They fled crumbling D.C. condos three years ago. Their lives were never the same.

It has been nearly three years since dozens of first-time home buyers were forced to flee their crumbling Anacostia condominium because the District deemed the newly-constructed building unsafe.  Ever since, homeowners said, they have existed in a state of limbo — unable to return to life as they knew it and unable to truly move […]

DC homeowners displaced by faulty condos to lose temporary housing

For the first time since homeowners were forced out of their faulty constructed condominiums, the District Council held a hearing to discuss what they call the “debacle” surrounding the River East at Grandview Condos.    Read the article………………………………..

Dozens displaced by DC condo roof fire

An apartment roof deck fire in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of D.C. was put out around 10 p.m. on Friday night, according to DC Fire and EMS.   Officials said the building’s 28 units are “uninhabitable” following the destructive blaze, pushing all occupants out of their homes early into Saturday morning. No preliminary damage estimates were […]

DCRA cites Homeowners’ Association President for creating a ‘hazard to life and safety’ in SE condos (DC)

Saturday, a resident recorded cellphone video of Homeowners Association President Marcus Little seemingly violating District building code by tearing down a Stop Work Order placed there by housing inspectors last week. Residents said Mr. Little left the building in such disrepair refusing to use their association fees to fix the growing problems.   Read the entire […]

In Mount Pleasant, A Battle Over Balconies Threatens Longtime Residents Of A Historic Building (DC)

The 25 balconies adorning the historic Kenesaw/Renaissance apartments in Mount Pleasant are certainly elegant. But should residents have to pay $1.5 million to restore them?  That’s the question at the center of a long-simmering dispute between residents of the 16th Street Beaux Arts building and the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board. After unsuccessfully trying to […]

Court says DC isn’t liable for severe structural issues at a Ward 8 town house project it helped fund

In January 2021, Bennett and Callahan joined a group of homeowners in suing the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) — the city agency responsible for financing the project — as well as the developer and the River East at Grandview Condominium Association. The claims against the defendants included breach of contract, emotional distress, […]

Even with loosened restrictions some COVID-19 rules at DC area pools remain in place

The weather may not be so summer like this Memorial Day weekend but that isn’t stopping the reopening of most pools around the D.C. area, this year.  Even with loosened restrictions, many pool operators are telling people about COVID-19 rules that they will still have to abide by.    Read the entire article……………………………….

HUD Revises Condominium Forms HUD-9991 and HUD-9992

In Mortgagee Letter 2021-09, HUD announced the publication of Form HUD-9991, FHA Condominium Loan Level/Single-Unit Approval Questionnaire and Form HUD-9992, FHA Condominium Project Approval Questionnaire. Major changes to both forms include, consolidation or elimination of required information, removal of the requirement that the Condominium Association complete the form and sign the certification, and permitting data […]

What homeowners associations should do when residents can’t pay during the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has delivered a multitude of horrors around the world. Along with the personal toll the virus has taken on individuals and families, the pandemic’s impact has shaken nearly all sectors of American economic life, and community associations are no exception. Millions of homeowners were under stay-at-home orders within a community association, and […]

Major fire in a high rise condo in Southwest (DC)

McKenzie reports: “Major fire in a high rise condo in Southwest. Cause of the fire currently unknown. Inside the north building of the Carrolsburg Condominium Complex. M & 4th SW. Is closed”   Read the article……………………………..

7,000 gallons of raw sewage flood a DC condo building and DC Water blames wipes

Cellphone video and pictures showing four inches of raw sewage and feces floating on the floor of basement units inside Penn Circle Condominiums on 27th Street, SE told the first part of the story. Property Manager Paul Gallagher and residents Rasheema Brawner and Handi Wakatama told the second part of the story.Read the article………………………….

Swimming pool drains into condo building, D.C. fire department says

A rooftop pool can be a fun way for apartment residents to keep cool in Washington summers. However, things can occasionally go wrong — giving rise on Monday to what the D.C. fire department called an “unusual incident.”  In a Twitter message, the fire department said a broken pipe caused a rooftop pool to drain […]

Housing Counsel: Public Condo Law vs. Private Condo Law

Q: I am the President of a mid-size condominium in Washington.  Our Bylaws specifically prohibit short-term rentals of any kind. The board – and most of our members – agree that cutting out short term rentals and subleases of less than a year helps cut down on the move in and out traffic that creates […]

How to have influence on your condo board

Q: I own a small condominium in a midsize building in Chicago. I pay around $500 per month in assessments, and the building has more than $600,000 in reserves. The association hired a consultant to deliver a reserve study to the board, but it has not been posted to the condo building website.   Read the […]

Kass: 5 steps new condo associations should take

Q. I live in a condominium complex with a large number of units. Recently, the developer notified each owner it will turn over control of the association to us, and a meeting has been scheduled for early next month. I have talked with a number of owners, and none of us have any idea what […]

Three new headaches for homeowner associations

What do drones, copyrights and mold have in common?  According to USI Insurance Services, a national insurer with more than 50 offices throughout the country, these are some of the emerging trends that homeowner associations are — or will be — facing in the coming years. They all affect the financial well-being and the investments […]

Kass: What to do when a condominium organization has become disorganized

Dear Benny: I read your informative articles, andI have a question concerning my condominium organization. We have an association in “title” only, because it is run by one lady who collects the fees. Problem one: She’s too tired to collect the fees from the owners who have abandoned their units. Problem two: How do we […]

Owner of Condo Rented by EPA Head Cited for Illegal Rental (DC)

The owner of the Capitol Hill condo rented by embattled Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has received a citation this week for not having a proper rental license, a D.C. agency has confirmed.  The condo has been linked to a prominent Washington lobbyist whose firm represents fossil fuel companies, officials said Friday.    Read the […]

D.C. ruling offers good news for condo associations, bad news for banks

A new case in the District offers good news to condo associations struggling with owners delinquent on their fees: It reinforces their right to foreclose on a unit without having to wait for the bank to do so first.  Homeowner associations have lost money they desperately need to operate whenever they wait for banks to […]

Kass: What makes for an ethical condo association election?

Dear Benny:Our condo has an election coming up: eight applicants for four positions. Residents are sent packets with applicants’ résumés and proxy sheet to mail in if they’re not able to attend the meeting to vote in person. Some residents ignore the entire event.  Some applicants are going door to door asking residents to sign […]

HOA’s lack of transparency raises red flags for home buyer

Q: My wife and I made an offer on a property in a self-managed Virginia community of single-family homes. Our offer hinged, in part, on the sales agent’s assurance that maintenance of the community’s private roads was totally covered by current homeowner’s association annual dues of $1,000 per lot. However, we just received the HOA’s disclosure […]

Best practices for condo boards to plan for future building repairs

Q: We live in a condo building of 56 units. We have a reserve fund marked for separate items like the elevator, roof, parking lot, painting, etc. If we didn’t have enough money to replace the elevator, can we use some of the money from the roof reserve fund?    Read the Q&A…………..

How to handle conflicts between condo owners and renters

Our three-unit condo building allows renters as long as the lease is for a term of at least one year. We bought a unit and then met the other two unit owners on the day we closed. We told them we’d be renting our unit and one of the unit owners has been quite distraught, […]

What happens when your rental is being converted into a condo?

Do you live in an apartment building that is going to be converted to a condominium? If so, are you at risk of being evicted? Or is this your unanticipated chance to finally become a homeowner?  Many cities where land is scarce and housing is hard to find have developers who are clamoring to find […]

How to enforce lease restrictions in a condo building

Q: I am president of my association for a nine-unit condominium building. We have a limit to the number of units that can be leased in the building. The approach is somewhat liberal in that we allow four of nine units to be leased based on minimum guidelines set by the Federal Housing Administration.  Read […]

Residents to Leave Water Street Condos for Repairs

Residents of a high-end, 72-unit building on the Georgetown waterfront will be moving out temporarily for repairs to a structure just over ten years old.  With a lawsuit settled between owners of units in the condominium building at 3303 Water St. NW and its builder and seller EastBanc and its CEO Anthony Lanier, construction work […]