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  • Bill In the MD General Assembly Would Permit Restrictions and Prohibitions On Smoking By Condos, HOAs February 21, 2017 House Bill 500, now pending the Maryland General Assembly, provides for a proposed amendment to Section 11-104 of the Maryland Condominium Act that would allow a condominium’s bylaws to include “a restriction or prohibition on smoking tobacco products within the units or in the common elements.” The proposed legislation would also amend Section 11-111 to authorize a council of unit owners to adopt a rule imposing such a restriction or prohibition.      Read the article……………..
  • The Latest Construction Defect Bill Requires Notice, Disclosure, and Approval Prior to Commencing an Action (CO) February 20, 2017 Prior to the beginning of the 2017 Legislative Session, the legislature promised to address construction defect reform. True to their words, five different and, in some cases, competing bills have been introduced, aimed at addressing construction defects. The latest bill, SB 17-157, introduced by Senator Angela Williams (D), takes the best of previous attempts at encouraging the construction of condominium housing while improving on the “not so good” provisions.   Read the article………….
  • Can a piecemeal approach get Colorado to construction defects reform? February 19, 2017 For years now, construction defects reform has been a top priority for city officials, for affordable housing advocates, for builders and developers, and for years, it hasn’t happened.  The way to make progress on construction defects reform is through narrowly focused bills that tackle specific issues, state Sen. Angela Williams said Friday as she prepared to introduce one more such narrow bill to the suite of construction defects bills before the legislature this session.    Read the article…………….
  • Singapore: 33 proposed amendments to Act governing condos February 19, 2017 The stage is set for a showdown between managing agents and residents at strata-titled properties such as condominiums over a proposed legislative amendment.  The tweak would allow condo managing agents to do away with a mandatory annual review of their appointments.    Read the article……….
  • Utah homeowner associations may be forced to allow solar panels February 17, 2017 Lawmakers on Friday advanced a controversial bill to require, in most circumstances, homeowner associations (HOAs) to allow solar panels.  The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to endorse SB154, and sent it to the full Senate for consideration.  Its sponsor, Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, said the bill is a significant compromise from previous efforts, and gives HOAs more power to potentially ban solar panels.    Read the article…………
  • Will a Statutory Right to Repair Construction Defects Increase First-Time Homebuyers? (CO) February 16, 2017 On February 6, 2017, House Bill 17-1169 was introduced and assigned to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. H.B. 17-1169 proposes a mechanism for a construction professional to offer to repair or offer to fund repairs for a construction defect prior to the initiation of a construction defect lawsuit. This is in effort to lower condominium prices stemming from high insurance premiums related to construction defect litigation.    Read the article………….
  • Linda Stewart bill would delay HOA fines on deceased owner’s family (FL) February 16, 2017 State Senator Linda Stewart has introduced legislation that would prohibit Home Owner’s Associations or HOA from charging late fines and fees immediately after the death of a homeowner. The bill aims to protect families from immediate financial scrutiny following the death of a loved one.  The law currently allows an HOA to implement liens immediately following the owner’s death. Senate Bill 950 would change that by placing a hold on how quickly they can begin levying fines and special assessments that would lead to such an action being taken. The bill would prohibit fines and assessments for 6 months and late charges for one year following death of the parcel owner.   Read the article…………
  • Bills Proposed In MD Gen. Assem. To Limit Restrictions Imposed By Condo Developers re:Construction Defect claims February 14, 2017 Proposed legislation now pending in the Maryland General Assembly would prevent condominium developers from limiting the ability of the council of unit owners and individual unit owners to bring construction defect claims for issues affecting the condominium. Senate Bill 670 and House Bill 676 would prevent developers from including certain provisions in condominium governing documents or contracts of sale that act as an impediment to claims.    Read the article…………..
  • Why the Florida Legislature Needs to Fix Condo Sprinkler-System Problem February 14, 2017 For more than a decade older high-rise condominiums throughout Florida have been discussing, debating, and exercising their legal rights with regard to sprinkler system retrofitting requirements. In 2003, the Florida Legislature responded by allowing each community to vote to opt out of sprinklers inside their units and the right to opt out of installing an engineered life safety system (ELSS). Many communities missed the opportunity to exercise this right because they were pressured by their local fire marshals to hire life safety engineers and commence installation of a full sprinkler system at a significant cost to the residents.    Read the article………….
  • Maryland General Assembly Again Considers Registration Requirement For Common Ownership Communities February 13, 2017 House Bill 41 now pending in the Maryland General Assembly would require condominiums, homeowner associations and cooperative housing corporations to register annually with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.   Read the article……………
  • Colorado construction defects bill opposed by groups it is designed to help February 9, 2017 A bipartisan bill described as getting to the “heart” of the construction defect litigation issue saw widespread opposition Wednesday from the very groups it is intended to help.  The bill still passed the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee by a vote of 6-1, despite developers claiming that it would do little to spur development of condos and townhouses.     Read the article………….
  • Legislators still struggling over construction defects reform (CO) February 6, 2017 The old adage goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  As the state’s construction defect reform battle wages on, the question is can stakeholders stop looking for problems and accept an assortment of tools to get the job done?  The most significant test has taken shape as a centerpiece proposal in the Colorado legislature that would require arbitration or mediation before filing a lawsuit over allegations of shoddy homebuilder construction.    Read the article……………
  • 2017 Maryland Legislative Session Begins February 5, 2017 Outside the glare of worldwide attention to the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, the Maryland General Assembly began its 2017 90-day legislative session in mid-January.  Some bills considered–but not enacted–in 2016 will be examined again by legislative committees in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate. This includes legislation to establish a state registry for common ownership communities, to require lender notice to condominiums and homeowner associations when a lender postpones or cancels a foreclosure sale, and to make it easier to amend the governing documents of condominiums and homeowner associations.    Read the article…………
  • HOA Homefront: Don’t be caught napping; your rights at risk! (CA) February 4, 2017 Some well-intentioned ideas can boomerang and hurt those who are intended to be helped. Such is the new Civil Code 4041, created by last year’s SB918.  Section 4041 appears intended to protect homeowners by requiring annual reminders to keep their mailing addresses current with their associations. It requires each owner to annually notify the homeowners association of the address(es) and any secondary address for HOA notices, the name of the owner’s legal representative or holder of a power of attorney or someone who can be contacted if the owner is on an “extended absence” from the home, and whether the home is owner-occupied or rented.     Read the article…………..
  • Mandatory Arbitration for Construction Defects? (CO) February 2, 2017 On February 1, 2017, Senate Bill 17-156 was introduced and assigned to the Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. S.B. 17-156 seeks to require mandatory mediation and/or arbitration for any construction defect action if the association’s governing documents previously required the same. This means that if a prior mediation and/or arbitration clause was amended or removed from the declaration, and the clause relates specifically to construction defect issues, the clause still applies and the association must comply. While S.B. 17-156 potentially limits an association’s options with respect to which forum to bring a construction defect action, S.B. 17-156 does include various protections for associations, such as:   Read the article……….
  • Republicans introduce construction-defects reform bill – and it’s got a familiar ring (CO) February 1, 2017 Colorado Republicans introduced the centerpiece bill of their construction-defects reform effort Wednesday — and it looks very similar to failed efforts from the 2014 and 2015 sessions.  Senate Bill 156, sponsored by Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, would require that condominium owners alleging construction defects have to take their complaints to alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration before they could file lawsuits against builders.    Read the article……………..
  • What Community Association Bills Have Been Filed So Far? (FL) February 1, 2017 The Florida Legislature met in Talahassee for two weeks in January, but so far, no community association bills have been heard in committee. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Chris Sprowls, did hear a presentation about “Condominium Terminations” and the termination provisions in Section 718.117, Florida Statutes. We expect that there will be legislation filed on this subject   The following are a few bills of note that have been filed so far:     Read the article…………..
  • Stewart Files SB 244 Expanding Consumer Protections For New Mexicans Living In Homeowners Associations February 1, 2017 This week Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo) filed SB 244, which significantly expands consumer protections available to New Mexicans living in homeowners associations.  According to industry data, there are approximately 260,000 New Mexicans residing in nearly 2,000 community associations (both homeowner and condominium) across the state.   Read the article…………..
  • Senate Bill 1400 to raise foreclosure threshold for homeowner associations (AZ) February 1, 2017 If you live in Arizona and are part of a homeowner association, your home can be taken away even if you make every mortgage payment on time.  Arizona Revised Statute 33.1256 allows an HOA to put a lien on your home and begin foreclosure proceedings once the assessment reaches $1,200 or is delinquent for one year.  Introduced on Monday, Senate Bill 1400 would more than double the foreclosure threshold to $2,500 and give an additional year that homeowners could catch up on payments before the HOA could begin the foreclosure process.   Read the article…………..
  • Lawmakers aim to hold homeowner associations accountable for lost, stolen money (HI) January 31, 2017 After several high-profile cases involving lost or stolen money, there’s a push to make homeowner associations more accountable.  There are several proposals being considered that could change the way they operate.  The number of House bills involving condo and homeowner associations has more than quadrupled in two years.  Two years ago, four bills about condo and homeowner associations were introduced in the House. Last year, there were 10.  This year, there are 29, not including those introduced in the Senate. (Some examples are listed below.)   Read the article…………….
  • (CO) Lawmakers try a new strategy to help bring condos back to Colorado January 28, 2017 A precision-strike approach at the state Capitol to reform Colorado’s construction defects laws — rather than a comprehensive, catch-all bill — may be the best way to jump-start a condo market that has fallen way behind the recent population boom in the metro area.  So says the state’s top Democratic lawmaker, House Speaker Crisanta Duran, who this month helped introduce a bill that aims to ease insurance premiums for developers hoping to build multifamily, owner-occupied projects in Colorado. It is a first step, she said, to modifying a system that has been blamed by some for scaring away condo builders by making it too easy for homeowners to sue over shoddy work.    Read the article……………
  • Construction-defects reform: Colorado House Speaker lays out changes she will back January 26, 2017 Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran would support legislation requiring more homeowners to approve a construction-defects lawsuit and providing more information to those condominium owners about the effect of legal actions, she said Thursday.  It’s the legislative leader’s first indication that she is willing to go beyond an already introduced measure affecting insurance costs to do something to jump-start the state’s stalled condo-construction market, which developers blame in part on existing construction-defects laws.   Read the article………….
  • Bill Introduced Granting Limited Immunity for Unauthorized Practice of Community Association Management January 26, 2017 On January 20th, Representative Kevin Van Winkle (R) introduced House Bill 17-1112 (HB 1112) which would provide immunity from penalties for individuals who engage in the unauthorized practice of a profession regulated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), like a realtor engaging in the unauthorized practice of community association management, under the following circumstances:    Read the article…………..
  • Australia: New NSW strata laws, same old tricks January 26, 2017 We’re back. Now that the holidays are out of the way, the first of the year’s annual general meetings will soon be upon us.  And that will be the first time most of us will have to confront the realities of the new strata laws.  It will be interesting to see how the proxy farmers and committee stackers try to get around the new regulations.    Read the article…………
  • 2017 Chicago Elevator Inspections & Recycling Ordinance Reminders January 26, 2017 Previously, the requirement for the City Annual Inspection Certification (“AIC”) was that the elevators/devices in buildings located in the Central Business District were inspected on a yearly basis. The new requirement is for compliance (elevators must pass inspection before the deadline) by the due date assigned to your building by the City. Previously, the deadline for inspections was the end of the calendar year.  Beginning January 1, 2017, compliance will be required by the quarterly due date assigned to a particular building. Also in 2017, the City will no longer accept Conditional Certificates.    Read the article…………

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