Should homeowner associations have power to stop harassment and bullying?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   One of the hot legislative debates brewing for 2018 in Florida is whether or  not boards of homeowner, condominium, or cooperative associations should be held responsible for preventing or curtailing harassment or bullying behavior among members of their communities. The legislative proposal follows reports of incidents such as …

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Nevada 9th Circuit: Super priority lien cannot extinguish Freddie Mac mortgage without consent

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Some opportunistic Nevada real estate investors and HOA foreclosure attorneys are likely displeased with a recent Opinion filed by Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mueller ruled that the Federal Foreclosure Bar overrides Nevada statute’s intent to extinguish a first mortgage as a …

Why aren’t Austin condos rebuilt yet, 2 years after fire?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Every month I read several reports about fires in condominiums. Unfortunately, they are fairly common. Damage from a fire can range from mildly disruptive to devastating, and some fires lead to serious injuries or fatalities. After the immediate crisis subsides, however, the process of repairing and rebuilding a …

Water Woes: HOA storm water, flood, erosion headaches

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Since the 1970s, local governments have allowed - usually required - private developers to incorporate storm water control systems into newly constructed subdivisions of all types and sizes. Ongoing maintenance of retention ponds, drainage basins and swales, canals, weirs, dams, culverts, and related infrastructure has been assigned to …

City leaders consider public role in maintaining HOA infrastructure

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities To continue yesterday’s post about the decline of homeowners’ associations in the U.S., let’s take a look at a few examples of city governments that are now seriously reconsidering the wisdom of expecting HOAs to undertake and pay for repair and maintenance of their own private infrastructure. In these …

Reality check: HOA managers face decline of their industry, like it or not

By Deborah A Goonan, Independent American Communities   How many times have we heard representatives from HOA industry trade groups utter the words, “Homeowner Associations are not going away?” But that, dear readers, is nothing more than wishful thinking. Let’s start with the facts. The construction industry is building fewer new HOA homes and condos …

Mandatory reading before buying in or signing a residential or commercial lease in a mixed-use or high density community.

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Higher density / mixed used communities, pros & cons A collection of articles and references citing pros and cons of increasing density and incorporating mixed land uses   Advantages promoted by the industry: Walkable communities Affordable lifestyles near urban amenities Reduces sprawl and conserves land and environmental resources …

NC HOA faces dilemma: how to control traffic on private roads

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Home buyers might believe that living in a planned community with private roads is a good thing. They might imagine that traffic on their road will be limited to residents and guests. But, as the following report illustrates, traffic headaches and hazards are quite common in HOAs. For …

Connecting the dots: Storm water, flood control, HOAs, and affordable housing

A trio of DESTRUCTIVE hurricanes have thrust the related issues of flood control and storm water management into the limelight   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Regular readers of IAC know I emphasize the fact that financial burdens of storm water management and flood control systems are heaped upon property owners and residents …

Hurricane Irma recovery: Counties, Cities to assist with debris removal

Local governments acknowledge duty to taxpayers in private HOAs, even if FEMA denies reimbursement   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Sometimes a crisis creates an unexpected but refreshing response from one’s neighbors. Several local governments in Florida have announced plans to assist homeowners in association-governed communities, as they struggle to remove tons of …