Our Practice Areas

Our Featured Services

The law firm of Winer and Bennett, LLP has been proudly serving Greater Nashua and Massachusetts for 60 years and counting. Winer and Bennett offers its clients legal services in a wide spectrum of practice areas, and it would be our pleasure to assist you with your legal needs.

new apartments or condominiums with green lawn in front

Condominium Law

The Condominium law attorneys at Winer and Bennett, LLP provide a wide range of assistance and advice to a variety of clients. We are able to assist developers, property managers, association boards and unit owners. We provide services related to the formation, development and management of commercial and residential condominiums, as well as association instruments, operations, rules and regulations and lien enforcement. Although all condominiums operate under the same statutes and legal framework, we are mindful of the fact that each association has its own individual characteristics and community. Our condominium lawyers will familiarize themselves with your association’s governing documents in order to provide tailored advice. Our condominium attorneys also respond quickly to the unique needs of condominium associations and resolve problems in an efficient and professional manner. 

 Although all condominiums operate under the same statutes and legal framework, we are mindful of the fact that each association has its own individual characteristics and community. 

 If you have an issue pertaining to condominium law, please call our Nashua, New Hampshire office today at (603) 882-5157.

Different Areas of Condominium Law

Condominium Instruments

At Winer & Bennett, we understand that the condominium instruments are not just necessary for the creation and establishment of your association, but also set the tenor and tone for the community. Accordingly, it is critical that documents such as the Master Deed, Trust and/or By-Laws and the Rules and Regulations accurately and clearly address the rights, responsibilities and restrictions to which the unit owners and the association are bound. As these are legally-enforceable documents, the language should be drafted with precision.

An association’s needs relative to the condominium instruments vary over time. At Winer & Bennett, we have the ability to assist you throughout the “life cycle” of the association. At the inception of a community association, you will need initial instruments drafted. Utilizing our knowledge and experience, our team is capable of preparing a thoughtful set of instruments designed to provide clarity and coverage with respect to the various aspects of the property and the type of community to be created.

During the term of the association, you may require assistance developing or clarifying the rules and regulations. The board may also wish to adopt policy resolutions on specific topical issues such as satellite television antennas and insurance coverage. Again, Winer & Bennett can provide the assistance necessary to draft clear, appropriate and enforceable language.

As an association ages, it is possible that the governing instruments become “dated” and require updating in order to be relevant and properly adjusted to the present norms of our changing society. Rules and Regulations may need to address newer and more modern issues. Fines may need to be adjusted to maintain consistency with the changing value of money. Winer & Bennett can review your documents to provide suggestions for beneficial updates and amendments. We can also assist you with undertaking the process necessary to implement the new language.

At any point, you may have questions or concerns regarding the proper interpretation of the language in the documents. Our attorneys are able to provide such advice through formal opinion letters. Where applicable, our attorneys will bring their knowledge of statutory and common law to bear on the proper interpretation of existing language or the suggested language for potential amendments.

Of course, a governing board may always be called upon to enforce the instruments of the association. Winer & Bennett provides an array of services in this respect and details are provided in the “Association Operations” section of this website.

Development and Developer Transitions

The attorneys at Winer & Bennett are able to assist developers with the formation of residential and commercial condominiums. Behind the construction of any condominium lies substantial efforts relative to proper planning, proper drafting of condominium instruments and proper permitting. Our team is able to assist during every step of the process. With proper legal guidance and advice, a developer can create a site that is not just physically impressive but also geared for successful operations as a result of thoughtful instruments, appropriate budgets and record keeping, and the establishment of sufficient financial resources and policies.

Once developed, an association must be transitioned from the developer to the organization of unit owners. This transition will only happen once, so it needs to be accomplished correctly. Winer & Bennett is able to offer new organizations of unit owners the legal representation necessary to ensure a timely, proper and successful transition. In accord with our philosophy of problem avoidance, we utilize a strategic plan that involves financial, construction and engineering professionals early on. This procedure arms the organization of unit owners with the information and raw data necessary to make intelligent and informed decisions regarding the status of the community and the obligations, if any, that need to be met by the developer. The use of accurate and objective data may result in amicable resolutions that reduce or even eliminate controversial issues between the outgoing developer and the incoming organization of unit owners. It also prepares the new board to effectively plan and manage.

Association Operations

Community associations perform similar functions to municipalities, sometimes providing a higher level of services and amenities. As a result, regardless of the size of an association, operations may be fairly complex. Winer & Bennett’s skilled team of attorneys are well-suited to provide guidance and assistance in every aspect of operations.

Condominium Instrument Enforcement

The governing board of an association has a fiduciary duty to enforce the association’s documents and each unit owner or resident has a legal obligation to abide by those documents. Unfortunately, through mistake, lack of knowledge or the occasional willful defiance, members of the community do break rules and engage in misconduct. While the types of misconduct that occur seem limited only by the human imagination, Winer & Bennett can assist associations with establishing in-house policies and procedures for handling such situations with due concern for efficiency and fairness. Should more formal legal action be required, our team of attorneys are available to quickly address issues and to bring them to resolution short of litigation or, if necessary, in the court system.

The creation and enforcement of rules and regulations is a topic that our team of attorneys not only publishes articles on, but also teaches at industry-related seminars and events. Should our clients need such assistance, our attorneys can afford a private audience for the review of comprehensive programs on this subject as well as tailoring the information to create the particular rules, regulations, policies and procedures desired by the association. In accord with our overall philosophy of problem avoidance, our rules and policies will be designed not just to comply with law but also to provide a route to resolution and not further controversy.

Municipal Issues

The enforcement of the condominium instruments sometimes highlights the “mini-municipality” aspect of associations. For instance, a unit owner’s misconduct may also implicate or violate criminal law or the local regulations in the health, building or zoning codes. Our attorneys have experience utilizing the assistance of municipal officials, where applicable, to assist the association in achieving its goals of enforcing the restrictions on the property. Although not all municipal officials are willing to be involved, they should not be overlooked as their assistance is a potential asset. Conversely, we have experience in protecting our association clients in instances in which the municipality becomes over involved and seeks to hold the association responsible for the actions of a unit owner.

Association Administration

The condominium instruments place responsibilities on the association as well as the unit owners. Typical instruments contain provisions relating to required board actions on topics such as: annual meetings; special meetings; budgets; assessments and collection of assessments; rules enforcement and fines; and hiring of vendors. The Winer & Bennett condominium team can assist your association with compliance regarding proper notice and procedures for accomplishing meetings and other tasks. Our attorneys are available to moderate meetings of all sizes and types and have experience maintaining the proper decorum while efficiently attending to the business on the agenda. We can provide guidance regarding development of the budget as well as the best strategies for levying and collecting assessments to maximize results. Through years of experience in dealing with a variety of professionals in the industry, we can provide multiple potential references for vendor services from accounting to contracting to property management and more. We can also review and negotiate contracts to ensure proper protection of the association’s interests.

Our attorneys can also quickly and cost-effectively prepare many administrative documents needed by associations including 6(d) certificates, certificates of account balances and certificates of election/appointment of board members, as well as certificates of mailing address for the association. The timely preparation, filing and, where applicable, recording of such documents assists the association in the ability to conduct uninterrupted operations as well as to receive important notices impacting the association’s legal rights.

Lien Enforcement

A harsh reality with particularly poignant impacts in the world of condominiums is that absent financial resources, virtually none of the association’s operations can proceed. For virtually all associations, the only source of revenue is the assessments levied against the units. Absent collection of these funds, the association will be unable to meet its financial obligations and, in turn, unable to provide proper services to the community. Thus, enforcement of association liens is an issue of paramount importance to their successful operation.

Fortunately, in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislatures and courts have afforded consistent and strong legal protection for the liens established through assessments. In both states, the association has the explicit right to collect all such assessments as well as the legal fees and costs associated with the pursuit of the funds. The law of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire also provides for the association to perfect a limited priority lien that takes precedence over even the first mortgage on the unit. Ultimately, if the issue is not resolved, a Massachusetts association may foreclose on a unit and sell the same to a high bidder via a foreclosure auction. In similar fashion, a New Hampshire association may ultimately transfer interest in a delinquent unit via a Sheriff’s Sale.

The process of enforcing condominium liens involves both state and federal debt collection law in addition to state condominium law. Since it is a statutory process, success requires proper attention to detail as well as timely action at each phase of the case. The team of attorneys at Winer & Bennett is well-versed in all aspects of the process. With decades of time and tens of thousands of cases worth of experience, our attorneys are the professionals to turn to for enforcement of liens. In fact, our attorneys do not just know the law, they help to shape it. Winer & Bennett attorneys have been involved with the Community Associations Institute’s Legislative Action Committees in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Daddario provided multiple terms of leadership to the CAI Attorney Committee and prevailed in a case before the Massachusetts Appeals Court that secured Superior Court jurisdiction for cases involving the enforcement of condominium liens. Our attorneys also publish articles on the topic of lien enforcement and teach seminars for various trade organizations including Community Associations Institute and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. They will also afford a private audience for lien enforcement programs to clients and property management companies at no charge.

While the Winer & Bennett team provides the expertise of our attorneys, we also provide skilled staff. Like the attorneys, our lien enforcement staff members each possess more than a decade of experience in this area of law. In order to ensure continuity of knowledge and convenience regarding communication with clients, each lien enforcement case is assigned to a particular attorney and staff member from start to finish. Further, in order to completely maximize results for our clients, Winer & Bennett combines our impressive team with comprehensive technology. With the addition of our new Tyngsboro location, Winer & Bennett engaged a software consultant to create a customized computer system capable of managing all lien enforcement cases. From tracking to reporting and including all aspects of case management, our brand new system offers state-of-the-art technological assistance to the team members handling your cases. The result is the maximization of efficiency, results and cost-effectiveness.