Condo Counsel

Protecting RI Associations From Transfer Fees

By Frank A. Lombardi, Esq.

In many states and also on the federal level, there is movement to prohibit unwarranted transfer fees related to real estate transactions. While these proposed bills have the good intention of preventing real estate developers from milking real estate deals, we believe that the unintended consequences of this pending legislation would be to possibly prohibit condominium associations from charging fees for Resale Certificates, “move in and move out” fees, and the typical two-month working capital deposit fees.  (more…)

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Associations & Music Licensing Fees

By Merle Hass, Esq.

Does your association allow music to be performed in the common areas? Show movies in the clubhouse? If so, even if your facilities are not open to the general public and they appear to be private and small-scale, you are probably obligated to pay a licensing fee to one or more licensing entities, such as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers); BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated), SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers); or MPLC (Motion Picture Licensing Corporation). If you don’t, you are exposing yourself to considerable risk. (more…)

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Resolving Encroachment Issues

By Merle Hass, Esq.

A recent case our firm successfully resolved involved a dispute with a neighbor of one of our condominium clients.  Our client noticed that the neighbor had paved an area for a patio, set down several large storage containers, and built a big shed for gravel and sand.  After having a surveyor confirm that the shed and other structures were on Association land, the Board asked us for advice. (more…)

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The Dish on Satellite Dishes: Owners Get Poor Reception if They Venture into Common Areas

By Merle Hass, Esq.

As satellite dishes become more popular, more condominium unit owners are installing them on their property.  But some are treading into common areas, and in so doing, they risk a poor reception in Court. (more…)

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Snow & Ice: How to Avoid a Slippery Legal Slope

By Ellen Shapiro, Esq.

The winter has been relatively mild so far, but March has roared in like a lion, and we’re not out of the woods yet. It can be a slippery slope if we’re not prepared—especially in light of a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision regarding snow removal.

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Embracing Technology: Insights from the CAI’s Law Seminar

By Merle Hass

It’s hard to beat Palm Springs in the winter.  And it was especially sweet as I joined my GSL colleagues and fellow attorneys at the Ranchos Las Palmas Resort, from January 26-28th, for the Community Association Institute’s annual Law Seminar.  Indeed, I learned something important from every lecture and session I attended—and I thought it would be helpful to share key insights and caveats with you. (more…)

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It doesn’t pay to repair a condominium on the cheap!

By Henry A. Goodman, Esq.

A pipe breaks. A plumber tells you it can be welded and may hold for a few years.  He says it will cost $250 but notes that the pipe is worn and could spring a leak in another area at any time.   He also says that if you replace the pipe for $750, it will last for 20 years, and he’ll give you a warranty for 10 years.

You decide to go for the less expensive repair, and the pipe leaks again a year later.  Are you negligent?
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