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Ruling Illustrates Unpredictability of Fair Housing Litigation for Associations

The appellate panel of the First District Court of Appeal was divided in its recent ruling involving a Fair Housing Act discrimination complaint by a wheelchair-bound unit owner against his condominium association. The majority and dissenting opinions in the case

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Bank of America seeks declaratory relief regarding foreclosure proceedings on condo

A financial institution is seeking declaratory relief regarding a foreclosure on a San Francisco condo.  Bank of America NA filed a complaint on April 17 in the San Francisco County Superior Court against California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of

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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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HUD secretary hints that housing agency may ease terms for condo mortgages

Could condos financed with low-down-payment government-backed mortgages stage a surprise comeback under the Trump administration, which generally seeks to reduce federal involvement in housing? Would this be promising news for millennials and buyers with moderate incomes looking to purchase their

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Why Associations and Their Managers Need to Be Wary of Debt Collections Practices and Laws

The fairly recent case of Agrelov v. Affinity Management Services, LLC, Case No. 15-14136, (11th Cir., November 9, 2016), is instructive for associations and their managers with respect to debt collections, and the trouble that associations and managers can get

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Construction Defect Reform in CO; HB 1279: Pluses, Pitfalls & Practical Pointers

Construction defect litigation reform will take a small step forward this week when Gov. John Hickenlooper signs HB 1279 on May 23, 2017. HB 1279 will go into effect immediately after signature by the Governor, and developers and residential builders

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Court: Senior Citizens Can Seek Punitive Damages in Religious Discrimination Suit Against HOA

A court has rejected the latest attempt by a homeowners’ association to shield itself from punitive damages for shutting down Bible studies and a Sunday worship service.   Read the article………….

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Shoddy condo construction lawsuits in Colorado just got harder to file, but that doesn’t mean development slumber is over (CO)

Declaring that the measure “will help make our housing more affordable,” Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday signed into law one of the most hard-fought compromises of the 2017 session — a bill that will make it more difficult to sue

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Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Snow & Ice Removal Act

Decided by the Illinois Supreme Court on December 1, 2016, Murphy-Hylton v. Klein Creek Condominium et al. held that the immunity granted under the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act for the negligent removal of naturally accumulated snow and ice

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Mortgage Bankers Assn Joins Amicus Brief on Nevada HOA Case

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) joined the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that supports a request by Wells Fargo Bank to review a Circuit Court of

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A Busy 2017 Legislative Session – Change Is In The Air (FL)

Recently, the Florida legislature has passed three bills set to become law on July 1, 2017, unless vetoed by Florida’s Governor Scott: Senate Bill 398, pertaining to estoppels that is applicable to condominium, homeowners’, and cooperative associations; House Bill 1237,

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Fair Debt Collections Guidance

When the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C 1601, was first enacted, it specifically exempted creditors attempting to collect their own consumer debts. With the enactment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), large financial consumer lenders have

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Court Ruling Delivers Setback to Community Associations Restricting Short Term Vacation Rentals (FL)

The regulation of vacation rentals continues to be a hot button issue as companies like Airbnb.com and Vrbo.com are taking their fight to Florida’s legislatures and courts in order to open up Florida markets to their share economy businesses.  The

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HOA Directors in California – WATCH OUT! READ THIS!

Rogue Directors – Beware – HOA Director Liability -What is Happening in California?  Here’s the general question of importance in this blog:  Are California HOA Board Directors protected in California for their actions on the Board? Does the “business judgment

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Maryland Makes it Easier to Amend Condo Bylaws and HOA Covenants

Changes to the Maryland Condominium Act and Maryland Homeowners Association Act will soon make it easier to amend the governing documents of condominiums and homeowner associations.  The new law allows amendments to be made by a vote of members “in

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Could a bill before the Legislature solve the Twin Cities’ condo crunch? (MN)

Is Minnesota on the verge of figuring out its condo conundrum?  The imbalance in the supply of new condos and new apartments in the Twin Cities is obvious. In the midst of a continuing multifamily housing boom, most — actually,

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2017 Florida Condominium and Homeowners Association Legislation

During the legislative session which ended on May 5, 2017, the Florida legislature passed 5 bills that will become law on July 1, 2017, unless vetoed by Florida’s Governor Scott: Senate Bill 398, House Bill 653, House Bill 1237; Senate

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Maryland Senate Fails To Consider Bill Passed By House To Preclude Limitations On Construction Defect Claims

The Maryland Senate failed to vote on SB 670, which would prevent condominium developers from limiting the ability of the council of unit owners and individual unit owners to bring claims for building defect issues. The House of Delegates version

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Man alleges condo was damaged by flood caused by association employees (FL)

A condo owner alleges his residence was flooded because of negligence in the operation of a water line.  Andrew M. Masciarella filed a complaint on April 21 in the Broward Circuit Court against Deerfield Beach House Condominium Association Inc. alleging

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When a Property Owner Association Approves Plans Then Rescinds Its Approval, Can It Be Held Financially Responsible? (CO)

The Supreme Court of Colorado answered that question in Mac McShane and Cynthia Calvin v. Stirling Ranch Property Owners Association, Inc. (2017 CO 38).  Mac McShane and his wife, Cynthia Calvin (“Owners”) bought property, hoping to build a multi-story home

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PropLogix Wins Suit Against Condominium Association

PropLogix was granted a default judgment in a suit filed against a Kissimmee condominium association after the association failed to appear in court. (Case no. 2016 SC 4316)  In December, PropLogix sued Villas of Emerald Lake Condominium Association, Inc. in

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PREEMPTION! The FCC’s Adoption of the OTARD Rules and their Application to Condo’s and HOAs

In Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”), Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to adopt rules concerning Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”) in order to provide limitations and guidance on governmental and non-governmental restrictions on viewers’

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State Legislature moved to restrict HOA controls over political speech (CA)

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved a bill by Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, to prohibit California’s more than 50,000 homeowner associations (HOAs) from suppressing the freedom of speech and freedom of association rights of their residents.  SB 407

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Appeals court reverses summary judgment against homeowner (FL)

Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a homeowners’ association.  The appeals court ruling follows a July 2016 decision by the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. The circuit court

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Appeals Court Reverses Big Smoking Verdict Against Co-op (NY)

A year ago, state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron sent shivers through New York City’s co-op community when he ruled that Susan Reinhard, a shareholder at the Connaught Tower co-op at 300 East 54 Street, was entitled to $120,000 in

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Florida Supreme Court May Decide Fate of Liens Recorded After Foreclosure Judgments

Real estate investors, municipalities, and community associations may gain some clarity about post-judgment liens if the Florida Supreme Court decides to hear Ober v. Town of Lauderdale By-the-Sea, Case No.: 4D14-4597 (Fla. 4th DCA, January 25, 2017). The case has

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New Laws 2017 (FL)

What a year it has been for condominium legislation! Listed below please find a summary of the condominium laws as now amended:     Read the article………………

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Failure to Hold Formal HOA Board Votes Dooms Two Charlotte HOAs (NC)

There are times in the practice of homeowners’ association law when courts make rulings with which we as attorneys disagree but where an underlying principle or best practice is affirmed. A prime example is the N.C. Court of Appeals’ opinion

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Compromise Bill on Construction Defects is Ready for Governor Signature (CO)

On May 4, 2017, House Bill 17-1279 gained final unanimous approval in the Senate after unanimous approval in the House on April 24, 2017. H.B. 17-1279 has been referred to Governor John Hickenlooper to be signed into law.  H.B. 17-1279

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Governor Signs Bill To Reduce Votes Required To Amend Condo and HOA By-Laws (MD)

Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, has signed into law a bill which will reduce the number votes required to amend condominium and homeowner association bylaws. What originated as House Bill 789, (now Chapter 480 of the 2017 legislative session), provides for

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Construction Defect Statute of Repose: Post-Closing Punch-list Work May Delay Its Start

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals is shaking up the construction defect statute of repose once again.[1] A recent 5th DCA opinion implies that the 10-year construction defect statute of repose does not start to run at the closing of

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Legislature’s changes to construction-defect laws could help condo developers (MN)

Several much-anticipated changes to Minnesota’s construction-defect laws are closer to the governor’s pen.  The amendments to House File 1538 received bipartisan support and went to a conference committee for House and Senate members to hash out differences.  The current, long-standing

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Summary of HB 1237, Relating to Condominiums (FL)

HB 1237 (SB 1246), sponsored by Rep. Diaz and Sen. Garcia and Sen. Rodriguez, passed the House and Senate this week and now heads to the Governor for consideration. If approved by the Governor, the new law will be effective

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Did Gov. Ducey flip-flop on Arizona HOA regulations?

In late March, Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a bill regulating homeowner associations. He said the state shouldn’t get involved in how HOAs vote.  But a month later, he signed another bill that regulates HOA meetings.  Rep. Ken Clark, D-Phoenix, sponsor

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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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Insurance Coverage for Property Damage Caused by Defective Workmanship

One of the principal points of contention between insurers and insureds is whether defective construction work is, or can be, an occurrence, thereby triggering coverage.  The New Jersey Supreme Court has joined a growing number of jurisdictions holding that commercial

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New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Finds Lien Held by Homeowners’ Association Is Subject to Modification

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey recently overruled a creditor’s objection to the debtors’ proposed chapter 13 plan, rejecting the association’s argument that its claim is secured by a consensual lien and may not be

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How a Miami Suit Grew So Contentious, No One Knew Who Won

After years of litigation, there’s finally a winner in a legal fight pitting a Miami condominium association against two unit owners over whether receivers can vote in place of delinquent unit owners.  The dispute grew so contentious it cycled through

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Senate committee gives unanimous OK to bipartisan construction litigation reform bill (CO)

Bipartisan legislation to make it more difficult for homeowners’ associations to sue condominium developers for defective construction is one step closer to becoming law after winning unanimous approval from a Senate committee Monday on its first vote in the upper

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Condominium property act revamp could give owners needed support (IL)

Condominium owners and families residing in homeowner associations who are battling disputes and struggling for financial clarity received a major shot of support from the Illinois Legislature with the recent passage of two important bills.   Read the article…………..

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From the Court to the Board: Lessons From Recent Decisions (NY)

Over the past few months there have been several interesting and insightful court decisions. Here are a few legal cases that provide some helpful lessons for boards and managers alike.   Read the article………….

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Managing Safety and Liability vs. Managing A Budget

Signed into law on September 8th, 2016, The Snow Removal Service Limited Liability Act changed the liability relationship between Community Associations and their snow services contractor.  The act states, “Provides that any provision in a snow plow and de-icing services

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Maryland Appeals Court Slams Owner’s Door

A homeowner’s unauthorized installation of a new entry door was slammed by a Maryland appeals court. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled, in Spoon v. Deering Woods Condominium, that a Howard County condominium acted properly in requiring a unit

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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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