Condominium owners seeking to protect themselves from associations are doing themselves a disservice by setting up a trust devoid of legitimate estate-planning purposes or withholding dues because repairs and services aren't being performed, mediator Donie Vanitzian and lawyer Joel Loquvam write. "Owners are sometimes under a mistaken belief that because the association has failed to make repairs or they object to fines, fees or penalties levied against them, they are entitled to withhold payments. ... The association's failure to perform repairs does not excuse owners from their obligations to pay assessments," they write.

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