Plan to Restructure HOA model

The updated and revised Plan Toward the Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance — a single file of the series of posts on HOA Constitutional Government — is now available.  It contains revised Table of Authorities and a new Selected Case Histories segment that excerpts findings and decisions by the courts.

Read it in PDF at

restructure cover



HOA-Land “one size fits all” injustice

It is important to understand that the vast majority of the public and government officials are under the mistaken impression of a homogenous, one-size fits all view of HOAs as presented in CAI’s voluminous descriptions and promotions of what are  HOAs.  Only in its Statistical Reviews are Large-scale associations (LSA) presented in passing with an estimated 6,000 – 9,000 associations over 1,000 units.

However, in June 2016 LSA survey CAI did go into some detail to categorize associations by primary theme or function: Residential, Resort/Residential, Age Restricted, Private and Mixed Use. (I had introduced these categories in my 2005 analysis of CAI’s survey).  The survey found that 44.3% were Residential, 26.8% Resort, and 14.1% Age restricted, with Age restricted not further refined. There are very important distinctions between these categories among which the Resort and Age restricted associations had 6 times the number of part-time/seasonal owners than Residential. 

This huge disparity in part-timers and primary theme make it quite evident that Resorts/Age Restricted associations can be viewed as 365-day timeshare resorts. The owners’ expectancy of, and agreement to, HOA regulation is significantly more pronounced than those of Residential owners who believe that they were just buying a nice home.

There’s “no one-size fits all” when it comes to HOAs!

I cannot discover the distribution of HOAs by units/lots anywhere including the CAI websites and pages.  However, I did uncover a glimpse of this breakdown in the 2011 CAI Nevada LAC’s “Why Legislative Advocacy Matters where it showed only 1.8 % of Nevada’s associations had over 1,000 units. Units less than 200 amounted to a massive 74.8% and the combined  500 or less amounted to 90.5%.

The bottom line

It is my view that the CAI Central pronouncements and propaganda addressed to the policymakers speak to this pitiful minority of Resort/Age Restricted associations and not to the massive 90% of associations where the members believed that they were buying a home protected by their HOA. The vast majority of HOA abuse and rogue boards, but not all complaints, stem from this 90% ignored by state legislatures.

Are there vibrant, competent, harmonious HOAs?

Community Associations Institute (CAI), is a national trade organization that claims it is dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious community associations. I am well aware of HOAs that do not have any signs of abuse or rogue boards, and the members seem not to have any serious complaints.  The ‘happiness’ level is high.  In my view this can occur on a case by case basis where the board can be described as a benevolent dictatorship governing the HOA with reason and common sense.

However, this condition would also require a certain caliber of members who fully understand that they did not buy a residential home, but a home in a resort with the reasonable expectation of resort amenities and rules. As long as the board is benevolent and non-intrusive, the members are quite content with the conduct of their private government.

But, this is a special case where the HOA legal structure is not really needed, yet has been adopted for convenience. For example, time share resorts also have a homeowners association and the resort category of HOAs can be seen as “full year” timeshares. (The other categories are retirement HOAs with their expected rules and regulations — where active adult communities are more of a resort HOA — and residential HOAs with unreasonable expectations of authority).

The criteria for determining whether the HOA is a residential or resort HOA would depend on the eyes of the beholder, the homebuyer.  And that would depend, in part, on the advertising, catalogues, brochures, and statements by the developer, the HOA and the real estate agent as to the nature of the subdivision. Subdivisions are not classified in this manner except for saying they may have amenities.

I am also well aware of the many resort type HOAs that are not benevolent dictatorships.

In my long 14 years as a homeowner rights advocate (please see I do not believe CAI has contributed to solving the 40 years of HOA problems, and thereby helping to create “vibrant, competent, harmonious community associations.