To the Editor:
On Sept. 30, Governor Murphy signed into law the long-awaited, Legislation S908, sponsored by our own 24th District Office, clarifying association assessment payment requirements in planned real estate developments also known as PREDFDA (Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act).
On Oct. 1, Ernest Hofer, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA), issued a press release attempting to claim “victory” in their never-ending quest to arbitrarily assess dues and fees on unassuming homeowners.
Senate Bill S908 clarifies the PREDFDA amendment; P.L. 2017, c106 written specifically for deed restricted planned real estate developments. Mr. Hofer indicates lawyers will take advantage of verbiage in the Bill, “associations could not impose mandatory fees based solely on the 2017 PREDFDA amendments but could continue to do so if there was another basis at law.” Hofer states “this allows private lake associations to continue to pursue mandatory assessments under any other basis at law, including title documents of record.”
Not so fast.
This bill clarifies P.L.2017, c106 did not impose new responsibilities provided by law (DEED restrictions) and associations established before PREDFDA 1977 “shall not be permitted to require property owners to pay assessments and other charges where the property owner’s title record does not impose such an obligation.”
The bill goes on to state liens placed after July 13, 2017, based on misinterpretation of P.L.2017, must be discharged and if not, legal action may take place. This act shall be retroactive 3 years to July 13,2017.
Hofer’s statement shows just how far some will go to circumvent law. In the time of a national pandemic, as people lose their jobs, their income, their homes, and perhaps their lives, this organization can only focus on placing liens on deed-protected homes, to line the pockets of heartless organizations, and lawyers.