Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Timely Announcement for Developers, Lenders, & Fellow Lawyers

As the economic and housing downturn has gotten worse, many real estate developers and developments have fallen into distress due to the lack of sales, inadequate or dysfunctional community association governance, and potential liability issues arising from construction, representations, operations, or other causes. These problems can be quite significant as lenders seek to operate and reposition projects, as successors seek to revitalize a development, or as the original developer tries to make the project ultimately work.

Community association law in all its variations is our fundamental area of practice. Over the years, we have worked with developers not only in creating and operating hundreds of new condominium and homeowner associations, but also helping to restructure and reposition distressed projects. Many of our clients have welcomed simple, straight forward assistance such as a day or half-day "tutorial" on community association governance and addressing homeowner concerns. We are also genuinely interested in working together with homeowners themselves to make them part of a viable solution rather than a permanent part of a growing problem.

Our national practice has provided us with an extremely deep and well-equipped "tool box" of ideas and approaches and an awareness of what works and what perhaps might not. Over the coming weeks and months, we will use this blog to discuss lessons we have learned and ideas we have gleaned from over three decades as leaders and innovators in community association law. We hope you will find this information useful, and we look forward to receiving any feedback or questions you may have for us.

Publication of New Article: Practical Issues in Planning for Age-Restricted Housing under the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA)

Associate Marian Black and shareholder Jan Bozeman authored the recent article “Practical Issues in Planning for Age-Restricted Housing Under the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA)” published in the January/February 2009 issue of Probate & Property, a publication of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association. The article discusses practical issues and potential pitfalls for developers of age-restricted communities, such as distinguishing business strategy from marketing strategy, disclosing age restrictions, selling into the “20% buffer,” defining “occupancy,” and taking account of state and local laws. Members of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the ABA can access the article directly here, or you can contact us directly for a copy.