Monday, July 02, 2012

These Condo-Owners Had Their Properties Stolen By Local Developers - Business Insider

These Condo-Owners Had Their Properties Stolen By Local Developers - Business Insider

"By buying the 89 percent of the units at the foreclosure sale last year, [Timochenko] acquired all of the units and all of the votes he needed to approve a termination," explains Tom Beaver, an attorney whom some of the unit owners turned to for help.

Here's the rub: Under Section 3220 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act, when a condominium is dissolved, the condo association can put the entire condominium up for sale, regardless of who owns the individual units. So in acquiring control of the condo association, Water Polo I also gained the right to sell Fusco's home.
Here is a detailed explanation of the Deep Path condominium situation that I posted on below, noting that there had to be more to the story, and there is.  You can read the statute at the link. Pennsylvania is one of the thirteen states that have adopted the Uniform Condominium Act of 1980. Section 2-118 of that Act is now Section 3220 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act. Section 3220 is the code section that Timochenko used to accomplish this.

update: in answer to a question posed in a comment, here is the full list of states that adopted the Uniform Condominium Act of 1980:

ActCondominium Act
OriginCompleted by the Uniform Law Commissioners in 1977, and amended in 1980.
DescriptionUCA contains comprehensive provisions for creation, management, and termination of condominium associations, including point-of-sale consumer protection.
American Bar Association

EnactmentsAlabama, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia
2012 Introductions
Staff Liason(s)Kieran Marion


Anonymous said...

Professor McKenzie, which other states, you say, 13 have adopted this act as is. I did try to locate those "13" states, but found only links and references to states that have used parts of this act to establish their own Uniform Acts. This was obviously a "model, " this 1980 Act and a 1977 Act.
Thank you, in advance, for your anticipated reply.

Anonymous said...

The link to the Uniform Condominium Act of 1980 lists Wayne S. Hyatt of the Community Associations Institute as one of the "Advisors to Special Committee on Uniform Condominium Act".

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's time to re-examine the concept of condominium ownership as a form of real estate.

There is no common-law basis for condominiums, it's only been around for about half a century, and condominium ownership can only exist by statute. Condominium ownership is an unsustainable and failed legal fiction that has caused great harm to both the individuals involved and the economy as a whole.

The "Prefatory Note" to the Uniform Condominium Act of 1980 notes that :

"All states have statutes which provide for the creation of condominiums and establish some rules concerning their governance. The first statute in the United States was adopted in 1958 in Puerto Rico, and most of the present state statues are patterned after that 1958 statute, or after the 1962 Federal Housing Administration model condominium statute."

In last year's Urban Institute video, Professor McKenzie said that :

"The condominium…it's kind of almost a fictional real estate interest. These things can only exist by statute…Condominiums can only exist where statutes authorize them to exist. So we've had them since about 1960."

Back in 2007, Steven Siegal wrote that :

"Before 1960, the condominium form of ownership was unknown in the United States. Beginning in the early 1960s, the states began enacting statues authorizing the condominium form of ownership, principally in response to the enactment of the National Housing Act of 1961, which extended Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance to the condominium form of ownership. See McKenzie, supra note 2, at 95. By 1967, all fifty states had enacted condominium statutes. Id. at 95–96." ("The Public Role in Establishing Private Residential Communities." Urban Lawyer. Fall 2006. Footnote 23 on page 869.)

And of course, Tyler Berding has written extensively about the condominium ownership being an unsustainable form of real estate -- much of which I disagree with, and much of which should be required reading for our policy makers. He even recently admitted that

"The real problem which is that community associations are created mostly for the benefit of municipalities and developers, with very little insistence by government on a financial model that can remotely meet the expectations of the eventual homeowners. Community associations are dying financially. Their business model is fundamentally flawed and many will eventually become obsolete and fail."
. . .
"Community associations are a financial disaster in normal times, and when hidden or unexpected damage or expenses arise, most associations lack the financial reserves to meet the demand."
. . .
"Better, all of us should be discussing how to help owners save whatever remaining equity they have, and then second, how to convince government to quit mandating for sale housing that will inevitably become obsolete because it has a form of governance that cannot fund its operations--just for the sake of additional property tax revenues."

Coming from a long-time advocate and apologist for the institution who makes his living representing condominium corporations, it's quite a remarkable statement.

"Mitt Romney" said...

Are there things that you can do to encourage housing. One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up.