The intersection of city and HOA governance in Las Vegas

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The following KTNV Channel 13 headline caught my attention: Disabled veteran kicked out of heated HOA meeting. I expected to read a report about an HOA board member booting a homeowner out of the meeting. The scenario is so common. But today’s featured story has an interesting twist, because the …

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Judge denies motions, Ramapo Mountain Lakes HOA lawsuit to proceed

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Ramapo Mountain Lakes Association (RML) must proceed to make its legal case to enforce collection of lake maintenance assessments from owners of all 1,645 properties in the community. Judge Christine Farrington dismissed summary judgment on behalf of RML, and also denied a homeowners’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, calling …

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 …

What should be done about the Phantom, Inactive HOA?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Yesterday's post provided quantitative data - statistics and surveys from the real estate industry and the U.S. Census - that suggest that association governed communities are falling out of favor with housing consumers. Today I share with readers a report that provides qualitative evidence of a governance model that …

Home Buyer surprised by $10K HOA special assessment 2 months after purchase

What home buyers don't know about the HOA can hurt them By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Eight years ago, when my husband and I were house hunting in Florida, our needs, we thought, were simple: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, all on one level (very common in Florida), and less than 20 years old. Having …

IL condo owner board alleges fraud, failure to disclose construction defects

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I have said it before, and I will say it again. Modern association-governed communities are created by and for real estate developers and their affiliated investor stakeholders. Not only are the governing documents written to the clear legal and economic advantage of the Declarant, but state laws also enable …

Hundreds of NJ homeowners continue class action lawsuit against HOA lake assessments

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Public domain photo of unknown lake.   Occasionally I hear from homeowners who want to know if they can be forced to pay assessments for a property owners' or lake association, one they had not been made aware of at the time they purchased their home. The answer is, it …

Do HOAs have too much power?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Do homeowner, condominium, and cooperative associations have too much power over community association members and residents? Readers will most likely answer that question with an emphatic "Yes," after reviewing the following collection of recent news reports. And these examples of HOA abuse are by no means isolated or …

Georgia HOA banishes school bus from neighborhood streets

by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Judging from the emails and messages I receive on a daily basis, there is no shortage of HOA nonsense and dysfuntion. Plenty of issues to write about. And sometimes it can be difficult to choose the most compelling or important blog of the day. But today's article is …

Majorca Isles settles for $11M from D.R. Horton

Settlement follows October 2016 judgment for $16.3 By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to the lawsuit that concluded in October 2016, Majorca Isles was approved as low to moderate income housing (up to 681 units) organized as individual condo associations with an umbrella Master Homeowners Association. Most of the mortgages were FHA insured. …