HOAs, condos, & co-ops: Quasi-governments or ‘contractual communities’?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In 2012, California Attorney Tyler Berding published an article on his website, Condo Issues, making his case that an association governed community is purely ‘contractual.’ In Berding’s opinion, ‘community associations’ are not governments, because, in theory, members voluntarily agree to CC&Rs and Bylaws for the good of the …

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Why did condo board delay informing owners about offer to purchase entire building?

by Deborah Goonan, Independent American CommunitiesState Parkway Condominium, located on the Gold Coast in Chicago, has had more than its share of financial controversy. In July, the Association passed a $500,000 special assessment to cover the cost of ongoing legal fees, most of them related to lawsuits against a single condo owner, and former board …

Arizona HOA cannot avoid the neighborhood holdout

Highway loop at night

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   UPDATED: Aug. 7, 2018 10:30 PM   Crazy, crazy, crazy! Here’s an HOA dispute over the sale of common property to accommodate a freeway in the Ahwatukee Foothill region of Arizona. According to the report, state and local government officials knew about future plans for the highway nearly …

Chicago condo-to-apartment deconversion trend divides co-owners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The more I learn about condo-to-apartment deconversions, also known as (forced) condo terminations, the more I become convinced that no one ever actually “owns” property as a member of a condominium association. Condominium ownership differs from ownership in a homeowners’ or property owners’ association in several ways. And the …

HOA Common interest community real estate trends

Changes coming to HOA, condo neighborhoods The industry keeps trying to tweak the HOA, condo product. But do recent changes improve communities, or simply cause new problems? By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Six new trends are likely to make homeownership more complicated, and less predictable than ever before. 1. Site Condominiums In Michigan, it …

Condo HOA President fines upstairs neighbors because toddler’s pitter patter is too noisy

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   What happens when families with young children live in condominium apartments? Quite commonly, children make noise — laughing when happy, crying when upset or hungry, running or jumping in the apartment when excited, perhaps raising their voices in squabbles with siblings. And while a parent can take action …

Condo to apartment ‘deconversions’ continue in Chicago

Investors take over condo boards, vote to terminate the associations, and force remaining owners to sell at their condos at low prices By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Fifteen years ago, real estate professionals were touting the benefits and affordability of condo living. So thousands of first-time home buyers and retirees  puchased a condominium …

Arizona HOA, condo, co-op legislative updates (April 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The Arizona Legislature just took three steps forward toward protecting the rights of homeowners and shareholders in association-governed communities. Governor Doug Ducey has signed all three of the following bills, which are now law in Arizona.   HB-2262: Condominium Termination Compensation In Arizona, the condominium association termination trend …

Investigative journalists confirm abusive nature of HOAs, common interest communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American communities   Nearly eight years ago, when my husband and I purchased and moved into a nearly-new home in a master planned community, we had only a vague understanding of what it means to own and reside in an association-governed common interest community. Like most first-time residents of homeowners, condominium, …

From Chicago to Charlotte, condo owners attempt to cash in on their own terms

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In cities across the U.S., the real estate market is hot, and land is scarce. Developers are on the lookout for investment opportunities. Some have their eye on older, low-rise condominium buildings and developments located on prime parcels of land. The goal — gain control of the association, …