In Illinois, a Court recently ruled on a Condominium Association’s attempt to charge back an insurance deductible to one of its members (Gelinas v. Barry Quadrangle Condominium Association, 74 N.E.3d 49 (2017)). This particular association had a fire originate in an owner’s unit resulting in damage to not only the specific unit, but the entire building. The Association made a claim with its insurance company and received reimbursement for the necessary repairs to be made. The Association then held a hearing and levied an assessment against the Unit Owner in whose unit the fire originated. Continue Reading Special Assessing an Insurance Deductible Back to a Unit Owner
In a recent case out of New York (Board of Mgrs. Of 325 Fifth Ave. Condominium v. Continental Residential Holdings LLC, 139 A.D.3rd 472 (2017)) a condominium board signed a broadly worded document, releasing the developer and multiple other developer-related entities and their “heirs, executors, administrators, successor and assigns” from claims associated with the construction and design of balconies and their related structures. The Board then sued some of the developer-related entities and individual members of the entities under “alter ego” and “pierce the veil” theories. Continue Reading Thinking of Signing a Release? Do Your Homework
A big thank you to all that attended our recent Spring 2018 Association Academy and made the event a success. For those of you who were unable to attend, don’t worry, you can still catch us on YouTube!
We’ve made our Association Academy available for viewing. Click on the links below to learn more.
- Part I: Association Collections and 2018 Law Updates – Do you track the income and expense of each collection matter and know the net recovery? If not, why? And what your Association needs to know about the 2018 condo law changes.
- Part II: The Times They are a-Changin – Demographic shifts and the new problems facing associations. Millennials are moving in. New people – new problems. What your Association needs to be aware of.
- Part III: Document Refresh: Changes You Should Make NOW – Dust off your governing documents! Learn what policies your Association needs now.
As always, if you have questions on any of these topics, do not hesitate to contact the Husch Blackwell LLP Condominium and HOA Law Team.
This issue arises more than one might suspect. Because of association apathy, many committees go unfilled and often even boards don’t have members. The results of this apathy could be much different than you would expect.
Facts. In a 2017 case, the relevant property “was subject to a 1996 restrictive covenant that required the approval by an architectural control committee [‘ACC’] before any building … could be erected.” The ACC consisted of two named persons within the documents, one of which was dead and the other refused to act. The owner of the property filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to have the court declare the covenant unenforceable based on impossibility of performance. Other property owners objected, claiming the covenant could be made enforceable by modification. The documents did not provide a means by which new members could be added to the ACC. Continue Reading What Happens When All Committee Members Resign, Refuse to Act or Move?
The principal purpose of 2017 Wisconsin Act 303 was to set limits on the amount of fees that an association can charge its unit owners. Those fees are the following:
- The actual cost of, but not more than $50, for providing the Sec. 703.33(1)(1m) & (2) Wis. Stat. disclosures from a Seller to a Buyer (See, Sec. 703.20(2)(a) Wis. Stat.);
- The actual cost of, but not more than $15, for providing any change to item 1 above as required by Sec. 703.33(3m) Wis. Stat. (See, Sec. 703.20(2)(a) Wis. Stat.); and
- No charge for a payoff statement, but if a second one is requested in a 2-month period, then not to exceed $25 (See Sec. 703.335(4)(a) Wis. Stat.).
The sole exception to these limits is if the association has a unit owner meeting where a greater fee is approved and the appropriate notices are provided both before and within 48 hours after the meeting. (See Sec. 703.205(2) Wis. Stat.).
There is no limit on the amount that may be charged as a transfer fee, but the new law does require that these amounts be disclosed in the Executive Summary. Continue Reading 2017 Wisconsin Act 303 – New Law on Fees and What You NEED to Do
A recent case in Colorado (Tyra Summit Condominiums II Association, Inc. v. Clancy, 2017 COA 73) held an Association trying to amend its Declaration to the strict standards for timing and details contained in state statute. The law in question required a Condominium Association attempting to amend its declaration to send out notice of the meeting at least 10 days in advance, along with the general nature of any amendments to the declaration.
In this case, the Association sent out one notice a month prior to the meeting, but only mentioned that an amended declaration was being drafted. Continue Reading Compliance With State Laws is Important
Facts. The documents required the consent of the first floor unit owner if the second floor unit owner wanted to erect a terrace above a first floor unit. When the first floor unit owner refused to give consent, the Board waived the consent requirement and allowed the second floor unit owner to construct a terrace, after determining that it would have no impact on the value of the first floor unit. The first floor unit owner sued to annul the board’s decision. Continue Reading Who Says the Board Can’t Favor Resident Owners?
Important Notice: Our May 10, 2018 post, Notice to Wisconsin Community Association & Property Managers, advised unit owners, boards and property managers of the three new laws that passed on April 18, 2018. In that post, we described how one of those laws provided that any association looking to charge a fee in excess of $50 for complying with the disclosure requirements of Sec. 703.33 Wis. Stat. or to charge any fee for providing the first pay-off statement to a unit owner needed to comply with the new law. (See, Sec. 703.205 Wis. Stat.). At the time, we did not advise specifically how this compliance could be achieved. We are now providing that information. Continue Reading Notice to Wisconsin Community Association & Property Managers – IMPORTANT UPDATE
A unit owner, who is also an attorney, was renting his unit to his mother and believed that the condominium association board, the association, the property manager and the association’s attorney didn’t like him because of his Russian nationality. His mother, who allegedly had asthma and could not tolerate smoking, was upset because her Armenian neighbor would smoke inside her own unit and on her limited common element patio and the smoke would seep through the mother’s open windows. The unit owner demanded that the association board prohibit smoking inside of all of the units. When the board refused, he brought a 200-paragraph lawsuit alleging seven various causes of action, including discrimination, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of various alleged laws. Continue Reading Smoking and the Unreasonable Unit Owner Attorney
A recent case in Florida (MacKenzie v. Centext Homes, 208 So.3d.790 (2016)) was not bashful about holding a developer to the same rules as other property owners in a Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”). The HOA in this case was still largely under developer’s control during the period in question. The developer controlled Board included a reserve line item in its budget and collected reserve funds from its members. Despite initially contributing $32,000.00 to the Association, the developer, Centext, ceased contributing to the operating expenses and assessments, instead opting to fund operating deficits (when assessment income failed to exceed operating expenses). Continue Reading Developer Held to Same Rules as Other Owners