California HOA, condo, co-op legislative updates (Elections – April 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   California Courts regard common interest communities as quasi-governmental entities. And, in many cases, boards of association-governed communities have greater power than elected officials of local government. For example, boards of association-governed common interest communities tend to have broad authority to decide how to best manage the corporate association, including …

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The bitter fight over how to create affordable housing

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In urban areas across the nation, housing is getting mighty expensive. Particularly in California, homeownership is out of reach for most residents. Rents are also out of control. Yes, a limited number of low to moderate income tenants do qualify for rent-controlled apartments, but critics say, there aren’t nearly …

S. Ponte Vedra Beach areas planning MSTU for massive sand dune replacement project

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Today’s post provides another method of funding major community improvements, this one through the use of an ad valorem taxing unit. Many beach front home and condo owners have been unable to enter their properties since Hurricane Irma, when huge volumes of sand was swept away from beneath …

Investigative journalists confirm abusive nature of HOAs, common interest communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American communities   Nearly eight years ago, when my husband and I purchased and moved into a nearly-new home in a master planned community, we had only a vague understanding of what it means to own and reside in an association-governed common interest community. Like most first-time residents of homeowners, condominium, …

HOA won’t allow homeowner to cut down tree that’s destroying her home

 By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Many times I hear from homeowners that they purchased their townhouse or condo so that they would not have to mow the lawn, shovel snow, and maintain trees adn shrubs on their property. But buying into a low-maintenance association-governed community has its down side. For one thing, a homeowner …

New Report: Lamplight Village’s insurance attorney could have settled for less than $2 M, but declined

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Last month, homeowners of Lamplight Village at Centennial Springs, Las Vegas, Nevada, were shocked by news of a $20 million verdict against their homeowners’ association. Readers may recall a jury made the award in favor of Carl Thompson, who was only 15 years old when he was injured …

PA Legislature approves weak AG oversight of HOAs

Will new legislation enacted in Pennsylvania hold developers, managing agents, and boards of association governed communities accountable? Don’t count on it.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to proponents of the bill, HB 595 will “help” residents of planned communities, condominiums, and housing cooperatives by encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) — arbitration …

HOAs use homeowners’ money to exterminate wildlife

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Quite often I read promotional advertisements for master planned communities that brag about their environmentally friendly design — bicycle-friendly streets and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, nature trails, tranquil lakes, and preserved forests, prairies, or wetlands. It all sounds so idyllic: residents can view wildlife from their kitchen windows or backyard …

Homeowners, HOAs battle each other over private road maintenance

  By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Homeowners are beginning to realize that private community roads can be expensive maintenance headaches.   Kirk Ferentz, football coach, University of Iowa, continues a long-running battle with his neighbors, cancelling a settlement agreement announced in February. Ferentz refuses to join a homeowners’ association created by his neighbors …

HOA, condo, & co-op golf community updates (April 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Updated April 19, 2018 7:07 A.M. Course investor says, ‘I feel I’ve been duped’ By Paul Maryniak, AFN Executive Editor Apr 5, 2018 All he wanted, William Day told about 50 Club West residents, was “a solid investment that made sense.” Instead, he said, after investing $250,000 in Club …