Poinciana: Developer maintains control of HOA following State ordered election

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Residents of Poinciana, a Census Designated Place governed by one of the country's largest homeowner associations, were hopeful that a recent Arbitrator's order to conduct a new election would result in more homeowner representation on their Village and Master Association boards. Those hopes were crushed on August 1st, when …

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FL DBPR doubles down on requirements for new Poinciana elections

Order for new elections has been amended in favor of homeowner Martin Negron.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Following events in Poinciana, Florida, one of America's largest homeowners associations, it is encouraging to see that the tide is turning - finally, state agencies are beginning to acknowledge the assault on private property …

Poinciana 2017 HOA election ruled invalid by State

FL Division of Business and Professional Regulation orders new Village elections in August. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The Orlando Sentinel reports that a homeowner has prevailed in an election dispute with Association of Poinciana Villages in an Arbitration ruling last week. The ruling represents a victory for homeowners, and a step toward …

Poinciana owners say developer cast thousands of invalid votes in HOA election

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Conflicts over who should control Poinciana, one of Florida's largest homeowners associations with 26,000 homes, have been ongoing for years. At the heart of the matter is the fact that the 44 year old planned community - a Census designate place near Orlando - remains primarily under the control …

FL Legislature passes condo bill including criminal penalties

HB 1237 substituted for SB 1682, passes Senate unanimously. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Updated 7:45 PM Despite strong opposition by indsutry trade group Community Associations Institute and at least one member of the Florida Bar, the Legislature in the Sunshine State managed to pass HB 1237 this afternoon. Reference: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/01237/?Tab=BillHistory The bill makes …

HOA Justice is elusive without enforcement of laws and high ethical standards

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Things are really heating up in Florida, and it's not just because of the weather. A recent Miami-Dade Grand Jury report blasts the Department of Professional and Business Judgment (DBPR) for its failure to address an epidemic of corruption and dysfunction in condominium associations in the Sunshine State. …

After nearly three years of legal battles, Florida condo owners find replacing their board a daunting task

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Whenever I read talking points from an industry trade group, Community Associations Institute (CAI), claiming that Association Governed Communities are "democratic" self- governance, I cringe. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps in a perfect world. But most associations are far from perfection when it comes to conducting …

FL HOA homeowner: “I’m not going to give my money to crooks!”

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The latest report of a bully HOA board comes from homeowners in the Rivercrest HOA in the Tampa Bay area. Not long ago I passed along the report from WTSP news about the Lopez family, whose house was foreclosed over a single missed HOA dues payment of $150.   …

Less transparency, more HOA protests

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Florida has more Association Governed Residential Communities than any other state in the U.S. (California is a close second). But it also has a corresponding frequency of HOA disputes and Condo chaos. For some odd reason, Florida's Division of Professional and Business Regulations (DBPR) has limited regulatory jurisdiction for …