January 2017 Condo Association News Roundup

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Happy New Year!  We’re into 2017, and there’s quite a bit going on in the world.  But don’t let that distract you, because there’s just as much going on in the Condo world, too!  In the January 2017 Condo Association News roundup, we’ve got a number of interesting stories.  Hostile Condo takeovers, more Airbnb drama, and surveys about Condo owner happiness.

Whatever happened to … Westminster-Canterbury’s Virginia Beach condo-buying court battle

Kimberly Pierceall, The Virginian-Pilot, 1/1/17

Aren’t legal disputes awesome?

This is one of the more interesting stories that you’ll read about in the Condo Association world.  A large non-profit retirement community, Westminster-Canterbury, borders a “regular” Condo Association, The Pilot.  Over a long period of time, Westminster-Canterbury has been buying up the units within The Pilot and now controls enough units to control the Board of Directors AND amend the Bylaws.  This would allow Westminster-Canterbury to dissolve the Association if they so wished, or make changes to the living situation for the independent Owners.

The article notes that Condo takeovers are not common in Virginia, as opposed to places like Florida, but that it’s a hard issue to crack.  Nothing is being done illegally, but it puts Owners in a tough situation.  Stories like this demonstrate yet another reason to be involved in your Condo Association – so you know what’s going on and who owns the building.  


Vancouver did little to enforce Airbnb rules, docs suggest

CTV Vancouver, 1/13/17

As the Airbnb battles continue, a recent Vancouver report showed the city of Vancouver may not have been representing its citizens well.  Despite dozens of complaints about short-term rentals, it appears that very few site visits were conducted and only a handful of letters were sent to the alleged offenders.  However, the high vacancy rate is a major issue in Vancouver, and the city is trying to lower it.  Regardless, cities need to have transparent regulation as opposed to ignoring citizens’ requests.  For the same reasons, Condo Associations need good policies regarding short-term rentals.

Condo, HOA owners dissatisfied with ‘carefree’ life

Don DeBat, Loop North News, 1/19/17

How much does your Association hurt you?

The Coalition for Community Housing and Public Interest is holding a survey on homeowner and community Associations.  The survey covers a wide variety of topics, including happiness, transparency, and financial stability.  The article notes that initial results indicate many Owners have self-reported extreme unhappiness, as opposed to the Community Association Institute’s surveys that indicate relative happiness.

I took the survey out of curiosity to see what questions were asked.  While some questions were well-designed, there were several that did not have “not applicable” as an option when it was was needed, including fees for receiving Condo documents and questions related to attending meetings.

Once the survey results are fully released, it would be very interesting to see the correlation between unhappy Owners and Owners who don’t attend meetings.  Apathy is a big problem, and it is difficult to take seriously Owners who are unhappy but don’t participate in the Association process.

 

That’s all for the January 2017 Condo Association News! Did you know that you can get even more news articles by signing up for our mailing list?  Mailing list subscribers get monthly bonus news stories and analysis.  Join the list today!


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