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Condo liens: Judicial lien v. security interest v. statutory lien – and who cares?

Young v. 1200 Buena Vista Condominiums, 477 B.R. 594 (W.D. Pa. 2012) – Young, a chapter 13 debtor, sought to avoid a condominium association lien for assessments because his chapter 13 plan was feasible only if a large portion of the lien could be

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Argument Report: When May the Homeowners’ Association Security Stop and Detain?

Our reports on the civil oral arguments of the Illinois Supreme Court’s November term conclude with Poris v. Lake Holiday Property Owners Association.  Our pre-argument preview of Poris is here.  You can watch the oral argument here.  The plaintiff owns property in the Lake

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HUD charges MN condo assn & mgmt with discrimination against families with child

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the homeowner association and property managers for an Edina, MN, condominium building with housing discrimination. HUD claims that they refused to allow children under the

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Sixth Circuit rules condominium assessments qualify as debts under FDCPA

In the recent case of Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, the Sixth Circuit held that assessments imposed by a condominium association on individual unit owners qualified as “debts” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under the

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HUD charges Pevely condo owner with violating Fair Housing Act

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development announced Wednesday that it filed a complaint against the owner, architect, builder and designers of the 36-unit Valle Creek Condominiums at 8011 Valle Creek Parkway in Barnhart, Mo., for violating the Fair

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State Supreme Court Permits Continued Development Of Franklin County Subdivision

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Monday upheld a decision of the Chancery Court for Franklin County to permit the continued development of Cooley’s Rift, a 1,400-acre residential development near Monteagle, despite objections from some original homeowners to changes in the

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Amalgamation of separate corporate entities

In the recent Magnolia North POA v. Heritage Communities, Inc., the Property Owners Association (POA) sued Heritage Communities, Inc. (HCI), Heritage Magnolia North, Inc. (HMNI) and BuildStar Corporation (Buildstar) for construction defects at Magnolia North, a twenty-one building condominium complex

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Significant Maryland Condominium Arbitration Award Confirmed By Balitmore City Circuit Court

The Circuit Court’s confirmation of the $1,252,487 arbitration award resulted in what is believed to be Maryland’s largest judgment against a condominium council of unit owners for its failure to maintain, repair, and replace the common elements of a condominium

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Developers may require that construction defect disputes be resolved through arbitration (CA)

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that developers – by including an arbitration provision under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in Homeowners’ Association Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&R’s”) – may require that construction defect actions be resolved through arbitration rather

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Community association law moves up

Community associations, the nonprofit corporations that govern subdivisions, condominiums, planned communities and mixed-use developments, have become as common as fast-food restaurants. Nearly every new real estate development with multiple owners is governed by one or more community associations.  Read More……

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Prevailing Party: Trial Court Did Not Err In Finding Neither Party Prevailed In HOA Driveway Characterization/Slander Of Title Dispute

In Mankowski v La Cumbre Owners Assn., Inc., Case No. B236025 (2d Dist., Div. 6 Nov. 13, 2012) (unpublished), plaintiff townhouse owner was apparently really mad that the trial court found no one prevailed in her slander of title/declaratory relief

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To Recuse or Not to Recuse? That Is the Question an Attorney Answers

A 70-unit, eight-building condominium complex faced the issue of a board member’s personal involvement in its decision-making process. The backdrop was cigarette smoke flowing from one unit into other units — including one owned by a condo-board member. You can

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Florida Court Reviews Entitlement To Attorneys’ Fees

No one wants to be involved in a lawsuit. Guaranteed to not only be a real drain on time and elevate stress levels all around, litigation can rack up enormous legal fees for both the plaintiff and the defendant. A

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Lawsuit by Neighborhood Association Against Homeowner for Water-Conserving Yard Will Test Florida’s Xeriscaping Law

In 2009 the Florida legislature amended the HOA Act to prevent HOAs from prohibiting “Florida friendly landscaping” or enforcing landscaping criteria against owners who use “Florida friendly landscaping.” Florida friendly landscaping is defined as landscaping that does not require sprinklers

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Illinois Supreme Court to Consider Possible Limits on Homeowners Association Security

Our preview of the civil cases on the Illinois Supreme Court’s November oral argument docket continues with Poris v. Lake Holiday Property Owners Association , a case which poses a number of interesting questions about the limits on the authority

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Court Grapples with Distinction Between Repairs and Capital Improvements

The Washington Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion earlier this month concerning a condominium association’s authority to fund a major construction project without a prior vote of its owners. The project involved the installation of a $2 million “rain

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Neither a Community Association Nor its Management Have Liability under the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

We have had to extricate several of our clients from claims or lawsuits relating to the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). It is well settled law that the FDCPA applies to the collection of delinquent and unpaid assessments

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Assessment Collections Fees in “No-Cost” Collections Contracts

The United States Bankruptcy Court in California recently ruled in a case that may impact the terms under which Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) contract with collections companies to pursue delinquent assessments.  Read More……

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Arbitration of Construction Defect Claims Against Developer and General Contractor

Denver District Court orders arbitration of construction defect claims in Glass House Residential Association v. Alta Riverfront LLC et al, no. 2012CV1531. The Glass House ruling provides direction for developers and general contractors to choose a preferred method of dispute

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AB 2273: Resecuring HOA Assessment Streams from Foreclosed Properties

Homeowners Association (“HOA”) Boards and industry professionals are keenly aware of the financial impact that the economic downturn has had on HOAs throughout California, especially with foreclosures. The difficulty in identifying/contacting the bank who foreclosed on a property, as well

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Can condominium associations ban religious symbols?

The Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed this situation in A Committee For A Better Twin Rivers, v. Twin Rivers Homeowners’ Association. In the Supreme Court’s decision, authored by Justice John E. Wallace, Jr., the Court determined that even in

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Even if they disagree with the board, condo owners must pay special assessments

The New Jersey Appellate Division has restated a basic rule of condominium and homeowner association law: i.e. that disagreement with the Board will not justify the non-payment of your maintenance fees or special assessments  Read More……

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The Attorney-Client Privilege: Disclosure of Confidential Information to Property Management Companies in Furtherance of Representation of Condominium or Homeowner’s Associations

Attorneys are not only ethically, but lawfully obligated to keep certain divulged information confidential in furtherance of representing a client. However, issues may arise whereby certain documentation may need to be transmitted to a third party. For example, an attorney

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Property Owner Wins Lengthy Turf War; Judge Titles Order: “Anatomy of An HOA Dispute Run Amok”

A CC&R dispute that started 11 years ago over the condition of a Tampa Florida homeowner’s lawn, a lawsuit that involved dozens of court hearings, a weeklong jury trial, two appeals and a second trial, at a cost of hundreds

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MS: Northbay ban on rentals upheld – Other neighborhoods could be affected by Madison Co. ruling

A Madison County Chancery Court ruling has affirmed a Madison neighborhood’s legal authority to ban rental houses. The decision, handed down by Judge Cynthia Brewer in a case filed by the homeowners association of Northbay, could impact other neighborhoods that

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Feds Sue Florida Townhomes That Bar Children

The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against the homeowners association and former manager of a 249-townhome community in Gibsonton, Fla., for violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against families with children.   Read More……

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Know your state law to better assess risk

The recent Illinois case 1324 W. Pratt Condominium Association v. Platt Construction Group, Inc. reminds contractors to be mindful of state policy considerations which may affect their risk assessments when constructing condominiums or high profile projects.  Read More……

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Slight Change to Recently Released FHA Condo Certification Has Major Impact

Appendix A, Project Certification, of the FHA condominium project certification approval guidelines, has been amended by FHA effective immediately. A provision (Item No. 2 of the certification) requiring the undersigned to acknowledge they have reviewed the project application and “upon

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FCC: OpenBand’s exclusive easement agreement forbidden by law

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday issued a brief in response to a federal lawsuit filed by a Lansdowne homeowners association against telecommunications firm OpenBand, saying the company’s exclusive easement agreement with the community is forbidden by law.  Read More……

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HOA fee issue likely headed back to Nevada Supreme Court

The Nevada Supreme Court may soon be asked to weigh in again on the issue of past-due homeowner association assessments and fees levied against buyers of foreclosed homes.  Read More……

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TV News Report on Association Lien Foreclosures Sold at Foreclosure Auctions Mischaracterizes These Investments as Deceptive, Valueless

The recent report by Patrick Fraser of the South Florida Fox affiliate WSVN Channel 7 took many of the community association attorneys at our firm by surprise. The report featured what appeared to be novice and uninformed real estate investors

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25 years of condo law, and communal fruit

This month, I celebrate 25 years of practicing “condo” law. I would like to say that I have seen it all, but I probably have not done so. After all, I have practiced on the west coast of Florida. I

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Fannie to Tighten Loan Criteria for Condos, Refis

Starting on Oct. 20, Fannie Mae will be tightening some of its underwriting standards for condo buyers and home owners wanting to refinance. The changes have some in the industry concerned, Realty Times reports. The new guidelines are aimed at

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New Maryland Towing Law Immediately Impacts Community Association Towing Procedures

As of October 1, 2012, community associations throughout the state of Maryland must comply with new towing laws prior to towing or removing a vehicle from association property. The new towing laws affect all Maryland associations that have more than

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Your Single Family Definition Could Land You in Hot Water

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced recently that it is charging a Florida homeowners association (HOA) and its management company with violating the Fair Housing Act by telling a family of eight that they had too

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Covenants on homeowners in PUD are lawful and binding (Wheeler v. Southport Seven PUD, ND Supreme Ct)

In September 2005, Wheeler purchased a home in Southport by warranty deed. In 2005 and 2006, Wheeler paid Southport fees, dues, and assessments, including fees for snow removal and lawn care. Wheeler, however, was not satisfied with either the snow

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AL: Homeowners’ associations face scrutiny

A state task force is looking into homeowners’ associations and whether they’re too restrictive. One Montgomery resident says he knows the issues firsthand.  Read More……

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Recovering Attorneys’ Fees in HOA Election Disputes

The California Court of Appeal’s recent ruling in a case underscores how crucial it is for HOAs to strictly comply with the Civil Code’s election procedures and requirements.  The court in That v. Alders Maintenance Association (2012) applied Civil Code

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AZ: Class Action Filed Against AZ HOA Management Companies

Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Arizona Homeowners Against Arizona HOA Management Companies Alleging Millions of Dollars of Damages for Violations of Federal Debt Collection Laws and Arizona Law  Read More……

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Florida Bar committee asks for opinion on community associations

The Florida Bar’s committee on the unlicensed practice of law approved a request Thursday for an advisory opinion on whether certain actions taken by community associations should be completed only by attorneys.  Read More……

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Court orders new trial in Florida hurricane case

A federal appellate court has reversed a $7.2 million judgment and ordered a new trial in a Florida hurricane insurance case. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeal issued the ruling Thursday in Atlanta based on a May opinion by the Florida

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Australia: Whole new storey: strata laws with less red tape, more people power

There’s a saying in politics that you don’t ask a question unless you know the answer. A discussion paper released at the weekend by the Fair Trading Minister, Anthony Roberts, offers almost 70 pages of possible answers for a proposed

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Rogers Towers: Defeating Homeowner’s Association Claims for Unpaid Assessments in Foreclosure Cases

When is a first mortgagee not liable for any unpaid HOA assessments that came due prior to taking title? Judging solely by the text of § 720.3085(2)(b), it would seem that a first mortgagee that takes title to property through

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Court opinions could change residential lending

The landscape for residential lenders in Oregon and Washington is changing quickly. Three recent appellate court opinions have the potential to significantly impact how residential lenders do business in the Pacific Northwest.  Read More……

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Seattle floating homes and the U.S. Supreme Court

On the legendary first Monday in October, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Other Washington will hear arguments in a Florida case with important implications for inhabitants of the most famous residences in Seattle.  Read More……

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VA: Community Associations and the Power to Adopt Rules and Regulations: Is it more limited than we think?

Community Associations that have adopted rules and regulations that permit the association to avail itself of the enforcement capabilities found in Va. Code Ann. § 55-79.80:2 or § 55-513(B) should have counsel review the governing documents or condominium instruments, as

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CO: Senator Newell’s Town Hall Meeting Highlights Challenges of Self-Managed HOAs

On Saturday morning, State Senator Linda Newell, who represents most of the South Metro Denver area, held a phenomenal Town Hall Meeting which focused on homeowners’ associations (“HOAs”) and related issues. The turnout for the meeting was excellent and the

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MS Supreme Court Finds Nothing in Covenants Restricting Use of Land for Church

Long Meadow is a subdivision of forty-eight lots. The lots were developed in three phases. The first two phases had restrictive covenants that limited development to single-family residential units. The third phase lots did not have such covenants recorded so

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Legislators say new ISLA bill offers developers “stability”

New York’s representatives to the United States Senate and House of Representatives early last month introduced a pair of bills intended to exempt condominiums from the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, or ILSA. Read More……

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Court Decisions May Make it Harder for Condominium Associations to Restrict Free Speech Rights of Owners

In condominiums as in society generally, laws and legal theories change over time as technologies, economies and stoical structures evolve. The changes are usually slow, often (though not always) welcome, and occasionally jarring. An apparent change in condominium law falls

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