Don’t ever tell yourself the world of Homeowners Associations can’t get any wackier. The stories are sometimes too outrageous to believe. Here’s another.
The president of the Coronado Place Homeowners Association in Tucson is handing out speeding fines and then threatening to shut off the water if those fines aren’t paid. Under Arizona state law, that’s illegal. But it took public exposure by a great reporter at KVOA News to embarrass this women into backing down.
(link to the latest HOA outrage)
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Christmas. What a wonderful holiday. I love it as much as I love Hanukkah and the Seder and all the other religious holidays. In fact, I love any religious person’s special days. It’s just what we do in America.
But why, oh why, are Homeowners Associations coming down so hard on holiday lights? I get it that some light displays are over the top. I get it that gorgeous light displays bring more traffic into a neighborhood. But the greater spirit I see during the holidays satisfies an inner part of my soul. Homeowners Associations, as far as I know, are the only entity in America where expressing your religious beliefs is verboten.
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Christians are Considered ‘Icky’ to HOAs?
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The Illinois Supreme Court has handed down some pretty goofy decisions on behalf of Homeowners Associations. I loved the one last year, the ruling that gave untrained, private HOA security guards police powers, the ability to pull over motorists and hand out tickets.
This latest one is a humdinger. It makes any new buyer of a condo responsible for all unpaid assessments, fines and legal costs run up by the previous owner IF it fails to pay the first monthly assessment on time. Once again, ask yourself what financial organization in its right corporate mind would invest in an HOA? And if you can’t find lenders, what does that do to property values?
Whew! There’s a nasty dispute going on in the Cobblestone Community Homeowners Association in Atlanta. It’s a very tidy neighborhood of upscale Atlantans. But the HOA president and treasurer won’t release financial documents to show how dues are being spent. The neighbors want to throw out the board members and get an audit done. The HOA president won’t schedule an election.
The cops have been called. Neighbors have to meet in a nearby library. Watch the video. You have to admire the comments by the news anchor at the end of the story!
A few days ago, I wrote of a Homeowners Association in Hayden, Idaho that threatened to sue a homeowner who put up excessive Christmas lights and decorations. HOA officials were upset because the display attracted lots of traffic to the neighborhood.
But isn’t that what we all do at Christmas? We drive around looking for the most beautiful light displays. It’s a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. I know plenty of Jews, atheists and agnostics who drive around admiring all the wonderful decorations. “Peace on Earth, good will to men,” is how the song goes. And that message resounds through all religious barriers.