Shared by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
A monthly list of important housing policy and case law news of interest to housing/homeowner advocates.
In a case released yesterday, Fort Pierce Indus. Park v. Shakespeare, 2016 UT 28, the Utah Supreme Court has clarified the standard of review to be applied in the interpretation of community association declarations. The case clarifies previously conflicting precedent by confirming that association declarations should be “neutrally construed,” as are other contracts, rather than “strictly construed.”
Recent case law in Utah gives a bit more weight to written restrictive covenants (declarations), confirming the court’s view that HOA governing documents create a binding contract between and among property owners and the association.
Governor Tom Wolf Signs Senate Bill 1282
Nov 7, 2016
Legislation Ends Practice of Per Parcel Recording Fees
Community Associations Institute’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (CAI PA LAC) applauds Governor Tom Wolf for affixing his signature to Senate Bill 1282, legislation that will reign in skyrocketing fees charged by Recorder of Deeds in many counties across Pennsylvania for the recording of amendments to association Declarations. The Governor signed the Bill on Friday, November 4, 2016, bringing a conclusion to a five year effort by CAI PA LAC to put an end to the recording fee scheme adopted by over a third of Pennsylvania’s counties. Act 162 of 2016 will take effect on January 3, 2017 and will save community associations throughout Pennsylvania tens of thousands of dollars in recording fees.
New legislation in Pennsylvania ends the practice of County governments charging per parcel fees to record amendments to declarations for Association-Governed Communities. On the matter of proposed Attorney General oversight of HOAs, Rosemary Brown’s PA HB 1774 stalled in Senate. http://openstates.org/pa/bills/2015-2016/HB1774/
Rembaum’s Association Roundup: Loan Servicers in the Post-Forelosure World – Are They Entitled to Safe Harbor Protection?
Tuesday, November, 8th 2016 in Announcements, Legal by FAN
In the very recent Second District Court of Appeals case of Brittany’s Place Condominium Association, Inc. v. U.S. Bank, issued October 5, 2016, U.S. Bank filed a foreclosure action against a homeowner who was delinquent in payment of his mortgage loan. The condominium association was named as a defendant in the foreclosure action, and the foreclosure action was ultimately decided in U.S. Bank’s favor. As a result, U.S. Bank obtained title to the unit at the foreclosure sale and sought limitation of its liability for past due association assessments.
Recent case law in Florida clarifies that, in addition to the owner of a first mortgage note, loan service companies are also entitled to “safe harbor” protection, limiting liability for HOA liens to “the lesser of twelve months’ unpaid past due assessments or one percent of the original mortgage debt.”
New Court Ruling a Boon to Co-op and Condo Boards
Ron Egatz in Board Operations
New York City
Boards may be entitled to licensing and attorneys’ fees in access agreements.
With new construction booming and Local Law 11 façade repairs coming due every five years, most co-op and condo boards have become aware of the need for iron-clad access agreements. These negotiated agreements provide protection for boards when repair workers at a neighboring building or the developer of an adjacent lot need access to their building.
Boards faced with such situations just got some very good news.
For the first time, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, First Judicial Department, has ruled that a license fee can be proper and appropriate for buildings that are inconvenienced by neighboring repairs or construction. Even more important, the appeals court also ruled that a developer seeking access from his neighbor may have to pay the neighbor’s attorneys’ fees. The ruling, available here, is a clear win-win for co-op and condo boards.
When construction is dense, as it is in New York City, with buildings attached or very close together, repairs and redevelopment pose unique challenges. It is often necessary to request access from the adjacent building owners, and mutual cooperation is necessary. The Supreme Court ruling provides more incentive for condo and co-op boards to negotiate in good faith with boards and developers of neighboring buildings.
Albuquerque realtors look to cap processing fee statewide
KRQE News App
By Jeannie Nguyen
Published: November 12, 2016, 10:42 pm Updated: November 14, 2016, 6:57 am
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An unexpected fee has been hitting homeowners looking to sell their homes, and it’s not cheap. It’s something the city of Albuquerque has cracked down on.
It’s often called a processing fee, charged by homeowners associations to get a document needed to sell a house. However, the fee can get out of control.
“I’m fighting for my clients. This is a customer service industry, and sometimes they don’t have anybody to speak for them,” said John Lucero, a realtor.
Over the past few years, Lucero has seen homeowners association management companies take advantage of his clients looking to sell their homes. These companies will charge homeowners anywhere from $100 to $1000 for a disclosure statement — a document that has to be provided to a buyer.
Read more, see VIDEO:
Lately I am seeing new approach to enacting regulation of the HOA industry – enacting legislation at the local level. In this case, the City of Albuquerque now caps HOA resale transfer fees at $200. But New Mexico Realtors will continue their effort to enact the fee cap statewide.