Condominiums are an increasingly popular form of property ownership. About 80% of new residential construction is now governed by a condo association, and about 65 million Americans live in condos.


We represent owners and associations of both commercial and residential condominiums.


Condo Owner Issues


Condo owners may have legal needs that involve:


  • buying and selling a condo

  • financing and refinancing

  • restrictions on property use (including pets, home businesses, and Airbnb)

  • subleasing and assignment

  • fines

  • disputes with the owner's association, including requesting records

  • disputes with other condo owners (including noise issues)

  • construction defects

  • mold and water damage

  • associations that fail to make needed repairs

  • improperly deferred maintenance

  • security and crime issues

  • associations that fail to hold meetings or follow their own rules

  • breaches of fiduciary duty by the association

  • liens

  • foreclosure


Condo owners may also have problems with what's called "selective enforcement" -- rules that seem to be arbitrarily enforced (or not).


Condo Owner Association Issues


Condominium association clients may have legal needs related to the following:


  • land use and zoning issues

  • drafting, amending and enforcing association rules and policies

  • board meetings and proper corporate governance

  • legal opinions about condominium documents and laws

  • complying with fair housing laws

  • disability access

  • safety regulations

  • dealing with developers

  • collecting overdue assessments

  • construction defects disputes and claims against developers

  • property damage and insurance claims

  • bankruptcy issues

  • foreclosure issues

  • contracts with service providers (such as for landscaping and pool maintenance)

  • utility contracts and service disputes


Some clients may find it useful to have us attend association meetings so that we can answer questions on the spot.


Liens and Foreclosure


If a condo owner has fallen behind on paying monthly condo association fees, the association may have the right to foreclose on the unit. The first significant legal step is often placing a lien on the property.


In some cases, an association's lien has priority over a lender's first mortgage or deed of trust. This is what's known as a "super lien."


We work with condo owners who are faced with liens and foreclosures, and well as with associations that need to bring such actions.




When condo owners and associations find themselves embroiled in disputes, we can help.


In most cases, a dispute need not lead to litigation. We can often advise clients on how to resolve their own disputes. Failing that, we can negotiate with the other side's attorney.


If the initial negotiations don't succeed in resolving the issues, we can help clients pursue alternative dispute resolution options such as arbitration and mediation. These processes are much like litigation but are usually more informal, faster, and less expensive.


With arbitration, an arbitrator issues a binding decision just as a judge or jury would. With mediation, a neutral third party works with the parties to help them resolve the dispute on their own.


If there's no other way to resolve a dispute, we can file or defend a lawsuit.

If you're involved in a condo-related dispute, or if you want to reduce your risk of ending up in court, contact us today.

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