In the News

Manager Accused of Embezzling $500K from R.I. HOA

Rhode Island State Police recently arrested the former manager of a Newport HOA for allegedly embezzling $527,934 from the association.

The State Police Financial Crimes Unit launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from the board of directors at the community, a time-share development in Newport, R.I. As a result of the investigation, an arrest warrant was issued against the association’s former general manager, who was accused of issuing 34 unauthorized checks for his own benefit totaling $527,934 over a five-year period.

Developers Sued for Accessibility Defects at Pennsylvania Community

The builders, owner, and designers of a newly built 92-unit condominium community in Bethlehem Township, Pa., were recently sued for alleged failure to include accessibility features as required by the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

HOA Pays $10K to Settle Parking Dispute

An administrative judge in Maryland recently ruled that the board of directors of a Maryland HOA violated state fair housing law by denying a resident’s request for a reserved parking space as a reasonable accommodation for her disability, according to the Maryland Civil Rights Commission.

Member Gets Mixed Messages from HOA, Local Government

A homeowner is being fined by her California association for taking out her lawn, despite requests from local water agencies for residents to do so. A severe drought has affected the area and the homeowner felt that planting mint, which requires very little water to survive, where there once was turf would temporarily solve the problem. But the board of directors demanded at least 25 percent grass. The homeowner planted the mint and is now being fined monthly.

Calif. Design Defects Case Falls in Favor of HOAs

In a unanimous decision, California’s Supreme Court has ruled that the principal architects for a condominium project may be sued directly by a condominium homeowners association for design defects. In that case, units in a condominium project in San Francisco allegedly developed several defects including water infiltration, structural cracks, and overheating that made units virtually uninhabitable at times. The association sued the architects, alleging that these defects were caused by negligent design.

HOA Policy Aims to Protect Members from Bears

A Central Florida neighborhood has created a policy aimed at protecting homeowners from bears. The homeowners association voted for the unprecedented change in an attempt to try to prevent another bear attack after a resident was recently mauled. The attack is considered the worst bear attack in state history. Officials have maintained that bears can be kept out of neighborhoods by limiting their food supply—like open trash cans.

HOA Flags Member Over Patriotic Display

A more than two-year battle over an American flag display in a Jacksonville, Fla., homeowners association has led to more than $8,000 in fines and a lien on a member’s home in that community. A Florida veteran has been fighting with the association about what he asserts is his right to keep the flag in a flower pot in his front yard.

Fixing Las Vegas HOA Elections Was Gamble That Didn’t Pay Off

An alleged homeowner’s association election-rigging plot has been uncovered in Nevada, leaving those living in community associations across the Las Vegas Valley feeling vulnerable after being tricked into hiring a certain construction company.

The scheme involved a former construction company boss using his associates to stuff ballots, steal ballots, and steam open ballots to win HOA elections so that the construction company could obtain lucrative construction contracts from “friendly” board members.

Owner Sees Red after HOA Insists on Painting Handicap Lift

When a Durham, N.C., association told a homeowner she needed to paint her handicap lift to match the new paint color of her and her neighbors’ porches or face fines, she refused. The owner argued that prior to the repainting of porches in the community, the lift didn’t match the original paint color of her porch, so it shouldn’t be a problem now. The owner told the association that the installer of the lift didn’t recommend repainting over the factory paint because it would interfere with future repairs.

Court: Responsibility to Pay Assessments Not Excusable

Illinois homeowners who are unhappy about their community association cannot stop paying their assessments, according to a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling—a decision applauded by the Community Association Institute (CAI) and its members.