Now, South Carolina

Slowly, but surely state legislators are hearing from bullied homeowners that the national HOA scam is ruining lives. And more news agencies are doing stories on out-of-control boards. The story linked below is from South Carolina which has a growing number of homeowner complaints.

Legislators tell themselves, “Of course, we can pass some laws.” Only problem is they can’t. The U.S. Constitution guarantees the ‘right to contract.’ And you certainly can sign a contract to give up your constitutional rights. That’s the rub. Florida’s Deborah Goonan has it right when she says at least we can license HOA management companies. That’s a good start. But it won’t end the nightmare of board members who feel entitled and empowered to throw their weight around.

Still, the more people who complain to legislators, the better. Ultimately, though, the solution has to come from the courts.

(link to homeowner complaints in South Carolina)



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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.

3 thoughts on “Now, South Carolina

  1. Christine Bryant

    The toxic arrogance of Victoria Cohen’s remarks are indicative of how bully boards and the management companies they hire are empowered to abuse and harass the owners they supposedly ‘represent’. Why do I get the impression Ms. Cohen has ties to CAI? CAI is nothing more than a lobbying organization with the intentions to stifle owners rights and strengthen the laws to protect bully boards, CAI member management companies and law firms that represent Associations only. The individual homeowner has little chance of fighting Goliath unless they have unlimited financial resources. There has to be strict legislative review and oversight over how lobbying entities like CAI, management companies and boards are allowed to operate. I believe electing owners to a govern other owners is a conflict of interest and the root cause of the misery of living in a CID environment!

  2. tom dee

    I think one thing that can be done is to force the board of directors to actually do the work and not farm it out. The board members are not drafted into the position so if they are unhappy they can resign. Unless it is a matter of special needs all work must be done by the directors or employees of the HOA. I think most special needs would be address by the need of a professional license or certificate like obtained by a certified accountant. Other than needing a special degree or certificates there really is very little reason to have a professional corporation running things like collecting fines and inspecting properties. If they have less inspections then they will have less fines leaving the board more time for running the day to day affairs. Also I think that board of directors cannot use any votes from people who own the property but do not live in the property presently. It would be a good idea that all board members be required to live in the hoa housing. There is little doubt that much of the abuse is people who run many hoa and do so for personal profit.
    I have read some web pages dedicated to helping directors in ways to force homeowner to pay fines. I remember one telling the hoa to stop providing services until they did pay the fine. My question is if the hoa provides swimming pool as part of the yearly fee are they not stiffing and cheating the homeowner when they do not provide that service?

  3. Kim

    “The U.S. Constitution guarantees the ‘right to contract.’ And you certainly can sign a contract to give up your constitutional rights.” Did I read this correctly? You mean did we knowingly sign a contract giving up our constitutional rights or was this slight of hand? And was this an actual two party contract with all disclosures agreed upon by both parties? Absolutely not…..This problem goes way beyond the licensing of HOA management companies, what about the HOA’s that don’t use management companies? If we are going to fix this then fix it across the board no more piece meal legislature. This was a failed system from the start and not well thought out and it was put in place without protections. If you can not guarantee oversight and accountability then maybe they should be abolished and the counties do their jobs instead of passing the buck. Homeowners get double taxed, all along counties get grant monies and a certain amount per household even from the homes within an HOA and what do the homeowners get? They get screwed out of their investments along with their hard earned money from rogue out of control boards. This needs to stop.


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