Cry Baby Cry

Guest Blog by Nila Ridings

Long ago we learned it’s no secret that HOAs despise children. Especially kids who ride bicycles, throw balls, want purple swing sets and playhouses, and now…even babies who cry! Little Peter Ronnevik cries like all healthy babies. However, he was living in a condo where he was not allowed to cry according to Peter’s neighbor. (Who refuses to allow his name to be published!)

Jessica and Karl Ronnevik wised up and moved out of the condo. Their intolerant-of-crying neighbor suggested they buy some parenting books. I am suggesting they buy Neighbors At War by Ward Lucas. They very well might not have realized how close they came to a legal battle over Peter’s vocal cords, but they should not buy another roof over their heads without reading Ward’s book.

Nobody addresses the REAL PROBLEM here. So, I will. It’s the construction of the condos. Cheap, just like cereal boxes, cheap. No sound barriers, nothing more than some drywall boards for the sound barrier. For sound sensitive people,  As we all know, condos are not a good place to live, period. But the poor quality construction means if the neighbor coughs, blows his nose, or snores at a level that would compete with a freight train, you are going to hear all of it and sometimes in three-part harmony! If the dog barks, the phone rings, they play or practice their piano or saxophone, the TV is above whisper level, or their 5 AM wake-up alarm blares, you are going to hear it. It’s the end result of cheap construction!

There is an old saying: “Long after the sweetness of a low price is gone the bitterness of poor quality remains.” Everybody living in an condo or town house should post that on their refrigerator and nightstand. We need a constant reminder that cheap housing always comes with a higher price to pay in one form or another.

For Mr. Anonymous in Greensboro, Connecticut who despises crying children, I hope you never become a parent.

(link to story on crying baby)


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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.

4 thoughts on “Cry Baby Cry

  1. Ward Lucas Post author

    Hi Ward, it’s Mindy from Facebook.

    I can’t lay down and die on this one. They illegally evicted me from my home yesterday. Why? Because I got to loud for them and started telling everyone what they’ve done.

    Ward, I have to be able to do something. They recorded my family most private moments. A hole in my daughters shower, she’s 11. It blows my mind that they have so much pull they believe they can get away with it. They have sued 700 of 1200 homes, that’s crazy to me. Who governs these hoa/poas?

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      Hi Mindy. Sometimes you can get criminal charges filed, especially, if they did something like violating your daughter’s privacy. But any action you take just increases the odds of them becoming even worse. Get out of your HOA. The whole HOA structure is beginning to rot. I suspect that a couple decades from now HOAs will just be an ugly memory. People are getting smart.

  2. Angela

    I didn’t used to hear my neighbors much until my neighbors below installed laminate flooring. Now I hear them all the time: footsteps, TV, loud voices, etc. Unfortunately there is no rule about a certain percentage of any unit having to have carpeting. When I brought this up at a meeting, I was told I needed to go door to door to collect enough signatures so they could call a vote to change the CR & Rs. They said there was no way they could even make my neighbors put down some area rugs to dampen the sound. Really?


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