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. …

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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 …

PA press conference for HB595 exposes the bill’s true intent

An Opinion By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities House Rep. Rosemary Brown (R - 189th Legislative District) held a press conference on April 25th, urging Governor Tom Wolf to sign HB595, a bill that, according to Brown, will “assign additional powers to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in regard to how …

Arizona HOA, condo, co-op legislative updates (April 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The Arizona Legislature just took three steps forward toward protecting the rights of homeowners and shareholders in association-governed communities. Governor Doug Ducey has signed all three of the following bills, which are now law in Arizona.   HB-2262: Condominium Termination Compensation In Arizona, the condominium association termination trend …

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 …

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 …