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Supreme Judicial Court Upholds Rights of Condo Associations

In a long-awaited decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has upheld a condominium association’s right to file successive lien enforcement suits and establish multiple, concurrent “super liens” with priority over a first mortgage. The Court’s decision in Drummer Boy Association, Inc. v. Britton empowers vigilant condominium associations to ensure that all unpaid regular common expense assessments receive super priority treatment by bringing a new lien action every six months.

The Court recognized in its decision that timely receipt of common expense assessments is critical to the financial stability of condominiums. The Court also pointed out that the Massachusetts Condominium Statute balances the interests of condominium associations against those of mortgage lenders by enabling lenders to protect the priority of their liens by “assum[ing] responsibility for a unit owner’s unpaid common expenses.”

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