So his homeowners association levied fine after fine and put a lien on his home though he’d coughed up nearly $50,000 to pay fines and other related costs. Eventually, his home was foreclosed because Darius still owed $24,591.
On Aug. 15 – after losing his one-story home and two days before he would be evicted – Darius’ next door neighbor heard an explosion about 2:20 a.m. Patti McCallister ran outside, saw Darius’ home burning and called 911.
Firefighters found Darius’ badly burned body lying on the floor of his living room in the back of his home.
HOAs will continue to have serious problems because:
1. They are based on an undemocratic authoritarian legal scheme that does NOT place the individual rights and freedoms of the members first, as does our Constitution, but the monetary goal of maintaining property values.
2. Consequently, this un-American private government exists outside the Constitution and its protections of the people. All the legal court battles are attempts to restore those lost rights.
3. The misleading claims of agreement by homeowners is superficial and would not stand up to judicial scrutiny for the valid surrender of one’s rights. The mere filing of CC&Rs with the county clerk is sufficient to legally bind lot owners, sight unseen, and is a mockery of both Constitutional and contract law.
4. Then there is the unspoken alliance of local governments, state legislatures, consumer protection agencies, and public interest firms who shout “individual rights” and “no government interference”, but see no problem with private government interference. And that also includes CAI.
5. Community Associations Institute (CAI) was formed back in 1973 to address these problems with the HOA legal scheme, yet these problems continue to exist in spite of all that “education” provided for board members, managers, and legislators. Would you hire a training firm with that record? State and local governments seem not have a problem and hire “the failure to get results” CAI.
6. CAI is on record in its amicus brief to the NJ appellate court in the Twin Rivers case, cautioning the court about the “unwise extension of constitutional protections to homeowners” in HOAs. The common law synopsis of court decisions regarding covenants takes a decided editorial opinion rather than a neutral summary of the cases when it states, for example, that if there’s a difference between servitudes law (covenants) and constitutional law, servitudes law should apply (§ 3.1, comment h).
6. The media, even in this article, takes the premise and presumption that the HOA unquestionably has the right to act, and that its motives are pure and for the benefit of the community. None of the above substantive issues are ever delved into.
In order to avoid another 40-odd years of continued injustice and discontent, government authorities and legislatures must address the above issue of substance, and stop their participation in the unspoken alliance of “No negatives about HOAs”.