Recent Court Rulings

Recent Court Rulings

'One Contract' Theory Didn't Relieve Association's Obligation to Repay Loan

November 30, 2018    

Facts: Over the course of several years, a construction company performed construction work for an association. When the association encountered financial trouble, it requested a loan from the construction company. The association also needed to replace a deteriorating retaining...

Homeowners Required to Pay Association to Maintain Shared Easement Road

October 29, 2018    

Facts: A homeowners association was formed in 2013 to govern several homes, which then became a planned community. The association began to charge a yearly fee of $300 to its members, which was used to maintain and repair the only common areas in the association—a road and...

Neighbor Objects When Family Allowed to Install Fence Around Their Yard

September 14, 2018    

FACTS: An Ohio homeowner’s association fended off a lawsuit from a resident who objected to its handling of a reasonable accommodation that allowed her next-door neighbors to fence their yard to protect their young daughter from a water hazard.

Both families lived...

Association Not Liable for 'Open and Obvious' Sidewalk Defect

September 14, 2018    

Facts: A townhouse-style condominium resident who was living with the owner of the unit, his mother, tripped and fell on the sidewalk in front of the townhouse. He claimed that the fall was due to the sidewalk being...

Homeowner Must Stick to Specific Palm Tree Species Approved by ARB

August 20, 2018    

Facts: The restrictive covenants and bylaws for a homeowners association set out that no homeowner should “decorate, change or otherwise alter the appearance of any portion of the exterior of a dwelling or the landscaping, grounds or other improvements within a lot”...

Membership to Recreational Club Was 'Easement' Permitted by Governing Documents

July 10, 2018    

Facts: A group of homeowners sought a declaratory judgment from a trial court that an amendment to the governing documents of their homeowners association was null and void. The amendment expressly authorized the association to enter into an agreement with a nearby private swim...

Association's Enforcement Efforts Weren't 'Outrageous'

June 27, 2018    

Facts: A homeowner in a planned community violated several restrictive covenants by allowing his roof to fall into disrepair and keeping a tree stump and car on his lawn, among other things. The association began sending him warning letters. When the homeowner refused to rectify...

Management Company Wasn’t ‘Debt Collector’ for Association

June 27, 2018    

Facts: A community association hired a management company to handle all aspects of maintaining the community, including notifying members of delinquencies and other assessment and dues issues.

Condo Renter Claims Request for Assistance Animal Was Met with Threats to Evict Her

June 27, 2018    

Facts: A resident rented a condo unit for three years from its owner, who was a member of the community’s homeowners association. She lived there...

Association Obligated to Provide Flood Insurance

May 15, 2018    

Facts: An association maintained flood insurance for five of the buildings in its multi-building property. All five buildings were in flood zones as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The association later decided not to renew the flood insurance...

Recent Settlements Illustrate the High Cost of Fair Housing Complaints

April 6, 2018    

Recent cases from California and New York—involving families with children and reasonable accommodation requests, respectively—highlight the importance of staff training in fair housing law in order to avoid discrimination complaints.

Families with children. A...

Unit Owner Had No 'Actual Controversy' with Condominium Association

March 15, 2018    

Facts: A condominium unit owner alleged that a board of directors election for the community had been improperly conducted. He claimed that there were statutory violations. He asked a trial court for declaratory relief—that is, a judgment of a court that determines the...