When members of homeowners associations lock horns with a developer or owner of a property, tempers can quickly become heated. Owners can quickly become irritated with association demands while homeowners may argue about improper accounting practices or unresolved construction defects. If the parties cannot come to an agreement to solve their differences, commercial litigation can result.
A $20 million lawsuit is pending against the owners of Miami’s One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa as part of the resort’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The litigation was filed by the homeowners’ associations for the condominium and residential residences located at the resort. In their lawsuit, the members of the association have accused Bal Harbour’s owners of mishandling their dues. According to the complaint, the owners used association dues to pay personal credit card expenses and buy expensive cars. The association has alleged other breaches of fiduciary duty including exaggerating expenses, overbilling the associations for extra costs, and failing to enter $5 million in dues on the accounting books. In addition, the association believes that the owners committed insurance fraud and ignored water leaks leading to mold.
When a party to a dispute thinks that it has been treated unfairly, often the only solution is to file business litigation. Attorneys who specialize in business disputes are a good resource, and they can explain all the steps necessary to take the case to trial. This can include filing all necessary pleadings, performing discovery and taking depositions, preparing for trial, and eventually litigating the matter in front of a judge or jury.
Source: South Florida Business Journal, “One Bal Harbour groups sue Lumber Liquidators founder Tom Sullivan,” Paul Brinkmann, Aug. 12, 2013