There is a rumor out there that 9 out of 10 owners in homeowners associations are delighted with their living conditions. Apparently the Community Associations Institute has a hard time believing those numbers as well because they seem to be commissioning a new survey every year or two – just to make sure, I suppose. The statistics and the numbers are, well, quite incredible but they must be true, otherwise we wouldn’t be reading about them in in every article about HOA horror stories.
The folks I hear from are not the deliriously happy homeowners the pollsters seem to unearth every year or so. I hear from people who are being terrorized, bullied, demonized and abused by a housing scheme that is beyond repair. I talk to people who are terrified of going home, of answering the door or the phone or picking up their mail. Perhaps that explains why they are not represented in all these happy surveys? The sorry fact is that HOAs are ruining a lot of lives and destroying a lot of people.
But there is strength in numbers and sometimes that can be a beautiful thing.
Joining us On The Commons this week is Larry Fletcher. Larry and his neighbors decided they didn’t want to be harassed and abused by a board president with too much free time on his hands and a passion for writing threat letters and issuing fines. So they went to court and challenged the fines and the nit picky violations and they won their case. In the process they got a kinder, gentler president. But that did not guarantee that theirs would be a happy neighborhood forever after. They realized they were one election away from having another tyrant at the helm so they set out to ensure that they would always have a real sense of community where neighbors cared for each other and celebrated together. You will LOVE their story and what they did to get there. You will also understand why Larry sounds like such a cheerful chap.