Democrats & Tea Party In Virginia???? Whoa!!!

Will wonders never cease!

A hellaciously ugly anti-homeowner bill is about to end up in Virginia law books. It essentially does away with ALL Constitutional rights of people in Homeowners Associations. And I’ve warned people all over the country to quit thinking about HOAs as Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, liberal or conservative. HOAs are about communes (communism), flavored with a healthy splash of fascism (the lawn Nazis).

Well, Glory be! Virginia lawmakers from the Tea Party wing of the Republicans are joining Democrats in trying to wake their fellow-legislators up. This bill is beyond bad. This link to the Virginia bureau is worth reading! 

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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.

7 thoughts on “Democrats & Tea Party In Virginia???? Whoa!!!

  1. W. Ellenor

    I have sent Mark Warner & Scott Rigell several tweets to vote NO. I will email them also this is insane. All laws which are repugnant to the constitution are null and void “Marbury vs Madison” let your senators know.

  2. Anonymous

    Ward, you are so right! HOA owner rights and Constitutional protections must not turn into a partisan issue, as this affects millions of homeowners of all political persuasions.

  3. Robert

    Scott Surovell, the attorney who represented the Farrans in Farran v. Olde Belhaven Towne Owners’ Association, is also a Virginia legislator. If I understand the situtation correctly, HB-791 was an attempt by the C.A.I. to prevent similar rulings in the future.

    So in Virginia, there is a legislator who is personally knowledgeable about, and has a personal incentive to defeat, this type of legislation. It’s a rare circumstance, and I don’t expect that other home owners in other states aren’t going to be so lucky in the future.

    Here in Colorado, as in most other states, we have to suffer legislators who are utterly clueless about the issue.

  4. Robert

    Going through the comments at the linked story, “DJ” makes an interesting point:

    Changing the rules after the fact is usually written into the HOA docs. Look for a statement that says something like this:

    ‘The board can enact rules by majority vote of the board members and such rules will have the same effect as if they were written in this document.’

    The condo featured in the story appears to not have this item. Probably because the condos are older. I did a survey of HOAs in my area before buying and all of the docs I looked at had such language about rule making.

    The condo residents are lucky the government bought a few units to rent out to low income folks. Those low income folks then accumulated some fines that were levied on the government which owns the condo units.

    Its only a rich owner that can afford to take the HOA to court and contest the actions of the board, in this case that is the government. This is why I suggest the condo residents are lucky. Nobody in my neighborhood can afford to contest the HOA in a lawsuit.

    Is “DJ” right?

    How are H.O.A. corporations which do allow the board to unilatterally amend the rules affected by the recent court decisions such as Farran v. Olde Belhaven Towne Owners’ Association, Shadowood v. FFX County Housing Authority, Gillman v. Unit Owners Association?

    Did the court cases say

    – “H.O.A.s don’t have the power to fine, period”

    – “H.O.A.s boards can’t give themselves the power to fine unless that power is already in their governing documents”, or

    – “H.O.A.s boards can’t give themsleves the power to fine unless the governing documents allow the board to unilaterally create operating rules”?

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  6. robert

    I’ve been re-reading the so-called “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act” (available here), and discovered this:

    38-33.3-302. Powers of unit owners’ association.

    (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, and subject to the provisions of the declaration, the association, without specific authorization in the declaration, may:

    (1) (k) (I) Impose charges for late payment of assessments, recover reasonable attorney fees and other legal costs for collection of assessments and other actions to enforce the power of the association, regardless of whether or not suit was initiated, and, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, levy reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations of the association.

    So the statutory ability of an H.O.A. corporation to impose “fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations of the association”, “without specific authorization in the declaration” — a proposal which caused an uproar in Virginia earlier this year — has existed in Colorado for over two decades as C.R.S. § 38-33.3-302 (1) (k) (I).

    Two of the prime sponsors of the so-called “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act” were Republican state representatives Mike Coffman (currently U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 6th District) and Bill Schroeder. The bill, HB 91-1292, was signed into law by Governor Roy Romer (Democrat) on May 31 1991, and went into effect on July 01 1992.

    Ballotpedia shows that the G.O.P. had a majority in both state Senate and state House in 1992 (as far back as Ballotpedia goes), so it’s safe to assume that the G.O.P. also controlled both chambers of the Colorado legislature in 1991.

    Ward, do you know — or can you find out — who the other sponsors of the bill were? Who the hell thought that this was a good idea?

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