In order to understand what this Commentary is addressing, here is a general definition of “public policy.” First, “public interest” refers to the “common well-being” or “general welfare.” “Public policy” is generally defined as,
A principle that no person or government official can legally perform an act that tends to injure the public.
Public policy manifests the common sense and common conscience of the citizens as a whole that extends throughout the state and is applied to matters of public health, safety, and welfare. It is general, well-settled public opinion relating to the duties of citizens to their fellow citizens. Public policy enters into, and influences, the enactment, execution, and interpretation of legislation.
Yet, with respect to HOAs we find that, over the years and in almost every state, the acts and actions, the absence of acts and actions, and the statements and communications by state legislators, government officials and court decisions have created a pro-HOA public policy. I summarized this policy as,
The Public Policy of the states with respect to Homeowners Associations.
1. To protect and defend the HOA;
2. That “you are on your own,” and not inform those now living in HOAs, or about to buy into an HOA, that they will not be protected by the state against HOA wrongs and that HOA violations will go unpunished;
3. To allow HOAs to violate contractual provisions and state laws, as such lawlessness does not constitute an issue of public interest warranting state involvement and protection;
4. To ensure the survival of the HOA, even if it requires the denial of rights and freedoms enjoyed by those not living in HOAs;
5. To protect and defend HOAs as if they were necessary for the security of the state, warranting the suspension of constitutional protections.