HOA, condo, co-op News Roundup (Sept. 1, 2019)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

 

New HOA laws in SC don’t rein in corruption; FL HOA to fine police officer for parking violation; NE residents fear their road will collapse into a cavern below; bankrupt condo association living with blue tarps over their rooftops.

 

Say it isn’t so! New HOA laws don’t help homeowners (SC)

State Rep. Russell Fry tells WMBF’s investigative reporter that he knows HOA statutes, which became effective January 2019, are “toothless.”  He realizes there’s no enforcement or “punishment” of HOA board members or managers who go rogue and don’t follow the law.

But Fry says that was the only way to pass HOA regulations. Legislators had to agree to a watered down compromise. It was better than nothing. Maybe the law can be improved in future years.

Well, don’t hold your breath waiting for strict enforcement of HOA statutes. Because if state Legislators were truly committed to helping homeowners, they would have done so by now.

As I’ve opined before on IAC, here’s Why “baby steps” & weak HOA regulation are not “better than nothing.”

When Legislators give in to the demands of HOA-industry lobbyists to avoid “the heavy hand of government” interference in HOA business, housing consumers are left with useless laws.

More often than not, HOA, condo, and co-op statutes give the mere appearance of regulating HOA-governed communities. These weak laws provide little more than a shortlist of suggested good behaviors for board members.

South Carolina’s HOA Acts are no different than laws in other states. The truth is, state laws don’t give any agency the power of enforcement. So homeowners have no practical way to hold a bad board member or crooked manager accountable for self-serving or negligent actions.

A homeowner’s options are limited to suing their HOA in civil court, or selling their home to escape the dysfunction, if they can.

It’s no surprise that homeowners in South Carolina are just as frustrated as ever by poorly-managed, non-transparent HOAs.

Source:

WMBF INVESTIGATES: Homeowners association issues continue despite S.C. law passing
By Samantha Kummerer | August 26, 2019 at 7:02 PM EDT – Updated August 28 at 11:08 AM
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)


FL HOA threatens to fine homeowner, a police officer, for parking her marked vehicle in the driveway instead of the garage

Holiday Isles Management of Cross Pointe in Eastlake Woodlands raised some eyebrows this week when it defended the HOA-governed community’s policy of requiring a residents to move her police cruiser into her garage.

The HOA’s representative insists that parking a marked “government vehicle” in the driveway is against the rules.

An attorney for the unidentified officer calls the HOA rule a “bad” one, and points out that in 2005,  the FL Attorney General issued an opinion that police cars are not commercial vehicles, and therefore, cannot face HOA parking restrictions.

The HOA won’t explain why it sees the need to hide a resident’s police cruiser behind  garage doors. And the HOA threatens to fine the officer, even though it appears that the law is not on the their side.

Sources:

HOA tells Clearwater officer to move her police cruiser into her garage or face legal action
Heather Leigh | ABC Action News (WFTS)
Posted: 5:29 PM, Aug 27, 2019
Updated: 6:25 PM, Aug 27, 2019

HOA Demands Florida Police Officer Move Her Marked Police Cruiser From Driveway
A Clearwater police officer is being told by her Homeowner’s Association to stop parking her marked police cruiser in her driveway or face hundreds of dollars in fines if she doesn’t comply.
AUGUST 28, 2019


Developer, builder delay fixing dangerous road in Omaha subdivision (NE)

Every day, homeowners of a Northern Hills subdivision travel over a neighborhood road with a cavern underneath.

No kidding. WOWT cameras capture the dangerous situation for all the world to see.

Developer Keith Edquist blames the homebuilder, Melvin Sudbeck for creating drainage problems that have undermined a section of North 67th Street. But Sudbeck says that the city of Omaha expects the homeowners’ association to fill in the voids and make road repairs.

There’s just one little problem. There is no HOA. Homeowners claim the developer never worked with them to set one up.

So, obviously, there’s no money to fix the road.

But even if there were an HOA, how can the developer and builder blame the homeowners for bad drainage or inadequate construction of the road? Homebuyers typically expect a new home to come complete with access by way of a solid, safe paved road.

They certainly don’t expect the developer and the home builder to dump the expense of fixing an unsafe road on future owners.

Hopefully, a bit of negative publicity will convince the builder or developer to repair 67th Street, before the road collapses and injures or kills someone.

Maybe the City can take responsibility for the subdivision’s road, so the homeowners can completely avoid forming an HOA?

Source:

Huge cavern under northwest street, homeowners fight to fix it
By Mike Mcknight  | OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)
Posted: Wed 12:16 PM, Aug 28, 2019  |
Updated: Wed 12:22 PM, Aug 28, 2019


Condo owners organize recall as Hurricane Dorian threatens their leaky, tarp-covered roofs (FL)

Channel 7 in Miami reports that owners of Magnolia Lane condos in West Kendall, are truly in a bind.

According to Brian Entin’s investigative report on WSVN, Magnolia Lane condo association is broke, even though 200 unit owners pay about $300 per month in fees. Legal experts admit the current condo board didn’t manage the money well.

Now the condo association is obligated to pay a $2.7 million financial judgment for nonpayment of its debts.

Do the math. That’s a $13,500 liability per condo unit! For bills that should have been paid from past condo fees.

To fix Magnolia Lane’s leaky, worn out roofs, the condo association would need to pass a $600,000 special assessment. That’s another $3,000 costs for each unit owned.

Unfortunately, because of the huge judgment against them, all special assessment money collected would be diverted to pay current debts, instead of replacing the roofs.

Talk about dysfunctional.

It could take months for attorneys for the condo association and its dissident owners’ group to figure a way out of this most difficult situation.

And with Hurricane Dorian bearing down on Florida, Magnolia Lane condos are almost certain to sustain additional damage. However, because the roofs have been neglected for a very long time, insurance policies (if the association has them) probably won’t cover losses.

No wonder there’s a resident rebellion.

Source:

Resident Rebellion: Owners fight condo board over association’s deep financial troubles
August 27, 2019 (WSVN) – Condo problems in South Florida are nothing new, but one complex has such “complex” issues that they’re staging a resident rebellion. The Nightteam’s Brian Entin investigates.♦