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Condominium’s Leasing Restriction Ruled Invalid by Washington Court

The Washington Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished opinion addressing a condominium association’s attempt to restrict leasing of units. In this case, the condominium’s original declaration stated that no more than 25% of the units could be leased at

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Unenforced Deed Restrictions Are Not Abandoned!

Community associations with unenforced deed restrictions can enforce them – even after 82 years! So says a Morris County Superior Court Judge after a recent trial in a case entitled Unfair Share Lake Arrowhead 2010, Inc. v. Lake Arrowhead Club,

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Restricting access to common area roads: a “high risk” activity for Washington HOAs

When owners are delinquent in paying assessments, an Association may wish to penalize the owner and provide an incentive to pay by restricting that owner’s access to common areas. A Washington HOA probably can restrict access to common areas such

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HOA’s May Collect Attorney Fees After Successful Action (OK)

In two recent decisions, the Oklahoma Appellate Courts have allowed Homeowners Associations to collect attorney’s fees and costs after successful litigation. Oklahoma follows the “American Rule”, which is that Attorney Fees may not be awarded unless there is a contract

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Indiana Condominium Association Liens, Part I: Foreclosure

I’ve previously written about the priority of homeowner’s association (“HOA”) liens. Today’s post relates to similar, but not identical, liens arising out of unpaid condominium association (“CA”) fees/assessments. Like HOAs, CAs also can foreclose their liens. Because a lender/mortgagee may,

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Corbin Park developer lawsuit ends, but not the fight about fees

A lawsuit filed against Corbin Park developer Mike Schlup recently settled out of court for $11 million. Tenants who bought condominiums at a project near Lake of the Ozarks accused Schlup of using unqualified workers and faulty construction practices that

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Southern Walk Re-Files Federal Complaint Against OpenBand (VA)

The legal battle between Dulles-based telecommunications company OpenBand and one of the communities it provides cable television, Internet and phone services is entering another round. Last week, the Southern Walk at Broadlands HOA filed its newest complaint against OpenBand, a

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Florida Homeowner Scores Permanent Injunction Against HOA After Guests Denied Entry to His Home

A circuit court judge has ordered a Central Florida homeowners association to stop its practice of denying homeowner guests’ entry into the community of homeowner as a way of forcing payment of past due assessments. Judge Marlene Alva issued a

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NSW strata law revolution (Australia)

New bylaws allowing pets in units, curbing smoking on apartment balconies and preventing the installation of noisy timber and tiled floors are among the changes in the biggest overhaul of strata laws in more than 50 years.    Read more…….

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Florida Supreme Court reaffirms court’s inherent right to appoint receiver for condominium

Today the Florida Supreme Court published an opinion in Granada Lakes Villas Condominium Ass’n., Inc. v. Metro-Dade Investments Co. affirming a court’s inherent authority to appoint a receiver for an association. The Court ruled that the court’s authority to appoint

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Condo Association Failed To Lay Proper Foundation For Admitting Ledgers Into Evidence

This appeal focused on the business record exception to the hearsay rule. Two condo owners appealed a final judgment of foreclosure on the condo association’s liens for assessed maintenance fees. The association’s attorney sent letters to condo owners notifying them

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Amendment To Michigan Condominium Act Clarifies Audit Requirements For Condominium Associations

The Michigan Legislature has passed an amendment to Section 57 of the Michigan Condominium Act (MCL 559.157) which is intended to clarify the annual audit responsibilities for condominium associations. Michigan Public Act No. 134 is effective January 14, 2014.   Read

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Condo Association Sues Insurer over Coverage of Superstorm Sandy Damage (NJ)

A beachfront condominium association has sued Harleysville Insurance Co. for refusing to cover Superstorm Sandy damage to a ground-level parking garage located below the lowest elevated floor of the association’s property.    Read more….

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Town of Dillon and Yacht Club condos to face off in Colorado Supreme Court over parking spaces

A long-standing legal dispute between the town of Dillon and the Yacht Club Condominiums homeowners association is set for oral arguments before the highest court in the state.    Read more……..

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The Court of Appeals of Texas holds third-party claimant lacks standing to sue commercial general liability insurer

The Court of Appeals of Texas recently held that a third-party claimant does not have standing to assert claims against a commercial general liability insurer. Specifically, the court ruled that an insurer, which had issued a general commercial liability policy

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HOA’s and Contingency Cases

A more apt title might be “Why Lawyers Don’t Take HOA Cases on Contingency.” I am frequently asked to take HOA and condo cases on a contingency, but these cases are not the types of cases lawyers can litigate on

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Focus: Lawyers optimistic about condo changes (ON)

Significant legislative changes in the works may help resolve disputes between condominium boards and unit owners more smoothly, lawyers say.  Read more……

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Businesses Can Collect On Their Own Debts Without Being Subject To Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) (MD)

When litigating cases under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”) one of the more difficult issues is defining exactly what a “debt collector” is (and what it is not). Ramsay v. Sawyer Property Management of Maryland, LLC and Jeffrey

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Troubled Tribeca condo developers sue law firm for $80M (NY)

The developers of the troubled Tribeca Summit condominium are suing their law firm for $80 million for not telling them they could file for bankruptcy before they defaulted on a mezzanine loan.     Read more……

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California Court of Appeal Opens Doors for Construction Defect Claims Outside of the Right to Repair Act [VIDEO]

Valentine S. Hoy and Timothy M. Hutter discuss a recent California Court of Appeal ruling that found SB800 (Civil Code sections 895 through 945.5, the “Right to Repair Act”) is not the only remedy for construction defect claims even when

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Condo Says Insurance Agent Procured Inadequate Flood Coverage; Demands $180,000 (NY)

The owner of a New York condominium has sued its insurance agent for more than $180,000 in damages caused by Superstorm Sandy, alleging the agent negligently failed to procure adequate flood insurance.     Read more……

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Delaware County Condo Association Settles With Pulte Homes for $5.6 Million (PA)

After more than six years of litigation, a Delaware County condominium association has settled with homebuilder Pulte Homes Inc. in Delaware County court for nearly $5.6 million over alleged design and construction defects in a Newtown Square, Pa., townhome development.?According

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No Coverage for Lawsuits that Don’t Allege Damages (CA)

When businesses are sued, one of the first questions they should ask is “Do I have insurance coverage for this?” Insurance companies have brought duties to defend their insureds against claims that are arguably covered by their insurance policies. So,

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California Appeals Court Upholds Reasonable Election Rules

According to the Court of Appeal in San Diego County, a homeowners association may adopt, by rule, a Board candidate qualification where the qualification is reasonable and does not conflict with the Association’s other governing documents. So ruled the court

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Washington HOA Prevails in Litigation over Pipe Maintenance

A recent unpublished opinion by the Washington Court of Appeals involved a dispute between the Crystal Ridge Homeowners Association and the City of Bothell over responsibility for a buried interceptor pipe.    Read more……

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Legal decision could mean more liability for developers (FL)

Developers and home builders throughout Florida face potential new legal liabilities for shoddy infrastructure work after a homeowners association in west Orange County won what is being called a landmark case before the Florida Supreme Court.     Read more……..

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Anti-SLAPP Statute Applied to Homeowners’ Association – Related Lawsuit

In an opinion out of the 14th District Court of Appeals in Houston this month, the Texas anti-SLAPP statute (the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act) was applied to a homeowners’ association – related defamation claim. In the case of Fitzmaurice v.

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Manufacturers May Be Exempt From Liability Under the Condominium Act

In a recent decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida strictly construed the terminology of the Condominium Act in favor of material manufacturers. See Port Marina Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. Roof Svcs., Inc., — So. 3d –, No.

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Government Shut-Down and the FHA

With the recent government shutdown still in effect and no end in sight, many home buyers are wondering how this will impact their ability to obtain FHA financing and whether homes can be sold using FHA during this uncertain period.

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Associations seeking to enforce vague covenants must show how covenant was violated

The title of this post seems intuitively obvious. The plaintiff in any court action must always prove its case. However, it may not be as obvious as it seems. In Boyle v. Hernando Beach South Property Owners Assoc., Inc., the

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Governor Signs a Unique Bill that Gives Community Associations in Orange County a New Law Enforcement Option

Many of you may remember an Assemblywoman by the name of Patricia Bates, who authored AB 512 which requires associations to give a 30-day notification to residents in a homeowner association, when the rule change impacts them. Then Assemblywoman Bates

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Protecting Lenders Making Condominium Development Financing

Financing condominium development involves a great deal of risk as a result of the nature of a condominium and the government’s involvement in the process of creating, selling and, sometimes, operating residential condominiums. The due diligence prior to making the

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Davis-Stirling Act Updates to Affect an Estimated 9.4 Million Homeowners in California

Beginning January 1, 2014, an estimated 9.4 million homeowners, approximately 20 percent of the state’s population, will be affected by updates to the Davis-Stirling Act, a broad section of the California Civil Code which governs condominium, cooperative and planned unit

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Insurer Agreeing To Indemnify/Defend For Damages Does Not Have To Defend Insured Against Third Party Seeking Only Injunctive Relief

Acting Presiding Justice Rylaarsdam, in San Miguel Community Assn. v. State Farm General Ins. Co., Case No. G047738 (4th Dist., Div. 3 Oct. 1, 2013) (unpublished) on behalf of a 3-0 panel, framed the issue in this case and answered

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GA Supreme Court to hear stormwater drain case between HOA, owner and county

10/8/2013  10:00 A.M. Session   Video of arguments will be streamed on court site POLO GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. V. RHYMER ET AL. (S13A1635) POLO GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. V. FORSYTH COUNTY ET AL. In these

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Connecticut Now Requiring Condo Property Managers To Pass Competency Tests

Connecticut state laws, for the first time, requires Connecticut condo property managers to take educational courses and pass examinations to allow them to continue working as a property manager.   Read more…..

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Homeowners Associations Increasingly Seen as “Quasi-Governmental” Entities by California Courts

If you are a homeowner, there is a good chance you have had experience with a homeowners association (HOA) and its basic functions. In some states, including California, HOAs can foreclose on a member’s home for failure to pay assessments,

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Two-Prong Test for the Reasonable of House Rules (WA)

A recent Division II Court of Appeals case has set out a two-prong test for determining whether a house rule is reasonable. The case, Kawawaki v. Academy Square Condominium Association, concerned a dispute over a newly implemented house rule that

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Duty to Defend Claims Related to Hurricane Damage Despite Property Damage Exclusion (HI)

The District Court determined there was a duty to defend directors under a Not for Profit Organizations insurance policy in one of three lawsuits filed against the insureds. Landing Council of Co-Owners v. Fed. Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS

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Argument Report: Illinois Supreme Court Actively Questions Both Sides in Controversial Condo Case

When the Appellate Court’s decision came down, the Chicago Tribune called it a “ground-breaking decision that “has stunned the condominium community nationwide.” So will the Illinois Supreme Court overturn the Second District’s controversial decision in Spanish Court Two Condominium Association

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Suit Challenging Registered Sex Offender Ban Moving Towards Trial

In November 2012, a registered sex offender, Theodore Whipple, and his wife, filed suit against the Valley View Village Condominium Homeowners Association. The case is pending in federal court in the United States District Court for the Western District of

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Homeowner’s Association Turned Away by Unanimous Court of Appeals

Few things are more offensive to the rights of homeowners than an overreaching homeowners’ association (HOA) board of directors. The type usually run by those who – for whatever reason – seem more inclined to use power they don’t possess

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House passes bill loosening ILSA requirements

The U.S. House of Representatives handed condominium developers a significant victory Thursday, unanimously passing a bill that exempts condos from filing and registration requirements mandated by the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, commonly referred to as ILSA.     Read

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Washington Court Voids HOA Committee’s Decision Enforcing View Covenant

The Washington Court of Appeals recently issued a published opinion that invalidated the decision of a homeowners association’s covenants review committee. The committee had decided that an owner’s maple tree violated a restrictive covenant protecting views and had required that

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Florida courts’ application of the “new” economic loss rule since Tiara Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan, Cos., Inc.

The Florida Supreme Court’s March 7, 2013 decision in Tiara Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan, Cos., Inc., 110 So. 3d 399 (Fla. 2013), limited application of the economic loss rule [a judicially created doctrine that sets forth the circumstances under

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New Maryland Law Limiting Liens And Related Fees And Charges Takes Effect October 1 — Only Delinquent Assessments Can Form the Basis For A Lien

An amendment to the Maryland Contract Lien Act, as it relates to the foreclosure of liens by condominiums and homeowners associations, takes effect on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. The new law modifies Section 14-204 of the Real Property Article of

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Issue Created By Language Used In Deed Restrictions (FL)

The Heleskis began building a structure on their property without notifying or getting approval from the HOA. The structure is 24 feet by 24 feet and is separate from the Heleskis’ main house. The Heleskis’ neighbors complained to the HOA

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Second District Reversed Order Denying Motion To Compel Arbitration (FL)

Pulte Home Corp. sought review of an order denying its renewed motion to compel arbitration of an action brought by Bay at Cypress Creek Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”) for alleged building code violations under Florida Statute §553.84. The Second District reversed

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Landmark development ruling could save condo owners millions

A Denver district judge has saved a group of condominium owners at Landmark from having to pay into a tax district they not only never agreed to be in, but also never knew existed until they got a tax bill

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(CA) Governor Signs SB 822: Community Association Managers Not “Contractors” or “Consultants” Under B&P Code Section 7026.1

In 2012, California enacted AB 2237, amending Section 7026.1 of the Business and Professions (B&P) Code relating to contractors (Section 7026.1), effective Jan. 1, 2013. AB 2237 required “consultants” overseeing home improvement construction projects to be licensed “contractors.” The result

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