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Katzman Chandler’s Fast Track Program
Clients who have utilized our “Fast Track” Violation Process have reported that utilizing this process has produced:
- Greater owner compliance prior to litigation
As Katzman Chandler created this process, we are intimately familiar and well-versed in implementing this process to our clients’ advantage. We are always improving our processes and procedures in an effort to provide our clients with the highest quality, most efficient, innovative and cost effective services, and the “Fast Track” Violation Process is one such example of our experiences and efforts.
More About Fast Track
Under the violation process used by most, if not all, other law firms in our chosen practice area of Community Association Law; one or more attempts to compel owner compliance are typically made by the Community Association Manager or Board of Directors without proper guidance by legal counsel before the matter is turned over for legal action by the Association. Thereafter, the attorney sends a violation letter to the owner, making a final demand for compliance with the provisions of the Association’s Governing Documents.
The attorney’s fees and costs incurred in issuing the Final Demand for Compliance typically run from approximately $300 to $600, depending upon the complexity of the violation and the law firm issuing this demand. Regardless of whether the owner complies with the final demand and corrects the violation, or if further action is required to bring about compliance, unfortunately, many Associations are unable to recover these attorney’s fees and costs incurred at the pre-litigation stages (Final Demand for Compliance) of a violation matter. This is due to the fact that very few Community Association Governing Documents provide authority for the Association to collect pre-litigation attorney’s fees and costs.
Most Governing Documents only allow the Association to collect “Prevailing Party attorneys’ fees and costs” or those attorneys’ fees and costs incurred after the filing of a Petition for Arbitration or lawsuit in State Court, and only if the Association is successful in the action.
However, as the Board of Directors has a duty and obligation to enforce the provisions of the Association’s Governing Documents, enforcing covenants and obtaining owner compliance with those covenants, is generally viewed as a cost of doing business – with the Association collecting attorneys’ fees and costs from the owner in very few instances.
For this reason, we developed the “Fast Track Violation” process to assist our clients in pursuing their most common types of violations, without the risk of having to incur legal fees in the early “pre-litigation” stages of the violation process.
The Fast Track Process is as Follows
Initially, we recommend that the Association provide the non-complying unit owner a friendly reminder letter – noting the violation and requesting compliance. Should that friendly reminder letter fail to obtain compliance, the Association is free to send as many subsequent letters as it deems feasible under the circumstances. However, when the Association has exhausted such efforts, the Final Fast Track Demand Letter (provided by our Firm) should be sent to the unit owner(s) by either the Board of Directors or Community Association Manager as a Final Demand for compliance. The Final Fast Track Demand Letter acts to inform the non-complying unit owner(s) (and tenants or occupants where applicable) of the violation(s); provide the unit owner(s) with the option cure the violation(s); and advise that the matter will be referred to the Association’s legal counsel for initiation of legal action, should compliance not be achieved within the time allotted. The letter also states that upon the matter being referred to the Association’s attorney, legal action will be immediately commenced, without any further notice to the unit owner(s) from the attorney or the Association.
After the requisite Final Demand has been provided to the unit owner(s), if the unit owner(s) fail to cure the violation(s), the Association would complete and forward to our Firm a “Request to Proceed” form (included in the package) along with all relevant documentation necessary to the preparation of a petition or lawsuit.
Upon our Firm’s receipt of the “Request to Proceed” form and supporting documentation, we will proceed to file a petition or suit in the appropriate jurisdiction. We believe this policy will result in a more efficient, expeditious and cost effective covenant enforcement policy.