Thursday, April 30, 2009

Developer (Mis)representations

One of the three primary areas of developer liability in community association development and operation is representation made about the nature of the project (the other two being construction defects and association operation). In simple terms, when someone reasonably relies upon what you say and takes – or refrains from taking – action based upon that reliance, you can be bound by what was said and the consequences of those actions. It does not matter that the person making the representation is not a principal in your company if, as an agent or employee, he or she has the apparent authority to speak for the company.

In these troubled economic times, potential buyers as well as existing owners will have questions about your development and the effect of the economy on development plans and the construction timeline. They will also be concerned about the completion of amenities, any operational changes, and changes in marketing strategies. It is important to have a "communication strategy" and to stick to it throughout these periods of uncertainty.