CIC Info Bytes


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ISSUE # 73

CIC Info Bytes 08/31/23

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 08/31/23 - PRINT EDITION

Community associations are unlike any other enterprise: they’re a complex mashup of governments and nonprofit corporations that involve bookkeeping, community relations, human resources, insurance, investing and forecasting, property maintenance, repair and replacement and so much more.  If you feel like you’re drowning, you’re not alone.  Think of this newsletter like your life-jacket. 

…Mai Houa Xiong, 47, of Fresno, California, is charged with five counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, four counts of making and subscribing a false return, and one count of failure to file an individual return…According to the federal indictment, Xiong, who lived in Minnesota from May 2013-October 2021, worked for an unnamed management company in Minneapolis that managed properties for homeowners associations in the Twin Cities. Her duties included management and maintenance of residential properties; managing associations' funds and bookkeeping; and providing financial services for her company's clients.

"She had nearly unfettered access to the victim homeowner’s associations’ financials, bank accounts, vendor and contractor payments, and bookkeeping systems," the U.S. Attorney's Office news release said.

Between February 2015 and February 2022, Xiong is accused of devising and executing a fraud scheme to embezzle money – the HOA fees collected from residents – directly from accounts to which she had access. The money was intended to pay for maintenance, construction and other costs incurred by the homeowners associations….

California woman embezzled $1M from Twin Cities homeowners associations: charges — FOX 9 Staff | FOX 9 KMSP | September 26, 2022

DOJ: California Woman Indicted for Embezzling More Than $1 Million + Order

As the complaint against Porter McGuire describes it, the firm’s debt collection attempts eventually took on a life of their own, as the firm racked up even more fees against Warta related to collections.

“It became about attorney’s fees,” Warta’s attorney Justin Brackett said in an interview…

The matter provides a window into how law firms can rake in big bucks by suing condo owners, then charging the owners themselves for the cost of the litigation.

This means the more the condo owner pushes back against the association, the more the bills increase, said Jim Wright, a Honolulu lawyer who has represented condo owners as well as associations.

“In a case where the owner’s wrong, it’s appropriate,” Wright said. “But it encourages owners not to raise credible concerns until there’s a conflagration.”  Meanwhile, the ability of the associations to place liens on a condo owner’s property to cover fees tips the scale even further against the owners.

…The fight over fees can end up becoming more important than the dispute that led the lawyers to get involved.  “It’s sort of like the legal fees swallow up the original legal issues,” O’Meara said.

In Warta’s case, for instance, Porter McGuire Kiakona kept running up bills to collect fees for two years after Warta had gotten rid of the offending dog, Warta’s lawyers said…

Here's What Happened When Lawyers For A Condo Association Tried To Collect Their Fees — Stewart Yerton | Honolulu Civil Beat | October 30, 2022

Warta v. Porter, McGuire, & Kiakona, LLP, Civ. 21-00100 LEK-WRP

For many homeowners, living in a homeowner association (HOA) provides a sense of community and protection of property values. But in some cases, homeowners find themselves at the mercy of corrupt boards of directors who misuse homeowner funds and engage in unethical behavior. When homeowners try to fight back, they often find that they are unable to afford legal representation, leaving them with few options for recourse. As a result, it is crucial that laws are established to empower homeowners and enable them to investigate and take action against boards of directors who engage in corrupt practices.

The recent case of the Hammocks Community Association highlights the severity of the problem. In this community, several board members were arrested for stealing homeowner funds. But for years before the arrests, homeowners tried to remove the board of directors, only to face retaliation in the form of bogus fees, the suspension of owner rights and meritless lawsuits. When it finally reached a judge that acted, assessments had been raised 400%, millions of dollars had been stolen, and countless owners had been victimized. The situation was so extreme that the entire board was removed, and a receiver was appointed to take over immediately. We need to act now to ensure that the catastrophic level of corruption reached at the Hammocks is not necessary to get a court’s attention in the future…

Homeowners need more legal resources to combat corrupt HOA boards — Jesmany Jomarrón | South Florida Sun Sentinel | March 12, 2023

Sadly, community associations are rooted in segregation.

The Man Who Made the Suburbs White — Mark Dent | Slate | August 16, 2023

Bottom line: CDARS and other similar products are designed to trade yield for convenience. Banks make more money. Your association earns significantly less yield. Don't trade convenience for yield!

“It’s like we exchanged one dictator for another,” said Carlos Villalobos, a longtime Hammocks resident who is serving on the new board. “The Hammocks is a big cow to milk. Our concern is that the receiver is eating up the money he hopes to win back. He’s been given a blank check with no deadline. “We’d like to see a reduction in some exorbitant expenditures and a release of more power to the board.”

Receiver David M. Gersten has billed $2.03 million in expenses in seven months on the job. Gersten, the retired chief judge in Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, was chosen by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Beatrice Butchko to oversee the Hammocks and the new board that was elected March 30.

Gersten is investigating some 55 bank accounts the old board is accused of using in a scheme to shuttle money into their own pockets. He is examining hundreds of documents previous board members had hidden. He is trying to recover missing funds paid for no-show maintenance work and legal fees paid to lawyers defending the previous board members — all from the HOA’s coffers.

“According to the invoices, we’re paying for 14-15 lawyers, plus paralegals, and lots of lawsuits. We paid $300 for one lawyer to take a Google photograph of the clubhouse. Mr. Gersten told me he’s magnanimously reduced his hourly fee from $800 to $671, and we appreciate him taking on this complicated situation. “But if he is the Rolls-Royce of legal fees, maybe it would make more sense for us to get to our destination in a Ford Explorer.”

Florida's largest HOA is unraveling the mess caused by its ex board. It's costing millions — Linda Robertson | Miami Herald | August 21, 2023

…The Parkridge Owners Association, which governs a complex of 43 1970s-era condominiums off 29th Avenue Drive SW, last month assessed condo owners between $10,000 to $18,000, depending on the size of their unit, to pay for replacing a crumbling retaining wall. The initial cost of the project was $600,000.

The board last week lowered the special assessment, with owners of the largest condos asked to pay $12,300 after a lower estimate for a block wall rather than poured concrete one to replace decades-old railroad ties.

“The railroad ties that were used to build the original wall are rotting away, causing the portion of the wall that is holding up the garages to fail,” according to a May 22 letter from the volunteer board to condo owners. “If this is not replaced soon, the association will be liable for damages caused to the neighboring properties, which could amount to more than it would cost to repair the wall.”

The group looked into getting a loan for the work, but “we were denied or asked to come up with a large down payment as well as proof of monthly payments,” the letter states…

Cedar Rapids condo owners given short time to pay big bills — Erin Jordan | The Gazette | August 27, 2023

$10,000+ special assessment fee — u/dirtyrick133 | r/HOA | August 29, 2023

A 2021 audit of Nautica, a gated Boynton Beach community of 336 single-family homes, has found “significant deficiencies” in its financial controls that could leave its homeowners association vulnerable to mismanagement and fraud.

The audits, conducted in 2020 and 2021 by the accounting firm Hafer, noted that the HOA did not have a conflict-of-interest policy or “a fraud response plan.” The two audits included the following disclaimer: “We have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion on the financial statements.”

There was no finding that fraudulent activity actually occurred at the 28-year-old development off Lawrence Road, but the audit did discover “material weaknesses” serious enough that “there is a reasonable possibility” that a misstatement of the HOA’s finances would neither be detected or discovered in a timely fashion…

Audits from 2018, 2019 and 2020 also found problems. The 2018 audit reported: "The president of the Board of Directors of the Association is the owner of a landscaping company which is one of the Association's vendors. Amounts paid to the vendor for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, were $49,046." Audits in 2019 and 2020 arrived at similar conclusions. During the three-year period ending 2020, the landscaping company received nearly $160,000…

"The potential loss of confidence from members and the contract’s susceptibility to challenge are good enough reasons to search for another vendor. One final concern to consider is what happens if the vendor does not perform and needs to be sued. That would put the board in the position of suing its president."

Audits at Boynton Beach HOA question its finances; board president awarded contracts — Linda Robertson |Palm Beach Post | August 21, 2023

How long should I wait to start pointing out errors to the board as a new board member? — u/Questions67n68 | r/HOA | August 18, 2023

In a July newsletter distributed to members of the Owners Association of Westfield, the HOA announced it would begin “strictly” enforcing vehicle and parking violations, including by towing vehicles off the city-owned streets in the neighborhood’s three enclaves off of Prue Road...

…But unlike a gated neighborhood with private roads, it does not appear Westfield’s HOA has the authority on that plan. In response to KSAT’s questions about the legality of its plan, the San Antonio City Attorney’s Office said the following in an emailed statement:

“The City does not have a role in the development or enforcement of HOA rules and is not familiar with the rules of the Westfield HOA. However, the streets are public right-of-ways of the City of San Antonio and parking is permitted. Parking regulations are governed by state law and city ordinances. Traffic and parking violations enforcement is the responsibility of the San Antonio Police Department and Code Compliance, which includes requests to tow. If anyone has parking issues, you may call 311 or Non- Emergency 210-207-SAPD (7273) to report traffic parking and/or moving violations.”

North Side HOA threatened to tow vehicles for parking on public streets — Garret Brnger | KSAT | August 29, 2023

Look for These Red Flags in Any HOA Contract — Emily Long | Lifehacker | August 21, 2023

Michael Bogen column HOA New Years Resolutions — Michael Bogen | Reno Gazette Journal | January 2, 2022

After dust-up, condo association postpones board meeting for ‘informational session’ — Jason Beeferman | The Dallas Morning News | July 31, 2023

A reminder is taped to Ted Bauer's door at the Mountain Vista Village Condos, it says "Habitable, Repairs Necessary" and is dated April 29, 2022. That's the day a fire moved from a unit next door and into his. It burned in the attic and damaged his condo.

"I bought it April 1, 2022. I paid $300,000 cash to own this. On April 29, I was living in a hotel," he said.  Bauer said the contract with his insurance to cover his current housing is running out in a few months, and he's been hitting a wall to find out when he can plan to move back in.

"You only own what you see, the space. You do not own that floor. You do not own that wall, that wall, that ceiling. You own nothing. You just own the space. The association owns all this. I didn't know that at the time," said Bauer.

Denver7 reached out to MSI HOA. They told us Bauer's unit is part of a larger-scale insurance claim due to that fire, but they did not send a timeline for repairs…

VIDEO: Arvada condo owner in limbo after he says HOA dragging feet in fire damage repair

— Michael Bogen | Denver ABC7 | August 20, 2023


16 units are still uninhabitable:  It's been almost a year after fire and smoke damage displaced residents. The Vazquez family and others said the Willow Heights Condominium Association and the board need to rebuild the shared walls that connect the neighboring units and make other repairs before their own personal insurance companies can greenlight further work in the interior of their homes.

"There's no sense of urgency from the board. They need to do their job. It's just a shame that we pay association fees," said Vazquez.

"We pay association, we pay mortgage and nobody care," said Vazquez's mother, Dora.

Like the Vazquez family, these displaced residents are also paying their mortgages. And now, nearly a year in, their personal insurance policies will no longer cover temporary housing…

VIDEO: Prospect Heights residents still displaced 1 year after fire damage — Jason Knowles | Chicago ABC7 | July 10, 2023


Even as cities offload some of their duties to associations, officials still may have to get involved when there are conflicts or delays.

Assistant Cedar Rapids City Attorney Elizabeth Jacobi sent letters June 16 to Lexington Green Units 2 and 6, two condo associations near 42nd Street NE, telling board members they have 120 days to finish installing siding or risk legal action.

The siding was torn off or damaged by the Aug. 10, 2020, derecho, and some walls have been clad just in green drywall for months…

Cedar Rapids intervenes with Lexington Green — Erin Jordan | The Gazette | August 27, 2023

As interest rates have risen, condo deconversions have grown less frequent. But at the Silver Coast Citadel, and perhaps a handful of other condos throughout the city, resident-owners remain stuck between two market trends, beholden to the leadership of an investment company and locked out of the decision-making process. Outside of the courts, though, experts say there’s little that can be done about it.

South Shore Condo Owners Allege Hostile Takeover of Building — Emeline Posner | South Side Weekly | July 24, 2023

How to Handle Concerns with your Neighbors

I did go over and chat with my neighbor about how their pergola was hanging over the fence. I think he honestly had no clue. Here are current photos.

He moved over the pergola when we talked. Then had his contractor come and rotate the beams. It still hangs over a bit. Yes that’s dirt on the end cap.

I’ll also plant a tree in that corner of the yard. — u/papi_pizza

Neighbor built a pergola that hangs clear over into my yard space

UPDATE: neighbors pergola encroaching on my air space

Monkeying Around

Potong Pasir condo resident astonished that monkeys can climb 15 storeys to her home — Ong Su Mann | STOMP | August 27, 2023

Macaques - Animal Encounters - Do's and Dont’s

View past coverage:  1,  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.


How iron-air batteries could fill gaps in renewable energy — Alissa Greenberg | NOVA & PBS | August 22, 2023


At Polar Night Energy’s facilities in the city of Tampere and the nearby town of Kankaanpää, hulking steel vats hold heaps of sand, heated to around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That stored energy helps to smooth out power grid spikes and back up district heating networks, keeping homes, offices, saunas and swimming pools warm. The heat keeps flowing, even in remote areas, even as Russian fossil fuel supplies dwindle.

“Sand has almost no limits,” said Ville Kivioja, Polar Night Energy’s lead scientist, speaking over the whirring sound of the substance circulating. “And it’s everywhere.”

This start-up is storing clean energy in sand. — Shira Rubin | The Washington Post | August 24, 2023


Sand has nothing on carbon:"The final advantage of the extreme temperature stability of carbon is related to heat transfer," wrote Ponec. "Radiative heat transfer is proportional to the temperature of the source object raised to the fourth power (T⁴), so if you double the temperature you increase the radiative heat transfer by 16 times. That’s a powerful scaling factor! The upshot is that at temperatures above 1,500 °C, heat transfer works completely differently than we’re used to at room temperature. Radiation dominates over conduction and convection. For example, at 2,000 °C, over 99% of heat transfer occurs through light, not conduction and convection."...

Ultra-hot carbon batteries promise super-cheap heat and energy storage — Loz Blain | New Atlas | August 29, 2023

The Cost of Net Zero

Heat Pump Dryers Come to Town — Naomi Cole and Joe Wachunas | CleanTechnica | August 21, 2023


Electric vehicle owners are overall not satisfied with the reliability of the charging infrastructure available in the US, according to a new survey conducted by JD Power. In some cases, things are looking even worse than last year.

The survey finds that 20 percent of survey takers have, at least once, arrived and departed a charging station without gaining any range on their EV. This is attributable not only to broken charging equipment, but also due to long queues of people waiting to charge.

Using a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction with DC fast charging experiences has dropped from 674 down to 654. And for Level 2 charging stations, satisfaction has also decreased this year, from 633 down to 617. These are the lowest scores recorded since JD Power started the survey in 2021.

EV charging in the US is still a no good, very bad time — and somehow it’s getting worse — Umar Shakir | The Verge | August 16, 2023


Convincing everyone to adopt a new technology can be a slog at first. The humble microwave oven, for example, took two decades of lukewarm sales to reach just a tenth of US households. But then came the 1980s, and quicker than you could say “Hot Pockets,” microwaves had spread to nearly every kitchen.

That fast part of the technology adoption curve is happening now with electric vehicles, according to a Bloomberg Green analysis of adoption rates around the world. When we first completed this analysis a year ago, 19 countries had passed what’s become a critical EV tipping point: 5% of new car sales powered only by electricity. This threshold signals the start of mass adoption, when technological preferences rapidly flip. Since then, five more countries have made the leap…

Most successful new technologies — televisions, mobile phones, LED lightbulbs — follow an S-shaped adoption curve. Sales move at a crawl in the early-adopter phase, then quickly once things go mainstream. In the case of fully electric vehicles, 5% seems to be the inflection point. The time it takes to get to that level varies widely by country, but once the universal challenges of car costs, charger availability and driver skepticism are solved for the few, the masses soon follow…

Electric Cars Pass a Crucial Tipping Point in 23 Countries — Tom Randall | Bloomberg | August 27, 2023


A slim majority of Americans think their individual actions can reduce the effects of climate change, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.

But do they know which actions are the most effective? Not quite.

The poll finds most people believe recycling has a lot or some impact on climate change. About three-quarters say not eating meat or dairy would have a little or no effect on climate change.

Climate experts say they’re wrong on those and other counts…These incorrect assumptions pose a problem for those trying to cut their emissions. Though a single person’s carbon footprint may be small, taken together, these decisions can add up and prevent gigatons of emissions from entering the atmosphere.

“People are interested in taking action,” said Ann Bostrom, an environmental policy professor at the University of Washington. “But if they don’t know what’s most effective, then they don’t know what they’re accomplishing.”

Recycling and other myths about tackling climate change — Kate Selig and Emily Guskin | The Washington Post | August 28, 2023


Cigarette smoking and other uses of tobacco shave an average of 2.2 years off lifespans globally. But merely breathing—if the air is polluted—is more damaging to human health.

That is the conclusion of a report published Tuesday by the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, which identified air pollution as the world’s top threat to public health, responsible for reducing average life expectancy by 2.3 years worldwide…

…If India were to meet World Health Organization guidelines for particulate pollution, the life expectancy for residents of capital city New Delhi would increase by 12 years…

Polluted Air Shortens Human Lifespans More Than Tobacco, Study Finds — Sha Hua | WSJ | August 29, 2023

University of Chicago Reports | Air Quality Life Index — University of Chicago


Disturbing, but not surprising:

About 90% of water samples taken over the last 10 years from the Great Lakes contain microplastic levels that are unsafe for wildlife, a new peer-reviewed paper from the University of Toronto finds.  About 20% of those samples are at the highest level of risk, but the study’s authors say the damage can be reversed if the US and Canada quickly act.

“Ninety per cent is a lot,” said Eden Hataley, a University of Toronto researcher and study co-author. “We need to answer some basic questions by monitoring … so we can quantify risks to wildlife and humans.”

The Great Lakes provide drinking water to over 40 million people in the US and Canada, hold about 90% of the US’s freshwater, and are home to 3,500 species of plants and animals.

90% of Great Lakes water samples have unsafe microplastic levels – report — Tom Perkins | The Guardian | August 17, 2023


In this patch of Southern Oregon forest, young stands of Ponderosa and lodgepole pine once pulled carbon dioxide out of the air, storing this greenhouse gas in their trunks, branches and roots.  Today, these trees are charred black snags that bake in the summer sun. Most stand erect, a few so bowed that their tops curl down to touch the ground.

They were killed by the fierce heat of the Bootleg Fire, which raged through here in July 2021, sending up huge pyrocumulus clouds of smoke and ash some 30,000 feet into the earth’s atmosphere, generating their own thunderstorms.

This was supposed to be a showcase for Seattle-based Green Diamond’s forestry strategy for a warming world. The company had committed to century-long plans to slow the pace of logging on some 570,000 acres. In exchange, the company received millions of dollars in payments from Microsoft and other companies seeking to offset their carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels by paying to grow more wood on this land…

A giant Oregon fire shows the limits of carbon offsets in fighting climate change — Hal Bernton | The Seattle Times | August 16, 2023


Bummer!: The researchers sampled 39 brands of straws made of paper, bamboo, glass, stainless steel and plastic. Of those, 27 were found to contain PFAS, though the concentrations were low.

PFAS, an acronym for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they linger almost permanently in air, water and soil. They are frequently detected in food wrappers, cosmetics, carpet, furniture and textiles such as raincoats or workout clothes.

Of the straws tested in the study, those made of paper were the most likely to contain PFAS: The chemicals were detected in 18 out of 20 brands. Four out of five bamboo straws sampled contained PFAS, compared to three out of four plastic straws and two out of five glass straws. All five stainless steel straws analyzed were PFAS-free.

Paper and bamboo straws contain PFAS chemicals, study finds — Aria Bendix | NBC News | August 24, 2023

Housing Affordability & Homelessness

…the idea is to get somebody a piece of the ownership pie for less. It's an idea that seemed to resonate with many of the people who came to visit the home.

"The barrier to entry for a lot of people in this market is just the straight-up cost of buying property," Hayworth said.

…you would technically own a private room and bathroom for $200,000, and then across the hallway on the same floor, somebody else would own the home's other bedroom and bathroom for $200,000. You would have to be okay with sharing the whole downstairs, which comes furnished with the other occupant.

Would you pay $200k to own 25% of this Seattle home? — Maggie Eastland | KING5 | August 22, 2023

House Under a Microscope

House Under a Microscope

Who wants a tiny house?!

The popularity of tiny homes is helping to reshape the real estate market, with startups lining up to get a piece of the action.  Now some big retailers are getting in on the tiny-home craze.

Amazon, Home Depot, and Costco are selling kits on their websites that allow do-it-yourselfers to build their own tiny homes, which are usually 600 square feet or less. Retailers are offering some kits for under $50,000, though the steps required to build a house can ratchet up the cost — including paying for building permits and site preparation.

The structures –  some of which are classified as accessory dwelling units or ADUs – also may provide affordable housing. California, New York, and Vermont are aiming to alleviate some of the financial burdens of building ADUs through programs to help people cover the cost.

Home Depot, Amazon, Costco Are Selling Tiny Homes for Under $50,000 — Maggie Eastland | KING5 | August 22, 2023


Lennar, based in Fontainebleau, Florida, is one of the nation’s largest home developers. Most recently, it constructed a tiny house community comprised of 350-square-foot homes in San Antonio, Texas.

Known as Elm Trails, each tiny home boasts one bedroom and one bathroom with a starting price of $130,000.

“This two-story home has a smart layout that offers everything you need to live in comfort,” Lennar states on its website.

“The front door leads into an open concept kitchen, which flows effortlessly into the living area. In the back of the home is an owner’s suite which features two closets and a private bathroom. Upstairs is an open space that can be used for storage.”

Selling tiny homes from $130K sparks critics: ‘This is the new affordable housing market’ — Mary K. Jacob | New York Post | August 30, 2023


For many Americans, homeownership may be attainable only if they give up a dining room.

Home prices are near record highs, frustrating millions of potential buyers who feel priced out of the housing market. Home builders are having to find ways to make their product more affordable to increase their pool of customers.

Shrinking the size of a new single-family home is an increasingly popular way to do it. Smaller homes can help cost-constrained buyers facing high mortgage rates. They also boost the bottom line for builders who are contending with spiraling labor and construction costs.

Goodbye Bathtub and Living Room. America’s Homes Are Shrinking — Maggie Eastland | WSJ | August 22, 2023


Today’s Homeowner reported that, excluding the cost of land and development, building a 2,100 square foot spec home costs a national average of $332,397.  A few state-specific projections are reported to be $287,670 in Mississippi, $309,334 in Texas, $363,314 in California, $371,875 in New York and $431,364 in Hawaii...

What does building a custom home cost? Here's what expenses to expect — Ira Wilder | CNBC Select | August 30, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Home in Each State? — Kristina Zagame | Today’s Homeowner | August 18, 2023


In just the last few weeks, US home prices rose for the first time in months and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit a 22-year high of 7.23%.  That has made what was already a dismal affordability picture even worse.

At today’s rates, buying a median-priced home would require a monthly principal and interest payment of $2,440 for those making a 20% down payment, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data provider.

That’s $1,172 a month more in mortgage payments from just two years ago, before the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate 11 times in 18 months, Black Knight found. It’s a 92% increase — and is taking a growing chunk out of household budgets already facing inflation on many fronts.

Currently, 38.6% of the median household income is required to make the monthly payment on the average home purchase, making housing the least affordable it’s been since 1984, according to Black Knight.

“To put today’s affordability levels in perspective, it would take some combination of up to a 28% decline in home prices, a more than 4% reduction in 30-year mortgage rates, or up to a 60% growth in median household incomes to bring home affordability back to its 25-year average,” said Andy Walden, vice president of enterprise research and strategy at Black Knight…

Home affordability is the worst it has been since 1984 — Anna Bahney | CNN Business | August 24, 2023

“The Covid-relief funds provided a buffer,” said Donald Whitehead Jr., executive director at the National Coalition for the Homeless, an advocacy group. “We’re seeing what happens when those resources aren’t available.”

Data from the Eviction Lab, a Princeton University research initiative that tracks filings in more than 30 cities, show most of them reported more eviction filings this year, through the end of June, than they averaged before the pandemic.

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, a federal agency, also blamed growing homeless counts on housing costs and shortages. The agency said the 2023 numbers don’t reflect recent efforts the Biden administration has undertaken to combat homelessness, such as awarding more than $500 million in new vouchers and grants to address rural and unsheltered homelessness.

More Americans Are Ending Up Homeless—at a Record Rate — Jon Kamp and Shannon Najmabadi | WSJ | August 14, 2023

Homelessness surges by 11% nationwide largely due to cost of living, evictions, report says — Chris Daniels | KOMO News | August 17, 2023


Avid readers already know that ADUs are far from a low-income housing panacea.  A few states (California, New York and Vermont) are making ADUs less expensive by providing grants for specific parts of the work.  That's a welcome relief since permits can run thousands of dollars, but doesn’t solve the real debacle: how much rent will be charged by homeowners to their ADU tenants (which seems like a problem).

These states will pay you to build a tiny home in your backyard — Kelsey Neubauer | Insider | August 21, 2023


As it turns out, though, we are, owing to the conversion of multifamily homes into single-family ones, according to The City. Since the 1950s, the [New York] city has lost 104,000 apartments, mostly in Brooklyn and Manhattan. (Brooklyn actually lost more units than Manhattan — we can thank the Brooklyn brownstone revival for that.) In the last few years, outrageously wealthy buyers have even started to combine multiple townhouses together to create megamansions for themselves, a trend that’s become particularly popular in the West Village.

Historic preservationist Adam Brodheim studied city records of row houses over the decades to pinpoint how many units had been lost due to single-family renovations and found that in some wealthy neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, such combinations erased the gains made by building new housing over the past decade. And that’s not even counting the modest four- and five-story buildings that are increasingly being demolished to build high-rise towers with less units — a block of such buildings on Third Avenue and 75th Street with 43 apartments, for example, is being replaced with a tower that has just 38 luxury condos.

And while adding density to a neighborhood often involves a complicated, contentious (and expensive) public-review process, wiping them out does not. “Unlike new buildings, which have to go through this huge gauntlet of, often, public opposition to create new units, here you’re able to get rid of apartments without anyone noticing,” Brodheim told The City.

The Menace of the Megamansion Conversion — Kim Velsey | Curbed | August 24, 2023


Not just a living wage: a housing wage.

The whole point of April Black’s organization is to combat poverty.  That’s why the Tacoma Housing Authority executive director was troubled when she faced the reality that some of her own employees weren’t making enough money to get by, she said, recalling the hard look in the mirror that led Tacoma Housing to adopt a $32-an-hour minimum wage this summer.

The authority chose $32 because that’s about what you need to rent a typical two-bedroom apartment in Tacoma with no more than 30% of your income, Black said.

“We can’t be a social justice organization paying poverty wages,” Black said in an interview this month. “We can’t have our staff struggling to stay housed while serving some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Look in mirror spurs Tacoma Housing Authority to set $32 minimum wage — Daniel Beekman | Seattle Times | August 17, 2023

Insurance Policy Crushing a Condominium

Infrastructure + Insurance

“Best effort” in Florida 718.111(11) combines with other key words and phrases like “shall” vs. “may.”  The author cites an arbiter’s ruling in Moriarty v. Glades Golf & Country Club regarding this statutory provision stating: “this provision and its subsections clearly require an Association to carry hazard and casualty insurance to protect the association and property.”  Also, in Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Loftus, the Fourth District Court of Appeal wrote “in simplified terms, section 718.111(11)(f) requires that all condominium property outside of an individual unit must be insured by the condominium association.”

Condo owner fears 'best efforts' language in law allows HOAs to scrimp on insurance

— Ryan Poliakoff | The Palm Beach Post | August 27, 2023


Property insurance hyper-inflation is driving people from their homes. 

Regulators have ordered the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to revamp — and trim — proposed rate increases.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky signed an order Friday that took issue with parts of a Citizens rate proposal that included increasing rates by 12 percent for homeowners with the most-common type of policies…

Florida regulators order Citizens to revamp and lower property insurance rate increases — Jim Saunders | Herald-Tribune | August 21, 2023


In a decision that continues to fuel the dispute between the plaintiff and defense bar, Florida’s Fourth District Court found that the presuit notice provision of section 627.70152 is procedural in nature and, as such, applies retroactively to policies in existence prior to the statute's effective date…

Florida’s 4th DCA Decides Insurer’s Presuit Notice Requirement Is Procedural and Retroactive — Carolin A Pacheco | Marshall Dennehey | May 08, 2023

Florida Title XXXVII - Chapter 627 - Section 627.7152 - Assignment Agreements


The number of companies willing to insure homeowners in California continues to shrink, with the recent announcement that AmGUARD Insurance, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway-owned GUARD Insurance Companies, and Falls Lake Insurance will be pulling out of the market completely.

This comes on the heels of State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and other companies announcing they are altering their business models in the state.

2 more carriers stop insuring California homeowners — Kathryn Reed | North Bay Business Journal | August 22, 2023


12% of homeowners in the U.S. don’t purchase homeowners’ insurance. About half of them have annual household incomes of less than $40,000, according to a 2023 survey by Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group, and the reinsurer Munich Re.

Homeowners are increasingly forgoing home insurance, gambling that the likelihood of a disaster isn’t high enough to justify the cost of a policy.

Some skipping insurance say they are doing so because they can no longer afford the rising premiums. The national average for home insurance based on $250,000 in dwelling coverage increased this year to $1,428 annually, up 20% from 2022, according to Bankrate. 

Few people can financially withstand the loss of an uninsured home, according to financial advisers. It is particularly precarious considering the high price to rebuild or buy a home in many areas of the country. 

“It is a risky proposition to go without home insurance, and you need to fully understand the financial consequences if you lose your home,” says Noah Damsky, a financial adviser in Los Angeles…

Americans Are Bailing on Their Home Insurance — Veronica Dagher | WSJ | August 28, 2023

Homeowners Perception of Weather Risks — Insurance Information Institute and Munich RE | Q2 2023

Homeowners are axing insurance amid rising premiums — David Lazarus | KTLA Los Angeles | August 28, 2023


Homeowners were sent an email from Century Village that they’d have to pay an additional $100 to $200 a month due to “skyrocketing insurance premiums,” adding a potential special assessment for some units, according to NBC6, a local TV news outlet in South Florida that was first to report the incident. Footage shown in the TV segment shows several residents crowded together, visibly upset and shouting (although it’s unclear what exactly they’re saying). However, it seems that the protest escalated and police were called. Still, one resident told NBC6 reporter Laura Rodriguez that the increase in costs is forcing him to sell his home.

“So now we are over $700 a month that we are paying just in HOA fees, and they’re going to kick it up to $1,000 a month,” the resident told the reporter. “We have no choice, we have to sell. As a matter of fact, I just put my house on the market 10 minutes ago.”

Homeowners in Florida are paying the highest insurance premiums in the nation, with an average premium of $6,000 per year, according to Mark Friedlander, the Florida-based director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute. To compare, the U.S. average $1,700 per year. And recently, several home insurers have either pulled out of the state, like Farmers Insurance, or have chosen to renew fewer policies, like AAA—and that’s making it more difficult for homeowners to find coverage, or even afford it…

Protest broke out at a 55+ Florida community over skyrocketing home insurance premiums: 'We have no choice, we have to sell'

— Alena Botros | Fortune | August 18, 2023

“The roofs were never fixed in a timely manner from previous boards that were supposed to do it … If we don't pay for the roofs, we wind up in the same thing," Khurshid said. "The insurance company will not cover. We won't have anything.”

“I mean, the ideal solution would be, OK, we need to pay the special assessment but maybe spread it out for a longer term … I don't think there is a really simple answer to that," Cohen said.

But motions to do that didn’t pass board votes, hence, the crossroads the community faces.

Sunrise condo residents furious over special assessment fee — Kelsey Neubauer | NBC 6 South Florida | Ryan Nelson

Broken Housing Market

Housing Market

"There's a real issue as to whether we've broken the housing market," the Allianz chief economic advisor said in an interview with CNBC on Monday, pointing to high mortgage rates weighing on the market. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage notched a fresh 23-year-high last week, clocking in at 7.48%, according to Mortgage News Daily.

High rates have frozen the housing market over the past year by crimping both supply and demand. Many prospective buyers are priced out of the market due to higher costs of borrowing. Meanwhile, existing homeowners are discouraged from putting their properties up for sale, as many are looking to cling onto the low interest rates at which they financed their homes years ago. This has kept prices elevated even as demand slips.

The result is a housing market in a state of limbo, with affordability unlikely to improve unless mortgage rates dial back more significantly, experts say…

The Fed may have destroyed the housing market by crushing both supply and demand, top economist Mohamed El-Erian says

— Jennifer Sor | Markets Insider| August 28, 2023


The government-sponsored mortgage giant highlighted the stagnant US housing market, with existing home sales down 18.9% year per-year in June, according to Fannie Mae's estimate. Mortgage applications, similarly, have fallen to a 28-year-low.

That slowdown has largely been spurred by high mortgage rates, which have pushed buyers and sellers out of the market. That's likely to continue no matter what happens to the US economy over the next 12 months, the firm said in a note on Wednesday.

"With an ongoing tight supply of existing homes for sale and the recent rise in 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate to around 7%, we expect home sales in 2023 to remain near the lowest annual level since 2009," Fannie Mae economists said. "Regardless of whether a soft landing is achieved over the coming year, we expect existing home sales to stay subdued and within a tight range."...

The housing market will be stuck in a rut for a long time… — Jennifer Sor | Markets Insider| August 25, 2023

Americans are applying for mortgages at the lowest rate in 28 years — Phil Rosen | Markets Insider| August 25, 2023

Optimism for Economic Growth Increases — Fannie Mae | August 23, 2023


Mortgage Rates at 7% Add New Housing Market Struggle for US Homebuyers — Jennifer Epstein and Prashant Gopal | Bloomberg | August 17, 2023

US Mortgage Rates Jump to 7.09%, Highest Since 2002 — Prashant Gopal | Bloomberg | August 17 & 29, 2023

Built Environment

All across the country, downtowns, office spaces and shopping centers are at risk of becoming ground zero for a new economic hazard: the urban doom loop. The fear is that a commercial real estate apocalypse could spiral out and slow commerce, wrecking local tax revenue in the process. Ever since the pandemic drove a boom in remote work, hubs such as New York and San Francisco have drawn attention for their empty offices in previously bustling skyscrapers. But many economists are even more worried about midsize cities that have fewer ways to offset the blow when a major company slashes office space, the sale price of a building craters, or a downtown turns into a ghost town.

The worst-case scenario would go like this: With more people working from home, companies from Milwaukee to Memphis are rethinking their leases or pulling out of them altogether. That drives vacancy rates up and makes it harder for landlords to attract new tenants or sell buildings for a healthy price…

Economists caution that such a train wreck is not guaranteed, and the spiral has not kicked into gear anywhere yet. There are a few reasons: Many cities are still leaning on historic levels of state and local stimulus aid from the 2021 American Rescue Plan, and those funds may not run out for another year or two. A large share of the outstanding business and mortgage loans are also not due for a few more years. Plus, the economy continues to defy the odds, dampening concerns that widespread layoffs or drops in consumer spending could trigger this dangerous loop…

How the 'urban doom loop' could pose the next economic threat — The Real Deal Staff| The Real Deal | August 28, 2023


CRE (commercial real estate) distress is real:

…Debt origination volumes in the sector fell 52 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, according a capital markets report from Newmark reported by the Commercial Observer. The advisory firm also found there are 32 percent fewer lenders than a year ago.

Lenders have grown more selective in recent months, demanding lower loan-to-value ratios amid the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. No sector was immune from the narrowed activity.

CMBS and collateralized loan obligations originations fell by 79 percent from last July, while debt fund loan originations are down 73 percent annually. Lending volume among banks, a typical source of loans for the real estate industry, also fell 48 percent year-over-year.

As banks and other lenders tread carefully, one place commercial real estate landlords are turning to is the private equity market. The industry has raised $219 billion in dry powder for equity or debt investments. Newmark estimated that more than half of that capital will be aimed towards multifamily assets while a big chunk will also be targeted for industrial assets, sending office and retail assets to the back of the line.

Borrowers will be jockeying for position to be among those taking advantage of any private equity deployments. There is roughly $1.2 trillion in outstanding commercial real estate debt that is “potentially troubled,” according to Newmark, and more than $626 billion of debt is set to mature in the next three years.

Commercial Lending Fell 52% in Second Quarter — The Real Deal Staff| The Real Deal | August 28, 2023

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

The prime years for making smart financial decisions are, on average, 53 and 54.

At around that age, people have accumulated knowledge and experience about money, spending and saving, but haven’t begun losing key analytic cognitive skills. It’s also roughly the age when adults make the fewest financial mistakes, related to things like credit-card use, interest rates and fees…

“As we get older, we seem to rely more on past experience, rules of thumb, and intuitive knowledge about which products or strategies are better,” says Rafal Chomik, an economist in Australia at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research.

Chomik led a 2022 study that looked at financial literacy, which is the ability to understand financial information and apply it to managing personal finances. Financial literacy typically peaks at age 54 and then declines, according to the study.

The study gauged financial literacy using questions about inflation, interest rates and diversification. One question: If in five years, your income has doubled and prices have doubled, will you be able to buy (A) less, (B) the same, (C) more than today. (Answer: B)...

The Exact Age When You Make Your Best Financial Decisions — Clare Ansberry | WSJ | August 26, 2023

— Kristine Aquino | Bloomberg 5 Things to Start Your Day | August 25, 2023


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank is prepared to raise interest rates further if needed and intends to keep borrowing costs high until inflation is on a convincing path toward the Fed’s 2% target.

“Although inflation has moved down from its peak — a welcome development — it remains too high,” Powell said in a speech Friday at the US central bank’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “We are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate, and intend to hold policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving sustainably down toward our objective.”

Powell Signals Fed Will Raise Rates If Needed, Keep Them High — Catarina Saraiva and Craig Torres | Bloomberg | August 25, 2023


This week, Jerome Powell made no bones about the unwavering pursuit of his ultimate objective: 2%. The Federal Reserve chair reaffirmed yet again his singular focus on restoring price stability in the US. And if that means even higher interest rates to get back to that 2% target, then so be it. That was the takeaway on what Powell intended to convey with his eagerly anticipated remarks at the central bank’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With US inflation much cooler than its pandemic highs, policymakers are signaling they may be close to declaring victory—even if rates must remain higher for longer just to make sure. In this new phase, risk-management is “critical,” Powell says. Still, record low unemployment, strong business investment and resilient American consumers continue to burnish the reputations of soft-landing prognosticators while singing those of Team Recession.

Powell Tells the World He’s Staying the Course — Victoria Cavaliere | Bloomberg Weekend Reading | August 26, 2023

The US bond-market selloff resumed Monday, driving 10-year yields to a 16-year high, as the persistently resilient economy has investors positioning for interest rates to remain elevated even after the Federal Reserve winds up its hikes…

The yield on 10-year inflation-protected Treasuries on Monday pushed over 2% for the first time since 2009, extending its ascent from year-to-date lows near 1%. Not long after, the yield on 10-year Treasuries without that protection surpassed October’s peak, climbing nearly 10 basis points to as much as 4.35%, a level last seen in late 2007, before slightly paring the gain.

The policy-sensitive two-year yield also briefly pushed over 5% late in the New York trading day, leaving it shy of the 2023 peaks notched early last month and in March…

Treasury Yields Hit Highest Since 2007 on Elevated Rate Fears — Michael Mackenzie and Liz Capo McCormick | Bloomberg | August 21, 2023


Convinced a recession in the US was near, some of the world’s most prominent money managers loaded up on government bonds this year in a bold bet that would atone for the punishing losses suffered in 2022.

That strategy is now misfiring once again, saddling them with subpar returns and testing their resolve as the selloff deepens week after week.

The past week was especially painful. The annual return on US government bonds fell into the red as Treasury yields flirt with a 15-year high, reflecting the view that interest rates may be elevated for years to come — and that the economy will be able to sustain it…

Bond Bulls at JPMorgan, Allianz Double Down on a Bet Gone Bad — Anchalee Worrachate and Liz Capo McCormick | Bloomberg | August 20, 2023


American politicians are keener than ever to juice the economy with government cash, a shift that’s already helping to drive up borrowing costs and looks likely to keep them high long after the inflation emergency is over.

The outlook for the federal budget right now is essentially unprecedented—crisis-size deficits as far as the eye can see, even though the economy appears to be in good health. That prospect is making investors uneasy, as demonstrated by yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries climbing above 4.3% this week, their highest levels since 2007. Other borrowing costs are rising in tandem: The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has surged above 7% for the first time in more than two decades.

Investors worry that sustained fiscal shortfalls on the scale projected by the Congressional Budget Office could push rates higher still—which only puts more pressure on public finances by adding to the government’s ballooning interest bills. Concerns intensified this month after a one-two punch: The US Treasury ramped up debt issuance, heralding a supply deluge that’s likely to last several quarters, and Fitch Ratings unexpectedly downgraded America’s sovereign credit rating.

Bond Market Flashes Warning as US Budget Deficit Surges

— Liz Capo McCormick, Erik Wasson, Christopher Condon, and Alexandre Tanzi | Bloomberg | August 24, 2023

Cashing In

Bank of America Warns of '5% World' as Global Bond Yields Rise — Michael Mackenzie and Liz Capo McCormick | Bloomberg | August 17, 2023


A fantastic article about what you should expect from products advertising rates that far exceed US Treasuries:.

Browsing for attractive CD rates can be a bit like scrolling for partners on Tinder. There are new, exciting options every day, but tread carefully... CD specials are all about creating a buzz.

“Such remarkable rates often serve a dual purpose: to entice new clientele and to stand out in the crowded financial market”...Another rule of thumb: the higher the rate, the lower the maximum deposit, and the more hurdles people will need to clear in order to qualify…”These exceptional offers, while attention-grabbing, typically come with terms and conditions that necessitate careful examination.”

The 7% CD — don’t believe the hype — Quentin Fottrell | MarketWatch | August 21, 2023

Cashing Out

An increasing share of low-income Americans are behind on rent and struggling to afford food, adding to signs of growing financial distress in the economy.

Among households using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s boosted pandemic benefits, 42% skipped meals in August and 55% ate less because they couldn’t afford food, more than double last year’s share, according to a Wednesday report from Propel Inc., a benefits software developer…

The US economy “is fairing really well, but there’s a lot of hardship being experienced by people with lower incomes right now,” said Justin King, policy director of Propel. “We’ve seen a lot of cutbacks in safety net benefits this year and we’re seeing the impact” of those cutbacks now, he said.

Poor Americans Tap Debt, Buy Less Food as Consumer Cracks Widen — Jarrell DIllard | Bloomberg | August 29, 2023


[Conduits] sell bonds and then immediately turn over the proceeds to the nonprofits. Unlike a city or town that issues muni bonds, the conduit bears no responsibility for repaying the debt. It does generally collect a fee along the way.

…The shortcomings of the conduit structure are longstanding and no secret on Wall Street, but they have been exacerbated by the rise of U.S. interest rates. Higher rates mean borrowers pay more to kick debt payments down the road by refinancing. Investors are also less likely to buy any investments they consider risky when high rates make yield so easy to find.

Many conduit issuers stick to selling bonds for longstanding, well-funded institutions like hospitals and universities that rarely, if ever, fail to make payments. They say they fulfill an important role providing lower-cost financing to community-oriented projects.

Still, conduit-related defaults are piling up. Officials in several states have attempted to rein in conduit projects with limited success. The case of the Arizona sports park raises questions about whether the conduit setup, in addition to often being complicated and risky for investors, is vulnerable to abuse…

How Did Things Go So Wrong at This Arizona Park Built With Muni Bonds? — Heather Gillers | WSJ | August 28, 2023

A Missouri judge has ruled that a suburban Kansas City family's purple swingset won't need to have its color changed after a homeowners' association threatened the family with fines or jail time.

"We got very frustrated," Stout said. "There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 homes in our community. There’s all kinds of colors. There’s people with bright purple doors. There’s trees that are the color of this swing set."

Judge rules Missouri family's purple swingset can stay — Fox News | August 31, 2015

Plaintiff Raintree Lake failed to present evidence as to the element of irreparable harm. There was no evidence presented to this Court that Plaintiff Raintree Lake will or has suffered irreparable harm as a result of the erection and/or color of the swing set.

Although, as stated previously, irreparable harm may be found when pecuniary remedies fail to provide adequate reimbursement for the improper behavior, the evidence before the Court was that Defendants were initially fined in regards to the swing set but that fine was then set aside by Plaintiff Raintree Lake’s own Appeals Board.  Plaintiff Raintree Lake failed to meet the first element required under Missouri law for permanent injunctive relief and therefore is not entitled to the relief requested in its Petition for Mandatory Injunction and Associated Relief. 

As the Court has found that Plaintiff Raintree Lake failed to prove the element of irreparable harm, the Court finds that it is unnecessary to address the second element, that there is no adequate remedy at law.


P.S.  They forgot to prohibit roller skates, scooters, and toy cars.

A Wadsworth mother of three said her homeowner's association banned bikes, skateboards, and even playing ball. Now, some frustrated families feel unwelcome in their own neighborhood.

Wadsworth mother says no biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, ball playing allowed in her neighborhood

— Tessa DiTirro | News 5 Cleveland | August 17, 2023

Wadsworth mother says no biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, ball playing allowed in her neighborhood

Spectrum is arguing that the HOA, Solivita Community Association, failed to honor the contract by not notifying Spectrum of a competing offer and supplying them with a proper copy of the contract so they could make a counteroffer. Spectrum is demanding a judge force the HOA to sign a new contract to the company.

The lawsuit underscores how these HOAs and apartment complexes are critical to the cable industry’s subscriber numbers and the lengths at which companies will try to keep the relationship going. These contracts can guarantee hundreds or even thousands of customers to Spectrum. Every one the company loses could negatively impact the total number of subscribers still remaining on a cable TV network.

Spectrum Sues a Homeowners Association After It Tries To Switch Providers — Luke Bouma | Cord Cutters News | August 22, 2023

"The homeowners association and its board of directors maintain duties to all homeowners," Brian Rader, the Hoboken-based attorney representing Conner, said in an email to the Asbury Park Press. "We allege that the fiduciary duties owed to Mr. Conner pursuant to applicable law, and the governing documents, have been violated. From obtaining a faulty default judgment that led to a warrant being issued for Mr. Conner's arrest, which we successfully had vacated, to the property damage claims, we look forward to pursuing our allegations in court, and seeking redress for Mr. Conner’s claims."

A widower who has lived in the development since 1988, Conner was hospitalized for a heart ailment in July 2020. When he returned home that September, he found the kitchen cleared out. His fridge, sink and dishwasher were gone. So was all the food in his pantry. The kitchen cabinets had been removed, leaving huge holes in the walls.

In the living room, a bunch of Conner’s belongings were piled up. Carpets throughout the house had been ripped up. The stair lift that Conner, who uses a walker, needed to reach the second floor was gone.

The overhaul was ordered by the Tuckerton Meadows Townhouse Association’s board, which later claimed in a letter to outraged neighbors that “the home was uninhabitable and presented an immediate and serious threat to the health and safety of others if immediate actions were not taken.”...

VIDEO: Army vet launches lawsuit against homeowners association that stripped out home — Jerry Carino | Asbury Park Press | September 23, 2022

Army vet back from hospital finds home ripped up by townhouse association, $15K bill — Jerry Carino | Asbury Park Press | October 5, 2020

Rage Against the Machine

Question: Our condominium’s declaration prohibits “trucks.”...

Answer: I would answer your question with a question — what’s a truck?...

Condo association puts truck ban under the microscope - but what is a truck? — Ryan Poliakoff | The Palm Beach Post | June 5, 2023

Unit owners must keep condo association active — David M. Bendoff | Daily Herald | August 25, 2023

Can the Board Deny a Radon Mitigation Plan? — David M. Bendoff | Daily Herald | August 25, 2023

Legislation Page

Many states have formed commissions and task forces to better understand the needs of community associations which are generally opaque to the general public, yet painfully obvious to those owners who have invested thousands of hours of service.

“Basically, homeowners will lose their properties for only a few hundred dollars of HOA dues,” said Democratic Representative Ya Liu, of Wake County.

That’s one concern leading to several HOA-focused bills. One bill would bring HOAs under the oversight of the attorney general’s office.

“Basically, homeowners will lose their properties for only a few hundred dollars of HOA dues,” said Democratic Representative Ya Liu, of Wake County.

That’s one concern leading to several HOA-focused bills. One bill would bring HOAs under the oversight of the attorney general’s office.

“Legislators from both sides of the aisle have heard concerns and complaints from our citizens that there are some bad actors, not most HOAs," Liu said. "Most HOAs are doing wonderful jobs, helping our residents."

'There is no oversight' Proposed bills call for changes to HOAs in North Carolina — Andrew James | WLOS | April 25, 2023

An HOA oversight bill with Brunswick ties hits a roadblock. Here's what happens next.

Facing massive HOA dues, some Brunswick residents fight to change state laws

Catch up with the StarNews' coverage of Wilmington-area HOAs with these 7 stories — Renee Spencer | Wilmington StarNews | May 25, 2023 

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