CIC Info Bytes


CIC Info Bytes are frequent, succinct updates that provide educational and engagement opportunities to help your community thrive!  Subscribe to receive CIC Info Bytes updates by emailJoin us on Reddit at r/HOA.

ISSUE # 86

CIC Info Bytes 02/29/24

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 02/29/24 - PRINT EDITION



Sage advice for community associations: communicate, communicate, communicate!

When dealing with potential issues that may result in a cost that would ultimately be charged back to the owner, condo corporations should always consider low-cost collaborative solutions rather than immediate legal letters or legal action. The approach to resolving an issue will depend on the specifics of the issue, but it is important that condo corporations make a reasonable effort to resolve an issue before resorting to other approaches which may be costly and burdensome for both owners and the condo corporation... CAO re: Owner Chargebacks

Historic Florida Legislation

48 Page Bill Analysis: Florida Senate - 2024 - Amended SB 1178

Florida Senate - 2024 - Amended SB 1178

Board Meetings Survey

Board Meetings Survey

Your responses to the Community Association Board Meetings Survey inform opportunities for advocacy and reform. 

Board Meetings Survey

Trials and Tribulations of a Volunteer Director - Part XI

PART XI: It Doesn’t Say We Can’t Do It

We are inspired by the mention of board meetings by proxy.  Did you know that Arizona and Colorado are the only states (to the best of our database) that explicitly allow Board proxies in a community association statute?  Also reference Virginia’s Nonstock Corporation Act.

Well, you say, “our bylaws allow us to participate by proxy in Board meetings.”  Are you SURE?  State law supersedes many aspects of governing documents.  Do you know your state’s community association law AND nonprofit corporation law well enough to make a determination?  If not, you should definitely get some advice.

So, even if your governing documents say X, the law might supersede X with Y.  In addition, you should consider It Doesn't Say We Can't Do It because assuming you can do something based on the lack of an explicit statement to the contrary isn’t a valid approach to governing.  The scope of your authority might be less than you think.


SUMMARY: Can board members participate by proxy in meetings?  NO!

Direct references: RCW 24.03A.565(5) and RCW 64.90.444(2)(m) which adopted the standard in a place that's easier to find for community associations.  Example:

(5) No proxy for a director, however appointed, may:

(a) Participate in any vote of the board or of any board committee;

(b) Be counted for the purpose of determining whether a quorum is present at a meeting; or (c) Execute any written consent on behalf of the director.

Indirect references: RCW 24.60.150 which specifies how directors are considered to be "present" during a meeting.   Robert's Rules (RONR) FAQ #10:

Proxy voting is not permitted in ordinary deliberative assemblies unless federal, state, or other laws applicable to the society require it, or the bylaws of the organization authorize it, since proxy voting is incompatible with the essential characteristics of a deliberative assembly. 

The Miami-Dade Police Department announced Wednesday the arrest of three Westwind Lakes Garden Homes Condominium Association board members accused of stealing $42,000 from the association's bank account…

…"The banknotes were written to Yoel Fernandez, 42, who is a family associate and the boyfriend of Yasnely Pedroso, 38. The payments were for contractual repairs at the condominium; however, they were never performed," investigators said. 

Police said Pedroso solicited the production of fraudulent invoices from a vendor to mask and substantiate the distribution of condominium assets intended for the original contractual labor that failed to commence.

The Pedrosos and Fernandez are facing Grand Theft and Organized Scheme to Defraud charges…

3 accused of stealing $42,000 from Miami-Dade condo association — Mauricio Maldonado | CBS Miami | February 21, 2024

Mother-daughter-boyfriend trio accused of defrauding West Kendall HOA; 2 arrested — Chris Gothner | WPLG Local 10 | February 16, 2024

Trio accused of defrauding Miami-Dade homeowners association out of tens of thousands… — Niko Clemmons | NBC 6 South Florida | February 16, 2024

Fraud Explosion!

An assortment of homeowners and condominium associations in Aspen and Snowmass Village have been served over the last four weeks with lawsuits and summonses over a whistleblower’s civil accusations that they fraudulently applied for and accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in forgivable federal loans that were issued during the COVID-19 pandemic…

…According to the suit’s allegations, the seven local associations combined to receive $4.6 million in PPP loans that were forgiven in their entirety, including interest. Here’s a list of the entities and the amounts received:

• Aspen Alps received PPP loans of $443,500 in 2020 and $489,319 in 2021.

• Aspen Square received a PPP loan of $418,142 in 2021.

• Crestwood received PPP loans of $524,900 in 2020 and $531,699 in 2021.

• Dancing Bear received a PPP loan of $372,100 in 2020. 

• North of Nell received PPP loans of $197,500 in 2020 and $217,607 in 2021. 

• Stonebridge received PPP loans of $312,500 in 2020 and $436,669 in 2021.

• Timberline received PPP loans for $307,700 in 2020 and $362,307 in 2021. 

PPP fraud accusations aimed at local condo associations — Rick Carroll | Aspen Daily News | January 17, 2024

Does This Make Sense?!

You might notice a significant difference in the number of lots and the land mass area between the three phases.  You might also notice that there are some labeled structures.  Those are 1,100+ units of apartments.

There’s a bit of complexity here, but the gist is this: covenants that run with the land are incredibly powerful.  While there is a possibility that covenants create an unconscionable contract, the likelihood of successful litigation to undo a master planned community like this one is extremely low. 

Lopsided Master Planned Community

One of the reasons community associations struggle is their volunteer composition.  Homeowner volunteers are a necessary part of the equation, BUT certain aspects of volunteer governance don’t seem to work well.  For example, who manages the manager?  The time cost required to supervise professionals hired to assist the association is monumental in and of itself.


The excerpt below from the Association Governance Model section of CAI’s Community NEXT 2020 and Beyond  is not a new concept.  Dan Barnabic discusses this very thing in his Condo Bible published in 2013:

Most owners [who choose to serve on the Board] discover, over time, that the degree of personal sacrifice, time, and effort is much more than they bargained for." — D. Barnabic


All associations need well-qualified volunteers to serve on their boards. Savvy future developers as well as existing associations should be encouraged to set minimum requirements for board service, such as education level, professional experience, prior leadership positions and attendance at accredited board education programs.

At some point, board expertise and qualifications will have to be controlled more carefully. As some already do, governing documents of the future may contain provisions for the automatic removal of inadequate board members. In the absence of qualified volunteers, communities in the future will likely explore creative alternatives to seating competent board members, such as turning to professional board members or a corporate model.

Some associations in the future might pay a modest stipend to board members, similar to what city council members receive. Although such stipends would create an incentive for residents to volunteer, they would not ensure competence, which only will be achieved by requiring board members to attend accredited board education programs. Eventually, state or local government statutes and ordinances also may require formal board education. While mandatory requirements may reduce the number of people who volunteer, they will also eliminate at least some unsuitable candidates. 

…“We get it’s going for structural repairs, what structural repairs, I don’t know,” Sandy Sherman said. “They’re saying because of the new law, that’s what has to be done. But you know, the problem is that we wouldn’t be in this position now with all these structural repairs needing to be done if they were doing their due diligence, for the last 20 years, 30 years.”

News4JAX took a walk around the complex with Distefano and Sherman to see what was not being maintained on the property. There was a tarp that’s been on the roof of a condo building for months now, they said. There were also issues with a roof buckling from water redirected by a gutter and other general issues with wood rotting and things falling apart.

Another issue residents have concerns about is the clubhouse. They said the doors had been locked for 20 years. So, that’s 20 years they haven’t been able to access basic amenities on the property…

Jacksonville condo owners shocked after being told they need to pay $13,000 by summer… — Tiffany Salameh | News4JAX | February 12, 2024

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, 27, 28, 29 and 30


The US power grid is struggling to maintain an even flow of electricity — and putting homes at risk…

…At least 1 million US homes are at risk because of something most Americans don’t have much knowledge about: dangerous power quality…

Is the US Power Grid at Risk? Voltage Swings Threaten Homes — Naureen S Malik | Bloomberg | February 14, 2024

The most common complaint about solar panels in Connecticut are issues with the home installation process, including damage to the roof. The I-Team reviewed all solar complaints sent to the Connecticut Attorney General’s office since 2019. 64% of all complaints with a category listed cited home improvement or repairs as the basis of the complaint.

VIDEO: Going Solar: Damaged roofs are the most common complaint — Cassidy Williams | Eyewitness News3 | February 14, 2024


Replacing one form of plastic with another doesn’t get the job done.

Almost a decade ago, California became the first state in the United States to ban single-use plastic bags in an effort to tackle an intractable plastic waste problem.

Then came the reusable, heavy-duty plastic bags, offered to shoppers for ten cents. Designed to withstand dozens of uses, and technically recyclable, many retailers treated them as exempt from the ban.

But because they didn’t look much different from the flimsy bags they replaced, lots of people didn’t actually reuse them. And though they came emblazoned with a recycling symbol, it turned out that few, if any, actually were recycled.

The unhappy result: Last year, Californians threw away more plastic bags, by weight, than when the law first passed, according to figures from CalRecycle, California’s recycling agency…

California Tried to Ban Plastic Grocery Bags. It Didn’t Work. — Hiroko Tabuchi | The New York Times | February 15, 2024


Are you convinced?

The plastics industry has worked for decades to convince people and policymakers that recycling would keep waste out of landfills and the environment. Consumers sort their trash so plastic packaging can be repurposed, and local governments use taxpayer money to gather and process the material. Yet from the early days of recycling, plastic makers, including oil and gas companies, knew that it wasn't a viable solution to deal with increasing amounts of waste, according to documents uncovered by the Center for Climate Integrity.

Reduce, reuse, redirect outrage: How plastic makers used recycling as a fig leaf — Michael Copley | NPR | February 15, 2024

The Fraud of Plastic Recycling — The Center for Climate Integrity | February 2024


Nanoplastics in bottled water.  Mmmmm.  Tasty!

You may want to think twice before taking a sip from a bottle of water. A recent study found that nanoplastics, small flecks of plastic a thousand times smaller than a human hair, are likely floating around in your drink.

The study was published in January in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from Columbia University looked at the three most popular brands of water sold in the United States and found that the bottles contained on average 240,000 plastic particles. 90% of these are considered nanoplastics.

“We’re talking about one micron or micrometer to one nanometer,” said Zhanfei Liu, Ph.D. with the University of Texas’ Marine Science Institute…

Bottled water contains tiny pieces of plastic; this system may prevent you from drinking it — Eric Henrikson | KXAN | February 16, 2024

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


A seaweed alternative to plastic packaging.

Imitation caviar invented in the 1930s could provide the solution to plastic pollution, claims Pierre Paslier, CEO of London-based packaging company Notpla. He discovered the cheap food alternative, invented by Unilever and made using seaweed, after quitting his job as a packaging engineer at L’Oréal.

With cofounder and co-CEO Rodrigo García González, Paslier and Notpla have extended the idea, taking a protein made from seaweed and creating packaging for soft drinks, fast food, laundry detergent, and cosmetics, among other things. They’re also branching out into cutlery and paper.

“Seaweed grows quickly and needs no fresh water, land, or fertilizer,” Paslier explains. “It captures carbon and makes the surrounding waters less acidic. Some species of seaweed can grow up to a meter a day.” Best of all, he says, packaging made from seaweed is completely biodegradable because it’s entirely nature-based.

Fake Caviar Invented in the 1930s Could Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution

— Stephen Armstrong | WIRED | February 15, 2024


Geoengineering to cool the planet.

Dumping chemicals in the ocean? Spraying saltwater into clouds? Injecting reflective particles into the sky? Scientists are resorting to once unthinkable techniques to cool the planet because global efforts to check greenhouse gas emissions are failing.

These geoengineering approaches were once considered taboo by scientists and regulators who feared that tinkering with the environment could have unintended consequences, but now researchers are receiving taxpayer funds and private investments to get out of the lab and test these methods outdoors. 

Scientists Resort to Once-Unthinkable Solutions to Cool the Planet — Eric Niiler | WSJ | February 14, 2024

Housing Affordability & Homelessness

An economic analysis found that in several Canadian cities, prices would have to plummet, or incomes would have to soar improbably, to restore affordability…

In the cities where Canada’s real estate mania has been the greatest, Mr. St-Arnaud’s findings are startling. He calculated that prices would need to plummet 39 percent in Toronto, 33 percent in Vancouver and 30 percent in Montreal based on current incomes. Or, to flip things around, incomes would need to grow by 65 percent in Toronto, 50 percent in Vancouver and 43 percent in Montreal.

Mr. St-Arnaud did find some good news. Houses remain affordable in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. (For his calculations, Mr. St-Arnaud defined affordable housing as not consuming more than 30 percent of its owner’s after-tax income, including utilities, property taxes and insurance. He also assumed that homeowners put 20 percent of the purchase price in a down payment and spread their mortgages out over 25 years — the typical arrangement in Canada.)

Few Good Solutions as Home Affordability Plummets   |   Free 🔗 — Ian Austen | The New York Times| February 24, 2024


America is facing a housing crisis.  The U.S. is short millions of housing units. Half of renters are paying more than a third of their salary in housing costs, and for those looking to buy, scant few homes on the market are affordable for a typical household.

To ramp up supply, cities are taking a fresh look at their zoning rules that spell out what can be built where and what can't. And many are finding that their old rules are too rigid, making it too hard and too expensive to build many new homes.

So these cities, as well as some states, are undertaking a process called zoning reform. They're crafting new rules that do things like allow multifamily homes in more neighborhoods, encourage more density near transit and streamline permitting processes for those trying to build.

The hottest trend in U.S. cities? Changing zoning rules to allow more housing — Laurel Wamsley | NPR | February 17, 2024


We’ve been saying this for a while…

New analysis from RMI finds that by encouraging better-located, less car-dependent communities, we can solve the nationwide housing shortage while dramatically cutting pollution.

RMI analysis shows enacting state-level land use reform to encourage compact development can reduce annual US pollution by 70 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2033. This projection, based on 2023 data, underscores the potential for significant impact within a decade. It would deliver more climate impact than half the country adopting California’s ambitious commitment to 100% zero-emission passenger vehicle sales by 2035. Here’s another way of looking at this: addressing America’s chronic housing shortage intelligently — by building more housing where people most need it — can deliver similar climate impact as the country’s most aspirational transportation decarbonization policy. How’s that for a two-for-one deal?

Why State Land Use Reform Should Be a Priority Climate Lever for America — Jacob Korn, et. al. | Rocky Mountain Institute | February 16, 2024


Protesting affordable housing.

The Redmond City Council voted 5 to 1 to approve a land transfer that would allow for the construction of an affordable housing complex for homeless people.

As part of the approval, the city parcel will be to developed into a six-story affordable housing building, including 100 units and ground-floor commercial space.

The vote followed dozens of angry emails that were sent to the inboxes of Redmond City Council members and Redmond's mayor. KOMO News was copied on a number of the emails addressed to them, with many people demanding a public comment period, and outlining concerns about public safety and transparency…

Redmond neighbors protest city's decision to add affordable housing for homeless people — Ryan Simms | KOMO News | February 14, 2024


The John Fox Place is named after the housing advocate and is operated by the Low Income Housing Institute. It has more than 100 units well below the average rent in the city. According to Zillow, the average renter pays 2,011 a month.

The latest property is a seven-story building with features like classrooms, play areas for kids and a computer lab. The apartments will also have special units for homeless veterans and families. The grand opening is slated for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Seattle's newest affordable housing development to open Wednesday along Aurora Avenue — Mo Haider | KOMO News | February 14, 2024

…At the center of this crisis are dramatic increases in insurance costs for HOAs [and condos], with some premiums experiencing a surge due to a $140,000 annual increase. These hikes are largely attributed to the aftermath of wildfires and a growing reluctance among insurance companies to offer affordable rates amidst escalating risks. This dire situation has led attorneys and HOA representatives, like Molly Foley-Healy, to sound the alarm on what they describe as the most significant affordability crisis in 17 years, with certain HOAs grappling with insurance increases ranging between $300,000 to $1 million

In response to this mounting challenge, efforts are underway to engage lawmakers in search of viable solutions. However, proposed actions, such as a comprehensive study of the insurance market aimed at understanding and mitigating the issue, won't bear fruit until January 1, 2026. This delay leaves many residents feeling frustrated and powerless, their sentiments echoing the insurance dilemmas faced by homeowners in other states, notably Florida. The situation is particularly grim for communities with a significant population of retirees, who live on fixed incomes and are disproportionately affected by the rising costs…

Colorado Residents Grapple with Soaring HOA Dues Amid Insurance Crisis — Muhammad Jawad | BNN | February 24, 2024


Arvada, Colorado: To say Rosalie Hayes was stunned when she opened the letter describing a dues increase at her Arvada condo complex this year would be an understatement.

“When I opened this letter, it was just like you could have knocked me over with a feather,” she said. “It was a shock.”

The letter explained her monthly condo dues would increase from $346 to $620, an increase of nearly $300…

HOA insurance premiums skyrocket across Colorado, driving up condo dues — Steve Staeger and Anna Hewson | 9 News | February 22, 2024


Another insurance company said it has informed the California Department of Insurance that it will withdraw from the homeowners business in the state.

American National told KCRA 3 Investigates on Monday that it expects to “begin the non-renewal process by August, though that timing is subject to change.”

The company said it had more than 36,000 homeowners policies in effect in California as of Dec. 31, 2023…

VIDEO: Homeowners struggle amid California insurance crisis — Lysée Mitri | KCRA | February 26, 2024

California Department of Insurance | Homeowners Coverage Comparison Tool

California Insurance Commissioner - Property Insurance Comparison Chart

Condominium master policies are also part of the Citizens depopulation effort.

Condo Owners Reciprocal Exchange will assume up to 400 Citizens condo association policies — Brandon Girod | Pensacola News Journal | February 06, 2024

Housing Market

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at a time.

Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.

Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truck, and is dwarfed by the two-story suburban homes that prevail on the blocks around him. But, in fact, there are even smaller homes in his subdivision, Cinder Butte, which was developed by a local builder called Hayden Homes. Some of his neighbors live in houses that total just 400 square feet — a 20-by-20-foot house attached to a 20-by-20-foot garage…

The Great Compression   |   Free 🔗 — Connor Dougherty | The New York Times | February 17, 2024


Florida’s Condo Prices Are Falling As Cost of Insurance and HOA Fees Skyrocket — Connor Dougherty | The New York Times | February 17, 2024

Condo sales fell in Florida because of rising insurance and HOA fees, report says — Ron Hurtibise | South Florida Sun Sentinel | February 27, 2024

Condo Prices Fall in Florida - Redfin Report February 2024

The outlook continues to erode for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and large brokerages.

The National Association of Realtors and several corporate home brokerages must face a proposed class action lawsuit from home buyers who accuse them of conspiring to artificially inflate real estate commissions, a U.S. judge in Chicago has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood on Tuesday declined to dismiss claims, opens new tab that the realtors association, Keller Williams, Re/Max and others violated U.S. antitrust law by pushing up the cost of homes for sale across the country.

The proposed class of home buyers in 35 states including Florida, Nevada, Tennessee and Massachusetts seeks unspecified monetary damages under a combination of antitrust and consumer protection laws…

The case is Mya Batton et al v. The National Association of Realtors et al, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, No. 1:21-cv-00430.

Home buyers can sue brokerages over real estate commissions, US judge rules — Mike Scarcella | Reuters | February 22, 2024


When Donald J. Trump became president, condominiums in buildings emblazoned with his name began selling for less…

In New York, the Trump Brand Is Costing Some Condo Owners — Rukmini Callimachi | The New York Times | February 18, 2024

In New York, the Trump Brand Is Costing Some Condo Owners

Built Environment

Property lenders have often been willing to work with borrowers since the pandemic upended commercial real estate. Increasingly, their patience is running out. There were 635 US commercial real estate foreclosures in January, up 17% from the previous month and roughly twice as many as in January 2023. Meanwhile, borrowers are grappling with higher interest rates and shifting work trends that have cratered demand for office buildings. In the mini-documentary The Time Bomb in Empty Office Buildings, Bloomberg Originals explores how the 2008 financial crisis sowed the seeds of the commercial real estate crisis—a crisis that could soon morph into something bigger.

VIDEO: The Economic Time Bomb Ticking in Empty Office Buildings Everywhere | Free🔗 — David Rovella | Bloomberg | February 22, 2024


It still has that sinking feeling…  View prior coverage in Issues 76, 74, 69 and 59.

VIDEO: SF’s Millennium Tower now may be sinking in the center — Jaxon Van Derbeken | NBC Bay Area | February 21, 2024


An update on Order to Vacate from Issue# 85.

Panama City Beach officials are working to get people back in their condo units as quickly as possible after people at Tower III at Calypso Resort Condominiums had to vacate the building due to structural issues….

VIDEO: Repairs have started for Tower III at Calypso Condominium Association — Courtney Evans | MyPanhandle | February 12, 2024

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

Productivity Home Page : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Big Number: 2.7% — Marie Solis | NYT | February 16, 2024

Over the last month or so, the mood has shifted from soft landing to no landing. The employment data has been better than expected and the inflation data has been hotter than expected.

With all of these reports, there have been some reasons for caution. Maybe seasonality helped flatter the heat on the inflation data. Maybe there was some underlying weakness in labor. Anyway it's all possible.

But while we're here, this is from yesterday's Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index. Sure looks like a lot of chunky up arrows.

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day — Joe Weisenthal | Bloomberg | February 27, 2024


Inflation is no longer slowing down.

Who ever said the war on inflation would be a straight line ending in a soft landing (or downturn)? While the US Federal Reserve has made a lot of progress over the past two years, this week proved that some battles will be lost along the way. With interest rates still sky high, the American economy has continued to make mincemeat out of Team Recession’s two years of unrealized predictions. But as the central bank chases its 2% inflation target, pockets of a too-hot US economy have proven stubborn. 

Consumer prices jumped in January, stalling recent disinflation progress and dashing hopes on Wall Street that the Fed would start dropping rates soon. The main contributor to the uptick? Shelter costs. Then there were the prices paid to US producers, which also rose in January by more than forecast. Of course there was also more good news for Americans: Consumer sentiment ticked up again and prices of used cars dropped on a monthly basis by the most since 1969 after the methodology was updated. Broader goods prices and energy also continued to fall.

Bloomberg Weekend Reading: The Road to a Soft Landing Won’t Be Straight — Victoria Cavaliere and Ian Fisher | Bloomberg | February 17, 2024

US Inflation Heated Up - January 2024 - Bloomberg

Cashing Out

It’s a turning point for the market as the Federal Reserve ends the fastest pace of interest-rate hikes in a generation — providing more clarity to real estate investors on where borrowing costs stand. Some property owners will have little choice but to sell as their debt come due: More than $1 trillion in commercial real estate loans are set to mature by the end of next year, according to data firm Trepp.

The fallout stands to reverberate widely. In the past decade of rock-bottom rates, global investors piled into offices and other commercial buildings as a perceived safe alternative to bonds. American cities from Los Angeles to New York have counted on top-dollar office values to help fill their property-tax coffers. And lenders — particularly US regional banks — are loaded up on loans for buildings that are now worth a fraction of their initial price…

Commercial Real Estate Market Plunge Has Lenders Facing a Brutal Reality — Natalie Wong and Patrick Clark | Bloomberg | February 13, 2024

Commercial Real Estate Market Plunge Has Lenders Facing a Brutal Reality - Bloomberg

How will the CRE crisis play out for smaller banks?

About two dozen banks in the US had portfolios of commercial real estate loans in late 2023 that federal regulators indicated would merit greater scrutiny, a sign more lenders may face pressure from authorities to bolster reserves.

A trio of regulators publicly warned the industry last year to carefully assess any large exposures to debt on office buildings, retail storefronts and other commercial properties. At the time, authorities said they would pay closer attention to banks that rapidly piled up such loans worth more than three times their total capital…

Dozens of Banks Rapidly Piled Up Commercial Property Loans   |   Free 🔗 — Ann Choi, Noah Buhayar, Hahhah Levitt | Bloomberg | February 15, 2024

Dozens of Banks Rapidly Piled Up Commercial Property Loans - Bloomberg

How bizarre that an association with these design guidelines would deny the installation of a rain garden referenced by the website in the guidelines!  BUT yet not bizarre considering the human condition where volunteers prioritize power over purpose.

Having garnered commitments for approximately five dozen petition signatures, the Bussard’s have more than enough support to call a special meeting (5% requirement) which they have done.  It’s unfortunate that the association’s new management contract only includes four Board meetings and one annual meeting a year.  “The cost of having a meeting” is being leveraged as a cudgel.

Whenever it rained, Craig and Jamie Bussard knew their yard would flood.  It became saturated every time the skies opened up ever since they moved into their home on Ocean Neighbors Boulevard in 2015.  

Over time, the Bussards just accepted it as their reality.  But then they saw a way out: plant a rain garden, a round space where native plants would soak up the downpour.

The city of Charleston liked the idea and gave the couple a grant. The Homeowners Association and property manager signed off, too, or the couple thought they did. And everything worked the way it was supposed to.  Until it didn't.

In November, the HOA said the rain garden didn’t get necessary approvals and demanded its removal. After months of correspondence, the HOA gave the Bussards until Feb. 27 to remove it. After that, the HOA threatened to hire a contractor to forcibly remove the garden of grasses and flowering plants at the Bussards’ expense…

Homeowners fight to keep rain garden in flood-prone James Island yard; can HOA be stopped? — Toby Cox | The Post and Courier | February 27, 2024

Rain Garden Website | January 2024 Attorney Letter | Timeline | More Details 


Soggy Yard


Rain Garden

…Although the path and surrounding green space are owned by the Meadow Glen Resident Association, city officials say this and other nearby paths are supposed to be publicly accessible. However, Slavick hasn’t always received a warm welcome there when passing through with her dogs.

“People will come out and yell at us, threaten to call the police, (and tell us) we’re not allowed to be there,” Slavick said.

The neighborhood resident association has posted signs along the walkway warning passersby that dogs are not allowed in the area, whether on- or off-leash. But Slavick lives in the neighborhood a few houses down the street from the area included in the resident association. As a non-member, she is not bound by the association’s rules, yet she still receives harassment from neighbors…

…“There are whole books written about the roles of homeowners associations and how they are a form of governance. People don’t always acknowledge that or recognize that because they’re used to the local government being the government,” he said. “It’s not intuitive to people that when they’ve signed a contract, as part of their homeownership, to be part of a homeowner’s association, that is a governance that they are signing into.”...

Dispute over Boulder HOA’s rules on dog walking ripple out past neighborhood — Amber Carlson | Daily Camera | February 24, 2024

…The Rio Del Mar Beach Island Homeowners Association in Aptos installed the chain-link fence with plastic green panels on either end of the path last week with the hopes of blocking off beachgoers from using the roughly 25-foot-wide walkway behind their condos. This comes after the HOA’s 27 members were hit with more than $4.7 million in fines from the California Coastal Commission in December for penalties related to blocking the pathway from public access…

After $4.7M in fines, California homeowners still erect new fence to block beach path — Sam Mauhay-Moore | SF Gate | February 28, 2024

In an attempt to avoid [board members who don’t show up to meetings], many condominium associations’ governing documents include provisions permitting the Board of Di­rectors to remove an individual Director if he or she has been absent for a certain number of consecutive meetings.  While this may appear to be an easy remedy, DBPR has determined that such provisions are unenforceable. 

In reaching this conclusion, the arbitrator found that because Section 718.112(2)(k), Florida Statutes “provides for removal of a board member by recall by the unit owners, the board may not remove a board member, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the condominium documents purporting to authorize board removal by board action.” See id. (quoting Seville Place Condominium Association, Inc. v. Unit Owners Voting for Recall, Arb. Case No. 2004-01-1153, fn 3 (April 8, 2004) and Hernandez v Pinebark Con­dominium Association, Inc., Arb. Case No. 94-0531, Summary Final Order (May 17, 1995)). The DPBR continued, noting that “[i]f a board may willy-nilly remove board members following a duly conducted election, the board has the ability to change the outcome of any given election in a fundamental way.” See id.

Thus, regardless of any provision purporting to allow the Board of Directors to oust a director based on a number of consecutive absences, the board has no authority to exercise this right…

How to Handle Absent Condominium and Homeowners Association Board Members — Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick via JD Supra | February 23, 2024

QUESTION: I live in a community governed by an HOA, and I have a question regarding flags and posters in windows.

As a result of the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, many of our residents put American and Israeli flags on their homes as a show of support. Many of them also put posters of the hostages held by Hamas in their windows.

The HOA board decided that these items were in violation of the HOA rules and sent out a community wide letter saying that while they support the cause, the offending items need to be removed by Dec.15, or violations would be issued…

ANSWER: First, and with respect to the First Amendment argument, while I think that would not pass muster in Florida, there are some lawyers who strenuously disagree, and it’s something that’s regularly debated.

Community associations are not government actors, and so constitutional protections do not apply to them. For example, while the Constitution guarantees due process, the required due process in an association’s fining procedure is extremely limited.

The real question is whether a court, which is a government actor, could impose a penalty requiring someone to modify their speech to comply with an association rule. But I do think that fines can be applied…

…Enforcement regarding flags, posters of support hanging in windows — Ryan Poliakoff | Palm Beach Post | February 18, 2024

Solar panels are becoming increasingly common across the United States. Roughly 4% of U.S. homes use solar power, but that's grown 40% since 2021.

But not everyone is ready to jump on the solar panel bandwagon. Many HOAs and municipalities still have restrictions on solar panels.

Despite state law, Parkville neighborhood says HOA banning solar panels — Rebecca Gannon | KMBC Kansas City | March 29, 2023

Loans worth tens of millions of dollars drawn from two different entities to build Point Ruston have come due. Several parcels tied to six loans are now in receivership. Other locations at foreclosure risk in separate litigation include the Point Ruston parking garage, public market, and lots surrounding the garage planned for residential development.

On Jan. 25, five condominium associations representing building residents at Point Ruston filed a petition in Pierce County Superior Court against the Point Ruston Owners Association…

Point Ruston condo groups seek neutral party to manage site — Debbie Cockrell | Tacoma News Tribune | February 16, 2024

Condominium associations near Florida’s coast will get access to $175,000 per association in state funds for stormproofing projects under a House bill that’s nearing the finish line. The Senate version of the bill does not have a cap.

The My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program would provide condo associations with the type of financial assistance currently available only to owners of single-family homes and townhomes who install new roofs and storm-resistant windows, doors and garage doors.

But the $25 million currently proposed for the program would be enough to help only a tiny fraction of the state’s 27,588 condo associations…

Proposed grant would give condo associations up to $175K each for stormproofing — Ron Hurtibise | Tampa Bay Times | February 21, 2024

NC is step closer to law limiting power of HOAs — Jason Stoogenke | WSOC TV | February 28, 2024

NC House Select Committee on Homeowners’ Associations - Final Report - 022824

PREVIOUS: Homeowner association regulations proposal expected in short session — Victor Skinner | Sun Journal | February 16, 2024

View newly effective CIC-specific statutory requirements on our Legislation Page. 

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