California towns imitating HOAs, attorneys reap profits

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I’m seeing a disturbing trend: reports of local government corruption and profiteering. And the strategies being used by town, city, and county elected officials mirror abusive tactics commonly used in association-governed communities. As you read the following article published by Reason magazine, note the parallels to HOA-ville. First, a …

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Why “baby steps” & weak HOA regulation are not “better than nothing”

PA Governor signs HB 595, creating limited AG oversight of association governed communities, subject to conditions By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Today’s post is a response to reader comments I have received regarding recently enacted Pennsylvania House Bill 595. As explained in several previous posts, the legislation provides weak Attorney General oversight of …

WA homeowner wonders: How does a single $300 late payment turn into $8,000 in HOA late fees and attorney fees?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Collection of past due assessments or monetary penalties (fines) imposed by  homeowners,' condominium, or cooperative associations is way out of control. This is a common complaint I hear from owners of property in association-governed communities all over the U.S. A single missed or late payment of assessments, or …

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 …

PA Legislature approves weak AG oversight of HOAs

Will new legislation enacted in Pennsylvania hold developers, managing agents, and boards of association governed communities accountable? Don’t count on it.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to proponents of the bill, HB 595 will “help” residents of planned communities, condominiums, and housing cooperatives by encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) — arbitration …

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 …

Illinois condominium, homeowners association legislative updates (March 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Several 2018 Illinois bills, and angst over homeowner protections enacted in 2017, are stirring up controversy in Chicago and statewide. HB 5126 / SB3165 Last year, state law (Public Act 100-0292) was amended to provide condo unit owner access to contact information of co-owners, including names, addresses, phone numbers, …

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 …

Wisconsin lawsuit involving for-profit rental of property could disrupt HOA market

Bear Lake Shores Association is suing a new property owner who arranged to lease his home to a violent sexual offender By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   What if an association-governed community could restrict a property owner’s right to lease their property to tenants,  just by including a prohibition against commercial use of the …