CIC Info Bytes


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ISSUE # 83

CIC Info Bytes 01/18/24

CIC Info Bytes are frequent, succinct updates providing educational and engagement opportunities that help your community thrive!  Please forward and share this newsletter with your peers, neighbors and colleagues so they can connect and joinOur goal is to curate content that provides a robust basis for contextual understanding to support practical takeaways for you and your association.  Please consider following us on Twitter and Reddit. 

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CIC Info Bytes Newsletter 01/18/24 - PRINT EDITION


Want to know more about it?  View the annotated text and visit (work in progress).  More on Washington Legislation here.

One Law is Headed for Washington State Community Associations

Colorado HOA Homeowners' Rights Task Force Story-Telling

The path from good governance to reasonable remedies looks like Bloomberg’s cover.

“I have found in every condo association when someone is elected president the first objective for them is to get a Board that will go along with them.  That’s all they want to do: don’t rock the boat.  I need four other members that will be my “yes” person.  That doesn’t lead to good condo management.”

“There’s things we need to do to make our citizens that choose to live in a condo be able to stay in that condo and know that their Board is doing what’s right, or there will be repercussions.”

— Senator Ed Hooper


“We cannot ask the condo owners across the state of Florida to navigate this new reality of making sure their buildings are secure and they’re in good financial health, with their hands tied behind their back, with officials not being able to help them, law enforcement not having a clear avenue to step in and shut down bad actors, DBPR having the jurisdiction they need to meaningfully oversight the folks that they regulate, both the CAMs and the associations.

When a non-jurisdictional item is listed as “Board is committing a crime,” we have lost our procedural way.  We have to rethink jurisdiction.  DBPR has complete jurisdiction and then as soon as it goes to an owner-led Board, it is vastly redacted.  These Board control over $7B in assets of Floridians and homeowners.   …Conflicts of interest, there is no prohibition in 718 that prevents a management company…from giving a contract to a family member or a company they own or have a financial interest in… and there’s no disclosure, there’s no transparency in that process.  Access to records: as Mr. Perikles said “Is it really this bad?”  YES!”

— Senator Jennifer Bradley


The ombudsman’s office is “a toothless tiger.”

Jurisdiction of the division [DBPR]: “It’s quite limited and it’s confusing.” 

“I think it’s quite confusing to have a 120 page condominium act filled with laws that there is no enforcement for.  I can’t tell you how many, probably thousands of times condominium owners throughout the state would call me and say “My association is clearly violating this law.  Who do I call?  Who do I go to?  What do I do?”  

And so many times I would have to tell those people: I’m sorry, there is a law and you’re right, they're probably violating it based on what you’re telling me, but there’s no one to enforce this, so hire a lawyer, good luck.  I hope you have $200,000 to spend because that’s what it’s going to take to enforce this law.

I think it would make a lot of sense to increase the jurisdiction of the DBPR…”

“The current system is very good IF the Board are good actors.  BUT if the Board is corrupt and if the Board are bad actors…it is my opinion that the current system is NOT adequate.”

— Spencer Hennings, former Florida Condominium Ombudsman


“You have hundreds of pages of law that can be routinely violated and with the exception of hiring an attorney, there’s really no way for anybody to get anything done.  They come to the state attorney’s office and people say well why can’t you act? … I can’t get a search warrant … when it’s not a crime.  Probable cause for what?  A statute that’s civil in nature… Because there’s no one overseeing that, the sky’s the limit in terms of what Board members can do and that means hiring lawyers which I guess is great for private attorneys, but not for homeowners.”


“On the issue of CAMs in response to Senator Bradley’s comment regarding if the CAMs had some requirement to send a notification to DBPR.  I know that there was a concern raised [from Debbie Reinhardt, CEO and owner of Resource Property Management] the management company representative] that there might be lawsuits involved.  Let me just tell you my experience with this.

One, a lot of people don’t want to be on the Boards.  They’re reluctantly drawn into it and typically condominium Boards ultimately come down to being run by one person.  It’s usually the president, but not always the case and there’s an usually close relationship between that person and the CAM.  And so, it’s quite obvious to all of us that are practicing in this that the CAM wants to stay employed.  There may be certain requirements and they [the CAM] want to make that usually one person happy.

I took a sworn statement of a CAM a few months ago.  This is a licensed individual and the person is a CPA.  In this instance in this particular association, there were well over $100,000 of what were characterized as reimbursements to the president for various expenses, most of which were never discussed in any minutes.  That same CAM was also in those Board meetings and actually wrote the minutes.  And so when I asked where are the mention of flight reimbursements and other things in the minutes, they’re not there and he could not explain that.  The checks were written to the president in even numbers … which is not a typical reimbursement.  And sometimes these “reimbursements” were paid in advance and the memo line was always written to petty cash.  There was no petty cash account…  

I said “but why didn’t you do anything to stop it?”  He said “that’s what the president wanted.”  … Ultimately we can’t charge anyone with theft.  Every time there’s a violation of an accounting standard or a rule that doesn’t necessarily mean the attorney’s office or the police can do anything, but it seems to me at a lower level that a review of somebody that’s a professional doing this job, that that business cannot go on, but who reports it?...

When I see things that are very obvious like this, this could have been stopped if somebody was minding the store.  That’s why I think that the regulatory bodies that oversee the CAMs, what comes with that license is also a responsibility.  I see that across the Board.  I have CAMs that are under investigation now…some of the things are shocking, but are not necessarily violations of the criminal law.  It would be great if there were some kind of reporting that could get that out.

— John Perikles representing Florida Attorney General’s Office

Florida agencies ‘toothless’ in handling condo complaints, enforcers tell lawmakers — Jason Scheckner | Florida Politics | November 14, 2023

VIDEO: Florida Committee on Regulated Industries | November 14, 2023 

Bloomberg Businessweek - The Year Ahead 2024 Issue

False or wrong information poses the biggest danger to the world in the next two years amid a confluence of elections and economic drudgery, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum…

…The annual poll conducted by the forum among more than 1,400 risk experts, policymakers and industry leaders put “misinformation and disinformation” at the top of threats facing the global economy in the short term. Concerns about the health of the planet dominate the outlook for the coming decade, a trend already seen in previous surveys…

Fake News Danger Becomes Top Davos Worry in Year of Elections — Jana Randow | Bloomberg | January 08, 2024

Top 10 Risks from World Economic Forum

Trials and Tribulations of a Volunteer Director - Part VIII

PART VIII: Knowing is Half the Battle

Applying this turn of phrase to community associations seems relatively simple: homeowners (especially homeowner volunteers) and professionals should have a firm grasp of: 1) the law, 2) the governing documents and 3) practical know-how about running a business that includes going beyond the basics.  

Someone at your Board meetings must have the clarity and presence of mind to actively apply all three of those principles, else your association is bound to make decisions that 1) conflict with the law and governing documents, 2) exceed authority, and 3) fail to balance the greatest good to all the members and the association.

In short, you need either extraordinarily dedicated volunteers or extremely knowledgeable professional assistance, or both.


It’s easy to avoid situations like the one below by using the GI Joe mentality:

Statement at a Board meeting: “If you don’t use our email system, you won’t receive communications.”

Attorney replied: “The law does not provide the authority to do that.” 

Budget Discussion: Gone in 60 Seconds

Treasury HAF Funds Reimburse Attorneys’ Fees & Penalties

“In response to the concerning rise in foreclosures attributed to HOA fees and liens across various Colorado communities in 2022, the Division of Housing took decisive action to help address the issue within the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program,” said Chynna Cowart, a spokeswoman for the Department of Local Affairs, where the Division of Housing operates out of. “Recognizing the imminent threat of displacement for homeowners, some of whom were mere days away from foreclosure, the inclusion of payment assistance for HOA fees and liens became a crucial component of the program’s framework.”

Colorado has given more than $2.3 million in federal pandemic aid to people in debt to their HOAs — Jesse Paul | The Colorado Sun | January 08, 2024

US Treasury HAF Resources

Colorado - DOLA CEMAP Disclosure for Closed Cases $15,000+

Coverage Extraordinaire

Know your rights: 5 things to watch for when it comes to neighbor vs. neighbor disputes  — Michael Gordon | The Charlotte Observer | August 5, 2022

Anxious, angry, ‘always on edge’: Why HOAs’ relations with residents could be getting worse

 — Korie Dean, Michael Gordon and Mary Helen Moore | The Charlotte Observer | August 10, 2022

How much power do HOAs have in North Carolina? We help you understand some rules and laws.

— Mary Helen Moore | The Charlotte Observer |August 10, 2022

How to deal with HOA conflicts — Makayla Holder | The Charlotte Observer | November 18, 2022

The balance of power between HOAs and homeowners in North Carolina — Sarah Delia | WFAE 90.7 | January 03, 2024

VIDEO: WFAE Live - Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins — January 04, 2024

…In lawsuits filed against the association and in interviews with The Real Deal, unit owners claim association leadership illegally imposed $3 million in special assessments, but failed to make promised and required repairs.  Unit owners suspect some former and current association leaders of a self-enrichment scheme, as many of the 17 buildings remain in poor condition, residents say. 

Star Lakes is not an anomaly.  Across South Florida, residents who live in association-governed communities have been sounding the alarm about allegedly nefarious dealings by board members. This has intensified following the uncovering of major fraud at the Hammocks, the largest homeowners association in South Florida. 

At some properties, residents have claimed they live under a tyrannical-type governance, riddled with opaque financial records. Those who speak out face retaliation…

Inside Alleged Fraud at Miami-Dade’s Star Lakes Condos — Lidia Dinkova and Katherine Kallergis | The Real Deal | October 12, 2023

At the bayfront Mirador condo complex in Miami Beach, the master association board allegedly violated state laws for years, misappropriating funds and failing to maintain financial records.

On the mainland, at the Star Lakes complex in north Miami-Dade County, owners suspected fund misappropriation after the board imposed $3 million in special assessments for repairs but finished little to no work, according to residents’ lawsuits.

And at Captiva Lakes Villas in south Miami-Dade, no board elections were held for at least the past three years, according to some unit owners who blame the association president, who has held the position for six years. 

These properties are not anomalies. For decades, residents in Florida communities governed by associations have claimed that their boards and property managers created authoritarian-like regimes. There have been allegations of inflated assessments, election fraud, opaque records, property disrepair and misappropriation of funds. 

Inside Florida’s Broken Homeowners, Condo Association Laws — Lidia Dinkova and Katherine Kallergis | The Real Deal | November 2, 2023


QUESTION: Have you seen any IRS enforcement cases related to community associations to rescind 501(c)(xyz) status and/or to collect back taxes due to disqualification related to inurements, etc.?

What, if any, kinds of activity would typically cause challenges for a community association related to prohibitions against inurements?

ANSWER: See attached 2022 list which I update annually.  I haven’t had time to file the 2023 update yet.

Lot’s of denials and revocations for various reasons.  I have not seen IRS demand refunds for years in which exempt returns were erroneously filed because the organization failed to qualify as exempt.  I have only seen them require changing forms and paying taxes on a go-forward basis.

Tax exemption for HOA’s is a very narrow area of tax law and I continually discover problems out there.  I would have to dig through records to get an exact count but I have successfully completed more than 100 exemption applications for associations.  Included in that number are about a half dozen where I was able to regain exempt status previously revoked by IRS.  In each case this happened because neither the IRS agent not the tax representative for the HOA actually knew the law.  I have had to go to appeals at least 20 times on new applications because the original examining IRS agent denied the application saying the association did not qualify.  We were successful in all but two of those.  One case is making its way through tax court now.  In the other case the association did not want to take the financial risk of going to court.

— Gary Porter, CPA

IRS Written Determinations — Type “homeowners association” into the Find box 

Coverage: 1,  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27


All-electric, energy efficient heat pumps are great because they can both heat and cool homes, replacing your home's furnace and air conditioner in one go. They can also save serious money. Unfortunately, there's one weak spot that's hurting widespread adoption -- they don't work as well as gas furnaces at very low temperatures.

However, newer versions are part of an effort to solve that problem and catapult heat pumps forward to become the future of both heating and air conditioning. Case in point: a model just unveiled by Bosch at CES 2024 (where we've seen other great energy tech and exciting developments across the board).

Most Heat Pumps Don't Work as Well in Frigid Cold. Devices Shown at CES Change That — Jon Reed | CNET | January 15, 2024


Four more heat pump manufacturers have successfully developed cold-climate prototypes as part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge.

To take part in the Challenge, manufacturers’ heat pumps must deliver 100% heating capacity without the use of auxiliary heat, with significantly higher efficiencies at 5F (-15C), and ideally operate at -15F (-26C), among other specifications…

Four heat pump makers develop successful sub-zero prototypes in the US — Michelle Lewis | Electrek | January 08, 2024


…In total, heat pumps have the potential to cut global emissions by 500 million tons in 2030—as much as pulling all cars in Europe today off the roads. That would require the total number of heat pumps installed to reach about 600 million by the end of the decade. (That’s about 20% of the heating needs for all the world’s buildings.) 

There are still big challenges ahead for heat pumps, including ramping production to meet rising demand and ensuring that the electrical grid is robust enough to supply electricity to these and other climate-­focused technologies. But all signs indicate that heat pumps are entering their heyday…

Heat pumps: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024 — Casey Crownheart | MIT Technology Review | January 08, 2024

The Cost of Net Zero

If you want to electrify your house, you might be wondering how soon you can access rebates from the Inflation Reduction Act—for example, up to $8,000 for a new heat pump or up to $4,000 for a new electric panel.

Federal tax credits for some products are available now. But the up-front discounts that the IRA also funds, intended for low- and moderate-income households, haven’t yet rolled out.

New Mexico might be the first to let residents access the rebates. The state was the first to apply to the Department of Energy to have its program approved, according to a new DOE tracker, though it’s not clear how long the approval process will take. Other states have received funding to plan their programs but haven’t yet finished the program design…

When can you get an IRA rebate for a new heat pump or induction stove? — Adele Peters | FastCompany | January 10, 2024

Department of Energy: Home Energy Rebates Program: State Status Tracker


Efficient (and resilient) housing in Florida comes with a large price tag.

It’s not because of subsidies, but by design: All of the 86 homes built or planned in Hunters Point, a residential development about an hour south of Tampa, boast 14 solar panels and a 12-kilowatt-hour home battery in the utility closet.

On a typical afternoon, the solar panels on William and Sueann Fulford’s three-story house produce twice as much power as it consumes. They use some of the extra electricity to charge their battery, which powers their home through the night, and sell the rest to the power grid. The couple had been paying electric bills as high as $600 a month at times in their previous home in Virginia Beach.

“We haven’t had a power bill yet,” said William, 76, a retired contractor who spent decades building custom homes before moving to Florida. “If I ever do build another house, it’s going to have solar. It makes quite a difference.”...

In this Florida development, no one pays an electricity bill — Nicolás Rivero | The Washington Post | January 06, 2024


By contributing to the development of chronic disease and death, a group of hormone-disruptive plastic chemicals is costing the US healthcare system billions — over $249 billion in 2018 alone, a new study found.

“The real contribution of this work is helping the public understand how much of the human health threat of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is due to plastics,” said lead author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor of pediatrics and population health at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

“We’re talking about cancer. We’re talking about brain damage in young children. We’re talking about obesity and diabetes, heart disease and early deaths in adults,” Trasande said. “Right now, the United States is not considering the costs to its own population of industries which continue to produce and consume plastic in the US.”...

Plastic chemicals linked to $249 billion in US health care costs in just one year, study finds — Sandee LaMotte | CNN | January 11, 2024

Chemicals Used in Plastic Materials: An Estimate of the Attributable Disease Burden and Costs in the United States

— Leonardo Trasande, et. al. | Journal of the Endocrine Society | January 11, 2024


Nanoplastics in bottled water.

Microscopic pieces of plastic are everywhere. Now, they've been found in bottled water in concentrations 10 to 100 times more than previously estimated.

Researchers from Columbia University and Rutgers University found roughly 240,000 detectable plastic fragments in a typical liter of bottled water. The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

About 10% of the detected plastic particles were microplastics, and the other 90% were nanoplastics. Microplastics are between 5 millimeters to 1 micrometer; nanoplastics are particles less than 1 micrometer in size. For context, a human hair is about 70 micrometers thick…

Researchers find a massive number of plastic particles in bottled water — James Doubek | NPR | January 10, 2024

Rapid single-particle chemical imaging of nanoplastics by SRS microscopy — Naixin Qian, et. al | PNAS | January 08, 2024


Petrochemicals in food.

The Plastic Chemicals Hiding in Your Food — Lauren F. Friedman | Consumer Reports | January 04, 2024

Housing Affordability & Homelessness

The Supreme Court announced on Friday it would hear a pivotal case that could transform homelessness policy in the United States. The case is the most significant legal challenge to the rights of homeless people in decades, and how the Court rules in a decision expected later this year will shape how cities respond to tent encampments.

Four years ago, the Court declined to hear a similar challenge. But since then, the crisis of unsheltered homelessness in America has grown more severe, municipal backlash to court rulings that have limited cities’ response to the crisis has grown more organized, and what to do about people living in tents has become one of the most urgent issues in American politics.

The case in question — Grants Pass, OR v. Johnson, Gloria, et al — is a challenge to a 2018 federal class action lawsuit filed by three people who argued that the city of Grants Pass’s laws and customs illegally punished them for being involuntarily homeless. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs noted the dearth of affordable housing and homeless shelters in the city, and blasted Grants Pass’s arguments that unhoused people could simply leave and go elsewhere…

The Supreme Court will decide what cities can do about tent encampments — Rachel M. Cohen | Vox | January 12, 2024


Tiny homes as a permanent solution?  Austin is leaning in this direction.

“I think where we’re challenged is that ‘tiny home’ has taken on a spectrum of definitions,” said Chapman Semple. Many of those definitions fall short of housing standards, often lacking basic amenities like heat and indoor plumbing, which she said limits their ability to meet the needs of the population they intend to serve.

But Community First is pushing the tiny home model to a much larger scale. While most of its homes lack bathrooms and kitchens, its leaders see that as a necessary trade-off to be able to creatively and affordably house the growing number of people living on Austin’s streets. And unlike most other villages, many of which provide temporary emergency shelter in structures that can resemble tool sheds, Community First has been thoughtfully designed with homey spaces where people with some of the highest needs can stay for good. No other tiny home village has attempted to permanently house as many people.

…This rapid growth has come despite significant challenges. And some question whether a community on the outskirts of town with relaxed housing standards is a suitable way to meet the needs of people coming out of chronic homelessness. The next few years will be a test of whether these issues will be addressed or amplified as the village expands to five times its current size…

Can a Big Village Full of Tiny Homes Ease Homelessness in Austin? — Lucy Tompkins | NYT | January 08, 2024


“Workforce housing” and “middle housing” are synonyms for more affordable housing.  Also reference the federal work in progress: Workforce Housing Tax Credit

…Central Florida has seen some of the nation’s fastest pandemic-era rent increases, thanks to a confluence of job growth, migration and housing underproduction that has put a strain on residents. The average tenant in the region saw their monthly rent jump by $600 between early 2020 and early 2023. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area has one of the worst affordable housing shortages in the US, with only 15 available units for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.

The dire need for workforce housing is behind the entertainment conglomerate’s latest project in Central Florida: a 1,000-unit mixed-use development, set to open in 2026, that promises to give tenants who work in the service industry a short commute to the constellation of tourist attractions and hotels nearby. To launch the project, Universal donated 20 acres of land adjacent to the Orange County convention center. Called Catchlight Crossings and built in partnership with local developer Wendover Housing Partners, the project broke ground in November.

Universal’s nearby rival is also wading into affordable housing. In 2022, Walt Disney Co. announced plans to donate 80 acres for a proposed 1,450-unit affordable development a few miles to the southwest. Also set to open in 2026, the project would be built near Flamingo Crossings Village, a campus for participants in Disney’s college internship program that also leases units to some Disney World cast members. …

Disney, Universal Theme Parks Build Homes to Fill Workforce Housing Gap — Patrick Sisson | Bloomberg CityLab | January 13, 2024


How many affordable homes / units should be developed on 34 acres?  That’s a question the City of Seattle is trying to get its arms around.

Harrell Proposes Doubling Affordable Housing at Fort Lawton Site to Overcome Impasse — Doug Trumm | The Urbanist | January 08, 2024

Harrell wants to revise Fort Lawton housing plan by adding units — Daniel Beekman | The Seattle Times | January 07, 2024


The acronym for New York City Housing Authority, the agency that manages public housing, sounds like a cross between a curse and a sigh. In the public imagination, NYCHA is practically a synonym for a situation without a solution: ballooning costs, rickety revenue, public contempt, bleak conditions for residents, and the indignity of a federal monitor. Yet that’s wrong. Recent years have, somewhat under the radar, brought hope and a fresh set of tools. Funding models have evolved, money for renovations has started to flow, and thousands of apartments have already been reconditioned. Even in the midst of a barrage of civic crises, the future of public housing in New York looks sunnier than it has in decades.

Most important, residents are slowly internalizing the idea that not all change is bad — even if it involves private developers. That’s a big deal, because the notion of a public agency, even a dysfunctional one, chasing private money or relinquishing control has long stoked fears of rising rents, deregulation, eviction, and worse. “I came to believe that the one thing NYCHA residents hate more than NYCHA is not-NYCHA,” says Vicki Been, director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at NYU and former housing preservation and development commissioner in the de Blasio administration…

…At other NYCHA sites, plans have ranged from the cosmetic to the radical. At two housing projects in West Chelsea, Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses, tenants approved a proposal to raze the existing buildings and replace them. There’s a middle ground, though, between a Band-Aid and a clean slate. The ability to gut-renovate an entire campus instead of patching up problems piecemeal opens up a new set of options. Instead of just swapping warped kitchen cabinets and cracked toilets, designers and developers can rethink the whole package. Just for starters, plumbing gets ripped out and replaced, elevator shafts get fresh machinery, façades get reclad, landscapes replanted. In essence, the existing structures would be upcycled into new buildings and additional construction could make the campus twice as dense.

Our Radical, Practical NYCHA Makeover — Justin Davidson | Curbed | January 09, 2024


Factory-built housing is increasingly being hailed as a solution to the housing shortage and affordability crisis.

But the world of modular housing, which includes multi-unit apartment buildings and conventional-looking houses, is littered with companies that have gone bust. One of these was Katerra, a SoftBank-backed firm that sought to be a one-stop shop for factory-made buildings. After investors poured billions of dollars into the much-hyped company, it filed for bankruptcy in 2021.

Homes made in factories were supposed to save us from the housing crisis, but the companies that make them are failing

— Eliza Relman | Insider | January 14, 2024

VIDEO: Kansas City downtown condo high rise failed KCFD fire inspection — Matt Flener | KMBC 9 | March 16, 2023


Even though her insurance company has agreed to fix the inside of her unit, Kelly can’t put up drywall, fix the floors or the ceiling.

A crack in the exterior wall was inspected two months ago. According to an engineer’s report, the wall was letting water into Kelly’s unit. He recommended “repairs be performed as soon as possible.”

“I was told by the contractor and the water specialist, if I was to put drywall up on these walls, I’d be full of mold in two days,” Kelly recalled.

VIDEO: ‘I live in filth every day’: …waiting months for Hurricane Ian repairs, blames HOA — Mahsa Saeidi | WFLA | August 14, 2023


Florida lawmaker promises new bill would drop insurance rates like a rock — Mahsa Saeidi | WFLA | January 11, 2024


Wilmington, NC: Joining the property insurance pain.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau, an organization that represents insurance companies in the state, has asked the Department of Insurance to increase homeowners’ insurance rates by an average of 42.4%.

In beach areas such as Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties, however, the bureau is proposing a rate increase of 99.4%. The proposed rate for certain areas of those coastal counties is as high as 71.4%....

…In November of 2020, the Rate Bureau requested an overall average increase of 24.5%. That request resulted in a settlement between Causey and the Rate Bureau for an overall average rate increase of 7.9%.

VIDEO: Coastal homeowners could see up to 99.4% insurance rate increase — Zach Solon | WECT | January 08, 2024

Insurance companies ask for 42.2% rate increase…some face 99.4% increase — Dave Jordan | WITN | January 05, 2024


Data from First Street Foundation on potential “insurance corrections” due to wind, fire and flood risk.

The housing market is being hit by home insurance shocks; maps of the most vulnerable areas — Lance Lambert | Fast Company | January 11, 2024

Percentage of Housing Properties due for Insurance Correction because of Wind Risk

For many Americans, getting insurance for both their cars and homes has gone from a routine, generally manageable expense to a do-or-die ordeal that can strain household budgets.

Insurers are coming off some of their worst years in history. Catastrophic damage from storms and wildfires is one big reason. The past decade of global natural catastrophes has been the costliest ever. Warmer temperatures have made storms worse and contributed to droughts that have elevated wildfire risk. Too many new homes were built in areas at risk of fire.

As losses mounted, inflation only made matters worse, boosting the cost of repairing or replacing cars or homes.

Climate change also has made it harder for insurers to measure their risks, pushing some to demand even higher premiums to cushion against future losses…

Buying Home and Auto Insurance Is Becoming Impossible — Jean Eaglesham | WSJ | January 08, 2024


“People are going to be losing their homes. Foreclosures are increasing,” warned Broward County Commissioner Mark Bogen. “As it looks right now, there are going to be so many people unable to live in their homes. … This is going to really be a crisis in our state.”  The concerns are coming from across Broward County.

...As far as easing the impact of the reserve requirements on condominiums, state Sen. Jason Pizzo, chair of the Broward Legislative Delegation, was blunt: “There is not going to be a state bailout as it relates to condominiums at all. There won’t be.”

...LaMarca said “lengthening the glide path” for repairs issues identified in a condominium’s structural reserve study “would be helpful.”

Condo reserve rules and rising insurance costs could lead to foreclosure crisis. 'People are going to be losing their homes'

— Anthony Man | South Florida Sun Sentinel | November 10, 2023

Housing Market

Like the corporate brokerage defendants in the Sitzer/Burnett commission lawsuit, the National Association of Realtors also filed post-trial motions. The motions were filed on Monday prior to the filing deadline, but they did not appear on the court docket until Tuesday evening.

The trade group joined defendants HomeServices of America and Keller Williams in filing motions for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial. In its filings, NAR said it supported the arguments laid out in Keller Williams’ and HomeServices’ filing, but it also filed its own suggestions in support of the motions…

NAR asks for new trial in latest Sitzer/Burnett commission suit filings — Brooklee Han | HousingWire | January 10, 2024

Built Environment

The building that once held the original Barneys on Seventh Avenue is completing its real-estate cycle of life and becoming luxury condos. As the Real Deal reported, Douglas Tiesi’s Argentic Investment Management, which took over the building from developer Ben Ashkenazy after it foreclosed last year, sold the Chelsea retail space for $22 million — less than half the $57 million Ashkenazy bought the building for in 2014…

And Now the Barneys Flagship Will Become Condos — Clio Chang | Curbed | January 04, 2024


When you think of a community of manufactured homes, you might picture a trailer park. But manufactured homes have changed a lot in recent years. Today, they may have steeper roofs. They may have a porch. They look much like a traditional single-family home…

Meet the new generation of manufactured houses — Emma Klein, Christopher Intagliata, and Mary Louise Kelly | NPR | January 10, 2024

Condo Connection's financial coverage is indexed to our Dollar$ and $ense page dedicated to all things CIC finance.

New Seattle minimum wage among highest in US — Quixem Ramierez | KING 5 | October 16, 2023

As of Jan. 1, minimum-wage earners in Seattle, Tukwila and SeaTac are being paid about $20 an hour. The federal minimum wage, unchanged since 2009, is $7.25.

Seattle’s minimum wage, raised again, among highest in nation — Lauren Girgis | The Seattle Times | January 04, 2024


In the face of continued warnings from the Federal Reserve, traders betting on a March interest-rate cut may be relying too heavily on history, according to some strategists.

On average, the Fed has tended to ease about six months after its final rate hike, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1980. With officials expected to stand pat in January, extending a hold since July, the current pause is set to be longer than the previous episodes. 

Fed Rate-Cut Wagers for March May Lean Too Heavily on History — Garfield Reynolds | Bloomberg | January 16, 2024

History of FOMC Rate Cuts Following a Hiking Cycle

Cashing In

Compulsively checking your 401(k) is seen by behavioral economists as the source of bad investment decisions. Right now, though, looking at your portfolio too seldom could equally lead to missed opportunities.

In its 2024 outlook, asset-management giant BlackRock

presented an interesting thought experiment: If you had perfect foresight and could shift your U.S. stock investments once or twice a year toward the best-performing sector, how much would you gain? As it turns out, much more than before.

We ran the numbers on the S&P 500, including some back-of-the-envelope estimates for trading costs. Making yearly changes between 2020 and now would have yielded a compound annual return of 55%, almost four times more than buying and holding the S&P 500. From 2016 through 2019, the return would have been 30%, just twice that of the index…

How Often Should You Mess With Your 401(k)? More Than Before — Jon Sindreu | WSJ | January 02, 2024

¶ 39 "We need not decide whether CCIOA or any of its provisions require strict or substantial compliance because we conclude that BC-HOA did not even substantially comply with the applicable statutes. The Colorado Supreme Court has explained that to evaluate substantial compliance, a district court should consider:

(1) the extent of the noncompliance; 

(2) the purpose of the provision and whether that purpose was substantially achieved in spite of the lack of compliance; and 

(3) whether there was a good faith effort to comply.” 

— Griswold v. Ferrigno Warren, 2020 CO 34,¶ 12 (citing Loonan v. Woodley, 882 P.2d 1380, 1384 (Colo. 1994))

Colorado Court of Appeals - 22CA0888 - Stevens vs. BrandyChase HOA

…The Coastal Commission, which oversees land use along the state’s coastline with an eye toward public access, voted unanimously to order the Rio Del Mar Beach Island Homeowners Association to dismantle the bright orange traffic medians, fencing and orange netting it installed in January to wall off the public from a nearly 800-foot stretch of pedestrian path. 

The HOA, which represents most of the 27 owners of the colorful island of beachfront townhomes from 202 to 300 Beach Dr. in Aptos, will also have to pay a $4.8 million penalty for the violations. 

…Homeowners Gaurav Singh and Sonal Puri, who own the northernmost townhome at 202 Beach Dr. and are not part of the HOA, will have to pay a $500,000 fine and demolish a seawall and fencing the commission said blocks public access. 

Aptos HOA fined $4.8 million by state, ordered to open blocked coastal path — Christopher Neely | Lookout Santa Cruz | December 15, 2023

Stealing Leads to … Jail (in some countries)

Condominium security guard pocketed Louis Vuitton wallet dropped by resident, gets jail — Lydia Lam | CNA | January 04, 2024

…“We call it a tree house but that doesn’t really do it justice, it really is a piece of art,” Philip Edgar added. “Claire has a bit of a learning disability so she is a little bit of a loner and spends a lot of time at home and not with her friends, so it is good for her to play in the garden.”

Edgar told 8 News Now the issue came up when the board members of the Las Vegas Country Club Master Association said they don’t approve of it.

“It is our fault for not following up on the rules up front and getting all the proper permissions before we built it,” Edgar stated.  Looking back, Edgar said he would have gone about it differently.  “I would try getting all the appropriate permissions appropriately but that might mean you could never even start building it because you might not get those permissions,” he added….

Las Vegas father-daughter backyard project may be torn down due to HOA regulations — Victoria Saha | KLAS-8 | March 15, 2023

Renovations in Dispute

Armster claims she is following procedure since she did not hear from the board after submitting the plan to remodel.

According to the Section 5.04 of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, and Easements for Garrett Creek, the procedure says:

“The Committee shall have the power to construe, interpret, and apply this Declaration. The Committee’s approval or disapproval as required in this Declaration shall be in writing. In the event the Committee, or its designated representative, fails to approve or disapprove within 30 days after the plans and specifications have been submitted to it, approval will not be required and the related covenants shall be deemed to have been fully complied with.”

Not hearing from them, the homeowner said he moved forward with the work, but the recent violation notice from the homeowner’s association said the renovations must be reversed.

Disabled veteran having trouble with local homeowners association after renovating home — Gabriela Johnson | WTVM | October 31, 2023

…In reviewing documents from Coral Springs code enforcement, CBS News Miami learned that the Association owes over $4 million for building and fire violations.   

The liens affect homeowners who want to sell their property. That's because in a sale, a seller has to pay a portion of that lien at closing…

HOA frustrations: Ramblewood East residents voice concern about condo board's practices — Joan Murray | CBS Miami | December 22, 2023

Unit Owners, their families, residents, guests, invitees, delivery people, house attendants, employees, agents, visitors, tenants, or licensees shall not at any time or for any reason whatsoever store, keep, or charge an e-bike, e-scooter, or other similar mobility vehicle in Apartment Units or in Common Elements of the Building and shall not at any time or for any reason whatsoever store, keep, or charge a battery for an e-bike, e-scooter, or other similar mobility vehicle in an Apartment Unit or in Common Elements of the Building.

In the event there is a violation of, or a failure to comply with, any provision of the Bylaws of the Condominium or of the House Rules by the Unit Owner, their families, residents, guests, invitees, delivery people, house attendants, employees, agents, visitors, tenants, or licensees, the Condominium or the Board of Managers may, in the sole discretion of the Board of Managers, impose an administrative fee on a Unit Owner in an amount not to exceed $1,500 plus an additional $750 for each additional or continuing violation or failure to comply (which fee shall cover the cost of the Managing Agent or Board of Managers or Building staff or manager or other management’s investigating and following up a violation) plus the amount of all expenses of the Condominium or the Board of Managers, including, without limitation, attorneys fees, disbursements and Court costs, incurred by the Condominium or the Board of Managers or the Managing Agent or manager which amount shall be assessed against such Apartment Unit, and shall be deemed due and owing to the Condominium, as additional Common Charges, and shall be recoverable by the Condominium and the Board of Managers in the manner prescribed by the By-Laws or the House Rules and the Real Property Law of the State of New York unless it is determined in any such legal proceeding that the Condominium or the Board of Managers are not entitled to such recovery. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, if another amount is specifically provided for in a particular Article of the By- Laws of the Condominium or a particular rule or regulation of the House Rules, then such particular Article of the By-Laws of the Condominium or particular rule or regulation of the House Rules shall apply in lieu of the preceding sentence. Moreover, this House Rule shall be in addition to any other right, power, or authority of the Condominium or the Board of Managers or the Managing Agent otherwise provided or authorized by the By- Laws or the House Rules or the Real Property Law of the State of New York and shall in no way limit or prejudice any such other right, power or authority.

Association banned all emobility devices — Limp_Soil_2439 | r/FuckHOA | December 25, 2023

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday announced that just one week after a major new reporting requirement went into effect, over 100,000 small businesses have already registered with the department’s beneficial ownership database. though initial numbers lag behind projections.

U.S. companies in no hurry to disclose ownership under new Treasury rule — Chelsey Cox | CNBC | January 08, 2024

Condominium Assessment Liens are Technical and Cumbersome — William G. Morris | Coastal Breeze News | February 16, 2023

The often turbulent world of condominium associations is a target of bills in the Florida Legislature that would give homeowners more rights and allow the state more authority to crack down on abuses by board members and management companies.

The bills cover a wide range of issues that have embroiled the state’s condos, including corruption, election fraud, attempts by residents to obtain records and the ability of boards to use defamation law to stifle dissent…

…The Legislature has passed the most complicated legislation due to the collapse of Champlain Towers, however, even for the most seasoned practitioner, we’re learning that these laws are very complicated,” he said. “And then here we are not requiring the directors to learn any of these new laws. They can get certified by signing that stupid affidavit. And yet if they don’t do the things required by the new laws, it’s considered a breach of their fiduciary duty. The law has made zero sense whatsoever.”

Bill would give condo owners more rights and crack down on board misconduct — David Fleshler | Sun Sentinel | January 09, 2024


Florida lawmakers will consider more than a dozen bills in 2024 that would increase transparency and accountability of homeowners associations across the state.

In advance of the 60-day legislative session that begins on Jan. 9, lawmakers say the bills are in response to complaints about HOAs. “We did receive a lot of those” complaints, said Rep. Kristen Arrington, D-Osceola, who has filed two bills on the subject.

One of her bills (HB 431) would prohibit an HOA from imposing more than a $100 fine for any single violation; fines that may be levied for each day of a continuing violation could not exceed $500 unless it is specifically written into the HOA’s governing documents.

Her other bill (HB 59) would require an HOA to provide copies of the association’s rules and covenants to every member before Oct. 1, 2024, and every new member thereafter. It would also authorize an HOA to post a complete copy of the rules and covenants on the home page of its website and require an association to provide notices to its members by email or letter…

Florida Legislature to consider multiple bills regulating homeowners associations — Jim DeLa | Sarasota Herald-Tribune | January 08, 2024


Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick, filed legislation last year to “establish a community association oversight division in the office of the attorney general.” Similar to the Local Government Commission having oversight of local governments, the division would “assist homeowners in communities governed by community associations by ensuring the community associations are complying with the laws and by remedying any violations of the laws.”

Attempt to reform homeowner association oversight takes next step Thursday — Victor Skinner | Jacksonville Daily News | January 10, 2024


House Bill 5028 would invalidate any provisions in homeowners’ association agreements that prohibit a laundry list of energy efficiency improvements to single-family homes. Lead bill sponsor Rep. Ranjeev Puri, D-Canton, said this issue comes up at each of his coffee hours with constituents in his district.

Michigan Bill Could Stop HOAs from Blocking Home Chargers — Sheri McWhirter| Govtech | October 10, 2023


The Massachusetts Residents Against Crumbling Foundations is almost out of time with the legislation in the state house that could potentially help families from falling into financial ruin.

In this quiet condo association in Westminster, The Meadows at West Hill have drawn the short straw when it comes to foundation issues…

There is a bill in the senate that would create a state fund to help homeowners pay for these needed and financially debilitating repairs. The bill needs to be voted on by Feb. 6th, 2024. It can pass, be extended or flat out denied.

Push for state funding to help homeowners with crumbling foundations — Amanda Keane | Spectrum News | January 09, 2024


Pyrrhotite is considered a geohazard in concrete because over time – typically 15 to 20 years – it begins to expand and break apart in the presence of water and air. The only solution is replacing those concrete foundations – which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Estimated two-thousand Massachusetts homes have pyrrhotite-contaminated foundations.  Most are in western and central Massachusetts near the Connecticut border.

New push for Massachusetts to address crumbling foundations — Ted Daniel and Marina Villenevue | Boston 25 News | March 28, 2023

What if a foundation is cracking due to pyrrhotite? A proposed MA law would set standards — Ken Cleveland | Telegram & Gazette | December 19, 2021

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