By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Do homeowner, condominium, and cooperative associations have too much power over community association members and residents?
Readers will most likely answer that question with an emphatic “Yes,” after reviewing the following collection of recent news reports.
And these examples of HOA abuse are by no means isolated or uncommon. If you are new to this website, I invite you to do a bit of browsing through hundreds of articles for many more examples of HOA abuse, HOA bully boards and managers, and pure HOA hell.
Owners say Condo President/Manager is Dictatorial
This New York City condo association is small – just 14 condo tenants and owners. Condo owner Neal Milano apparently serves at the sole board member, and has also appointed himself manager of the condominium association. And his behavior is way over the line. You must see the video and read this article to understand how one person can so intimidate his neighbors that they fear going on camera with NY1 Spectrum News.
By Clodagh McGowan
Monday, August 21, 2017 at 05:00 AM EDT
Imagine living in an apartment building where there are images of Hitler and Mussolini in the lobby, and you are fined $100 for having a visitor overnight. NY1’s Clodagh McGowan has this exclusive story about the strange goings-on at a Queens condominium, where some residents say they are being bullied by an overbearing property manager.
Twin Uncle Sams stand outside a condominium on 39th Place in Sunnyside.
The lobby decor is even more unusual. Pictures of Hitler, a Swastika and Mussolini; NRA stickers; tributes to President Trump and Martin Luther King; patriotic and political messages.
“Just completely radical, national nonsense,” said condo owner Greg Hunt. “And my concern is, when a potential buyer for my apartment walks in, they’re going to walk right out.”
Hunt is one of 14 tenants and condo owners who spoke to NY1.
They say the decorations are the work of Neal Milano, who heads the condo board and is listed as property manager.
Read more (VIDEO):
Unemployed? Retired? What if your HOA does not allow your home-based business?
Unless you happen to be independently wealthy, you probably have to work for a living, and perhaps even in retirment. Or maybe you simply enjoy using your skills, interacting with people, and earning extra money.
Well, if you live in an HOA, do not count on being able to operate a home-based business. It might be against the “rules,” or, more precisely, the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) for your association-governed community.
Yes, technically, those CC&Rs can be amended, but it requires a supermajority of all unit owners (at least two-thirds) to agree and care enough to vote for the amendment. Convincing enough of your neighbors to vote in favor of such a change can be a significant challenge in many associations.
Homeowners fight HOA over in-home businesses
HOMEOWNERS WANT HOA RULES CHANGED TO ALLOW IN-HOME BUSINESS
Author:Christy Millweard, KVUE
A group of Williamson County homeowners say their homeowners association is behind the times, and needs an update.
A group of Williamson County homeowners say their homeowners association is behind the times and needs an update. But the HOA said it’s up to their fellow neighbors.
Dianna Sells and her husband have a crate-free dog boarding business based out of their home.
“The business just took off — people don’t want to put their dogs in crates,” Sells said.
Sells is a former professional counselor and teacher, but couldn’t find a job when they moved to Round Rock to be closer to family.
“We have skills, but we’re old,” Sells said. “If, like we are, at our ages — retired or semi-retired — try to find a job in the Austin market.”
So, she opened the dog boarding business.
She’s won a Best of Round Rock award for the past two years, and she said she’s even in the Round Rock business hall of fame.
But now, the Vista Oaks HOA told her the home-based business needs to go. They claim it violates the rules, which don’t allow any in-home business.
“Our livelihood is in jeopardy,” Sells said. “We need the income to be able to, with the economy the way it is, (secure) our livelihood. It’s very much a part of our livelihood.”
If she doesn’t close, Sells said the HOA told her she will get a fine of $200 per day.
Read more (Video):
Owners plan to move out of HOA that issues speeding tickets
This is another growing trend in planned communities nationwide, especially gated communities with private streets: issuing speeding tickets and other traffic violations to is residents.
No, HOAs are not police departments, but they do have some surprising police powers.
And in some cases, an Association can issue parking violations or even tow your vehicle from public streets within community boundaries. But because association-governed communities are not considered government entities, they are not specifically bound by Constitutional constraints.
So don’t expect adequate due process or a fair opportunity to dispute that speeding ticket, even if you have only exceeded the posted speed limit by a mere 2 miles per hour.
Can your HOA issue you a speeding ticket?
Posted: Aug 17, 2017 2:01 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 18, 2017 4:20 PM EDT
By Gary Harper
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) – Sun Lakes is in the East Valley and is known for having active adult communities for retirees like Bernie Van Emden.
“You name it, they got it here,” Van Emden said of all of the amenities in his development.
Van Emden and his wife happen to live in a gated community that falls under the direction of the Iron Oaks Homeowner’s Association. And, according to Van Emden, when he went to his mailbox recently, he found a letter from the HOA.
“When you got that letter from the HOA, what did you think?” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked Van Emden.
“I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life,” he replied.
The letter said Van Emden’s car was caught travelling 37 miles per hour in a 35 mile an hour zone. It even came complete with photographs of the front and rear views of his car. The letter also indicated that this time, it was just a warning. However, if he’s caught speeding again, it said Iron Oaks Homeowners Association will issue him a speeding fine.
“The Homeowners Association has police powers to some degree, which I didn’t think they did.”
According to the letter, the warning came from the HOA’s “Patrol Office.”
Read more (Video):
Homeowners fight back against intrusive HOA
Colorado homeowners Rich and Colleen Stephens are so fed up with their HOA, they decided to let the world know about it with a 4-foot by 8-foot sign in their front yard, warning would-be buyers or tenants to steer clear of their onerous HOA.
What prompted this response? According to this report, the homeowners had the audacity to display a wooden American flag decoration and some flower pots.
Yes, it’s petty, but in most HOAs, it’s perfectly legal to enforce rules governing personal taste and use of your own front and back yard.
When the HOA issued a violation notice, the homeowners attended a hearing behind closed doors, and were denied the opportunity to audiotape the meeting. So much for transparency.
Tension increases in HOA dispute as critical sign remains in residents’ yard
A sign in a Loveland home’s yard has created a contentious situation with a homeowners association
By Sam Lounsberry
Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Disagreements between a Loveland couple and their neighborhood homeowners association have escalated while a sign attacking the association remains displayed in the couple’s yard.
Earlier this month, Rich and Colleen Stephens erected a large sign in the front yard of their home at 1110 Crabapple Drive in the Alford Meadows neighborhood in northwest Loveland that claims they have been unfairly targeted by the Alford Meadows Community Association.
The 4-foot by 8-foot sign reads, “If you are considering purchasing a home in Alford Meadows, you may want to reconsider. You may be the next target of the HOA!”
Members of the association reportedly told the couple their yard decorations, including a wooden replica of an American flag and metal flower pots, were in violation of the association’s covenants.
Rich Stephens disagreed, though, and refused to remove the decorations, constructing the sign after the association’s board declined to allow him to record audio of a meeting in which the parties were to try to reach a resolution.
Condo tenants, owners say court-appointed receiver abuses his power
If you think homeowners are the only ones who have to answer to their HOA, think again. Tenants are also common targets of abuse. And tenants rarely have voting rights in the Association, so, in most cases, they cannot serve on the board or vote in board elections.
Yet tenants and owners alike must abide by the same rules and restrictions, and, all too often, are subject to selective enforcement and draconian penalties.
Even more outrageous, in financially struggling associations, a court-appointed receiver can be put in charge of managing the community. And in many cases, especially in condo associations, the majority of unit owners and board members will be non-residents of the community. So a small group of absentee landlords or real estate investors tends to call all the shots, with little regard for the needs or rights of actual residents.
Mayor says city will look into concerns of Parkway Gardens residents
By Ryan McCarthy From page A3 | August 19, 2017
FAIRFIELD — Mayor Harry Price says the city will try to follow up on concerns three Parkway Gardens residents raised involving the 240-unit condominium that had been managed by a court-appointed receiver.
Resident Minnie Noble told City Council members Tuesday that she had been harassed after placing river rocks in her window planter last year to save water during the drought.
Noble said the homeowners association for Parkway Gardens recommends drought-tolerant landscaping for window planters, but that she faced paying a $25 application fee for use of the window planter.
She also said most of the board members on the homeowners association own property in Parkway Gardens, but do not live there.