Steven M. Siegfried, our firm’s founding partner, was quoted in an article in the September 24 edition of the Daily Business Review about the impact of a new federal law to eliminate registration requirements for new condominium and timeshare developments under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.
The latest reports from the federal government illustrate that the housing market is back on the rise after two months of decline. The U.S. Commerce Department logged a 15.7 percent increase in July in home construction nationwide, following declines of 4 percent in June and 7.4 percent in May. A summary of all of the findings and statistics in a report from the Associated Press can be found by clicking here, and some of the highlights include:
Firm shareholder Michael L. Hyman was quoted in an article that appeared on Thursday, June 12, 2014, in The Real Deal (www.therealdeal.com) about the latest court decision in the dispute between two homeowners associations and developer of the Privé condominium towers in Aventura. The decision in Miami-Dade Circuit Court granted a request by the homeowners associations to abate the case until issues raised by the City of Aventura are resolved, effectively delaying for 90 days the hearing that will decide whether the lawsuits filed by the associations to block the development can move forward.
The firm’s lawsuits alleging major construction defects against the developer, general contractor, architect and engineers behind Miami’s Quantum on the Bay condominium towers were the subject of an article by the Daily Business Review that appeared in the June 16, 2014, edition of the newspaper. The lawsuits allege that the defendants’ work resulted in hundreds of defects, including stucco and HVAC problems as well as inadequate drainage that has led to severe flooding in the community’s fitness center and loading dock.
Banks are lending money. Developers are building new condominiums. And yet occasionally we are reminded of the turmoil that arose following the bursting of the housing bubble. A recent Florida Supreme Court decision regarding escrow accounts is one such reminder.
We are sometimes engaged to close loans on behalf of entities providing financing for individuals or projects. Often, there are a number of parties participating in the loans. In other words, different parties are pooling different sums to come up with the total amount of the loan. In these scenarios, it is essential that the relationships among all of the participants be properly and clearly documented.
A Florida court recently reminded developers that even if they reserve rights to amend a declaration, they must exercise these rights in a reasonable manner or reserve rights with specificity in the original document. In Flescher v. Oak Run Associates, Ltd., Case Nos. 5D12-2575 & 5D12-3254, the Fifth District Court of Appeal noted the limitations on these rights of the developer. In that case, the developer had recorded declarations of covenants in multiple single-family home neighborhoods, each declaration following a similar form. The original declarations provided that the developer, as the declarant, would use assessments collected from homeowners for various expenses, including landscaping, utilities, garbage collection and various other items.
In December, firm partners Helio De La Torre and Laura M. Manning-Hudson, together with of-counsel attorney H. Hugh McConnell, prevailed in their appeal on behalf of the developer of the 28-story Courvoisier Courts condominium tower on Miami’s Brickell Key before the Third District Court of Appeal. The appellate court found that the lower court erred when it entered a Final Judgment requiring the developer to relinquish to the association all of the parking spaces and storage areas that it assigned to an unsold penthouse prior to turning over control of the property to the association.
A recent appellate ruling has important ramifications for developers as they navigate the issues of the delivery of condominium units after the completion of construction.
When the real estate market was booming a few years ago, everyone was looking for an edge, and the interest in sustainability and green building methods began to take off. By spending a little more in construction, developers were able to market a project as environmentally friendly and achieve a long-term reduction in operating costs, which created considerable added appeal for their properties.