We have lost sight of the true value of homeownership in this country. Traditionally buying property included a “Legal Bundle of Rights” that came with the deed.
Those “rights” included the rights of possession, control, exclusion, enjoyment and disposition and were irrefutable. As long as the tax man was paid and the banker got the mortgage money, the owners were the royalties in residence. They enjoyed every bit of the rights they acquired when they got the title to their castles. The concept worked well until mandatory membership HOAs were involuntarily foisted on American homeowners. No longer does ownership guarantee any of those rights, no longer do governments protect those rights and no longer is ownership a thing of pride and dignity. In the kontrolled world of HOA living, pride, dignity, security, control and individuality have been replaced by fear, terror, abuse, theft and ill health.
On The Commons this week we are rejoined by Larry Murphree. You will recall that Larry, a condo owner in Florida, was cited by his HOA for having an “unauthorized object in his flowerpot” and was being fined $100/day for his transgression. Yes, you read it right, the kondo kommandos in Larry’s little bit of heaven decided to come up with a list of “flowerpot rules”! Author of condo flowerpot rules. Put that on your epitaph! Larry’s 11X17 INCH flag violates the rules, offends their aesthetics and the uniformity of the look alike units. As if that was not bad and stupid enough, the HOA attorney has started foreclosing to collect fines and legal fees. in a power HOAs have commonly known as the priority of payment scam, legitimate assessments are diverted to pay the HOA attorney FIRST (wonder who wrote those laws?), fines, interest and other junk fees before making sure their share of the commons expenses are covered. And as often happens, there is nothing left the owner and the owner is behind in his or her dues. Time to foreclose and collect dues from “these deadbeat homeowners”. You can read more about Larry’s plight in his condo http://letmeflytheflag.com
What if you don’t violate a flowerpot rule? How well are your Rights of ownership being protected?
Stephanie Krasowski joins us during the second half of the show. Stephanie, also a condo owner in Florida, is fighting a much bigger problem than a stupid flowerpot rule. In her case it is not stupid neighbors but a stupid government that made it possible for her and thousands of Floridians to lose their homes in what amounts to a hostile takeover. When a law is enacted as a knee jerk reaction to address a relatively small issue without putting in adequate protections to protect the citizens and prevent a small group of people from using and abusing the law for their own benefit, the lives of many people can be ruined. A law that allows 80% of the owners in a condo project to terminate the condominium, stripping the remaining 20% of the owners of their RIGHTS and rendering them homeless is a huge problem. Exact numbers may not be available but it is known that at least 17,010 people have lost their homes through no fault of their own and another 1035 families are at risk of being victims of this particular scam. You can read more about this disaster at http://www.cnbc.com/id/101746928 and sign Stephanie’s petition to save her home at http://www.change.org/p/floridiansact-against-condo-takeover .