Tag Archives: goonan

Free Speech in HOAs: protected in NJ, not in FL?

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

As the 2016 Presidential election campaign heats up, so do political sign controversies in homeowners associations. Here’s a perfect example from Florida, a dispute over a Hillary Clinton sign in a resident’s window.

Help Me Howard, Channel 7 WSVN, on political signs in your HOA(1)

Howard Finkelstein (2) is Public Defender for Broward County in Florida, but he moonlights as a legal analyst for the local Fox News affiliate. According to Finkelstein’s analysis, an HOA can deny a resident’s right to display a political sign as long as their documents are “written correctly,” and if the homeowner took this to court, she would “probably lose.” However, an HOA cannot allow some types of political signs (such as the one we see in the video about gun ownership rights) and not others ( a sign supporting Hillary Clinton).

Florida HOA Update: Mostly Bad News

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

Spencer’s Plantation homeowners association is in the midst of conflict, according to a report from First Coast News, Jacksonville.

Defunct developer, Mercedes Homes, ended business operations in 2012. Since that time, SPHOA’s Board leadership has changed several times, dwindling from 5 members a few years ago to only 2 members as of June 2015. The management company has been changed twice, most recently a few weeks ago, according to public records.

Your Frickin’ Frackin’ HOA Rights!

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

Did you know that when you purchase a home — either new construction or resale — you might not own the rights to mineral resources beneath that home? If not, then you must take the time to read Reuters 2013 Special Report: US Builders hoard mineral rights under new homes, linked below.(1)

Oh, That Sinking Feeling When Your Builder Walks Away!

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

Let’s face it. There is no shortage of construction defect reports for many homes built in the past decade, and Colorado homeowners seem to have more than their share of shoddy construction.

The focus in the news lately has been on condominiums, with city leaders bucking state law to go around legal protections for homeowners, claiming that if they do not ease up on construction standards, developers won’t be able to build enough “affordable” condos for first-time buyers.

Raisin Farmers, Homeowners Associations & The Supreme Court

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

When I read Evan Bernick’s (Assistant Director at the Institute for Justice) summary of the latest Supreme Court decision involving property rights of raisin farmers, I was taken aback by the parallels to a decades-long battle to protect property rights of homeowners in private, mandatory Homeowners Associations.

In HORNE ET AL. v. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, family farmers Marvin and Laura Horne of California were ordered to surrender 30% of their raisin crop to the federal government. Based upon a New Deal Era law, as part of an effort to control raisin prices, the Raisin Administrative Committee would take a portion of the growers’ crops, without immediate compensation. Once the raisin reserve was sold many months later, on terms negotiated by the Committee, any remaining proceeds would be distributed back to the farmers. Seems unfair, right?