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The NH legislature’s tweaks and additions to the NH Condominium statute have continued in 2017 with the passage of House Bills 501 and 502.  Both bills go into effect on August 15, 2017.  What follows is a brief summary of the new legislation.   HB 501:  Section 37(VI) of the NH Condominium Statute (RSA 356-B) was amended to require that an “electronic or paper copy of all meeting minutes” be made available to all owners [Read More...]

On September 29, 2017, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a decision in the case Calvao v. Raspallo, 16-P-1143 (September 29, 2017) that involved a dispute between the unit owners of a two unit condominium over an addition onto one of the units.  One of the unit owners renovated her unit, and included an approximately 111 square foot addition or expansion.  The expansion was constructed upon limited common area designated for her exclusive use.  The other [Read More...]

Representing condominium associations in three different states can be daunting.  MA, RI and NH have three very different condominium acts.  This document compares and contrasts the differences in the developer related provisions in the 3 acts. This comparison chart refers to pure statutory provisions themselves and does not include case law interpreting the same, I will leave that for another day. I hope you will find this reference chart helpful. Differing Statutory Levels of Developer [Read More...]

On May 18, 2016 the United States Department of Labor published its final rule (“Final Rule”) updating the overtime regulations governing the exemption of executive, administrative, and professional employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections.  The most significant part of the Final Rule updates the salary and compensation levels required for such employees to be exempt by increasing the standard salary level for the first time since 2004 to ($913 per week or [Read More...]

The idea that all are equal before the law has been a cornerstone of democratic societies for the last 2,400 years. There are situations, however, where one side appears to have an advantage – for example, a developer whose condominium documents appear to limit the ability of a condominium association to sue.  Even then, however, courts have – perhaps unwittingly – found ways to uphold that basic principle of equality by drawing a distinction between [Read More...]

A tenant could prevent her landlord from recovering possession of the leased premises in a summary process action by showing that he violated the security deposit statute, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled. Housing Court Judge (and former MEEB attorney) MaryLou Muirhead ruled that the tenant properly could assert a violation of the security deposit statute as a counterclaim for damages, but that a counterclaim on this basis is not a defense to the landlord’s claim [Read More...]

Unit owners in a condominium complex could sue a fellow unit owner for starting a fire despite provisions in the trust agreement stating that the owners were responsible for insuring their property and that any insurance they obtained had to waive subrogation against other unit owners, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge has ruled. The defendant who started the fire argued that the Condominium Trust’s insurance resolution meant that the plaintiffs had each agreed individually to [Read More...]

Where condominium trustees decided in 2013 to reallocate the common elements expenses assessed against the owner of the lower level of the development’s parking garage, the trustees could not retroactively enforce the reallocation for the years prior to 2013, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge decided. “This case arises out of a dispute between plaintiff Gerfman Global, LLC (Gerfman), which owns the Parking Garage Units (Garage Unit) of the Nautica Leasehold Condominium (Nautica), and the defendant [Read More...]

Master Deed     Declaration of Trust

Under the Massachusetts Privacy Act (M.G.L. c. 214, §1B), individuals have a “right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with his privacy.” That being said, in a number of cases, it has been held that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the common areas of a community associations (which would include common area hallways, community rooms, common basements, foyers, etc.). Com. v. Serbagi, 23 Mass. App. Ct. 57, 498 N.E.2d 1363 (1986); Com. [Read More...]

BROOKLINE BANK Wesley K. Blair 131 Clarendon Street P.O. Box 179179 Boston, MA 02117 wblair@brkl.com Tel: (617) 927-7974 AVIDIA BANK Howard B. Himmel 42 Main Street Hudson, MA 01749 h.himmel@avidiabank.com Tel: 978-567-3630 ROCKLAND TRUST COMPANY Timothy W. Murphy 120 Liberty Street Brockton, MA 02302 Timothy.Murphy@RocklandTrust.com Tel: 781-982-6629 NORTH SHORE BANK William J. Kell or Lisa Scopa 248 Andover Street Peabody, MA 01960 bkell@northshore-bank.com or lscopa@northshore-bank.com Tel: 978-538-7068 or 978-538-7082

Do the following: Try to shave the snow down to 2-3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to the shingles or other roof covering. \ Keep all ladders, shovels and roof rakes away from utility wires Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing snow over the side away from the building Remove large icicles carefully if they are hanging over doorways or walkways. Consider knocking down icicles accessing [Read More...]

Last Sunday’s balmy weather compounded the ongoing issue of ice dams for many of our clients and the risk of further damage remains. For this reason we are sending out this alert in an effort to help associations cope with the ongoing snow crisis that we are all struggling with. QUESTION: Do roofs have to be fully raked of snow and ice dams broken up before any damage occurs, and by whom? Answer: In almost [Read More...]

The manager sitting across from me looked as if she had just walked 10 miles through a desert at mid-day without water. She might actually have enjoyed that exercise more than the one she had just endured – attending the monthly board meeting at a community association she managed. The scenario she described will be all-too recognizable to many managers and board members: The meetings rarely begin on time and often run past midnight. Discussions [Read More...]

Two years ago, Northeast Housing Court Judge David Kerman issued a ruling that an owner of a mixed used building was “strictly liable” for an intoxicated tenant’s fall through a defective porch guardrail in the case of Sheehan v. Weaver. The building contained three residential apartments located above a commercial establishment. None of the apartments were owner-occupied. After a night of drinking, one of the tenants fell through a porch guardrail suffering serious injuries. The connection of [Read More...]

Senate Bill 1987 Passes Legislature at Midnight Hour Senate Bill 1987, sponsored by Shrewsbury State Senator Michael Moore and the Massachusetts Land Title Association, would render clear and marketable to any title affected by a defective foreclosure arising out of the U.S. Bank v. Ibanez ruling. Estimates are that hundreds of innocent homeowners are affected by paperwork errors by foreclosure lenders, rending them unable to sell or refinance their homes.  The issue created by the [Read More...]

The Supreme Judicial Court has issued a landmark decision that has effectively carved out an exception to the “economic loss rule” for condominium associations seeking to recover for defective construction and design.  In Wyman v. Ayer Properties, LLC, a case handled by Tom Moriarty and Dave Rogers of this office, the Supreme Judicial Court reversed the Superior Court’s dismissal of a condominium association’s claims associated with negligently constructed masonry – finding that the association could [Read More...]

In the first of what should be many cases dealing with marijuana use in rental housing, the SJC ruled recently that a Section 8 tenant could be evicted for the possession of under one ounce of marijuana combined with allowing her live-in boyfriend to deal marijuana and possess a gun at the leased premises. The court overruled Boston Housing Court Justice Jeffrey Winik’s prior decision preventing the eviction of the tenant. Judge Winik was unconvinced that [Read More...]

The new law will be codified at Massachusetts General Law Chapter 149, Section 29F. Every contractor should be aware of this new law.  Condominiums with large projects and property managers managing large projects should be aware of this new law as well. The new law takes effect on November 6, 2014 and applies to construction contracts signed after that date on private construction contracts where original value of the prime contract is at least $3,000,000.  It [Read More...]

An Orange County jury found a homeowners association negligent for failing to resolve a secondhand smoke dispute between neighbors at a Trabuco Canyon condominium.  Trends usually move west to east so New England condominiums and HOAs should be concerned and pro-active. After a five-week trial, Superior Court jurors last week awarded a family more than $15,000, finding the condo association and management failed to ensure the non-smoking family’s right to the “quiet enjoyment” of their own [Read More...]

© 2017 Marcus Errico Emmer Brooks PC