CIC Info Bytes


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ISSUE # 71

CIC Info Bytes 08/03/23

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 08/03/23 - PRINT EDITION

Over three-quarters of apartment owners are unhappy with the manager of their homeowners’ association, Vereniging Eigen Huis, the umbrella for homeowners associations, said after analyzing the complaints to its hotline. They complain about bad communication, poor administration, and managers making decisions without consulting the members.

[Community associations] complain that their managers don’t have the legal, administrative, and technical knowledge needed to do their job correctly.

Three-quarters of apartment owners unhappy with management of homeowners association — Cindy Kremer | NL Times | July 18, 2023

My neighbor stole $80,000 from the Homeowners Association & blew it on shopping - she even bought a Lexus with our cash  | More Coverage

— Jacob Willeford | The US Sun | August 2, 2023

Anime/Itasha car?

One of our favorites: The president is the boss. NOPE!  The board, not the president, is the decider in [community] associations.  Healthy associations understand this and govern with boards led (not controlled) by their presidents.

Avoid these HOA Myths — Kelly G. Richardson | The San Diego Union-Tribune | July 29, 2023

A Pasco County couple in their 90s was given a seven-day eviction notice after the husband allegedly threatened a landscaping worker at their property.  “This aggressive, threatening behavior is in direct violation of the community rules and regulations and threats of violence are not tolerated in the community. As a result, the resident was provided a 7-day notice to vacate.“

Donald Timmons, 91, and his wife Darlene, 98, have lived at the Forest Lake Estates for 30 years.  The couple owns their home at Forest Lake Estates but rents the land that it sits on.  “A good portion our lives are invested right here, and this also represents a good portion of our lifetime assets,” Donald said.

Pasco couple in their 90s gets eviction notice after landscaper claims he was threatened — Annie Mapp | WFLA | July 27, 2023

The condominium owners association at The Renaissance on Turtle Creek, a sleek complex with two high-rise buildings and over 600 units on 3.7 acres, has made a multi-million dollar offer on the half-acre property next door, according to a board member.

However, some condo owners expressed opposition earlier in the week to the plan to acquire the property and began collecting signatures for an emergency meeting to vote to remove the COA board, they said. They contend the board doesn’t have the authority to purchase property without owners’ input and that the fees -- which could be part of a special assessment of up to $9 million -- for the purchase would be costly, burdensome and could cause foreclosures.

Condo association bids millions for property some don’t want; board removal sought

— Jason Beeferman | The Dallas Morning News | July 28, 2023

Big Numbers

Nearly 30% of Illinois homes are part of an HOA, among the highest percentages in the nation

— Patrick Regan | Chicago Agent Magazine | April 21, 2023

Bigger Numbers

Are High HOA Fees Scaring Homeowners Away? — Stephanie Horan | Today’s Homeowner | April 20, 2023


Unhappiness with the cost of an HOA could be due to violations of membership rules. 

New survey reveals how homeowners feel about HOAs — Jeff Clabaugh | WTOP News | March 06, 2023

63% of Homeowners in HOA Say They’re Priced Fairly — Jacqueline Demarco | LendingTree | February 21, 2023


Despite the misuse of the term “fees” (owner members pay assessments), explaining the differences between condominiums (COAs) and homeowners associations (HOAs) by general categories of expenditures makes sense.  Reference a slightly more detailed breakdown directly in the article.

Understanding Condo Fees Vs. HOA Fees: Home Association Cheat Sheet — Victoria Araj | Quicken Loans | January 11, 2023

Biggest Numbers

Many – perhaps most – community associations fail to approach debt collection using a service trained in the nuances of obtaining payment (i.e. a collection agency).  Instead, associations largely rely on the blunt knife of foreclosure via their attorney.

HOAs have filed thousands of foreclosure cases in recent years, in disputes stemming from as little as a $308 lien.  Seven law firms each filed more than 100 foreclosure cases on behalf of Colorado HOAs over four years.

The 'lose-lose' fight between an ex-Bronco and his HOA — Brittany Freeman, Jeremy Moore and Sophie Chou | PBS | March 11, 2023

They faced foreclosure not from their mortgage lender, but from their HOA — Brittany Freeman, Sophie Chou, Mariam Elba | PBS | April 07, 2022

HOA Foreclosures Are a “Lose-Lose” Game for Coloradans, but These Lawyers Win Regardless of the Outcome

View past coverage:  1,  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. 


Solar panels on water canals seem like a no-brainer. So why aren't they widespread? — Brittany Peterson and Sibi Arasu | AP | July 21, 2023


A succinct list of thought-provoking questions related to renewable energy.  

ALSO READ: Seeing Red in Issue# 65.

Ten Questions to Ask Yourself About the Transition to Renewables — Brittany Peterson and Sibi Arasu | AP | July 21, 2023


Say hello to ionocaloric cooling. It's a new way to lower temperatures with the potential to replace existing methods of chilling things with a process that is safer and better for the planet.

Scientists Invented an Entirely New Process For Refrigerating Things — David Nield | ScienceAlert | July 30, 2023


Time to Chill Out About Air Conditioning’s Carbon Footprint — David Fickling | Bloomberg republished by WaPo | July 30, 2023

The Cost of Net Zero

The new efficiency standard announced by the Biden administration requires light bulbs to meet a minimum standard of producing 45 lumens per watt. (A lumen is a measurement of brightness, and incandescents typically produce far less than that per watt.) An accompanying rule change applies the new standards to a wider universe of light bulbs.

Neither rule is an explicit ban on incandescents. And a few specialized kinds of incandescent bulbs — like those that go inside ovens, and bug lights — are exempt. But most if not all other incandescents will struggle to meet the new efficiency standards, and the same goes for a more recent generation of halogen lights.

“Energy-efficient lighting is the big energy story that nobody is talking about,” said Lucas Davis, an energy economist at the Haas School of Business, part of the University of California, Berkeley. “Going from an incandescent to an LED is like replacing a car that gets 25 miles per gallon with another one that gets 130 m.p.g.,” he said.

New Energy Efficiency Rules Ban Incandescent Light Bulbs: What to Know — Hiroko Tabuchi | NYT | August 1, 2023


The Five Things Keeping Us From Going All-Electric — Olivia Rudgard | Bloomberg | July 19, 2023


Multifamily residential compared with single-family detached construction:

The Department of Energy said its proposal would save consumers $11.4 billion on their energy and water bills each year. To comply with the rule’s efficiency standards, which would take effect in 2029, new electric storage water heaters in the most common size would have to use heat pumps, and some gas-fired instantaneous heaters would have to use condensing technology.

When the Obama administration last updated water heater efficiency rules in 2010, some large electric heaters began using heat pumps to comply, signaling a shift in that direction.

The water heater rule roughly lines up with what many consumer groups, environmental advocates and manufacturers expected.  Regulators and experts say the proposed rule, which could be revised after the department solicits comments and holds a public hearing, is significant because water heating accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. consumers’ annual residential energy use and utility costs. Heat pumps are more than twice as efficient as previous technology.Households would save an average $1,868 over the life of their electric heater, the department said. That doesn’t include potential savings from the Inflation Reduction Act’s environmentally-focused tax credits.

New rule aims to make outdated home water heaters cheaper and greener — Shera Avi-Yonah | WaPo| July 21, 2023

EIA: Table CE1.1 Summary annual household site consumption and expenditures in the United States—totals and intensities, 2020

EIA: Table HC1.1 Fuels used and end uses in U.S. homes, by housing unit type, 2020

EIA: Table HC6.1 Space heating in U.S. homes, by housing unit type, 2020

EIA: Table HC8.1 Water heating in U.S. homes, by housing unit type, 2020


Today plastic-based paint makes up almost 95% of the global market, which topped 44.4 million tons in 2019, according to consultants Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney.  About 58% of microplastic in oceans and waterways comes from paint, according to a 2022 report from Swiss consulting firm Environmental Action.

House Paint Has a Microplastic Problem — Olivia Rudgard | Bloomberg | July 19, 2023


In 1980 losses from three US natural disasters—a drought, a flood and a hurricane—topped $1 billion each (in 2023 dollars). Last year there were 18 $1 billion-plus events across the country, including Hurricane Ian, which was responsible for $114 billion in damage, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The number and cost of disasters are increasing over time, due to a combination of increased exposure, vulnerability and climate change,” says Adam Smith, a climatologist at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Although 2022 wasn’t the costliest year on record (2005 has that honor, thanks to Hurricane Katrina, followed by 2017 with Hurricane Harvey), it’s part of a trend of ever more expensive and destructive disasters. Global warming has lengthened the wildfire season and made blazes more frequent, more dangerous and more widespread (think this year’s fires in Quebec). And warmer air means clouds can hold more rain and dump it faster in places unaccustomed to floods (think Vermont this summer)...

The Skyrocketing Toll of the Billion-Dollar Climate Disaster — Minh-Anh Nguyen and Marie Patino | Bloomberg | July 27, 2023

Housing Affordability & Homelessness

The huge inequalities between upscale municipalities and their poorer neighbors didn’t just happen; they are in large measure the product of laws that are hard to square with the inclusive In This House, We Believe signs on lawns in many highly educated, deep-blue suburbs.

Liberal Suburbs Have Their Own Border Wall — Richard D. Kahlenberg | The Atlantic | July 05, 2023


What does the future hold for this Habitat for Humanity built Four Ten Condominium?

A 1904-building that started as a single family home and served as a 6-unit apartment building made way for a 13-unit condo complex with six one-bedroom units, five 2-bedroom units and 2 three-bedroom units. The condo design allowed the project to maximize the number of new homes in the development. Habitat could have tried to put up two or three townhouses, but going condo allowed them to more than quadruple the total number of units. The project also did not include parking in this transit-rich core of the Hill…

Habitat for Humanity just opened its first affordable condo building on Capitol Hill — and is getting ready to build another

— CHS Staff | | March 06, 2023


Is 5 World Trade Center the new face of affordable luxury housing?

The thing is, set-asides like this can go only so far — not just numerically but in terms of city- and community-building. They embed middle-class people in a neighborhood they would otherwise be excluded from, which is a definite good, but they don’t make much of a dent in the crisis of people who have nowhere at all to live. In this case, the income tiers are set from about $40,000 to $150,000 depending on family size, which in most cases means one nice professional salary or two blue-collar ones. That’s hardly going to get homeless people off the streets; it’s more on the model (sans exclusionary policy) of the original Stuy Town, intended for teachers, firefighters, and paralegals. It’s no knock on this good outcome to say it also shows us what buildings like this can’t do.

An Island of Affordable Housing at the World Trade Center — Christopher Bonanos | Curbed | August 01, 2023


Despite the cooling housing market, Seattle-area buyers now need to earn more money than a year ago to afford a starter home — typically priced in the low to mid-$500,000s.

Seattle-area households need to make nearly $142,000 a year to afford a typical first home in the region, according to an analysis from Redfin. That’s an increase of 4% from last year, and well above King County’s median household income of about $106,000.

As buyers need to earn more to buy a modest home, “it just seems like the door into homeownership is shutting in a lot of places,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

Seattle-area homebuyers need to earn $142K to afford starter home — Heidi Groover | Seattle Times | August 02, 2023

Infrastructure + Insurance

Governments want insurance to be both affordable and available, but when it’s more affordable it’s less available and vice versa. “That tension is very hard to resolve”...

What went wrong? Several things at once, and not just climate change….Wildfires in California and hurricanes in Florida produced lots of claims. Housing prices and bills for construction and repairs have gone up, making claims larger. And insurance companies have had to pay more for reinsurance: Worldwide, average rates for reinsurance rose by a quarter last year and by another third this year…

Other wounds, though, are self-inflicted. Fraudulent claims pushed several small insurers in Florida to or over the brink, partly because state law made it easy for professional fraudsters to inflate values and win big claims by suing. The state Office of Insurance Regulation said last year that Florida accounted for 79 percent of the nation’s homeowners insurance lawsuits over claims filed while making up only 9 percent of the nation’s homeowners insurance claims. The legislature has tightened the rules but claims are still being filed under the old standards…

Why California and Florida Have Become Almost Uninsurable — Peter Coy | NYT | July 21, 2023


… many Americans are actually choosing to move to Zip codes with a high risk of experiencing wildfire, heat, drought and flood, according to a new study on domestic migration by Redfin

…In fact, the nation’s most flood-prone counties experienced a net influx of about 400,000 people in 2021 and 2022. That represents a 103% increase from the two-year period before that. The US counties with the highest risk of wildfire saw 446,000 more people move in than out over the last two years (a 51% increase from 2019 and 2020). And the counties with the highest heat risk registered a net influx of 629,000, a 17% uptick….

Americans Are Moving Toward Climate Danger in Search of Cheaper Homes — Leslie Kaufman | Bloomberg | July 24, 2023

Migration to Flood-Prone Areas Has More Than Doubled Since 2020 — Lily Katz and Sheharyar Bokhari | Redfin | July 24, 2023


Ten of thousands of Citizens policyholders may no longer be eligible for coverage if a private company offers to take over their policies. It's what Citizens calls "depopulation."

Here's how the depopulation process works: Citizens will let you know that a private company wants to take over your policy. If that private company's premium is within 20% of your Citizens premium, you would no longer be eligible for Citizens. You don't necessarily have to go with that private company, but you'd no longer be able to get coverage through Citizens.

For example, if the premium for your Citizens policy is $3,000 and you get an offer from a private company for $3,600 or less, you wouldn't be able to keep your Citizens policy. That means some Citizens policyholders could end up spending more, or less, money on their new policies.

Florida Citizens policyholders may have to switch coverage — Sheldon Dutes | WESH 2 | July 21, 2023


[Paywall] Does your Florida county rank in the most expensive home insurance premiums? — Hannah Morse | Palm Beach Post | July 14, 2023


The Insurance Information Institute projected that property insurance rates in Florida could increase by at least 40% in 2023. Mark Friedlander, the Institute's director of communications, said these increases come as Floridians are already paying more than homeowners in other states.

"Florida is a unique marketplace where you see a culmination of hurricanes and severe weather, leading to Floridians paying the highest average insurance premium in the US," Friedlander told Insider. Friedlander said that the average Florida homeowner is paying nearly $6,000 for their property insurance, which is over triple the national average of $1,700…

Americans flocked to Florida for low taxes and sunshine, but an under-the-radar cost of homeownership keeps rising: insurance

— Jennifer Streaks | Insider | July 29, 2023


The 6/30/23 reinsurance renewal period, which was a cause of concern for many, turned out to be more promising than anticipated. Contrary to fears of further evaporation of reinsurance capacity, the renewal period attracted new reinsurance capital with higher rates, stricter terms and conditions, and increased attachment points. This development brought a sense of relief to insurers operating in the state, allowing them to bolster their risk management strategies.

Another notable trend is the increasing take-out appetite at Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. In the first half of 2023, the total take-out requests surpassed the figures for the entire year of 2022, indicating a growing interest among insurers to assume policies from CPIC.

Florida homeowners insurance market shows signs of rebound amid market reforms

— Akankshita Mukhopadhyay | ALIRT Reinsurance News | July 25, 2023


For the first time in three years, Florida’s struggling domestic residential property insurers have posted a quarterly profit, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Excluding Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Florida property insurers reported $38.6 million in profit in the first quarter of 2023. That compares to a loss of almost $120 million a year earlier.

Reporting periods may not include the same number of companies, as nine property and casualty insurers focused on Florida have become insolvent since 2021, while others have have entered the market.

Ray of Sunshine: Florida Insurers Show Profit as Citizens Takeouts Rise — Jason Woleben | Insurance Journal; republished from S&P | August 2, 2023


Three new Florida laws could have a huge impact in what you pay.   The laws only took effect earlier this month. It could take some time to really see the difference in your premium.

Senate Bill 7052 includes prohibiting an insurance company from changing an adjuster's report without providing a detailed explanation.

3 new Florida laws aim to mitigate homeowners' rising property insurance costs — Sha'de Ray | WEAR | July 25, 2023


Insurance costs + infrastructure and reserve funding requirements = especially tough times for Florida condominium owners.

Rising condo fees cause chaos in Tampa Bay's real estate market — Brianna Crane | Axios Tampa Bay | July 22, 2023


Double-digit premium hikes. Higher deductibles. New coverage limits. Drones to check the state of roofs and yards.

Home insurers are insuring less and charging more as they try to claw their way back to profitability after losing money in five of the past six years, analysts and insurance agents say.

“We’re seeing moves to put more of the risk back onto the homeowner, tougher underwriting restrictions and big rate increases,” said Lauren Menuey, a managing director at independent agency Goosehead Insurance.

The higher-cost, lower-coverage trend extends well beyond Florida, California and other states prone to hurricanes, floods or wildfires, Menuey added. “I don’t think anywhere is safe from this right now,” she said….

Home Insurers Are Charging More and Insuring Less — Jean Eaglesham | WSJ | June 30, 2023


Some condo owners in Louisville are reeling after their homeowners insurance jumped 700%. And they're not the only ones experiencing sticker shock. Premiums are soaring across Colorado due to high inflation on top of devastating fires, floods and hailstorms.

Instead of $60,000, their premium is now $425,000 on top of individual policies for contents, HOA fees, and a special assessment if the rebuild goes over budget.

Homeowners insurance in Colorado skyrockets, Louisville condo owners see sevenfold increase — Shaun Boyd | CBS Colorado | July 21, 2023

Housing Market

Equity-rich mortgages — those that have a loan-to value ratio of 50% or lower, meaning the mortgage holder’s equity stake is at least half the property’s worth — made up some 49% of the national total in the second quarter of this year, according to a report by Attom, a real estate data provider.

That’s up about 2 percentage points from the previous quarter — and it’s higher than the peak levels reached last year before higher interest rates slowed the housing market down, at least for a while. By comparison, the share of equity-rich mortgages at the end of 2019 — before the pandemic hit — was around 27%.

The Attom report shows how housing has rapidly returned to being a wealth-accumulator for US households, defying the expectations of analysts who had expected a longer decline in prices thanks to steeper mortgage rates.

Less than 3% of mortgaged homes in the US were considered seriously underwater — meaning that the borrower’s loan balance was at least 25% higher than the property’s value — in the second quarter of 2023.

US Homeowner Equity Is ‘Better Than Ever’ After Two-Quarter Dip — Alexandre Tanzi | Bloomberg | July 27, 2023

Built Environment

A study of 45 multifamily buildings in New York and Massachusetts found that utility bills were between about 30% and 50% lower than average. The up-front costs of these homes equipped with all-electric appliances were about 3.5% higher than those built to standard code — yet in some cases, they were cheaper when factoring in financial incentives from affordable-housing programs and utilities, according to the study published this week by the Passive House Network.

"A typical building is like a sieve you use to strain pasta, where air is moving through the walls. A Passive House is more akin to a thermos," Ken Levenson, the executive director of the Passive House Network, a nonprofit that educates the real-estate and construction industry on the standards, said.

These are "future-proof" buildings, he added, because they can keep air clean from outdoor pollutants and maintain stable temperatures for longer than a typical home during scorching hot or frigid days, even during power outages. Passive House standards don't require that electricity come from renewable-energy sources, but they do encourage it, Levenson said…

Passive House designs could cut your energy bill in half — Catherine Boudreau | Insider | July 27, 2023


New York City has gained 3,800,000sqft spread across 598 POPs sited at 382 buildings

Developers have gained 20,700,000sqft of additional bonus space worth ~$10 billion

Standard violation penalty = $5,000 / occurrence:  …in the past 12 years, building owners have cumulatively paid just over $1.4 million in penalties.

“Developers have gotten a great deal…Somebody needs to hold them accountable.”

Half of the 392 buildings with POPs have been issued violations over the past 12 years.   Examples of violations: illegal occupation by a business (such as a cafe), hostile architecture such as spikes on ledges and barriers and fencing that prohibits public access.

New Yorkers Got Broken Promises. Developers Got 20 Million Sq. Ft. — Urvashi Uberoy and Keith Collins | NYT | July 21, 2023


It’s big.  Once completed, the skyscraper at 1072 West Peachtree Street will be one of the tallest buildings in the state. The skyscraper will boast multimillion-dollar apartments, more than 6,000 square feet of retail space and 224,000 square feet of office space.

Executives break ground on biggest skyscraper to be built in ‘Atlanta in the last 30 years’ — Urvashi Uberoy and Keith Collins | NYT | July 21, 2023

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

The US economy keeps plowing ahead despite all those predictions that the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike campaign would trigger a downturn. Indeed, talk of a recession among perpetual skeptics is even petering out. The gross domestic product picked up steam in the second quarter, key inflation measures continue to cool, consumer spending is rising and the labor market remains at near-historic strength. 

Understandably, a growing number of economists (including those on staff at the Fed) are rethinking unrealized predictions of a downturn. Some are even growing confident that Fed Chair Jerome Powell can accomplish a soft landing. In Europe though, the picture isn’t quite as rosy, with fears of slow growth amid the European Central Bank’s unprecedented cycle of interest-rate hikes. And in Asia, a surprise move by the Bank of Japan—the only major central bank yet to start dialing back easy monetary policy—had global implications.

Economists Come Around to a Soft Landing Scenario

— Victoria Cavaliere and Ian Fisher | Bloomberg Weekend Reading | July 29, 2023

Cashing In

Blame high inflation, which peaked at an annual rate of 9.1% in June 2022, according to consumer price index data.

While the pace of price increases has subsided since then — with the CPI up just 3% from a year ago as of June — surveys show many Americans feel they’re falling short of what they need to get by.

To feel financially secure or comfortable, Americans say, they would need to earn $233,000 on average, a recent Bankrate survey found. But to feel rich, respondents said they would need to earn $483,000 per year on average, the June survey of more than 2,500 adults found.

Meanwhile, to retire comfortably, Americans have another big number in mind — $1.27 million — according to recent research from Northwestern Mutual. That is an increase from $1.25 million cited last year, according to the firm’s recent survey of more than 2,700 adults…

Americans have big number goals for salary, retirement

— Lorie Konish | CNBC | July 24, 2023

Cashing Out

Fitch Ratings downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating weeks after President Biden and congressional Republicans came to the brink of a historic default, warning about the growing debt burden and political dysfunction in Washington.

The downgrade, the first by a major ratings firm in more than a decade, is evidence that increasingly frequent political skirmishes over the U.S. government’s finances are clouding the outlook for the $25 trillion global market for Treasurys. Fitch’s rating on the U.S. now stands at “AA+”, or one notch below the top “AAA” grade.

Fitch Downgrades U.S. Credit Rating

— Matt Grossman and Andrew Duehren | WSJ | 08/01/2023

Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine

He put solar panels on his roof. Now his HOA wants them removed — Drew Kann | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | 04/13/2023

Feeling the Heat

We haven’t taken the time to evaluate this story in detail, but we’d like to make a recommendation for anyone reading: do your homeowners a favor by adopting a policy supporting maintenance, repair and replacement activities that relate to the habitability of units.  Boards in Florida community associations – and in several other states – are prohibited from making decisions via email.  Well-written policies avoid the need for Board intervention.

Sasser points to two state cases, one in 2009 and another in 2014, which she says prove the condominium association is responsible for the needed repairs when the damaged infrastructure is outside of a particular condo unit.

Florida woman's condo like 'an oven' after weeks of no AC — Steve King | 25WPBF | 07/26/23

You’re Free to Resign

RCW 24.03A.525 - Resignation of Director

ORS 65.321 - Resignation of Directors

…Before they bought the door, Frank and Nicole sent these plans to their property manager:

Nicole Torres: “‘Note: Door is to swing out,’ in capital letters.”

The property manager replied the plans are “conditionally approved.” They would just need to paint the door and get a city permit.

Nicole Torres: “I mean, it seems like it’s a clean-cut thing, you know? We got the approval, we were given the consent to order the door, and therefore, we ordered the door.”...

Outward swinging front door at center of dispute between Margate condo owners, association

— Kevin Ozebek and Leisa Williams | WSVN 7News | 08/04/22

Kappes Miller Reckoning


A group of related companies that manage condominium associations in the Seattle area has been accused of illegally funneling money from five associations to their owner, Mark Holmes, CEO of the Kappes Miller Family of Cos.

The associations that stretch from Belltown to Issaquah last month filed a claim in King County Superior Court for damages against Holmes and his three property management companies: Kappes Miller Management, and Yates, Wood & MacDonald, a 79-year-old company that Holmes bought in 2016.

The plaintiffs allege the companies induced the associations to buy insurance through another Holmes company, Association Underwriters of Washington (AUW), which is named as a defendant. The civil complaint alleges the defendants hid from the condo associations how Holmes' companies are related. State law requires such relationships to be disclosed to clients.

Seattle-area condo associations accuse CRE executive of fraud — Marc Stiles | Puget Sound Business Journal | 07/18/2023

Lone Star

Does your HOA have too much power? What homeowner associations can and can’t do — Heaven Gibbons | The Dallas Morning News | 07/18/2023

While the prior ramp apparently received no approval, its existence for 8 years may have established an implied approval.  Forcing the removal of accommodations such that residents are no longer comfortable exiting their home seems highly unreasonable.  View our Fair Housing page for more information and view other cases such as Raleigh HOA settles dispute over wheelchair ramp — WRAL | 03/23/2015. 

Housing providers must make reasonable accommodations and allow reasonable modifications that may be necessary to allow persons with disabilities to enjoy their housing.

Under the Fair Housing Act, a reasonable modification is a structural change made to existing premises, occupied or to be occupied by a person with a disability, in order to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises. 

Reasonable modifications can include structural changes to interiors and exteriors of dwellings and to common and public use areas. Examples include the installation of a ramp into a building, lowering the entry threshold of a unit, or the installation of grab bars in a bathroom. 

Under the Fair Housing Act, prohibited discrimination includes a refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises.

‘Violated, bullied’: HOA makes disabled Mt. Juliet, TN couple remove wheelchair ramp — Stephanie Langston | WKRN | 03/02/2023

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A Note About Ukraine

The people of Ukraine are undergoing tremendous displacement from their homes coupled with loss of life, tragedy and suffering.  Considering the global landscape can help us gain perspective in our daily lives.  CIC Info Bytes readers expressed their support for Ukraine last year.  Please voice your own support!