Screaming, Hair-Pulling HOA Fist Fights

So you’re thinking of spending your ‘golden years’ in a beautiful peaceful retirement community? You want to live in a neighborhood where neighbors really care about each other?

You have so many really wonderful choices of communities to live, places like Mainlands 3 in Tamarac, Florida. Warm air, well-kept lawns, ocean breezes, bird songs filling the air, happy people wishing each other “Good morning,” or “Good afternoon.”

Before you get too excited, check out the video linked below. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic. It graphically demonstrates what’s going on in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Homeowners Associations across the country.

(link to WPLG-ABC News, Miami)


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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.

4 thoughts on “Screaming, Hair-Pulling HOA Fist Fights

  1. Deborah Goonan

    Florida is becoming the poster child for these kinds of incidents in HOAs.

    Of course the State Attorney’s office didn’t find any criminal behavior — looking at whether contractors are licensed or not is hardly a criminal investigation. Was there a forensic audit of the books? Or will they simply take the audit reports at face value? Anyone can rig an audit report. How about a second opinion from someone not connected with this Board? Why would a Board Secretary/Treasurer not be allowed access to records and the HOA computer? Serious RED FLAG.

    We hear all the time from CAI HOA-cheerleaders that owners can simply “vote the bums out” or recall Board members at will. But this video shows just one example of how bogus that claim is. Even after the members jump through all the legal hoops, the Board simply adjourns the meeting and ignores the recall petition! Have to rack up more legal fees for the Association and for the owners that want the Board removed. Hardly Democratic.

    We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. I hope we see a follow up report after the hearing. And I hope no one gets seriously hurt in this HOA.

  2. Nila Ridings

    And there you have it. When a known HOA situation is escalating and tempers are rising…the judge refuses to remove board members. He/she really can’t do anything until a full-blown lawsuit hits the docket.

    Common sense (which never seems to exist in any HOAs) says anybody that holds on so tightly to a VOLUNTEER position has an ulterior motive. It always makes me think either 1) they are hiding something they don’t want to be discovered 2) they are stealing something ($$$) and they don’t want that to be uncovered 3) they are receiving kick-backs from vendors. In many cases I believe all 3 apply.

    Thank you for the follow-up story, Deborah.

    1. Deborah Goonan

      This is another example of DBPR (the state regulatory organization) not working to resolve problems for FL Condo Owners. Part of the problem, of course, is the fact that the governing documents make it nearly impossible to recall a Board. Add to that unmonitored voting, and you have a recipe for failure. So this arbitration cost goes right down the drain.


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