Thursday, April 13, 2017

Henderson families fighting proposed HOA rule changes - KTNV.com Las Vegas

Henderson families fighting proposed HOA rule changes - KTNV.com Las Vegas: "Henderson neighbors say they are fighting back against a pair of proposed rules being considered by their HOA targeting certain dogs and kids playing in the street.

The HOA president says they are looking at the rules after getting several complaints from resident on both issues."

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They are considering breed restrictions. And they are considering prohibiting kids from playing on their private streets, which is one of those "let's create bad publicity for ourselves!" ideas that some HOAs are attracted to.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB3755 -- Attorney Fees

Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for HB3755: "CONDOMINIUM ACT-ATTORNEY FEES"



In Illinois, when an association sues an owner and wins, the owner pays the association's attorney fees. But when the owner wins, the association generally does not have to pay the owner's fees. This bill would make the fee-shifting mutual, so that the victorious owner would have his or her attorney fees paid by the association. This is inspired by what happened to Lisa Carlson in the legal disputes that led to the case of Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Carlson.  A similar bill was introduced in the Illinois state legislature last year and didn't make it out of committee. Attorney Norman Lerum, who represented Carlson in the case, is heavily involved in designing the legislation, which is being pushed by Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood).

Condominiums in crisis: Financial troubles put many communities at risk - The Washington Post

Condominiums in crisis: Financial troubles put many communities at risk - The Washington Post: "Even as posh condos rise in trendy neighborhoods around the nation’s capital, many older complexes are mired in a recession that never ended. A cycle of aging infrastructure, limited resources and foreclosure is putting these communities in a deep financial hole, threatening what traditionally has been an affordable path to homeownership for the working class.

Monthly fees, the financial lifeblood of condo developments, have risen sharply as boards try to generate cash for long-deferred maintenance and to cover basic expenses. As a result, more owners can’t make their payments, and fewer prospective owners can afford to buy in.

At the same time, tightened lending rules, and a reluctance among banks to foreclose on units that will be hard to resell, have boosted the number of long-vacant condos in many complexes, further depleting the flow of fees that pay for utilities, trash collection, upkeep and repairs.

“These communities are suffering desperately,” said Vicki Vergagni, community manager at Glen Waye Gardens in Silver Spring. “This is potentially a great type of housing that is affordable. But public policy has not foreseen the issues it’s created.”"


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This is from late last year, but it is worth reading.

Why Colorado lawmakers hope this is the year to solve the affordable condo crisis | The Colorado Independent

Why Colorado lawmakers hope this is the year to solve the affordable condo crisis | The Colorado Independent: "This much perhaps everyone can agree on: Colorado is in an affordable housing crisis, whether you live on the Front Range, Western Slope or the Eastern Plains. Affordable housing is almost a myth, with rents in Denver for a one-bedroom apartment averaging $1,550 per month.
But is a package of legislation tackling “construction defects reform,” which would change the process by which homeowners with defective condos sue developers, the answer to Colorado’s affordable housing crisis?
Some of those who build condos say yes: If you pass it, giving us more protections against lawsuits, we will return to building affordable for-sale condos and townhomes. But some of those who have lived in defective owner-occupied multi-housing units just don’t buy that."


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Nice tradeoff--for builders. Protect them against lawsuits for shoddy construction, and they will build more lower-end condos. And then what? The people who buy them can't sue after the roof starts leaking, so they have to pay for it with a special assessment that none of them can afford. It is the buyers of low-end condos who are the least able to pay for things like this.

More than 200 condo buyers may lose homes after development fails - Toronto - CBC News

More than 200 condo buyers may lose homes after development fails - Toronto - CBC News: "About 200 people who bought condo units in an Etobicoke high-rise project may lose their homes after the development was placed into court-ordered receivership due to massive financial problems.

The project, still only about 15 per cent complete six years after it was first marketed to potential buyers, will now be sold off by the receiver in a bidding process.

The buyers who paid for the pre-sold condos — 208 of the project's 242 units — will get their combined $6.3 million in deposits back. But the condos they bought and waited years to move into will likely be sold off at much higher current market values by whomever steps in to complete the project. "


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As we all know, this has happened many times in the US. As is so often the case with condominiums, fluctuations in property values end up hurting the little people who just want a place to live, and benefiting the speculators who can afford to get in and out of the market.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Highlands Ranch resident Stan Hrincevich is determined to push back on HOA transfer fees.

Highlands Ranch resident Stan Hrincevich is determined to push back on HOA transfer fees.: "You are about to sell your house in a local planned community. All the paperwork is ready. You notice a single line item charging you $350, labeled as a transfer fee for “unreimbursed expenses” incurred — usually by your homeowners association’s property management company — during the transfer of the home to a new owner. You don’t get a receipt and you cannot finalize sale of your home if you don’t pay it.

A few hundred dollars in a transaction typically dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars might not seem like a big deal. But for Highlands Ranch resident Stan Hrincevich the scenario is an injustice that bilks Colorado homeowners out of millions of dollars."


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Thanks to Robert in Colorado for this link. I've posted on this issue before and a number of people have identified transfer fees as a suspect practice that shovels money to property managers who (it is argued) don't do much to earn the fee. Let the comments begin!

YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Family debating HOA over Christmas wreath fine - Story

YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Family debating HOA over Christmas wreath fine - Story: "LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - A man living in the Arroyo Canyon subdivision near the 215 Beltway and Hualapai Way says his homeowners association is threatening to fine him $100 over a decorative wreath.

Milan Thakkar says his wife picked out the wreaths to decorate their front door and make it less plain. They say it's not a Christmas wreath, but their HOA sent a letter claiming they violated a rule that holiday decorations have to be taken down within 30 days of the holiday.

"It's petty. ... I can take it down in 2 seconds. ... It's the principle of it," he says."


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So there is a "principle" involved with displaying Christmas decorations in Las Vegas in April.

Fight about truck with HOA president gets man arrested

Fight about truck with HOA president gets man arrested: "JUPITER
A man upset that a Jupiter homeowners’ association had towed his truck was arrested last week after entering the group president’s home and threatening to retaliate, town police said."

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The association says that the truck was "towed from a grass area at the complex where it had been illegally parked for two days. Multiple attempts were made to contact its owner, the president said."

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Homeowners In Limbo After Homebuilder Bankruptcy « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Homeowners In Limbo After Homebuilder Bankruptcy « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth: "A Dallas home builder’s bankruptcy has left homeowners on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid labor costs."

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Yes, because going BK is a business strategy that real estate developers and builders use with regularity. Exhibit A being the current occupant of the White House.