This week in HOA-ville: deferred condo maintenance, HOA lawsuits, and $500 recurring fines

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities (

From negligence to abuse of power, highlights of recent reports on HOA life in the U.S.


HOA lawsuit, deferred maintenance make these North Myrtle Beach condos a tough sell (South Carolina)

Tilghman Beach and Racquet (condo) Association has been embroiled in a lawsuit for the past three years. A group of seven owners of vacation condos is suing the HOA board, claiming the representatives of the association were negligent in maintaining the common property.

Finally, local journalists are starting to cover a very common HOA problem, especially for condominiums: deferred maintenance.

Check out the photos of rotting wood framing, siding, and balconies on the WMBF report linked below. Three decades of exposure to salty and corrosive ocean breezes has certainly taken its toll on the all-wood condo buildings, set one short block from the beach.

As is typical in HOA-ville, Tilghman Beach condo association didn’t collect and save a portion of HOA fees for future repairs. According to current long—time owners, there has never been a reserve account.

Deferred maintenance leads to expensive repairs. And with no money in reserve, that means hefty special assessments for condo owners. At Tilghman Beach, owners could reportedly face a $131,000 assessment for each unit.


As usual, some outraged owners disagree with the board’s past management of the association. That has led to the long, drawn-out lawsuit.

Now condo owners are paying for expensive legal fees, too. The condo association’s insurer has denied their claim for legal defense.

One owner, who doesn’t wish to be identified, says it took her a year to sell her condo. Real estate experts estimate that the ongoing HOA lawsuit and pending special assessments have reduced the value of her condo by $65,000.

Unfortunately, Tilghman Beach is the predictable point in a condominium’s life cycle where the only buyers are investors making low-ball cash offers.


WMBF INVESTIGATES: HOA lawsuit complicates condo sales
By Samantha Kummerer | July 25, 2019 at 7:04 PM EDT – Updated July 25 at 7:04 PM

FL homeowner accuses HOA of invading his privacy

Homeowners of The Hills of Inverrary in Lauderhill are preparing for a legal fight with their HOA over what they call ‘invasive’ behavior that violates their privacy.

Local 10 News interviews one homeowner who says the HOA removed the cover from a car parked in his driveway, so they could see if its tags were expired. (They were).

According homeowners, someone from the HOA has also rummaged through their outdoor storage bins. On one occasion, an HOA representative actually broke into a screen-enclosed patio.

Technicaly, this HOA is a condo association, because all of the exterior areas — including driveways, porches, and patios — are common property.

Still, residents find it kind of ‘creepy’ that someone from the HOA board (or a management agent) is poking around their exclusive-use private property, just looking for rule violations.

They want to see the governing documents changed to clarify limits on the Association’s authority to enact and enforce rules.

Take note. In this case, homeowners are anything by apathetic. Why, they’re mad as hell, and they’re pooling their financial resources to fight for their rights.


Lauderhill homeowner says HOA was invasive in uncovering vehicle in driveway
HOA’s lawyers say driveway is common element that association may access
By Layron Livingston – Reporter, Local 10 News
Posted: 6:29 PM, July 25, 2019Updated: 6:29 PM, July 25, 2019

CA HOA picks on widow and her next door neighbor over front porch improvements made 18 years ago

Here’s yet another case of HOA power run amuck.

Frances Parnell, a widowed homeowner from an Oxnard community (Aldea Del Mar HOA) says her HOA is threatening her with recurring $500 fines. The issue: a stone veneer covering on her front porch.

And Pernell’s neighbor, an older man caring for his disabled adult son, is facing similar violation notices from the HOA.  His front porch is covered with tile instead of stone.

(Oh, the horrors!)

As you can see from the KCBSTV video below, both homes are quite attractive, with their distinctive front entry porches. But the HOA says these homeowners didn’t get approval for these modifications — nearly 18 years ago.

All these years, and no one from the HOA has ever made an issue of these improvements. Now, all of a sudden, the HOA decides to go after two homeowners living on tight budgets, even though the so-called architectural violations certainly aren’t unsightly.

At this time, Parnell is represented by an attorney, Art Gholian. He explains to 2 On Your Side that California law only gives HOAs five years to enforce covenant violations.

But the HOA is trying to convince Parnell that they didn’t notice the covenant violation all these years, so the five-year clock didn’t start ticking until recently.


Attorney Ghollian says the Ventura County HOA probably can’t go back and enforce an 18-year-old rule violation.

Hopefully, the HOA backs off on their attempts to bully Parnell and her neighbor with hefty fines, unless they pay thousands to remove their attractive porch coverings. ♦


2 On Your Side: HOA Fines Widow For Upgrade Made 18 Years Ago

CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reports. July 24, 2019

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