Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Jersey: More accountability for HOAs?

"More than 1 million New Jersey residents live in communities with homeowners associations. The top Republican in the state Senate said people pay hard-earned money in dues to these associations, and they deserve some transparency. Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield) said he is pushing to expand and update the “Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act,” which hasn’t been changed since 1993.

“This legislation focuses on accountability as well as transparency,” Kean said. “It’s time to update a 22-year-old law.”
Kean has introduced the “Association Homeowners’ Protection Act of 2015″ (S3235). The measure would require:

  • Homeowners associations to provide a copy of homeowners’ association insurance policies, which are needed to start personal home insurance claims processes. The association member would have to request the copy and it would have to be sent via email within 24 hours, or hard copy within 48 hours.
  • Homeowners associations to offer a 24-hour emergency phone number for members.
  • Homeowners associations to provide information including contact numbers for board members, as well as the most recent budget and all insurance information.

“That should be a transparent flow of information, so people have access to how their money is being spent,” Kean said. “The over 1 million New Jersey residents who are part of these associations pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year to be part of these associations. It’s simple common sense that they should have access to timely information.”

Is that what you call R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

"Pontiac — A Bloomfield Township condominium association wants to foreclose on a property owned by legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin for non-payment of more than $11,563 in fees and maintenance assessments. The lawsuit, filed by the Hills of Lone Pine Association, an exclusive gated community in Bloomfield Hills, names Franklin, Ally Financial Inc. and CitiMortgage Inc. as responsible for the unpaid assessments on a 4,148-square-foot condo valued at $695,380."

Monday, October 26, 2015

State condo ombudsperson offices becoming "a thing"

"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."
Yes, they are. Because the old model--no regulation of the relationship between BODs and members except civil litigation--is failing.