Bill Murray

Right from the very beginning, homeowners who live in HOAs have been told the Declaration is a contract and the relationship between owner and association is a contractual one.  The very word “contract” seemed to be sufficient explanation for all the bizarre, nutty, abusive, ridiculous, sad and tragic occurrences in associations across the country.  Your dog’s too fat?  It’s a contract.  Your mini blinds are the wrong shade of white?  It’s a contract.  Your vehicle is not snazzy enough?  It’s a contract.  You owe the HOA money?  Too bad, you lose your house, it’s a contract.   No matter how absurd the situation, the answer always was “It’s a contract.” and the advice, “If you don’t like it, MOVE.”  The only input the owners could have once they were trapped in an HOA, was to amend the “contract” by an affirmative vote of a super majority of the owners.  If you are going to stick people in HOAs by virtue of local municipal mandates and lack of choice, I suppose it makes sense to allow the principals to vote on the changes.  But are all proposed changes good for the individual owner?  And what happens if the owners decide they really don’t want to amend the governing docs.?
On The Commons this week we are joined by Bill Murray.  Bill is one of 32 plaintiffs in the Bemis vs. Lake Holiday Country Club case and along with his brother maintains a blog .  This case appears to have inspired the Virginia legislature to consider a bill that would give the courts the statutory authority to amend docs even after the homeowners themselves chose not to approve the amendment.  The bill was struck earlier this week in Virginia but may be headed to a state house near you.  Please join us On The Commons.   We’ll get to understand the makeup of Lake Holiday and talk about the particulars of the Bemis case.  We’ll also discuss SB 6016 and SB 1489, how close they came to becoming the law, what it would have done to the Bemis case, what it could have done to what’s left of your property rights and we’ll find out whether any other sinister plans are lurking in the shadows, waiting to knock your contractual rights off their feet.