New Contest for America’s Worst Neighbor!

Please send me your submissions! ABC 20/20 did a story on these two couples on January 2nd. Amazingly bad neighbors.

I’m going to start soliciting similar nominations from you for the year’s worst neighbor…not sure what prize I’ll award for the most nightmarish neighbor…maybe a free copy of Neighbors At War, but these two couples are a prize.

God bless them. What would the rest of us do for entertainment without idiots like these?

(nightmare neighbors in New York)



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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.

6 thoughts on “New Contest for America’s Worst Neighbor!

  1. Norman McCullough

    Who are the “Worst Neighbors” in my HOA neighborhood in Sun City Anthem in Henderson NV? That would be the seven members of my Board of Directors who are covering up for previous Board members who committed a theft of money by illegally changing the accounting figures. All are neighbors – all are covering up the facts.

  2. Nila Ridings

    I’ve heard a tremendous amount of horrible HOA stories over the past seven and a half years. They all make me feel sick and angry at the same time.

    Living in Quivira Falls in Overland Park, Kansas has proven to me that even though there are sad HOA stories, and bad HOA stories, living in this hellhole for over nine years is truly a beyond words nightmare. I’m 100% convinced the only way to make this area better is to locate investors with bulldozers.

    Very nice of Donie to offer a copy of her book as a prize!

    Please keep in mind many will remain silent for fear of retribution unless you’re allowing pseudonym contributions.

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      I like the idea of pseudonymns except that your email appears on your comment. A better idea would be to use my mailing address which is Ward Lucas, 151 Summer St., #463, Morrison, CO 80465

  3. D'Anne Hauschel

    Here’s a letter all the neighbors in my HOA received in June 2014 (note: this neighbor & I published a quarterly newsletter about issues in our HOA and we received a number warning/threats to cease. Chances are I too would have been sued, but I’ve never done any alterations. Also, my co-publisher was caring for his wife before, during and after the lawsuit while she was battling cancer, and her battle continues. Prayers for her! So this my friends is my entry for the worst HOA neighbors/HOA board.

    Dear Homeowners:
    As some of your may be aware, I was sued by the Association in June 2013, for having installed
    an air conditioning compressor on by balcony in 2001. That’s correct, 12 years after the installation. At
    the time of the installation, I believed and continue to believe that I was authorized to do so in
    accordance with the Association governing documents and the actions and statements of the Board at
    the time of installation. In their lawsuit against me, the Association claimed I did not have such
    authorization and they did not discover the alleged infraction until 2008, some 7 years after installation.
    When I refused the Association’s demands that I remove the air compressor from my balcony
    and pay their legal fees for them having sued me, the Board threatened me with a second lawsuit
    regarding the installation of windows in my unit in January 2005. Again, the Board alleged I did so
    without authorization from the Association, in spite of the fact that I explained to them that I had been
    given specific authorization by the Association’s manager to do the installation.
    After dealing with these issues for well over a year and expending thousands of dollars in legal
    fees, the case was settled in May of this year and the lawsuit dismissed. Pursuant to the settlement, the
    Association dropped its claims against me both as to the air compressor on my balcony and the windows
    I installed in 2005. Further, the Association agreed to pay me $35,000, much of my legal fees.1 This
    amount did not make me financially whole and certainly did not compensate me for the time and stress
    that this action caused me. It was a settlement to bring this unfortunate matter to a conclusion so both
    the Association and I could move on.
    I can assure everyone that it is my sincere intent to move on; however, this experience has
    revealed a number of matters which I think the Association and all of us as homeowners might learn
    from and effect positive change. The purpose of this letter is to share what I learned about the
    processes and policies of the Association and how they might be improved.
    One point which became painfully obvious during the litigation was the lack of good
    recordkeeping by the Association and our management company. This is not a problem with just the
    1 My legal fees in this lawsuit exceeded $40,000. Assuming the Association paid at least this amount, more than
    $70,000 was spent by the Association in this wasted effort. While some might argue that some of the Association’s
    costs may have been covered by the Association’s insurance carrier, it would naïve to assume that this will not
    affect the Association’s insurability going forward.
    current Board, but dates back many years. The minutes of the Board are very inadequate to determine
    what occurred, often only mentioned in the minutes and records of the Association. Further, it was
    learned that some directors apparently take some of their individual communications regarding
    Association business with them when they cease their service, resulting in a loss of Association history.
    For example, if the current Board had a clearer record of what occurred in 2000 and 2001 when I
    notified the Board of my desire to install the air conditioner unit on my balcony, they might have given
    addition thought as to whether the lawsuit was justified. And, if the management company had kept
    better records of correspondence with homeowners, they would have had the written letter from the
    management company to me in 2005 expressly authorizing me to install my windows. The Association
    must put into place more comprehensive recordkeeping practices and organize them in such a way that
    they will be useful to later Board and management.
    Also revealed during this lawsuit was a failure to follow the procedures of the laws and the
    governing documents as to some, but not as to others. Although there are others who have installed air
    compressors in locations other than the roofs (as presently required by the Board), and installed much
    more recently, I am the only homeowner the Board sued. Similarly, I was the only homeowner
    threatened with a lawsuit regarding window installations while other homeowners are permitted to
    proceed with window installations in violation of existing guidelines. Procedures must be adopted that
    results in uniform enforcement of the laws and governing documents. And, more transparency should
    be the rule, not the exception.
    Finally and perhaps most importantly, is the question of the motivation of Board action. In my
    situation, I recognize that there are directors and homeowners that disagree with some of the positions
    I have taken regarding various Association issues as well as the manner in which I have voiced my
    positions. While it is my First Amendment right to do so, I am concerned that there are those who have
    become so emotionally involved in these matters that their judgment as a director may have become
    clouded. As a result of what I believe was clouded judgment, the Association singled me out and
    instituted a lawsuit for something that I did 12 year before and threatened me with a second lawsuit for
    something I did 8 years before.
    Such decisions present the real potential for financial catastrophe for the Association and its
    membership, who ultimately pay the bills. This Association has a substantial budget for the governance
    of the Association and the maintenance, repair and replacement of the property. However, even with
    insurance, it cannot afford to make decisions that are affected by the personal emotions of some or all
    of the directors.
    Regardless of the outcome of my lawsuit, homeowners and directors alike must at least
    consider and hopefully address these issues. Divergent points of view should always be considered, no
    matter how offensive one might consider the messenger. Decisions must be based only on what is best
    for the Association, not on how to quell decent. A system of regular inspections and equal application of
    the governing documents must be established to avoid reoccurrences of what happened to me.
    Otherwise, what happened to me could happen to you. Signed by neighbor


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