Tag Archives: Nila Ridings

The Letter From Dave Clouse

guest blog by Nila Ridings

It seems Dave Clouse had some things he needed to get off his chest about his condo so he wrote the editor of the Bradenton Herald.

Dave’s condo complex, Bridgewater Townhomes in Point Pleasant has a termite issue. Well, really it sounds more like a serious problem. And the termite problem is more serious because the HOA board refuses to allow proper treatment to wipe out the termites.

No tenting! That’s right when termites are severe enough the entire structure has to be “tented” and everybody has to leave the premise for an extended time period. What also happens is EVERYBODY sees this tent and wants to know what it is and why it’s needed. That is precisely why the HOA board does not want this type of negative attention drawn to Bridgewater Townhomes in Pleasant Point. Nope. It’s better to let the termites eat the building to the ground than to let the “outsiders” know the place is infested with termites! I’ve found that to be typical HOA board common sense.

Dave starts his letter with: “Buyer beware! Many people are attracted to the maintenance-free lifestyle that duplexes, condos and townhome owners enjoy. It is attractive to have the homeowners association be responsible for the outside maintenance of your building and property, especially if you only live here part time.”

I must say that is the propaganda that buyers are fed when they are looking to jump into the dark abyss of HOA ownership. He is correct in sounding the alarm of, “Buyer beware!”

The termite concern is just one of many that come with condos. Most people do not realize they will be needing approval for the interior changes they plan to make as well. Thinking of wood floors? Think again. Most condos allow wood floors on the ground floor only. From the second floor up those folks have cork floors. I visited a friend in a million dollar plus ocean front condo in Naples, Florida that had cork flooring. I didn’t like the look or feel of it. She didn’t like carpeting, but wood floors were out of the question. Tile floors? No, no, no, not having those either. Just more reasons to never buy a condo or in an HOA for that matter.

As for poor Dave Clouse, I hope he gets out before the termites digest his home!

(link to termite letter in Bradenton Herald)


Trust A Lawyer?!?!?!

Yikes! How can I say that having two brothers who are lawyers? And how can I say that after passing the LSAT and being offered a free ride through the University of Washington Law School?

I can say that as a forty-year journalist watching lawyers in court. Never trust a lawyer.

In the link below, a CAI lawyer has tried to simplify the ‘education’ process for prospective buyers. It’s a good step forward. But I like Nila Ridings idea of making all HOA home buyers sign an acknowledgement that each buyer isn’t really buying a home. He or she is buying shares of stock in a non-profit corporation where every single asset, every bank account, every stock account, every college education account is pledged as security to pay for each and every misdeed, miscalculation, embezzlement and lawsuit involving the HOA.

Run, people, run!

Run from that HOA purchase as fast as you can!

Tell your Realtor, “Don’t show me anything in an HOA!”

(link to new HOA ‘disclosure’ papers)


Showing Support For Your Candidate

guest blog by Nila Ridings

It’s that time when signs, signs, and more signs will be seen. Signs of all sizes and colors will start to appear. The exception will be in the HOAs where the restrictions apply to size, location, lighting, and dates for display. Count on the HOA board to have their cronies watching your every move with a political sign…unless the board president happens to be supporting the same candidate. Then it will most likely be okay to have your sign out whenever and wherever you’d like. Rules seem to only apply to the supporters of the candidates the board dislikes.

We have one city in Kansas that is trying to ban candidates from campaigning in their city neighborhoods. The Kansas legislators created a bill to stop that from happening. I believe that bill is still pending. I think it is ridiculous since homeowners are not forced to open the door if they do not wish to speak to someone, anyone, political candidate or otherwise. On the other hand it gives the homeowner the chance to share their concerns one-on-one with a candidate. I know candidates get an earful about HOA nightmares when they knock on the doors in my neighborhood. Those discussions helped open the doors for our legislators to listen about the abuses that happen in HOAs. So, I say, let em’ knock and talk.

Here’s a Donald J. Trump supporter who either doesn’t live in an HOA or is willing to suffer the consequences of having a mega sign. Either way, it’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen in a residential setting.

Mama “Goes Grizzly” on HOA Bully

guest blog by Nila Ridings
Just when I think I’ve read my craziest HOA story yet…here comes another!
Burl Fluharty, head of Westfields Condominium Association in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania must be on some kind of power trip. He’s decided that kids from an adjacent HOA-free subdivision should be subjected to his dictatorship, too! The two neighborhoods share a street, and Fluharty demanded they quit riding bicycles there….or he’d call the police!
Dorene Akujobi pounced like an Alaskan Mama bear protecting her cubs.  If her kids ride their bikes on the shared street, she’ll protect them from Burl’s verbal abuse.  She growled and showed her teeth and maybe her claws, too. “Bully Burl” has no jurisdiction outside of his HOA fiefdom. And Mama Grizzly stood her ground.
Fluharty, realizing his threats to call the cops weren’t scaring Dorene, tried another tactic. He had his HOA attorney, Robert Stewart, write a letter threatening a lawsuit. Fluharty must have been thinking “if I can’t scare her with the threat of cops, I’ll scare her with the threat of going to court! If it works on my turf, it should work on hers!” (And how nice that his HOA gets to pay this guy’s idiotic legal bills!)
As Fluharty continued to press his case, he argued that the real reason he wanted the kids off the street was because elderly drivers in his condos might not see them! It apparently didn’t dawn on him that elderly drivers who can’t see kids on bikes probably shouldn’t be driving.
But there was a lovely followup to the story as related in one of the comments below from a fellow neighbor: It seems the Township’s attorney wrote a letter to Fluharty telling him to cease and desist flinging his threats around the neighborhood. Even if he is an HOA president, there are limits to his power.   
Back to Mama Grizzly: “Way to go, Dorene!”