RESOLVING DISPUTES, SECURING YOUR SPACE
Condominium and homeowner association boards, while mostly volunteers, are facing the same burdens and responsibilities as those managing complex business entities. Our Condominium Law Practice Group provides you expert counsel on all issues and legal challenges that arise with shared facilities, to protect your association’s interests, create sound policies on behalf of unit owners, and limit members’ liability.
OUR ATTORNEYS HAVE GREAT DEPTH OF EXPERTISE IN THE NUMEROUS ISSUES THAT ARISE FOR UNIT OWNER ASSOCIATIONS, INCLUDING:
- Condominium governance;
- Land use and abutter issues;
- Corporate and securities law;
- Tax law;
- Local government law;
- Construction law;
- Arbitration and mediation;
- Unit owners disputes;
- Governance matters;
- Revenue concerns;
- Operating expenses;
- Capital planning;
- Employment issues;
- Third-party contracts;
- Shareholder relations;
- Litigation and arbitration issues;
- Contract negotiation for major construction projects;
- Obtaining capital loans;
- Managing annual meetings;
- Drafting bylaw and deed changes;
- Negotiating with municipalities and state governments regarding public works projects; and
- Advising on eminent domain matters, land use, and environmental issues.
ADDITIONAL AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Transition from Developer to Unit Owner
For new developments, our attorneys assist with the transition from developer owner to unit owner on a wide range of matters, including:
- Performing legal and financial audits;
- Systems and construction analysis;
- Helping to establish an independent board of trustees; and
- Bringing and defending legal actions against the developers and related parties when the need arises.
Design and Construction
Our attorneys negotiate and prepare design, construction, and construction management agreements on behalf of condominium associations. We assist in establishing procedures for administering construction projects and in providing training to employees during the design and construction process.
We are available to resolve disputes that may arise during the construction process through various procedures including mediation, arbitration, and traditional litigation. Recently, we have provided legal oversight for a variety of projects, including:
- Major curtain wall and window reconstruction;
- Interior renovation;
- Plaza repair;
- Systems engineering studies; and
- Mechanical systems upgrades.
Capital and Project Financing
Structuring capital improvement loans that lenders find acceptable is difficult in any economic climate. Our attorneys, however, were responsible for setting up the first multimillion-dollar capital financing loan ever provided to a condominium association in New England.
The model we developed, which has been duplicated many times for many clients, provides lenders with a continual, growing business source, as the aging systems and structures in older developments require significant infusions of capital for the necessary renovations and updates.
We work closely with both the lenders and our clients, the shared facility communities, in all phases of construction and business financing. Our goal is to satisfy the lender regarding the viability and security of their loan, while continuing to counsel our client until the project is completed.
We counsel clients on day-to-day governance issues, including:
- Rule changes;
- Drafting and interpreting master deed and bylaw amendments;
- Unit owner grievance procedures and enforcement;
- Collection issues;
- Unit owner disputes; and
- Special meeting planning.
Many condominiums are reviewing their security needs. Our attorneys have expertise in the new federal legislation and executive orders governing U.S. security, developed in the aftermath of Sept. 11, and know how these laws apply to condominiums. We also assist in the negotiation of security services and security consulting agreements.
Prince Lobel attorneys provide advocacy before state and local government agencies, such as the Boston Transportation Department, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Central Artery/Tunnel Project, and the Department of Environmental Protection. We also provide advocacy services on behalf of condominiums and developers before local and state planning boards and we are frequently called upon to negotiate disputes with neighboring associations and businesses.
Our attorneys are called upon regularly when owners choose to acquire and develop property or begin major infrastructure repairs on existing property. Such projects not only require advanced planning, but may also require careful coordination of public relations experts, engineers, architects, and other professionals. Prince Lobel can also help secure project financing and loan documentation.
Prince Lobel attorneys have extensive experience in all types of litigation facing condominiums. Recent representations include:
- Disputes involving construction, easements, environment, and boundaries;
- Land use issues with neighboring businesses;
- Employment; and
- Tax abatement matters.
Our attorneys are experienced in courtroom practice, but also recognize that many disputes are best resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods. Prince Lobel successfully achieved the only major, private monetary settlement with the Central Artery Project on behalf of a condominium association. We help our clients choose the right approach so that they can achieve their desired result.
We negotiate fair and reasonable terms with telecommunications providers for services including cable television, high-speed Internet access, and wireless systems. We also ensure they protect the privacy of condominium residents and we draft agreements that protect condominiums in the event that a provider files for bankruptcy.
Phasing and Termination
Many shared facilities, such as condominiums and timeshares, require assistance with issues such as phasing and termination as they seek to remain financially sound and optimize flexibility and efficient operation in today’s marketplace. We help timeshare and condominium owners take advantage of the opportunities to adjust, augment, or, if necessary, terminate their organizational form.