Year: 2013

June 17, 2013

Richard is a partner in the firm and co-chair of its Lien Enforcement Department. His practice focuses on the representation of Condominium Associations and everything that entails, including: Lien enforcement, document interpretation, rule enforcement, administrative procedures, contract review, developer issues and insurance matters.

June 17, 2013

Mark is a Partner in the Firm. Since joining the firm in 2004, Mark has been an integral part of the firm’s Transactional and Condominium Practice. He routinely advises condominium associations and association managers on the full spectrum of matters affecting condominium communities.

June 17, 2013

Matt is a Partner in our Condominium Practice Group and Real Estate Department. As an attorney in the firm’s Condominium Group, Matt focuses on the review and drafting of condominium documents, lien enforcement actions, the enforcement of rules and covenants, and fair housing and discrimination matters, including requests for reasonable accommodations/modifications. Matt frequently appears before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, defending condominium associations. In addition, Matt handles all aspects of real estate acquisition, development and [Read More...]

May 24, 2013

Pam is a partner in the firm’s Condominium Practice Group and concentrates her practice in the representation of condominium and homeowner associations in Massachusetts. Pam handles all aspects of community association representation offering day to day general advice, including but not limited to document review, interpretation and drafting, lien enforcement matters, association loans and covenant, restrictions and rule enforcement matters. Prior to joining the firm in 2017 Pam worked for another firm for 9 years [Read More...]

June 17, 2013

Dean is a partner in the firm’s Condominium Practice Group, where he focuses his practice on lien enforcement and rules enforcement matters. Dean additionally drafts condominium document amendments and resolutions and works closely with Boards regarding document interpretation and general condo governance issues.

June 12, 2013

OWNERS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS This may surprise anyone who views condominiums through the prism created by national news reports, but most residents of condominium communities do not think they are evil personified. In fact, a majority ─ and a large majority, at that ─ are reasonably happy with their common interest ownership experience. Several surveys have reached that conclusion, including the most recent one, commissioned by the Foundation for Community Association Research and conducted by Zogby International. The [Read More...]

June 9, 2013

Like the garden perennials that bloom in spring and fall, some condominium law issues surface repeatedly, if not seasonally. How to deal with rentals is one of them. The triggers that make this an agenda item (problems with renters, economic conditions, changing owner populations) vary in different communities, but the questions boards ask are always the same: Can associations prohibit rentals or restrict them? Can they do so retroactively? And if so What form should [Read More...]

June 1, 2013

Norman is an associate in the firm’s Litigation Department. He joined the firm in 2017 and focuses his practices on condominium, real estate and construction litigation. Prior to joining the firm Norm worked in a Braintree law office focusing on contract disputes, business litigation and construction litigation.

May 28, 2013

Joe is an associate in the firm’s Condominium Group, where he focuses on advising both condominium association boards and property managers on the ins and outs of the Massachusetts condominium statute, as well as on general association management issues.

May 27, 2013

John is a partner in the firm’s Condominium Practice Group, focusing on construction law, contracts and environmental law. John negotiates and drafts construction contracts, wireless and cable leases and numerous other commercial agreements, advises clients on contract administration and dispute avoidance, and assists in the litigation of construction defect and related real estate claims. John also advises clients on a range of environmental matters involving wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, wetlands and Chapter 21 E [Read More...]

May 25, 2013

Will is a partner in the firm’s Condominium Practice Group. Will provides strategic advice to Condominium Associations on a broad spectrum of legal issues related to condominiums. These areas include: interpretation of governing documents, condominium operations and governance issues, unit owner responsibilities and rule enforcement, drafting and amending of condominium documents and lien enforcement.

May 18, 2013

It happens like this: a subcontractor assigns its right to collect payment on its contract with the general contractor to a bank. The contractor then agrees to the assignment, and to make all payments directly to the bank. But, what if the contractor erroneously makes all payments directly to the subcontractor instead? What if those payments total $3.8 million? Is the contractor liable for the full $3.8 million, even if the bank’s actual damages are [Read More...]

May 17, 2013

Recently, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) had an occasion to review the case law and policies concerning the interpretation of damage provisions in commercial leases in the event of a default.  To that end, in the matter of 275 Washington Street Corp. v. Hudson River International, LLC, SJC 11217 (April 30, 2013), the SJC considered a case involving a commercial landlord who entered into a twelve (12) year commercial lease with a tenant who [Read More...]

May 15, 2013

GETTING THE SCOOP ON POOP It is an annoying, disgusting and seemingly inevitable by-product of pet-friendly policies in condominium and apartment communities: Some residents don’t clean up after their dogs. Fining offending residents is the obvious response, but finding them after-the-fact can be a problem. Enter PoopPrints, a Knoxville, Tenn. pet waste management company, with a thoroughly modern solution. As the company’s name suggests, its strategy involves identifying the dogs responsible for leaving the deposits [Read More...]

May 15, 2013

If the economic pundits are correct, it looks like this Spring and Summer will see a significant uptick in unit sales and transactions throughout the region. Which means prospective buyers will be performing more unit inspections including testing for the presence of Radon gas. Accordingly, we thought we would include some information and guidance in this month’s newsletter in the event your Association experiences a gassy situation or a frantic call from a Unit Owner [Read More...]

April 18, 2013

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently concluded that a real estate broker has a duty to exercise reasonable care in making representations, and that certain exculpatory provisions contained within a standard form purchase and sale agreement do not relieve real estate brokers of that duty. In the case of DeWolfe v. Hingham Centre, LTD, SJC-11168 (April 11, 2013), a real estate broker was hired to sell property in Norwell, Massachusetts. The sellers informed the broker [Read More...]

April 18, 2013

“Condominium Association to Pay $1 million in Discrimination Case.” “Justice Department Obtains $120,000 Settlement in Discrimination Suit Against Condominium Association.” “Condominium Pays $20,000 to Settle Fair Housing Complaint.” To read the headlines, you’d conclude that condominium associations are forever on the wrong end of Fair Housing-related discrimination complaints, and in fact, they do lose often enough to make Saint Jude (the patron saint of lost causes) seem an appealing ally. But condominium boards win some [Read More...]

April 10, 2013

HOUSING RECOVERY CATCHING ON The Housing recovery appears to be contagious, spreading gradually but steadily to more areas of the country. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported 259 metropolitan areas on its February “improving markets” index, up from 242 in January and the sixth consecutive month in which the index has gained ground. When the trade group began compiling the index in September of 2011, only 12 metropolitan areas made the list. All [Read More...]

March 18, 2013

The sky is not falling! I feel compelled to make that point in the wake of another in a series of recent court decisions concluding that community association rules must respect, at least to some degree, the Constitutional right to freedom of speech. These decisions – three of them now in New Jersey and one in Massachusetts – have unnerved some association board members and industry executives, who have long assumed, correctly, that because associations [Read More...]

March 15, 2013

EXCLUDE THAT As damaging storms become more frequent, insurers are looking for ways to limit the claims related to them. The latest idea: A new endorsement in both commercial and residential insurance policies that would exclude coverage for cosmetic damage to roofs caused by wind and hail. The insurance industry organizations that standardize forms for property/casualty insurers have drafted endorsements and are in the process of seeking state approval for them. The endorsements would preclude [Read More...]

March 13, 2013

Pursuant to G.L. c. 183A, §6(a), condominium common expenses are to be assessed against all units in accordance with their percentage interest in the condominium’s common areas, and the “organization of unit owners shall have a lien on a unit for any common expense assessment  levied against the unit from the time the assessment becomes due.” G.L. c. 212, §3 provides that actions may proceed in Superior Court only if the amount in controversy exceeds [Read More...]

March 13, 2013

It can be an unpleasant consequence of doing business: your employee damages property or impermissibly consumes your property and the bill comes to you, the employer.  What can you do about it?  For those condominium associations and management companies who are considering a policy of a wage set-off for their employees who damage property during the scope of their employment or impermissibly consume employer property, recent developments in Massachusetts employment and wage laws should give [Read More...]

March 13, 2013

Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of requests for reasonable accommodations/modifications by residents with disabilities.  The most common requests are for emotional support or service animals; however, the requests can be for just about anything, so long as it is related to the resident’s disability and necessary for that individual.  When presented with a request for a reasonable accommodation/modification, condominium boards must handle each request on a case-by-case [Read More...]

February 17, 2013

Massachusetts voters last fall said a resounding “yes” to medical marijuana, approving a petition legalizing the use of that otherwise illegal drug for medical purposes. The Bay State joins 17 other states ― Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut among them ―and the District of Columbia on a rapidly growing list of states that have approved similar measures and are grappling with the avalanche of legal questions they have spawned. Those questions are proving particularly [Read More...]

February 14, 2013

In Massachusetts, the general rule is that a property owner owes a duty to all lawful visitors on the premises to use reasonable care to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition in consideration of all the circumstances. Generally, a landowner does not owe a duty to affirmatively protect visitors against the dangerous or unlawful acts of third persons. Similarly, landowners typically do not owe a duty to warn of open and obvious dangers [Read More...]

February 14, 2013

Over the past several years, the Massachusetts Legislature has been busy in instituting major changes in the area of employment law.  Two significant changes regarding personnel records and employment applications that every condominium association and management company employer should be aware of include the following: I.          Employers are Required to Notify Employees of  Negative Information Placed in Personnel Records and Provide Access to Personnel Records Upon Written Request. Massachusetts law defines a personnel record as [Read More...]

February 10, 2013

NOT IMMINENT San Bernardino Country, which attracted national attention last year when lawmakers said they were considering using eminent domain as a tool to deal with underwater mortgages have attracted attention anew with their decision not to pursue that plan. Members of the Joint Powers Authority ― a commission appointed to consider the idea on behalf of the county and two of its cities ― unanimously rejected the proposal, which called for seizing delinquent loans [Read More...]

January 22, 2013

It is undoubtedly true, and something of an understatement, to say that ‘you don’t always get what you want’ in court decisions. It is also true that you don’t always get what you expect. A Massachusetts Appeals Court recently provided a rare combination: An outcome we wanted but didn’t really expect. In Wyman v. Ayer Properties, the court held that the “economic loss” rule, which limits recovery in tort actions (as distinguished from breach of [Read More...]

January 11, 2013

Whether you sign up for that gym membership promising yourself that this will be the year that you finally shed those unwanted pounds, or you find yourself having just a little extra time to think beyond the day-to-day blur that each of us call our lives – this time of year, for some reason, really does lend itself to new beginnings and planned changes.   If you live in a small condominium, it may be difficult [Read More...]

January 10, 2013

STILL BUILDING Although surveys show that young adults, sidelined by the economic downturn and rattled by the housing market collapse, appear to be regaining their appetite for home ownership, builders are not curbing their appetite for constructing multi-family housing. Increasing demand for apartments has pushed rents and property values higher, while low interest rates have created a favorable construction climate. As a result, multifamily construction activity has been increasing steadily for the past two years. [Read More...]