In the News
A Florida couple whose home was foreclosed on and sold at auction after they failed to pay late assessments has gotten a second chance. The couple, whose past-due assessments totaled $1,900, enlisted the help of a local news channel to garner support for their argument that it was unfair for the association to resort to such drastic measures.
The association asserted that it was within its legal rights to foreclose on and sell the home, since the governing documents for the association permitted it.
Controversy and hard feelings have emerged from a change in management at an Arizona homeowners association. Fearful that things would turn ugly at an annual association meeting, the board of directors brought with them two attorneys and a security guard.
Community Associations Institute (CAI) recently presented the 2015 Hero of Associations award to Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) for his tireless efforts in helping constituents living in condominiums, cooperatives, and community associations become eligible for federal disaster relief. Israel began working on disaster relief fairness to help constituents affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
A family’s purple playground set gained national attention when their homeowner’s association demanded that it be removed, going so far as threatening jail time for noncompliance, as we reported in last month’s issue (“Purple Playground Leaves Family, HOA Members Seeing Red”).
A recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agreement with a Florida condominium association highlights the ongoing issues of discrimination in housing. The agreement settled allegations that the association’s board president harassed and made discriminatory comments about black and Hispanic residents—even attempting to evict them.
A Missouri homeowners association has escalated the controversy surrounding the requested removal of a purple playground from a family’s backyard. It is now threatening to pursue jail time for the members, who installed the playground—which is visible only to their next-door neighbors—for their children.
An Arizona realtor and homeowners association advocate who has sold properties in planned communities is responding to a growing consensus among members that they are afraid to live in their homes because of what they feel is a constant threat of being fined or sued for even minor infractions of community rules. The realtor has seen many harmonious communities, but there also has been an uptick in complaints of selective enforcement or rules and near-constant controversy in others—sometimes rising to the level of harassment.
A seven-year-old Florida law is forcing condo owners out of their units in favor of investors who want to convert the buildings to rentals. Previously, the Florida Condominium Act required agreement from all owners in a condominium association before a “condominium pact” could be dissolved. Then, in 2007, state lawmakers lowered the requirement to 80 percent of unit owners, despite objections by prominent lawmakers, including the former governor, Jeb Bush.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently ordered a condominium association in Puerto Rico to pay $20,000 in damages plus a $16,000 civil penalty for refusing to allow a resident with disabilities to keep his emotional support animal.
In recent years, as more people have moved away from rural and suburban communities and into cities, demand for condos has surged. In most major metropolitan areas, prices for condos are increasing faster than single-family home prices, according to real estate website Trulia, and condo sales are gaining market share at the expense of other types of home sales.