The dreaded condo HOA special assessment (FL)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities If you own a condominium that is at least 25 to 30 years old, it probably requires some major renovation. Typically, after about three decades of normal wear and tear, a housing complex will need a one of more of the following: a new roof, replacement of windows or …

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How can we create fair HOA elections?

CAI’s absurd vision flies in the face of democracy and common sense By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Back in April 2018, I posted an article about several pending bills in the state of California, among them SB-1128 and SB-1265. (In case you missed it, you can read the post and access links to the …

Why can’t this 14-member HOA community agree to change flag rules?

Marine corp emblem

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Disputes involving restrictive covenants are very common in homeowners’ associations, even small housing subdivisions such as Nestlewood Estates in Jamison (Bucks County), Pennsylvania. The 14-home neighborhood was recently featured on Fox 29 News (WTXF). Homeowners Phil and Gail Wurst are fighting back against an HOA rule that restricts display …

It’s time to deregulate homeowners and restore private property rights

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Legislative sessions are in full swing across the U.S. And some states are, once again, considering bills that are intended to rein in abuse and corruption of a virtually unregulated industry: association-governed, common interest communities, more commonly known as homeowners’ associations or HOAs. As explained in a previous …

HOA, Condo, Co-op legislative updates across the U.S. (June 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities California In preparation for its next drought, California has moved in the direction of mandating water conservation through water districts with oversight at the state level. The goal is to reduce indoor water consumption from an average of 90 gallons per day per resident to 55 gallons by 2022. …

Two Fair Housing victories for NJ condo residents who were denied their requests for support animals

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Two condo associations in New Jersey settled complaints filed by residents, both of them fair housing claims following denial of their requests for support animals. The first settlement involved a dispute between tenant T.D. and Harbortown Sail condominium association, Perth Amboy. T.D. suffers from medical conditions that cause …

Illinois / Chicago: Updates on legislative efforts to prevent unit owner access to membership list

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few months ago, condominium industry special interest groups were pressuring Illinois and Chicago lawmakers to undo transparency provisions added to Illinois Public Act 100-0292 in 2017. Among other changes, last year’s amendments included a provision regarding unit owner access to a membership roster of fellow condo unit owners. …

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 …

CT: Taxpayers could help pay for defective crumbling foundations of HOA homes, condos

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today’s post is an update on a serious problem for homeowners in Connecticut — what to do about their crumbling foundations. The problem is widespread in the state, affecting thousands of homes with concrete foundations that were poured in the mid-1980s-1998 by contractors supplied by J.J. Mottes Concrete Company. According …