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Condominium Law

There are many condominium laws in place that detail what rights a condo owner may have. Condominium laws and condo by-laws differ from state to state and condo to condo. Uncertainties of your rights related to condominium law often lead to questions like the ones answered below.

Does Virginia condominium laws have precedence over my condominium by-laws?

It would depend upon which state condominium laws or provisions you are referring to. Generally, if the condominium documents can override state law, the statute would specifically say so. If in the condo by-law it states something like, “Except as otherwise provided in the by-laws…” then the by-laws will control. Meaning that in that specific situation the legislature decided to defer to the HOA. If you by-laws do not have that kind of language then the state law would have precedence.

In Massachusetts is written notice required prior to levying fines under condo by-laws?

Notice is not required prior to levying fines under condo by-laws. The state of Massachusetts law states that the HOA set up a parliamentary system of function, and provide some guidance on voting. But the day to day operations are left to the HOA.

Is it legal for a condo association to charge a late fee each month for an unpaid late fee balance while disregarding the date of receipt of the fee currently due?

A condo association can charge a late fee on top of a late because the late fee becomes part of the balance. Condo associations have been much more aggressive with their late fees and much less willing to waive or reduce them due to the economy and foreclosure crisis we have been facing. If the unpaid late fees are not resolved, the condo association can put a lien on the condo unit.

In Wisconsin, Does the executive summary have more power than the condo by-laws?

The association is not governed by the executive summary. The association is governed by the by-laws. If there is a conflict between the by-laws and the summary, then the by-laws will prevail. The condo by-laws will prevail because the bylaws were voted on and passed by the members.

Our condo by-laws state no pets. However my spouse now has a small service dog. Do we have to notify the board? What is the condominium law regarding this?

To make the process smoother you would want to notify the board just to make them aware that the dog is not a pet but a service animal. This would give the board time to make a note that you shouldn’t be charged or fined for violating the no pets policy. Legally they cannot stop you from bringing the dog.

If they do try to stop you or give you hassle about the service dog, then remind them of that the Fair Housing Act requires them to allow service animals, and the Americans with Disabilities Act requires them to make reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities.

Having the right information and understanding of condominium law can help when dealing with questions regarding issues that arise within your condominium. Experts can help answer questions about condominium law or condominium by-laws. Get the answers fast and affordably by asking an Expert online

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Tina, Lawyer
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Recent Condominium Questions

  • Hello: I live in Idaho and own a condo with HOA restrictions. The condo is changing th

    Hello:
    I live in Idaho and own a condo with HOA restrictions. The condo is changing the bylaws to no longer allow units to be rented. When I purchased the unit renting units was allowed so I assume I am protected by a grandfather law. Is there a grandfather law that allows me to rent my unit and be immune from the new law?
    r
  • I own a home in Michigan that is governed by an HOA. I have

    I own a home in Michigan that is governed by an HOA. I have made 11 straight years of HOA dues ontime. I am in the miltary and was placed on orders to move to Phoenix last year. This year, the HOA dues where due in February 2014. While tryinging to close a re-finance on this home last week, the title company noified me that a lien is placed on the property for this years HOA dues in the amount of $500.00. I was unable to pay the dues because all the HOA board members contact information has changed, there is no web sight, no yellow pages, no way to coordinate with anyone on where to send the payment. Today, the HOA directed me to their attorney to make the paymnent and have the lien removed. The attorney told me the payoff is $950.00. I asked why so much and he stated the other 450 was for his attorney's fees. Then he told me that the actual bill has now gone up to over 1,000 due ot the phone call that I was having with him real time. I asked for an accounting letter for records and then he stated the payoff is now an additional $150.00. This seems like extortion to me. The HOA attorney stated he sent me notification letters, however I have never seen them, he stated that he sent them to my previous address in Michigan. I told him, I placed a change of address with the post office and I know the HOA had the correct address to send notices by evidence of a news letter that arrived at my home for the HOA last year. He stated that is not his problem. In summary, I do not dispute I owe the HOA $500 in dues. I do however dispute the process and what I consider exhorbinat charges to have the lien removed. Any advice on poteial actions I may employ to deal with this issue are greratly appreciated. thanks
    jc
  • I own one of two units in a condomimium (recently converted,

    I own one of two units in a condomimium (recently converted, was previously a legal two-family house). The owner of the other unit is about to put his unit on the market and wants to amend the by-laws to specify monthly HOA fees, as nothing formal exists. The by-laws do state that changes can be made and the other owner doesn't want to have an attorney write this change but instead is asking me to write it (he's too lazy to do it himself and I'd like to expedite the process). I need some advice on the language, I've looked on line and can't find anything helpful.
    In addition, I have paid out-of pocket expenses (which will count towards the HOA fund but I should be reimbursed for half) since the other owner vacated his unit, including one year of blanket insurance, snow removal, etc., and since he has to date not contributed to the HOA account, I'd like to know what interest rate the condo association can charge him for these late fees (it's been about nine month)?
    Thank you.
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