Bill Davis

Sometimes I think that anyone wanting to talk about HOAs or any association-controlled residential dwelling must learn to speak an entirely new language. And the saddest part is that we are dealing with our most basic needs, our home. No longer is it just four walls and a door, but now you have a whole series of legalize that has become part of your everyday life. Is this really necessary? Whatever happened to KISS? Keep it simple stupid? I got an email recently from a listener who wanted to know what a super-priority lien was. Fortunately for all of us, my guest is an attorney and someone who is more than able to help us understand liens and super-priority liens and all the other legal mumbo jumbo that’s become part and parcel of our homes.

Bill Davis, a Texas attorney and one of a few attorneys who will represent homeowners against their HOAs, joins us On The Commons. Knowing that Bill is probably one of the best people to explain what a super-priority lien is, I gladly toss the question to Bill and ask him to explain super-priority liens. Without blinking an eyelid, he not only explains it but expands on it, so we get the big picture of what’s going on. You need to listen to this show; it is your home and your money we are talking about. 

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Nila Ridings

Nila Ridings

They told us time and time again that residential associations, no matter what form, whether HOA, Condo or, coop, are there to protect our property values. By preventing our neighbor from doing something obscene like choosing the wrong shade of white for their window shades or keeping a garden hose in the front yard or, heaven forbid, having a red front door, we and our property values will be safe. Is it true? DO red front doors strip away our property values? 

Nila Ridings, a former homeowner who bought a townhouse in a homeowners association for all the reasons one might voluntarily choose such a home, joins us On The Commons. Nila talks about all the reasons she chose the house she did and then takes us on a journey through her nightmare and fills us in on what went wrong. We’ll find out just how well her HOA-controlled property did when they foreclosed on her mortgage-free house and her retirement and savings accounts were depleted. She has made it her mission to warn other homeowners about the dangers lurking around every corner and tucked between every blade of grass in the uniformly cut and manicured lawns. Hear her story in her own words.

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Frank Short

In a Kinder, gentler age neighbors knew and cared for each other.  They formed what was known as a “community”.  People could always count on their neighbors to lend a hand when needed.
And then along came homeowner associations and the focus shifted from being friends and neighbors to really strange and bizarre notions of protecting property values.  Neighbors were taken out of neighborhoods leaving only the hoodlums roaming around looking for some reason to punish the “guy next door.”  “Protecting property values” was the only justification they had. The hysteria about what would devalue property grew every year to the point that some legislators agreed to sponsor bills that would strip homeowners of the few property and personal rights they still had. 
Joining us On The Commons this week is Frank Short.  Frank, an attorney and staunch advocate for individual property rights tracks three of the worst of the terrible bills Virginia legislators agreed to carry for the special interests.  The third bill, HB 791 (LeMunyon – Sickles) is currently being discussed in a specially appointed committee.  The House appointees are the co-sponsors of the bill and one Del. who voted against it.  The Senate appointees are equally lop sided with two pro and only Senator Chap Petersen who opposes the bill.  Fairness doesn’t seem to be part of the equation.  Let’s hope good prevails.


Sam Pilli

That there are problems in HOAs is a given, ask anyone, even some of the most ardent of HOA proponents will agree, there really and truly are problems. OK, so what next? Maybe starting at the begging. What if you were to ask 100 people what the problems are, experience has shown that you will get 200 very different answers. The reason is that everyone sees it from their personal perspective and their personal problem. This is an incredibly complex problem with so many moving parts to it that ” fixing” it has to start with a list of exactly what needs to be fixed, and that in and of itself will be a long list. But you have to start somewhere and the best starting point is discussing the issues openly, freely, honestly and fearlessly. Without that you’ll never get out of the starting gate.

Samuel Pilli joins us On The Commons. Sam and his colleagues have developed a website called Zonzon which allows homeowners in HOAs, condos, coops and other closed groups to communicate freely with each other. Sam believes this is the answer to all that ails HOAs. We will talk about his secure communication idea, discuss some of the other mitigating factors involved and find out how Zonzon might play a role in evening out the playing field.

Listen to Sam Pilli