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Court Decides Real Property Dispute

In this case, Roxrun Estates, Inc. et al, are the respondents-appellants, and the Roxbury Run Village Association, Inc et al., is the other appellant-respondent and defendants.

Background

A New York Probate Lawyer said in 1972, Roxbury Run Corporation proposed to build a 500-unit townhouse development in Delaware County. A declaration was drawn up which laid out the rights and responsibilities of the owners who would purchase units in the development, as well as the property owners’ association. The Roxbury Run Village Association was created for the express purpose of building and looking after the various common areas, including recreational areas, which would be utilized by the members of the development. Two types of members were included in the association. Class A were owners of improved property. Class A members received a vote for every improved unit. Roxbury Run, on the other hand, was entitled to three votes as a Class B member for every property they owned. By December of 1979, all Class B memberships were to cease, after an amendment was made to the original agreement moving that date back from 1982.

RRVA operated by charging special charges and maintenance fees. Roxbury Run only had to pay 15% of those maintenance fees, but full price on special assessments. 2/3rds of the class A members and the class B member had to agree on a vote to increase the costs of anything more than 5%. In 1982, the total size of the development was reduced to 250 total units, and Roxbury Run agreed to only have two directors on the board of the RRVA. Roxbury Run also agreed to only ever be entitled to 99 votes no matter the actual votes they should be allowed. Bronx Probate Lawyers said the Roxrun Estates then purchased 130 of the unimproved lots as long as they only had to pay either 15% or $6.06 for maintenance costs.

Problems arose when the maintenance cost was increased to $85 on each unit. A special assessment was also levied at the cost of $750 on each unit. Roxrun Estates had a member present, but was not allowed to vote with the 99 votes; instead, he only had 1 vote and was told that Roxrun would be obliged to pay the full amount as other owners.

Several actions commenced, the conclusion of which was that RRVA was granted a summary judgment in favor of foreclosure and Roxrun estates filed for bankruptcy. This stayed the foreclosure sale, but eventually, Bankruptcy Court allowed the RRVA to purchase the lots that were previously owned by Roxrun Estates.

A problem emerged because bankruptcy court did not examine whether or not the lien on the property was actually valid. Brooklyn Probate Lawyers said the problem revolves around the fact that the validity of the voting rights that Roxrun Estates asserts needs to be established, because if they were correct in their claim of voting rights, the liens based on the assessments for would never be levied because Roxrun would have been able to vote down those fees.

Results

Upon further examination, Roxrun Estates was a Class A member. Class A members, and henceforth, Roxrun Estates, were really only allowed to cast a single vote at the meeting which increased the costs that would be paid for maintaining the units. Therefore, the validity of the lien and the bankruptcy hearing were valid.

However, it is also important to note that RRVA claimed that the Supreme Court should not have allowed Roxrun Estates to only be liable for 15% of the maintenance fees. The problem is that a provision in the original agreements states that fees should be assessed in the same way but didn’t have to be equal. Therefore, Roxrun Estates was entitled to pay less for maintenance because it costs less to maintain an unimproved lot.

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