California HOA, condo, co-op legislative updates (Elections – April 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   California Courts regard common interest communities as quasi-governmental entities. And, in many cases, boards of association-governed communities have greater power than elected officials of local government. For example, boards of association-governed common interest communities tend to have broad authority to decide how to best manage the corporate association, including …

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The bitter fight over how to create affordable housing

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In urban areas across the nation, housing is getting mighty expensive. Particularly in California, homeownership is out of reach for most residents. Rents are also out of control. Yes, a limited number of low to moderate income tenants do qualify for rent-controlled apartments, but critics say, there aren’t nearly …

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 …

Ramapo Mountain Lakes asks court to compel assessments from all homeowners, following NJ statute amendment

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Last August, IAC introduced readers to a complex New Jersey legal dispute involving property owners near Crystal and Mirror Lakes. Since the 1950s, both lakes and related recreational facilities have been maintained by Ramapo Mountain Lakes (RML), Inc. According to legal records, the community was developed in the 1940s as …

Chicago attorney – condo owner asks Cook County judge to void unconstitutional ordinance

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In January, here on IAC, I posted an article about the City of Chicago’s intent to circumvent state law with regard to condo unit owner access to contact information and voting interests of fellow association members. (See City of Chicago seeks to undo state law pertaining to records requests …

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 …

Mississippi’s murky attempt at combining HOAs and Community Improvement Districts

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Residents of many planned communities developed 25-50 years ago find that infrastructure, amenities, and streetscapes of their neighborhoods are in need of a facelift, major repair, or wholesale replacement. However, the vast majority of HOAs lack reserve funding to make needed or desired improvements. And local governments are …

Pima County government explores options to pay for much-needed road repairs

Frustrated homeowners in HOA, non-HOA neighborhoods consider taxing themselves by establishing Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   How should Pima County, Arizona pay for more than $330 million in deferred road maintenance in its unincorporated areas? The issue is controversial. Roads all over Pima County are in poor condition, and …

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 …