Outrageous! Shutting Down Heat to the Whole HOA???

 guest blog by Deborah Goonan, (Independent American Communities)

Another week, another outrageously unbelievable story involving a condo association. This one is in Aurora, Colorado.

Not long ago, I told you about a condo association in Ohio that has not repaired their central heating system for many months. Today I am sharing a video report from Fox 31 Denver, about Cedar Crest Condominiums. Residents – many of them tenants – have been without central heat since late October.

Rob Low of Fox 31 reports that residents are using space heaters and their ovens in order to heat their apartments.

Obviously, when the temperatures dip as low at 10 degrees Fahrenheit, that isn’t enough to provide a safe, comfortable living environment. Then there’s the fire hazard, of course, something that isn’t mentioned in the news report.

An interview with the condo association president, Judith Lorraine, explains the reason for delay in repairing the heating system — there’s no money.

Lorraine said the first bid to fix the pipes was $120,000 dollars. But she said getting the various owners to cough up a special assessment of $2,600 dollars for each of the 47 units met with a chilly reception, “We have owners that own the biggest part of the building that refuse to do that. They say they`ll pay their share when they sell in 10 or 20 years and that doesn`t help us today. We need the money today.”

You can read the transcript and watch the video here: 


But…doesn’t the City of Aurora enforce building codes?

Now, you may ask a reasonable question: where does the City of Aurora stand on this issue? Well, according to the report, city officials are giving condo owners a 30-day warning, hoping they’ll get it together and do the right thing.

In other words, the city is exhibiting weak leadership, attempting to avoid strong enforcement of building codes, and basically allowing irresponsible condo owners to get away with collecting rent on unheated apartments.

Apparently City officials are more concerned about offending taxpaying condo owner-investors – even if they are not responsible landlords – than protecting the rights of owner-occupants and tenants.

Even more outrageous, Aurora goes out of its way to promote even more condo construction

Yes, Aurora is encouraging developers to build even more condos.

Over and over again, I share with you stories of the inevitable chaos and dysfunction, and the suffering thrust upon residents, not just in Colorado, but all over the US.

There are countless examples of Association-Governed Residential Communities where it’s clear that common ownership under corporate governance structure does not work. It breeds internal conflict and enables investor-landlord interests to violate the rights of owner-occupants and tenants.

Corporate association interests under developer control also shield condo builders from liability for shoddy construction.

But, as you might recall from earlier blogs, Aurora is one of several major Colorado cities to pass a local ordinace making it more difficult for condo owners to hold developers accountable for construction defects.

Makes you want to run right out and purchase or lease a condo, doesn’t it?

Or…maybe not.

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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