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Case Law Update: What a Recent Appellate Decision Can Tell Associations Seeking Their Attorney’s Fees for Litigation

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision in the matter of Gonzalez v. Int’l Park Condominium I Association, Inc. that is instructive for associations and their attorneys when associations become involved in litigation and seek payment

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AB 690 Signed! New Management Disclosures and Changes to the Escrow Document Disclosure Form (CA)

The Governor has signed AB 690 into law, which modifies several Code sections and adds two new Civil Code sections to the Davis Stirling Common Interest Development Act. Here is what you need to know about the new requirements:  New

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Governor (NJ) Signs New Legislation Securing Governance Rights of Owners Residing in Common Interest Communities

On July 13, 2017, Governor Christie signed into law bipartisan legislation amending and supplementing the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA). The new law provides, among other things, that all unit owners be members of their community associations

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Two New District Court Of Appeal Cases – Third Party Purchaser Assessment Liability And Fining Notice Requirement (FL)

If your homeowners’ association has not updated its declaration’s assessment collection provisions, then your association might be giving away its otherwise collectable assessment revenue! The problematic declaration provisions are similar to the following: “The sale or transfer of any Lot

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Court Can’t Ban Resident From Discussing HOA Online–Fox v. Hamptons at MetroWest Condos

This is the third time this year I’m blogging about homeowners’ associations suppressing online speech (see my posts on the Revock and Milazzo cases). I’m pretty sure HOA online censorship is a growth industry (indeed, my CRFA primer calls out

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Review of new legislation continues (FL)

Today’s column is the third installment of our annual review of community association legislation. In the first two installments, we covered the requirements for “estoppel certificates.”  Today, we will look at House Bill 1237, which contains some significant changes. HB

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(CA) Senate Bill 721: Deck Inspections and Reserve Study Inspections

In California in the first half of 2017, Senate Bill 721 has been proposed, a bill which requires all exposed decks/walkways more than 6 ft above ground, in structures containing three or more multi-family units, to be inspected before 1/1/2023

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Court reverses restriction on man’s blogging about his condo association, management company and neighbors

From today’s opinion of the Florida Court of Appeal in Fox v. Hamptons at Metrowest Condominium Association Inc., which strikes me as generally quite right:   Read the article……………

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Subcontractor’s Alleged Negligence Was “Occurrence,” Seventh Circuit Says

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has ruled that a subcontractor’s alleged negligence was an “occurrence” for purposes of a commercial general liability

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Seward Park Co-op Board Wins Big in Garage Lawsuit (NY)

The uncivil war at the Seward Park co-op has finally reached its Appomattox.  In a major affirmation of the Business Judgment Rule, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has thrown out a lawsuit brought by shareholders who were disgruntled

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A Guide to Avoid Criminal Charges as a Condominium Director in Florida

Yeah. This a bit tongue and cheek, but the fact of the matter is that Florida law governing condominiums has changed. Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade Grand Jury filed a report about the status of condominium association governance and the

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Tax Reform and Community Associations

U.S. Congress has been talking about Tax Reform for several years and President Trump has now turned his focus to Tax Reform by asking Congress to deliver a plan. This week, CAI submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee to

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Why most Millennium Tower owners didn’t get a tax break this year (CA)

The San Francisco Assessor’s Office decision to give minor tax breaks to only around 25 percent of the owners of units in the sinking, leaning Millennium Tower has some residents up in arms.   Read the article……………..

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Regarding the Radburn: New Law Enhances Voting Participation Rights in New Jersey Community Associations (NJ)

On July 13, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law P.L. 2017, Ch. 106 (S-2492/A-4091). The new law makes significant changes to the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (“PREDFDA”), N.J.S.A. 45:22A-43 et seq., with respect to

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When a Worker Dies on the Job, Who’s Liable? (NY)

When shareholders perform work in their apartments, the concept is that the shareholder assumes all risk and liability in connection with that work. In other words, the cooperative corporation is not responsible for any damage or injury. Those principles are

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Sanford’s bill aim: ‘Treat taxpayers the same’ in private community storm cleanup (SC)

If another hurricane strikes South Carolina, Rep. Mark Sanford wants residents in private communities and neighborhoods with homeowners associations to be eligible for help cleaning up debris.  The Republican congressman introduced a bill last week — the Disaster Assistance Equity

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Review of New Legislation Continues – Part 3 (FL)

Today’s column is the third installment of our annual review of community association legislation. In the first two installments, we covered the requirements for “estoppel certificates.” Today, we will look at House Bill 1237, which contains some significant changes. HB

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Somerset Chase Homeowners Association alleges townhomes violate building codes (FL)

A homeowners association alleges that the property was negligently constructed and violates state building codes.  Somerset Chase Homeowners Association Inc. filed a complaint on June 16 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County against CalAtlantic Group

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Review of new legislation continues(FL)

Last week, we began our annual review of legislation affecting Florida’s community associations. This week we continue our review of SB 398, the new law regarding “estoppel certificates,” the form associations have to complete for unit or parcel closings.  An

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Christie signs Radburn bill to democratize elections, vetoes others

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Thursday designed to ensure more open elections in Fair Lawn’s Radburn neighborhood but vetoed other measures related to President Trump’s travel ban and how lawmakers make changes to the state’s criminal justice policies.  

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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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Briarwick Condominium Owners Association accused of negligence after fire on property (TX)

Parents and an estate administrator are suing condominium owners’ association and project manager, citing alleged gross negligence.  Lizzi Cherian, Cherian M. Cherian and Susan Cherian Thomas, independent administrator of the estate of Shirley Sara Cherian, deceased filed a complaint June

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HB 4503 and SB 329: Recent Skirmishes Regarding Short-Term Rentals and Their Effect on Community Associations

Tourism is a major part of the Michigan economy and its significance continues to grow. From 2010 through 2014 tourism employment growth even outpaced overall state employment growth. Further, for each month between 2015 and 2017, Michigan’s visitor occupancy rate

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Developers’ Rights Decisions: Puzzling, Perturbing, and Problematic

Litigation is unpredictable. That’s no surprise to anyone who fights court battles regularly. It is also a theme reflected in three recent court decisions dealing with developer rights.  In the first case, Condominiums at Lilac Lane v. Monument Garden, LLC,

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Estoppel Bill Approved by Governor and Remaining Community Association Bills Presented to the Governor (FL)

Yesterday, the Governor approved SB 398, Relating to Estoppel Certificates. The effective date of the new law is July 1, 2017. If you would like to hear more about the estoppel bill, please watch the video or read the summary

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New Hampshire Amends Condominium Act

The NH legislature’s tweaks and additions to the NH Condominium statute have continued in 2017 with the passage of House Bills 501 and 502. Both bills go into effect on August 15, 2017. What follows is a brief summary of

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The Rhode Island Condominium Act has Been Amended Again!

The amendment which was signed by the governor on June 29, 2017 takes effect immediately. The new legislation allows a unit owner to obtain a written copy of any insurance company damage appraisal or any damage appraisal (regardless of who

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California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute: A Potent, Yet Confounding, Weapon

Lawsuits designed to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional right of free speech or the right to petition, denominated as “strategic lawsuits against public participation” (or “SLAPP” suits), have taken on increasing significance over the last several decades. The

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Nevada HOA Super-Priority Litigation Update: Nevada Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Lenders on Standing Issue

The Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and their servicers scored a significant victory last week in the Nevada Supreme Court. In Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (Case No. 69400), the court held that mortgage servicers have standing to

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Review of New Legislature Continues (FL)

Last week, we began our annual review of legislation affecting Florida’s community associations. This week we continue our review of SB 398, the new law regarding “estoppel certificates,” the form associations have to complete for unit or parcel closings.  An

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AB 534 Signed: Associations to Provide Notice to Members of Lien Claims (CA)

Vendor professionals frequently provide a variety of services on behalf of community associations and individual homeowners. Under California’s Constitution, unpaid vendors possess a legal right to lien the property upon which they work for the value of their rendered services

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Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Palm Decision Regarding Association Collections

In Lake Point Tower Condominium Ass’n v. Waller, 2017 IL App (1st) 162072, decided on June 28, 2017, the Association filed a forcible entry and detainer action against Defendant to obtain possession of Defendant’s condominium. Subsequently, Defendant filed a motion

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Thailand: Condominium Disputes: Concerns for Joint Owners

Condominiums have long been one of the most popular properties for people living in Thailand’s big cities. The different units in a condominium are individually owned, while common properties, such as lobby areas or swimming pools, are jointly owned by

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Appeals court rules construction defendants not liable in Miami injury case (FL)

The 3rd District Court of Appeal has affirmed lower court rulings of five summary judgments in cases in which a woman alleges she was injured at a condo community due to negligence in repairing the sidewalk.  The case centers on

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Court Concludes Rental Restrictions are Reasonable (CA)

Recently, many residential common interest developments have experienced an influx in the number of short-term rentals within their community. This problem is exacerbated by the increased popularity of websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Although profitable, short-term rentals have a

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Community Association 2017 Legislative Guide: Part II (FL)

Since we published Community Association 2017 Legislative Guide: Part I, several bills affecting community associations were signed into law, including Senate Bill 398 (estoppel bill) and House Bill 1237 (condominium crime bill). Citing London’s Grenfell Tower fire, Governor Scott vetoed

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A Month into Hurricane Season U.S House of Representatives Passes Bipartisan Disaster Assistance Bill

Unless a major natural disaster has hit your community, you may be unaware that under current law homeowners in community associations are not eligible for FEMA assistance to repair common areas in their buildings. Further, associations are routinely denied disaster

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ELSS Bill Vetoed, Condominium Bill Approved, & Final Report on Community Association Bills for 2017 Session (FL)

Governor Rick Scott has now taken action on all of the community association bills that passed during the 2017 legislative session.   Read the article……………

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Judge orders law firm to pay $3.1M to condo association for negligence enabling contractor fraud (NV)

A Nevada judge has ordered a law firm to pay $2.4 million in damages and $700,000 in interest to a homeowners association for failing to supervise an associate who enabled contractor fraud.  The law firm, Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw and

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New Tenn. law resticts HOA bylaws against flying American flags

Over 100 new laws will go into effect on July 1, and one of those laws changes what you can and cannot do with the American flag.  The bill says a home owners’ association (HOA) can’t keep a homeowner from

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Bills Seek to End Conflicts of Interest on Co-op and Condo Boards

Proposed laws would require annual reports on all contract awards.  Smart co-op and condo boards treat conflicts of interest – even the appearance of conflicts of interest – the same way they treat the bubonic plague. They want absolutely nothing

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The Future of Fair Housing in Community Associations (CA)

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) Fair Employment and Housing Council (Council) has been engaged in a historic rulemaking process to draft and promulgate Housing Regulations for the first time. To date, the Council has been working

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Minnesota Legislature Revises Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act

In recent years, very few condominium projects have been developed in Minnesota despite strong demand from potential condominium homeowners. Many developers attribute their reluctance to build condominiums to litigation risk and difficulty obtaining insurance and financing for condominium developments at

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HOA’s: Your Restrictions Have an Expiration Date (FL)

With the turnover of volunteer homeowner’s association (“HOA”) board members over time, it is not surprising that certain important long-term issues may be overlooked. There is one very important law, however, which board members may not be aware of that

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Changes to Financial Reporting Requirements for Associations (FL)

On June 23, 2017, Governor Scott approved House Bill 6027, which provides substantively identical changes to the annual financial reporting requirements for condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations.    Read the article………….

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MD Highest Court Holds That Condos May Not By Rule Suspend A Unit Owner’s Access To Common Elements For Delinquent Assessments

The Maryland Court of Appeals has invalidated a rule adopted by a condominium to suspend access to common elements for unit owners who are delinquent in paying assessments. In an opinion issued on June 23, 2017 in the case of

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Maryland Appeals Court Voids Condominium Parking Rule

A Maryland condominium Rule which barred delinquent condo owners from using the common property parking lot and swimming pool has been struck down by the Maryland Court of Appeals–the highest state appellate court.   Read the article……………

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Legislative Update: Association Fraud, Financial Reporting Bills Signed Into Law (FL)

House Bill 6027 was signed by Governor Rick Scott. The Bill makes changes to the financial reporting requirements of Florida condominiums, homeowners’ associations, and cooperatives, and will be effective as of July 1, 2017. The Bill may be summarized as

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Supreme Court Leaves Standing Wells Fargo Win on Nevada Lien Law

The U.S. Supreme Court left standing a federal appeals court ruling that could help Wells Fargo and other major banks affected by a Nevada statute covering homeowners’ association liens ( Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. ,

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Scott cites London fire in vetoing condo bill (FL)

Pointing to a high-rise fire in London that killed dozens of residents, Gov. Rick Scott late Monday vetoed a bill that would have eased fire-protection requirements for older condominium buildings in Florida.  The bill (HB 653), which passed the Legislature

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