Jessica Suico

 I have often wondered, and worried, about children growing up in HOAs who watch their parents suffer at the hands of the HOA bullies. What is the message we are giving them?  Will they be willing and able to fight to protect their homes and families when they are raising their children in these irrational and often abusive residential associations?  Or will they simply roll over and hope the horrors end, believing this is normal? “This is just the way it is” or “They are all like this”, never realizing they can fight back and they can make life better for all concerned? 

Imagine my delight when I ran across an article penned by a college student and published in the college newspaper, The Advocate.  The article is titled;   Illegal evictions harm families, neighborhoods.  

I had to find out more about it.

Jessica Suico joins us On The Commons. Jessica is a second year student at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California.  She is majoring in journalism and works on The Advocate, the college newsletter.  The paper normally reports on all things college related, new classes, upcoming events on campus and other  news  items or topics of interest that would affect student life.  Jessica’s article is a little out of the norm for her paper but, I believe, so very important.   She witnessed the harassment and subsequent eviction of her mother and aunt from their home.  She also saw the frustration as her mother and aunt exhausted all venues seeking non existing help for people in similar situations. They may have been able to get some help had they known where to look.  That has to be part of the education.  However, in the end, a couple of elderly ladies who have had health problems were evicted, ended up in the hospital and rendered homeless.  Using the college newspaper was an excellent way of, not only getting the story out, but also of education other young college students who will be facing similar problems unless we stop the bleeding in private residential America SOON.

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Ken Ditkowski

I seem to zip through life at breakneck speeds, taking most things for granted and never really thinking about the reason we do things any particular way.  Oh, once in a while I ask myself, “What were they ever thinking?” when I run into something a little strange.  However, when things are working well the farthest thought is to wonder why it works.  It is so much easier to start looking at things that don’t make sense and figure out how to improve it.

And for a show whose sole focus is property rights, that was a little short sighted.  How can we protect ownership and rights without knowing how to properly define the property in question? That is one those things most of us have always taken for granted.

Kenneth Ditkowsky joins us On The Commons.  Ken is an attorney in Chicago  who, when he was fresh out of law school, full of self confidence and a can-do attitude found himself on the ground floor of redefining property  boundaries and ultimately changing skylines in cities across the country. Maybe even the world?  We’ll talk to Ken about the Prudential Building, the first high rise in Chicago and the hundreds of pages of legal speak explaining the ownership structure.  Ken and his partner accepted the challenge and simplified it, reducing the document down to a more manageable size.  n the process they paved the way for high-rise residential buildings to be built and ultimately changing the face of the Chicago.  We’ll talk about all the things most of us take for granted and never give a second thought to.  We’ll learn about different ways to determine the legal boundaries of a piece of property and find out what happens when mother nature decides to ” shift” the things we take for granted.  I was spellbound as I listened to Ken.  Tune in for a fascinating show.

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Larry Murphree

When the forces of evil succeed in kicking individual and property rights under the rug, then start playing word games trying to explain how you never really had those rights in the first place, it is time to take the kid gloves off.   

Everything about HOAs makes my blood boil but nothing has enraged me quite as much as the way a homeowner was treated by the very industry that sucks the life out of our homes, our families, our communities and destroys our peace of mind.  This has to stop!  While the catalyst for today’s story may have been a small flag, this is not about a flag but about our rights as homeowners and our right to live in peace in our homes.  

Larry Murphree joins us On the Commons.  Larry, an Air Force veteran, updates us on his battle with his condominium board and the industry attorneys who advise them on how to mistreat and abuse the homeowners.  The battle has been raging for over 7 years and still goes on.  We’ll talk to Larry and get the details of how his decision to move into a condo has adversely affected his life and his bank account.  Of all the horrors, abuses and invasion of one’s privacy, none even come close to the offensive treatment at the hand of a board and it’s attorney hell bent on destroying an owner and robbing him of all he has spent a lifetime working for.  All this is being done legally.  Legislators, are you listening?

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John Cowherd

Thanks to our listeners and  guests On The Commons is starting year 19

I always thought if housing consumers knew and understood what they are getting themselves into, most of them would never voluntarily buy a home in an HOA.  That was before I knew that a house without the shackles of the absurd “private government” was a thing of the past.  HOAs are too financially lucrative for local governments to allow them to disappear into the mists of time.  Why would they when they could collect free property taxes without providing the services those tax dollars were designed to pay for?  Ah, but fear not, through their sense of fair play, at least some, if not all, state governments have opted for transparency by requiring sellers to provide consumers with disclosure packages.  But just how reliable are these packages?  What are the remedies for incomplete or outdated information?

John Cowherd joins us On The Commons.  John, a realestate attorney in Northern Virginia is one of a handful of attorneys nationwide who is familiar with HOA and condo law and will represent the owners. He keeps up with legislation and litigation in Virginia that affects our homes.  We talk to John about a recent Fairfax County court decision in the case of Liam and Brandee Daly v. Gullick Group, Inc.  The case is right on point when it comes to consumer protections via disclosures.  We also learn about a new  Virginia state law that took affect July 1, 2018 listing what is required to be included in the disclosure packages required by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We’ll find out if this new law really offers any protection to housing consumers or is it just another case of “feel good” legislation designed to mislead consumers again?  Tune in and you be the judge.  John also has a blog called Words of Conveyance

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