Tag Archives: HOA

Condo Owners vs. Rent-controlled apartment dwellers

By Deborah Goonan

In the Los Angeles Bunker Hill community, condo owners and traditional apartment dwellers have been locked in a 3-year long legal battle over their once-shared pool and barbecue area, with no end in sight.

The two articles referenced below explain some of the details of how the dispute began, but, in short, there has been a disagreement over cost-sharing of recent improvements made to the pool area. A few years ago, the Bunker Hill Tower condo association dictated expensive changes, apparently without agreement from the apartment owner, Essex Property Trust. Essex objected, refusing to pay for the renovations. The owner of the 2 apartment buildings has been paying two-thirds of maintenance costs since the 1980s, following the condo conversion of one of the three original buildings. 

As of today, the condo association has installed a fence around the pool to lock out the tenants. At the same time, the owner of the 2 rent-controlled apartment buildings (that were never converted to condos) is planning to build a separate pool and common space on the roof of the parking garage that serves tenants.

What I find intriguing about this situation: the conflict is between a Condo Association and non-members of the Association. Ironically, even if you’re the type of person that purposely avoids condominiums, because you don’t particularly like the fact that your neighbors can tell you what you can and cannot do, you cannot always escape the condo conflict madness that is encroaching upon residents in surrounding dwellings! 

Sometimes an Association-Governed Residential Community Board over steps its authority and attempts to impose its rules or its ideas of aesthetic appeal on its neighbors. In this case, the Condo Association decided that everyone, including Essex Property Trust, should want to invest in a resort-style pool renovation. Perhaps a more basic face lift would have been sufficient, not to mention less costly. I’d be willing to bet some of the condo owners feel the same way, although they are all obligated to pay assessment increases to cover the cost. 

Come to think of it, the behavior of Bunker Hill Tower Association toward Bunker Hill Apartment tenants reminds me of the bossy kid on the block, back when we were all in grade school. Whenever that annoying kid started telling me what to do, my favorite response was, “You’re not the boss of me!”

Apparently Essex Property Trust feels the same way, and is not interested in appeasing the Condo Association. 

Source articles:

Bunker Hill Residents Have Been at Legal War For Three Years Over a Pool

The Battle on Bunker Hill


Whoa! Is this the Beginning?!?

There are some scattered court cases which may have an interesting impact on Homeowners Associations, an impact many of us would love to see. From the National Law Review, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that HOAs are debt collectors. We all know they file liens and harrass homeowners into paying dues, fines, collection costs, attorneys’ fees. But if they’re debt collectors then they have to follow all the laws governing debt collections. With what we know about HOA bullies that could subject associations to huge fines.

(link to National Law Review discussion of HOA debt collectors)

HOA Parking in Texas

An old joke by deadpan standup comedian Steven Wright ponders an amusing twist in the English language. He asks “Why we drive on a parkway, but we park on a driveway?”

Well, a Homeowners Association in Frisco, Texas may have solved half that riddle. Homeowners can no longer park on their own driveways in the Stonebriar Village HOA. All cars must be concealed in garages because they make a neighborhood look so ugly.

There are other things that make a neighborhood much uglier. Fascism. Bullying. Property values that never rise because Americans are waking up and paying attention to warnings about life in an HOA.

Pathetic Excuse for a Judge

It’s another sad day for Nevada homeowners. Federal Judge James Mahan has given another one of the Las Vegas HOA swindlers a sissy sentence. Organized crime swindler Charles McChesney was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Ultimately, he’ll only spend 15 months there.

Homeowners in Nevada lost untold millions of dollars when this crime ring ripped off Homeowners Associations all across the valley. They’ll never get a dime of that back. This was a vicious financial crime that completely changed the lives of many decent working and/or retired people. To give these swindlers only 30 months is a crime in itself. Even though only a dozen Homeowners Associations were named as victims in the case, inside information says there may have been hundreds more.

HOA Objects to Deliveries from Food Pantry

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

I could hardly believe my eyes and ears when I read this article and watched the videos in the Bradenton Herald article regarding Carlyn Estates Mobile Home Park in Palmetto, Manatee County, Florida. I honestly had to dry the tears from my eyes. You MUST watch these short videos, particularly the video of the mobile home resident who is vehemently against having the local Food Pantry distribute free boxes of food to 28 of her neighbors. 

Talk about nasty. She thinks that her fellow HOA members should get help from their families, or call social services and “hand over their checks” to a nursing home. Wow. A total lack of compassion.