Words have power and meaning and by using the correct words, one can further define the sense one is trying to convey. Advocates for HOAs like to call them “Community Associations”, implying a kinder, gentler development. The dictionary defines “community”, in part as, “a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals”. However, many of the unfortunate people who find themselves in one of these mandatory membership compounds often refer to them as war zones, oligopolies, kontrolled kommunes and a number of other less flattering names, implying that all is not harmonious and pleasant. In a real community, people get-together to work out any common issues without having to resort to kangaroo courts, fines and a trip to the court house.
Greg Chumbley joins us On The Commons this week. Greg is a homeowner in Naples, Florida who decided to exercise his right to know what he was paying for and where his HOA dues were going. And like many homeowners found himself researching the Florida statutes to discover what rights he had. To him it made perfectly good sense that if he was being forced to pay for it, he had a right to know what he was paying for. Along the way he ran into the usual, entrenched board members, the silent management company employees and that brick wall we keep hearing about. That didn’t stop Greg. After exhausting all avenues of trying to get the information he was entitled to in Village Walk, his Kontrolled Kommune, he decided to go to court. He is sharing what he learned in the process on his web page http://www.sueyourhoacheaply.us so that others in his “community” of people with who share his attitudes, interests and goals can also find out what they are paying for. Please join us to hear Greg’s story.