Introducing The City HOA

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Pagedale, Missouri appears to have learned the “tricks of the trade” from HOAs by turning homeowners into cash cows.

Most city codes do not allow for cars up on jacks in driveways or front yards. They frown on RVs, travel trailers, and eighteen wheelers parked in driveways. And peeling paint or a falling fence will no doubt be met with a violation warning letter. But the City of Pagedale has a line of homeowners waiting to pay fines for a BBQ grill in the front yard, a free-standing basketball goal on the driveway, or the wrong color of blinds in the windows. If the windows are missing screens it makes for another reason to fine the homeowners. Even an 84 year old woman has been ordered to change her window treatments or be fined.

I’m wondering if a former HOA board member has been elected to the Pagedale City Council? This behavior sounds all too familiar!

The Institute for Justice has gotten word of this excessive fining against the Pagedale homeowners. After investigating the homeowner’s claims they stepped in with a lawsuit against the city. It’s unfortunate this group doesn’t come to the rescue of the HOA homeowners, too.

Be sure to take note of the homeowner who has taken out loans to pay her fees at close to a 100% interest rate. I think somebody also needs to investigate this lender as well!

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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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