HOA living comes with many unexpected costs

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Homeowners may think their HOA fees cover all costs to maintain the common property. But, as these three recent reports illustrate, that’s not always the case.

A Florida HOA won’t pay for wildlife control, a Colorado condo association takes more than a week to repair common water lines, and an Arizona HOA hits up owners to pay to rebuild the wall surrounding the private community.


Vultures descend on subdivision, but HOA does nothing (FL)

Andrew and Leslie Wright have lived in Tudor Grove at Timber Springs subdivision for more than a decade.

This year, for unknown reasons, as reported by WKMG in Orlando, the retention pond behind their home is overrun with vultures — hundreds of them. When the predatory birds aren’t hanging out on the shores of the pond, they’re perched on rooftops of nearby homes.

The Wrights and their neighbors cannot sit outside and enjoy their lanais and swimming pools, because the vultures regurgitate and poop all over their homes and patios. Their sharp talons tear up the screens in back yard pool enclosures, allowing insects and mosquitoes to invade. The stench is unbearable. The noise from the birds on the roof wakes them up before the sun rises.

And then there’s the property damage. They Wrights have reportedly paid more than $1,000 to repair their screen enclosure, only to have the vultures destroy it again. And if they leave their cars in the driveway, the birds peck at the windows and scratch the finish.

Of course, homeowners turned to their HOA to do something about the wildlife problem.  The Wrights consulted an expert, and obtained a $1,000 proposal by the wildlife removal company to remove vultures with the use of decoys.

The homeowners provided the proposal to their HOA, but the board says it’s not their problem. And the HOA attorney insists that it’s the responsibility of the “individually affected homeowners” and not the HOA.

I’m wondering if the homeowners, or, better yet, the HOA, contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for advice and assistance. Here’s what the agency has to say about controlling vultures in Florida.

It certainly makes no sense to leave it up to individual homeowners to try and deter the birds, especially since wildlife gravitates toward common areas such as retention ponds and conservation lots.

Homeowners are paying HOA fees to maintain and insure these common areas, so why isn’t the HOA willing to at least try to control the vulture population?

News Source:

Vulture invasion damages homes, cars in East Orange County neighborhood
Some residents at odds with HOA over funding for humane vulture deterrents
By Mike DeForest – Investigative Reporter
Posted: 5:00 PM, June 04, 2019Updated: 11:51 AM, June 05, 2019



Condo residents have no running water for a week, owners to pay for water main repairs (CO)

Housing in Boulder, Colorado, is crazy expensive. Some of the most expensive in the nation. But even with though it commands high rent and purchase prices, two condominium buildings at Stratford Park West have been without running water for more than a week.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Condo residents are reduced to using port-a-potties or lugging heavy buckets of water from other buildings to flush their toilets. They’re showering at a friend’s house or the gym.

Without running water, residents have to rely on take-out food and paper plates.

Savvy unit owners and renters have insurance that pays for temporary housing at a hotel, in situations like this.

Still, it’s inconvenient and frustrating for residents. They say it isn’t the first time there’s been a water main break. The city recommends the condo association replaces its old pipes, instead of trying to patch them again.

The condo board decided not to use Hammersmith Management’s contractor to make repairs, according to the report. So the management company isn’t involved in resolving this issue.

Oh, and by the way, since the water mains belong to the condo association, owners will be paying for these repairs, and eventual replacement of worn out water supply pipes.

News Source: 

Northeast Boulder condominiums without water for more than week By CASSA NIEDRINGHAUS | cniedringhaus@dailycamera.com | Boulder Daily Camera
PUBLISHED: June 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm | UPDATED: June 6, 2019 at 11:19 am


Homeowners stuck with $3M bill to rebuild wall that surrounds their subdivision (AZ)

An ABC15 report from Chandler serves as a reminder: if you live in a planned community surrounded by a wall, you’re responsible for paying your share of maintaining, repairing, or rebuilding that wall.

Clemente Ranch has been around for more than 25 years. When it was built, the developer put up a wall around the perimeter of the subdivision. For years, portions of the stone wall have been crumbling and falling apart.

It’s so bad now that large stretches of the wall must be supported by unsightly panels  of plywood.

The HOA board finally decided it’s time to fix the wall. But that’s going to cost $3 million, according to the HOA. As usual, there’s no money in reserve to fix the problem.

So…the HOA proposes an $1,800 per home special assessment. Owners can spread out the cost by paying $50 per month for the next 36 months.

In Arizona, HOA members must vote on whether to approve or reject a special assessment. But even if the membership vote doesn’t authorize a special assessment, the HOA board is prepared to raise regular monthly assessments as high as state law will allow.

They’ve got to pay for that wall somehow, right?

After all, the developer is long gone. The homeowners are stuck with the crumbling wall now.

Of course, some homeowners who don’t view the wall from their own back yard cannot understand why they should have to pay for repairs. News flash: the wall is commonly-owned by the HOA, and that obligates each member to pay for its upkeep.

News Source:

Chandler residents get surprise bill from homeowners association
Cameron Polom, ABC15, Posted: 3:52 PM, Jun 03, 2019
Updated: 12:37 PM, Jun 04, 2019

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