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Overlook at Lopatcong Condominium Association, Inc. v. Segal and Morel at Lopatcong, L.L.C..

A-2198-04T5 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2005) (Unpublished)

CONDOMINIUMS; DEVELOPERS; TRANSITION—The statute that requires a developer to deliver certain materials to a condominium association as part of the transition process sets forth a list of items to be delivered, but the list does not preclude requiring a developer to deliver other items that belong to the association.

In 2002 a condominium’s unit owners assumed the majority of the seats on their association’s board of trustees and, as a result, control over the condominium was assumed by the association from the developer. New Jersey law requires that when a developer relinquishes control, it must “deliver to the association all property of the unit owners and of the association held or controlled by the developer, including, but not limited to” a set of items listed in the statute. A dispute arose between the association and the developer as to certain documents and the association insisted upon delivery of the following three: (1) any general liability policy covering the developer “‘during its construction and development’ of the condominium; (2) an affidavit that identifie[d] the actual plans, via sheet, page and last revision date, utilized ‘in the construction of remodeling of improvements and the supplying equipment to the condominium’”; and (3) the written warranties from contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers. The lower court and the Appellate Division agreed that the general liability policy was not property of the association; rather, it was property that was personal to the developer. The applicable statute sets forth that the developer must deliver a copy of the plans and specifications utilized in the construction but only requires an affidavit “that such plans and specifications represent, to the best of [the affiant’s] knowledge and belief, the actual plans and specifications utilized in the construction and improvement of the condominium property… .” The association argued that it was entitled to greater specificity. Here, the Court held that “[c]ontrary to the developer’s contention, the absence of [] a specific requirement in the statute does not preclude the submission of what it is that the association [sought].” Apparently, there was no argument about the need to deliver the written warranties.

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