The price paid for HOA claims of maintaining property values


March 26, 2006

HOA: About homeowners associations
Meghan Crosby, Cox News Service, middletownjournal.com (Ohio)

Community Associations Institute

One of the greatest advantages of living in a HOA is the maintenance of a neighborhood’s appearance, and, thus, its property values, according to Frank Rathbun, vice president of communications for Community Associations Institute in Alexandria, Va.

“The homeowners control their community. They vote for who represents them. They agree on rules, from architectural guidelines to fences and sheds. It’s the most basic form of democracy — homeowners representing their own best interest.”

“Most do enjoy living in HOAs. But some don’t. Not all people are made to live in community associations.”

Citizens for Constitutional Local Government

HOAs are unregulated mini-governments, according to George Staropoli, founder of Citizens Against Private Government HOAs in Scottsdale, Ariz. Staropoli, a business broker, is perhaps the nation’s most vocal critic of homeowners associations. He writes extensively against HOAs, has taken homeowner rights issues to state legislators and has a Web site — http://www.pvtgov.gov — where he challenges and monitors HOA legislation.

“They are private contracts, and local governments do not protect residents’ due process and equal opportunities of the law,” Staropoli said. “There’s no accountability, and they run as governments themselves.”

HOAs should come under the same protection of constitutional rights just like every other government entity, he said.

“When the board fines you, where do you go for your due process? You go right back to the same people who fined you,”

Staropoli said. He also said he has qualms with the constant monitoring of residents’ property by HOAs.

“It says that we, the board, don’t trust our neighbors, and we have to spy,” Staropoli said. “Is that how you generate a healthy, vibrant community?”

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Published in: on March 26, 2006 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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