County works with HOA to dredge lake, improve watershed

Timberlake Campbell County Virginia

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here’s an example of an HOA working with their County to create a tax district to help pay for a $500,000 lake dredging project. The lake community was forced to lower water levels and eventually drain the lake, following flooding earlier this year. Over time, silt has covered the …

HOA, condo & co-op corruption and fraud roundup (Nov 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The November 2018 roundup includes reports of HOA corruption from embezzlement to wire transfer fraud to money laundering. Orange Sheriff’s Office investigating reported $400K embezzlement from Lake of the Woods Association (VA) By Allison Brophy Champion Culpepper Star-Exponent Nov 27, 2018 The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the …

HOA private security raid by IN State Police

Indiana state police emblem

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities What can go wrong when homeowners’ associations (HOAs) rely on private security guards to “police” their exclusive communities? How about an HOA private security raid by Indiana State Police? Earlier this month, Indiana’s Attorney General ordered an investigation of private security officers at Lakes of Four Seasons . LOFS is …

Arkansas – defunct HOA will lose lake if dam not fixed

lake dam country hills mountains

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Lake Sandy Acres, Arkansas, homeowners with an inactive HOA recently learned they could lose their lake, because the old earthen dam that holds back the water could fail at any time. The dam has sprung a leak, and it's in shabby condition. So add Arkansas to the growing list …

Ramapo Mountain Lakes asks court to compel assessments from all homeowners, following NJ statute amendment

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Last August, IAC introduced readers to a complex New Jersey legal dispute involving property owners near Crystal and Mirror Lakes. Since the 1950s, both lakes and related recreational facilities have been maintained by Ramapo Mountain Lakes (RML), Inc. According to legal records, the community was developed in the 1940s as …

Should neighborhood covenants and HOAs last forever?

Across the U.S., a disturbing trend is taking place. The HOA industry is quietly making it possible to preserve CC&Rs — or revive them after expiration — without consent of all homeowners.   Correction (March 12, 2018): a previous version of this post noted that a majority of affected parcel owners attending a meeting could vote …

HOA, condo, co-op Stormwater system articles (Dec 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Retention ponds are the anchor used to create many HOAs. But it is my opinion that constituents should pressure public officials to deprivatize ownership and maintenance of storm water and flood control infrastructure. It is in the public interest to have competent oversight and adequate funding for such important …

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 …

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 …

HOAs must pay for their own water management, flood control

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Water management and flood control are serious issues faced by municipalities and counties all across the country, and not just in coastal communities. Much flooding and property damage in recent years has been the result of poorly designed or maintained storm water infrastructure. Homeowners Associations are almost always …