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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specifics of Mustafa v. Mountain View Park Homeownerss Assn., Inc., Case No. E063529 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Aug. 8, 2017) (unpublished), but the end result in sobering for purposes of our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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Mediation and Arbitration Study for HOAs and Condos (NC)

The General Assembly met yesterday (August 3) to consider several issues remaining from the legislative session. Bills that would impact North Carolina’s homeowner and condominium associations weren’t really on the agenda, but one proposal was adopted that has a provision

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North Carolina Community Association Legislative Wrap-Up – July 2017

Courtesy of my colleague, Greensboro attorney Jim Slaughter of Black, Slaughter, Black, following is a summary of the status of various legislative bills in the North Carolina legislature that could affect condominium and community associations. Jim always has his ear

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Recent Decision Limits Liability of Condo Sponsor’s Principal (NY)

On May 24, 2017, a New York appeals court dismissed construction defect claims against a condominium sponsor’s managing members and principals. The plaintiff Board of Managers sought to hold these individual defendants personally liable for the corporate sponsor’s breach of

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Dog Days of Summer

With the mercury hitting record highs this week, I look out my office window and dream of jumping into a nice cool pool. As a community association attorney, my brain automatically shifts from recreation to work mode. I recently helped

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Prohibitions Against “SLAPP” Suits: What Associations and Their Managers Need to Know

Both the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act and the Condo Act contain prohibitions against so-called “SLAPP” suits; SLAPP stands for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”. The condominium anti-SLAPP suit statute is found at §718.1224 and the homeowners’ anti-SLAPP suit statute is

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AB 1139 Imposes New Notice Requirements on Deed-Based Transfer Fees (CA)

On July 31, 2017, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1139 (“AB 1139”) into law. AB 1139 amends California Civil Code Section 1098.5 with regard to deed-based transfer fees (“Private Transfer Fees” or “Fees”). Prior to AB 1139 becoming law, any

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Does the First Amendment Apply to Condominiums? (FL)

A common question asked by our clients is what can be done to stop unit owners from publishing false, negative, or harassing posts about the condominium association, its directors, members, or agents on internet mediums like Facebook or Nextdoor. The

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Governor Vetoes House Bill 653 (FL)

One of the most talked about community association legislative bills this session was House Bill 653 (HB 653), which proposed changes to the Condominium Act and the Homeowners Association Act. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed HB 653 at 7:55 p.m. on

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Review of Legislation continues – Part 5 (FL)

Today’s column is the final installment of our annual review of legislation affecting Florida community associations.  In prior columns, we reviewed Senate Bill 398 dealing with “estoppel certificates,” and House Bill 1237 which only applies to condominiums and contains changes

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HUD Releases Final Rule Related to Discrimination in Community Associations

In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) released final regulations relating to housing discrimination, which now require community associations to investigate claims of harassment by one resident of another resident who is a member of

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How to handle unauthorized co-owner modifications to the common elements (MI)

Michigan condominium associations are often forced to deal with co-owners that are unfamiliar with condominium living, or in some instances, are not even aware that they live in a condominium that is governed by a master deed, bylaws or rules

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US Attorney Announces Settlement with Florida Condominium Complex Over Alleged FHA Reverse Mortgage Fraud

On July 20, 2017, acting United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow announced a civil settlement with the owner of a Florida condominium complex over fraudulent reverse mortgage transactions. Defendant had been accused of violating the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the

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2017 Florida Legislative Guide

From the Community Association Leadership Lobby      Read the book…………..

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Review of Legislation continues – Part 4 (FL)

Today’s column is the fourth installment of our annual review of legislation affecting community associations.  So far, we have reviewed Senate Bill 398, dealing with “estoppel certificates,” and parts of House Bill 1237, pertaining to board member term limits, the

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Summer sizzles with new laws affecting condos, real estate (VA)

As sure as summer brings hot days, the season also delivers new laws passed by the General Assembly that became effective July 1. As in the past, some of the latest new or altered laws affect condominiums and real estate

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Statute changes impose new conflict of interest rules (FL)

So far, we have reviewed Senate Bill 398, dealing with “estoppel certificates,” and parts of House Bill 1237, pertaining to board member term limits, the use of debit cards, recalls, mandatory websites for certain associations, suspension of voting rights, year-end

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U.S. District Court Allows Association’s Claims To Proceed For Actions During Period of Developer Control (MD)

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has denied a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of a developer, and allowed claims of a property owner’s association to proceed that concern actions taken while the board was

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SC Ct of App Rules on Jury Trials and Class Action Waivers in Master Deeds-Decision is good for developers

Based upon a settlement reached with Respondents, Petitioners filed a motion seeking dismissal of their petition for a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals. They also asked the Court to vacate the opinion of the Court of Appeals

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Nevada Supreme Court rulings favor HOAs

The state Supreme Court on Thursday issued two rulings bolstering homeowners associations’ ability to sell houses through foreclosure.  Nevada’s highest court unanimously ruled that a 2014 decision upholding HOAs’ ability to foreclose ahead of mortgage lenders can be retroactively applied

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Is Your Community Ready for the Model 3 Launch? (Think Electric Vehicles)

Tesla will be live streaming the launch of 30 of its less-expensive, but-still-cool Model 3 vehicles at 8:45 p.m. EDT on July 28. Another 100 are to be rolled out in August followed by 1,500 in September. Total sales are

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Headstrong HOA Board Member Puts Himself in Harm’s Way Over Fair Housing Issues

In a recent case decided by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the court heard a matter involving the intersection between community association governance and fair housing law. In this case, Wilfred Welsh, a board member of the Chaplin Woods Homeowners

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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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