guest blog by Deborah Goonan (Independent American Communities)
How many times have we heard homeowners, Community Association Managers and attorneys lament about apathy in HOAs? A quick Google search on “HOA Apathy” results in dozens of articles on the subject. Few attend annual meetings, so there’s never a quorum. No one wants to serve on the Association’s board. Does anyone actually read emails, newsletters, or the website?
It’s fantastic news when an HOA board member is convicted of embezzling from all her neighbors. It’s horrible when the judge decides that probation is adequate punishment. Homeowners Associations are mini-governments that should theoretically be governed by the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, board members should be treated and considered as politicians. And an embezzling board member should be treated as a corrupt politician.
There’s a pretty good handful of politicians who’ve been sent to prison for corruption. Think ABSCAM if anybody remembers that one.
One of the biggest HOA scandals in Colorado is that voters wanted an HOA ombudsman’s office created. The Legislature did so. But this office in DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies) is worse than worthless. When my book, Neighbors At War, first came out I attended a seminar put on by the newly created Colorado HOA office. I was encouraged that such an office had been proposed. But halfway through the talk by the head of the State office the Southeast Denver Marriot Hotel, I found myself standing up and confronting the head of this state office with his total ignorance of HOA controversies. He’s a state board member, and dumber than a box of rocks.
guest blog, permission by Donie Vanitzian (LA Times Columnist)
QUESTION: For more than two years, I’ve experienced nothing but problems with my homeowner association board and management. They are uncooperative and obstructive. After eliminating all my administrative remedies, I now believe the only way to fix these serious problems is to sue them.
I’ve interviewed three attorneys, but each is requiring a retainer of at least $20,000. Realizing I don’t have enough money to sue the board and the association, I asked each attorney to take the case on a contingency basis. No attorney would agree to that.
Millions of people around the world have opened their homes to Airbnb, the service that for a small price can find homeowners willing to share their homes for a brief time to travelers. It sounds like a wonderful idea. When a close relative of mine died in Oregon and I couldn’t find a nearby motel I turned to Airbnb for what changed from a few days to a month-long ordeal. In a neighborhood of hundreds of homes I added just one extra car to the daily traffic.