Developer & Property Owners Association Representation


Development of land involves entering into contracts, dealing with governments for approvals and permits, drafting restrictions, and addressing problems and concerns that arise when you improve property to make it more valuable.

We represent developers in East Tennessee in both residential and commercial projects.

We have in depth knowledge as to how local governments view zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations. David T. Black and Melanie Davis have been involved in drafting such ordinances and regulations and seeing them implemented and enforced. Mr. Black and Ms. Davis frequently have appeared before city councils, Boards of Zoning Appeals, and planning commissions in East Tennessee. They have also litigated issues involving local ordinances, subdivision regulations, and Board of Zoning Appeals decisions involving land use and development.

Property Owners Associations

Residential development often requires the formation and maintenance of property owners' associations or POAs. POAs own and manage common areas in communities such as swimming pools, boat docks, entrance features, detention ponds, and other areas used by a community as a whole. From time to time, property owners' associations have conflicts or issues that require representation either in court or otherwise.

Many times disputes arise at the time of turnover of control of the community from the developer to the POA.

Attorney Melanie Davis has formed numerous property owners' associations and knows what is required to maintain them. Many times, but not always, property owners' associations are separate legal entities that are Tennessee nonprofit corporations. These entities have statutory requirements regarding record keeping and are registered with the Tennessee Secretary of State. POAs further have duties set forth in restrictions of record for the community, in their bylaws, or as prescribed to them by Planning Commissions or other governmental agencies that offer and require property owners' associations where subdivisions have common areas to be maintained.

Melanie Davis represents over fifty property owners' associations and condominium owners' associations throughout East Tennessee. She has been representing such community associations throughout her sixteen plus years of practice. She deals with everyday POA concerns such as failure of owners to comply with restrictions, failure of owners to pay assessments, amendment to bylaws, and amendment of governing documents. She further has represented POAs in complex litigation.

Ms. Davis is one of only a few attorneys in East Tennessee who deals with property owners' association issues as a significant portion of her practice.

Condominium Owners Association

A condominium in Tennessee is created upon the recording of a Master Deed, bylaws, a plat, and similar documents in the Register of Deeds Office declaring a property to be under condominium regime. A condominium association is formed under the governing documents as well to govern and manage the condominiums. Most of the powers of the association are delegated to a Board of Directors.

In a condominium, each unit owner typically owns inside the walls of his or her unit and further owns an undivided interest with his or her fellow condominium owners in the common elements. The particular interests of each unit owner is set forth in the governing documents. Plumbing is more complicated with plumbing generally belonging to the unit if it is contained within the unit and generally belonging to the association if it is outside the unit and/or if it serves more than one unit.

Common elements are for the use and benefit for all unit owners. This would include roofs, sidewalks, hallways, lobby areas, and community facilities. Limited common elements can also exist in condominiums and are designated for the use of fewer than all of the unit owners. These might include certain porches or balconies. What is a common area or a limited common area in a condominium is generally set forth in the plat or in the governing documents or both.

Maintenance, repair and replacement responsibility for common elements generally is placed on the condominium association.

Condominium associations are entitled to collect assessments for unit owners for common expenses. These assessments can either be uniform or vary based on the size of a unit. If assessments are not timely paid, the association has various legal options including liens, suits for judgment, and foreclosure on the unit to secure payment.

Tennessee law regarding condominiums changed significantly in 2008 with the passage of the Tennessee Condominium Act of 2008 which largely replaced prior condominium law called the "Horizontal Property Act". Horizontal Property Act properties, however, still can be governed under prior law under certain circumstances.

Melanie Davis represents over fifty property owners' associations and condominium owners' associations throughout East Tennessee. Every day, she deals with condominium owners' association concerns such as payment of assessments, bylaw revisions, and owners who are non-compliant with the governing documents.

Ms. Davis is one of just a few attorneys in East Tennessee who devotes a significant portion of her practice to community associations such as condominium associations.