guest blog by Deborah Goonan
Here’s the blatant truth. The corporate structure of HOAs — allocating voting rights to the Property instead of allocating those rights to People based upon residency — leads to the inevitable consequence of pitting investors against homestead property owners.
Because an HOA property owner gains voting rights for EACH property owned, it creates the incentive for investors or developers to buy up – or retain – as many “shares” of the HOA corporation as possible. And everyone knows that a majority shareholder controls a corporation.
But not everyone realizes that nearly all HOAs are corporations. Share this story with everyone you know, especially if they are considering buying a home.
We need to decide in this country: are homes a place to live and gradually accumulate stable personal wealth over time, or are they merely investment commodities subject to the whims of a volatile real estate market – where a few people profit at the expense of everyone else?
On October 17, 2011, Mitt Romney told the editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal
“Are there things that you can do to encourage housing. One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up. The Obama Administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.”
The Wall Street Journal called it “Romney’s Finest Hour” (October 28, 2011).
While this was in the context of bank foreclosures, it does reveal a mindset that favors rich investors over the individual American home owners. If Romney, the Wall Street Journal, or any other Republican politician or pundit is ever asked about condo conversions, I’m sure their attitude would be the same: speed up the process and allow investors to turn owners into renters. As Evan McKenzie wrote:
“Note that Lord Romney has not a word to say about the people who bought and live in those homes with their spouses and children. He is concerned about the Important People. That would be the ‘investors.'”
On the other hand, while the Democrats talk about protecting consumers from predatory corporations, they are not serious about it, and haven’t done ****. And they’re not going to. Ever.
After several election cycles of trying to get the attention of my elected representatives (and those who want their job), I am convinced that our policy makers will never do anything on behalf of home owners, and that it’s time to put these issues to a popular vote (in states that allow ballot referendums). Too bad there isn’t anybody in my state with the means and/or connections willing to do this.
Three years ago, Lee Rodd — the same Des Moines Register reporter– wrote that
Think about that. A state government’s Assistant Attorney General for consumer protection said that he would be powerless in an H.O.A. corporation. And then think about how even more powerless an average home owner is.
Yet we have one political party that is philisophically and ideologically opposed to providing home owners with legislative relief, becasue that would be “government interference in private contracts”. And we have another political party that talks a lot about protecting consumers from predatory corporations but, for whatever reason, is unable or unwilling to actually do so.
This is a problem that our legislators are not going to fix. Ever.
What homeowners, HOA, etc., and those non deed restricted to a mandatory association do not understand is that in these groups HOAs etc., it does not have to be investors buying up, or attaining in some way the majority vote. It can be just one new owner, typically non residential, and their unit is a rental property, with the want to destroy the property, lives, families, health and finances of their intended victims and to drive them from their homes to steal them and they can take their place within the community, on a board, or whatever they want. Then a double whammy is when these property predators team up with other unscrupulous HOA, etc., board members and they decide they can target, farm, comb, or selectively discriminate and fabricate charges, or fraudulently assess unauthorized, non voted, illegal charges for work, or other they have no legal, or other right to contract. Probably, if they do this, they get theirs free, or they are providing jobs for friends. The innocent homeowner asks about these illegal charges and their life as they know i is over, in their community. Death threats, slapp lawsuits, more property damages, harassment, terrorizing until the innocent homeowner cannot take anymore. They are forced out so their home and equity can be stolen! Many of our courts are corrupt, it appears, and especially in the HOA cases. Wake up America!