Doing a disservice: The harm in service dog fraud

You may have noticed the signs outside of businesses becoming more prominent lately. They all carry a similar message: Only legitimate service dogs allowed. And, in some jurisdictions, they are now adding a reminder that service dog fraud is a

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Libertarian lawncare behind attack on Rand Paul? | Opinion

The motive behind a violent altercation that left Republican Sen. Rand Paul with five broken ribs and bruised lungs is being described as a “landscaping dispute” between the Kentucky lawmaker and his longtime next-door neighbor.  Call it a grassroots political

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Would you feel better about Airbnb rentals in your building if you got a cut of the profits?

If you own a condo that you actually live in, you might not appreciate the influx of strangers that Airbnb can bring into the building you call home. But the short-term rental service and others like it are here to

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Columnist: Wake-up call for condo dwellers

In this age of unwanted sexual advances why do we too often look away?  Why did the property management and board of directors at a swank Yorkville condominium not take immediate action to alert all residents to reports someone with

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When Should States Interfere in Association Business?

There is a dangerous fight going on in Wisconsin right now where legislators are seeking to place a cap on the amount associations charge for disclosure documents. The proposed statutory cap: $30. That is far less than it takes to

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Short-Term Rentals in Flagler County: The View From Home Owners’ Associations (FL)

Two weeks ago the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee met in workshop to discuss short-term rentals across Florida, an issue that has bedeviled Flagler County since county government in 2013 and 2014 successfully led the way to a new state

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Creating a state homeowners association czar is a bad idea (SC)

Last May, as the 2017 legislative session in Columbia drew to a close, a bill that had been passed by the House, designated H. 3886 and titled the South Carolina Homeowners Association Act, was put on the Senate calendar for

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Should HOA’s Receive FEMA Funds?

With recent storms ravaging homes across the nation, many homeowners are taking a closer look at the laws and regulations put in place to help rebuild after a natural disaster. For most concerned homeowners, one of the main questions is

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We can do better than ‘Lose – Lose’ at Centennial (CO)

Could of, should of, or must of –– does the theory of “Moral Hazard” mean we should punish the residents of Centennial or Puerto Rico for the alleged bad judgment of past leaders?  Being a locally grown column, I won’t

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Living with an HOA: Homeowner heaven and hell

Let’s first take a whimsical look at European Heaven and Hell:  In European Heaven, the Swiss run the government, the Brits run the police, the Germans make the cars, the French prepare the food and the Italians are in charge

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Robert Bumgarner: Restoring free speech rights to homeowner association members (CA)

If you live in a community that’s managed by a homeowner association, you know that they often stifle the free speech rights of individual owners.  That’s because First Amendment constitutional speech protections apply to governmental restrictions on free speech, not

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Here’s What Readers Said About Condo Owners Facing the Threat of Losing Their Homes Due to Increased HOA Fees (OR)

Last week, WW wrote about Cedar Mill condo owners who faced the threat of losing their homes due to increased homeowners association fees (“Trouble in the Village,” WW, Sept. 20, 2017). The fight in Westlake Village continued—in the online comments.

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Tracking Arizona homeowners association foreclosures

The Arizona Republic is seriously going after the HOA foreclosure situation. I’ve been commenting on the issue for just about forever, and so have a lot of other people. The problem is that CIDs typically have exactly one source of

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HOA Assessments Not to Blame for Phoenix Foreclosures

In response to the Arizona Republic’s article, “Illuminating the murky business of Phoenix-area HOA foreclosures,” Community Associations Institute (CAI) respects the paper’s attempt to shed light on the serious problem surrounding Arizona home foreclosures. However, we believe the paper missed

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Introducing The “Condominium Authority Of Ontario”

Did you come to TRB today, hoping to crack your knuckles and type comments in the form of a spirited debate?  Well, you’ve come to the right place. Nothing gets the blood boiling quite like new government regulation!  As of

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How Concierge-Style Condo Buildings Threaten Independent Living

Some independent living communities’ biggest competitors could soon become a condo building down the street.  That was among the insights shared during a Sept. 13 webinar hosted by Senior Housing News and sponsored by Arbor Realty Trust, a direct lender

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Investigate strata pesticide use

On one side of the street we hold workshops teaching the public how to increase habitat for pollinators, and on the other side, people are spraying chemicals that endanger our fragile environment. Even with 65 per cent of people in

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Our view: Justice for Walnut Tree (NC)

Residents of the Walnut Tree community in Stokes County have a raw deal, receiving problem-plagued water and sewer service from the town of Walnut Cove but not getting their say at the voting booth. Walnut Tree residents have long wanted

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Did you read the latest headline?

Good grief my head is spinning. There is so much going on in the world today, and I don’t mean this generation or 2017 – I mean TODAY. Within America’s borders and outside, I do not recall so much going

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We Must Work Together To Make Honolulu Safer After Fatal Condo Fire (HI)

The fatal fire at the Marco Polo Condominium drew international attention to the longstanding issue of how best to protect Honolulu residents living in high-rises without fire sprinklers.  There are 358 residential high-rise condominium properties, as well as hundreds of

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Editorial: The evolving case for home rule in Poinciana (FL)

Poinciana is a massive subdivision. It straddles Polk and Osceola counties, and the Polk half alone is home to almost 30,000 people. If incorporated, the community would immediately challenge Winter Haven as Polk’s second-largest city — and it’s still growing.

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Is Anybody Home at HUD?

Now, however, HUD faced an existential crisis. The new president’s then-chief strategist, Steve Bannon, had called in February for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” It was not hard to guess that, for a White House that swept to power

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Will You Have Your Legal Fees Paid For?

A lot of the phone calls I get have someone looking to sue, but hoping that the other side will have to pay for their legal fees. That rarely happens unless it’s a consumer fraud type of case or an

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HamRadioNow: It Ain’t Parity Until We Say It’s Parity

The Amateur Radio Parity Act drew plenty of critics in its original form (HR 1301, the early days) from hams who thought the government shouldn’t stick its nose into private contracts  After the ARRL and the CAI (Community Associations Institute)

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Southwood HOA Caves on Flag Mailboxes, Bass Mailboxes Coming Soon

In a campaign reminiscent of Rambo: First Blood, a Tallahassee military vet successfully waged his own private media war against the neighborhood rule-Nazis who run Tallahassee’s Southwood homeowners association. At least, that’s the way the story was being presented on

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Time for a review of the Strata Property Act (BC)

Increasing numbers of British Columbians live in multi-family developments which are run as strata corporations. Currently, there at over 30,000 active strata plans in B.C. and over 1.5 million live in about 620,000 strata lots.  Owners of each strata elect

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Real Estate Claims of “Strong Reserves” – Be Careful!

But one trend that continues to surprise me is how often claims of “excellent condo association reserves” and “strong association reserves” appear in our weekly monitoring reports. By following the links, I discover that these phrases on condo listings from

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Going to War Against Neighborhood Racists and the Kempsville Lakes Homeowners Association: The Kids are Still Alright

Last week I wrote about the lady who came to my door trying to get me to join her in trying to get recently installed basketball hoops removed in our neighborhood. Yesterday, after the National Night Out gathering in our

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Commentary: New Florida law governs condo association websites (FL)

In today’s digital world, the public’s view of an organization frequently comes with the click of a mouse, leading to a website. Thanks to a new bill governing the operations of condominium associations in Florida, these associations must abide by

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Take the Salary Survey!

The Foundation for Community Association Research is launching the 2017 Community Manager Compensation and Benefits Survey and you’re invited to participate!  Conducted by independent research firm Industry Insights, Inc., this survey for managers and management company CEOs and executives is

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Do HOA’s and Neighborhood Councils Guarantee Level Freedom-of-Speech Playing Fields?

People often divide themselves into two broadly defined camps, the first of which insists on obedience to all rules, while the other defines itself by its anti-authoritarianism. May I suggest that each faction is asking the wrong question.   Read the

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Are we letting HOAs rule our lives?

In 2015, my family and I purchased a beautiful new home in Wilson Grove in Gambrills. While we thought we were buying our dream home in a dream community, our excitement quickly turned to dismay after our first encounter with

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Are Legal Remedies of Owners and HOAs Equitable?

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently wrote in an opinion that, “Property rights are necessary to preserve freedom, for property ownership empowers persons to shape and to plan their own destiny in a world where governments are always eager to

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Are Legal Remedies of Owners and HOAs Equitable?

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently wrote in an opinion that, “Property rights are necessary to preserve freedom, for property ownership empowers persons to shape and to plan their own destiny in a world where governments are always eager to

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Real fake news: Wherein social media misappropriation hits home

It was six days after Sept. 11, 2001, and the nation was struggling to come to grips with the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a plane that crashed in a

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Hams hope to get higher with new law

Ham radio operators are hoping to reach higher through new national legislation.  This week, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced legislation called the Amateur Radio Parity Act, which would direct the Federal Communications Commission to provide

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MU study shows emotional support animal certification may need to change (MO)

A study conducted by the MU psychology department shows that the certification process for emotional support animals is flawed.  The study, conducted by Cassie Boness, a graduate student studying clinical psychology, and Jeffrey N. Younggren, a forensic psychologist and clinical

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Industry Perspectives — Quebec flood waters a reminder to build better: CCMPA

On May 11, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood in front of a group of reporters in Gatineau, Que. He’d just taken an aerial tour to survey the area’s flood damage. With Premier Philippe Couillard by his side, he talked about

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Insights: Construction defects reforms cost lawyers, but it might not save much for Colorado home buyers

After years of Colorado legislative fights over how to save time and money on litigation, two significant but insufficient things happened over the last three weeks that help nail down the issue of construction defects.  If changing the rules of

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Amendment to SB258 would hurt HOAs (NV)

Members of the Assembly and Senate are trying to pass an amendment to SB258 that would allow delinquent owners to sue their homeowners associations for foreclosing on unpaid assessments.  The amendment, to be decided in conference committee with no public

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Tavares should run from request to buy golf course (FL)

Residents at Baytree Villas want Tavares to buy an 18-hole golf course in their development that closed last week without explanation and run it as a “first-class facility.”  Talk about really bad ideas. Municipal golf courses typically cost taxpayers a

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Lyons: Condo owner can’t take a side in this eviction dispute

Some people might assume I’m an easy sell when residents have a gripe about a condo board or homeowners association allegedly run amok.  I admit that I have enjoyed writing now and again about an HOA or condo board accused

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Good law goes after condo abuses (FL)

For years, too many condominium associations and their management companies have acted as if they were dictatorships.  That soon will stop. By a vote in the Florida Legislature, many of the abuses in which these association managers engaged just became

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Don’t be creepy

Most of you likely know that I’m a social media proponent. It’s a great tool to connect with friends, family, peers, employees, clients and prospects. I’ve worked it into my day-to-day and proactively look to use it to connect and

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ANDY’S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: Homeowners associations (TN)

I’m a firm believer in neighborhood homeowners associations. I’m a firm believer in covenants and restrictions. I don’t want to see someone’s Dodge Dart on cinder blocks in the 3-foot high grass of their front yard anymore than the next

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Leadership is lacking in Colorado’s construction defects battle

The legislative deadlock over construction defect liability has revealed an ugly truth: our state government can’t solve pressing urban problems. Our governor and mayors look on from the sidelines, while two interest groups negotiate over the critical housing issue facing

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Appeals Court Revives Fair Housing Act ‘Blog Post Harassment’ Lawsuit

A recent ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals menaces free speech in condominiums, apartment buildings, and the Internet. It allowed individual bloggers to be sued because their blog posts allegedly created a “hostile housing environment” for condo residents

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Special Economic Zones – Quietly Advancing Freedom And Transforming Countries

Though not special economic zones in the modern sense, zones governed by special rules have existed almost as long as government itself.  The astonishing growth in SEZs over time qualifies as a revolution of sorts, but not the usual, political

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My Turn: Things are heating up in Serrano (CA)

Well, it’s that time again. We’ve got another Serrano Homeowners Association Board of Directors election looming and it’s again shaping up to be a battle for control, with homeowners vying with the developer for control of their HOA. But it’s

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Quietly creating freedom: Private communities and special economic zones

For the last several centuries, nation-states have dominated the political landscape, and set all the rules for everyone inside them.  But now two kinds of special jurisdictions — private communities and “Special Economic Zones” — are quietly taking over functions

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