HOA Battle in Britain

I thought Brits were supposed to be more polite than Americans. At least the Brits think they are. But Homeowner Associations are endemic around the world. And nasty neighbors can be found anywhere.

But here’s a great nomination for the Neighbors from Hell category from LA Times columnist Donie Vanitzian. It involves a neighborhood battle that’s been going on for forty years in a borough in Tyne and Wear in the northeast corner of England. 89 year old John Bushell has been jailed and fined multiple times over the years because of the unbelievable harassment of his neighbors. Bushell spends a lot of time perfecting his house and garden. But he thinks his neighbors don’t keep up their homes to his standards.

Bushell has diverted his gutters to flood his neighbors’ yards. He has painted the walls facing his neighbors black. He has threatened multiple times to shoot his neighbors and burn down their homes.

Forty years this has been going on! Crazy.

(link to Daily Mail column on the Bushell madness)


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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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