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Board Changes Its Mind – and Winds Up in Court (NY)

What happens when a co-op board approves an alteration project and then changes its mind? What usually happens is a lawsuit. Consider the case of Salvatore Moltisanti.  In 2012, Moltisanti purchased an apartment in the four-building 1,672-unit Co-op Village on

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5th Cir. Holds Threat of Lawsuit to Collect Partially Time-Barred Debt Did Not Violate FDCPA (TX)

In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently decided that attorneys representing a condominium association did not violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by threatening non-judicial foreclosure on debt that was partially

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New Amendments to the Illinois Condominium Property Act and Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act

Legislation that will take effect on January 1, 2018 will impose new obligations on Illinois condominium associations, including a requirement that every association maintain an official unit owner list that includes every unit owner’s phone number and email address. The

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SB 407 Signed! Legislation Broadens Assembly and Speech Rights within HOAs (CA)

New Civil Code 4515 will be added to the Davis-Stirling Act to ensure that homeowners association residents may exercise their rights of peaceful assembly and political speech.  HOAs are playing an increasing role in the lives of California’s residents as

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HOA residents’ political speech rights get state protections (CA)

Legislation to protect the political speech rights of residents living in one of California’s more than 52,000 common interest developments (commonly called homeowners associations or HOAs) is now the law in California.  “For too long homeowner association boards have infringed

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Twin Creeks v. Sunset Ridge, 03-16-00653-CV (TexApp Dist 08/25/2017)

In this case of first impression, appellee sued appellant seeking a declaration that an amended restrictive covenant filed by appellant that required club membership was invalid as to condominium owners under the Uniform Condominium Act §82.0675(a) due to appellant’s failure

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9th Cir. Holds Federal Foreclosure Bar Preempts Nevada HOA Superpriority Statute

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that the Federal Foreclosure Bar’s prohibition on nonconsensual foreclosure of assets of the Federal Housing Finance Agency preempted Nevada’s superpriority lien provision and invalidated a homeowners association foreclosure sale

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How a New Law Affecting Condo Associations Could Mean Brisk Business for Web Designers (FL)

Website developer Todd Paton knows it will likely be months before his new target market seeks him out, or even begins to pay attention to his pitches.  Yet, Paton and his colleague Dhiren Chauhan are busy building a platform to

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Condo law changes, coming soon, ease things for owners (IL)

Q: I am on the board of a self-managed condominium association and understand there is pending legislation that proposes to amend many different sections of the Illinois Condominium Property Act. What is the status of this legislation and will you

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Conflicts of Interest (IL)

The Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condominium Act”) does not provide complete guidance on when a board decision may be invalidated due to a conflict of interest. Therefore, a court, when deciding if a decision should be set aside due

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Non-Disclosure Agreements Defend Against Fishing Expeditions (NY)

In the aftermath of the Pomerance and Musey rulings, boards face the question of how they can allow increased access while still protecting the properties and residents through such devices as non-disclosure agreements (NDA). “The rights of an owner to

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Must communities retrofit for handicap accommodation

The question often arises as to whether condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations need to install wheelchair ramps, elevator or swimming pool lifts or redo common area bathrooms to accommodate handicap persons.  The general answer is that associations may have to

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Court case supports collection of unpaid fees (IL)

My Aug. 26 column “teased” that I would address in a future column the circumstances under which the purchaser of a foreclosure condominium at a judicial sale may be responsible for all unpaid sums due from the prior, foreclosed owner.

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Intracoastal 31 Condominium Association Inc. accused of negligence (FL)

A company is suing Intracoastal 31 Condominium Association Inc. for alleged negligence.    Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company filed a complaint on July 24 in the Broward County Circuit Court, alleging that the defendant breached its duty of good

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Illinois App. Court (1st Dist) Holds 7-Month Delay in Paying Overdue HOA Assessments May Not Extinguish HOA Lien

The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently reversed a trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of a mortgage servicer and against a condominium association (COA) holding that a material question of fact existed regarding whether the servicer

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A Board of Trustees May Now Amend the By-Laws Without a Vote of the Unit Owners (NJ)

On July 13, 2017, a new law was enacted in New Jersey amending the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA). PREDFDA governs homeowners associations, condominium associations, and co-ops.  The new PREDFDA provisions apply to trustee elections and certain

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East Bay Panel Update – Director Liability

Two weeks ago, I met with a great group of ECHO members at our East Bay Resource Panel. We were gathered to talk about the recent Parth case and how it affects the personal liability of HOA directors. Ann Marquis-Fisher,

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New By-Laws Amendment Procedures Mandated by PREDFDA (NJ)

On July 13, 2017, a new law was enacted in New Jersey amending the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA). While the new law was created in reaction to litigation involving a community called the Radburn Association, which

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FHA Extends Condo Rules for Reverse Mortgages, Other Loans

The Federal Housing Administration this week extended its current rules regarding condominium lending as it continues to work on permanent updates.  In a new mortgagee letter, the FHA implemented an open-ended extension of the existing condominium rules as laid out

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Revisiting Claims for Breach of Implied Warranty of Habitability: Illinois Appellate Court

On February 17, 2017 the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District considered three consolidated appeals brought by a condominium association seeking damages for defects in the design and construction of a condominium building. Sienna Court Condominium Ass’n v. Champion

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Everything is “Fine,” So Long as You Strictly Follow Your Documents (FL)

It has long been recognized that liens are statutorily created rights and consequently are strictly construed. What this means in English is that you can’t simply substantially comply with the lien filing laws. If you want your lien to be

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Debt Collections Practices and Laws: Should They Concern Your HOA?

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.  In that case, the homeowners were assessed a fine

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Changes to the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Illinois Condominium Property Act

On August 24, 2017, Governor Rauner signed HB0189, and it is now known as Public Act 100-0292. The law amends both the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Illinois Condominium Property Act. The new law will become effective January

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Snakebite Victim Waits While Insurance Companies Duke it Out in Court (FL)

The legal machinations involving three insurers duking it out in court over Florida premises liability is overshadowing the suffering of a Florida woman who has undergone various amputation procedures involving her lower extremities following a snakebite on the grounds of

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Ryland Homes accused of breach of warranty, negligence (FL)

A homeowners association is suing the Ryland Group Inc. d/b/a Ryland Homes for alleged breach of warranty and negligence.  Summerport Commercial Property Owners’ Association Inc. filed a complaint on June 28 in the Orange County Circuit Court, alleging that the

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Fla. App. Court (5th DCA) Reverses Foreclosure Judgment That Excluded Interest, Escrow

The District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fifth District, recently reversed final judgment of foreclosure entered in favor of a mortgagee that omitted interest and escrow amounts due, and remanded to the trial court to modify judgment

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Pool Contractor’s Ability to Work on Pool Electrical Wiring in FL

On March 29, 2017, the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (“CILB”), issued a Final Order, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Construction Industry Licensing Board v. Michael E. Seamon, disciplining a Certified Pool/Spa Contractor (“CPC”) for replacing existing pool light

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State Community Association Laws – Are they Uniform?

Per the Uniform Law Commission’s web site, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws), established in 1892, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability

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Superior Court Explains The Personal Participation Doctrine (DE)

When is a corporate employee responsible for tortious conduct in that capacity? This decision answers that question in a very helpful way. For example, mere nonfeasance is not enough to impose liability on a corporate actor.   Read the decision (PDF)…………

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4/3 DCA Determines Civil Code Section 5235(c) Only Allows Costs Award To Prevailing HOA If Homeowner Action Is Frivolous (CA)

The Fourth District, Division 3 faced a first impression statutory interpretation of Civil Code section 5235(c), which provides that “[a] prevailing association may recover any costs if the court finds the action to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation,” in

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Homeowners association and property management group in legal conflict over financial agreement (PA)

A local homeowners association believes its former management company did not live up to a monetary agreement both parties agreed to be bound by, and seeks to obtain a number of related financial records through the lawsuit it has filed.

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Fair Housing Claim Against Homeowner Association Director Allowed by District of Columbia Appeals Court

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that a board member of a homeowners association may be personally liable for violating the disability discrimination provisions of the fair housing laws by delaying action on a homeowner’s request for

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Debit Card Provision Uncertainties Answered (FL)

The outcome of this year’s legislative session evoked a lot of confusion from property managers and boards of directors serving the community association industry. As a result, we have received a lot of requests from our readership asking for clarification

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Copyright Law for Community Associations

A common issue that community associations encounter is the proper use of copyrighted material. Whenever an association shows a movie or plays music at a common element/area location within the community, it most likely is using material that is protected

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CAI-CLAC Strongly Opposes Two State Bills that Threaten Financial Well-Being, Local Control of Millions of California Homeowners

The California Associations Institute’s California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC) is urging residents living in more than 50,000 common interest developments throughout the state to contact their elected representatives and urge them to vote no on Senate Bill 2 and Assembly

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New laws impact community association financial reporting requirements (FL)

Q: My understanding is there are new laws that impact the annual financial reporting requirements for community associations as well as the right to waive these financial reports. Can you explain the changes?      Read the Q&A……………

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New Virginia Law Regarding Real Estate For Sale Signs

There seems to be some confusion about this new addition to the resale provisions in the Condominium Act and the Property Owners Association Act. As of July 1, 2017 there is a new Virginia law, passage of which was promoted

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2017 Legislative Update for Florida’s Community Association Laws: Part III

On July 1st, the 2017 amendments to the Florida Statutes affecting community associations became effective. The 2017 legislative amendments to the Condominium Act and Homeowners Association Act are substantial. This post is Part III in a blog series detailing these

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Electronic Voting Now Authorized in New Jersey Community Associations

One of the overlooked effects of the recent Radburn Legislation is that it now provides statutory authority for New Jersey community associations to vote electronically. Specifically, the new law authorizes an association to utilize electronic voting: (1) when the board

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Unhappy Property (Manager) Loses in South Carolina

“If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.” – Anonymous In South Carolina, as in most states, there exist various consumer protection and licensing laws, intended to protect the public from the unauthorized practice of law

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Constantly Changing Condominium Laws (IL)

A recent opinion from the Illinois’ First Appellate District, Country Club Estates Condominium Assoc. v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, 2017 IL App (1st) 162459, provides that “prompt” payment of assessments is required to extinguish presale assessments under the Condominium Property

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Condominium owners continue to fight Shell over contaminated soil, water

A condominium complex built on the site of a former fuel distribution terminal has lost part of its case against Shell Oil. An appellate court found Shell not guilty of negligence but the question of Shell’s failure to remove all

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Fourth DCA Confirms Association Lien Foreclosure Valid Despite Pending Mortgage Foreclosure (FL)

Despite a slowing in the number of Florida mortgage foreclosure cases, many community associations still face situations where a foreclosing lender fails to timely complete its foreclosure resulting in the property sitting abandoned and not contributing financially to the community.

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Failing to Pay Taxes on Common Areas Can Have Dire Consequences (AZ)

A recent article in the Washington Post chronicled the plight of an upscale San Francisco community, which failed to pay its common area property taxes, and the savvy investors who took advantage.  We are aware of Arizona communities who have

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New Legislation Adds Teeth to Florida’s Condo Laws

The new Florida law that establishes criminal penalties for association fraudsters should help many associations to contend with suspicious and irregular activities by unscrupulous board members.    Read the article…………..

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New Virginia Law Regarding Real Estate For Sale Signs

There seems to be some confusion about this new addition to the resale provisions in the Condominium Act and the Property Owners Association Act. Beginning July 1, 2017 there is a new Virginia law, passage of which was promoted by

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Insurance Law: Some Important Cases to Know

Insurance liability is a very important issue for a condo or HOA association or a condo board. Most have built up a good relationship with their insurance agents or brokers, and many are content to leave the details to the

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2017 Legislative Update for Florida’s Community Association Laws: Part II

On July 1st, the 2017 amendments to the Florida Statutes affecting community associations became effective. The 2017 legislative amendments to the Condominium Act and Homeowners Association Act are substantial. This post is Part II (click here for part I) in

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HOA Winning $1,881 In Damages Against Homeowner Also Was Entitled To Attorney’s Fees Of $201,750 (CA)

We do not really need to get into the specifics of Mustafa v. Mountain View Park Homeownerss Assn., Inc., Case No. E063529 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Aug. 8, 2017) (unpublished), but the end result in sobering for purposes of our

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New legislation affecting condos, co-ops and HOAs (FL)

Last year the Florida Legislature was silent when it came to passing any laws affecting community associations. Not this year.  This year four bills were approved and signed by the governor and one was vetoed. SB 398 applies to condos,

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