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Mountain Law: Cracking Colorado’s condo conundrum

In a July 1, 2015, article titled, “Construction defect reform advocates lose at state house, then win in court,” I wrote about Colorado condominium developers who lost an effort to pass legislation that would have reformed construction defect law but

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Bills Would Impose Time Limits on Co-op Purchase Applications (NY)

There are currently half a dozen pieces of legislation under consideration in New York City and Albany that could change the way co-op apartments get bought and sold. Co-op advocates are not pleased with any of them. Some of these

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Assembly Judiciary Committee Approves Wieckowski Bill (CA)

A bill to clarify that the political speech rights of residents in common interest developments cannot be infringed upon by homeowner association (HOA) boards unanimously passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee this morning. SB 407, authored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont)

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Legislative Update: Condominium Terminations Bill Signed Into Law (FL)

Senate Bill 1520 was signed by Governor Rick Scott on June 16, 2017. The following is a summary of the bill, which will take effect on July 1, 2017:  SB 1520 amends 718.117, Florida Statutes, regarding the optional termination of

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‘Test Case’: How Attorneys Defeated a $10 Million Class Action Over Condo Costs (FL)

Putting on “a numbers case” helped the owners of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach condo hotel defeat a $10 million class action lawsuit by residents fuming over a multimillion-dollar spike in maintenance fees.  Q Club Hotel LLC owns the property

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District of Columbia Condominium Law Amended To Require New Owner Notices

The District of Columbia Condominium Act has been amended to require new notices and information be provided to condominium purchasers and unit owners.  When a condominium advises the owner of its intention to take legal action to collect any past

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Legislative Update: New Laws Affecting Florida Community Associations

When a bill passes the Florida Legislature and is sent to the Governor for consideration, the Governor has 15 days from which to sign the bill into law, veto it, or do neither (in which case the bill will automatically

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Issues That Cross State Lines: A Look at Condo Legislation Trends

When it comes to legislation and legal issues that apply to condo associations, co-ops, and other multifamily housing models, the focus is often local—city ordinances, council meetings, and so forth – but there are judgments handed down and bills passed

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Don’t estoppel believing: Now it’s a law

After years of unsuccessfully fighting its way through the Legislature, the estoppel bill is now law.  Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday signed the measure (SB 398), which overhauls the legal process of estoppel letters. It goes into effect July 1.  “We

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Condominium Association Cannot Collect Unpaid Fees from Lender’s Assignee (NJ)

On June 6, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that a foreclosing mortgagee is not liable for unpaid condominium maintenance fees simply because it winterized the unit and changed the locks.  In the published decision Woodlands Community Association Inc.

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Business Judgment Rule Doesn’t Apply When the Board Acts Outside its Authority

Is an HOA Board of Directors (“Board”) entitled to protection under the Business Judgment Rule (“BJR”) when it applies an unambiguous view restriction contained in the governing documents in a manner other than written?    Read the article…………….

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Elders liable for $10,000 in legal fees to Running Y (OR)

A costly legal dispute over homeowners’ association payments at Running Y Ranch has concluded with an award of $10,000 in attorney’s fees, far less than $145,000 sought by plaintiffs.  In a letter dated Friday, Judge Roxanne Osborne said residents Kenneth

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Spartan Building alleges condo association never paid for work completed (LA)

A building company is seeking damages of more than $300,000 for work completed.  Spartan Building Corp. filed a suit May 31 against Chardonnay Village Condominium Association Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court alleging an open account.    Read the

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NJ App Div Holds Foreclosing Lender Who Simply Winterized and Secured a Condo Is Not a Mortgagee in Possession and Not Responsible for Condo Fees

In a noteworthy decision for New Jersey lenders approved for publication, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that a lender who simply winterizes and secures an abandoned property in foreclosure is not deemed a mortgagee in possession subject to

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“Offensive, Rude, Annoying, Mean-Spirited & Ill-Advised” Blog Posts Aren’t Defamatory–Milazzo v. Connolly (IL)

This is another case study of the overly litigious world of homeowners’ associations. For example, a few months ago, I blogged about another lawsuit involving a condo association, its no-pet policy, and a string of vitriolic blog posts over residents

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Does a Foreclosure Complaint Prevent a Community Association from Enforcing Rules and Regulations? (NJ)

A New Jersey Chancery Court was called upon to rule whether the filing of a foreclosure complaint by a condominium association prevents the association from taking other actions to enforce its rules and regulations as they would apply to the

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Supreme Court Rules in Vallagio: No Amendment for You! (CO)

This week, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Vallagio at Inverness Residential Condo. Ass’n v. Metro. Homes, Inc., 2017 CO 69, holding (1) the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) permits a developer–declarant to retain the right of consent to amend

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Community Association 2017 Legislative Guide: Part I (FL)

The Florida legislature passed several community association related bills this legislative session that are set to become law on July 1, 2017, unless vetoed by Florida’s Governor Scott. This is the first of a three-part series summarizing those bills.  

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Supreme Court Affirms Declarant Consent Required for Removal of Arbitration Provision for Construction Defect Claims

On June 5, 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its ruling in Vallagio at Inverness Residential Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Metropolitan Homes, Inc. et al. (Supreme Court Case No. 15SC508).  The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals and ruled:

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Injunction Against Condo Owner Illustrates Just How Ugly Things Can Get

The old adage “don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch” definitely applies in community association living. Unfortunately, conflicts between boards of directors and recalcitrant unit owners are par for the course in associations, so it is incumbent on the

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Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege in Bad Faith Litigation (SC)

The United States District Court has confirmed in a recent decision that in most circumstances, the attorney-client privilege will be waived in bad faith litigation in South Carolina. In Contravest, Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., the district court was

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Summary of HB 653, Impacting Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowners’ Associations (FL)

HB 653 (SB 744), sponsored by Representative Moraitis, passed the Florida Legislature but as of today, it has not yet been sent to the Governor for consideration. When a bill is sent to the Governor, he has fifteen (15) days

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Supreme Court makes landmark ruling for condo developers (CO)

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of condominium developers to require disputes go to binding arbitration, essentially putting into state law a contentious provision that construction-defects reform advocates said was the key to reviving a largely defunct

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Colorado Supreme Court gives a boost to builders in construction defects battles

The Colorado Supreme Court gave builders a reason to cheer Monday, ruling that a homeowners association in Centennial was wrong to ignore a requirement that it first get consent from the developer before changing the way disputes over construction defects

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HOA Fee Award Reversed Because HOA Elections Win Did Not Qualify For Award Under Frivolous Fee-Shifting Standard

Thompson v. Lakewood Hills Homeowners’ Assn., Case Nos. A144674/A146081 (1st Dist., Div. 5 May 19, 2017) (unpublished) highlights how the basis for fee entitlement can drive the result in a case. In a word, HOA was awarded fees/costs by the

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Amendment to SB258 would hurt HOAs (NV)

Members of the Assembly and Senate are trying to pass an amendment to SB258 that would allow delinquent owners to sue their homeowners associations for foreclosing on unpaid assessments.  The amendment, to be decided in conference committee with no public

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The 2017 Fla. Legislature Returns To CondoLand

Once again, after a one-year hiatus, the Florida Legislature has produced several condominium bills. Typically, the Legislature passes a single condominium bill into which other approved bills have been merged. This year, perhaps to make up for the failure to

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Another Illinois Case Decides When an Asset Purchaser is Responsible for Liabilities as a Mere Continuation of the Seller

In our Risk Management Update of December 23, 2015, we discussed an Illinois case that had to decide when a successor entity purchasing the assets of its predecessor became liable for the debts of the predecessor. (“Mere Continuation” Doctrine Applied

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Minnesota amends its construction defect laws

Earlier this month we told you that (click here to see the story) about an effort to amend Minnesota’s construction-defect laws, which are among the most stringent in the nation, with a raft of amendments aimed at making it more

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Community Association Board Members Can be Considered Limited Purpose Public Figures in Defamation Cases

There is a growing body of case law around the country which would make it more difficult for an allegedly defamed community association board member to successfully pursue his or her day in court. Is a community association board member

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What NC Community Associations Need to Know about Fair Debt Collection

Nearly all Community Associations (“Associations”) must cope with owners who fail or refuse to pay their periodic assessments (also known as “Dues”). When this happens, the Association, typically acting through its property manager, may first attempt to collect the delinquent

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Online Harassment and Risk of Liability Under Fair Housing Laws

My colleagues and I have blogged about the importance of recognizing requests for reasonable accommodations/modifications, carefully and thoughtfully considering them, and properly responding in a timely manner. We like to think our posts on this topic have helped a few

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NJ S181-Act Concerning Snowplow/De-Icing Service Contracts in Community Associations

The New Jersey state Senate passed the bill 181, authored by Senator Christopher Bateman(Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), by a vote of 35-0 on January 23, 2017.  The bill, if passed by the Assembly and signed into law by the

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Short-Term Rentals Not a Violation of Rules Against Business, Non-Residential Uses

In the case of Santa Monica Beach Property Owners Association v. David Acord, the association appealed a lower court’s order dismissing its action against the homeowners who rented their homes on a short-term basis. The association’s argument in both the

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Two Bills That Affect Maryland Foreclosure Notices

The Maryland legislature has passed House Bill 26 (“HB26”) which amends the foreclosure notice provisions contained in Maryland Real Property Article 7-105.2. HB26, slated to take effect on October 1, 2017, provides that notice of a foreclosure sale must be

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Legislature says homeowners associations can’t bar rooftop solar (OR)

Homeowners associations won’t be able to deny Oregonians their right to go solar under a bill that passed the Legislature on Wednesday.  The bill, HB 2111, which sailed through the House more than a month ago on a 56-3 vote,

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Bankruptcy basics for community association boards of directors

Over the last decade, community associations (like other businesses) have been forced to navigate the “Great Recession” and continued recovery. The “Great Recession” brought with it a significant increase in the number of personal bankruptcy filings across the country. Even

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Good Collection Practices Protect Lifeblood of Community Associations

Assessments are the lifeblood of every community association. For most associations, it is the sole source of income to pay for common expenses. Therefore, having tools and good practices to maximize collection of assessments are vital not just to survive

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The Fall Of The Economic Loss Rule And Rise Of The Independent Tort Doctrine

In Florida, the economic loss rule previously prevented parties who allocated their risks and remedies in a contract from bringing a tort action. For many years, the economic loss rule only applied in two circumstances:      Read the article…………

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Fair Housing Act – Emotional Support Animals

A very instructive case was decided last month in a Federal Appeals Court which will demonstrate almost everything not to do with respect to compliance with the Fair Housing Act relative to emotional support animals. This case dealt with a

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Washington Court of Appeals Reverses Trial Court’s Partition of Common Area

The Washington Court of Appeals ruled in an unpublished opinion last month that partition of a common area created by the deeds of four adjacent properties was not a remedy available to the trial court when the property owners could

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New law limits condo directors to four consecutive two-year terms (FL)

This year, the Florida Legislature passed a host of new laws that will affect shared ownership communities. Assuming that the governor signs these bills into law, they will go into effect on July 1. You may already have read about

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Collingwood Heights Homeowners’ Association alleges roofs on condos were not properly installed (CA)

A nonprofit corporation formed to manage a multistory condo development has filed a suit over several leaky roofs.  Collingwood Heights Homeowners’ Association filed a complaint on April 18 in the San Francisco County Superior Court against The Lawson Roofing Co.

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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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