Maida Genser

Every day there is news of yet another assault on individual and property rights.  Whether the real government wants to replace your home with a new, upscale high rise condominium to increase their tax base or your HOA government wants to strip you of a basic and fundamental right, simply because they want to, the war is raging.  But protecting what is yours requires knowledge and information.  And at no time in history has information been more readily available than it is now.  The internet has opened up so many new worlds, ready to be explored.  And many people do turn to the internet to find out what they can do about a situation that is making life miserable and has the potential to ruin their health and their wealth.
 
On The Commons this week we are joined by Maida Genser.  Maida is the founder and president of the Florida based Citizens for Pets in Condos  www.petsincondos.org .  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, February 28, 2009.   We’ll get to know this amazing lady who, when faced with having to get rid of her pets started something really big.  She got her problem resolved but then decided to help others in similar situations.  Her first step was to start a petition to allow pets in condos, then she put up a web page asking people to sign it and then kept adding information to it.  There is a wealth of valuable information there.  Condo owners have used the information to keep their pets.  Some of these folks have sent in their success stories, almost 22,000 people have signed her petition and now she is working on getting legislation enacted to ensure that people who need a pet for emotional support can have one.  Tune in and find out how one person can make a huge difference and then, if you haven’t signed her petition yet, please do so.   

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Bill Murray

Right from the very beginning, homeowners who live in HOAs have been told the Declaration is a contract and the relationship between owner and association is a contractual one.  The very word “contract” seemed to be sufficient explanation for all the bizarre, nutty, abusive, ridiculous, sad and tragic occurrences in associations across the country.  Your dog’s too fat?  It’s a contract.  Your mini blinds are the wrong shade of white?  It’s a contract.  Your vehicle is not snazzy enough?  It’s a contract.  You owe the HOA money?  Too bad, you lose your house, it’s a contract.   No matter how absurd the situation, the answer always was “It’s a contract.” and the advice, “If you don’t like it, MOVE.”  The only input the owners could have once they were trapped in an HOA, was to amend the “contract” by an affirmative vote of a super majority of the owners.  If you are going to stick people in HOAs by virtue of local municipal mandates and lack of choice, I suppose it makes sense to allow the principals to vote on the changes.  But are all proposed changes good for the individual owner?  And what happens if the owners decide they really don’t want to amend the governing docs.?
 
On The Commons this week we are joined by Bill Murray.  Bill is one of 32 plaintiffs in the Bemis vs. Lake Holiday Country Club case and along with his brother maintains a blog http://www.lakeholidaynews.com/ .  This case appears to have inspired the Virginia legislature to consider a bill that would give the courts the statutory authority to amend docs even after the homeowners themselves chose not to approve the amendment.  The bill was struck earlier this week in Virginia but may be headed to a state house near you.  Please join us On The Commons.   We’ll get to understand the makeup of Lake Holiday and talk about the particulars of the Bemis case.  We’ll also discuss SB 6016 and SB 1489, how close they came to becoming the law, what it would have done to the Bemis case, what it could have done to what’s left of your property rights and we’ll find out whether any other sinister plans are lurking in the shadows, waiting to knock your contractual rights off their feet.

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