Monday, May 01, 2017

Condominium property act revamp could give owners needed support - Loop North News

Condominium property act revamp could give owners needed support - Loop North News: "Condominium owners and families residing in homeowner associations who are battling disputes and struggling for financial clarity received a major shot of support from the Illinois Legislature with the recent passage of two important bills."



'via Blog this'

Friday, April 28, 2017

Rachel Weber receives Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association | Great Cities Institute

Rachel Weber receives Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association | Great Cities Institute: "At its 47th annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 19-22, 2017, the Urban Affairs Association awarded Rachel Weber, Great Cities Institute Fellow and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at UIC, the “Best Book” in the field of urban affairs/urban studies.  According to the association, “The purpose of the award is to encourage high-quality research on urban issues and reward cogent writing on urban affairs.”  Dr. Weber received the award for her book, From Boom to Bubble:  How Finance Built the New Chicago (University of Chicago Press), which “investigates the causes and effects of the dizzying building booms that occur when real estate development financial markets, and city planning all operate in overdrove to rapidly erect new structure and demolish older ones.”  Congratulations, Rachel!"

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Congratulations to my colleague, Professor Rachel Weber!



Chalet Village HOA can collect even if wildfire consumed home; fees assessed on land

Chalet Village HOA can collect even if wildfire consumed home; fees assessed on land

"Rebuilding Chalet Village’s facilities will take every dime from property owners’ annual assessment, according to the homeowners association board members. The HOA bills drew complaints from a few people who lost cabins to the November wildfire, who asked why they should pay for unusable properties and destroyed facilities...The Chalet Village Owners Club was already on a tight budget after a $250,000 pool repair the previous year — for which it’s still fighting an insurer in court — and the wildfire did at least $200,000 more damage, which will exceed the limits of the HOA’s insurance, said board treasurer Stan Johnson. The fire also destroyed 533 cabins, including all but 43 houses in North Chalet Village. About 700 remain in South Chalet Village."

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Another example of how things work. The association had two big financial hits and nobody is going to pay for it except...the owners.  

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.