An attorney representing an HOA once advised a board that the fees being charged to just some of the homeowners was in violation of the Declaration. He explained it by saying; “…. you are on less than concrete legal foundation. Most homeowners don’t avail themselves of their rights but should you be challenged you can make a decision based on the economics of the litigation”. In other words, if no one questions any of the board or management decisions or challenges certain policies, the HOA is home free. The one thing in the above quote that I agree with is that most homeowners never challenge anything and passively obey all the rules. However, for the few homeowners who simply won’t just accept what they are told, especially when things just don’t seem to add up, there may be a pot of gold at the end of the end of their rainbow.
Robert Stern joins us On The Commons this week. Robert is a successful businessman who owns several houses on both sides of the country – all in homeowner associations. He is a financial executive, a CPA by trade and he knows his numbers. He is also no stranger to being on boards and understanding how associations work. True to form, when he bought his house in Henderson, Nevada, he ran for, and was elected to, the board of directors. But being in the leadership did nothing to protect him from being involved in a couple of lawsuits.
But Robert is a busy and energetic man who has written several books. He chronicles his journey through HOAs in his latest book, “HOA WARS; What Happens in Vegas Can Happen Anywhere”. In this book he talks about the people he met along the way including the activists who chose to speak up and try to right a wrong or two. He explains how he found and why he returned $1.2 Million to his fellow homeowners. He also talks about yet another law suit his association filed against him. The book has all the makings of a hollywood movie and who knows, maybe one day his story will come to a screen near you. But until that happens, check out his web page at http://hoawars.tateauthor.com where you can read all about him and order his book. Be sure to tune in and listen to him tell his story, explain what to look for and how, if you avail yourself of your rights, you too may find a pot of gold hidden in the musty records of your HOA.