Condominium Association Precluded from Charging Litigation Defense Costs to Unit Owner Under "Common Expense" Provision of Declaration

Atlanta condominium unit owners filed suit against a condominium association in connection with mold damage in their unit. The association charged the unit owners with the association’s litigation fees and expenses, as an assessment under the “common expense” provision of the declaration of covenants. That provision stated, in essence, that any common expenses caused by the conduct of a unit owner could be charged to the unit owner. However, using this provision to charge litigation defense costs was unprecedented. Julie argued on behalf of the unit owners that the association was not entitled to use that provision to charge its litigation expenses to the unit owners. She prevailed on behalf of her clients, and the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in this published opinion: City Heights Condominium Association, Inc. v. Bombara, et al, 337 Ga. App. 679; 788 S.E.2d 563 (2016).