HOA Enlightenment Movement is forcing legislatures to protect property values

More and more homeowner rights advocates are realizing that bad media coverage is hurting property values.  They are demanding their legislature to stop the abusive, rogue boards that are giving HOAs a bad image.  The HOA Enlightenment Movement, the surging awareness that HOA regimes have serious legal problems, is the long delayed confrontation with reality that is a “wakeup call” for the legislatures. 

This “no negatives about HOAs” unspoken alliance that has served the industry’s special interests by keeping things under wrap, and not letting the sunlight expose these legal issues that include violations of constitutional law, is collapsing.  The legislatures can no longer stand by with impunity and support the HOA industry through their cooperation, coercion, close nexus in HOA operations, and denials of the equal applications of the laws of the land.  Only just and fair laws will stop the negative exposure of HOA regime un-American conduct.

In Florida, Cyber Citizens for Justice, Jan Bergemann, President, calls the legislature’s attention the following issues:

1. Florida’s economy hinges on a healthy real estate market. Many new retirees, snowbirds and investors are needed to create a healthy real estate market.

2. The nightmare of living in an HOA is hurting our state’s image of retirees moving to Florida to live a hassle free life style.

3. Reforms should create more consumer protection, making Florida again attractive for potential buyers of homes and condos.

In North Carolina, the National Coalition for Homeowner Association Reform group, Jim Lane, Founder, wrote to the legislature,

“Our homes and neighborhoods are at stake — as of now 50% of Homeowners who don’t want an HOA begin to ‘bail out’ of their HOA homes and Buyers go elsewhere, while Property Values go down.”

And in Nevada, newly appointed member of the HOA Ombudsman commission, Bob Frank, is asking the legislature for constitutional protections:

Attached is a BDR intended to help improve HOA property values in Nevada by solving HOA management problems. . . . It is proposed to be labeled the ‘HOA Property Values Enhancement Bill.’ . . . The future speed and depth of recovery of our HOA property markets may depend on this initiative. I believe that most people in this state will be very grateful if you can get HOA contracts bound to our US and NV Constitutions.

Investigative reporter Ward Lucas also echoes this concern for subjecting HOAs to the constitution as is required of all government entities.  In his new book, Neighbors At War!, which is not a book to laugh at but a serious expose of HOA life and what can happen to naive homeowners, he writes,

Your constitutional rights are being secretly shredded . . . A tiny but growing band . . . is at last beginning to say, ‘Enough!.  They can no longer stomach the kind of meaness that can destroy the reputation of an entire neighborhood.  The World Wide Web is giving them a forum they didn’t have before.

It’s only through the challenging, confrontation, and exposure by The Enlightenment Movement followed with the demand for just and fair laws can change be achieved.  Advocates must continue to enlighten state legislators and demand change.

Additional reading on why homeowners are apathetic, aside from the fear of affecting property values, and allow the oppression and injustice to control their lives, see Hign Noon in HOA-Land: members who permit lawless boards to function.


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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] [iv] For a general discussion see, HOA Enlightenment Movement is forcing legislatures to protect property values. […]

  2. Saying things like “protect Constitutional rights of HOA homeowners” sounds wonderful, but a moment’s thought exposes it as nothing more than a hollow plattitude.

    What Constitutional rights are being denied right now?

    What would be the actual wording of legislation to “protect Constitutional rights of HOA homeowners”, and what would it accomplish, exactly?

    • In response to your questions, I guess you need to do a little more reading of my Commentaries.

      • I agree there’s an absence of “trickle-down.”

        First, it is the lawyers — those legal-academic aristocrats — who control the courts as self-appointed “experts” and strongly influence legislators. They must be challenged at their level, and not at the level of the average person. Who else is doing this necessary confrontation?

        Second, I leave it to people like yourself to offer your own opinions and interpretations on my comments at the level you are suggesting.

    • I’ve been reading your commentaries for about 3 years now (off and on), and I’m still not sure what, exactly, it is you’re trying to accomplish.

      No wonder only 50 people signed your petition, even though I suspect tens of millions of Americans would agree with you — if they knew what it was you are trying to say.

      But if you tell them to “read what I wrote at XXXXXX”, you’re going to lose their attention. Trying to decipher your writing is like, well, trying to decipher an HOA adhesion contract/CC&R/deed restriction. Much of what you write sounds like it was written by lawyers for lawyers.

      I understand that there is a lot that needs to be said about this subject, but here’s a challenge: Stop being too clever for your own good, and explain your position(s) and/or solution(s) in 400 words or less; the standard length of a newspaper column.

      If you can do that, then you’re doing a better job than I am. I’ve managed to edit my “manifesto” down to 10 pages, which is why nobody reads it when I go to “townhall” meetings.

      • good point but heart in right place; also, some technology here that most of us couldn’t begin to do!

    • So

      – Jan Bergmann said something,

      – Jim Lane wrote to the legislature,

      – Bob Frank wrote a BDR, and

      – Ward Lucas wrote a book.

      How on earth do you interpet any of this to mean that legislatures are being forced to protect propety values?

      While exposing the HOA industry is important, your headline — “HOA Enlightenment Movement Is Forcing Legislatures To Protect Property Values” — is incredibly misleading and wishful thinking. The “HOA Enlightment Movement” has done no such thing.

      If we are not honest with ourselves, why should anyone else take us seriously?

      • Speaking of honesty, reveal yourself! What else do you have to offer but criticism?

      • It is true that few individuals (like George and I and many dozens of others across the nation) can tolerate the “Wack-A-Mole” game played by the vicious attacks against those of us who openly and publicly object to HOA crimes and gross violations of ethical and honorable treatment of HOA unit owners.

        Most of us leaders have received feedback from hundreds of individuals who are desperately seeking viable solutions to the Nazi-like behavior of a rapidly growing number of HOA boards. Those hundreds of people represent the tens of thousands of others who do not have the courage to speak out for themselves.

        A decade ago, a disgusted HOA unit owner could easily cash in on their HOA investment, buy elsewhere and try again. But, today, the housing market is so upside down that most people are stuck and having to try to figure out how to deal with a bad situation when their HOA boards and “professional” advisers turn out to be bullies and/or potential felons.

        When proposals to state legislators are well-written and accurately documented, they are beginning to listen and consider positive actions. It will take a few years to reverse what has been built in the past 50 years. But, we must understand that the struggle is not over unless or until we give up.

        There is a compelling legal argument that states do not have the authority under the US Constitution to delegate powers to HOA corporations that the Constitution does not allow. HOA statutes and implementing regulations and CC&Rs are full of such unlawful controls.

        Shame on us for allowing such flagrant violations to be continued. It is up to us citizens to demand compliance by our state and local governments to honor and support the Constitution. We should be speaking up at every government meeting and not taking brush offs from media on the take….

        As US citizens we must effectively use the internet media, ballot box, by openly opposing candidate fund-raising efforts for those of all parties who do not honor and defend our Constitutional rights within the HOA system. Many people laughed at the original launch of nonpartisan tea party events, but the future of our nation depends on such public opposition against elected officials who fail their duties.

  3. For those who might not appreciate how important it is to ensure that statutes, CC&Rs and local government policies to guarantee protections of HOA unit owner Constitutional rights, please review this report about the federal civil rights suit against the City of Henderson, NV’s false arrest in 2010.

    Be sure to review all of the linked history files to fully appreciate what happened in this unique case.


  4. Mr. Staropoli and Readers,

    Thanks for the plug about my work to have Nevada certify in statute that US and NV Constitutional rights and protections are guaranteed for all citizens and all tax-paying property owners–not just for non-HOA unit owners.

    I am looking forward to hearing from concerned citizens everywhere in support of having all state governments confirmed that US Constitutional provisions can not be denied or circumvented by HOA statutes, regulations or governing contracts/CC&Rs.

    And, I would like to clarify in the above article where it says “newly appointed member of the HOA Ombudsman commission, Bob Frank,” It should say “newly appointed member of the Nevada Commission for Common Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels (CICCH), Bob Frank,” See my blog.AnthemVOICE.org for more details.)

    This is important because the CICCH is directly appointed by the Governor. It is not subordinate to the Real Estate Division’s “Ombudsman Office”. It directly reports to the Governor, advises the NV Real Estate Division and conducts administrative hearings to punish violations of state HOA laws. For more details, use your search engine for NV CICCH.

    Thanks again to our leader, George Staropoli for his long-term, massive educational and ethical contributions over the past decades on behalf of all Americans. He has made MAJOR contributions to my knowledge and thinking about the HOA situation. Without his public efforts, I would be unable to spend the time to know what has to be known for the future.

    Colonel Robert E. Frank, USAF (Ret.)
    Lifetime, Passionate Supporter and Defender of US Constitutional Protections
    Homeowner Representative, Nevada Commission for Common Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels
    Henderson, NV, bobfrank@cox.net

  5. AMEN!

  6. If HOAs “preserve property values”, as their proponents claim, then the government should — if the homeowner/seller so chooses — require HOA corporations to purchase any property on the market from their members at market value plus the value added by the HOA.

    Think about how much effort and hassle and stress and financial hardship the homeowner/seller would be relieved of. This would actually be a quantifiable benefit of being an HOA member.

    And since HOA properties are so desirable and valuable, the HOA corporation will have no trouble turning around and selling the HOA burdened property.

    This one, simple law would accomplish what a multitude of “band-aid” fixes has failed to do, and will continue to fail to do.

    • Speaking as a former HOA board member, I can not imagine how such an idea could be effectively implemented.

      In my opinion, the focus should be (as George Staropoli and others have argued for so long) on ensuring that state statutes, state regulations and HOA CC&Rs are required to faithfully protect all US and State Constitutional rights and protections–without degrading the purpose of providing services on a non-profit basis to maintain the community property to the standards agreed by the majority of unit owners.

      I am confident that both objectives of equal taxes/equal protections under the laws, as well as high quality maintenance of common properties are feasible. It would bog down and greatly complicate matters to put HOAs into the business of owning and selling units simply because an owner wanted to rid itself of a property burden.

  7. HOA’s for single family residence that are not in gated communities showed be dissolved all together. It’s just a waste of good money. Our HOA only purpose is to maintain the front entry way and cite us for changing the color of our door or installing the wrong style fence. It’s a waste of my good money and I don’t enjoy living under a dictatorship. All I see is greed and harassment. There is no peace in my subdivision because of the greed. Neighbors barely speak but they are moving out and the property value is going down. My next door neighbor sold his home at a $50,000 loss just to get out of this subdivision. HOA’s are a living hell for homeowners.

    • Agree it should be easier for “simple” HOAs to be dissolved. But, highly valuable common property (such as walls, landscaping, roads, street lights, community centers, pools, utilities, etc.) must be deeded to the adjoining and accepting unit owners who become contractually obligated for future maintenance to meet local ordinances.

      Most cities, counties or other HOAs would likely refuse to accept the long-term financial responsibilities for upkeep of any community property from a dissolving HOA. And, with few exceptions, cities and/or counties who authorized the HOA in the first place are unlikely to agree for the HOA to ever be dissolved.

      Unit owners are also likely to legally oppose arbitrary assignment of property maintenance duties that benefit more than just themselves.

      Ensuring fair and just governance systems at the State, Local and community levels for all property owners is likely to be the least cost alternative in the majority of HOA cases.

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