Understanding the Laws Related to Lease Terminations Due to Disabling Illness, Accident or Death
When a tenant passes away, landlords often face questions of what to do with the apartment and how to respond to family members and next of kin during such an emotional time. There is also the difficult situation of handling a tenant who has become ill, infirm, and/or needs to terminate his/her tenancy early to transfer permanently to a nursing or assisted living home. Under the law, there are certain requirements that a tenant or next of kin must follow to provide for a smooth transition in such times
RESOLVING DISPUTES IN A HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY
During the course of a community’s administration, issues can arise between an individual homeowner and the governing board. The Association, represented by its Board of Directors or Trustees, may believe that the individual homeowner is not acting in accordance with the rules or restrictions set forth in the Association’s governing documents. The individual homeowner may feel that the Association’s Board of Directors has overreached the limit of its authority.
Community Associations are not required to Accommodate All “Emotional-Support” Animal-Related Requests
One issue that has been plaguing community associations with pet restrictions in recent years is the increasing frequency of requests by unit owners seeking to keep emotional support animals in the community. While few Boards question the right of an individual to keep a service animal in their home when they truly need one, some Boards believe that individuals are making requests for “emotional support” animals in order to circumvent the governing documents.
NEW JERSEY PASSES FORECLOSURE REFORM BILLS AIMED TO ASSIST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS WITH HOMES IN FORECLOSURE
On April 29, 2019, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed into law two new amendments that provide relief to community associations with homes in foreclosure. When a unit or a home in a community association is in foreclosure and does not pay assessments, it will ultimately be left for other owners in the community to pay them. Currently, the New Jersey Condominium Act allows condominium associations the right to collect up to 6 months of unpaid assessments when a condominium unit is foreclosed. The limited priority status of the lien allows the condominium association to collect the priority of its lien ahead of a mortgage lender and other lien holders.
FORECLOSURE REFORM IN NEW JERSEY
Two bills sit on Governor Murphy’s desk for signature that could alter the landscape of the current foreclosure process in New Jersey. Zombie Foreclosures are bank foreclosures on vacant units, which are stalled or delayed for years. Associations with units stuck in zombie foreclosures must deal with a lengthy foreclosure process. Associations have a strong interest in expediting these foreclosures because an abandoned unit does not pay maintenance fees. Associations lose less money when they expeditiously complete the foreclosure process.
FAIR HOUSING LAWS AND SEGREGATED POOL USE
Griffin Alexander, P.C. watches and anticipates recent trends, legislation and lawsuits governing community association and landlord/tenant law. One recent trend in community living is association concern conflicting fair housing laws.
THE LANDLORD’S RIGHT TO EVICT A LOUD TENANT IN NEW JERSEY
Landlords have a strong interest in protecting tenants from noise disturbances caused by other tenants. Many common noise complaints are loud music, shouting/yelling, slamming doors, banging/stomping, and dog barking (where pets are permitted under the lease). In New Jersey, a landlord may evict a tenant for excessive noise caused by either the tenant or his guests and invitees. It is not likely that a tenant who is responsible for loud noise disturbances on one or two occasions during daytime hours will result in an eviction proceeding, but rather it is a continuing pattern of loud noise disturbances at various times of the day and evening.
Community Association Boards Can Make Bylaw Amendments Without Unit Owner Voting
In New Jersey, and elsewhere, community associations often find themselves at odds with unit owners when attempting to amend their bylaws so as to improve the effectiveness of the community association. Fortunately, New Jersey law has recognized the challenges facing community association boards and has provided an opportunity to move forward without a majority of unit owners voting in favor of the amendment. These rules empower community association boards to act, ensuring that they can operate more dynamically to serve the interests of the people in their community.
New York Laws on Disclosure Requirements
New York law has been revised to require cooperative and condominium boards to disclose contracts or transactions in which it or its directors have an interest. The New York Legislature enacted these proposed revisions to the New York Business Law and the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.