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Economic Damages and the Right to Repair Act: You Can’t Have it Both Ways (CA)

In 2002, the California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 800 also known as the Right to Repair Act (Civil Code Sections 895 et seq.) in an effort to stem a then rising tide in residential construction defect litigation.  SB 800,

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FL Associations Beware: Governor Signs Law Today which Shortens Screening Time for Members of the Military!

SB 184 was signed by Governor Rick Scott of FL today. The new law which amends Section 83.683, F.S. will take effect on July 1st and will apply to condominiums, cooperatives, HOAs and landlords.  The new requires an association to

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EQ Retrofitting in Los Angeles, 2017 (CA)

Homeowners and Association Managers need to be aware that the City of Los Angeles has passed Ordinances 183893 and 184081, city laws that require the earthquake retrofitting of buildings that fall below current safety standards. The ordinance is intended to

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Mayors campaign for construction defects bill (CO)

While mayors around the metro area are backing a state legislative effort restricting construction defects lawsuits that they say discourage the building of attainable housing — such as condominiums and townhomes — critics say it would take away a homeowner’s

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Restrictive Endorsement (FL)

Restrictive endorsements when coupled with payment are still applicable to associations.  As many may remember, The Florida Legislature amended Florida Statutes §718.116 and §720.3085 to include language relating to the applicability of restrictive endorsements, designations or instruction accompanying payments made

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Maryland Top Court to Review Condo Towing Rule

To tow or not to tow…with apologies to William Shakespeare, that is the question at the heart of long-running litigation between an Anne Arundel County condominium and owners whose vehicles were towed from the condo parking lot. The Maryland Court

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Attorney’s Fees In Homeowners Association Disputes (CA)

Civil Code Section 5975(c) states: “In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.” There are a few things to note about this statute. First, this only applies to an

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Does The SLAPP Statute Apply To Homeowners Associations? (CA)

(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute is Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16. When the SLAPP statute was first enacted in 1992, twenty four years ago, some people, believed that it would not apply to homeowners associations because the SLAPP

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Condominiums May Still Need to Install Engineered Life Safety System After Opting Out of Fire Sprinkler Retrofit

As our regular readers are aware from our previous posts on the subject, there are many questions Florida condominium associations face in determining whether their buildings must be retrofitted with a fire sprinkler system or Engineered Life Safety System (“ELSS”).

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Lesson Learned: What North Carolina Management Companies Should be Thinking About

In a recent post on a South Carolina Supreme Court case from just a few weeks ago I provided a quick breakdown of things that management companies in South Carolina must not do. As always, lessons learned from different jurisdictions

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New Mexico HOA legislation

…..two homeowner association bills, SB244 and HB374, The bills, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stuart, D-Albuquerque and Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, respectively, amend disclosure requirements, provide alternative dispute resolution methods, and cap fees that HOAs may charge for issuing financial disclosure

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New Florida Condo Bill Filed by Senator Garcia Includes Criminal Penalties

Last month, the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County released a Grand Jury Report titled “Addressing Condo Owners’ Pleas for Help: Recommendations for Legislative Action”. You can read the Miami-Herald Article about the Grand Jury Report here.  Today, Senator Rene Garcia

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Missouri lawmakers propose HOA legislation, but critics say it won’t protect homeowners

Legislation in the Missouri General Assembly would address homeowners’ concerns about their homeowners associations, which sometimes find fault with issues like the color of a swing set. But critics say the legislation would only help the HOAs.    Read the

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Trio of Recent Decisions on the I v. I Exclusion Should Remind Policyholders to Annually Review the Language in Their Policy to Avoid Losing Coverage

D&O policies vary quite a bit from carrier to carrier, and language on “standard” exclusions can change from year to year. Accordingly, it is important to do a yearly review of your D&O policy to make sure your company has

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Texas High Court Finds for Insurer in D&O Coverage Dispute

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of an insurer in a case that hinged on the applicability of an insured-v.-insured exclusion in the carrier’s directors and officers (D&O) liability policy.  The Court’s action reversed the ruling in Great

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Limitations on Community Association Approval or Denial of Service Member Rental Applications (FL)

Effective July 1, 2016, § 83.683, Florida Statutes, requires landlords, condominium associations, cooperative associations and homeowners associations to process rental applications submitted by service members within seven days of submission. Within that seven day period, the landlord or association must

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Small victory for homeowners in Helen’s View case (WA)

A small victory in the ongoing legal case between the Helen’s View Homeowners Association and developers seeking to build on an HOA remainder parcel happened last week as a county Superior Court judge ruled to remove lis pendens, or a

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Elder to appeal verdict in favor of HOA (OR)

A Klamath Falls man who was ordered by a jury last week to pay an outstanding fine to his homeowners association said he plans to appeal the decision.  On Tuesday Kenneth Elder told the Herald and News he intends to

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Little Love Lost in Sedimental Affair

A lawsuit for damage to property must be timely filed to prevail in court. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for property damage is five years from accrual of the claim. When an owner suffers damage caused by a neighboring

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Plaintiffs in $4.7 million construction defect case mum after ruling

Plaintiffs in a major construction lawsuit that ended with a San Diego law firm recovering nearly $5 million have decided to stay silent after the ruling was in their favor.  The law firm, which represented Laurel Bay Community Association, won

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Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Expressly Authorize Baltimore County Homeowner Associations To Bring Nuisance Actions

House Bill 496, now pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would give express authority to Homeowner and Community Associations in Baltimore County to bring a court action seeking relief from or abatement of an alleged nuisance. Under current Section 14-125

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Construction defects bill OK’d by state Senate committee (CO)

The second piece of legislation aimed at resolving concerns with construction defects in Colorado passed 5-2 Monday by the Senate Business, Labor and Technology committee.  Senate Bill 156 would require homeowners seeking restitution for faulty work by contractors to go

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Don’t Touch that Sidewalk! Doing Too Much Could Be as Problematic for Condo Associations as Doing Too Little

We regularly advise condominium boards to be wary of taking on obligations beyond those state laws or their association’s governing documents require them to assume. A recent decision by a Massachusetts Appeals Court adds a judicial exclamation point to that

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Jury sides with HOA in Running Y suit (OR)

A Klamath County jury has ruled against two residents of Running Y Ranch Resort who challenged the legitimacy of fees charged by their home owner’s association.  On Friday a six-person jury ruled in favor of Running Y Ranch Resort Owner’s

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Apartments v. Condos: Colorado’s construction defect debate, explained

Once again, state lawmakers are arguing about changing construction defect laws.  At the heart of this issue is condo buildings– specifically, the lack of them.  Those who want to change the law argue it’s too easy to sue the builder

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Invalid Board Does Not Have Authority to Bring Lawsuit on Association’s Behalf

The Appeals Court of Illinois recently held that an association’s board of directors does not have authority to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the association if it is not formed properly according to the condominium’s governing documents and the

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Management and unauthorized practice of law (SC)

The South Carolina Supreme Court accepted this declaratory judgment action in its original jurisdiction to determine whether Community Management Group, LLC; its president, Stephen Peck; and its employee, Tom Moore, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law while managing homeowners’

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Duran says she’ll monitor GOP bill to steer construction complaints to arbitration (CO)

House Speaker Crisanta Duran said this week she intends to monitor a Republican-sponsored Senate bill aimed at encouraging construction of condominiums by changing how disputes over construction problems are resolved and “see what shape it takes” as it makes its

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Coalition of Colorado Mayors Calls on Legislatures to Pass Senate Bill 156

A bipartisan coalition of metro area mayors in Colorado called on legislatures to pass the Republican-sponsored Senate Bill 156, described as “Homeowners’ Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines.” The Colorado Statesman staffer Ernest Luning explains that the bill is likely

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MI Court Validates Foreclosure Sale Under the Doctrine of Substantial Compliance

On February 14, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion in the matter of Miehlke v Bayview Condominium Association of Manistee, et al. The Miehlke case is important as a reminder that a defect in a foreclosure

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APV counsel: Homeowners’ claims not valid (FL)

While homeowners in Poinciana have filed suit against their homeowners association, the Association of Poinciana Villages (APV), the HOA’s lawyers are working to have the case dismissed.  The homeowners are suing because they believe that the HOA has failed to

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Judge turns away dismissal motion, says condo member averred legitimate breach of contract claim (PA)

A federal judge decided that one member of a Bucks County condominium association had raised a legitimate claim to breach of contract towards the other member of the association, with respect to the payment of electricity fees.  On Feb. 10,

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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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Grand Jury Calls for Criminal Charges to Rein in ‘Wild West’ of Condo Boards

The question isn’t whether there’s fraud and abuse among some of the boards, according to the grand jury report, which cites thousands of annual reports of alleged wrongdoing to Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The question is how

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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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