Homeowners fight HOA developers still in control of communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of the biggest myths perpetuated by homeowners’ association (HOA) industry trade groups – among them Community Associations Institute (CAI) – is that homeowners freely and democratically elect their Board of Directors/Trustees from amongst their neighbors. Nonsense. While a democratically-elected HOA Board might be the ultimate, ideal goal, reality plays out much differently for millions of homeowners across the U.S. One glaring factor that all of the industry’s marketing Continue ReadingHomeowners fight HOA developers still in control of communities

Illinois Legislature fails to consider legal protections for condo owners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities According to Chicago attorney Norman Lerum, Illinois condominium owners have the deck stacked against them when it comes to resolving civil disputes with their condo associations. Even in cases where it can be proven that a condo board has failed to meet its fiduciary duty, owners cannot recover their expenses for legal fees. When a condo owner is faced with damages caused by the board’s actions or failure to Continue ReadingIllinois Legislature fails to consider legal protections for condo owners

2 More HOA myths busted

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Myth #1: HOAs protect property values What factors determine the value of your property? Certainly, the desirability of the location is a factor. Safety and security are important. For some people, a good school district is a critical factor. For others, proximity to work and/or transportation is equally important. Most people want a clean neighborhood where the streets are well maintained and trash is regularly picked up. Attractive homes Continue Reading2 More HOA myths busted

How well does your owner’s association maintain your community?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   One of the common complaints about living in an Association-Governed Community: “we keep paying our assessments, but nothing ever seems to get done!”   So today let’s look at two real life examples.   First, indoor maintenance issues can become a serious problem in condominiums, especially units that remain vacant for extended periods of time. In Vestavia Hills, Alabama, one unit in the Montreat Condominium Owners Association has Continue ReadingHow well does your owner’s association maintain your community?