Category Archives: beekeeping

Drones! Drones! Drones!

I should charge money for psychic readings!  It was four or five years ago that I began predicting the advent of drones and that they would eventually be cheap enough for the boards of Homeowners Associations to start using them to inspect the most private part of your property. Your nude sunbathing or hot tub trysts could be played on the TV set at the HOA clubhouse and you probably wouldn’t win a legal case.

Well, so far I’m batting about 90% so far. The drones are here. They cost as little a four hundred bucks. And they’re popping up in thousands and thousands of places. Realtors are using them to advertise homes and neighborhoods. Terrorists are using them to interfere with commercial aircraft. Voyeurs are using them to videotape you and your lover on the backyard blanket. The FAA only controls drones in airspace over 1000 feet.

Privacy? Fugeddaboutit!

There’ve been a number of cases where homeowners have shot drones out of the air. The shooters usually end up being arrested and jailed. But it’s a whole new area of developing law and will probably take a decade or more to resolve. In the meantime even if a jury finds you not guilty you will have expended hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees.

(link to shoot a drone, go to jail, do not collect $200. It ain’t Monopoly money, folks!)


Sexual Harassment! And You Pay!

This one is huge, and it’s developing right now in Colorado.

A Homeowners Association in Vail is being sued because one of the supervisors in the management company was a jerk who was mistreating female Mexican workers. The Feds are now suing both the management company and the condo association.

I’ve owned two ski condos in that same area and I never had a clue who the management company was. I did get dinged a couple of times when I tried to change the locks on my doors. The management company bored through the locks, changed the door handle and charged me for their work. Yes, I was p.o.’d about that and it was one of the reasons I finally dumped the condos when the market improved.

But what if a federal EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit/judgment happened while I was still an owner? I could have been hit with a 10 to 50 thousand dollar special assessment for something I had zero knowledge about. Most Vail condos are owned by average people in Denver who just want to ski a week or two a year and rent them out the rest of the year to make the mortgage payments.

Incredible that completely innocent homeowners or condo owners could be financially ruined by this kind of thing.

(link to legal news on EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit)


A Great Resource & Great Publicity

guest blog by Jill Schweitzer

I’m a painter, and painting a picture: Imagine living in a neighborhood where you can’t have a bench to sit on in your front yard. Imagine a Board member tries getting the board to fix a drainage issue multiple times, the Board and HOA property manager do nothing, and the condo eventually floods. Imagine having a leak for 11 months in your dining room, HOA still has not fixed it. Imagine an HOA trying to get the Board to agree to sign a Code of Conduct giving all control to the President and property manager, the rest of the Board does nothing in between meetings. Imagine a property manager that is so bad that 12% of the owners sell and move out in approximately six months, and note that the management company makes $4800 in transfer/disclosure fees as their reward for poor management?

Also note that most of those new buyers probably weren’t too happy this week to receive notice there may be a 3-5 thousand dollars special assessment. Imagine a property management company trying to charge for coupons, charging for printing because they think it’s different from copies, and trying to pay the old company a ridiculously high termite warranty renewal fee and then pretending the new termite company only gave a two year warranty, when it’s actually five years…all these situations have happened.

“Buying into an HOA with your eyes wide open” is a 22 page report about HOAs in Arizona, but basically applies everywhere. The situations above didn’t make it into the report. This week the report is being released to the world…if everyone gives it to five people, with the ‘give to five people’ message, the information could spread. Send to friends, realtors, legislators, Association of Realtors, Real Estate Commissioner, judges, news stations..even leave copies in your Doctor’s office. How refreshing to grab this report rather than your typical waiting room magazine.

One piece of material educating people on many aspects of HOA living, with a multitude of examples, written to help buyers know what they need to look for when buying into an HOA. A real eye opener…change occurs one buyer and one HOA at a time.

Legislators need to make substantial changes to the law and can’t ignore this. If they do, lets hold a rally. Most real estate agents I know are disgusted and want this changed. Today it was made available to 4700 of them. Please help by giving this report to 5 people and ask them to give it out to five people.

(go to report, print this out and distribute)

(KPHO-TV news story about Jill Schweitzer’s brochure!)

Want to Keep You Entertained!

Yes, I want to keep all of you entertained and coming back to Neighbors At War. So forgive me if I’m reposting old material but I get a good belly laugh each time I hear this old Pete Seeger song. It’s so true for so many of us!

For a great history on Seeger’s Little Boxes hit, see the following:

(link to Little Boxes history)