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. […]

HOA/Condo Op-Ed Article Published Today (NC)

I was asked by The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer to respond to recent reporting looking at changing North Carolina’s HOA/condo laws. My article, “Caution: When NC HOA Laws Change, Property Values and More Are at Stake,” appears in both newspapers today    Read the article…………………………..

Opinion: Don’t give developers and builders a free pass on shoddy work

As the unlucky buyer of a poorly built condo, the recent Denver Post editorial advocating for proposals that would weaken the rights for homeowners is infuriating. Buyers should expect developers to build their new home right – and if it’s not, be able to hold developers legally accountable to fix it.    Read the article………………………………..

Op-ed: The better path to environmental sustainability for co-op, condo owners (NY)

Climate change is real and we must take aggressive proactive steps to address it, but we can’t bankrupt working and middle class co-op and condo homeowners in our efforts to make change. The proposed New York City Local Law 97, with its unforgiving timelines and heavy fines endanger the housing security of working and middle-class […]

Developer Lobby Strikes Again

The Denver Post had another article about the supposedly desparate need for condo’s in Colorado.  This is the second year in a row this type of article has appeared.  And it appears as a news item, not on the Op/Ed page.  This type of article has been appearing in a number of states trying to […]

Pass law to shore up condo stability in in N.J.

New Jersey, with aging condominium developments, faces a challenge in inspections and maintenance. If enacted, state Senate Bill 2760 would address these issues, emphasizing engineering inspections and requiring associations to maintain reserve funds should something go awry.   Read the article…………………………….

Lax state regulation of condos only getting worse (FL)

Your news article, “Condo Wars: State regulators a dead end for desperate condo owners,” exposing the non-performance of the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) in resolving condo unit owner complaints, was depressingly accurate.   Read the letter………………………………

Is It Time to Consider Removing an Association’s Right of Self-Help to Cure an Owner’s Violation from the Declaration? (FL)

Through the years Florida’s community associations have relied upon the court decisions that had routinely agreed that the provisions of Florida Statutes that expressly authorize an association to entitlement to an injunction (i.e., a judicial order requiring a person to take action) superseded the common law standard of the requirement that there be no adequate […]

A Proposal To Overhaul Condominium Management (HI)

A mid-20th century vignette: A young man stands in tall grass, hands in his pockets, gazing wistfully at an empty diner.  Though condominium living, emerging at around that period, is not exactly the cherished tradition that restaurant diner culture was back then, it will go the way of the abandoned diner cars, if the current […]

Real Estate Counselor: Electronic voting enables associations to amend outdated governing documents

Many South Florida community associations have outdated rules and provisions in their governing documents. These declarations and bylaws that are recorded in local court registries and provided to all buyers prior to purchases were codified by their community’s developer, and they often include problematic stipulations.   Read the Op/Ed………………………………….

The New Laws – A Little Background (FL)

The tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida occurred on June 24th, 2021 killing 98 innocent men, women and children. I was there a few days later staring at mounds of rubble and thinking that entire families were buried under there. Little kids. Babies. It was too much.  The following year, The Florida […]

Florida condo dwellers might be in for sticker shock, but it’s for a good reason

Florida lawmakers made a choice after the 2021 Surfside building collapse: to protect human life instead of continuing to allow condominiums to defer important maintenance that could put more people at risk. With 98 lives lost at Champlain Towers South, that choice was a no-brainer, and a slew of new regulations and requirements will come […]

A ‘win for democracy’ at HOA (CO)

“Democracy is not an obstacle to tyranny.” Easy now — this is not going to get political, although the opening quote does come to mind when discussing Homeowners Associations (HOAs). Throw in an expensive decision, and herding the “cats” of a small, six-owner HOA suddenly becomes either the purest form of democracy or tyranny, depending […]

Did lawsuits drive Florida’s insurance crisis? The evidence remains thin

After months of feeling jerked around by the company and seeing her home condemned by the city, she took her case to court. In February, Glover became one of 4,571 people — 15 per day — to sue Universal this year.  As property insurance premiums rose to become a full-blown crisis for Floridians in recent […]

HB 5028: Solar Energy Bill And Michigan’s Community Associations

The Homeowners’ Energy Policy Act was recently introduced in the Michigan State Legislature as HB 5028. This bill would force community associations to accept installation of energy-saving devices like clothes lines, heat pumps, insulation, rain barrels, reflective roofing, efficient appliances and windows, electric vehicle charging equipment, etc.   Read the article……………………………….

What’s Behind the Fact-Challenged Freak-out Over Colony Ridge? (TX)

Over the past two months, this second Colony Ridge has rapidly expanded from the far-right fringe of American politics into the GOP mainstream—like an out-of-control wildfire spreading from treetop to treetop. Republican congressman Ronny Jackson, who represents a district hundreds of miles away in the Panhandle and recently threatened law enforcement officers at a rodeo, […]

Viewpoint: Reinsurance Solution Would Help Homeowners Exposed to Wildfires Face the Challenge

To address the issue, the G. J. Sullivan Co., Reinsurance recommends a non-traditional insurance solution. Due to the exposure and huge costs in wildfire events, traditional insurance companies are generally no longer an available solution for the problem. The company suggests establishing a pure captive insurance company owned by the homeowners’ association of the homeowners […]

How the Corporate Transparency Act Applies to Community Associations

In 2021, Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act. Before you stop reading, this law likely applies to your community association and/or the communities you work with every day. This blog post is a bit technical, but please, read on!   Read the article…………………………………..

To those who condemn HOA’s

I constantly see news stories about condo’s and HOA’s that have comments like:  “HOA’s are horrible, I’ll never live in one”, or ” I would never buy in an HOA or Deed Restricted neighborhood” or, “Is there an HOA? Immediate red flag and walk away”, or “We need to get rid of all HOA’s!”.   So let’s […]

‘TOXIC SITUATION’ I’m a lawyer – the biggest problem with HOAs will always be ‘rampant’ if normal people remain in total control

A LAWYER who advocates for homeowners has revealed a rampant issue of fraud among HOAs when everyday people are in complete control.  There have been many stories of combativeness between homeowners and their HOA boards, typically over things like lawn or home aesthetics.   Read the article……………………………….

Fortune-Telling Exclusion

Now is the time of year when the calls and emails start rolling in: “How much should we budget for our insurance next year?” Those are often accompanied by, “When will we get our renewal proposal?” Well, since fortune telling is not covered by most insurance agents’ errors and omissions insurance, we really can’t tell […]

Arizona Wants to Take Condo Owners’ Property and Sell it to Somebody Else

Arizona thinks that some people ought to be able to take other peoples’ property when they can put it to “better use.” We think not.  Under the Arizona Condominium Act, a supermajority of condo owners can force a minority of owners to sell their units against their will. That’s exactly what happened when an LLC […]

COLUMN: Respect your local HOA board members

The “Seinfeld” TV series in the 1990s had a running joke set in “Del Boca Vista,” a fictitious condo community in which his retired parents lived in Florida. Its Homeowners Association Board was a dictatorial, petty, nagging stereotype. That came to mind when I read a recent story in the Colorado Sun about ruthless HOA […]

Centennial HOA: How is affordable housing to be cared for? (CO)

We’ve all heard the lament from APCHA and Aspen City Council about the inadequate upkeep that pervades our affordable housing inventory. The Centennial Condominiums HOA Board and homeowners agree wholeheartedly with those concerns.   Read the article………………………..

An HOA gone wrong (OR)

Earlier this year, I wrote about what can go wrong in HOAs. Our HOA is a case in point. It has moved from a focus of benevolent, fraternal, and charitable activity for all members to a focus on serving only a portion of its members.   Read the article………………………..

Sun City group home should be questioned by SCHOA

This letter is in response to the recent article in the Independent that was submitted by Lisa Gray, Sun City Home Owners Association general manager.  The issue Ms. Gray was addressing was the construction of a group home that is in the process of being constructed along West Cherry Tree Lane in Sun City.   Read […]

Florida anti-mandate law about masks, vaccinations imperils senior communities

A large retirement community in Tamarac has just announced that the clubhouse where hundreds of seniors gather on a weekly basis for social activities has been closed. The reason? A significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in the community has created concern for the community’s vulnerable populace. Unfortunately, the Board of Directors had no choice but […]

Board Members Better Be Careful (FL)

Board members I’m telling you now……..be careful. I’m seeing it already. Unit owners are starting to freak out over the passage of huge assessments to cover the costs of mandatory inspections, mandatory repairs and massive increases in insurance rates.   Read the article………………………..

House Bill 1137 One Year Later: The Forgotten Homeowners and Resident (CO)

On August 10, 2022, House Bill 22-1137 (“HB 1137”) went into effect. The new law at that time made significant changes to how HOAs in Colorado are permitted to handle enforcement and collection matters. Now that we have lived with and worked under this law for a year, we have discovered issues with the law […]

Premiums are up, but at what cost?

As we were closing the August 2023 issue of NU Property & Casualty magazine, local news reports in my town highlighted several stories about dramatically higher homeowners and condo insurance premiums.   Read the article………………………..

Tasks and duties of homeowners

I live in Cameron’s Landing, a riverfront community subdivision in Hopewell, Virginia that is not yet 15 years in the making. It is regulated by a Homeowners’ Association (HOA). The Association makes sure the residents keep their lawns maintained, including trimming decorative shrubbery and power washing any particular side of their home that may appear […]

1137 One year later – financial and other impacts additional thoughts (CO)

The passage of HB22-1137 had a number of intended and achieved consequences including eliminating industry “insider” purchase of HOA foreclosures, opening up small claims court for some disputes, and others. Most importantly, it did prevent hundreds of what could only be called predatory foreclosures.   Read the article………………………..

Why Homeowners Need To Prepare For The Costs Of Climate Change

Climate change is not a distant threat, but a present danger that is already wreaking havoc on our lives and homes. From devastating floods to scorching heat waves to raging wildfires, homeowners need to prepare for the consequences of our warming planet.   Read the article………………………..

Condos aren’t unique in limiting powers of individual board members (HI)

Civil Beat’s continuing coverage of condominium governance issues is important, but I’m afraid the latest story gives far too much credence to a conspiratorial view of property management companies and condo boards (“Oahu Condo Board Members Feel ‘Muzzled’ By Management Companies“).   Read the article………………………..

The Insurance Crisis is at a Dangerous Point (FL)

While condo owners are now dealing with mandatory inspections, mandatory repairs and mandatory reserve accounts, both condo and HOA owners are facing the joint monumental problem of staggering increases in property insurance and the lack of choice among insurance companies. Our sponsor Greg Waltz sent me an article recently that is simply mind blowing and […]

Remembering Surfside: A Reset is in Order

his post revisits an article originally published in the Washington Post by Professor Evan McKenzie on July 2, 2021. Professor McKenzie is the author of two books on common-interest developments (CIDs), and one of the country’s most vocal critics of privatized residential developments.  Read the article………………………..

The impending catastrophe: Florida property owners compelled to reduce insurance coverage

Florida’s property insurance crisis is worsening despite recent legislative efforts. The cost of property insurance with windstorm coverage has significantly increased, and coverage amounts have been reduced. As a result, many property owners are choosing to forgo windstorm coverage, which puts their financial well-being at risk, especially with the 2023 hurricane season now upon us.  […]

What condo owners, developers can learn from the Surfside collapse

Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of the terrible tragedy of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building that killed 98 people in Surfside, Florida.  A variety of experts have weighed in on what caused the disaster, attributing it to beach erosion undermining structural support columns, questionable concrete design mixes during original construction, corrosion […]

Watch out for the builder’s lobby!

Every now and then, I run across an article like this: Why Are So Few Condos Built in the Twin Cities?  It will talk about the problem of very few condominiums being built in a city or state.  It will raise some issues that they believe may be the cause, but you will always find among […]

Evolution of CAI Policy Recommending Legislative Mandates for Reserve Studies and Funding and Building Inspections

Taking a bold new stance following the tragic partial collapse of Champlain Tower South in Surfside, Fla., in late June 2021, CAI now recommends statutorily mandating reserve studies and funding for all community associations. The recommendation also provides details to help communities prepare for and a timeframe to practically transition to these new requirements to […]