HOA Lien Exuberance

In Las Vegas, where most mortgaged homeowners remain underwater, and many mortgage holders don’t have the paperwork in order that would allow them to foreclose, another form of real estate speculation has popped up.    Read more…

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Coercion by contract: how homeowners associations stifle expression, sustainability

In the 1980s, I lived in a small DC condominium complex in the highly walkable Adams-Morgan neighborhood. I was one of 14 unit owners. Another was a fairly well-known Russian writer who had defected; the Cold War was still happening

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Board members not given respect

This letter is written to represent all Penn Forest Township Home Owners Association volunteers who work hard to represent their communities. As a volunteer board member of the board of directors of a Penn Forest Township Home Owners Association, I

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Florida: Upcoming Legislative Session: Condo’s and HOA’s Beware; Bad Bills are Here

Moriatis is planning to add the following language to Florida’s Condominium Act as well as the other chapters that govern timeshares and homeowners associations: “The first mortgagee or its successors or assignees who acquire title to a unit by foreclosure

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Is $12 million award in child’s traffic death fair?

The jury found driver Helen Bygel, who said she didn’t see the child, 10 percent responsible for the crash. It found the condominium association 30 percent responsible and its management company, MMI of the Palm Beaches, 60 percent to blame.

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Condo association laws need a Legislative fix

Legislators are often criticized for failing to predict the manner by which market permutations might nullify a law’s intent. Such is now the case with an important aspect of the laws governing condominium and homeowner associations in Florida, and a

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To condo owners – speak up

I hate to harp, but while the fallout over the provincial budget is astounding and distracting, there is other business to attend to that may have an immediate effect on the life, liberty and bank balance of hundreds of thousands

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View from the Potomac: For economic woes, think differently

A leading economic indicator that I have learned to pay close attention to is the delinquency rate for residents in my homeowners association. The reason for this is simple. One of the first things that people cut from their monthly

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What Killed President Kennedy and Trayvon Martin?

February 26 will mark one year since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by a gun wielded by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman after he saw Trayvon walking home from a 7-Eleven with a bag of Skittles and bottle of Arizona

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Your Right to Privacy vs.Community’s Security Protocol

Last week a member of my HOA’s board of directors caught me out on a jog and asked me if it was legal for the guards at our entrance gate to scan in the drivers’ licenses of people seeking access

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Condo owners pay in other ways

Re “Condos catch break: Different assessment rule means big savings for owners,” Feb. 10 article: The above front-page article that demonizes condo owners as tax cheats neglected to mention that condo owners pay directly for services that single-home owners take

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I think I would rather live in a haunted house than one governed by a Homeowners’ Association

Justin Jouvenal of the Washington Post reports that there has been a recent feud in Fairfax County between some residents and their local HOA. For those of you without the time to read an entire article, here’s a brief summary:

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How homeowners and associations can get along

Regarding the Feb. 10 front-page article “The spat that laid low Olde Belhaven”:  I will resist the urge to take sides in Sam and Maria Farran’s Pyrrhic victory over their homeowners association because both sides showed a lack of judgment.

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Mother nature, idiots and patience

Watching and reading of the problems winter storm Nemo caused brought back memories of my early days in condo management.  My first job in the industry was as a resident manager of a 72-unit condo complex on an island in

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Assessment Collection Strategies – Not All Attorneys Agree

Attorneys from the law firm SwedelsonGottlieb and Association Lien Services (“ALS”) attended California Association of Community Managers’ (“CACM”) 2013 Northern California Law Seminar in January of 2013. One of the programs dealt with assessment collection strategies. We did not like

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11 “Natural” Laws of Community Associations

Like science, community associations also have certain immutable “natural” laws that exist outside of state or federal legislation.  This is my take on them: 1. Community associations are going to continue to be THE major component of new development Unless

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We need to scare the hell out of boards and owners – Raven’s Cove didn’t do it!

Once again in the news today, an association that failed to reserve for major repairs and the low-income owners are now looking at a $5,400 additional assessment due in a couple weeks.  The particulars or location of this association isn’t

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Condo tragedy: Sprinkler system a small price to pay

While we mourn the two lives lost in the inferno at the Woodcrest condominiums in Chelmsford Saturday night, we can’t help but wonder if the outcome would have been different had there been a sprinkler system in place. Fire officials

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Education better than arguments

We made it to 2013, and that Mayan calendar did not mean a thing. My New Year’s resolutions include refusing to watch any more TV ads for 1-800-Ask Gary and to never utter the word “Kardashian.”  Read More……

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Neighborhood residents should be more vigilant

Laurie Vanover will have her day in court. Accused of looting nearly $192,000 from the Stratford Property Owners Association where she served as treasurer, Vanover is expected to be charged soon. Police, prosecutors and courts will take care of the

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Condo-Flip Redux Would Leave Fed Out in the Cold

I remember when I knew for sure that soaring home prices had gone beyond “froth” to attain bubble status. It was sometime in 2004, and the alert landed in my inbox.  Read More……

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2012 in Review

In 2012 , we linked to over 4,000 news stories and 2,200 articles about condominium and homeowner associations.  Over 1,300 news items rose to the level of national interest.  Why point this out?  Well, it wasn’t all that long ago

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FEMA Denies Community Associations Disaster Assistance

CAI members impacted by Hurricane Sandy are facing high recovery costs as local governments are  being denied Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement for debris removal and other disaster recovery expenses in community associations. Read More……PDF

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Neighborhood Watches – Stand Your Ground – Shoot First ????

A 2009 shooting in Utah demonstrates the problems with Shoot First laws, as drafted and promoted by ALEC and conservative Republican legislators that expands the ability to shoot upon belief of threat off the premises of one’s own property. This

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Fake service dogs provoke resentment, possible rule changes

As a dog lover and a parent of a child with a special need, this is a story that brings disappointment to mind. Service dogs are a necessary partner for many with a special need. I have read about this

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Father of Modern Condominiums will never live in one

Retired Utah attorney Keith Romney is considered the Father of Modern Condominiums. It was his work in 1960 that led to the first condo project in America, right here in Salt Lake City.  Read More……

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The ARC and The Covenants

As we start to see signs of a housing recovery, slow as it may be, I feel the industry is in a great position. All the effort put in by so many to improve our energy codes, green building programs

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Is there a greater expectation of privacy in a secure condo building?

To the residents of the Lofts of Stillwater, Stillwater Mills & Terra Springs, I’ve been very conflicted about political door knocking in a secure condo building. I would like to hear your input on the subject.  Read More……

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Bound by free will

I would never agree to be part of a homeowners association that might limit my right to root for the New York Giants, support the party of my choice or inflate a giant turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving. The Jasinskis chose

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Nevada – HOA smackdown: 27 guilty pleas entered so far

(Las Vegas Review Journal)  Regulators responsible for overseeing the state’s homeowners associations lowered the boom on the Autumn Chase board in North Las Vegas. On Oct. 9, the Nevada Real Estate Division ousted the board’s three members, fining two of

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Naked homeowner association

We attended a property homeowner association meeting this morning in Powderly, Texas. The bylaws and deed restrictions have expired because the original developer input a specific term in the documents with the commencement of this organization. Each member was given

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Honey Bees and Ethics

“When I put the bees in, I knew it probably would be against the covenant, but I knew it was going to be a safe situation and if it wasn’t, I was going to remove them. I was bending the

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Much Ado About Nothing ? (Post from South Africa)

Finding a proper balance between slack management and management by dictatorship in housing schemes is an ongoing challenge, and a particular solution is not necessarily appropriate for all schemes. We know that if the administration or management of a sectional

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They Fought the Lawn and the Lawn Won

In an epic battle between a homeowners association, owners, and a lawn, the lawn appears to be the only winner. Eleven years of ago, Ed and Billye Simmon and their Florida homeowners association began a court battle over a $2,200

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Are HOAs Discriminatory… You Decide

Homeowner’s Associations are an enigma in my mind and always have been. We live in a society already governed by laws and rules in so many forms and yet people choose to constrain themselves under yet another set. My recent

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Rentals, Yes – Condos, No! An answer to the blogophile’s prayer?

If you regularly check in with the community association social media—blogs, Twitter, Facebook—you cannot miss the group of correspondents who have a decided bias against community associations. It’s not always possible to separate fact from fiction, or personal bias from

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Are Management Companies Under Attack?

In what may become a national trend, two states are attacking the issues of whether certain types of activities routinely performed by management companies amount to the unauthorized practice of law.  Read More……

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SC: Fight for the rights of owners in HOAs

There is so much misunderstanding when it comes to homeowners associations but as yet we are still left with no help from the state. We still have no answers or recourse other than the high cost of obtaining one’s own

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Brad van Rooyen: Homeowner associations already have ‘protection’

At a time when a significant number of Floridians are still struggling to make ends meet, millions of Florida homeowners could be faced with the threat of yet another forced increase in their cost of living. At issue is what

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HOA Opinion Piece in Denver Post Paints Unfair Picture

Today in the Denver Post, an opinion was published by Jose’ Martinez entitled The dark side of HOAs. While there is no question that not every HOA is perfect, it’s unfortunate that Mr. Martinez made the leap that based upon

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Present a Budget That Actually Means Something (and might actually get read)

(It’s not that I’m lazy, but every year when I go to write a new post about budgets, I realize that everyone else is writing about them also, and the best I can contribute to the discussion is what I’ve

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Followup to earlier post: More Firms Bow to Generation Y’s Demands

They’re often criticized as spoiled, impatient, and most of all, entitled. But as millennials enter the workforce, more companies are jumping through hoops to accommodate their demands for faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work schedules—much to the annoyance

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Bradenton Herald: East Manatee condo builder should buy back defective units

On the heels of homeowner horrors over noxious Chinese drywall over the past few years comes another builder whose inferior product endangers condominium buyers in the Willowbrook community. With balconies ruled unsafe by Manatee County building inspectors because of sinking

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‘Peter Pan’ as Public Policy: Should Fifty-Five-Plus Age-Restricted Communities Continue to Be Exempt from Civil Rights Laws and Substantive Federal Regulation?

Although millions of Americans live in 55-plus age-restricted housing, little research has been done to determine whether these communities benefit their residents, or the nation as a whole. This is particularly ironic because these communities exist in contravention to anti-discrimination

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Signs of the Times

It seems that with every election cycle, the campaigns start earlier and earlier.  It’s almost to the point where it feels like there is no break or rest between them.  Also, the politics of our country are getting more and

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Banging My Head On My Desk (and other therapeutic behaviors)

Subtitle: “Stupid is as stupid does” In going through the news feeds last night, I ran across this in a column of posts to the newspaper: From Ranson: My mother is recuperating from a debilitating stroke that has left her

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The “X”, “Y” and “Z” Generations and Community Associations

Recently I was reading a forum discussion about the video recording of board meetings.  Without going into the pros and cons commented on in the forum, my basic thought was “Really, we’re still talking about this – when anyone can

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Kicking the Can Down the Road

On Sunday mornings, I really love to sit down and actually read, from front to back, the Sunday newspaper.  I know, newspapers are so yesterday, and to be honest, they’re hardly a shell of their former selves, but it’s a

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Should Condo Associations Be More Proactive in Fire Prevention?

In going back over the news stories for January, I was surprised to find that there were more condominium fires in those 31 days, than  in any previous month during the 10 years I’ve been tracking those stories.  I was

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2011 – The Year of the Missing $$$$$$$$

If there was a single theme running through news stories and articles about condo and homeowner associations in 2011, it was the shortage of money to carry out their responsibilities. First, the trend of owners not paying their association assessments

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