Editorial: Laws that get homeowners booted over fees need changing

The case of Tina and Luis Lopez, who are on the verge of losing their home of 12 years over a $150 payment to their homeowners’ association, exposes a system bereft of fairness and proportion. Even common sense went out

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Proposed Estoppel Bill 398 – Unfair And Inequitable To Community Associations (FL)

Senate Bill 398 (“SB 398” or “Bill”) sponsored by Senator Passidomo is making its way through the Florida legislature and is a step closer to being passed into law. This Bill puts the needs of Florida’s community associations behind that

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Australia: Time for common sense in the war between Airbnb and strata owners

The Airbnb verses apartment owners’ debate is only going to get more intense.  On one hand we have an aggressive, revenue-dominated multinational with a large advertising budget and a strong intent to lobby government.  Their opponents, many of them dwellers

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Crackdown Needed on Airbnb and Uber alike — piracy business models

In November 2013, I found out that a handful of my New York condo neighbors were renting out their units through Airbnb. This was unacceptable and I wrote an article in a major New York newspaper that helped fan a

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There’s Something Rotten at the DBPR: Regulating Florida’s Condo Associations

With more community associations than every other state combined, Florida is a behemoth in the community association management space. Lawmakers in other states look to Florida to set an example for how to legislate an industry that now represents one

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My Position on the Pending Solar Legislation (UT)

I surprised a few people at the Utah Legislature last week, by testifying against a bill that would arguably facilitate the installation of solar panels in Utah. Those who know me (and those who follow this blog) are well aware

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A Lawn is an Arrogant Thing

witnessed my neighbor the other day, replacing some of his lawn with AstroTurf.  Got me thinking.  A lawn is an arrogant thing, isn’t it? I know; I’m a weirdo for thinking this way. I should strive for a lush, beautiful

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Utah Op-ed: Let HOA residents join fully in the solar revolution

As the manager of a Utah business, it’s very important to me that we do our part to help protect the health of our community. That’s one of the big reasons we at Mark Miller Subaru chose to invest in

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As More Americans Work From Home, Co-op Boards Need to Adapt

Can a co-op board stop a shareholder from giving tuba lessons at home?  More and more people are working for themselves, and more and more of them are working from home. Today, according to the Freelancers Union, more than one

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Construction Defects in Community Associations

CAI has a report out on proposed state laws to make it harder for HOAs and condo associations to sue developers for construction defects. They say that, “As of February 28, legislation has been introduced in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts,

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Latest (and Greatest) Colorado Construction Defect Reform Bill—SB17-156

The lack of more affordable housing in Colorado has been well documented over the last several years, and there have been a number of attempts to address reform of the current laws by legislative action. More than 13 communities with

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Promote fire safety, not substandard condo housing for the elderly

Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, a paid lobbyist of Florida condominium associations, in an op-ed on Feb. 14, advocated for a bill that “would allow older high-rises to opt out of an ELSS [engineered life safety system] and, for those who do

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The Super-Priority Saga Continues – Nevada Supreme Court Holds That NRS 116’s Notice Provisions Are Constitutional

The Nevada Supreme Court and the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have different rulings on the same statute. So, what does this mean? I think it probably means that the choice of courts makes all the difference. In Nevada

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Why the Florida Legislature Needs to Fix Condo Sprinkler-System Problem

For more than a decade older high-rise condominiums throughout Florida have been discussing, debating, and exercising their legal rights with regard to sprinkler system retrofitting requirements. In 2003, the Florida Legislature responded by allowing each community to vote to opt

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(Las Vegas Review-Journal) EDITORIAL: Nevada Supreme Court rules for investor in super lien case

The Nevada Supreme Court perpetuated an absurd injustice last week when it decided that property rights and due process don’t apply to mortgage lenders. The justices ruled in favor of a speculator who in 2013 claimed clear title to a

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NO COMMENT?

I’ve answered thousands of questions from reporters, some of them extremely irritating. But you learn to work through tough questions and to work with tough-minded reporters. If you ask why, I’ll bend your ear about engaging with reporters so you

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MI HB 4015: Unfortunately Not the Dumbest Thing to Come Out of the MI Legislature

Representative Peter Lucido (R), from the 36th District (Macomb County), decided to start off the new legislative session with a whole slew of bills, among which are proposed changes to the Condo Act.  I won’t be commenting on the other bills,

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Get ready for higher HOA fees if Prop 206. passes (AZ)

A vote for Proposition 206 is a vote to increase your Home Owner’s Association (HOA) dues by five to 10 percent. Service providers that work with HOAs—such as landscapers, contractors, and other tradesmen—will see their labor costs increase almost 50

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Home sharing: There goes the neighbourhood

When French authorities published new population figures for Paris last week, showing a drop of nearly 14,000 residents, politicians and bureaucrats were quick to identify the cause.  It wasn’t the threat of terrorism. It wasn’t high rents or taxes. It

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Get it right

A young friend of mine lives in a townhouse. This I discovered after making the mistake of asking if she and her husband had decided to sell their condo.  “You mean townhouse,” she corrected.  Ugh. I never get it right.

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HB4919 an affront to consumer rights (MI)

Q: I’m a millennial who just bought a new condominium in Michigan. I’m trying to familiarize myself with current Michigan condo laws, but are there also any current bills before the state Legislature that will affect me?  A: The one

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Bad lawsuit, bad argument, bad outcome (CA)

For six years, we hoped that reason would prevail in Santa Rosa’s legal squabble with homeowners in a gated community near Oakmont that has tried to block bicyclists from crossing through their territory. But reason has lost. So have bicyclists.

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Editorial: A merrier Christmas for area HOAs (NC)

It has seemed like little mystery that the owner of a Garner-based HOA management company would eventually be charged with crimes involving the embezzlement of funds from HOAs.  But last week’s news that Diana Kelly had been charged with 25

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Are HOA Dues Making Real Estate Unaffordable?

When mortgage rates move a quarter percent in any direction, that’s big news. But lurking in the background are fees for homeowners associations. (HOA dues). Don’t overlook them.  HOA dues are an expense that can sink many loan applications and derail

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California legislators want solar panels far more than they want houses

Actions speak louder than words. Politicians pontificate on many issues, and they pander to their constituents to gain reelection. However, the laws they pass reflect what they really mean and value. Based on that criteria, California politicians clearly want solar

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FHA Reforms Bringing New Risks as Well as Rewards

Now that President Obama has signed Federal Housing Administration condominium reforms into law, it is time to make a clear-eyed assessment of the risks and rewards that HR 3700 will bring.  It’s great that Congress has acted to ease regulations

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Counties should not make profits on the backs of homeowners (PA)

It is estimated today that some 2.8 million Pennsylvanians are now living in over 10,000 condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations across the commonwealth. These common interest ownership communities are on the rise, accounting for 80 percent of new home builds

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Letters: Convicted embezzler released from jail

Editor, This is in response to your Friday, Nov. 18 story “Convicted HOA embezzler released from jail.” I live in the Woodlake apartments in San Mateo. Sue Lambert, former manager of the Homeowners Association, stole $2.8 million from the people

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Reporting Assessment Payments to Credit Bureaus Is Good for Homeowners and HOAs

Last September, a number of homeowner associations (HOA) began reporting monthly assessment payments to a credit bureau. Such a standard financial management tool is normal for creditors, landlords and mortgage companies, but is new to the HOA industry. It is

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Association Assessments and Credit Scores

But what should be reported to the credit bureaus?

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FHA Proposes Condominium Rules Update (CAI)

On September 27, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released a proposed regulatory update to its condominium unit mortgage insurance program. On balance the rule has many positive aspects, including a limited “spot approval” process. The rule further allows individual

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Keep Condo Fees Out of Credit Reporting

Equifax, one of the major consumer credit reporting bureaus, announced recently that it will begin including the common area fees and assessments that condominium owners pay in the calculation of consumer credit scores. Sperlonga, a data aggregator that will be

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The Michigan Condominium Act: Time for a Change

While significant amendments were made to the Michigan Condominium Act in 2001 and 2002, the Michigan Condominium Act does not currently meet the needs of various stakeholders as it is outdated and disorganize

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Cities, associations can protect residents from Zika (FL)

Florida residents are accustomed to what seems to be a never-ending battle to eliminate pesky mosquitoes and midges that make simply sitting outside a challenge.

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Another View: Unfair taxation taking toll on condo owners (PA)

It is estimated today that some 2.8 million Pennsylvanians are now living in over 10,000 condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations across the Commonwealth. These common interest ownership communities are on the rise, accounting for 80 percent of new home builds

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HOAs, foreclosures and property rights (NV)

Your Sunday editorial, “Super liens: What about property rights?” really missed the mark. It was easy for you to make the same mistake the courts are making because that’s how the big money players have set the stage. The banks,

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EDITORIAL: Super liens – Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Nevada Supreme Court made a major mistake in 2014 when it ruled that home-owners associations could wipe out a lender’s financial investment on certain homes. On Thursday, the justices revisited the matter in similar case and should seize the

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Embracing Technology for the Betterment of Florida’s Residential Communities

Florida has finally joined almost two dozen other states in permitting members living in private residential communities to cast votes in a more convenient, secure manner than previously existed.

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Gardens Not Allowed: HOA, Homeowner’s Associations, and Yard Gardens

Flying into Atlanta on a nice sunny day, my window seat afforded a grand view of the expansive sprawl of subdivisions along the flight path. At about 2000 feet, it was easy to spot which homeowners had installed food gardens

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Editorial: Mount Vintage HOA saves North Augusta area golf course (SC)

Earlier this month, the Mount Vintage HOA completed the purchase of Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club. They purchased the golf course for $2.9 million,

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Sherman letter: HOAs (ID)

Regarding HOAs from hell, some very big points. HOAs are comprised of every homeowner in a community, not mysterious evil overlords; presumably Judy Thomas, of The Kansas City Star, means the board of directors. Boards of directors are elected at

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MISSOURIAN EDITORIAL: Without accountability, homeowners associations run amok

When they function as they’re supposed to, homeowners associations ensure neighborhood standards, property values and goodwill. Because many associations maintain private streets, sewers and water systems through fees homeowners pay, they relieve local governments of infrastructure costs.  But when HOAs

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More oversight needed for homeowners association boards

As governments cede more power and responsibilities to HOAs, for residents’ sake, they also should build in more safeguards for accountability.

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HOA elections are as important as presidential elections

Association board actions have a direct effect on the value of a home, community reputation and overall resident quality of life

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Runstad Center report: Addressing condo construction defect liability may help promote affordable housing in Seattle (WA)

The research was funded by the Washington State Department of Licensing, the state agency that licenses the state’s 30,000 commercial and residential brokers and real estate agents.

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N.J. gas explosion victims are at mercy of others

In the end, it is the homeowner’s association and its management company that should go to bat for the residents to ensure that the repairs and rebuilding are done properly.  These residents have already paid a high price and they

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How to connect HOAs and cities

Homeowners associations are key elements of West Valley communities, but the original concept has outgrown its usefulness

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Body Corporate Services and the strata scheme from hell

SOME ARENAS of corruption and rorts receive tolerable coverage in the media. By contrast, the strata management sector has kept well under the radar.  A great and unheralded advantage of house ownership is that it’s not strata ownership, which is

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Laws change while Virginia sleeps

In January 2016, two bills were introduced into the General Assembly, SB-416 and HB-812, one in the Senate, the other in the House, with one purpose: to open the Commonwealth of Virginia to the expansion of Airbnb and other short-term rentals.

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