Validity of Rights Reserved In Master Deed Cases

Several cases have considered the validity of rights reserved in the master deed itself. For example, the reserved right to add land and buildings by amendment to a master deed generally is valid, provided that the master deed specifies the effects of subsequent phases on each unit owner's percentage interest in the condominium common areas See Viola v. Millbank II Assocs., 44 Mass. App. Ct. 82, 86-87, 688 N.E.2d 996 (1997); DiBiase Corp. v. Jacobowitz, 43 Mass. App. Ct. 361, 364 n.5, 682 N.E.2d 1382 (1997); Suprenant v. First Trade Union Sav. Bank, FSB, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 637, 641, 666 N.E.2d 1026 (1996); Podell v. Lahn, 38 Mass. App. Ct. 688, 689 n.3, 651 N.E.2d 859 (1995); Tosney v. Chelmsford Village, 397 Mass. 683, 684, 493 N.E.2d 488 (1986). Similarly, a developer's reserved right to appoint condominium trustees during the development period was found valid in Barclay v. DeVeau, 384 Mass. 676, 682, 429 N.E.2d 323 (1981). The right to designate parking spaces for the use of individual condominium units in the first unit deeds conveyed by the developer is commonplace. See, e.g., Howell v. Glassman, 33 Mass. App. Ct. 349, 600 N.E.2d 173 (1992). By contrast, a master deed cannot confer a right on unit owners to expand their units into the common areas without consent of the other unit owners. Strauss v. Oyster River Condominium Trust, 417 Mass. 442, 447, 631 N.E.2d 979 (1994). Likewise, the purported right reserved to a developer in the master deed to remove land from the common areas of the condominium was ruled invalid in Levy, 43 Mass. App. Ct. at 438-440.