The overall mission of the HOA Enlightenment Movement is simply to get the word out about the reality of living in an HOA.[i] The continuing wounds inflicted on homeowners must be accounted for. Wounds that have been inflicted by rogue[ii] HOA boards supported by the indifference or pro-HOA bias of state legislators, by the “not my problem” attitude of the “good” HOAs who stand by and allow evil in their industry, and by the failure of the national educational trade group, CAI, to help clean up the industry.
In the interest of justice and reconciliation, a vehicle such as a Truth and Reconciliation Commission[iii] is needed to heal the wounds so our communities and society can return to the principles and basic values of America. A simple “let’s start over again” or “let us be friends” kumbaya approach will not work, nor will the continued failure to hold the offenders accountable for their actions. Homeowners have suffered financially, legally and emotionally, and closure and justice is warranted.
The Commission would grant amnesty to offenders and violators of the governing documents and laws who caused such harms, if the offenders could show that they were acting under orders. As occurred in the 2008 Florida HOA hearings held by Julio Robaina,[iv] the homeowner witnesses’ would confront the offenders. The offenders would include directors, officers, managers, and HOA attorneys.
This type of commission with powers to file suit against offenders, who cannot show that they were just following orders, can only be established through state legislation. Advocates can enlighten the media, the state legislators, homeowners, and the public in general to demand the rapid creation of such committees within their respective states.
[i] By “HOA” I am referring to that category of subdivision with a purpose to create an “an adult community” (retirement) or a resort community where owners happen to live similarly to a vacation home resort. I am speaking of those subdivisions that would be classified as a home with some or no amenities, or not even any common properties. In the former instance rules are expected and in the latter the rules are intrusive.
[ii] By “rogue” I mean those boards that have been repeatedly and intentionally grossly negligent of or have ignored their duties and obligations under state laws and the governing documents. They do so with the knowledge that there are no meaningful penalties for such egregious conduct.