Departments

Association Can’t Compel Member to Arbitrate Her Fraud Claim

Facts: A member sued her homeowners association and the association's management company for fraud, unfair business practices, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The member alleged that the association manager had secretly diverted her assessment payments, recorded a false assessment lien claiming the member failed to pay approximately $4,300 in assessments, and made false entries in the association's books that no assessment payments from the member had been received.

Association Entitled to Attorney Fees

Facts: A condominium member asked the court to remove a lien for unpaid assessments filed by the association. At issue was whether the owner was liable for condominium assessments from the date of the unit's purchase at a tax sale through the date the owner's right to redeem the property expired. The trial court ruled for the condo association for the amount of unpaid assessments as well as reasonable attorney fees actually incurred. When the member appealed, the association asked the trial court for attorney fees incurred in defending a judgment on appeal.

Condo Association and Member Sued Over No-Kid Rental Ad

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Members at a Florida condominium community violated federal housing law by refusing to rent units to tenants with children, according to a lawsuit filed by Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches.

The nonprofit group sued the association, the former president of the association, and a member. The member had placed an ad on craigslist offering her two-bedroom unit for rent. “Sorry no kids,” the ad read.

Association May Be Liable for Guest’s Slip-and-Fall

Facts: A guest sued a condo association for injuries sustained in the association's parking lot. The accident occurred while she was attempting to help a physically disabled friend stand up from the ground after he allegedly slipped due to the presence of ice. As the guest was assisting her friend to his feet, he allegedly slipped on the ice again and fell on top of her, causing injuries.

Association’s Contract with Member Deemed Unenforceable

Facts: A Colorado condominium association proposed a renovation project that included creating and selling two new condominium units. The association members voted unanimously to build and sell the two new units, and the members agreed that the new units would be offered for sale through a private auction to the members first.

Rising Foreclosures May Lead to Increased Mosquito Hazards

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The National Pest Management Association is warning that abandoned homes can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the summer months. The NPMA says the increasing numbers of foreclosures in the last 12 months has heightened the potential for mosquito infestations, especially in and around foreclosed homes with backyard pools.

Housing Turmoil Forces Condo Developers, Buyers to Jump Through Regulatory Hoops

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As the impact of the housing crisis ripples through the economy, condominium developers are scrambling to seek government approval for their condominium buildings in the hopes that obtaining the appropriate approval will help sell their units. Currently, condominiums represent the weakest segment of the housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors, condo sales in April fell 12.5 percent from a year ago, compared with a 3.6 percent decline in sales for single-family homes.

Insurer Required to Cover Members’ Fire-Damaged Homes

Facts: A fire that started in one condominium unit spread to adjoining units, causing substantial fire and smoke damage. The insurer made payments to the association that covered damages to certain structural elements of the building, but did not cover individual members' damage to the interior of their units. Both parties argued over the extent of property coverage required by the association's governing documents. A trial court ruled in favor of the members, and the insurer appealed.

Members Must Comply with Association’s Setback Requirements

Facts: When a couple decided to construct an addition to their home, they met with a member of the association's architectural review committee. The committee member told them that the adjustments that they wanted to make were not in compliance with the rear setback provision established in the governing documents.

Developer Must Restore Golf Course

Facts: A homeowner association sued the developer of the community to require it to restore the community's golf course. The community was marketed to prospective purchasers as a golf course community. The presence of the golf course was essential to the members' decisions to purchase, and the golf course enhanced the value of their property. After a problem with the irrigation system, the grass died, and the golf course was closed.