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Quirk v. Midway Beach Condominium Association

A-5928-05T5 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2007) (Unpublished)

CONDOMINIUMS; MASTER DEED —Where a condominium association has properly approved the addition of new units prior to a particular unit owner becoming a member, the deed amendment to accomplish such an addition can be filed afterwards and it would affect the new member’s interest, even if it results in a reduction of each unit’s percentage undivided interest in the common elements.

Two buyers purchased a condominium unit in a developed condominium complex. At the time they purchased the unit, the master deed to the property did not contemplate construction of any additional units. Prior to the buyers’ purchase, the condominium association had acquired four adjacent, vacant lots. Originally, these were to be developed with additional units that were to be sold. The development plan needed approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Three years after the buyers’ purchase, approval was granted to build two new units on the vacant lots. The master deed was amended to increase the number of units by four.

The buyers opposed the construction and brought an action against the condominium association to invalidate the prospective development and sale of the new units. They argued that consent of every unit owner was required in order to develop the new properties because each unit’s percentage of undivided interest in the common elements would be reduced by roughly three one hundredths of one percent if the change were made. The lower court dismissed the buyers’ claim on a summary judgment motion. On appeal, the Court pointed out that the condominium association had approved the addition of four new units prior to the buyers’ purchase of their unit but had not recorded the deed amendment until after state approval was granted. Thus, it upheld the lower court’s findings that the reduction in each unit’s percentage undivided interest in the common elements was equally borne by each of the unit owners, that the reduction was minimal, and that it was not the result of any invalidating acts or interests.


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