HOA Common Sense, No. 7: boards can do no wrong

HOA Boards can do no wrong, No. 7

In shocking contrast to our common sense and all that has been said about the need to protect the people from government, state legislators see no need for effective and meaningful enforcement that average people are transformed into angels when they become board members.  James Madison must be in a rage, wherever he may be, at this slap at his advice that, “If men were angels there would be no need for government.”

State legislators have said that the complaining HOA member signed a contract and is now trying to get out of it because he now thinks it’s a bad contract, and that he will not support any such legislation. Furthermore, anyone who didn’t read the contract or get a lawyer is not too smart and that he, the legislator, would have never done that.  What do you think of that attitude in light of the above papers 3 – 6?  And don’t forget that you are being held to have agreed to be treated in such a demeaning way by your elected officials.

Where are the fair and just laws argued for in paper No. 4?  They are not there!  Instead, we have special laws for special entities, the HOA, without a necessary and compelling government interest to deprive citizens of the rights and freedoms.[i]  What a travesty of our American way of life! 

You may ask, What for?  The answer is obvious: for the survival and acceptance of a defective legal scheme that seeks to impose authoritarian governments on unsuspecting people. If boards and offers are to be held accountable, who would volunteer?  Well, why not pay them a salary so accountability can be demanded?  WHAT!!!  If they are going to be held be paid and held accountable, then members have a right to demand qualified board members and not any ole body who would like to be on the board.

Wait!  Wait! I can see readers recoiling in horror.  The horror . . . the horror . . . (from the movie Apocalypse Now!).  Consequently we are told that we must accept the lunacy that all volunteers can do no wrong and if they do, well, that’s your fault for electing them!  And let’s not forget that the board has hired hands to protect them – the attorney and manager.  At your expense.  The homeowners pay for the board’s wrongful acts.  

So, why aren’t the members more involved in watching over the acts of the board?  Well, maybe it would help if the laws backed the members up with effective and practical means to enforce HOA wrongful acts; otherwise it’s just an exercise in futility.  The game is rigged in favor of these independent principalities!

But those living in HOAs must share the blame for this state of affairs. They have repeatedly failed to unite in an organized common cause to produce intelligent legislation that addresses these fundamental HOA defects.[ii]  CAI in Arizona made that clear when it told the legislature that only the stakeholders produce meaningful bills; the homeowners just raise a multitude of personal issue bills.[iii]

And so, in all practicality considering this state of affairs, the board can do no wrong.  Get used to it!

“If there is no penalty [for] disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.” (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #15)


[i] Supra n. 9, in No. 4.

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  1. […] HOA Boards can do no wrong, No. 7 […]

  2. The ultimate travesty by a board of directors is what happened at the xxxx Condominiums a few years ago. The majority of the board hired attorneys to represent their personal interests and then used HOA funds to pay legal fees in excess of $80,000. They committed fraud when they became self managed and staged a “theft”. All HOA records were stolen. There was never a police report and the members will never know how much these four board members spent for their own legal issues. The current board operates in fear of this information being made public. I have these records and have offered to share them but this current board operates in a vacuum and are afraid to dig up these old skeletons of abuse. It is truly amazing what four people can do in a community of 264 owners when they have secret meetings and use HOA funds for their own illegal benefit. The majority rules and 260 people have no way to stop this kind of action.

  3. Boards do a lot of wrong! And they need to be stopped! Read the latest “civility memo” our Board sent. It speaks volumes about abusive HOA behavior.
    In Arizona we need strict laws to govern all HOAs. The abuse of Boards towards homeowners is out of control. It is unlawful but the government seems to not be taking the action it needs. To have any small number of board bullies ruining the many lives of homeowners with dictatorial and arbitrary rules is unlawful. To have the very same Board bullies then “fine” people they discriminate against or dislike for such things as their behavior is even more unconstitutional. Where is it going to stop? We must all unite and ask our government to intervene. I have been subjected to a lot of abuse and discriminatory behavior. Then the latest memo our Board bullies sent out says it all. I am deleting the same of the HOA for fear of more retaliation but you read the ridiculous memo that these people placed out which was arrogant and insulting to most of us and decide is this the type of behavior that Boards should be allowed to have:
    From: Board of Directors
    Date: January 28, 2016
    Re: Civility
    We have encountered several instances of incivility that require us to address this issue. Without violating the privacy of the guilty, please consider the following.
    1. There is no issue whatsoever that entitles you to verbally abuse or physically confront employees, contractors, the property manager or any Board member. If there is an emergency that in your judgment rises to that level, simply call the police or dial 911.
    2. Shouting at Board members or knocking on their doors late at night to personally confront them will most definitely not advance whatever cause you are seeking to champion. Sending nasty, abusive emails to anyone is generally not a good strategy. Setting arbitrary, short-term dates for demanded action is not constructive.
    3. Threatening to sue or bankrupt the HOA and/or Board members is not a winning strategy. Reciting nonexistent statutory law as the basis for the threatened lawsuits is generally not a good idea.
    4. Paranoia is generally not helpful. The Board is not out to get you, the property manager is not out to get you, your neighbors are generally not out to get you. It is very unlikely there is any conspiracy against you.
    5. No one individual is responsible for the Rules and Regulations, and no individual can waive those Rules for you. They are designed for the benefit of all concerned and generally work very well for that purpose. If you are unaware of the Rules or simply feel that you are not obligated to follow the Rules, please do not scream when you are asked to comply. If a Rule is not working for you, there is a rational process to follow to suggest changes. If the Board does not adopt your proposed policy change, that is not evidence of conspiracy or bad faith, but might perhaps be the considered judgment of your neighbors, based on all the facts and circumstances.
    6. If you wish to have a private party in the Clubhouse, please reserve it in accordance with the Rules. If you do not reserve the Clubhouse, you are of course welcome to use it at any time, but please understand that it is open to all homeowners and you do not have the right to eject anyone or to demand any special privileges or private space.
    7. For those homeowners who believe that you were treated unfairly in the construction defects settlement, please understand that members of the current Board had nothing to do with that agreement, and nothing is gained by abusing current Board members about past occurrences.
    8. If a dog pees on your fence or your grass, please do not assume that it is Board policy to encourage dogs to pee on you, your fence or your pride. If a neighbor briefly turns on a cellphone light after dark to enable them to pick up dog poop, please do not assume they are peeping toms, perverts, or Board members invading your privacy. Drapes are always an option.
    9. If you get a parking ticket from …, that is not the action of the property manager or the Board. Please do not assume that the Board or the property manager is conspiring against you. We are not your enemy; we are not selectively enforcing the Rules. We really do not seek chaos, confrontation and anger in our daily lives.
    10. Board members are subject to the same Rules as everyone else. Board members are not being granted special privileges.
    We could go on, but hopefully the pattern is clear. While almost all residents are respectful and give each other the benefit of the doubt, there are a very few who continue to stir up trouble and attempt to bully others. Board members are not outsiders imposing Rules against you. We are simply your hardworking neighbors, volunteers undertaking the sometimes thankless task of governing our wonderful community. If you don’t agree with the Board’s actions, then by all means send Joel a respectful email or come to the next Board meeting and get involved. There is room for everyone!
    As a Board, we have to this point resisted requests that we write Rules regulating personal behavior. If, however, we are forced to adopt a Code of Conduct to maintain the peace we will certainly do that, as we will not let the rantings of a select few continue to disrupt our community.
    Sincerely,
    Board of Directors

    Is this the most arrogant e-mail you ever read from “Board of Directors” who don’t even have the nerve to place their names on the memo they sent! Is this “civilized behavior” from the very group that is essentially calling other owners uncivilized?!!!

    Do you want your HOA to do something like this?

  4. […] HOA Common Sense, No. 7: boards can do no wrong […]


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