In the News

FCC Allows Bulk-Billing Agreements Between Associations and Cable Providers


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently affirmed the right of condominium associations to enter into exclusive marketing contracts and bulk-billing agreements with video service providers, but it also expressly reserved the right to change its mind down the road if circumstances warrant.

This FCC order was a follow-up to its original order banning exclusive contracts between condo buildings and cable companies as unfair competition. The FCC had sought comments in that original order about whether the prohibition should extend to bulk billing and marketing.

Seattle Association Asks City for Traffic Light Quid Pro Quo

While Fauntleroy Community Association (FCA) board members say they're fine with the Seattle Police's plan to install a fixed speed-monitoring/ticketing camera in the Gatewood Elementary school zone on nearby Fauntleroy Way (part of the association's property), they've asked for a current southbound warning light to be moved from the area, in exchange. The FCA made its request to the police department in a letter, pointing out that the current light isn't effective for slowing down traffic near the community.

Connecticut Condo Owner Protection Bill Passes

A new condo owner protection bill that was signed into law recently by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to even the playing field when association managers and community members face off over finances. The new legislation, which passed in this year's General Assembly session, requires managers of Connecticut community associations to be certified and adhere to high ethical standards of conduct.

HOA Rents Out Home It Doesn’t Own

The owner of a home in a Wesley Chapel, Fla., development was shocked to find out that her tenant had been evicted by the homeowner's association, which changed the locks and moved in its own renter. The owner said that the home hasn't been foreclosed on, but that the association still has taken it over. Now, a legal battle is heating up over whether the eviction is legal. Some HOA legal experts said that it might be, because the owner moved a tenant into her house without paying off a lien the association had imposed.

HOA Flood Rebates Nixed by FEMA

Florida condos and HOAs may soon be weathering a financial storm, thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA announced recently that it will prohibit continued rebating of amounts paid for flood insurance in the Sunshine State. Many Florida communities that are susceptible to natural disasters there, including hurricanes, currently receive these rebates.

In an April memorandum, the federal government ended the practice of providing associations with rebates on flood insurance premiums. The change will take effect on Oct. 1, 2012.

New Board to Face California HOA Challenges

Seventeen top community association professionals from around the state have been elected to the 2012 board of directors for the California Association of Community Managers (CACM). Charged with establishing and overseeing the statewide association's programs and policies, the board upholds CACM's code of ethics and standards of practice. The group also serves as an advisory body for CACM's educational and certification program for community managers.

Obama’s Mortgage Refinance Plan: Too Little, Too Late?

Will the Obama administration's proposal to give homeowners with privately held mortgages a shot at record-low rates make an impact on community associations dealing with delinquent members and looming foreclosures? The plan could save those homeowners up to $3,000. And giving homeowners an opportunity to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates—even if they owe more than their homes are worth—could make it easier for members to pay not only their mortgages, but also their association dues, taxes, and other fees.

Holidays Aren’t Over for Decoration Dispute

It looks like a dispute over holiday decorations in a Lake County, Fla., planned retirement community will continue to drag on into 2012. The homeowner at the center of a previously resolved religious discrimination controversy allegedly violated a confidentiality agreement barring him from discussing the issue.

Is ‘Up’ House Bringing Utah Community Down?

The most unique house in Salt Lake Valley, Utah, is creating controversy among neighbors in a quiet Herriman planned community. Many of the community's owners said they were attracted to the area by the “muted” paint tones of the homes there. The yellow, orange, green, and lavender color palette of the controversial house—inspired by the Disney-Pixar cartoon movie “Up—has drawn national attention for its retro design and bright siding.

California Counties Aim to Snuff Out Smoking in Condos, Apartments

In a new proposal, Marin County, Calif., health officials are circulating an ordinance cracking down on smoking in multi-unit apartment and condominium complexes. The antismoking law, due for review by county supervisors in December, is almost identical to the ordinance adopted earlier this year by Larkspur, Calif. That city's ordinance bars residents from lighting up in most condominium and apartment units. County officials have said that the smoking crackdown is necessary to “preserve healthy communities.”