PA press conference for HB595 exposes the bill’s true intent

An Opinion By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities House Rep. Rosemary Brown (R - 189th Legislative District) held a press conference on April 25th, urging Governor Tom Wolf to sign HB595, a bill that, according to Brown, will “assign additional powers to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in regard to how …

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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, …

Kansas HOA Consumer Protection bill hits brick wall in the House

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   UPDATE to a previous post on Kansas HB 2629. Once again, a housing consumer protection bill is defeated following minimal discussion. As usual, opponents of the bill use the same old, tired excuse, as quoted in the Kansas City Star: “I’ve served on one; my wife is serving …

Delaware townhouse developer turns HOA into a rental community, homeowners sue

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Today’s post is a real life example of how opportunistic developers use association governance to serve their own profit motives, without any regard to the expectations of homeowners. Some of my readers write to me saying that developers cannot wait to hand over control of the association to …

HOA, Condo, Co-op litigation and case law quarterly highlights (March 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Carl Thompson v. Lamplight Village Homeowners Association, docket number A-14-697688-C. Latest update on Lamplight Village HOA liability for $20 million verdict: Very little information is being released by the HOA to the general public. However, the following letter from attorney Michael W. McKelleb, independent counsel for Lamplight Village …

Kansas bill proposes Consumer Protection for HOA homeowners

Sponsor says HB 2629 would rein in HOA abuse, but management, legal professionals oppose consumer protection regulation   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Updated March 22, 2018 8:15PM   As reported by Judy L. Thomas of Kansas City Star, homeowner Scott Wircenske had grave concerns about the management of his homeowners’ association. In …

HOA, condo, co-op Legislation Highlights (March 2018,Florida)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Updated April 15, 2018 HB 841 enrolled, signed by governor Legislative history: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/00841/?Tab=BillHistory Full text of this lengthy bill can be viewed in the window below: https://cloudup.com/cBImOGsMZPV Several consumer-unfriendly amendments have been made via HB 841: HB 841 clarifies that association board members may communicate by email. However, all …

New conflict of interest disclosure law affects NY condos and co-ops

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A new disclosure law in New York State highlights the fact that condominium and cooperative corporations are subject to different legal standards than government entities. While municipal, county, and state governments officials are legally prohibited from steering taxpayer-funded contracts to their own businesses, or those in which they …

Condo owners to pay $145K special assessment to fund $5.2M renovation

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Imagine scraping together the down payment to buy a half-million dollar condo, only to be hit with a $145,000 special assessment a year later. That’s the nightmare for several homeowners in Pinnacle Condominium Association, a 36-unit, 8-building complex in San Rafael, originally constructed in 1980, managed by RealManage. According …

In memory of L.A. Times columnist Donie Vanitzian, fierce advocate of homeowners

Vanitzian’s untimely death likely the result of domestic violence By Deborah Goonan, Independent American CommunitiesUpdated Jan. 7, 2018 12:41 p.m. It is with shock and sadness that I write today’s post. The L.A. Times reports that Donie Vanitzian, 67, died on December 28, 2017, from a single gunshot wound. Los Angeles police acknowledge a note …