A classic case of selective enforcement, but HOA still wins in the end

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Fences make good neighbors, right? Well, not if you live in Shalimar Terrace, a Nampa, Idaho neighborhood governed by a homeowners association. KTVB reports that homeowners Eric and Bekah Graves have decided to settle a year-long dispute over their black ornamental fence. As part of the agreement, the …

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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 …

Texas media, Legislators tackle developer control of HOA communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A Texas news station, KXAN, is investigating a very common disadvantage of HOA living - the Developer/Home Builder or “Declarant” controlled community. It’s about time! Current and former owners and residents of homes in association-governed communities have been complaining for many years that they have no vote and …

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 …

Associa turns over audit for police investigation of one of its own managers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Because these incidents are so common in association-governed common interest communities, I usually group multiple reports of HOA fraud and theft into a single post each month. But the case of Sun City Shadow Hills is somewhat unique. As reported in the Desert Sun, management company giant, Associa, …

HOA industry using anti-harassment rules to keep residents at bay

But industry advocates don’t seem to care about stopping abusive behavior of boards and their hired professional agents By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As a follow up to yesterday’s post about proposed legislation in Florida, with the intent to curb bullying and harassment in association-governed communities, I am featuring several articles from other states …

Should homeowner associations have power to stop harassment and bullying?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   One of the hot legislative debates brewing for 2018 in Florida is whether or  not boards of homeowner, condominium, or cooperative associations should be held responsible for preventing or curtailing harassment or bullying behavior among members of their communities. The legislative proposal follows reports of incidents such as …

HOA trade group fails to acknowledge its role in foreclosure abuse

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Catherine Reagor and Jessica Boehm of The Arizona Republic have been shedding light on the controversial power of HOA foreclosure. (If you missed it, you can find IAC analysis of the issue here.) To be fair, HOA industry watch dogs, community advocates, and homeowner rights activists have been on …

Spike in HOA foreclosures – implications for legislative change

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The subject of foreclosure by association-governed communities is getting substantial attention in the past year or two, and that's a good thing. Investigative reports, such as the following article published by The Arizona Republic at azcetnral.com, serve to increase public awareness of risks for homeowners, as well as the …

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

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   California California residents of common interest developments have moved one step closer toward upholding their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly. CA SB-407, An act to add Section 4515 to the Civil Code, has been signed by the Governor, and is now enacted as of September …