Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When residents clash with homeowner associations, some states step in

"Has your homeowner association fined you for painting your house purple? Have you ignored requests to pay annual maintenance fees for your condo’s clubhouse and swimming pool? Has your association refused to let you see its financial documents These are the types of conflicts that frequently erupt between residents and homeowner or condo associations. Some can get quite heated – or downright nasty. A small, but growing number of states are trying to tackle the problem by creating ombudsman or homeowner information offices to handle the deluge of complaints that often land at state and local agencies. The goal is to educate residents and association board members about their rights and responsibilities under the law and help settle disputes before they wind up in court."
More state oversight of HOAs and especially condo associations is necessary, but it isn't clear what form it should take. I think ombudsperson offices are a good start, but not everybody agrees with that approach.

Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article41217018.html#storylink=cpy



IC_deLight said...

What happens when the ombudsman's office is simply a proxy for CAI?
Who trains the ombudsman - CAI?
Unless the ombudsman is going to kick out industry lobbyists and refuse to go to industry indoctrination .. er "education" seminars, it seems that you will have a regulatory capture problem.

robert @ colorado hoa . com said...

Some guy named Evan McKenzie — you may have heard of him — once wrote that

Nevada is one of the few states that has any state-level oversight of HOAs and condos. They have the ombudsperson and a state commission, and they have a pretty comprehensive statutory scheme that was the result of also having a legislator, state Senator Mike Schneider, who knows a lot about this issue area and cares about it. Compared with the almost-total absence of oversight that is the norm in nearly all other states, Nevada is at the forefront of regulation of CIDs. I mean, in nearly every other state, if you report something like this, there is nowhere to turn except the courts. Every state and local government official will just tell you to go file a civil suit, which few people can afford to do. And if somebody does that, after 7 years of litigation and $100,000 in legal fees they will have...what? Maybe a declaratory judgment? Maybe small damages, and an appeal by the association? Maybe a big fat goose egg? It is unpredictable. And everybody in the neighborhood will hate you for making them pay the association's attorney fees. Private litigation may be necessary and can be effective in some cases, but clearly it can't be the only answer . . .

. . . So, I have to ask myself what the prospects are for effective regulation of CIDs, if something of this magnitude can happen right under the noses of state officials whose job it was to provide oversight. [February 26, 2013]