Realtor magazine recognizes need to disclose HOA problems

In the May 24th article with respect to not paying HOA dues in NAR’s magazine (see note 1), subtitled “Can this happen to you,” the author advises readers and Realtors, in part,

 If this story has you viewing HOAs in a harsh (and terrifying) new light, we don’t blame you. And while the laws vary by state, it turns out that in most cases, HOAs really do have the power to foreclose on your home for unpaid dues, as do condo owners associations.

Is the national Realtor organization realizing that it has a responsibility and obligation regarding disclosure of facts about HOA life?  I know that there may be cop-out laws saying that the real estate agent shouldn’t talk about things they don’t know.  Is that why state Realtor organizations and cooperating real estate departments intentionally fail to provide the facts about HOA life in the mandated educational classes and continuing classes?   I say “facts” because it is common knowledge that there are serious defects with the HOA legal scheme that even rise to questions of constitutionality.

 I ask, “What was done prior to the sale to inform the buyer of HOA negatives in keeping with the law regarding dealing fairly with all parties?”   Very, very little.  It’s disgraceful!  The regulation of real estate agents is not to protect the agents, as is easily concluded from the positions taken by state real estate departments, but the consumers.

This point of view may be distasteful to the many agents who are honest and have the highest integrity, but it’s a failure of the real estate industry’s leadership to perform and protect the consumer.  (I was a licensed agent for over 10 years.)


Note 1.  “Homeowner Evicted for Not Paying HOA Dues: Can This Happen to You?”, Judy Dutton,, May 24, 2016 (

Published in: on May 25, 2016 at 7:37 am  Comments (7)  

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  1. Unfortunately, some states, like ours, the option of living somewhere within your community is diminished if not strangled due to the lack of new housing built without an HOA. I would vote for an opposite party local politician gladly were they to run on a platform of reining in HOAs, insisting on at least a 50/50 level of new home construction with and WITHOUT an HOA and ensuring existing HOAs have length of service contracts WITH EXPIRATION DATES. We live in a house subdivision with a $12/mo HOA and they collect over $10K a year from our dues and they do absolutely NOTHING for the home”owners” other than pick and choose whose yard or trim they send legal threats to at their whim.

  2. I paid his dues regularly and they did not clean the road and to basin there are weeds and trees in area the basin. They block the water going thru the tunnel. Problem with mosquitos. I called them about the problem several times no reply from them. What should I do? Vera.

  3. Under no circumstances to I feel an HOA should have foreclosure rights.

    For example: If I buy a new car and I do not pay the property taxes on it, the county cannot repossess my car. If I do not buy a license for it, the license bureau cannot come repossess my car. If I do not buy insurance for it, the insurance commissioner cannot come take my car. If I do not take it in for oil changes the lube shop cannot come take my car. If I drive it with bald tires the tire shop cannot come take my car. If I borrowed money for the car and I do not make the payments the creditor can come take the car.

    So why on earth can an HOA foreclose and take a property that somebody else has either paid for in full or a bank/lender has financed? The HOA has no money invested in the property. They may pay for the water and sewer but that is minuscule compared to the overall cost of the property. The powers of the HOA are so far out of line for control over our homes. And our homes are the biggest investment most people make.

    The absolute worst part of an HOA is they generally have sloppy bookkeeping, lose payments, misapply payments, etc. Yet, no matter what the HOA might have done wrong from the payments to breaching the contract completely with the homeowners they have the power to take the home and make the homeowner homeless. It’s so wrong and buyers should know this before they sign on the dotted line.

    Best advice I have is: If there is an HOA, run like your hair is on fire!

  4. Oh lord, they even talk in the white papers of morphing into an assisted living facility, as residence age. They are really trying to insure and prove their legitimacy and cover ALL angles.

  5. Realtors andTitle Companies need to disclose more than the realties of foreclosures. They need to disclose that the contract is virtually worthless and that BofD’s can pick and choose which CC&Rs to maintain and which ByLaws will be discarded. The HO vote on either is merely a matter of convenience when in reality a board can use it’s “discretion” for what they do and courts are very likely to support them. A board also is NOT required to respond to a HO, so therefore HO’s are left in the dark when they have questions. Personality conflicts abound and HO’s are abused due to the bullies. They can and will fight full disclosure of docs, they can and will have secret meetings. There is NO level playing field when a HO comes up against a mega-billion dollar insurance company. My recommendation … NEVER buy into any sort of planned community. Every person buys into an HOA with the best intentions. Board members like absolute control and nothing corrupts like absolute control. Most board members fail to read the CC&Rs they are charged with to enforce. You pay for amenities that only a handful of people use and then those that do use them, also happen to run the board.

    • You are absolutely right on the money, living in a HOA, this exactly what the Board does, it’s a do as I say not as I do. If your not in the click your screwed. We we’re not educated enough regarding HOAs when we bought, would love to sell, but we can’t unless your willing to give it away. My best advise to anyone, avoid HOAs at all cost if you can or at the very least get board meeting minutes to see what the problem/benefits of the association, if they won’t give them to you, RUN!

      • You need to fight for more than just the minutes. I am going after computer logs, draft minutes, emails between board members, architectural approval requests, financial records – one receipt at a time. I can see the board has been skinning down our CC&Rs over time to where there is no semblance of the current CC&Rs. You must attend the meetings and you must record the meetings. Then listen to the recording as you read the minutes … most often they are not even the same meetings. Seriously, these board members are crooks. If they aren’t using the money for their own benefit (i.e.: without any sort of approval, our landscaping chair submits landscaping bills for her own property. I happen to have photos of our landscape contractors doing her property … was there any reimbursement in the accounting? Not that I found). When they don’t enforce the CC&Rs fairly and equitably they pull the value of all homes down. It’s a complete fallacy that they protect property values. Reading the CC&Rs once does not work. After you’ve read them 30 times, then everything begins to fall into place. And, don’t skip sections thinking they aren’t important, cause they are!

        I’ll be moving but like you not until the pricing improves.

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