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 …

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When these HOA members got involved, they got sued

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities How many times have we heard homeowners, Community Association Managers and attorneys lament about apathy in HOAs? A quick Google search on "HOA Apathy" results in dozens of articles on the subject. Few attend annual meetings, so there's never a quorum. No one wants to serve on the Association's …

Hostile takeover of HOA in Indiana?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Did you realize that all homeowners' associations (HOAs) - even single family home communities - are vulnerable to hostile takeover? My regular readers know that I have been covering the topic of hostile takeovers in the form of forced termination of condominium associations. While the process seems that have …

Homeowners just want HOA maintenance, transparency

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I'm seeing more and more reports of owners that are fed up with their homeowner association's failure to maintain the community or its amenities. Here's just one example from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.   Princeton Meadows HOA Locked in Pool Battle (NBCDFW.com, Channel 5 VIDEO) A chain and padlock …

Convicted! 2 found guilty of HOA election fraud in PA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Don't mess with voter rights in Pennsylvania's private communities. Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin has sent a clear message. If you get caught tampering with ballots for homeowners association (HOA) elections, you will be arrested, indicted, and tried by jury. And with clear evidence, you will be convicted …

URGENT call to action in CA: Vote NO on AB1799

Shared by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities California homeowners and consumer advocates - today's post is a call to action. Contact your Assembly member and tell them to vote NO on AB 1799. Industry trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI) is at it again. This time they want to give Association Governed Development boards the …

U.S. and HOA Elections: make every vote count

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Election season is in full swing. The American public is once again paying attention to their voting rights for the upcoming contentious Presidential election. There's a lot of talk about the unfairness of delegate systems used to select political party nominees. In fact, we are hearing the typical old …

Bel Aire homeowners oust developer influenced board, amend by laws 

Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The Bel-Air Association (BAA) recently had a rebirth of democracy. Homeowners have suspected for years that they were living under the rule of a board "aligned with developers, not residents." That's because, for the past several years, developers have been building BIG homes. In fact, Bel-Air developers are creating mega-mansions the size …

Dirty money and the Miami real estate market

by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Miami is a world epicenter for luxury condominiums. Recent investigations by the Miami Herald, in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have led to a massive investigation of money laundering through cash purchases of condos valued at $1 million or more. Check out this Miami …

GA: HOA conflict over gated entry heats up

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Not long ago, I shared a report of a DeKalb County GA community, where owners were shocked to learn that the $80,000 security gate they had previously rejected due to lack of funds, was later approved by the Board president to the tune of $135,000. Well, now there's a …