On October 7, 2010, Davis Malm attorneys Sandy Moskowitz and Rebecca Andrews won a significant victory for their condominium-unit-owner clients in a much-anticipated Massachusetts Land Court decision supporting developer flexibility in setting percentage interests in condominiums containing affordable housing units. The case involved a challenge to a 20-year old condominium’s schedule of percentage interests by the owners of units subject to affordable housing restrictions limiting the prices at which they could be sold. Those owners had argued that, in setting the percentage interests in 1988, the developer had unlawfully ignored the price restrictions on the affordable units and thus assigned percentage interests to those units that were too high, leading to the affordable units being overcharged for common expenses for 20 years. Judge Trombly of the Land Court rejected their arguments, ruling that the Condominium Statute did not obligate the developer to set the units’ percentage interests based on their original sale prices and that the developer had properly taken other considerations into account when he assigned percentage interests per the units’ relative “fair values,” as the Statute provided. While the decision was pending, the Condominium Statute was amended to provide more flexibility in this regard, but it is not clear that the amendment can be applied retroactively and it was not a factor in the Court’s decision.

For more information contact: Joanne Thorud; (617) 589-3894jthorud@davismalm.com

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