Brown’s Bill to Improve the Way Issues are Handled Within Planned Communities Passes House
– In continuing her legislative efforts to improve the way investigations and mediation complaints are handled in residential communities across the Commonwealth, the House this week unanimously passed Rep. Rosemary Brown’s (R-Monroe/Pike) House Bill 595
. This bill would assign additional powers to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in regard to how Home Owner Association (HOA) complaints are handled.
“Because I understand the importance of this issue, I am very pleased that this bill passed the House, and am hopeful it gets approved in the Senate,” Brown said. “My staff and I receive many calls from frustrated residents, and often the only way to get serious issues solved is by entering into potentially costly lawsuits. There needs to be a way to mediate and investigate serious violations, and because the Bureau of Consumer Protection already handles similar complaints, it makes sense for this set of issues to be added to its purview.”
On April 8, Brown also hosted an educational seminar at the Middle Smithfield Township Building for HOA board members and their residents to increase education about how to develop stronger methods of conflict management. Nearly 100 residents attended this seminar.
Communities formed under Title 68 are operated under a set of governing bylaws, which create micro-governments. When occasional disagreements or incidences of fraud occur in these communities, residents and unit owner boards feel they have nowhere to turn for assistance in resolving complaints.
Title 68 already allows for complaints regarding financial documents to be filed with the Bureau of Consumer Protection; however, it does not assist with other serious complaints that may be a violation of other portions of Title 68. Examples include meetings, quorums, voting/proxies and other association records. Nearly one quarter of Pennsylvania residents live in some type of self-governing community.
Brown sponsored similar legislation, House Bill 1774
, in the 2015-16 legislative session. During that time, it was approved by the House and passed the Senate Urban Affairs Committee. It was not voted on by the full Senate. This is a priority for Brown, who strongly believes this will make community living more harmonious and better protected.
For more information about House Bill 595, or any state-related issue, contact Brown’s district office in East Stroudsburg located at 143 Seven Bridge Road, by calling 570-420-8301. Information can also be found on online at RepBrown.com
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin