By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
I’ve written about Brannon Hill and several other troubled condo associations in previous articles. Most of them follow a predictable pattern of decline.
The condo association starts off with sub par construction, inadequate reserve or capital funds, or both. The owners holding the majority of voting interests tend to avoid setting aside funds for future maintenance and repairs.
The economy takes a nose dive, and associations that are entirely dependent upon assessment revenue, start to suffer when some condo owners cannot afford to pay assessments. Investors scoop up under-priced or abandoned condo units, and turn them into rental properties. Some of these non-resident investors care only about collecting rent checks, and not about maintaining a safe, healthy home for tenants.
The condo association gets progressively worse as owners with money move into better communities. They are replaced mainly by tenants, mostly with lower incomes. Soon, Association funds dry up, and there’s not even enough money for basic maintenance. More and more owners abandon or dump their units, and the negative cycle continues.
Blight and crime often fester and grow progressively worse for several years until the local government finally steps in and attempts to fix the association. Brannon Hill is just one example. Please note that very few failing condo associations and HOAs are featured in the news. Most slowly die unnoticed and unreported.
After many years, DeKalb County is finally taking action at Brannon HIll. That’s good news that is long overdue.
DeKalb County files suit to remedy blighted condo complex