Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - General Counsel

Security & Privacy Meet in the Hallway

Incorporating technology into our homes is big, big business in the Unites States. Where once we were clapping at our lamps, now we can control virtually everything inside and outside of the home with the sound of our voice or apps on our phones. As part of this growing trend, video doorbells have become immensely popular, and offer real-time video and audio streams, as well as cloud-based recording. Companies like Ring, August, Nest, and Honeywell have a wide variety of devices with near limitless options. read more

Problem Owners? Try this One Little Trick!

OK, so no, despite the clickbait title, there is no one little trick to deal with problem owners. Maybe it's the political climate or the phases of the moon, but it sure seems like the "problem owner" issue is out in force right now. Take the Florida community that was recently vindicated in an arbitration against a particularly problematic owner in this Florida article. read more

No, You Don't Own Your Condo Parking Spot

A relatively common request fielded by condominium associations is from owners wanting to sell their parking spot to another owner. While many owners may believe they own their parking space, parking spaces are almost universally classified as limited common elements that are assigned to a particular unit. While this means unit owners have many of the rights of ownership related to their parking space - such as preventing other vehicles from using the space - from a legal standpoint, they do not own title to the space. read more

Tree Trouble - Part II, Self-Help

In part one of our three-part series on Tree Trouble, my colleague David Silver wrote about Timber Trespass. In this post, I'm going to discuss self-help. Self-help is the legal term that describes "taking the law into your own hands"—literally. In this context, it would include a property owner getting out their pruning shears or shovel and cutting or trimming parts of a neighbor's tree that infringe upon his or her property. You may be surprised to hear that in Washington, such conduct has been endorsed by the courts. read more

Tree Trouble - Part I, Timber Trespass

One aspect of real property law that I find interesting is how some of the nastiest legal disputes are between neighboring property owners. On one hand, it would seem incumbent upon neighbors to be friendly and cooperative to one another because they are forced to interact regularly. On the other hand, the likelihood, or at least opportunity, for disputes seems to increase proportionately the closer people live to one another. read more

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