The HOA legal scheme as a nonprofit form of government chartered under corporation laws cannot be held in the same light as a democratic public government chartered under municipal corporation laws.
We use the term HOA quite loosely as I have in many of my posts. However, the HOA is 1) the legal governing body of a 2) planned unit development or condominium, which is a real estate ‘package’ of amenities, landscaping, etc. It is a de facto – it exists and functions – government, but unrecognized by the state as is Cuba.
Can we get rid of the ‘package’? I don’t think so for reasons that I’ve stated — too big. Can we get rid of the oppressive authoritarian governing body known as the ‘association,’ home or property owners associations, etc.? Definitely yes! Or can we?
Questions for study and thought!
1. Will the ‘package’ collapse if we remove the oppressive authoritarian governing body and substitute a more democratic regime?
2. Why didn’t the promoters of the current HOA scheme (in their seminal publication, The Homes Association Handbook) present the HOA as a municipal corporation rather than a nonprofit corporation?
In regard to question 2, is it because the promoters knew that the HOA would be subject to the Constitution and restricted by state laws?
A hint is given, even in the Handbook, with the discussion of ‘free riders’ and the need for mandatory membership and compulsory dues. (A ‘free rider’ is one who benefits from the efforts and money of others as in the case of unions, as would be the case with voluntary HOA memberships.) The other hint is how does one maintain property values, that huge appeal to the masses, without strict enforcement of many specific rules and regulations? If people were free to do as they please, what is the value of the HOA?
Apparently, local ordinances did not satisfy the promoters of the HOA scheme because they were too broad and didn’t represent the membership, but somehow top-down, take-it–or-leave-it CC&Rs do. And to be sure, make it an adhesion contract that favors the HOA and prevents the practical and effective voice of the people. Apparently our system of government failed to satisfy the promoters, and their need for a better form of government was sought – one better suited to the goals of the promoters. A fascist form of government (or if that offends you, a corporate oligarchy where the objective of the state is to satisfy not the people, but the government) did the trick quite well.
The answers will illuminate the fundamental problem with HOA reform and the resistance to substantive reforms.