(OH) City of Whitehall seeks eminent domain, offers to purchase Woodcliff Condos for $9M

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The story of Woodcliff Condominiums, located in Whitehall, Ohio, is one of a turbulent past. The housing complex dates back to the 1950s, and has a reported history of problems with sewage backups, roach and rodent infestations, gang activity, and violent crime. For years, tenants have made up …


Kansas bill proposes Consumer Protection for HOA homeowners

Sponsor says HB 2629 would rein in HOA abuse, but management, legal professionals oppose consumer protection regulation   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Updated March 22, 2018 8:15PM   As reported by Judy L. Thomas of Kansas City Star, homeowner Scott Wircenske had grave concerns about the management of his homeowners’ association. In …

HOA, condo, co-op Legislation Highlights (March 2018,Florida)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities HB 841 enrolled, awaiting Governor’s signature. Legislative history: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/00841/?Tab=BillHistory Full text of this lengthy bill can be viewed in the window below: https://cloudup.com/cBImOGsMZPV Several consumer-unfriendly amendments have been made via HB 841: HB 841 clarifies that association board members may communicate by email. However, all votes must take place …

PA Rep. reintroduces homeowner bill that would harm residents of HOAs, condos, and co-ops

With built-in barriers to access of the AG complaint process, HB 595 will NOT help housing consumers. As it is, even if the homeowner gets past the “good standing” and “required ADR” hurdles, the only thing the Bureau of Consumer Protection can do is take certain narrow complaints. They cannot investigate or resolve any of them, nor can the AG/BCP order the HOA to hold an annual meeting or provide access to records.

A bill that started out with good intentions in 2016 was killed in the Legislature, then in 2017, HB 595 was presented, clearly written by and for trade group Community Associations Institute attorneys, who will benefit by offering ADR services to homeowners, condominium, and co-operative associations. Surely our elected Representatives and Senators are not so naive as to believe that ADR offered by CAI attorneys of the HOA industry will be fair and neutral.

Besides, when state laws are broken by the association or its management agent, what’s needed is swift, strong, and consistent enforcement, not mediation or arbitration.

There should be NO negotiation (via ADR) with regard to the association’s obligation to hold fair elections, to conduct open annual membership meetings, or to provide open access to official records of the corporation.

Independent American Communities

Feature image: State seal of Pennsylvania; image by Henrik on Wikipedia (use permitted with attribution / share alike).

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities


Pennsylvania House Bill 595 is a clear example of a state legislator pushing a bill that, on the surface, looks like it will help housing consumers, but, in reality, it is either unhelpful or downright harmful.

I call it “window dressing,” and in this case, it completely blocks out the sunshine.

As the new legislative session begins, I have received notice that HB 595, introduced by Rep. Rosemary Brown, has been reintroduced for consideration by the Senate. The amended bill passed unanimously in the PA House in 2017.

HB 595 should NOT be supported as written and amended in 2017.


More specific details of HB 595:

In Pennsylvania, a bill that started out providing broad consumer protection for owners in all types of association-governed communities…

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Political influence of real estate developers: the heart of the HOA beast

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Real estate developers figured out a long time ago how to exert political influence over government officials and housing policy makers, from the local to the federal levels. For the past three years, IAC has provided more than 1,000 posts citing thousands of references to prove a point: …

Braden Woods homeowners, River Club HOA voice opposition to County tax district

Manatee County sued by River Club HOA By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Floridian homeowners in the community of Braden Woods are split on their willingness to tax themselves for the next 30 years, to purchase and preserve a 33-acre wooded parcel from Florida developer Pat Neal. Manatee County Commissioners have delayed their vote …

Will homeowners support a new special tax district?

River Place HOA supports establishment of Limited District following annexation to the City of Austin By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Austin’s recent annexation of the River Place subdivision has temporarily shifted certain maintenance responsibilities from a Municipal Utility District (MUD) to a Limited Improvement District (LD). In River Place, the HOA and LD …

Homeowners need new ways to pay for HOA private roads

Private neighborhood roads across the nation are in desperate need of repair.  Residents seek help from local governments.   An infrastructure maintenance crisis is underway in association-governed communities across the U.S. Private subdivision roads are in poor condition. Some are downright unsafe. Decades of fast and cheap road construction saddled thousands of homeowners with narrow, …

AZ court ruling on HOA power to fine: a game changer in the industry?

HOA attorney complains that new court ruling makes it difficult to impose monetary fines By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In October, 2017, an Arizona appeals court ruled that, before an association-governed community can legally fine a resident for a violation of Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) or applicable Rules and Regulations, the HOA …

HOA, condo, co-op Golf Community updates (March 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Baytree golf course slated to become subdivision Mary Shanklin Orlando Sentinel Feb. 27, 2018 11:40 A.M. Central Florida’s Baytree golf course, with a clubhouse and 18 holes, in Tavares is on track to become a subdivision. The closed course at 129 Juniper Way sold this week for less …