Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nevada Public Radio -- News 88.9 KNPR

Nevada Public Radio -- News 88.9 KNPR

Here's a link to listen to the mp3 of the Nevada Public Radio program I was on this morning.

Listen to me live on Nevada Public Radio

The HOA: Help Or Headache?

AIR DATE: April 23, 2014
This past weekend, KNPR ran across this story by the Las Vegas Review Journal about a man, geese and an homeowner's association. And that got us wondering about how HOA's are doing now in Nevada, some of the problems with HOAs, as well as the history of the organizations in Las Vegas and nationally.

    GUESTSEvan McKenzie, law professor and HOA expert, University of Illinois Chicago
    Mike Randolph, founder Homeowner’s Association Services
    Michael Buckley, attorney

    Wednesday, April 09, 2014

    Illinois Supreme Court: owners can't refuse to pay assessments over dispute

    This is final stage of the Spanish Court Two v. Carlson case.  Illinois is the only state (to the best of my knowledge) that allows condo associations to collect overdue assessments using forcible entry and detainer actions in Housing Court, the same as the landlords who are doing the same to tenants who haven't paid rent. But renters are sometimes allowed to "deduct and repair," or even refuse to pay rent at all, if the landlord has breached the lease.  Can condo owners do likewise? No.  Even though the association can treat the owner like a tenant by bringing a forcible action, the unit owner can't assert this tenant-type of defense.  Sauce for the goose is not for the gander. Thanks to Fred Pilot for letting me know this decision came down at last.

    Saturday, April 05, 2014

    27-home subdivision disbands homeowners association, reverts to control of Smithfield City - The Herald Journal: Allaccess

    27-home subdivision disbands homeowners association, reverts to control of Smithfield City - The Herald Journal: Allaccess: SMITHFIELD — A 27-home subdivision has opted to disband its homeowners association and revert to the control of Smithfield City, a move that was approved by the Smithfield City Council.

    The 5-1 vote regarding the Three Creeks subdivision took place during the council meeting on Wednesday, March 26. Councilmember Brent Buttars was the lone nay.

    The subdivision first sought the change in January, but more information was needed before a vote could take place.

    Under the final terms approved by the council, the homeowners agreed to contribute a one-time lump sum of around $20,000 to the city to partly offset the city’s costs in taking care of the subdivision near 700 Canyon Rd.


    Privatopia, Utah sector, just got a little smaller.

    Debate grows over concealed weapons at community associations -

    Debate grows over concealed weapons at community associations -

    "Physical assaults are uncommon, but they happen, according to the 2012 national survey "Violence in Homeowner Associations," conducted by the Community Associations Institute. The 1,314 respondents included managers, staffers and homeowners.

    Among the respondents, 13 percent reported they had been physically assaulted one or more times by an angry resident, and 52 percent reported they had been threatened with physical violence one or more times by such a resident.

    Associations rightly should be worried, said association attorney Marvin Nodiff in St. Louis. Concealed carry was legalized in Missouri in 2004.

    "I call it a time bomb," he said. "At some point, we will have an angry meeting and someone will shoot off a gun."


    Here's irony for you.  The gun lobby has been telling people the government is coming for their guns, which is complete nonsense. There isn't the slightest prospect for federal gun control legislation. Congress couldn't even bring itself to pass a background check law after the massacre at Sandy Hook.  And in any event, the current Supreme Court is almost as protective of gun owners as they are of rich people and big business.  But in the real world, HOA and condo boards really do have the power to ban guns, unless the laws of their state say they can't. And there are reasons they might want to ban guns, such as liability for accidential shootings and fear that the local angry owner will take up arms against perceived private tyranny--which has already happened a few times. Maybe in states with strong gun cultures, BODs will be less likely to interfere with gun owners' rights, but in Chicago guns were banned until recently, so I can see boards freaking out and enacting gun bans.

    Homeowners’ association challenges judge’s ruling

    Homeowners’ association challenges judge’s ruling: DADE CITY —

    "The Bayhead Landings Property Owners Association, which battled one of its members in court over wheelchair access, has appealed a judge’s ruling that its deed restrictions expired more than three years ago.

    County Judge William Sestak agreed with three Bayhead Landings homeowners that the association board failed to follow its own procedures for extending the neighborhood deed restrictions in 2010. He issued a court order March 24 ruling that the deed restrictions and covenants expired on Jan. 1, 2011."


    And the saga continues..

    Thursday, April 03, 2014

    Bill would make homeowner association meetings accessible to all

    Bill would make homeowner association meetings accessible to all: Despite feeling defeated the Whitts took their issue to Senator Wilton Simpson who introduced Bill 1450, requiring all homeowner association meetings to be accessible to handicapped people.

    "It's for everybody that's disabled," said John. "There is veterans fighting wars coming back disabled and I wouldn't want him to go through what I went through."

    The homeowners association says it has tried to accommodate the Whitts’ needs several times and it doesn’t understand their specific requests.


    Sometimes a failure to communicate can have broad repercussions.

    The threat of bankruptcy may be a new source of competitive advantage in post-recession urban politics

    Interesting take on the post-crash dynamics facing cities. Expenses that were long considered untouchable may now be on the chopping bankruptcy court.  And the threat of Chapter Nine proceedings changes the dynamics of negotiation with public employee unions.

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

    Justice Watch: Suit Claims D.R. Horton Left Miami Gardens HOA In A Mess | Daily Business Review

    Justice Watch: Suit Claims D.R. Horton Left Miami Gardens HOA In A Mess | Daily Business Review: "D.R. Horton Inc. markets itself as "America's homebuilder."
    On its website, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company advertises it will make residents' dreams come true.
    At Majorca Isles in Miami Gardens, that dream has taken on the qualities of a nightmare with broken front gates and random garbage piles left by outsiders. There's also a padlocked, half-finished park choked with weeds and a malfunctioning heated pool, which usually is under repair and sometimes green. Not to mention the gym, where equipment has not been maintained properly.
    In a Jan. 29 lawsuit filed in Bankruptcy Court, the court-appointed trustee for the master homeowner association alleges D.R. Horton left the HOA in financial shambles, essentially abandoning the project when the housing market collapsed.
    The trustee, forensic accountant Barry Mukamal, a partner at Marcum in Miami, is a seasoned bankruptcy veteran. He said he's never seen a builder undercut an HOA and community like D.R. Horton did at Majorca Isles."


    Really? Come on up here and look at what Neumann Homes did to Clublands in Antioch, IL

    Friday, March 28, 2014

    Residents of Struggling Cities Opt to Skip Town | FiveThirtyEight

    Residents of Struggling Cities Opt to Skip Town | FiveThirtyEight:

    "Eighteen U.S. metro areas had unemployment rates of 12 percent or higher in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and all but three of them saw a net decline in migration — that is, they saw more people move out than move in.

    These cities are overwhelmingly in inland California, where the collapse of the housing bubble left deep and lasting scars. California accounts for 13 of the 18 cities with unemployment rates of 12 percent or above,2 and for 18 of the 56 with unemployment rates in the double digits." [emphasis added]


    Many cities, large and small, are dealing with multiple problems--unemployed residents, cratered housing markets, vanishing employers, increased social service and pension costs-that make them unable to deal with maintaining public infrastructure.  This problem is one reason cities have been promoting CID housing, with its private infrastructure.  But that crutch isn't working all that well presently. It has been obvious for years that HOAs and condos will be dealing with their own private infrastructure crisis, and that is happening right now.

    Bill aims to resolve conflict over homeowner association managers

    Bill aims to resolve conflict over homeowner association managers:

    "Attorneys say community managers are doing more things, like filling out legal paperwork, that rightly should be done by qualified lawyers.

    Managers, and the homeowners they work for, counter that they should be allowed to fill out forms without the expense of an attorney, which is sure to increase association fees."


    Homeowners Associations Are Short on Cash

    Homeowners Associations Are Short on Cash

    Indeed they are.

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Drought battle focuses on homeowner rules, meters |

    Drought battle focuses on homeowner rules, meters |

    "With California in the grips of a prolonged dry spell, state lawmakers are looking to grant members of homeowner associations the freedom to plant drought-resistant landscaping without the fear of fines. One cornerstone bill cleared its first hurdle Wednesday when the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development approved legislation carried by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego. Her bill seeks to override some homeowner association (HOA) regulations that effectively require residents to keep lawns and other water-guzzling landscapes pristine — even during dry spells. “Homeowners who install plants that are less water-intensive should not be penalized for recognizing California’s water crisis and proactively conserving,” Gonzalez told the committee."


    Of course, CAI is against it. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.