Oregon lawsuit pits tenants against condo association, management

Families seeking $1.7 M in damages stemming from mold contamination By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   I have found that small news journals can be a rich source of information and in-depth coverage of local politics, community disputes, and lawsuits that evolve from dysfunction in association-governed housing. The following article from The Register-Guard highlights …

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When is a flood zone not a flood zone? Riverstone owners sue HOA developer

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts continue in southeastern Texas. Now that waters have receded, clean up and damage assessment is well underway. Homeowners and residents wonder what went wrong. Yesterday, I wrote about widespread flooding in Cinco Ranch, which caused failure of a sewage treatment plant. Today's report from KTRK …

Majorca Isles settles for $11M from D.R. Horton

Settlement follows October 2016 judgment for $16.3 By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to the lawsuit that concluded in October 2016, Majorca Isles was approved as low to moderate income housing (up to 681 units) organized as individual condo associations with an umbrella Master Homeowners Association. Most of the mortgages were FHA insured. …

Think your HOA townhouse is convenient, maintenance free? Think again.

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In some parts of the country, the real estate industry is marketing townhouses to first time homebuyers and retirees looking to downsize. Builders are also putting up townhouses in vacation destinations. Several times per month I hear from homebuyers that are considering buying a townhouse, because they do not …

HOA, Condo, Co-op Legislation updates (May 2017 – CA, MD, MO, NM)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities California In an effort to clearly define First Amendment rights in association-governed communities, SB 407 is making its way through Senate Committees. The bill would make it unlawful for an association-governed community to restrict a member's right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly on common property. The …

FL Legislature passes condo bill including criminal penalties

HB 1237 substituted for SB 1682, passes Senate unanimously. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Updated 7:45 PM Despite strong opposition by indsutry trade group Community Associations Institute and at least one member of the Florida Bar, the Legislature in the Sunshine State managed to pass HB 1237 this afternoon. Reference: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/01237/?Tab=BillHistory The bill makes …

HOA legislation updates -March 2017 (MD, UT, CA )

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Maryland More powers for condo boards? SB 529 would grant additional power to condominium boards (councils) to amend Bylaws to allow common element restrictions for owners delinquent in payment of assessments. The Bylaw amendments would be voted on by a majority of board members, without any input from unit …

Florida condo bills address Grand Jury report and condo terminations

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In Florida, more than a dozen bills related to Association Governed Communities have been submitted for consideration this Legislative session. I highlighted a few of them in an earlier blog.  But on the heels of the recent Miami-Dade Grand Jury report, blasting the Department of Business and Professional Regulation …

Do Missouri’s latest HOA bills really protect homeowner rights?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of Missouri's latest bills affecting homes associations, SB 398, has been dubbed by State Senator Gary Romine (R)  as the Missouri Homeowners' Bill of Rights.  Ironically, the title of SB 398 serves as a stunning admission by Community Associations Institute (CAI), a trade group that strongly supports the …

Maryland bill seeks to remove developer money from local politics

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As the saying goes, all politics is local. Citizens of Baltimore County, Maryland, are supporting a bi-partisan proposal, sponsored by a two State Senators, to ban developer campaign contributions to County Council members. And at recent County meeting, most testimony has been in favor of the bill. The goal …