Homeowners’, Condo, Co-op Association Policy News Sept 2016

Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities


Fair Housing


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with Delvista Towers Condominium Association, Inc., of Aventura, Florida, and its property management company, resolving allegations of housing discrimination against residents with disabilities. HUD claimed the condo association and its property managers denied the reasonable accommodation requests of residents with disabilities who needed assistance animals.

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A Conciliation Agreement has been made by Delvista Condominiums, AKAM On Site (a management firm) of Dania Beach, FL. One former tenant is being compensated an unspecified amount. The complaint was filed in 2014.


Priority Liens and HOA Foreclosure

Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies Condition Precedent for HOA Foreclosure Actions

Adam L. Bendett is President and shareholder of Bendett & McHugh, P.C. He is currently the Managing Attorney for the Connecticut Foreclosure Group and oversees many of the operational functions of the firm. He has represented lenders and mortgage servicers in mortgage default matters for over 26 years.

On April 26, 2016 the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a decision in The Neighborhood Association, Inc. v. Jill M Limberger, et al, 321 Conn. 29, which held that pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §47-258(m)(1)(C), prior to any foreclosure action of an homeowners’ association (HOA) commenced on or after July 1, 2010, the HOA must have either (1) had a vote to authorize the individual foreclosure; or (2) had a collection policy adopted as a rule, with notice to unit owners and a minimum ten day comment period as required under the Conn. Gen. Stat. §47-261(b). If neither one of these two criteria are met, the HOA lacks subject matter jurisdiction in its foreclosure action. In Limberger, the HOA’s foreclosure action was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction despite the HOA having adopted a “standard collection policy” because the HOA’s Executive Board had not provided notice to the unit owners prior to adopting the policy pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §47-261(b).

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Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies Condition Precedent for HOA Foreclosure Actions


Nevada Supreme Court hears case on real estate crisis foreclosure sales

CARSON CITY — A case that could affect the validity of thousands of Las Vegas foreclosure sales stemming from the real estate crisis that began nearly a decade ago was heard Thursday by the Nevada Supreme Court.

The court is now expected to rule on the question of the constitutionality of the nonjudicial foreclosure process used by investors and speculators to acquire homes at a fraction of their value by paying off liens held by homeowners associations.

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Nevada Supreme Court hears case on real estate crisis foreclosure sales


The legal back-and-forth continues with regard to when and if an HOA super priority lien is valid, and whether or not it may extinguish a first and/or second mortgage lien. One technicality which has been brought to light in the courts is the concept of providing sufficient notice to both homeowners and lenders. But the legal controversy is far from settled. 


Pending new condominium approval for FHA financing


Excerpt: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is proposing a new rule for condominium developments that the agency says is intended to be more flexible, less prescriptive and more reflective of market conditions.

Highlights of the new proposed rule for FHA Certifications: reinstatement of spot approvals (under certain circumstances, individual condo units can be approved for FHA financing even if the entire project is not yet approved); setting an owner-occupancy approval range of 25%-75%; setting a maximum level of commercial floor area range of 25%-60%; requiring project recertification every 3 years instead of every 2 years. HUD is seeking comments prior to implementation in the coming weeks. 


Online voting for HOAs and COAs

Community Advocacy Network and Vote HOA Now Announce Partnership

The Community Advocacy Network has formed a partnership with Vote HOA Now to work together for the betterment of communities throughout Florida.
Florida allows associations to elect directors and pass amendments electronically. Vote HOA Now is an online voting system for Homeowner Associations (HOA) and Condominium Owner Associations (COA) that has been providing e-voting services to states such as Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Oregon, and Arizona since 2007. CAN has partnered with Vote HOA Now so our CAN Network can take advantage of this exciting technology.

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Community Advocacy Network and Vote HOA Now Announce Partnership

The HOA industry is forging ahead with online voting, promising it will increase member participation in elections and voting on important Association matters. But, in related news, experts say online voting won’t be used in general elections because the votes cannot be secured. Given the recent news of HOA and COA election irregularities and fraud, is there enough consumer demand and confidence in online voting for use in Association Governed Housing communities? See the following article: 

Why Can’t Americans Vote Online?
by SUE MARQUETTE POREMBA Sep 14, 2016, 5:50 AM



The end of bulk telecommunications agreements?

Homeowners vote to end Hargray bulk agreement
By DEANN KOMANECKY Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

Homeowners in the Mill Creek at Cypress Ridge subdivision have voted to end “confidential bulk service” agreements requiring them to pay for bundled phone and internet services.

The vote is related to litigation filed by the homeowners association against subdivision developer D.R. Horton, Inc. and telecommunications company Hargray Communications Group.

Hargray and Horton also agreed to the termination of services.

The lawsuit, filed in March, states that homeowners were required to accept services they didn’t want.

The suit names D.R. Horton, Hargray and officers and directors of the Mill Creek Owners’ Association as defendants and asserts claims for breach of fiduciary duty and unfair trade practices, among other causes of action.

The complaint states that homeowner’s association officers and directors entered into and concealed agreements between the association and telecommunication companies that paid kickbacks to D.R. Horton, where they were employed.

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Homeowners vote to end Hargray bulk agreement

Will this litigation create case law affecting thousands of Association Governed Housing communities in the US? Consumers are tired of paying big money for services they don’t want or need, particularly inferior services. This could lead to the end of sweetheart deals for both telecomm companies and developers.


Affordable Housing tax credit

Senator Proposes Middle-Income Housing Tax Credit
The proposed credit would serve households earning between 60% and 100% of the area median income.
By Donna Kimura

Sen. Ron Woden (D-Ore.) released draft legislation that would create a middle-income housing tax credit (MIHTC).
Building on the success of the long-standing low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), the new credit would create rental homes for families with incomes between 60% and 100% of the area median gross income (AMGI). This is a population that is still in need of affordable housing but does not qualify for housing under the LIHTC program, which caps incomes at 60%.

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Senator Proposes Middle-Income Housing Tax Credit

Legislation (S. 3384) has been introduced Sept. 22, but remains controversial, as it is opposed by non-profit organizations that represent low-income households with greater need for affordable housing. However, it appears that construction of purpose-built rental homes for middle-income households would provide a much-needed housing alternative to for-sale or for-lease condominiums and townhouses with mandatory owners’ associations. Some developers have been reluctant to build condominiums due to high construction costs and liability insurance rates. Millennials have been reluctant to purchase housing, preferring to move to a new location as they develop their career opportunities. And some large cities have workforce shortages due to lack of affordable housing for middle income households. 


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