Evan McKenzie

Condos and HOA housing has appealed to local governments because it is an easy source of funds without the hassle of having to do anything for that money.  The idea being that owners would govern themselves, maintain the common elements and essentially become an island upon themselves.  However, after several decades of trial, and mostly error, we are beginning to see the concept unravel and fail quite miserably, reminding us that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. 
 
Joining us On The Commons this week is Professor Evan McKenzie.  Evan is the author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government and his more recent book Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government.  He maintains an active blog at privatopia.blogspot.com/ as well as a web site at www.evanmckenzie.com.  We’ll talk about some of the failures and find out what the City of Chicago is doing to address the many failed condominiums. 
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Frank Short, Taylor Reardon, and Matt Kafami

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
 
Every year, on or near St Patrick’s Day, the Leprechauns give us their perspective on the sorry state of affairs in homeowner associations in America.  This year is no exception.  In addition to their rather irreverent and whacky behavior,  they have a couple of very important lessons for HOA Board members and attorneys who represent the associations.  Their lessons, however, are very serious.
 
Joining us On The Commons this week we have our chief leprechaun, Frank Short who is joined by Taylor Reardon and Matt Kafami.  We’ll learn about the lessons mentioned above, have a giggle or two and oh, yes, the leprechauns have a treat for you, all the way from Ireland, a soulful rendition of a new song written just for HOAs.
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Patrick Batt and Rudy Grom

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
 
Housing consumers who buy into an HOA controlled development are told that by signing the settlement papers that they have entered into a contract with the association.  What does that mean?  Proponents of HOAs, in the event of a dispute or a more serious problem, are quite happy to explain simply by saying, “Oh, but you agreed!”  In other words, homeowners, you have no rights because you signed them all away. 
 
But wait…
 
Black’s Law Dictionary defines contract, in part, as “An agreement between two or more persons which creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing.”  Does that mean that the association has limits and obligations to the homeowners?  Or can associations do anything they want? 
 
Joining us On The Commons this week we have Patrick Batt and Rudy Grom.  Pat and Rudy live in Manchester Oaks, a townhouse development in Northern Virginia where both households were being discriminated against when it came to using common parking spaces.  Trying to resolve  the problem with their board of directors got them nowhere so they decided to enforce the provisions of the “contract” through the courts.  Their case went all the way up to the Virginia Supreme Court and they won.  Join us as we get the details of this case.
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