Housing Associations

Real estate home ownership that includes real estate assets owned in common with other home owners.

2,534 Questions
Housing Associations

Why should associations regulate the staging of events?

Your answer depends on the types of events and the purpose for staging each. There is no standard answer to your question.

Real Estate
Housing Associations

Is a Cooperative real or personal property?

In the United States housing co-ops can be set up in various ways. Some co-ops are managed by a trust with the trust holding title to the property and some co-ops are set up as a corporation with the corporation holding title to the property. Residents are shareholders and specific units are leased with cost based on the size of the unit. As shareholders the shares are considered personal property.

As for the entity that owns the building and the real estate upon which it stands, such as a trust or corporation, the property on which the coop is located is real property.

Homeowner's Insurance
Housing Associations
The Difference Between

What is the difference between betterments and improvements and additions and alterations in a condo policy?

When buying insurance, it is key that you get an explanation, preferably in writing, from a broker when/if the policy uses any of these terms, to satisfy yourself that you're buying the coverage you need/ want.

Here's one interpretation of the terminology, which is not standard:

  • 'Betterments and improvements' tend to suggest upgrades of existing fixtures, equipment, appliances and so forth.
  • 'Additions and alterations' tend to suggest adding something, such as a new deck or a new bathroom -- addition or alteration to a space used in the past for some other purpose. These terms are most commonly used in commercial policies, but not unheard of in condominium policies.
Housing Associations

Can an Florida HOA keep condo hotel rental income if owner is behind in HOA dues?

Probably, yes.

Read your governing documents to understand the responsibility for collecting the assessments that you owe -- and your responsibility to pay them -- and the steps that the HOA can take to settle your debt.

Stepping into your revenue stream is one way of collecting your assessments. This strategy may cost you extra fees, however, since there will be administrative expenses associated with enforcing the guidelines you agreed to when you purchased your unit. It will be less expensive for you to simply pay your assessments on time and in full.

Thanks- the condo dues have gone so far up that I cannot afford them (250%). I put 70k down on the condo and I can't even sell it for what I still owe ( welcome to Florida).

I used to own a business and it has not made it through the recession….

Thanks for you input- I will spend a few bucks to get my attorney to look at it. It is about 4,000. They are keeping for two quarters….

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Housing Associations

How are co-op apartment dues managed and distributed?

The Co-op prospectus will list the manner in which shares are allocated to each apartment in the complex or building. The board of directors will or has decided on an operating annual budget by which to pay staff members, taxes, insurance, pay for fuel, repairs to common areas, and many other expense items. At that point the annual budget is divided by the total number of shares assigned to all apartments in the building to determine a cost/per/share number. That figure will then be multiplied by the number of shares assigned to your apartment and divided by twelve to determine the monthly maintenance fee(dues)for your unit.

In addition to monthly maintenance fees the governing board may need to allocate charges to pay for capital improvements, or other exceptional costs, such as excess unbudgeted costs from years prior or operating loan repayments. Any mortgage that the co-op corporation has undertaken, such as for major improvements, is normally included in the operating budget of expenses.

The board of directors may impose other fees as income generating devices, such as "flip taxes" (sale and move-out fees), charges for storage areas, club memberships and other optional items.

The governing board is elected by the shareholders of the co-op, and shareholder meetings are scheduled annually to facilitate elections and to discuss issues. As a partial owner of the co-op you are or will be a shareholder and may seek to be a board member by declaring your candidacy. However, keep in mind that being a board member, and especially being an officer can involve many hours of volunteer time.

Housing Associations

Can you sue your condo association?


And before you hire a lawyer to help you, read your governing documents to confirm that your case against the association is a strong one.

Gather your evidence and present it to a condominium-savvy attorney, who may confirm that you have a case against the association, and if you're willing to invest in fees, whether or not you have a good chance of winning.

Housing Associations

What happens to your mortgage if your HOA forecloses on your condo?

The answer depends on how much you owe, how much the unit can be sold for, and where the lender's claim on the property falls in the priority status for distributing the funds from the sale.

Some associations file a lien on the title in advance of foreclosing, and this lien may be a priority lien, meaning it is paid first.

If the mortgage is not satisfied by funds from the sale, you still owe the balance to the lender.

Home Buying
Deeds and Ownership
Human Behavior
Housing Associations

What is a deed restricted community?

Some subdivisions are conditioned upon restrictions in deeds, as required by the Planning Board, and other restrictions may be imposed by the developer who owned the subdivided land where the community is built.

For example, a community may require each owner to have a right of first refusal to another member of the community before selling outside, or may limit the types of structures or uses that may be made of the properties in the community (e.g., no home-based businesses, no buildings within 50 feet of the street).

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Housing Associations

Is a condo unit holder legally allowed to request documents regarding water damage in the building especially when one's own unit is involved?

If they are needed for a valid purpose such as insurance claims, the person could ask for them to be voluntarily presented. If refused, it is possible an order from the court could be obtained. Assuming there was evidence provided that such documents were needed.

A condo unit owner is to be furnished with any requested information about the condo project, ESPECIALLY if it concerns your unit. Read the Declarations of the Condo Assoc. They should have been provided to you at closing, if not, call the title co. and ask for them

Housing Associations

Can Emeritus board members vote?

Yes. And No.

It is totally dependent on the bylaws of the organization. Precedent isn't conclusive, as half of organizations allow for Emeriti to vote, and half don't. This is good, as each organization has different needs in designating an Emeritus, and the bylaws should be drawn in such a way as to benefit the organization.

Be sure that when writing the Emeritus status into the bylaws, that it clearly specifies: A) whether or not the Emeritus holds a right to vote; B) establishment of the compensation, if any, for the Emeritus; C) define the length of term and renewal requirements of the Emeritus as well as determining how an Emeritus designation can be removed; D) how or whether the attendance of the Emeritus affects a quorum.

Politics and Government
Housing Associations

How many members are required for a co-operative housing society?

It is unclear from your question where the 'society' might be located. There may be different definitions in different countries for 'co-operative housing society'.

In USA, a co-operative housing situation is one where a corporation owns the physical facility, and owners purchase shares in the corporation and are given a proprietary lease for the square footage assigned to them.

In this paradigm, as few as two owners/ members could develop a co-operative housing situation.

Your addition of the word 'society' adds a different connotation to the business aspect of a USA co-operative. Your query may be for a commune or other multi-family ownership situation. In this case, the governing documents may limit and/or require a certain number of members in order to maintain viability.

Real Estate
Housing Associations
The Difference Between

Is it lawful for a co-op managing agent to tell a prospective buyer that an apartment he is thinking of buying will not appraise for the asking price?

"Lawful" Yes. Ethical, No. Of course, the person could be voicing their personal opinion rather than fact. If that were illegal lots of us would be in mucho trouble!

In some states the manager could be in a lot of trouble. due to licensing laws. If s/he is the manager of the coop that is selling s/he has breach her/his fiduciary responsibility to his client. but if s/he's working for you s/he has done his/his job, but either way stating a value in a mandatory license state (and most are now) in this position s/he had better have had performed at the least a summary appraisal first.

Another Perspective

The managing agent may be simply explaining in advance why the fair market value and assessed value do not mirror each other. It should be noted that in many areas the assessed value of real estate is less than its market value for many reasons. The municipality may be using an antiquated system of valuation. It may be using a formula that does not mirror fair market value and addresses that by its tax rate. It may not have the capability of keeping up with fluctuating real property values.

Housing Associations

Can you sue a townhouse association?

Definitely. Just like you can sue any physical group.

Another Answer

Depending on who 'you' are, you may have other options.

If you are not an owner, and have a legal case, an attorney can help you sue an association.

If you are an owner, when you sue the association, you are essentially suing yourself. Read your governing documents to determine whether or not the issue at hand is addressed there.

  • If it is, you may have a process documented within your governing documents that you can use to plead your case with the board or with the management company.
  • If it is not -- or if you believe that your board is in violation of your governing documents -- you can write a letter to the board requiring that the issue be handled in public at an open board meeting; that you be given an opportunity to present your case there; that the board vote on the issue, and that the issue's nexus and decision be documented in the board meeting minutes.
Housing Associations

Who owns windows in Florida condo?

Read your governing documents to determine who owns the windows. This is an often debated and often mis-understood guideline in condominium ownership.

Best practices dictate that the windows are owned by the association, being the window frames, exterior flashing and installation elements -- making the windows a key part of the building envelope or weather protection barrier.

In this case the association requires definitions as to how much upgrade work an owner is allowed to do/ or must document to the interior of the 'window'.

The association can also define the glass elements in the window as owned by the unit owner, which means that the association can charge the owner for window washing and glass replacement.

Housing Associations
Corruption (Political or Economic)

What if a condo board is corrupt?

Corrupt is a strong word, and you'll need proof of your accusation to call on any local authority to lay a legal charge on the board.

If, however, you suspect corruption, it's a good idea to document what you suspect. Read your governing documents to discover what rights you have as an owner to inspect records of the association. Then, review the records and make copies, as necessary.

As well, you can also hire an association-savvy attorney to help you proceed, or an association-savvy CPA to help you identify financial corruption.

Housing Associations
Property Law
Deeds and Ownership

Can a homeowner's association evict a home owner?

This is a complicated legal issue that is addressed by state law and those laws vary.

Generally, eviction means to dispossess a person of land or rental property by the landlord. Eviction is not the appropriate term to use regarding a homeowner's association since the unit or lot owner is not a tenant. Generally, to forcefully take real property from its legal owner would require the formalities of a full trial in a court of equity. The homeowner's association could only take title by a resulting court order.

The homeowner's association could bring a lawsuit for delinquent dues and win a judgment. It would then need to seize the property if the judgment remains unpaid. However, that process would not vest full title in the association.

Some states provide for a complicated eviction process by an HOA. However, it seems more for forcing an owner to pay up and for taking possession of the unit to acquire the rental fees. In order to acquire good title, HOAs typically follow a defined lien and foreclosure process. (See related link.)

You need to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate law who can review all the details of the situation and explain your legal options.

6 people found this useful.

Real Estate Buying and Selling
Property Law
Deeds and Ownership
Housing Associations

What does stratum freehold mean?

Strata title was first introduced in 1961 in the state of New South Wales, Australia, to better cope with the legal ownership of apartment blocks. A unit title can be referred to as a strata title or stratum estate and units can either be owned in fee or leased. A stratum freehold would be a unit owned in fee. That status is also referred to stratum in freehold.

Such communities are managed by a corporate body that sets forth rules, regulations, rights and obligations. There are usually monthly fees. This form of fee ownership is comparable to condominium ownership in the United States. Several other countries have adopted the Australian system.

Housing Associations
Twilight Breaking Dawn

Is it a bad idea to buy a 40-year-old condo?

The best way to answer that question is to ask yourself, "Is this condo in good condition?"

If the condo is in good shape, then you should consider it. Ask a realtor in your area to talk to you about condo values in your area, also ask them how stable their values have been in the last 5 years.

Good luck!

Additional answer:Look at the condition of the whole complex in the exterior and common areas. Are the parking lots and grounds maintained? Are recreational facilities maintained? Check out the roof and walls, doors, windows, porches, and balconies. What about security? This can all be done without even entering one of the homes, a drive through or walk through the halls can do this. See the unit. A realtor can tell you if the values for this complex has been increasing.

In today's market (2008) I would be more confident of an ongoing complex that is pretty full, rather than a new one. This is more an indication of a well run ongoing enterprise, and good management. If it's new, you don't know if the builder will run out of money during construction, or if the management is bad.

You want to see condo documents. You can usually see those after you have signed an offer but before you close. You want to put this in your offer, that you must agree to those, or you can back out. This will have details as to exactly what you own, what you must maintain and pay for, vs. what the management must maintain and pay for. It will tell you what services are provided (landscaping, snow removal, sometimes heat) and what is allowed or prohibited (pet issues). You also want to know how many can be rented out or are rented out. If individual units are owned by absentee landlords, sometimes in big numbers, and are rented out, then the character of the complex becomes more like an apartment building and not a neighborhood of home owners.

You also want a licensed home inspection before you buy, to examine if there are any general structural defects, or specific defects to you prospective unit.

Additional answer:Ask to see the last three years' worth of board meeting minutes and financials. Inspect the minutes to understand the harmony in the community and the ability of the owners and the board to work together for the preservation, maintenance and security of the residents and their commonly-owned assets.

In the financials, look to see how well-funded the reserves are as compared to the reserve study -- which you should also look at -- so that you understand any upcoming special assessments to cover replacement of major assets, such as roof, windows, elevator and so forth.

As well, look to verify that the assessments are sufficient to cover the monthly bills.

Additional Answer

Your first job is to read the community's CC&Rs and other governing documents: By-laws and board Resolutions, and verify that you're willing to live in this private democracy according to its guidelines. This is mentioned in the long answer, above, but it is key to your decision.

Housing Associations

In California do condo owners have the right to have a dog?

Regardless of the state where you live, your governing documents determine the pet policies for the community.

Read them to discover the pet policies for your condominium association.

Housing Associations

If a property management company omits an account and fails to collect the fees due should the management company reimburse the homeowners association for the loss?

it's not a property management duty to pay HOA fees, it is owners duty,but property management Co may be able to pay due to HOA from the proceeds of the rent collected by them..if owners agreed and notified and if HOA can't locate the owner and know the property managed by Company ask manager to help with this matter firs and no help,then post lien (A claim against the property of another person for payment of some debt or obligation that the person owes to the claimant) on the property..

Housing Associations

Do you still owe maintenance if your condo is condemned?

Your governing documents should be clear on this issue.

If no assessments are collected by the association, how can the association recover? There is rarely 100% coverage by a master insurance policy on a condominium community.

This is one of the great reasons to purchase an HO-6 condominium owners' policy with assessment coverage, so that in the case of a disaster, your assessments are paid by insurance.

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Housing Associations

What is a 421a real estate taxes?

Apparently, 421-a is a tax abatement programme in New York State that is available to developers who develop multi-family housing.

You can read more by reading the law, below.

Housing Associations

What determines in a condo association an easement as to whether or not it is ingress and egress?

Somewhere in your governing documents, probably in pages filed with the local property tax authority, you should be able to find a legal description of the land, which will make this easement specification.

Deeds and Ownership
Housing Associations
Legal Definitions

What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse?

The difference is in the style of ownership of the real estate, and the style of the buildings.

Some townhouses are stand-alone buildings, others built in rows. There is no standard style of real estate for condominiums.

Housing Associations

Do you have to pay condo fees if condo board does not follow guidelines?


Apparently, your question implies that using your leverage by not paying your assessments will change the behaviour of the board. This is not a valid assumption.

Read your governing documents to better understand your options.

Your monthly assessments pay the bills for operating the community. The bills may include basic utilities, maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and the grounds, master insurance policy premium payments and contributions to your reserve accounts.

If you don't pay your assessments, your association can pursue you to recover the debt, and may file a lien on your title, deny you services or access to amenities, or as a last resort, sell your unit to recover the money you owe.

Your board is legally liable under the laws of your state to operate your (non-profit) corporation and govern your private democracy according to the guidelines written in your governing documents.

Attend board meetings and be prepared to identify specific sections of your CC&Rs, By-laws and Board Resolutions that your board violates. Then, write a letter to the board pointing out their violation and request that the matter be handed at the next board meeting.

At the subsequent board meeting, request that the board vote to either operate according to the guidelines, or continue to operate in violation of them. Request that the vote be taken and recorded in the minutes.

This way, you'll begin to build a paper trail of the board's violations. Most board members soon realize the gravity of their violations and begin following the guidelines. Otherwise, you can rally similarly affected owners and by way of a vote of owners -- your governing documents state the percentage required -- remove the board and vote new members into the positions.


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