Organize, organize, organize, but organize your local HOA

I’ve come to realize that we, including yours truly, have gone about this national association all wrong.  The vast majority of HOA members have grievances against their own HOA and some reach out to broader issues like rights and constitutional protections only in regard to their personal HOA problem.  That is the chief reason for failing to organize at a state or national level. So, let’s face reality and deal with it.

My initial thoughts take me to [My Association] Council of HOA Members that functions in opposition to the board as a true member organization, as a shadow government with certain legal rights.  It would be free of director/officer obligations under state laws and the CC&Rs that favor the HOA board.  HOA directors or officers are not accepted as members. Think in terms of the HOA being a business corporation, like we are being told that they are, and the Council would be equivalent to the member organization in contrast to  management.

They would have legally protected rights to organize, negotiate living conditions (affecting the governing documents, and to propose its own governing document amendments that must be put forth for a vote of all the members. These protections are necessary to get around the HOA attorneys’ “working with the new laws” advice that is designed to avoid the intent of the law – finding loopholes in other words.  It would serve as a check on the abuses of HOA boards.

The HOA could not legally interfere with campaigning for elections or on issues, or with the right to hold meetings on and within HOA facilities, or with the use of the HOA membership lists, etc.  And most importantly, in the event it gets corrupted, the Council can be dissolved by a 2/3 vote without the 20 or 30 year wait period found in the CC&Rs. But the members must stand up and act under the protection of the required new legislation, which must address retaliation against Council supporters.

Of course, legislation would be needed, as was needed to protect workers in the 1930s.  You can call it unionization or the establishment of an HOA “political party.” These Councils would fit the bill.  Of course, a broader state organization would be needed to provide guidance and assistance to the councils – can’t have them running amuck because they do not understand what must be done in order to accomplish their agendas. 

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 6:50 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] of HOA Members for each HOA that is legally recognized as a bargaining entity for HOA members. See Organize, organize, organize, but organize your local HOA. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to adopt a law establishing HOA membership bargaining […]

  2. […] [ii] See a nationwide proposal at Organize, organize, organize, but organize your local HOA. […]

  3. Hi George, we all well know that it is hard to find willing UNPAID participants in this quagmire now. The rampant apathy among HOA members is precisely why their boards are filled with unscrupulous people in the first place … should any housing consumer fail to show a willingness to participate in running an HOA, he should avoid membership property at the onset or his residential housing search. To those many millions currently living in the confines of one, and may decide to remain within an HOA that more than likely is currently run by idiots and populated with apathetic residents, I suggest it be better do what may be necessary to re populate your HOA with those willing to be vigilant. Separate HOAs from regulars houses, and name the damn things “MEMBERSHIP PROPERTY” so the consumer can make a clear choice.

  4. George in theory this is a great suggestion but unfortunately many homeowners life if fear of their boards and the abuse of power the boards will do to prevent organizing on this type of level. I don’t know what the answer is but am grateful for your suggestions and persistance in wanting to reform HOA government. Your accomplishments in making it evident to the state of AZ, that HOA bills need to be passed on their own merit, is a start in making the state government that not only do HOA’s have too much power but elected officials are willing to give them more. You caught Ugenti in the act. I am looking to the new attorney general in 2014 to do HOA reform with more oversight. The bad board members have to be removed and those running for office need to know they have to keep their government clean and be working for their neighbors not against them. (or trying to destroy them through abuse, foreclosure and
    excessive fees to the bad CAI attorneys.)

    • Thanks for your comments. Cooperation by the legislature to support justice in HOAs will not happen unless the legislative leadership realizes that Machiavelli must go! And that starts with disciplinary action against Ugenti.

      Homeowners must realize the importance of the stance that the leadership is or will be taking in this matter. Failure to act would only cause the stakeholder assisted Ugenti legislation to resurface next year. Hopefully, a fair game will be offered whereby the legislators and people can vote on specific legislation rather than this BS “all or nothing” omnibus (ominous) approach.

      Homeowners must fight for their rights and urge action by the Speaker of the House to expel Ugenti.

  5. I don’t live within an HOA. Whad we have in Texas is even more sinister in many ways. They have started establishing Limited Districts to continue the work of the Municipal Utility Districts once they have completed the subdivison and paid all the bonds. The one where I live is sinister as all get out and no one bothered or noticed UNTIL they started harassing people for nonsense. One of the most egregious things they have done over the past 24 years is to not announce elections, hold them as special times (in May, when nothing else is on the ballot), and if no one files to run against them, they cancel the election and declare themselves re-elected for 4 more years. We managed to force an election in 2012 and were lucky enough to get two of the long serving, self-enrichment board members defeated. Things are looking up for us. One more Board member and we can turn this boat around.

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