Word To The Wise: The HOA – Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

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By E. A. Roberts
______________________________________

Do you live in a residence governed by a homeowners association, also informally know as an “HOA”? Then I would strongly advise being afraid – very afraid. The powers it can arbitrarily wield against a property owner are downright frightening. The result may be the loss of what is most people’s only major asset – their house – over a disagreement involving as little as $10.

A local 78 year old disabled resident made the fatal mistake of reporting to her HOA she smelled smoke after a security light burned out. A $300 special individual assessment was levied against her for the cost of electrical work to the common area. The irate woman rightfully refused to pay, yet the HOA is threatening her with liens and foreclosure. The illegitimate claim is she should have called the fire department instead of management.

A second individual governed by the same HOA was fined $200 – because her tenant said something the HOA President overheard and didn’t like. Another resident was twice fined $50 for having items resting on her patio peeping just above the fence. $190 was charged to a homeowner because he did not remove a satellite dish fast enough.

This identical HOA hired a management company to run day-to-day operations. Suddenly new subcontractors from far away where management resided were hired to perform services at exorbitant rates. Annual lawn work previously costing $14,000 was raised to a whopping $22,000. Yet local subcontractors could have been employed for considerably less money.

A substantial loan of six figures was borrowed by the Board without homeowner approval. How will it be paid back? Through emergency special assessments, and increases in the $240 per month regular assessment. What happens to the low income homeowner on fixed earnings who cannot afford such a sudden fee escalation? As much as a 20% per year increase is allowed in California. Senior citizens with reverse mortgages or those with adjustable rate mortgages are particularly vulnerable.

It is not uncommon for two factions to form within a HOA housing complex. One side will push for ornamental changes to raise the value of the property if they can afford the additional costs to spruce things up. However, low income seniors or families with young children who barely get by cannot pay for such fripperies. Fancy retaining walls, elaborate fences, expensive landscaping can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Meanwhile leaky roofs go untended. More money is squeezed from already strapped homeowners to carry out basic repairs. The low or middle income homeowner is priced right out of their home. How? Assessments creep up in price, those who cannot pay have liens placed against their homes, which are foreclosed on if not paid off within a certain time limit. More affluent neighbors have been able to rid the housing complex of what they consider “riff-raff”.

Even the more prosperous eventually become financially overburdened. Many have refinanced their homes to the maximum extent possible, shelling out for repeated superficial upgrades to the common area. At some point the gravy train stops, and no more refinancing is possible. Nevertheless roofs leak, security lights don’t work, basic lawn services are left undone. The Association starts to operate at a significant loss.

The final straw comes when homeowners learn there is less money on the company books than anticipated, even with costs for aesthetic enhancements taken into account. By now Management has disappeared, some on the Board have resigned their positions. Curious homeowners begin looking at financial records, horrified to uncover evidence of embezzlement.

In Virginia, theft of two million dollars was exposed by a management company serving HOAs across the country. The state of Florida just cracked down on Board members who stole four million dollars thus far. More criminal indictments are expected in the coming weeks.

There is little redress for cheated homeowners. Here is how the system works. If a HOA deems an infraction of the governing documents has occurred, three very powerful weapons are at their disposal to force compliance: fines; liens; foreclosure. The only redress a homeowner has is paltry in comparison: meet and confer with a biased Board member to resolve the dispute; ask for community mediation geared more toward settlement than fairness; or pay the fine and hope to recoup the loss in small claims court.

I’ve watched a full Board convene a “kangaroo court”, where those accused must confess their sins in public. The final decision is made in secret, behind closed doors. Fines can actually become a lucrative stream of income to an enterprising Board backed by a Manager who is a bully. Any homeowner who objects to the process is either ignored or intimidated into silence.

I actually sat through a hearing where a homeowner was falsely accused of being a “peeping Tom” while on his roof fixing an air conditioner. Hurt deeply at such hideous accusations, the indignant fellow was fined $50. Rather than contest the fabricated charge, the poor man felt compelled to pay. Otherwise he would incur further fines, along with more innuendo which could have damaged his reputation.

Elections or changes to governing documents are frequently illegally rigged by the HOA to obtain the desired result. It is not uncommon for the Board or Management to not follow their own rules. Yet almost never are they brought to book for wrongdoing. But God help the homeowner who so much as leaves a dead leaf hanging from a potted plant in plain view!

A housing complex in Davis was informed that signs supportive of a particular political campaign had better not appear anywhere on site before election time. Apparently there were those in power who believed Constitutional rights ceased to exist at the property line. When I legitimately asked to inspect corporate records of a HOA, I was told by Management to “come alone”. Subsequent letters demanding copies of documents sent certified mail were refused.

The address for a HOA can be nothing more than a rented UPS drop box, located in a completely different state. More and more municipalities are turning over government tasks to homeowners associations. That way city government can collect taxes, without having to incur costs of providing services. If homeowners are having to send hefty assessment checks outside the state, how will they ever be able to track down misappropriated funds?

What can be done to cope with an out of control HOA? Here are some tips:

  • If your housing complex does not have a HOA, do not start one.
  • Discourage legislators from requiring HOAs for new housing.
  • Dissuade municipalities from turning over governmental functions to HOAs.
  • Go to every HOA meeting. Speak up, raise objections. Don’t allow decision-making in secret.
  • Do not permit the Board/Management to levy fines – set up an independent Review Board.
  • Demand a clear financial audit from the HOA every year.
  • Basic repairs should be a HOA’s top priority. Cosmetic improvements should require approval of no less than 85% of the homeowners, with assistance for those who cannot pay.
  • Keep copies of all HOA documents, minutes, letters, notices.
  • Keep any copies of correspondence you sent to the HOA.
  • Require a significant supermajority to amend any governing document.
  • Make sure governing documents limit increases in regular assessments to no more than 5% a year, unless an extensive supermajority of homeowners approve larger increases.
  • Do not go to a HOA disciplinary hearing alone. Bring a witness; tape recorder; video camera.
  • Respond in writing to every letter from the HOA threatening disciplinary action.
  • Amend governing documents to prohibit the HOA the power of foreclosure.
  • Demand the HOA mailing address be in the same county where the housing is located.
  • Levy fines against Board members/Managers for failure to follow their own rules.
  • Check out the following websites: www.onthecommons.us; www.calhomelaw.org
Lesson to be learned: In advance of purchasing a home, determine if there is a prevailing HOA. Obtain copies of all governing documents. Remember, these documents can later be amended to something you did not agree to, may not like, nor can afford. Are you sure acquiring this house is really worth the danger of being under the thumb of a HOA? Think before you buy.

Elaine Roberts Musser is a practicing attorney who concentrates her efforts on elder law and aging issues, especially in regard to consumer affairs. She also serves on CA state, county and city commissions and legal clinics advocating for the protection of seniors and the disabled. If you have any observations, particular questions, or topics you would like to see addressed in this column, add your comment at the end of this column.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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44 thoughts on “Word To The Wise: The HOA – Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!”

  1. west davis, west manor resident

    The first question I asked when buying a home in West Davis, was if it had an HOA. It does not, and so I don’t have to live in fear of painting my house the ‘wrong’ color, seek approval to plant a tree, or fear leaving my garage door open too long (all of which are common ‘no-no’s in HOA’s.)
    There are numerous articles on out of control HOAs. I, for one, want to live in a free society.

  2. west davis, west manor residen

    The first question I asked when buying a home in West Davis, was if it had an HOA. It does not, and so I don’t have to live in fear of painting my house the ‘wrong’ color, seek approval to plant a tree, or fear leaving my garage door open too long (all of which are common ‘no-no’s in HOA’s.)
    There are numerous articles on out of control HOAs. I, for one, want to live in a free society.

  3. west davis, west manor residen

    The first question I asked when buying a home in West Davis, was if it had an HOA. It does not, and so I don’t have to live in fear of painting my house the ‘wrong’ color, seek approval to plant a tree, or fear leaving my garage door open too long (all of which are common ‘no-no’s in HOA’s.)
    There are numerous articles on out of control HOAs. I, for one, want to live in a free society.

  4. west davis, west manor residen

    The first question I asked when buying a home in West Davis, was if it had an HOA. It does not, and so I don’t have to live in fear of painting my house the ‘wrong’ color, seek approval to plant a tree, or fear leaving my garage door open too long (all of which are common ‘no-no’s in HOA’s.)
    There are numerous articles on out of control HOAs. I, for one, want to live in a free society.

  5. Anonymous

    Don’t think that this is not happening in Davis. This is my world. I suffered a job loss a year ago and fell behind in my association dues. All my other creditors were understanding and accomodating, including my mortgage company. However, the HOA swiftly escalated the collections process, with demands to pay the entire amount in full, rejecting all attempts to set up payment plans and added exorbitant “fees” at every turn. The board voted to foreclose on my home without any notice to me that the issue was up for a vote. I merely received the legal papers a few months later. Finally, on the eve of foreclosure, I was forced into a payment plan that is beyond my ability to pay. Finalizing the foreclosure is threatened at every turn. This has been devastating to me financially and has destroyed any good will toward my neighbors. Since I am not a member in good standing, I cannot vote in officer elections so cannot effect any change. I hate where I live. I never believed that I could lose my home when my mortgage payments are current and paid on time.

  6. Anonymous

    Don’t think that this is not happening in Davis. This is my world. I suffered a job loss a year ago and fell behind in my association dues. All my other creditors were understanding and accomodating, including my mortgage company. However, the HOA swiftly escalated the collections process, with demands to pay the entire amount in full, rejecting all attempts to set up payment plans and added exorbitant “fees” at every turn. The board voted to foreclose on my home without any notice to me that the issue was up for a vote. I merely received the legal papers a few months later. Finally, on the eve of foreclosure, I was forced into a payment plan that is beyond my ability to pay. Finalizing the foreclosure is threatened at every turn. This has been devastating to me financially and has destroyed any good will toward my neighbors. Since I am not a member in good standing, I cannot vote in officer elections so cannot effect any change. I hate where I live. I never believed that I could lose my home when my mortgage payments are current and paid on time.

  7. Anonymous

    Don’t think that this is not happening in Davis. This is my world. I suffered a job loss a year ago and fell behind in my association dues. All my other creditors were understanding and accomodating, including my mortgage company. However, the HOA swiftly escalated the collections process, with demands to pay the entire amount in full, rejecting all attempts to set up payment plans and added exorbitant “fees” at every turn. The board voted to foreclose on my home without any notice to me that the issue was up for a vote. I merely received the legal papers a few months later. Finally, on the eve of foreclosure, I was forced into a payment plan that is beyond my ability to pay. Finalizing the foreclosure is threatened at every turn. This has been devastating to me financially and has destroyed any good will toward my neighbors. Since I am not a member in good standing, I cannot vote in officer elections so cannot effect any change. I hate where I live. I never believed that I could lose my home when my mortgage payments are current and paid on time.

  8. Anonymous

    Don’t think that this is not happening in Davis. This is my world. I suffered a job loss a year ago and fell behind in my association dues. All my other creditors were understanding and accomodating, including my mortgage company. However, the HOA swiftly escalated the collections process, with demands to pay the entire amount in full, rejecting all attempts to set up payment plans and added exorbitant “fees” at every turn. The board voted to foreclose on my home without any notice to me that the issue was up for a vote. I merely received the legal papers a few months later. Finally, on the eve of foreclosure, I was forced into a payment plan that is beyond my ability to pay. Finalizing the foreclosure is threatened at every turn. This has been devastating to me financially and has destroyed any good will toward my neighbors. Since I am not a member in good standing, I cannot vote in officer elections so cannot effect any change. I hate where I live. I never believed that I could lose my home when my mortgage payments are current and paid on time.

  9. Anonymous

    To the person with the anonymous message about losing their home. It would help you and the rest of us if you informed us where this took place in Davis. In addition what were the HOA payments per month? What was the payment plan you agreed to that is beyond your ability to pay? Lack of detail does not lend credibility to your case.

  10. Anonymous

    To the person with the anonymous message about losing their home. It would help you and the rest of us if you informed us where this took place in Davis. In addition what were the HOA payments per month? What was the payment plan you agreed to that is beyond your ability to pay? Lack of detail does not lend credibility to your case.

  11. Anonymous

    To the person with the anonymous message about losing their home. It would help you and the rest of us if you informed us where this took place in Davis. In addition what were the HOA payments per month? What was the payment plan you agreed to that is beyond your ability to pay? Lack of detail does not lend credibility to your case.

  12. Anonymous

    To the person with the anonymous message about losing their home. It would help you and the rest of us if you informed us where this took place in Davis. In addition what were the HOA payments per month? What was the payment plan you agreed to that is beyond your ability to pay? Lack of detail does not lend credibility to your case.

  13. Anonymous 12:19 pm

    Covell Commons, Davis, CA

    Current HOA payment: $236/month (The HOA payments were $125 per month until around 3 years ago, then they rose to $185 and then to $236.)

    New payment plan: $802/month for 9 months (this could be more if current HOA fees increase, which is a real possibility.)

  14. Anonymous 12:19 pm

    Covell Commons, Davis, CA

    Current HOA payment: $236/month (The HOA payments were $125 per month until around 3 years ago, then they rose to $185 and then to $236.)

    New payment plan: $802/month for 9 months (this could be more if current HOA fees increase, which is a real possibility.)

  15. Anonymous 12:19 pm

    Covell Commons, Davis, CA

    Current HOA payment: $236/month (The HOA payments were $125 per month until around 3 years ago, then they rose to $185 and then to $236.)

    New payment plan: $802/month for 9 months (this could be more if current HOA fees increase, which is a real possibility.)

  16. Anonymous 12:19 pm

    Covell Commons, Davis, CA

    Current HOA payment: $236/month (The HOA payments were $125 per month until around 3 years ago, then they rose to $185 and then to $236.)

    New payment plan: $802/month for 9 months (this could be more if current HOA fees increase, which is a real possibility.)

  17. Anonymous

    There are many stories of ridiculous and renegade actions by HOA boards. Members of such boards should be held accountable by their members.

    I hope that readers of this blog will not reach the conclusion that such behavior is universally the case. As a board member of a local HOA, I can tell you that 99% of our efforts are spent on responsibly managing the common interest elements of the neighborhood, not dealing with CC&R violations (of which there are very few). However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs and to operate within the constructs of our Bylaws.

    When CC&R violations occur, it is the Board’s obligation to act to correct them. For instance, if a homeowner parks an abandoned refrigerator and sofa on his/her driveway for 6 weeks, we will notify him/her of the violation and allow a given period to remove the junk. If he has not done so by the end of that period, the HOA will remove the stuff and bill the homeowner for the cost of removal. Although we have the authority to fine homeowners for CC&R violations, I can’t recall having done so during my tenure. The normal procedure has been to notify, and allow a given time for correction.

    Delinquent dues are a challenging problem. Regardless of the circumstances that brought about the deliquency, if homeowners don’t pay their dues, they are basically stiffing all of their neighbors. At some point (e.g., when a homeowner is 18 months delinquent), the Board has to do something to collect those dues – or we will be failing our duties to the 99%+ homeowners who pay. Our Board has not initiated legal action until a homeowner is two full years behind (and I think that has only happened once). Unlike the HOA who “swiftly escalated the collections process,”
    I am certain that our Board would agree to nearly any repayment plan that was offered by a homeowner who has fallen on hard times. For those who should have the misfortune to find themselves in such circumstances, I suggest talking to your Board early and often, and being proactive in developing a payment plan that you can live with.

    Our HOA does not prohibit leaving garage doors open, and I wouldn’t really want to live in a neighborhood that did. However, there are HOAs (such as Gold River in Rancho Cordova) that not only prohibit open garage doors, but also parking cars anywhere outside of the garage. Driving through Gold River, you might get the impression that it is an unused movie set for “the Stepford Wives” – everything perfect, but no signs of human habitation. I think it’s gross, but more anal-retentive types might like it.

    The bottom line is: find out what your CC&Rs say before you buy or rent in any neighborhood. If they mandate a sterile neighborhood and that’s what you like, great. OTOH, if they prohibit more than two animals in your home and you have 16 cats, look elsewhere.

    If you are in a HOA with a misbehaving Board, don’t just gripe about it – throw the bums out! Run for the Board yourself at the next election, or, if the misbehavior is egregious, begin actions to remove the offenders. (Most HOA Bylaws have procedures for removing Board members before the end of their terms.)

  18. Anonymous

    There are many stories of ridiculous and renegade actions by HOA boards. Members of such boards should be held accountable by their members.

    I hope that readers of this blog will not reach the conclusion that such behavior is universally the case. As a board member of a local HOA, I can tell you that 99% of our efforts are spent on responsibly managing the common interest elements of the neighborhood, not dealing with CC&R violations (of which there are very few). However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs and to operate within the constructs of our Bylaws.

    When CC&R violations occur, it is the Board’s obligation to act to correct them. For instance, if a homeowner parks an abandoned refrigerator and sofa on his/her driveway for 6 weeks, we will notify him/her of the violation and allow a given period to remove the junk. If he has not done so by the end of that period, the HOA will remove the stuff and bill the homeowner for the cost of removal. Although we have the authority to fine homeowners for CC&R violations, I can’t recall having done so during my tenure. The normal procedure has been to notify, and allow a given time for correction.

    Delinquent dues are a challenging problem. Regardless of the circumstances that brought about the deliquency, if homeowners don’t pay their dues, they are basically stiffing all of their neighbors. At some point (e.g., when a homeowner is 18 months delinquent), the Board has to do something to collect those dues – or we will be failing our duties to the 99%+ homeowners who pay. Our Board has not initiated legal action until a homeowner is two full years behind (and I think that has only happened once). Unlike the HOA who “swiftly escalated the collections process,”
    I am certain that our Board would agree to nearly any repayment plan that was offered by a homeowner who has fallen on hard times. For those who should have the misfortune to find themselves in such circumstances, I suggest talking to your Board early and often, and being proactive in developing a payment plan that you can live with.

    Our HOA does not prohibit leaving garage doors open, and I wouldn’t really want to live in a neighborhood that did. However, there are HOAs (such as Gold River in Rancho Cordova) that not only prohibit open garage doors, but also parking cars anywhere outside of the garage. Driving through Gold River, you might get the impression that it is an unused movie set for “the Stepford Wives” – everything perfect, but no signs of human habitation. I think it’s gross, but more anal-retentive types might like it.

    The bottom line is: find out what your CC&Rs say before you buy or rent in any neighborhood. If they mandate a sterile neighborhood and that’s what you like, great. OTOH, if they prohibit more than two animals in your home and you have 16 cats, look elsewhere.

    If you are in a HOA with a misbehaving Board, don’t just gripe about it – throw the bums out! Run for the Board yourself at the next election, or, if the misbehavior is egregious, begin actions to remove the offenders. (Most HOA Bylaws have procedures for removing Board members before the end of their terms.)

  19. Anonymous

    There are many stories of ridiculous and renegade actions by HOA boards. Members of such boards should be held accountable by their members.

    I hope that readers of this blog will not reach the conclusion that such behavior is universally the case. As a board member of a local HOA, I can tell you that 99% of our efforts are spent on responsibly managing the common interest elements of the neighborhood, not dealing with CC&R violations (of which there are very few). However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs and to operate within the constructs of our Bylaws.

    When CC&R violations occur, it is the Board’s obligation to act to correct them. For instance, if a homeowner parks an abandoned refrigerator and sofa on his/her driveway for 6 weeks, we will notify him/her of the violation and allow a given period to remove the junk. If he has not done so by the end of that period, the HOA will remove the stuff and bill the homeowner for the cost of removal. Although we have the authority to fine homeowners for CC&R violations, I can’t recall having done so during my tenure. The normal procedure has been to notify, and allow a given time for correction.

    Delinquent dues are a challenging problem. Regardless of the circumstances that brought about the deliquency, if homeowners don’t pay their dues, they are basically stiffing all of their neighbors. At some point (e.g., when a homeowner is 18 months delinquent), the Board has to do something to collect those dues – or we will be failing our duties to the 99%+ homeowners who pay. Our Board has not initiated legal action until a homeowner is two full years behind (and I think that has only happened once). Unlike the HOA who “swiftly escalated the collections process,”
    I am certain that our Board would agree to nearly any repayment plan that was offered by a homeowner who has fallen on hard times. For those who should have the misfortune to find themselves in such circumstances, I suggest talking to your Board early and often, and being proactive in developing a payment plan that you can live with.

    Our HOA does not prohibit leaving garage doors open, and I wouldn’t really want to live in a neighborhood that did. However, there are HOAs (such as Gold River in Rancho Cordova) that not only prohibit open garage doors, but also parking cars anywhere outside of the garage. Driving through Gold River, you might get the impression that it is an unused movie set for “the Stepford Wives” – everything perfect, but no signs of human habitation. I think it’s gross, but more anal-retentive types might like it.

    The bottom line is: find out what your CC&Rs say before you buy or rent in any neighborhood. If they mandate a sterile neighborhood and that’s what you like, great. OTOH, if they prohibit more than two animals in your home and you have 16 cats, look elsewhere.

    If you are in a HOA with a misbehaving Board, don’t just gripe about it – throw the bums out! Run for the Board yourself at the next election, or, if the misbehavior is egregious, begin actions to remove the offenders. (Most HOA Bylaws have procedures for removing Board members before the end of their terms.)

  20. Anonymous

    There are many stories of ridiculous and renegade actions by HOA boards. Members of such boards should be held accountable by their members.

    I hope that readers of this blog will not reach the conclusion that such behavior is universally the case. As a board member of a local HOA, I can tell you that 99% of our efforts are spent on responsibly managing the common interest elements of the neighborhood, not dealing with CC&R violations (of which there are very few). However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs and to operate within the constructs of our Bylaws.

    When CC&R violations occur, it is the Board’s obligation to act to correct them. For instance, if a homeowner parks an abandoned refrigerator and sofa on his/her driveway for 6 weeks, we will notify him/her of the violation and allow a given period to remove the junk. If he has not done so by the end of that period, the HOA will remove the stuff and bill the homeowner for the cost of removal. Although we have the authority to fine homeowners for CC&R violations, I can’t recall having done so during my tenure. The normal procedure has been to notify, and allow a given time for correction.

    Delinquent dues are a challenging problem. Regardless of the circumstances that brought about the deliquency, if homeowners don’t pay their dues, they are basically stiffing all of their neighbors. At some point (e.g., when a homeowner is 18 months delinquent), the Board has to do something to collect those dues – or we will be failing our duties to the 99%+ homeowners who pay. Our Board has not initiated legal action until a homeowner is two full years behind (and I think that has only happened once). Unlike the HOA who “swiftly escalated the collections process,”
    I am certain that our Board would agree to nearly any repayment plan that was offered by a homeowner who has fallen on hard times. For those who should have the misfortune to find themselves in such circumstances, I suggest talking to your Board early and often, and being proactive in developing a payment plan that you can live with.

    Our HOA does not prohibit leaving garage doors open, and I wouldn’t really want to live in a neighborhood that did. However, there are HOAs (such as Gold River in Rancho Cordova) that not only prohibit open garage doors, but also parking cars anywhere outside of the garage. Driving through Gold River, you might get the impression that it is an unused movie set for “the Stepford Wives” – everything perfect, but no signs of human habitation. I think it’s gross, but more anal-retentive types might like it.

    The bottom line is: find out what your CC&Rs say before you buy or rent in any neighborhood. If they mandate a sterile neighborhood and that’s what you like, great. OTOH, if they prohibit more than two animals in your home and you have 16 cats, look elsewhere.

    If you are in a HOA with a misbehaving Board, don’t just gripe about it – throw the bums out! Run for the Board yourself at the next election, or, if the misbehavior is egregious, begin actions to remove the offenders. (Most HOA Bylaws have procedures for removing Board members before the end of their terms.)

  21. Anonymous

    “However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs”
    — Anonymous 9/21/07 10:55 AM

    Catch-22: an HOA is a private government which makes up its own laws as it goes along. The only “legal obligation” is to itself. Only long and protracted lawsuits can change the private governments’ laws. There is no other redress for aggrieved homeowners. The U.S. Constitution does not apply, especially, in many cases, as regards the First Amendment.

  22. Anonymous

    “However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs”
    — Anonymous 9/21/07 10:55 AM

    Catch-22: an HOA is a private government which makes up its own laws as it goes along. The only “legal obligation” is to itself. Only long and protracted lawsuits can change the private governments’ laws. There is no other redress for aggrieved homeowners. The U.S. Constitution does not apply, especially, in many cases, as regards the First Amendment.

  23. Anonymous

    “However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs”
    — Anonymous 9/21/07 10:55 AM

    Catch-22: an HOA is a private government which makes up its own laws as it goes along. The only “legal obligation” is to itself. Only long and protracted lawsuits can change the private governments’ laws. There is no other redress for aggrieved homeowners. The U.S. Constitution does not apply, especially, in many cases, as regards the First Amendment.

  24. Anonymous

    “However, we are legally obligated to enforce the CC&Rs”
    — Anonymous 9/21/07 10:55 AM

    Catch-22: an HOA is a private government which makes up its own laws as it goes along. The only “legal obligation” is to itself. Only long and protracted lawsuits can change the private governments’ laws. There is no other redress for aggrieved homeowners. The U.S. Constitution does not apply, especially, in many cases, as regards the First Amendment.

  25. Anonymous

    I checked out the website linked in the article and found and downloaded Elaine’s interview. The stories, about the cases she has represented as an attorney, she relates are alarming. The bullying, the intimidation, the threats, outside of the judicial system. Condominium ownership is one way for lower income people to realize home ownership. So, this treatment is primarily affecting lower income people who do not have the resources to defend themselves. I think that the City should look into how these HOAs are operating in the City.

  26. Anonymous

    I checked out the website linked in the article and found and downloaded Elaine’s interview. The stories, about the cases she has represented as an attorney, she relates are alarming. The bullying, the intimidation, the threats, outside of the judicial system. Condominium ownership is one way for lower income people to realize home ownership. So, this treatment is primarily affecting lower income people who do not have the resources to defend themselves. I think that the City should look into how these HOAs are operating in the City.

  27. Anonymous

    I checked out the website linked in the article and found and downloaded Elaine’s interview. The stories, about the cases she has represented as an attorney, she relates are alarming. The bullying, the intimidation, the threats, outside of the judicial system. Condominium ownership is one way for lower income people to realize home ownership. So, this treatment is primarily affecting lower income people who do not have the resources to defend themselves. I think that the City should look into how these HOAs are operating in the City.

  28. Anonymous

    I checked out the website linked in the article and found and downloaded Elaine’s interview. The stories, about the cases she has represented as an attorney, she relates are alarming. The bullying, the intimidation, the threats, outside of the judicial system. Condominium ownership is one way for lower income people to realize home ownership. So, this treatment is primarily affecting lower income people who do not have the resources to defend themselves. I think that the City should look into how these HOAs are operating in the City.

  29. Anonymous

    MBA Real Estate said…
    Your an idiot, HOAs increase property values, This has been proven especialy in single home residences on lots. It keeps, the neighboorhood in quality.

    I love it when flamers shoot themselves in the foot. This is about the most inarticulate post I have read in a long time. If one is going to accuse others of idiocy, it would seem to be prudent to at least use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    MBA real estate accuses others of idiocy, yet doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” He/she apparently uses commas as a sort of universal punctuation, inserting one where a period belongs, and another where no punctuation belongs. Further, MBA can’t even spell 4th grade vocabulary words like “neighborhood” or “especially.”

  30. Anonymous

    MBA Real Estate said…
    Your an idiot, HOAs increase property values, This has been proven especialy in single home residences on lots. It keeps, the neighboorhood in quality.

    I love it when flamers shoot themselves in the foot. This is about the most inarticulate post I have read in a long time. If one is going to accuse others of idiocy, it would seem to be prudent to at least use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    MBA real estate accuses others of idiocy, yet doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” He/she apparently uses commas as a sort of universal punctuation, inserting one where a period belongs, and another where no punctuation belongs. Further, MBA can’t even spell 4th grade vocabulary words like “neighborhood” or “especially.”

  31. Anonymous

    MBA Real Estate said…
    Your an idiot, HOAs increase property values, This has been proven especialy in single home residences on lots. It keeps, the neighboorhood in quality.

    I love it when flamers shoot themselves in the foot. This is about the most inarticulate post I have read in a long time. If one is going to accuse others of idiocy, it would seem to be prudent to at least use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    MBA real estate accuses others of idiocy, yet doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” He/she apparently uses commas as a sort of universal punctuation, inserting one where a period belongs, and another where no punctuation belongs. Further, MBA can’t even spell 4th grade vocabulary words like “neighborhood” or “especially.”

  32. Anonymous

    MBA Real Estate said…
    Your an idiot, HOAs increase property values, This has been proven especialy in single home residences on lots. It keeps, the neighboorhood in quality.

    I love it when flamers shoot themselves in the foot. This is about the most inarticulate post I have read in a long time. If one is going to accuse others of idiocy, it would seem to be prudent to at least use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    MBA real estate accuses others of idiocy, yet doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” He/she apparently uses commas as a sort of universal punctuation, inserting one where a period belongs, and another where no punctuation belongs. Further, MBA can’t even spell 4th grade vocabulary words like “neighborhood” or “especially.”

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