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 …

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FL Developer ordered to turn over control of HOA to homeowners

Benderson Development Company has controlled Kings Gate HOA for nearly 20 years.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) recently ruled that the developer of Kings Gate subdivision, Victoria Estates Ltd. (Declarant), must hand off control of the homeowners' association to members. Victoria Estates Limited is …

NY Condo board bully ousted, Hitler and Mussolini decor removed from lobby

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   When a regulatory agency does its job, justice is served. Readers may recall previous reports of abuse at a Sunnyside, Queens condominium. Residents complained that their property manager, Neal Milano, had transformed the lobby into a display of Nazi imagery. Residents said Milano and some members of the …

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 …

Poinciana HOA update: homeowners’ group gains one new seat on Master Association board

Judge also OKs homeowners’ 4th amended complaint, so legal challenge can proceed By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   UPDATE: The Ledger reports that Friends of Poinciana Villages member Victor Destremps ran unopposed in Village 5 for the 2018 election cycle. Destremps was then appointed by the board of Village 5 to serve on the …

Poinciana HOA update: Court won’t uphold Arbitration ruling that made 2017 election invalid

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Is regulation of association-governed communities possible? Some states, such as Florida, California, New York, Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia have attempted to protect housing consumers with various state agencies: Ombudsman offices; Attorney General-Consumer Protection divisions; administrative offices that regulate businesses and issue professional licenses. But all of these efforts …

Viriginia Beach community displays the mean side of beach condo living

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Ever dream of owning a condo by the beach, spending your Golden Years enjoying the sand and surf? What if you paid big money for your retirement dream home by the sea, but your access to the beach was blocked by a sand dune? And what if the condo …

HOA, Condo, Co-op Legislative Highlights (October 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities District of Columbia Effective April 2017, the Condominium Owner Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Amendment Act of 2016 provides some consumer-friendly provisions. First, the Act requires condominium associations to provide written notice to an owner who becomes delinquent on assessments. The notice must include a breakdown of all charges, and …

Will state bills finally bring accountability to Association-Governed communities?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Both Florida and Pennsylvania Legislatures are considering  bills to create accountability for association-governed communities. But the type of legislation differs vastly. Florida In Florida, the legislation under consideration will apply only to condominium and cooperative associations, but not to planned communities of single family homes. SB 1682 and companion …

HOA Legislation updates – March 2017 (CO and FL)

by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Colorado Construction Defects debate heats up, but is compromise possible? A new compromise bill has been introduced in the House, in the hopes that Colorado legislators can finally address the state's highly controversial construction defect laws pertaining to common interest, association-governed communities. In past blogs, I have criticized the …