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Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6010
Experience:  28 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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I'm purchasing a condo whose association is known keeping

Customer Question

I'm purchasing a condo whose association is known for not keeping up on repairs. What can I amend to the contract that would protect me from the lose of property if I need to withhold association dues because they are not fulfilling their duty regarding maintenance and upkeep of the common areas?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..There really isn't anything that you can "amend" to the contract that will bind the Association because they aren't part of the purchase contract. That is between you and the seller. And when the sale closes, the seller has no further responsibility to you..At that point, if the Association isn't doing what they are obligated to do, your recourse is to sue them under a breach of contract action because when you buy the condo, you then gain the right to enforce any Bylaws or CCRs against the Association as well as hold them to any maintenance duties. .In most Bylaws, it states that the "prevailing party" is entitled to their legal fees so if these Bylaws are normal, if you had to sue them, then you can recover any attorney fees if you win..However, your recourse here is not to withhold dues because then that puts you in breach as well. You would continue to pay dues, so you are the "innocent party" and then you sue them for breach of contract...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The condo association is the selling party. Actually they are the ones I'm purchasing the unit from. After signing the contract I stipulated in the attachment that they must maintain and repair items and areas or be subjected to the fees that cover their upkeep being withheld. Is the attachment binding? Should I have emphasized more details, and if so what? Presently I only have a few days to withdraw my offer.
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
After signing the contract I stipulated in the attachment that they must maintain and repair items and areas or be subjected to the fees that cover their upkeep being withheld. Is the attachment binding?.They already have that duty as a matter of law. But it doesn't hurt to state it again although it doesn't make it any more legally binding on them. So the Bylaw should say "Association is responsible for common elements" and you putting in your contract "Association is responsible for common elements" doesn't make it any more binding....If you have concerns about what they are liable for, get a copy of the Bylaws and carefully read it. It will state what are common elements that the HOA is responsible for. Typically they are responsible for anything in a common area and anything that is from drywall into the wall. Owner is responsible for drywall out into the dwelling....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I want a new Expert
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 10 months ago.
I am a different attorney and it would be my pleasure to assist you. The contract that you signed to purchase the property in an HOA is separate from the governing documents that you would be agreeing to if you close on the purchase. You bring up an excellent issue with purchasing in an HOA that already has a less than stellar reputation. When you purchase in an HOA you agree to what is known as deed restrictions (CC&R’s) that run with the ownership of the property. The Bylaws set out the duties for the board and for the owner and they are contract between the parties.Personally I do not care for any HOA. They were great in theory and are horrible in practice. The only option that you do have, if you close on the purchase, is to bring an action against the board for their failure to maintain the property. When did you sign your contract to purchase? When is the closing?
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 10 months ago.
These are the laws that govern HOA's in Wisconsin"Homeowner Associations are governed by a chain of governing documents and laws.The Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State provide the legal basis of the association in the form of an Incorporated Non-Profit Corporation.The recorded map or 'plat' defines each owner's title to property including the association's title to common areas.The CCR's (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) are publicly recorded deed restrictions.The Bylaws are the rules for management and administration.Resolutions are additional rules and regulations that the association may adopt.Federal Laws also apply. Some but not all include the The Fair Housing Act, Internal Revenue Codes, the American Disabilities Act, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act , the FCC OTARD Rule (Over the Air Reception Devices - Satellite Dishes), Freedom to Fly the American Flag, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.Information regarding State Laws specific to common interest communities such as condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowner associations are provided below and in the FAQ section of the Resouce Center. In addition there are typically additional state laws that are not specific to Common Interest Communities which require compliance. Some examples include stormwater runoff, coastal development, elevator inspections for condos, and pool operations to name a few.Local Ordinances, while not specific to homeowner associations, apply to building codes, animal control, abandoned cars, water restrictions, etc.Additional legal regulations can exist in the form of case law; standards set by professional organizations such as accountants, engineers, architects, home inspectors, and real estate brokers; as well as lender requirements."http://www.hoa-usa.com/statelaws/wi.aspxUnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/>UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light 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Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 10 months ago.
What have you tried so far?:A attachment You reference an attachment above, however, I do not see and attachment. I have reported the strange text showing up in my response. There are actions an owner can take against a board for failure to do their job. I know you don't want to have to deal with an issue when you are already aware that this HOA has a bad reputation.