We represent various types of community associations, including condominium associations, homeowners associations and coop boards. We also represent owners in these associations. We represent associations and owners in the entire spectrum of their legal and business needs.Multi-Disciplinary Approach
Community associations are unique entities. They exist for the benefit of their members, to improve their living conditions at the least expense. However, they are small business (some are very large businesses) with the same needs as any other business has. We therefore take a multi-disciplinary approach to community association law. While we have experienced litigators, we know that the answer to every question is not simply rushing to court. We always look at every situation and try to determine and pursue the course of action which is most in the interest of the association and its members. We also understand that unlike other corporations, community associations are normally run by people for whom the association is a part-time commitment. We therefore try to ensure that they have the knowledge, advice and support to carry out their fiduciary duties. We also work to make sure they have all the information necessary to pursue the most cost effective course of action possible.General Counsel & Governance
Our attorneys provide associations general counsel services and assist in the association’s governance. We advise and assist the officers and board members in matters such as special assessments, compliance with disability access and fair housing laws, employee and contractor relations, determining what repairs and maintenance are the owners’ or association’s responsibility, and interpretation and application of governing documents. We also help associations amend their governing documents, such as bylaws and master deeds, or prepare new ones. We will attend board and membership meetings. We will negotiate and draft financing agreements; review or draft financing documents; and close loans. We are available to give answers and guidance on the many day-to-day issues which arise. We review, negotiate and draft contracts for management companies, contractors, employees and vendors.Transition
We guide unit owners through the transition from developer/sponsor to control by the owners. This process is complex, and can take months to complete. We also assist the new owners taking control of the association to discover and have the developer/sponsor correct any construction defects, and remedy any accounting irregularities, and recover misapplied funds.Litigation & Dispute Resolution
We fight for the rights of associations. We pursue litigation for construction defects against the sponsor/developer and/or contractors. We also pursue litigation against sponsors/developers for misapplication (or theft) of funds, or accounting irregularities. We sue insurance carriers which have wrongfully denied insurance coverage. We will pursue delinquent owners for payment of maintenance and assessments in litigation, bankruptcy and foreclosure. We appeal excessive property tax assessments on common elements and individual units.
We also defend condominium associations when they are sued. However, while undertaking to ensure that the association’s rights are protected in court, we first look to see there is any insurance coverage which could be looked to for defense at the insurance company’s expense.
We have also had considerable success in representing our clients in alternative dispute resolution, including negotiations, mediation and arbitration. This is important since the New Jersey Condominium Act requires that associations’’governing documents provide an effective means of alternative dispute resolution for "housing-related disputes."Construction Defects
We have had considerable success in construction litigation. Our attorneys have represented condominium associations in construction defect litigation on a wide variety of issues, including defects to slabs and foundations, defective roofing installation, structural issues, water infiltration and exterior insulation and finishing systems.Property Tax Appeals
We work with associations to pursue tax appeals for owners whose units have been assessed to high, and with individual owners pursuing their own property tax appeals.Collection of Maintenance and Assessments
Collection of maintenance and assessments is of vital importance, as the revenue collected is what allows the association to perform its function on the owners’ behalf. We assist associations collect unpaid maintenance and assessments. We utilize liens to compel payment from reluctant owners. We will pursue litigation where appropriate to collect these unpaid obligations. We pursue unpaid maintenance fees when owners file for bankruptcy protection.Insurance Coverage
Insurance is an extremely important matter for every association. Coverage for damage to common elements is, of course, important, but there are a wide range of other types of coverage which are important, such as liability insurance, workers compensation coverage, and directors and officers liability insurance. We are available to review existing coverage and to assist associations in determining what additional coverage they might need.
Our law firm also represents community associations in obtaining coverage for a wide range of issues. We will negotiate with adjusters. However, when insurance carriers refuse to provide coverage in violation of their obligations, we have achieved considerable success suing to obtain coverage.Contact Us
To discuss what our law firm can do for your association, please e-mail us or call (973) 890-0004. We are there for all your legal needs.