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After years of work, estoppel bill heads to governor (FL)

We’ve been writing about it for years, all the while wondering ‘why,’ but 2017 was the winning session for an overhaul of the estoppel letter process.  The House on Friday passed the Senate’s bill (SB 398) on a 117-0 vote,

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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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Florida appeals court reverses decision in condominium lien case

A Florida appeals court recently reversed a lower court’s decision in a case involving liens on condominium units.  The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Business Law Group, et al, reversing the Circuit Court for Pasco

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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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Association Disclosures Under Section 22.1 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act

The focus of this article is to provide a brief overview on the disclosures provided in Illinois by a condominium association to a prospective buyer of a unit and: (a) what is mandated by law; (b) what current practice is;

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Fortis not responsible for $2M in defects caused by prior developer, judge says in ruling against 20 Bayard Street residents (NY)

A court decision in Brooklyn last week will let Fortis Property Group get away with selling allegedly faulty condominiums in Williamsburg, for the simple reason that Fortis wasn’t the one that built them in the first place.  When developer Isaac

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Proposed condo reform bill expected to go before Florida legislature for final vote

A bill to reform Florida condo law is in its final phase in Tallahassee after it was unanimously approved by the Senate’s Rules Committee on Tuesday.  The bill is scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the House and is

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Case Update: Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC (IL)

In the case of Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC, the Illinois Supreme Court will review an issue pertinent to the collection of up to six months of a foreclosed owner’s assessments from a subsequent purchaser under Section

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Mastering California’s Anti-SLAPP Law

Since California’s anti-SLAPP statute is the oldest, it’s also one of the most widely used, showing up in everything from unlawful detainer actions to homeowner association disputes, with a wide range of caselaw creating an intricate web of governing authority.

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Two More Weeks Left in the 2017 Legislative Session; What Bills are Most Likely to Pass?—CALL Alert for April 24, 2017

There are two weeks left in the 2017 Legislative Session—assuming it ends on time. Of the many different community association bills that were filed at the beginning of session, the following four (4) sets of bills are the ones that

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Construction defects homeowner consent bill breezes through Colorado House

A measure requiring that a majority of homeowners in a condo complex first approve a construction defects action against a builder — rather than just the association board — passed the Colorado House Monday and now moves on to the

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HOA bill proposal hearing held in Texas House

Some homeowners said the fines and fees tacked onto their homeowners association dues are unfair, and now the state Legislature is discussing a proposal to make changes.  State representatives in Austin will hear details Monday of a proposed bill to

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“Succeeds to the Interests of” Does Not Require Assumption of Obligations

The individual insured, Robert Primo, previously served as a director and treasurer of Briar Green Condominium Association in Houston, Texas. In 2008 and, shortly before resigning, Primo wrote himself two checks from Briar Green’s account totaling roughly $100,000. Briar Green

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2017 Maryland Condo and HOA Legislation–The Final Score

Employee sick leave, natural gas fracking, and opioid abuse were the headline issues of the 2017 Maryland legislative session. Beyond these hot button topics, the General Assembly also considered many bills regarding condo and homeowner association governance, foreclosure procedures, state

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Help For Condo Owners Comes In Small Doses, If It Comes At All (HI)

Hawaii lawmakers are still considering several bills designed to make life easier for condominium owners and stem complaints about the boards that oversee their buildings, but some owners say the legislation doesn’t go far enough.  House and Senate negotiators plan

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Money pours into legislative races as construction defects debate rages (CO)

Millions of dollars have flowed into state legislators’ campaigns in recent years from both sides of the contentious construction defects debate, even as opposing camps managed to reach a key compromise last week on what has proved to be an

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NC Community Association Legislative Update – Community Association Property Management Act

While most NC General Assembly bill filing deadlines have passed, legislation considered appropriations or finance can be filed through next week. A bill introduced yesterday would, if adopted, significantly impact North Carolina’s HOA/condo associations as well as community managers.  

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Owner Approval for a Construction Defect Lawsuit?

On March 17, 2017, House Bill 17-1279 was introduced and assigned to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. The original intent of H.B. 17-1279 was to open the lines of communication between the association board, the association members, and

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Final Version Of Bill To Reduce The Number Of Votes Required To Amend Bylaws Passed With Amendments (MD)

Both houses of the Maryland General Assembly have passed an amended version of legislation that would reduce the number votes required to amend condominium bylaws. As amended, what originated as House Bill 789 would reduce the required percentage vote for

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Grande Pointe residents file suit against DR Horton (FL)

When Chris Smith bought his home in the Grande Pointe neighborhood in Inlet Beach in 2010, he believed he was buying into a neighborhood where all the homes would be a Coastal Cottage architectural style — at least that was

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Lawmakers announce breakthrough on construction defects reform measure (CO)

Lawmakers at the state Capitol say they have finally reached a compromise over a contentious construction defects reform bill that requires a majority of homeowners in a condominium complex — not just the homeowner association board — give consent to

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NC Community Association Legislative Update – April 19, 2017

Several important legislative deadlines have passed in recent weeks. Tuesday, April 4 marked the NC Senate deadline for filing public bills and resolutions. Tuesday, April 11 marked the NC House deadline for filing public bills and resolutions (other than appropriations

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The Legality of Post-Bankruptcy Condo or Homeowner Association Assessments

A recent bankruptcy case illustrates how bankruptcy affects condominium or homeowner’s association assessments. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that a condominium association was not in contempt when it attempted to collect post-bankruptcy assessments from debtors

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When Can Employer be Liable for Employee Drinking and Driving?

In some cases, employers in California may be liable when their employees are intoxicated and cause accidents. Plaintiffs may be able to sue the employers under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. Employers may also be liable if they negligently

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Slip and Falls on the Condominium Premises and the Open and Obvious Doctrine

A few years ago, I wrote an article titled “Legal Update: Slip and Fall on the Condominium Premises: Does the Condominium Owe a Statutory Duty to Its Co-owners?” The article centered around a 2015 published decision by the Michigan Court

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Florida Community Association Related Legislative Update 2017

Florida’s 2017 Legislative Session is in full swing. As is our yearly ritual, we have kept a close eye on proposed legislation relating to community associations. As many may recall, all major bills introduced last year affecting community associations fell

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End of the Drought: Law Changes Your HOA Board Needs to Know About (CA)

The California drought has officially been acknowledged as coming to an end. While this is great news for the residents of California, it’s not back to the normal day-to-day management of homeowners association just yet.  Desperate times called for desperate

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Colorado House Bill 1279 stalls over 120-day unit owner election period

With the session more than halfway through, the Colorado Legislature’s 2017 attempts at meaningful construction defect reform may fail again. This year, the Legislature did not attempt a single-bill construction defect overhaul like those that have failed over the last

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PA lawmakers to mull community mediation

Pennsylvania lawmakers will discuss a proposed change Tuesday, to how the state handles disputes within private communities. The state House of Representatives plans to reconsider House Bill 595, which would expand the Attorney General’s power to mediate such cases.  “There

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HOA Harassment Law (CA)

Last year, federal regulations were changed to address harassment and discrimination claims. The changes affect community associations. Even though associations are not housing providers, they are deemed so for the purposes of this statute.  New Law. Effective October 14, 2016,

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Condominium unit owners allege insurance company refuses to pay coverage (WV)

Two Webster County condominium unit owners are suing Nationwide, alleging breach of contract by refusing to pay coverage claims under an insured policy.  Wilma Sue Talbott and William Talbott filed a complaint March 22 in Webster Circuit Court against Nationwide

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Maryland General Assembly Passes Legislation To Allow Reduced Number Of Votes To Amend Condo Bylaws

Both houses of the Maryland General Assembly have passed legislation that would reduce the number votes required to amend condominium bylaws. House Bill 789 was approved unanimously in both the House of Delegates and State Senate. The new law would

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Appeals court upholds constitutionality of lump sum association fee statute (LA)

Homeowners in the Eastover subdivision in New Orleans lost an appeal at the Louisiana Fourth District Circuit Court of Appeal, which found a state statute that facilitated the collection of association dues to be constitutional.  In a March 22 ruling,

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Why Condo Associations Are Sweating After A Judge’s Ruling (HI)

It’s probably going to take years to unravel the legal and financial uncertainty now facing condominium associations and law firms that used nonjudicial foreclosures — private sales without supervision by courts — to collect unpaid maintenance fees or other assessments

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Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit

In blog posts and comments, two residents of a Virgin Islands condominium complex criticized two other residents who were (in line with rights prescribed to them under federal law) keeping emotional-support dogs despite a no-dog rule in the complex. Among

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Access to HOA Membership List Must be for a Proper Purpose (CA)

As part of the ongoing management of a homeowners association (“HOA”), the HOA is obligated to prepare and maintain certain “association records,” most of which must be made available for inspection by the HOA’s members. However, the right to inspect

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House of Delegates Passes Amended Version Of Bill To Require Notice to Owners Of Common Element Sales (MD)

The Maryland House of Delegates has passed an amended version of a bill previously approved in the State Senate that would require a condominium council of unit owners to provide at least 30-days notice to all unit owners of any

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Senate Committee Issues Favorable Report On Bill To Preclude Developers From Limiting Condo Owners Claims (MD)

The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has issued a favorable report on legislation, which has already been passed by the House of Delegates, intended to protect condominium owners’ rights with regard to bringing construction defect claims against the project’s developer.

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Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray?

In an action applying Florida law, a federal district judge ruled in favor of a Directors and Officers liability insurer, finding that the “insured versus insured” exclusion applied to bar both a defense and coverage of an underlying action. In

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Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL)

Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA

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IL App. Court Holds Post-Foreclosure COA Dues Need Not Be Paid Monthly to Extinguish Pre-Foreclosure COA Lien

Reversing a trial court’s ruling in favor of a condominium association and against a mortgagee, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently held that the Illinois Condominium Property Act’s (“Condo Act”) provision creating a mechanism to extinguish liens for

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Maryland Senate Committee Approves Amendment To Bill Allowing HOAs To Collect Fees For Resale Inspections

The Maryland State Senate has approved, with amendment, a bill previously passed by the House of Delegates. House Bill 34, would give homeowner associations the right to collect a fee relating to inspections during the resale process.    Read the

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Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

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Court of Appeals Upholds Homeowners Association’s Application of Bylaws

The Washington Court of Appeals recently upheld a homeowners association’s interpretation and application of its bylaws in a published opinion. Members of the association challenged its authority to impose membership fees and liens because they claimed that its board of

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New Jersey Superior Court Holds Condominium Association Was Not Entitled to Redeem Tax Sale Certificate on Condominium

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County, Chancery Division-General Equity Part recently held that a condominium association’s attempt to redeem a tax sale certificate on a condominium on which it held a lien was not valid because it was

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Condo buyers at 1010 Brickell file lawsuits to get their deposits back on three units (FL)

There’s some buyer’s remorse swirling around 1010 Brickell.  A man and a woman who put down 50 percent deposits totaling more than $650,000 on three condo units in the 50-floor luxury tower are trying to get out of their deals,

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Recent Appellate Division Decision Expands Private Party Remedies Under New Jersey Spill Act and Demonstrates Condominium Owners’ Potential for Environmental Liability

The New Jersey Appellate Division’s recent decision in Matejek v. Watson was notable in two respects. First, it provides a private party an order compelling another party to participate in an environmental investigation without proving liability, something not previously allowed

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Insurance Policy Did Not Prevent Association Recovery from Subcontractors for Defective Work

On February 17, the First District Appellate Court issued an opinion regarding the Implied Warranty of Habitability in the case of Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Court et al. The opinion involved three separate appeals: the first relating

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Sponsors again delay hearing on bipartisan construction defects bill, say negotiations ongoing (CO)

Lawmakers late Tuesday pushed back a scheduled Wednesday committee hearing on a bipartisan construction defects reform bill, saying negotiations involving critical issues are still unresolved.  Groups representing builders and homeowners have been facing off for years over attempts to rewrite

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Pre-Lien Demands and FDCPA Concerns (CA)

Recovering delinquent assessment debt is one of the more complicated issues that homeowners associations (“HOAs”) face. Fortunately, the Civil Code grants HOAs with significant remedies to recover delinquent assessment debt, including the ability to record assessment liens and to ultimately

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