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New Davis-Stirling Act Signed into Law

Governor Brown recently signed AB 805 and AB 806 into law. AB 805 takes effect on January 1, 2014, and comprehensively reorganizes and recodifies the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. The bill also revises and recasts provisions regarding notices and

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Do HOA Managers Often Practice Without a License?

This question was posed to the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law, who held a hearing on the issue.  Read More……PDF

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Some Possible Implications Arising From California Supreme Court’s Pinnacle Decision

On August 16, 2012, our state supreme court issued its opinion in Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development, Case No. S186149 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Aug.16, 2012). The high court found that CC&Rs mandating arbitration between developers and homeowner

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Privity, Shmivity, Says The California Supreme Court – A Provision To Arbitrate Construction Disputes In Recorded CC&Rs Will Be Honored If Not Unreasonable

Arbitration is a matter of consent, right? Because there can be no meaningful consent between a developer that drafts covenants, conditions, and restrictions containing a provision requiring arbitration of construction disputes, and a homeowner’s association (HOA) that doesn’t yet exist,

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Homeowner Associations/POOF!: Strange Procedural Posture Requires Reversal Of $46,300 Fee/Costs Order When Judgment of Dismissal Reversed in Fourth Appeal of Dispute Involving Homeowner and HOA

Well, the fourth appeal in a longstanding mold/water intrusion/infestation dispute between a homeowner and HOA involved homeowners’ challenge to a judgment of dismissal in favor of HOA as well as the lower court’s order awarding HOA attorney’s fees of $37,336

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Judge Lifts 770 Sandy Street Condemnation Order

According to The Times Herald, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Bernard Moore lifted the more that two-year-old condemnation order on the Rittenhouse Club Condominium at 770 Sandy Street Friday morning.  Read More……

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Ruling could change course of collection proceedings

Delinquent condominium owners historically have been told to pay up, no matter how well the board took care of the property. But an Illinois appellate court this summer said just the opposite. The ground-breaking decision could change the course of

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CA State High Court Backs Arbitration Clauses Invoked by Developers

In a broad victory for contractual arbitration that called to mind recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a homeowners association can be forced to arbitrate construction defect suits via land use restrictions recorded by

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FL: 2012 Legislative Update: Impact on Community Associations

The 2012 Legislative Session was very busy with regards to community association legislation. The ultimate fate of many of the community association bills that were filed by various legislators was not known until the last day of session. Unfortunately, the

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Court sides with contractor over subrogation for damages from burst pipe

A federal district judge in Miami has sided with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor against an insurer seeking subrogation for damages paid related to a burst pipe during Hurricane Katrina at a luxury condominium building in Miami.  Read

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Association as Employer: what laws do you need to know about?

We don’t often think about community associations in the context of labor law but the majority of associations do have at least one employee and some large master associations have dozens. The largest association employer I ever met actually bought

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Association told to fix condo balconies

A judge has ruled that Effingham Green Condominium associations are responsible for repairs of faulty balconies identified a year ago, according to court records. Read More……

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Free Speech in Community Associations

The New Jersey Supreme Court has recently decided that an outright prohibition of political signs in a community association is unconstitutional.  While the ruling will most likely result in future rulings with different facts, it does provide a concise rebuttal

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Insurer Says It Should Not Have to Pay for Trayvon Martin’s Death

Traveler’s Insurance sued Trayvon Martin’s mother and The Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners’ Association, where her son was killed, claiming it has no responsibility to defend the HOA or cover the teenager’s death.   Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of

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Who Pays For The Defamation Lawsuit in an HOA?

The person told me that their association board had just been asked by a board member to file a lawsuit against an individual for defamation. The interesting thing was that the lawsuit if filed would be against another board member.

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Omaha couple to get second chance at day care case

The Nebraska Supreme Court is giving an Omaha couple another chance to make the case that they were unfairly ordered by their homeowner’s association to shutter their home-based child care service.  Read More……

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Columbia Association bill raises suspicion

A bill to change the way the Columbia Association is defined in state law is portrayed by the organization’s lawyer as a necessary housekeeping measure, but the legislation seems to have an image problem. Read More……

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Owner of First National Center in Oklahoma City pleads guilty to embezzlement, faces up to 10-year prison sentence

Aaron Yashouafar, owner of Oklahoma City’s landmark First National Center, will have to pay $1 million to tenants of a Nevada condominium complex and faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to one felony count of embezzlement.

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FL High court reveals secret deal of Trump developer’s crimes

Dozens of explosive records released by the U.S. Supreme Court show a developer of the failed Trump tower in Fort Lauderdale helped put away dangerous Mafia soldiers — while prosecutors struck a secret deal to conceal his charges in a

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Arbitration Decision Coming Soon

On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, the California Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides in Pinnacle Museum Tower Association v. Pinnacle Market Development, in which the Court will decide whether a homeowners association is bound by an arbitration provision contained

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AB 1720 Signed into Law Requiring Access to Gated Communities for Licensed Private Investigators for the Limited Purpose of Service of Process

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1720 into law. The bill, introduced by Assembly Member Norma Torres, aims at ensuring that state-licensed private investigators are provided access to gated communities to serve process, just as licensed private investigators are

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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Political Signs in Community Associations

As reported in the Press of Atlantic City, Anita Carbonara has two signs in support of President Barack Obama in the windows of her Barnegat Township home. The Board of Trustees at the Heritage Point, Ms. Carbonara’s homeowners’ association, wants

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Columbia board might delay controversial homeowners legislation

The Columbia Association board might delay a request for legislation that would reclassify CA under state law, fearing that the proposal is too controversial to push through so quickly.  The legislation would reclassify CA from a homeowners association, governed by

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For Whom the Bill Tolls: Board Sues AT&T for 18 Years’ Cell-Tower Electicity

Calling AT&T: Why have we been paying your electric bill for 18 years? That’s the question the condo board of The Leonori condominium — where residents include the actor Samuel L. Jackson and former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack —

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Ocean Pines Association accepts ruling, will pay back taxes

The Ocean Pines Association board of directors will not seek a U.S. Supreme Court verdict on whether its Beach Club parking income is subject to taxes.  Read More……

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Jury awards possession to condo association in record-setting suit

The largest lawsuit filed by Marina Towers Condominium Association ended in its favor in May. A jury awarded MTCA $39,937.39 for assessments, late fees, attorney’s fees, and other charges. It also awarded possession of three units owned by Edie and

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Feds settle housing-discrimination suit against Santa Rosa, HOA

The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 21 in San Francisco, alleged that the city and the HOA unlawfully sought to restrict residency at a housing development to seniors 55 and older. While the law allows an exemption for senior housing, the

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Court declines to reconsider alligator death case

Georgia’s highest court has declined to reconsider a family’s claim that a homeowners association should be held liable for the death of an 83-year-old woman whose partially eaten body was found in a lagoon frequented by an alligator.  Read More……

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HOA boards are wild card in litigation game, author says

Forgive Evan McKenzie for feeling a sense of deja vu. He has seen homeowners association scandals such as the one currently playing out in Southern Nevada before. Many times, in fact.  Read More……

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NYC condo board of directors fails to take down gripe site

The board of directors of Towers on the Park Condominium filed a UDRP against a resident who registered TowersonthePark.com and used it to criticize the board.  Article  Finding

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Who Gets Preliminary Notice When Working on A Condominium Complex in Washington?

Over the weekend, a reader sent in an interesting question about Washington’s preliminary notice requirements. The question relates to construction work and materials furnished to a condominium complex, specifically inquiring as to who must receive the preliminary notice on such

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Maryland Court of Appeals Reconsidering Pit Bull Ruling

A Maryland legal ruling recently made national news when the Court of Appeals held that the owners of pit bull breeds, as well as landlords who permit tenants to own pitbulls, are strictly liable for damages arising from an attack

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Quarter-million dollar screen-door battle shows need for HOA limits

A failed lawsuit filed by The Arbors Village Association against Grede means each of the 190 homes in the neighborhood north of Hobe Sound will pay special assessments totaling $800. Read More……

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Court Tells Board in Foreclosure Case: The Guy Paid. What Else You Want?

Most condominium boards and their managers and attorneys act in what they perceive to be the best interests of their condo associations. But when one Manhattan board in an arrears foreclosure tried to not let the owner pay, and then

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Ruling opens door for Sellersburg to annex Covered Bridge

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld Clark Superior Court’s 2010 decision that voided the incorporation of Covered Bridge as a town. The appeals court also upheld the lower court’s dismissal of a petition signed by more than 600 residents of

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Fourth Court Upholds Allegedly Obsolete Restrictions Mandating Residential Use Along Blanco Road

On July 13, 2012, the Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas (San Antonio) issued its opinion in a case in which it was asked to determine whether antiquated residential-use limitations applied to a subdivision abutting now heavily-developed and largely-commercial Blanco

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Homeowners Association Found to Have Equitable Easement Despite Lack of Recorded Document

Sumner Hill is a homeowners association in a gated community in Madera County. The Sumner Hill residents historically enjoyed access to a private road that leads to the nearby San Joaquin River. That access was jeopardized when a portion of

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Court ruling could increase liability of individual condo, co-op board members

New Yorkers may become even more reluctant to sit on the board of their condominium or co-op building. A decision handed down by the state appellate court this month could increase the likelihood that individual board members will be held

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Ever Wondered What All The Talk is About SLAPP Suits in HOAs?

SLAPP lawsuits are getting time in the news. What are they about? Name calling. Politics. Ugly stuff. There is no cause of action called SLAPP. What happens is someone calls someone else a name in heated debate over an election

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What is a Covered “Collapse” for Insurance Purposes?

Recently, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued the opinion of Kings Ridge Community Association v. Sagamore Insurance Company, clarifying what constitutes a covered “collapse” under an All Risk Business Owner’s policy. On February 24, 2010, the association’s clubhouse began to

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Ticky Tacky Little Governments: A More Faithful Approach to Community Associations Under State Action Doctrine

Community associations are an innovative solution to a myriad of challenges that arise in the ownership of residential property. They solve collective action problems and fulfill desires in the common pursuit of neighborhood harmony. But when community associations go too

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On further thought . . . Reversing earlier board decisions

A recent decision of the Ontario Small Claims Court tackles the interesting issue of whether and how condominium boards can reverse earlier decisions in maintenance and repair scenarios.  Read More……

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HUD charges MN management co. with discriminating against families with children

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging a Minnetonka, MN, condominium association and its management company, Gassen Company, Inc., with violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children under

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What is a Cloud Condominium?

A new type of housing community is billowing up around the country. Neighborhoods in San Diego, Orlando and Denver have already adopted a new classification called cloud condos.

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More states seek to protect First Amendment Rights in Associations…will Florida

Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled 5-1 that a condominium owner could place election signs on his front door and side window of his townhome over the objections of his association. Read More……

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Homeowner Associations/POOF!: Reversal Of HOA Award Means Homeowner Survives To See What Happens On Remand

Homeowner Association (HOA)/homeowner disputes seem to be very acrimonious. However, depending on who prevails, there may be fee exposure under Civil Code section 1354 (CC&R enforcement) or Civil Code section 1717 (contractual fee enforcement). But, each side may have to

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Foreclosing Lenders Avoid Disaster and Given More Options To Foreclose In Eaton v. Fannie Mae Case

The Massachusetts real estate community has been waiting 8 long months for a decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in the much anticipated Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association (link) case. The decision came down June 22, and

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MAZDABROOK COMMONS HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION v. KHAN

MAZDABROOK COMMONS HOMEOWNERS’ ASSN v. KHAN MAZDABROOK COMMONS HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. WASIM KHAN, Defendant-Respondent. No. (A-65-10), September Term 2010 (067094).Supreme Court of New Jersey.Argued October 24, 2011.Decided June 13, 2012.  CHIEF JUSTICE RABNER delivered the opinion of the Court. The question

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Condo Owners Fear X-Ray Would Show Mushy Bones

But the denizens of Seahaus, a sleek coastal condo and townhome development in Bird Rock, say this is more than just wishful thinking. They’re suing the builders of their homes, alleging their complex was poorly constructed and developers concealed water

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Canada: Condo Directors Held Personally Liable For Legal Costs

The Condominium Act (the “Act”) has several provisions (sections 85, 134(5) and 135(3) which place the financial burden of obtaining compliance orders on those responsible for the non-compliance, thus relieving innocent owners of this financial burden. There are numerous reported

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