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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

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
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Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Condominium Questions

  • Condo (condo-hotel) association started fighting with owners,

    Condo (condo-hotel) association started fighting with owners, who either rent themselves, or uses the unit or lets family members use it. It is getting nasty.
    The Declaration of Condominium states ""No unit owner may lease or 'rent such unit owner's Unit for less than a three (3) month consecutive period without utilizing the hotel/front desk services of the tenant of Commercial Unit No. 1."
    You would think that owners can rent for 3 months and one day and longer, but no.
    In the letter from the Association attorney, he states:
    “Each Unit, other than Commercial Unit No. 1 and other than Commercial Unit No. 2, shall be used only for transient, hotel purposes and may not be utilized as the unit owner's homestead. The provisions contained within this Paragraph J may not be amended.”
    he now quotes Florida Statute 509.013 4(a)1
    "Transient public lodging establishment” means any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings which is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests."
    Plus at the last meeting they claimed they got the votes of the members and that the term of 30 days is now established (and they do not discriminate between the owners and the guests), so now the owner can't stay or let anyone stay there (not even rent) for more than 30 days. Out of 128 owners there were 11 present at the meeting, and the votes came 11 to make it 2 months, and 23 to have it one month.
    Seems that the Board is harassing people, especially, they do not pay for their attorney, and force members to pay for the letters.
    If this can be used for hotel purposes only, should they change the declaration and allow owners to rent short term?
    A condo/hotel is still a condo, and has a residential component, so how can they block owners from using it or allowing it to be used by family members?
    Can this allowing only the Front desk, which is a 3rd party, and not allowing owners to rent their own unit be legal? What can be done?
  • Doug, Ok is there anything you can tell me about my rights

    Doug, Ok is there anything you can tell me about my rights here in Aventura Fl. That could tell me that if I have to proceed further than a simple lawyer letter like a fight in court to prove myself innocent or blameless, whatever, and I believe unless
    it's more scare tactics, where they come out and say if any of the money they spend on lawyers and expenses they are saying I'd be on the hook for their or all costs. Wich always seem to be in any institudtes ending "all cost will be payed by you meaning me
    if the court finds in their favor. Is that true also for me my lawyer cost and expenses if I go to court and the the Judge sees it in my favor would I be able to collect on my lawyers costs and expences, besides asking for my fines be returned to me?
  • Hi…I am the president of a small condominium complex in Lake

    Hi…I am the president of a small condominium complex in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
    I had a complaint from an owner, regarding excessive noise from the condo above them.
    The complaint from the lower unit was originally that the music from the upper unit was on too loud and it was late at night (around 11-Midnight). They tried knocking on the door of the upper unit but no one answered.
    I spoke to the person in the unit above and she admitted that she fell asleep with the TV on and the TV was on and too loud. She also said that she spoke to the person in the lower unit and apologized for the loud noise.
    Within a few days I got another complaint from the same people in the lower unit for the same problem and again the person in the upper unit apologized for falling asleep with the TV on late at night.
    I subsequently received another complaint from the same people in the lower unit that the occupants in the upper unit were purposefully walking on the part of the floor that squeaked.
    I spoke to the person in the upper unit and she indicated that she was not doing this intentionally and that she was making the effort to be quiet and asked for recommendations on what she could do to reduce the noise.
    I live in Las Vegas and don’t know either occupant very well, but the person in the upper unit has lived in that unit for a number of years without anyone complaining about excessive noise.
    The people in the lower unit just moved-in to their unit and now suddenly there is a noise problem.
    What options are available to those in the lower unit complaining of excessive noise and what are the rights of both the lower and upper units with regard to this issue?
    Thanks!
    Don
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