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Port Liberte Condominium I, Inc. v. Meadows

A-5469-07T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2009) (Unpublished)

CONDOMINIUMS; CONSUMER FRAUD ACT — A condominium association does not offer merchandise or services to the general public, instead limiting its services to individual condominium unit owners; therefore, the Consumer Fraud Act does not apply to condominium associations.

A condominium association sued a unit owner for unpaid maintenance fees. The unit owner counterclaimed, alleging that when the association repaired the roof over his unit, it was grossly negligent in permitting its contractor to negligently re-install the air conditioning system in a manner that did not provide air conditioning services to the unit. The association’s practices and conduct were claimed to be in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). The association moved for dismissal of the counterclaims because: (a) maintenance of the individual air conditioning units was the responsibility of the individual unit owners; (b) the association never promised that it would provide air conditioning service, maintenance or repairs to any condominium owner; and (c) the association did not offer merchandise or services to the general public and therefore did not come within the purview of the CFA.

The Law Division dismissed the unit owner’s counterclaims. It noted that the unit owner avoided any discussion of the association’s argument that it could not have violated the CFA because it did not offer merchandise or services to the general public, instead limiting its services to individual condominium unit owners. Then, the Court ruled that the CFA did not apply to the association.

The Appellate Division affirmed, holding that the unit owner never presented evidence to the lower court of claims other than under the CFA.


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