Maryland must not overregulate homeowner groups

I am writing to address the growing concerns among Maryland’s homeowners’ associations regarding the potential ramifications of the Corporate Transparency Act on operations. While transparency within corporate structures is undoubtedly important, applying the act to homeowners’ associations presents unique challenges that merit careful consideration.     Read the article…………………………….

Opinion: Should Florida’s new HOA law go nationwide?

On July 1st in Florida, there will be unprecedented new curbs on the power and excesses of HOAs (HB 1203).— Residents can no longer be cited or fined for trivial transgressions, like leaving their trash cans out beyond collection day, or having holiday lights and decorations still hanging long after the last visitors have returned […]

America’s plague of tyrannical homeowners

Someone picturing their local government might imagine a Norman Rockwell-esque portrait of a small-town mayor and a collection of other humble public servants. Or they might see a corrupt political machine governed by men in smoke-filled rooms. But no matter the form these local institutions take in one’s mind, in most cases, people take “local […]

People and Plants: To weed or not to weed

To weed or not to weed. Is that the question? Perhaps it was for Shakespeare’s gardener. It is also the question when you have a strict homeowners’ association.   Our last house was on a couple of acres and the only plants that would grow in the pasture were salsify and mullein, which the HOA vehemently […]

Private property rights are more important than ‘local control’ (MI)

A new law is set to take effect in Michigan that would prohibit homeowners associations from limiting installation of solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, energy efficient windows and other energy-saving improvements. It would also prevent associations from banning clotheslines.  It’s a good bill. Homeowners’ association and historical districts often have extreme rules preventing people […]

Opinion: The insurance crisis is hammering condo owners. What can be done? (CA)

Californians are feeling the pain of a homeowners insurance crisis that has made coverage increasingly difficult to find. Those who live in condominiums and who have homeowners associations are feeling that pain twice — to a degree so severe that it is squeezing their ability to stay in their homes.  Every day I hear a […]

The Corporate Transparency Act: HOAs Don’t Need That Kind of Transparency

One of the hottest topics in the HOA-world over the past year has been the implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Although enacted by Congress in 2021, registrations under the CTA became mandatory for newly formed HOAs on January 1, 2024, and will be mandatory for all incorporated HOAs on January 1, 2025. The […]

CAI – We Remember and Continue Our Commitment to Condominium Safety

To mark the third anniversary of the Champlain Towers South tragedy in Surfside, Fla., Community Associations Institute (CAI) continues to emphasize the importance of building safety through proactive maintenance measures and financial sustainability in condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners associations.  Reflecting on the enduring lessons from this devastating event and the lives lost, CAI remains dedicated […]

Homeowners should have say in proposed new laws (NV)

Now that the 2011 Nevada Legislature has convened, the Community Associations Institute of Nevada and its legislative action committee are very involved in identifying those bills of concern to common-interest communities and working to make sure our legislators understand how those bills will affect homeowners and associations.    Read the article…………………………….

Lara Plan Leaves Home, Condo, Apartment Insurance Unaffordable and Unavailable, Says Consumer Watchdog (CA)

Home insurance will remain unaffordable and unobtainable for many Californians under new rules proposed by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today, said Consumer Watchdog.  The proposed regulations purport to require insurance companies to increase sales to homeowners in “distressed areas.” However, the proposal would not require insurance companies to charge a price that consumers are able […]

Was All of This For Nothing (FL)

If there ever was a column that I hated to write, this is it! Last week I spoke about a case I argued before The Florida Supreme Court in 2011 called Cohn v. The Grand Condominium. In that case, the minority commercial unit owners at The Grand Condominium challenged a new Florida statute that took […]

Legislature’s inaction on HOA reforms will hurt seniors (CO)

According to the state demographer, Colorado now has more citizens over the age of 65 than teenagers. Today, seniors represent the fastest-growing segment of our population, and by 2035, one out of every five Colorado residents—or an estimated 1.3 million people—will be aged 65 or higher. In Adams County alone, our senior population is expected […]

Your Next Apartment Or Condo Must Have EV Charging

The US has just eight new electric vehicle charging stations so far from a $7.5-billion program, and even automakers like General Motors and Ford Motor Company that have gone all-in on EVs are starting to pull back as interest in such zero-emissions vehicles levels off.  Then there’s the question of what will happen to the […]

When your neighbors become your overlords

There are few things more delicious than a homeowners association horror story. All over the internet, you can find tales of people getting fined for parking their vehicles in their own driveways or having a potted tomato plant on their back porches or leaving a bottle of Gatorade out for one day.   Read the article…………………………….

How South Florida’s condos, HOAs should prepare for upcoming hurricane season

Hurricane season is approaching quickly and forecasters are predicting an intense one ahead. And while we South Floridians are no strangers to these storms, it’s crucial to recognize the potent cocktail of factors like La Nina that amplify their destructive potential. The threat is compounded for properties along the coastline, where the convergence of strong […]

Why Black Condo Owners Have More Power Than You Think

“Condo” might as well be a four-letter word in Black neighborhoods. We all knew the deal as soon as we hear a new development is popping up in the neighborhood: First come the white folks, then come the upscale businesses to cater to them, then come the higher rents, home prices and property taxes.   Read […]

Corporate Transparency Act: CAI challenges act’s constitutionality in court filing

Community Associations Institute filed an amicus brief earlier this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit challenging the constitutionality of the Corporate Transparency Act.  In March, a district court in Alabama ruled that the act was unconstitutional and exceeded Congress’ authority. Now, as the 11th Circuit hears an appeal in […]

EDITORIAL: Unstoppable Wildfires, Uninsurable Homes

A wildfire swept through the Hawaiian town of Lahaina in August, last year, causing an estimated $6 billion in damage. So far, insurance companies have reportedly paid out about $3 billion in claims; more than 2,000 displaced residents are living in hotels, and rebuilding hasn’t started yet. The town’s former tourism industry has ceased to […]

The Inalienable Rights Of Hawaii’s Condominium Owners

As we look forward to additional years of decision making for legislation, I would like to offer an overview of common sense rights condominium owners can rightfully assert. I hope that you will affix these to your sensibilities relevant to owner efforts to initiate legislation:   Read the article…………………………….

HOA rejects own committee’s recommendation (AZ)

How does the Ahwatukee Board of Management spell diversion, set-up and please let us ignore you further? C-O-M-M-I-T-T-E-E.  Last spring my Center Court neighbors and I started getting letters threatening $200 “attorney’s fees” for doing what many of us have done for 20 years – park an extra car on the public street in front […]

Solano Real Estate Scene: Condo crisis in California

When a person buys a condo and needs a loan, the buyer must qualify, the condo must be appraised, and the condo project and HOA must be analyzed and approved by the lender.  The last time the condo market experienced a crisis was after the crash of 2008 when an estimated 10,000 condo owners across […]

Editorial: HOAs and metro districts can foreclose on your home. Two new laws could stop this “equity theft” (CO)

Little by little, Colorado lawmakers are reining in out-of-control metro districts and homeowner associations. But much more needs to be done.  We are dumbfounded that a state law is necessary to prevent these quasi-governmental boards from abusing their power of fines, fees, interest and attorney fees to take people’s homes through a lien and foreclosure […]

Instead of Hating Your HOA, Make Your City Take Responsibility

Homeowners associations (HOAs) are notorious punching bags, shamed for bullying widows to mow the lawn or telling residents what color they can paint their front door. But long before you came to loggerheads with your HOA, a cascading sequence of poor planning decisions put you both in this predicament. And that much-maligned HOA is just […]

Banning bulk billing threatens to impair broadband access

The importance of high-speed internet in today’s world cannot be overstated — impacting everything from telehealth, to remote learning, to small business growth. Thanks to the Biden Administration’s effort to bridge the digital divide through broadband infrastructure and affordability programs included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re making great strides in expanding connectivity to underserved […]

Australia: Isn’t it funny … how everyone is strata splaining managers?

Since the 2024 Strata Insurance Crisis broke 4 weeks ago strata managers are getting a lot of attention at the moment [good and bad] and that’s fine.  But it seems to have prompted a lot of strata experts, pundits, activists, ambulance chasers, vested interests, opportunists and boffins out of the woodwork with their 20% to […]

Unhappy neighbors. Vacant lots. NC community for ‘patriots’ off to a rocky start

When developers launched 1776 Gastonia, the 55-plus housing community for “patriots,” in the Charlotte area last year, they said it was just the beginning of a “grassroots movement.”  With street names like Paul Revere Drive and Constitution Lane, 1776 Gastonia invokes vague stars-and-stripes imagery to appeal to its target audience: patriotic citizens looking to achieve […]

Condos, HOAs Should be Exempted From Corporate Tranparency Act

Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading international authority on community association governance, education, and management, is calling on policymakers to exempt homeowners associations, condominiums, and housing cooperatives from the beneficial ownership interest reporting requirements outlined in the Corporate Transparency Act.    Read the article…………………………….

Sun City HOA needs your support

Moving to Sun City provided a super opportunity to meet and associate with many other like-minded people. Cultivating these relationships, making new friends and gathering with neighbors, is fulfilling for lots and lots of Sun City citizens. These relationships/associations are a main reason for spending a portion of our lives here.   Read the article…………………………….

Low condo reserves could lead to crisis for owners. What’s the best approach? (FL)

In the past, some would assume that the motivation for serving on a condominium board was to leverage a prime parking spot. The more recent reality is very different, with board members’ decision-making history now being put under the microscope for claims of mismanagement and breach of their fiduciary duty. The scrutiny is justified.   Read […]

Dunwoody Lemonade Days celebrates 25 years of revitalization (GA)

Lemonade Days has been a Dunwoody tradition since 1999. The first event was held as a fundraiser for a campaign to replant trees following the devastating tornado that cut through Dunwoody on April 9, 1998. The Dunwoody Homeowner’s Association, Dunwoody Preservation Trust and Dunwoody Nature Center joined forces to replace trees with the “Replant the […]

Urgent fix needed for South Florida condo owners as climate threatens structures

Florida condominium owners are getting buffeted from every direction, and it’s starting to hurt. Flooding, hurricanes, soaring insurance premiums, and now a new state law designed to protect residents physically but which could kill them financially, are intensifying into a powerful storm of consequences of past inaction.   Read the article…………………………….

Climate change is threatening South Florida condo owners. The state should help them.

Florida condominium owners are getting buffeted from every direction and it’s starting to hurt. Flooding, hurricanes, soaring insurance premiums, and now a new state law designed to protect residents physically but which could kill them financially, are intensifying into a powerful storm of consequences of past inaction.   Read the article…………………………….

‘It’s paradise lost’: Florida’s condo market is floundering

Shipman, like many Floridians, watched helplessly as the average cost of homeowners insurance across the state ballooned by about 40% in 2023 alone, with homeowners association (HOA) fees snowballing due to new condo regulations.  “I felt like Florida was such a paradise,” says Shipman. “Sometimes with the rising costs and everything, I feel like it’s […]

The Unchecked Power of North Carolina HOA’s

For most of Chuck Williams’ 30 years in Wilmington, he lived in communities governed by homeowners associations. He, like most people who live under HOAs in North Carolina, never had a problem with them. He paid his dues, and they maintained the neighborhood. “Like every homeowner,” he says, “you don’t agree with everything, but I […]

Editorial | Rio del Mar walkway battle: ‘To the barricades’ (CA)

The Great Rio del Mar Walkway Standoff has made national news.  The battle pits 27 property owners against the power of the state Coastal Commission, a headline-churning conflict that either shows the defiant spirit of the citizenry against a cumbersome state bureaucracy, or is yet another example of how wealthy people believe they can make […]

The delicate balance of HOA assessments

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to the Real Estate Whisperer, where I tackle the ins and outs of 92101 living with a pinch of humor and a dash of reality. Today’s hot topic? The ever-dreaded HOA assessment increases. Yes, I can almost hear the collective groans from here. But before we hoist the pitchforks and […]

Florida’s unscrupulous HOAs contribute to our high cost of housing (Op/Ed)

A year ago, the headline above a Miami Herald editorial posed a provocative question – “Is America’s worst homeowners’ association in Miami? – and then answered: “It’s starting to look that way.”  The editorial was a follow-up to a series of Herald reports on what authorities had found once they were finally able to peel […]

Amend Hawaii Condominium Laws On Proxy Board Voting (Op/Ed)

In the current legislative session, House Bill 2067 was amended and proposes to “Remove [s] from the standard condominium proxy form the option of giving a proxy vote to the board of directors of a condominium association as a whole or to directors present at the meeting. Requires a disclosure statement on the standard condominium […]

Understanding the Corporate Transparency Act and Advocating for Community Associations

As community associations navigate the intricacies of compliance with the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), it’s imperative to understand the nuances of this legislation and advocate for the best interests of community associations. The CTA, enacted in 2021, combats money laundering by requiring entities, including most community associations, to disclose beneficial ownership information (BOI) to the […]

Happy homeowners: Speak up before laws are reformed

A legislative committee in North Carolina has been examining the need for potential reform to community association laws. The committee has done an admirable job collecting input from all involved stakeholders—homeowners, board members, community association managers, attorneys, and others who could be impacted by updates to state laws. Read the article…………………………….

Commentary: New frontiers in mediation with passage of ‘HOA Bill of Rights’ (FL)

In 2023, the Florida Legislature passed the “Homeowners’ Association Bill of Rights.” The bill enacted new laws addressing aspects of homeowners’ association management, including meetings of the board of directors and notice requirements, conflicts of interest of officers and directors, voting irregularities and the destruction of, or refusal to allow, inspection of official HOA records. […]