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On the Commons with Tyler Berding Print
In our quest to make everyone a homeowner and provide affordable housing to those who could not otherwise afford a mortgage, after several decades the hens appear to have come home to roost.  During the housing boom, apartment buildings were turned into condos to meet the demand of affordable units and now, after massive failures,  condos are being turned back into rental apartments.  Artificially lowering the upfront costs of homeownership neglected to take into account the long term costs.  We are now faced with answering the tough questions of whether or not they are a viable form of ownership.  Even the most ardent proponents are starting to have second thoughts.

Joining us On The Commons this week is Tyler Berding.  Tyler is an attorney in Northern California who represents HOAs and maintains a blog at http://www.condoissues.blogspot.com where he has been sounding the alarm about the inherent problems in condos.  We will talk about the current situation in the rather topsy turvy world of older and not so old condominiums and find out where we go from here.  Are other cultures more successful at managing condo style living?  Tune in to find out.   Listen to Tyler Berding Here    



User Comments

Comment by GUEST on 2013-05-09 18:15:25
Berding says "the management company - board relationship is viewed with suspicion in this country"...Yeah and the suspicion is deserved.  
 
The management companies have lobbied for quite some time to oppose open meetings, open records, etc. The management companies have created schemes to disenfranchise the owners and to prey upon the owners. There are PLENTY of examples of embezzlement and plenty of examples of self-serving advice from the management company. Consider for example the management companies that "advise" boards to pay for insurance coverage from an insurance policy owned by the management company or its parent (while leading boards to believe they are buying an insurance policy). Consider the management companies that recommend other vendors without revealing the ownership relationship with those other vendors (i.e., sister subsidiaries) or the kickbacks from those other vendors. 
 
Let's also not forget a primary funding mechanism used by CAI - getting "donations" from HOAs to lobby for CAI's interests - always against the involuntary members aka "homeowners". These are assessments taken under threat of foreclosure that are not being used for the benefit of the owners but rather to improve the lot of the vendors. These aren't "voluntary" donations and it's frankly insidious that involuntary assessments would be used to make the homeowners' situation even worse. These should be prohibited. 
 
In any other involuntary membership organization (e.g., state bar, union, etc.) the involuntary members have the right to exclude any portion of their assessments from being used for lobbying expenses for the organization. The situation should be no different for HOAs/condos. Prohibit the HOA/condos from using assessments for lobbying. Force the management companies to seek the money directly from willing members.
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