BTW, most of you know, but my new book, “Neighbors At War,” has been out for two weeks and sales have already started! I duplicate this blog over on my website, NeighborsAtWar.com Just click on the HOA HELL button to reach all these same blog posts. You can purchase my book from the webpage, or buy it on Amazon. Just run “Ward Lucas” in the book section and it should pop up.
Homeowners usually get the raw end of the deal when they try to fight the “Bigs” in the HOA industry. Some Homeowners in California are trying to turn that trend around. An HOA in Riverside County has sued three former property managers for “fraud, conspiracy to defraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.” They had employed the management companies for eight years.
Canyon Lake Association then sued its own law firm, Fiore, Racobs & Powers, accusing them of “fraud and malpractice.” They say a lengthy investigation found “no cash management, no separation of accounting duties, credit card abuse by employees, employee salary increases that were not approved by the board.”
More than half of all homeowners in North Carolina live in covenant-controlled developments or Homeowner Associations. One of them is Becky Lew-Hobbs. She and her family owned a home in VillageLakes, near Raleigh. Becky admits the family got behind in their dues when her husband was out of work. But they tried hard to come up with the $1,143.89.
Suddenly, they were told they were being evicted from their own home and had FIVE days to pack up and leave. Becky says they were never notified that their house had been seized in a foreclosure action ten months earlier. That $1100 bill cost them their $160,000 home.
Whenever the news media start trolling for stories about HOA abuse, they seem to be buried with them. This was one of many uncovered by reporter J. David McSwane, of Denver’s Westword Magazine.
He reports that Angela Quinn, a resident in an HOA in Western Washington, was told she could not have an air conditioner in her rental home. She says her neighbor had an A/C unit, and since she was in her third trimester of pregnancy, she figured she could install one in a back window which was not visible from the street.
Despite a few changes in law in such states as Texas and Arizona, Homeowners Associations are developing an increasingly bad reputation because of the ongoing spate of news stories about homeowners abused by the HOA system. Homeowners wrongly believe that HOAs are created to maintain property values and help homeowners get along with each other. Nothing could be further from the truth.