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Associations Prohibited From Redeeming Tax Sale Certificates

By Stephanie Wiegand, Esq. March 28, 2017 Posted in Community Association Law

In a recent unpublished decision out of the Hudson County Chancery Division, a New Jersey Court has determined that condominium associations do not fit the definition indicated in N.J.S.A. 54:5-54 as an appropriate party that is able to redeem a tax sale certificate.

Affordable Housing in New Jersey

By Stephanie Wiegand, Esq. January 25, 2017 Posted in Community Association Law, Landlord/Tenant Law

This past week, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a decision that could require the municipalities of New Jersey to reconsider their affordable housing accommodations. In a unanimous 6-0 decision, written by Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, the Court defined how the municipalities in New Jersey are to calculate their respective needs for affordable housing.

Security Cameras installed by Homeowners

January 11, 2017 Posted in Community Association Law

Growing concerns for individual safety, as well increased access to high quality, low cost security cameras is having an impact on Condominium Associations throughout New Jersey.   Some Unit Owners are asking their Associations to install cameras in common areas, while others simply wish to install their own cameras around their individual units. Many Associations and their Boards are finding themselves in a position where they must decide whether to allow Unit Owners to install personal security cameras; with little guidance as to what course of action is the best.

New Jersey Town Wins Housing Appeal

By Stephanie Wiegand, Esq. September 28, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

The state of New Jersey, over the course of the last 16 years has been unable to adopt practicable affordable housing requirements. The Supreme Court was so frustrated about the process over these past 16 years that they stripped the power of Council on Affordable Housing. With no central agency leading the cause for affordable housing, it has become difficult to interpret the numerous attempts made to pass affordable housing legislation. In addition, the legislation that was passed, was not enforced by a central agency.  

When Two Worlds Collide: A Look at Condo Rules vs. Owners’ Rights

September 26, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

Many people find condo living very appealing, primarily because of the amenities that are often included with purchasing a unit. However, as with most things in life, there are pros and cons to living in a condominium.

Insurance Coverage for Co-Ops, Condos: Common Options and Terms

September 23, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

Reviewing insurance terms and options can often be confusing and, in some cases, overwhelming for co-op shareholders, condo owners and even community board members. Insurers and the industry in general tend to use a great deal of shorthand when discussing insurance coverage. However, it is imperative for everyone from owners to board members to have a good understanding of some of the key terms and concepts involved in quality insurance coverage.

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiff Suing Condominium Association

February 26, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

In a recent New Jersey Supreme Court case opinion, jurists held 6-0 in favor of a plaintiff injured within a condominium complex, which was allegedly caused by association negligence for failing to salt the sidewalks. Community association boards are responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in connection with snow and other foreseeable hazards.

How do Discrimination Laws Apply to Private Condominium Association Boards?

February 24, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

Earlier this year, a story emerged involving a luxury New York City apartment building implementing a “poor door” policy, sparking understandable public outrage and accusations of blatant tenant discrimination. According to reports, One Riverside Park – which boasts both $2.1 million “tower townhomes” and $830/month low-income housing – constructed two separate entrances to the building, one for low income residents and one for the units that were not low income.

Griffin Alexander PC, prevails in appeal of Bankruptcy Court's Decision regarding the treatment of condominium liens in Chapter 13 cases

February 18, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

In what will be a benefit to condominiums throughout the State, when confronted with collection actions that fall into Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the U.S. District Court reversed a determination of the Bankruptcy Court that Association liens could be “stripped off” and disregarded.  On appeal from the Bankruptcy Court, Judge Freda Wolfson of the United States District Court issued a decision yesterday reversing a ruling of Judge Gravelle finding that in Chapter 13 cases, a condominium association’s lien cannot be “stripped off” (aside from the statutory six months of maintenance provided for in the New Jersey Condominium Act).    In the matter of, In Re Rones, 15-4271-FLW, an Association filed an amended lien on the debtors’ primary residence prior to the debtor’s filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  At the time of the bankruptcy filing, it was believed that more was owed on the mortgage than the property was worth.    The debtors filed a Chapter 13 plan proposing to only pay the Association six months of maintenance fees, and to strip off the remainder of the lien. The Association objected on the grounds that its lien was protected under the anti-modification provision of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. 1322(b)(2).  The Bankruptcy Court issued an opinion finding that the lien was wholly unsecured except for the six months of maintenance fees that were entitled statutory priority under the New Jersey Condominium Act. The Court said that the remainder of the lien could be stripped off. The Bankruptcy Court and the parties all agreed that the lien was consensual in nature, and therefore a security interest. This part of the Bankruptcy Court’s decision was not contested on appeal. (Had the lien been determined to be statutory, as opposed to consensual – by agreement through the Master Deed – this would have ended the issue, because statutory liens are stripped off.)   Despite the Court’s conclusion that the lien was a consensual one, the...

New Jersey Court Issues Ruling on Pivotal HOA Collections Case

January 12, 2016 Posted in Community Association Law

Assessing fees and penalties against condominium association residents can be a dicey issue for boards, particularly given the fact that board members are also residents of the community and may be involved socially with those residents whose accounts reflect a default.  Nonetheless, collection of dues and membership fees is an integral component to maintaining a healthy bottom line. Sometimes, unfortunately, it takes litigation to ensure that some residents are compliant with the dues requirements.

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