Legal & Legislative News from CAN

  • 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………….
  • Court Narrows Defenses in Covenant Enforcement Action (FL) February 20, 2017 When faced with an enforcement action by a community association, owners often argue the association is selectively enforcing the covenants. Some also argue the association waived its right to enforce because the association knew about the violation for a substantial period of time, but failed to timely enforce against them or other owners. Recently, the Third District Court of Appeals (“Third DCA”) addressed these arguments in Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA, ...
  • A Win for Co-ops and Condos (and Landlords) on Water Credits (NY) February 20, 2017 Co-ops and condos are at a notorious disadvantage to small homeowners when it comes to paying property taxes. But not when it comes to paying water bills. In a rebuke to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court has shot down that the mayor’s plan to give owners of one-, two-, and three-family homes – but not co-op and condo owners – a $183 credit on their water bills, the New York Times reports.  Read ...
  • Hovious v. Bridgewater Homeowners Association, Inc. (In re Hovious) February 20, 2017 The bankruptcy court enters judgment in favor of the debtor and against the home owners’ association but does not award any damages. The debtor argued the HOA violated the discharge injunction when it attempted to collect post-petition dues from the debtor. The debtor intended to surrender the property, but it was not clear whether the debtor had ceased occupying the residence based on evidence presented. The court finds that the HOA may have technically violated the discharge injunction but had ...
  • 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……….
  • Can My HOA Do This? (SC) February 18, 2017 Q: I live in a planned community in South Carolina that has deed restrictions. The restrictive covenants say nothing about homeowners’ association (HOA) assessments, and have no provisions that allow for the restrictions to be amended. Is it legal for my homeowners’ association to amend the covenants to impose mandatory HOA assessments or fines on all the owners?     Read the Q&A…………..
  • California Court of Appeal Ruling Eliminates Strict Liability Standard for Supplier of Chinese Building Products February 17, 2017 On January 26, 2017, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, issued a 51 page ruling in Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc., D068406 (San Diego Superior Court No. 37-2009-00104348-CU-CD-CTL) which eliminated strict liability for defective building products in California. The product at issue was cast iron pipe manufactured in China. After trial in this case, a jury awarded in excess of 26 million dollars in damages caused by this defective Chinese cast iron ...
  • Ga. Supreme Court affirms Chatham man’s removal from homeowner’s association February 17, 2017 The Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed an earlier ruling that removed a local man from a leadership position in his neighborhood’s homeowners association while a civil case continues in Chatham County courts.  In an opinion earlier this month, the court’s justices ruled the Superior Court of Chatham County properly granted an injunction against Leonard McCoy, removing him from his post as president of the board of directors for the Willow Lakes Plantation Homeowners Association.    Read the article………….

Legal & Legislative News Archives

Case Discussions

  • Court Narrows Defenses in Covenant Enforcement Action (FL) February 20, 2017 When faced with an enforcement action by a community association, owners often argue the association is selectively enforcing the covenants. Some also argue the association waived its right to enforce because the association knew about the violation for a substantial period of time, but failed to timely enforce against them or other owners. Recently, the Third District Court of Appeals (“Third DCA”) addressed these arguments in Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA, ...
  • Hovious v. Bridgewater Homeowners Association, Inc. (In re Hovious) February 20, 2017 The bankruptcy court enters judgment in favor of the debtor and against the home owners’ association but does not award any damages. The debtor argued the HOA violated the discharge injunction when it attempted to collect post-petition dues from the debtor. The debtor intended to surrender the property, but it was not clear whether the debtor had ceased occupying the residence based on evidence presented. The court finds that the HOA may have technically violated the discharge injunction but had ...
  • California Court of Appeal Ruling Eliminates Strict Liability Standard for Supplier of Chinese Building Products February 17, 2017 On January 26, 2017, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, issued a 51 page ruling in Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc., D068406 (San Diego Superior Court No. 37-2009-00104348-CU-CD-CTL) which eliminated strict liability for defective building products in California. The product at issue was cast iron pipe manufactured in China. After trial in this case, a jury awarded in excess of 26 million dollars in damages caused by this defective Chinese cast iron ...
  • Construction Defect – Application of the Right to Repair Statute to Material Suppliers (CA) February 17, 2017 Civil Code § 8951 et seq. (the “Act”) establishes a set of building standards pertaining to new residential construction and provides homeowners with a cause of action against, among others, material suppliers, for a violation of the standards(§§ 896, 936). Here, the Fourth District Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the Act requires homeowners suing a material supplier to prove that material supplied violated a particular standard of the Act as the result of negligence or a breach ...
  • Condominium Corporation Seeks Court Order Requiring Mental Examination of Unit Owner February 16, 2017 In a recent case, TSCC No. 2395 v. Wong, a condominium corporation that was dealing with a unit owner whose behavior had become increasingly threatening, abusive, intimidating and dangerous, applied to the Court for an order that the unit owner undergo a mental health examination by a medical practitioner. The corporation requested the mental health exam to enable the Court to determine if it was necessary to appoint a litigation guardian because the unit owner was mentally incapable.    Read ...
  • Court Defers to Association’s Interpretation of its Bylaws (WA) February 16, 2017 The Washington Court of Appeals recently held that an association’s board of directors was validly constituted and properly passed bylaw amendments, so the board (and the management company as the board’s agent) had the authority to charge and collect fines and fees. Parker Estates Homeowners Ass’n v. Pattison, No. 47402-6-II, 2016 WL 7468226, at *1 (Wash. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2016)   Read the article…………..
  • Michigan court rules in favor of condominium association in interpreting newly amended MCL 559.167 (SB 610) February 13, 2017 The Oakland County Circuit Court held that the MCL 559.167, as amended by 2016 PA 233, does not recreate “need not be built” units that were eliminated under the prior version of MCL 559.167. The ruling will have an impact on any condominium projects that contain unconstructed “need not be built” units and also meet one of the following two (2) requirements:     Read the article……………
  • Board members immune from personal liability (TX) February 10, 2017 Plaintiff condominium owners sued association and board members to restore their homes after hurricane and fire damage. when complex was instead demolished,. Trial court granted summary judgment in favor of board members, and severed the remaining claims against the association. . In affirming, the court held that board members were immune from personal liability under § 84.004 of the Texas Charitable Immunity and Liability Act because they were volunteers rendering services for the association.     Read the article…………..    (Registration ...
  • Court Affirmed Dismissal Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Condo Board Members February 9, 2017 In Brown v. Hensley, a condominium complex was damaged by a hurricane, and the board of the complex allowed the complex to be demolished. No. 14-14-00981-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 727 (Tex. App.—Houston January 26, 2017, no pet. history). Some of the unit owners sued the board for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims arising from this decision. The trial court granted the board members’ motion for summary judgment.    Read the article………….
  • Appeals court decides Centex must pay into HOA reserve (FL) February 8, 2017 The 5th District Court of Appeal recently decided in favor of a pair of homeowners representing themselves in a case against their homeowner association at Sullivan Ranch.  According to a report by the Orlando Sentinel, Sara MacKenzie, who had only practiced law for a short time after successfully earning her law degree in the 1980s, and her husband, Ralph, hoped for “a declaration that Centex failed to meet its obligation to make capital contributions to the HOA’s reserve accounts when ...

Case Discussion Archives

College of Community Association Lawyers

Since 1993, the Community Associations Institute has recognized excellence in the practice of community association law through the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). Of the thousands of attorneys practicing community association law in the United States, fewer than 150 have been granted membership in the College. Members of the College distinguish themselves through contributions to the development of community association law.

CACL Blog Archives