allow condo managing agents to do away with a mandatory annual review of their

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Can My HOA Do This? (SC)

Q: I live in a planned community in South Carolina that has deed restrictions. The restrictive covenants say nothing about homeowners’ association (HOA) assessments, and have no provisions that allow for the restrictions to be amended. Is it legal for

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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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Ga. Supreme Court affirms Chatham man’s removal from homeowner’s association

The Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed an earlier ruling that removed a local man from a leadership position in his neighborhood’s homeowners association while a civil case continues in Chatham County courts.  In an opinion earlier this month, the court’s

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Only 1 condo owner to continue pursuing fraud case against Kushner Cos. (NJ)

Only one condo owner in the unfinished Landings at Harborside community in Perth Amboy will continue on in the fraud lawsuit against the Kushner Companies over the proposed $600 million waterfront development.  Two owners settled late in the day Thursday

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Utah homeowner associations may be forced to allow solar panels

Lawmakers on Friday advanced a controversial bill to require, in most circumstances, homeowner associations (HOAs) to allow solar panels.  The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to endorse SB154, and sent it to the full Senate for consideration.  Its sponsor, Sen.

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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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Will a Statutory Right to Repair Construction Defects Increase First-Time Homebuyers? (CO)

On February 6, 2017, House Bill 17-1169 was introduced and assigned to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. H.B. 17-1169 proposes a mechanism for a construction professional to offer to repair or offer to fund repairs for a construction

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Linda Stewart bill would delay HOA fines on deceased owner’s family (FL)

State Senator Linda Stewart has introduced legislation that would prohibit Home Owner’s Associations or HOA from charging late fines and fees immediately after the death of a homeowner. The bill aims to protect families from immediate financial scrutiny following the

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IRS Revenue Ruling 70-604 and MCL 450.2541(2)(b): The Value of Expert Advice

Many individuals and corporations, including community associations, are currently preparing their tax returns. For associations with excess revenue this process most likely involves a determination of whether to exercise an election under IRS Revenue Ruling 70-604. A proper election under

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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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Boards Have a New Obligation to Stop Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination. HOAs are “housing providers” under the Act – they may not discriminate against certain classes of people. Associations who do discriminate risk lawsuits and large fines.  Few associations discriminate on purpose, but

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Water Tower condo owners sue over flooring (IL)

A contractor who’s the subject of a lawsuit over plumbing lines in a rehab in Water Tower is also under fire for flooring in another unit in the building.  In a lawsuit, Ian and Patricia Frost, who own a unit

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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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Bills Proposed In MD Gen. Assem. To Limit Restrictions Imposed By Condo Developers re:Construction Defect claims

Proposed legislation now pending in the Maryland General Assembly would prevent condominium developers from limiting the ability of the council of unit owners and individual unit owners to bring construction defect claims for issues affecting the condominium. Senate Bill 670

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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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Maryland General Assembly Again Considers Registration Requirement For Common Ownership Communities

House Bill 41 now pending in the Maryland General Assembly would require condominiums, homeowner associations and cooperative housing corporations to register annually with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.   Read the article……………

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Kushner fraud case back before judge who declared mistrial after bias accusation (NJ)

Superior Court Judge Vincent LeBlon will continue to preside over the trial between Perth Amboy condo owners and the Kushner Companies despite declaring a mistrial after an attorney accused of the judge of “running the most unbalanced trial of his career.”  Civil

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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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Colorado construction defects bill opposed by groups it is designed to help

A bipartisan bill described as getting to the “heart” of the construction defect litigation issue saw widespread opposition Wednesday from the very groups it is intended to help.  The bill still passed the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee by

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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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Community Associations and the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment to the United States’ Constitution guarantees individuals the right to keep and bear arms. The Florida constitution contains a similar guarantee. With few exceptions, Florida law allows licensed individuals to carry concealed firearms in most public locations.

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Former property manager alleges wrongful termination by Silver Thatch Atlantic Plaza Condominium Association Inc.

A Broward County woman formerly employed as property manager claims she was wrongfully terminated for reporting allegedly unlawful conduct.  Michele Gardner filed a complaint on Jan. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Silver

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CAI Releases a Guidance Document on Music & Movie Licensing in the U.S.

Music is powerful. Nearly all of us can recall memories associated with a personal memory – a high school dance, an old boyfriend or girlfriend, the summers spent with friends on the lake or at the beach.  In fact, according

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State fails to protect condo owners from board fraud, grand jury finds (FL)

The Florida state agency that regulates condominium associations does not work to protect the tens of thousands who live in condos, resulting in extensive fraud, mismanagement and conflicts of interest among the boards and management companies that govern them, according

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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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The Association…Cashing In On Rent (IL)

When filing a forcible entry and detainer action, our offices will inquire with the Association whether or not there is a tenant residing in the unit. The purpose of this is to establish if the tenant is a paying renter

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Legislators still struggling over construction defects reform (CO)

The old adage goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  As the state’s construction defect reform battle wages on, the question is can stakeholders stop looking for problems and accept an assortment of tools

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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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(CO) Capitol Conversation: Construction Defects

Lawmakers in both parties are trying to make it more difficult for homeowners to sue condo developers over construction defects. They hope it will lead to more condo development and lower rents. But despite widespread support for the concept, legislation

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2017 Maryland Legislative Session Begins

Outside the glare of worldwide attention to the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, the Maryland General Assembly began its 2017 90-day legislative session in mid-January.  Some bills considered–but not enacted–in 2016 will be examined

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HOA Homefront: Don’t be caught napping; your rights at risk! (CA)

Some well-intentioned ideas can boomerang and hurt those who are intended to be helped. Such is the new Civil Code 4041, created by last year’s SB918.  Section 4041 appears intended to protect homeowners by requiring annual reminders to keep their

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New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms Coverage For Construction Defects

The New Jersey Supreme Court has affirmed the Appellate Division’s pro-policyholder decision in Cypress Point, confirming broad coverage for construction defects. Cypress Point Condominium Association v. Adria Towers, LLC (A-13/14-15) (076348) (August 4, 2016). The Appellate Division had reversed the

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What Impact Will Medical Marijuana Amendment to Florida’s Constitution Have on Community Associations?

Many states have placed the legalization of medical marijuana on their ballots in recent years and Florida is no different. A measure legalizing medical marijuana failed in Florida in 2014, gaining only fifty-eight (58%) percent of the vote. However, this

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Mother blames son’s death on faulty railing (LA)

A mother is suing condominium management, alleging the defendant’s negligence caused her son to fall to his death.  Violet Borras filed a suit Dec.7 against The Garden’s Edge Condominium Association Inc. and David M. Catherman in Orleans Parish Civil District

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Mandatory Arbitration for Construction Defects? (CO)

On February 1, 2017, Senate Bill 17-156 was introduced and assigned to the Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. S.B. 17-156 seeks to require mandatory mediation and/or arbitration for any construction defect action if the association’s governing documents previously required the

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Republicans introduce construction-defects reform bill – and it’s got a familiar ring (CO)

Colorado Republicans introduced the centerpiece bill of their construction-defects reform effort Wednesday — and it looks very similar to failed efforts from the 2014 and 2015 sessions.  Senate Bill 156, sponsored by Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, would require that

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Singapore: BCA launches final public consultation on rules for strata properties

After a review lasting close to five years, changes to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) — which will, among other things, tighten the use of proxies at annual general meetings of strata-titled properties to obtain management control

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Ham Radio Antennas – Congress Still Can’t Decide What To Do

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

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What Community Association Bills Have Been Filed So Far? (FL)

The Florida Legislature met in Talahassee for two weeks in January, but so far, no community association bills have been heard in committee. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Chris Sprowls, did hear a presentation about “Condominium Terminations” and

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Stewart Files SB 244 Expanding Consumer Protections For New Mexicans Living In Homeowners Associations

This week Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo) filed SB 244, which significantly expands consumer protections available to New Mexicans living in homeowners associations.  According to industry data, there are approximately 260,000 New Mexicans residing in nearly 2,000 community associations (both homeowner

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Senate Bill 1400 to raise foreclosure threshold for homeowner associations (AZ)

If you live in Arizona and are part of a homeowner association, your home can be taken away even if you make every mortgage payment on time.  Arizona Revised Statute 33.1256 allows an HOA to put a lien on your

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Second HOA sues Missouri City over Briggs Tract (TX)

A Harris County judge issued a restraining order yesterday against Missouri City, temporarily halting the city from changing the zoning of the Briggs Tract property near Watts Plantation Road after a second group of Missouri City residents sued the city

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