Category Archives: Legal Compliance

Court Rules Decks are not Part of Common Area

Burns v. Moorland Farm Condominium Association, No. NC-2007-0610,
R.I. Super. Ct., Aug. 27, 2010.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently ruled that decks appurtenant to condominium units were not considered common areas where the decks were for the exclusive use and enjoyment of the individual condo owners. 

The condo association levied special assessments of over $900,000 to repair decks in Phase I of the development over the course of three years.  Owners in all three phases of the development were required to pay the special assessments, but only Phase I owners received a benefit from the deck repair.

The court analyzed the association’s declaration and found that an “outside deck” is listed as an allowable feature in the “Code of Features.”  Furthermore, there is no mention of decks or porches in the common area section of the declaration nor are they specified as “limited common areas”.  Almost every deck is accessible only through the adjoining unit and only owners and invited guests may use the decks.

Based on the court’s finding that the decks were the responsibility of the individual condo owners, the association was required to refund the special assessments levied against Phase II and III owners.

This site and any information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Seek a competent attorney for advice on any legal matter.

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What is Standing to Sue?

In order to
successfully bring a lawsuit, the plaintiff must have standing to sue. 
Standing means the plaintiff is the right person to bring a particular
claim before the court for adjudication.  There are three requirements
for standing: injury, causation, and redress.
First, the
Plaintiff must have directly and personally…

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Attention: It’s HOA ‘meeting season’

The community association industry is in the midst of what is commonly known as “meeting season.”

Traditionally, annual meetings for HOAs are held near the end or at the beginning of the calendar year. Every year questions arise on annual meeting procedures. Many questions revolve around the issues of proxy forms and ballots – often confused.Proxy form: This is used by an owner who cannot attend the meeting in person, but still wants to cast a vote. It is a document signed by a property owner by which he or she gives another person (who will be at the meeting) the authority to cast the owner’s votes on whatever issues arise. Most HOAs send proxy forms out to owners along with the Notice of Meeting.

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11th Circuit Finds Rental Ad does not Violate Fair Housing Act

Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. v. The Shutters Condominium Association, Inc., No. 09-16184, U.S. App. Ct., 11th Cir., July 29, 2010.

A Florida condo association posted an ad on Craigslist offering a condo for rent and including the statement, “Sorry, no kids or pets.”  Upon reading the ad, the Fair Housing Center of the G…

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