Metrowest (FL) affordable condo nightmares continue

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The real estate industry often promotes condominiums as an affordable and low maintenance lifestyle. But today’s post provides yet another example of an affordable condo association nightmare. The Hamptons at Metrowest, Orlando, is a prime example of everything that can go wrong with an apartment to condo conversion. For …

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Tenant, owner nightmares continue with leaky, moldy condos

The Worthington, Marietta, faces huge financial challenges By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Here’s another typical “affordable” condominium residential community near the end of its life cycle - The Worthington Condominiums, located in Marietta, Georgia. Cobb County records indicate that The Worthington consists of two buildings at 1960 and 1962 Spectrum Circle, both constructed in …

Co-op and condo nightmares in New York gain national attention

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Articles like When a Co-op Board Misbehaves, in the The New York Times, play a key role in mainstreaming public awareness of corruption, abuse of power, and dysfunction in association-governed, common interest communities. Finally, condo owners and co-op shareholders who, for many years, have endured conflicted and abusive board members …

What is the root cause of HOA dysfunction?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities     To solve any problem, it helps to identify its cause or causes. So as we attempt to tackle social and economic problems plaguing many of our association-governed, common interest communities, we need to look beyond the increasingly obvious abuse and HOA horror stories, and recognize that we …

Florida HOA’s bitter legal dispute, threat of foreclosure over $25 late fee

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Is HOA rule enforcement a tool to harass owners and take their homes? According to Dave Silva, owner of a townhouse in Ventura Greens at Emerald Dunes, that’s the motive behind his HOA’s attempt to foreclose on his home. Florida’s Palm Beach Post has been following this saga for months. Silva, …

Condo living not so carefree for these owners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Owning a condo is not as affordable and carefree as real estate brokers and developers promise. When you share walls, roofs, and financial liabilities with co-owners, you have limited control over how association property is maintained, whether or not it is adequately insured, or who will ultimately make …

What can be done to improve HOA governance?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities There has been much online discussion about dysfunctional boards of association-governed communities. Homeowners complain that their board members operate in secret, they discourage participation of members, and resist providing access to official records. In some communities, the same handful of homeowners takes turns serving on the board, rotating officer …

Live in a condo? Don’t count on a working elevator

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I communicate with a lot of people in the U.S. and Canada that own condos, and many of these residents are over the age of 55. They often tell me they purchased their condos to simplify their retirement years and live more affordably. Others purchased their condos as vacation …

Former Lynnhill residents awarded $100K from utility companies for abrupt shutoff

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Nearly a year has passed since State Senator C. Anthony Muse called for an investigation into alleged mismanagement of funds at Lynnhill Condominiums. Last fall, residents were abruptly forced to find alternate housing after Pepco and Washington Gas Light Company shut off utilities to the housing complex. No word …

Condo, Strata power struggles out of control in U.S. and Canada

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Anyone who follows reports of conflict and dysfunction in association-governed, corporate-managed, common interest communities begins to see recurring behavior patterns. It goes something like this: Most owners and residents in multifamily housing try to get along, but, inevitably, a few people living in such close quarters start to get …