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 …

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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 …

DC leaders plan to tackle blighted condo

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The latest media report of a rundown, nearly abandoned condominium comes from WJLA (ABC7) in Washington, DC. It has all the hallmarks of a condemned building: no utilities, broken windows, trash and debris piled up everywhere, abandoned cars, and a few stragglers and squatters still living in these horrid …

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 have …

Memphis: Fox Hollow HOA becomes dumping grounds

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Think living in a townhouse homeowners association means you'll have a well maintained neighborhood? Think again. Fox Hollow HOA in Memphis, Tennessee, is so poorly maintained and neglected that a heap of trash and broken down junk welcomes residents and visitors to their community. The City has issued code …

Leaky condos, special assessments a pervasive problem worldwide

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today's blog is for my Canadian readers, but also serves as a reminder to U.S. owners of Association Governed condominiums or cooperatives that the very same problems exist worldwide, wherever Common Interest Development is prevalent. The following article, written by a Canadian attorney, illustrates that point quite well. In …

Lynnhill – Condo crisis: New calls for investigation

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The latest in the saga of Lynnhill Condominiums: a court ordered utilities to be restored after being shut off for 4 days. But that's just a temporary reprieve, because a $1 million utility lien has not been paid. Now State Senator C. Anthony Muse is calling for the Attorney …

Housing crisis at Lynnhill Condominiums continues

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The following WUSA videos are simply heartbreaking, as 77 families - many with children - are scrambling to get another roof over their heads. Electricity, gas, and water utilities have been shut off at Lynnhill Condos in Temple Hills, Maryland. Residents have been left in the cold and in …