rebuttal of CAI 's, "Issues and Perspectives" – pt 1

 The following is a rebuttal of certain assertions and claims found in the CAI online “brochure”, Issues and Perspectives.


1.  What to Ask Before You Buy (from CAI’s Issues and Perspectives brochure)

 a.  Issues often arise because of false expectations, misinformation and misunderstanding. You can help ensure a more positive community experience by learning all you can about a community before you buy or rent a home in that neighborhood.

Comment:  This is so disingenuous!  There are no warning notices and advisories to inform homebuyers for “learning all you can about the community”.  For example, that they are entering into a private government where the Bill of Rights does not apply.  Or, that they are providing their homes as collateral for the HOA’s survival, without compensating protections against abuse.  Essentially, the HOA “constitution” is a repudiation of the principles of the American system of democracy.

The CAI propaganda materials, like this brochure and alleged survey, serves CAI’s agenda in defense of the status quo.  The only changes CAI seeks, as evidenced from its repeated appeals, is for the homeowners to get more involved, ignoring the fact that the declaration is an unconscionable adhesion agreement favoring the corporate entity, the HOA, against its members.   And, homebuyers were buying a home, not a political job.


b.  Community associations exist because they offer choices, lifestyles, amenities and efficiencies that people value. Yet, with all of their inherent advantages, community associations face complicated issues, none more common than the challenge of balancing the rights of the individual homeowner with those of the community as a whole.

Comment:  How does CAI explain the fact that its lawyers had opposed the “extension of constitutional protections for homeowners . . .”  in its amicus curiae brief to the NJ appellate court (the Twin Rivers free speech case)?  I guess its “balancing” is a bit slanted in favor of HOA governments.


c.  While assessments, rules and regulations are important, don’t overlook other fundamental questions: Is it the right kind of community for you and your family?

Comment:  This is a serious question for all homeowners to consider. Homeowners may like the idea of “carefree living”, of the HOA as an enforcer of rules that are alleged designed to maintain property values, or the lifestyle in those specific HOAs that can be considered a resort or retirement community, but not those that are essentially a community of one’s home, of residences.  But, in absence of any information or communications from the authorities — from consumer protection agencies, from the real estate agent, — from the developer, or from the media as a watch dog on reality, how can a buyer make an informed and intelligent decision?  He is not informed of any downside to HOA living, and therefore, he carries a mistaken expectation that he remains under the protection of the democratic jurisdiction of the local government and state.  Not true, as Evan McKenzie mentioned long ago in 1994: the HOA member argues about his rights that he does not have in an HOA. (See Privatopia).

Buyers can buy into an HOA with the above realizations and knowledge, but his choice to proceed is a choice to reject the principles of democratic government in exchange for loose statements about maintaining property values.  There are no defenses that  the buyer does not reject the Constitution.  Is that the “right kind of decision for you and your family”?

Issues and Perspectives:
Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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