My HOA may be misusing homeowner's dues

Dear Consumer Ed:  I believe that my homeowners association is misusing homeowners dues. What can I do to figure out how this money is actually being spent? 

Obtaining the Name of a Property Owner

Dear Consumer Ed:  How do I obtain the name of a property owner?

Can I get rid of a judgment lien against my home?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I just found out that there is a judgment lien against my house.  How does this affect my house?  How long will the lien be there?  What can I do to get rid of the lien? 

Can landlord make us pay for utilities after we move out?

Dear Consumer Ed:  Our apartment lease is up at the end of this month, but our landlord is requiring that we leave the utilities on for five days after our lease expires for the move-out inspection. Can they require us to pay for utilities almost a week beyond the end of our lease?

Can mortgage lender charge a fee for waiving escrow requirement?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I told my mortgage lender that I would prefer to pay my property taxes in full each year instead of having a portion rolled into my monthly mortgage payments and held in escrow. Are they allowed to charge me a fee if I do that?

Are landlords required to provide a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors?

Dear Consumer Ed:  By law, is it the landlord’s responsibility to provide a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors in the apartment? 

Cable company won't provide price breakdown

Dear Consumer Ed:  I am having difficulty getting a price list for all services and fees from my cable company. When I ask for this information they just try to sell me packages that include phone service I don’t want and equipment I don’t need.

Can landlord break lease with tenant to sell the home?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I just received a certified letter stating that my family and I need to move out of our rented home in 60 days. The landlord wants to sell the home, but I have a signed lease that doesn’t expire for another six months.

Landlord overcharging for damages upon move-out

Dear Consumer Ed:  I moved into an apartment and paid a pet fee since I have a small dog. When it was time to move out, there were a few carpet stains, but they were confined to one room.  I was charged $200 for an overall cleaning of the apartment, plus $1,000 to replace all the carpet in the apartment. Can the apartment complex do that?  When I spoke with them, they said that their carpet is five years old, and when they replace it, they replace all of it, but that I was given a break and charged a discounted rate.  This doesn’t sound right to me. What do you think?  

Do I need insurance against damage to my water pipes?

Dear Consumer Ed:  I received an insurance solicitation in the mail saying that the water pipes on my property are my responsibility and not the responsibility of the county. The letter contained an offer to purchase insurance on the water pipes in case they ever burst or got damaged.