The Fall of 'the American Experiment': Homeowner preference for HOA regimes

Homeowners seem to prefer the private contractual government arrangement that controls and regulates not only the use of their private property, but also the behavior of the people themselves within the homeowner association community.  They seem to prefer the policing and enforcement functions of the HOA designed to maintain property values, and turn a blind eye to the lack of protections of their rights and freedoms within this independent form of authoritarian government.

. . . .

One can only conclude that homeowners under HOA regimes must look to their private constitutions, their CC&Rs, for whatever protections they may have, and not to the US Constitution.  Unfortunately, in order to make enforcement first and foremost within these regimes, old proven methods had to be employed – the suspension of fundamental rights and freedoms in the HOA “constitutions”. 

This seems an acceptable trade-off for many homeowners in New America.

Read the complete commentary at Experiment.

Published in: on December 21, 2007 at 7:51 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Homeowners are not the ones expressing a preference for HOAs at all. Although one might argue that a specific individual theoretically has a “choice” to not live in one, there is not a huge mismatch between available housing and population. Accordingly, given the sizeable percentage of homes in HOAs, a significant portion of the population has NO CHOICE but to live in an HOA.
    If you see a lot of cockroaches in an area does one assume that it’s because cockroaches are desirable? By similar logic, one must assume that a lot of people liked the Bubonic plague because they contracted it.
    Numerosity of HOAs does not equate to popularity. Like cockroaches, mold, and other maladies, the growth in the number of HOAs is more a sign of a disease rather than popularity.
    Looking to CCRs for protection is like asking the rat-borne flea carrying the bubonic plague for aid. The CCRs were not set up for the homeowner and will not have any protection for the homeowner. Such protections must inherently come from other sources. As evidenced by some of the OAH cases this year, one still must turn to forums OUTSIDE the HOA in order to compel the HOA to behave.
    What is missing in nearly every CCR is some type of restriction against the HOA. If a homeowner wants to enforce a covenant, they can go to court where the validity, enforceability, etc. of the covenant can be examined and where due process, equal protection, etc. must be applied. If the HOA wants to impose a restriction, it does so without having to go to court, without regard to due process, equal protection, validity of the restriction, or even authority to impose such a restriction.
    These HOAs must be eliminated as they currently exist. Over 60 million people are involuntary members of HOAs. What do you think might happen if one presidential candidate suggested addressing the problems with HOAs? The status quo won’t mention it. Perhaps an underdog?
    The only happy HOA people I’m aware of are developers, declarants, and directors & offficers of the HOA. Are enough people negatively affected by HOAs that a promise to actually provide protections for homeowners in HOAs could change the outcome of an election? (By the way, associations don’t vote – people do. Fortunately, the federal elections will not be counted by your HOA management company or disregarded at the whim of the Board members).

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