Virginia HOAs Fighting For Unlimited Power

Just about every time you think it can’t get worse, it does.

The Virginia Legislature is considering a bill that would essentially allow Homeowners Associations to fine homeowners for almost anything, even if those ‘violations’ are not mentioned in the original deed restrictions or CC&Rs.

Wanna fine a homeowner who’s too fat? No problem under this law.

Wanna fine a homeowner with a handicapped kid? No problem. Just guise the fine as one being levied against an ugly resident. Handicapped kids have federal protection. Ugly kids do not.

Of course it all sounds outrageous. But this bill has already passed the Virginia House and is probably headed for further successes in the Senate and Governor’s Mansion.

And what’s a victim of an out-of-control HOA supposed to do? He or she has to hire a legal team and file a lawsuit. They’ll win in court, of course, but only after spending several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees. It’s guaranteed employment for lawyers.

Dear Lord God, where are we headed?

(link to Washington Post story)


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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