The following is my conclusion in Why people do harm to others in the HOA subculture.
Looking Toward the Future
In the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments researchers explored what evil men can and will do to others 1) under repeated pressure from authority figures to follow the rules, and 2) in an environment where one is expected to act in accordance to the roles of the community. The researchers found that basically good people will indeed do harm, even do severe harm, to others. The conditions and factors present in these experiments exist within the HOA community, and the harm being done to others in these HOAs is well documented in the media and in the courts.
The authoritarian insistence on enforcing complete obedience to the CC&RS, as repeatedly impressed on HOA boards by their attorneys, is well documented. The compliance by the directors and officers with these pressures for enforcement is well documented. The blind obedience, apathy, and passivity to authority by HOA members – the “prisoners” — who sign and agree to provisions blatantly detrimental to their interests, is well documented. The adoption of the roles demanded of them by the system and by the situation — state laws and the court opinions, the adhesion CC&Rs and governing documents, and the lack of effective recourse — is well documented.
The numerous “educational” seminars taught by the attorneys and managers, many of which are sponsored by state and local governments, serve not to fully inform but to indoctrinate the members into roles of obedience and passivity, is well documented. Good people doing bad things or remaining silent in the midst of wrongful acts and actions by the HOA is well documented.
State governments, the legislatures, cannot allow HOAs to continue to run amuck and to freely violate the laws and their contractual obligations without legitimate and necessary constraints holding them accountable for the harm that they do to others. Stop the “free rides.”
Do not be conned by the HOA special interests unsubstantiated fear mongering about the demise of HOAs, and their “only 5% are bad”, so we don’t need any restrictions. Property crimes over the past 5 years averaged 3.3% yet we have laws. Murder and rape rates are so miniscule compared to 5% (roughly 5 in 100, 000, or .00005), yet we have laws against these crimes. If HOAs are indeed the next best thing to Mom’s apple pie, then they will survive. If not, then it was the factor that “we got a good thing going here,” in terms of anything goes, that was the driving force behind all the clamor. Fear not, people will continue to buy homes that are truly their private property.
But, to let the people in HOAs continue to do harm to others and do nothing as a matter of public policy is shameful.
Read the full paper here.