Something Has To Be Done!

We really do need to get national legislation, at least against some of the most outrageous HOA actions. The case linked below is actually a rather common problem in HOA Amerika… keeping a homeowner locked out of his gated neighborhood if he’s violated some minor covenant.

Jim Bartels of Fairview, North Carolina got into some kind of dispute with his HOA. The result? They installed a gate and wouldn’t give Bartels a gate code. The HOA board claims they can do that because he’s ‘not in good standing’ in the neighborhood.

A while back I blogged about a different case in Florida where a single mom was locked out of her neighborhood. She had to have someone drive to the gate and physically let her in. At the time I mulled over potential family emergencies and whether the whole neighborhood could possibly face a massive negligence and outrageous conduct lawsuit.

A lot of actions by HOA boards are outrageous. Some actions are despicable.

(link to WLOS News)



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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.

5 thoughts on “Something Has To Be Done!

  1. Cynthia

    “The HOA board claims they can do that because he’s “not in good standing in the neighborhood.” This “not in good standing,” determination, or allegation is used by many an abusive and sometimes criminal board to discriminate, shut honest and law abiding homeowners up and keep them from being able to communicate with other members of the association. I have seen it time and time again and even been a victim of this ploy. What about all the HOA board members, or other members of the community who are their friends and suck-ups, who they themselves, are not in good standing, or continue to violate rules, regulations, covenants, etc? What about HOA boards who violate fiduciary duty, discriminate, lie, cheat, sign contracts for associations they do not oversee, maintain, insure, or have any legal authority to do so, and their is no necessity for the service they have contracted? Then sue their victims for asking about this illegal, unethical, and criminal too, I believe, demand for money. Lying to courts, filing knowingly false and fabricated lawsuits, to shut the honest homeowners up, and ultimately steal their homes due to legal incompetence, and corruption, or favoritism in the courts. Many times the “not in good standing,” allegation is a ploy to shut innocent, law abiding, rule following, bill paying homeowners up so the HOA boards can continue with their abuse and criminality. “Shut them up and shut them out,” is a variation of a tactic I am told every bully, despot and tyrant knows which is: “divide and conquer.”

  2. Deb

    Tell me about it Cynthia! The biggest three suck ups live across the street. One is allowed to do vehicle restoration on the driveway and the noise from that gets the dogs stirred up the neighborhood, adding a double migraine to the pounding and power sanding toolls, not to mention a porch and yard that Sanford and Son would be proud of. Then there is the board member a couple doors down with a broken down basket ball net, trash can outside, and their “Denny’s” garage door, always open with music blaring down the street .
    My home has gotten violations for such lame crap as “can’t park in the gravel” our vehicle’s tires were apx 2″ off the driveway and in the gravel. We got a violation because a tree branch was blocking our house number. I guess they failed to see the house number was painted on the curb out front. I think the best violation was for having my security gate locked and they could not get to the door. Yes I lock it when I am not home or am taking an afternoon nap.
    Don’t get me on the retaliation and property damage they do once they pick a target.
    Yes, legislation is needed on the state and federal level big time!
    These individuals are elected/selected to a board with the authority as a quasi-government to inflict unjust penalties, fines, foreclosures,and literally terrorize another’s home without any oversight whatsoever. This has got to stop.

    Yes! Legislation is needed on the state

  3. robert

    > We really do need to get national legislation,

    It will never happen in the current political environment.

    Below is an e-mail exchange between myself and George Leing’s campaign. Leing is the Republican candidate for the U.S. congress in Colorado’s 2nd district running against incumbent Jared Polis (Democrat). Leing is also a corporate lawyer. I’ve only met him once, at a campaign event at Jensen Arms.

    Colorado CD2 has been solidly Democrat since the mid-1970s. While I am not a campaign manager nor political consultant, it seems to me that any Republican running in CD2 needs to do something incredibly unorthodox, rather than repeatedly beat the same dead horses, resurrect them, and beat them to death again. Or hoping that the back-lash against last year’s gun-owner control laws, which resulted in the unprecedented recall of 3 Colorado state senators, will push the G.O.P. to victory (it’s a factor in some major races, but not CD2).

    Whichever Party wins this year will get the message that they can continue to (at best) ignore home owners being abused by H.O.A. corporations. Whereas the losing Party will continue to do more of the same next time. Until a major candidate makes this a major issue, home owners are truly screwed, and it’s only going to get worse.

    Ward refused to publish this once in the comments section, so I doubt anyone will see it this time, either.

    Date: Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM
    Subject: H.O.A. and G.O.P.
    To: Gregory Carlson

    Gregory Carlson
    Campaign Manager
    George Leing For Congress

    I live in ********, just a few minutes from Mr. Leing in ********. I would like to ask for about 5 minutes of Mr. Leing’s time, to discuss in person an issue I have been involved with for five years. The Boulder Democrat Party has been ignoring me for four years.

    1 million to 2 million Colorado residents live in a property governed by some type of H.O.A. corporation. Nationwide, that number is over 60 million, who pay $65 billion (with a “b) in annual assessments, with very little accounting or oversight of how that money is spent (and often embezzled). Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    “If you want to see the Republican Party vision for America, look at H.O.A. corporations”.

    I believe that the Republican Party — and only the Republican Party — can take the lead on what is going to be this generation’s civil rights struggle for property rights and liberties that our policy makers have been ignoring.

    From: Gregory Carlson
    Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 9:01 AM
    Subject: RE: H.O.A. and G.O.P.

    Thank you for reaching out to the campaign. George believes that individual property rights are key component of our individual rights and incredibly important, but as a federal candidate, his ability to intervene in local HOA disputes would be limited.

    Gregory Carlson, M. Ed.
    Campaign Manager
    George Leing for Congress

    Date: Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 6:18 AM
    Subject: Re: H.O.A. and G.O.P.
    To: Gregory Carlson

    Mr. Carlson,

    Your response was

    – vague
    – evasive
    – answered a question I did not ask
    – did not answer the question I asked

    Your response, in the context of my experience, reaffirms my belief that the Republican Party has nothing but contempt for the individual American home owners being victimized by H.O.A. corporations.

    It is revealing that Republicans at the federal level are willing to intervene on the behalf of 15 million workers who are forced to join labor unions as a condition of employment, but not the 65 million Americans who are forced to join H.O.A. corporations as a condition of home ownership, even though the federal government bears some responsibility for creating both messes.

  4. tom

    We are locked out of the pool for fines not paid when I returned that I disputed the matter. My biggest complaint is that the cost of running the pool is still being put against my bill. While they have a right to keep me out I disagree that they can charge me for the cost of something I am barred from using. There is nothing I can do since I am obligated to take the matter to an arbitrator in county while they can sue me in civil court National rules for basic items really is the only answer with some national force to enforce. Disabled people cannot claim benefit of the federal government for matters which are clearly forever in every other area.


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