DCA Proposes New Association Regulations Including Fines & Penalties
On June 3, 2019 the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs published proposed new association regulations. A copy of the DCA’s summary and the full text of the proposed amendments and new rules can be found here:
New regulations regarding the use and operation of swimming pools were recently added to the New Jersey Public Recreational Bathing Code and became effective January 16, 2018. Included in these new rules and regulations are a number of updated first aid and lifeguard requirements that community associations should be aware of.
During the post-game Press conference, Foles said “I think that the big thing that helped me was knowing that I didn’t have to be Superman. I have amazing teammates, amazing coaches around me and all I had to do was just go play as hard as I could and play for one another and play for those guys…”.
In its January 29, 2018 decision captioned Indian Field at Hardyston HOA, Inc. v. Trudnos, New Jersey’s Appellate Division reaffirmed the common-sense concept that (with certain exceptions) bankruptcy only discharges a debtor’s personal debt, not an Association’s lien on the property.
Associations should calendar their FHA expiration dates and contact their attorney about six months prior to expiration. Recertification can be obtained up to six months before a current FHA certification expires; so calendaring this date can help an association avoid any lapses in certification.
Senate Bill 3233/Assembly Bill A1425 from the 2016-2017 Legislative Session was signed into law by Governor Christie on January 16, 2018. Unfortunately, per the Assembly Judiciary Committee Statement, and with very limited exception, “a municipality will only be able to require developers to post performance guarantees that cover improvements being dedicated to a public entity”.
Litigating against a community’s developer over construction defects and other issues is a long, slow and expensive process. An average transition lawsuit can take between five (5) and seven (7) years to reach conclusion. As if the glacial pace were not bad enough, if an association pays for its transition litigation “out of pocket”, attorney fees could cost $750,000 or more, even if the matter does not reach trial.
The transition process involves an engineering evaluation of the Association’s common elements to determine if there are defects. The engineer’s evaluation typically identifies defects within the site improvements, for example, the landscaping, roadways, sidewalks, detention basins, etc. These site improvements are often subject to performance bonds with the municipality.
On July 13, 2017, the State enacted P.L. 2017, Ch. 106 often referred to as the Radburn bill, a supplement to the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act intended to ensure Condominium, HOA, and Cooperative elections are conducted in a fair and open manner. The new Law contains important new procedural and substantive requirements for: (1) Membership Voting Rights; (2) Board Elections; and (3) Bylaw Amendments. Management and Boards must navigate these new requirements carefully, else they may face costly challenges to the validity of Association elections and Bylaw Amendments.
In an October 21, 2016, published decision titled In Majorca Isles Master Ass'n, Inc., 560 B.R. 824 (Bankr. S.D. Fla.) (“Majorca Isles”), the United States Bankruptcy Court awarded a Florida Master Association with an incredible $16.3 million judgment against a developer and its appointed trustees, in what the Court described as a “modern day story of David and Goliath.” Setting aside the transition aspects of the case, the decision provides an excellent guide for boards and property managers – particularly those involved with master associations – facing issues of poor record keeping and conflicts of interest.