The knives are out for homeowners in California after the historic Wittenberg v. Beachwalk court decision. The Court of Appeals ruled that Homeowners Associations MUST PROVIDE equal access to all means of communication if an HOA takes any kind of advocacy position for a board candidate or change in HOA rules. After 24 of California’s top HOA law firms pleaded with the courts, they were set back on their heels. The Court of Appeals essentially told the law firms to ‘get lost.’
But don’t think for a moment these out-of-control boards will take it sitting down. These ruling elite make hundreds of millions of dollars a year in legal fees for fining and suing homeowners over such incredibly petty things as parking a car on the driveway ten minutes after the mandated deadline.
A number of HOA boards and websites are now referring to homeowners as ‘dissidents’! In other words, if you want to run for a board position, or you want to stop your board from making outrageous tyrannical decisions, you’re a dissident. If you remind a board that it’s in violation of the law established by Wittenberg, you’re a dissident. If you just want to be left alone, you’re just a lowly dissident.
There’s no other word to describe these rogue boards.
Sadly, Wittenberg doesn’t create a precedent for the 49 other states. But it does create a wonderful roadmap.