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The Ins-and-outs Of HOAs
The Ins-and-outs Of HOAs

AIR DATE: February 25, 2013

Las Vegas is a hotbed of common interest communities, neighborhoods that are governed by codes, regulations and private boards. These homeowners associations can be vexing at times, and even corrupted by members with criminal intentions. So how do you know if your association is well-run? And what can you do if you suspect something unseemly is going on behind closed doors? We'll talk with experts on HOAs to find out what you can do to make your community work for you.


Kara Jenkins, Ombudsman for Common Interest Communities

Evan McKenzie, law professor and author, Privatopia and Beyond Privatopia

Rana Goodman, Chairwoman, Nevada Homeowner Alliance

Paul Terry, Past President of the Community Association

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I have a large service dog which is protected under state law but I keep getting harassing letters about him and his size. The lawyers the HOA pays to represent them seem to think this is ok, and actually violate HIPPA by asking me WHY I have a service dog. If this happens to you, it's not anyone's right to ask you WHY or to ask you for proof. Tell them to pound sand and take you to court so they can be fully embarrassed and schooled by a judge. Stick it to the HOAs, they abuse their powers and are full on bullies. If you HOA board members wanna cry about how "hard" it is to do the job and get no pay, don't do it. I don't want to hear your lame stories crying about it. You chose your life. I just got approved for a loan and I will NEVER consider buying a home with an HOA. You can take that to the bank. HOAs should be illegal!
kattFeb 26, 2013 09:40:03 AM
Have lived in an HOA community and am now on the board. Having heard this it makes all HOA directors and boards the bad guys. We are a small HOA with under 100 homes and I can not believe the issues. Many move in and feel they have free rein and do not desire to follow any rules that they signed onto. Other just rent the home out and the tenants do not care as they are used to jumping from home to home with the Marshals on their tail. Then 10 % of the unit owners decide not to pay their dues and we have to pay HOS Masters above us. Try an find a volunteer to be on the board, sure many talk a good story until they are elected and find out that they must actually do something every day, and also attend meetings. Why not do a show on the good things we do for no compensation.
LouieFeb 25, 2013 11:50:17 AM
I live in an Illinois HOA and I am sick of the comments stating that Homeowners don't get involved. Ask yourself why? The contracts as some would call it that you sign are not fully agreed by the owners, they are never told their rights are taken away, or they would never sign. This is a great system at work to make money off the owners, by double taxation, without their knowledge. Contracts are to be signed & agreed by two parties. The documents are ever changing, certainly. Funny how rules can be passed and never recorded but somehow still enforce. This association has not had a quorum since it's inception until 2010 - does that mean business that has cost homeowners Thousands annually has been done illegally? Are board members then legal to conduct business? When you speak at board meetings you are called Naysayers and you don't care about the community. really! Residents who speak out are harassed and fined frivolously. One Board member cant make changes when 6 out of the 7 are lifers and do not want change. Residents have attended meetings and have gotten nowhere, a complete waste of time. You can show proof, hand in your petitions and guess what? They don't care.
rukiddingFeb 26, 2013 14:11:46 PM
We lived in an HOA community in Sparks, NV for 13 years. Last year we moved out after the out-of-touch Board instituted new community-wide restrictions in response to a dispute between two homeowners. HOA's promote the regulations as a way to control quality of life and retain property value, but living under them is a different matter. Regulations create a culture that encourages people to report their neighbors rather than talk with them, and places more value in a neighborhood that looks consistent than one of human diversity. And we all know what happened to home values, in spite of HOAs.
Shelley BrantFeb 24, 2013 10:53:23 AM
After listening to this show for a while and hearing the "experts" equate the HOA corporation to the "community" or the "homeowners", and after hearing the clear push from Kara Jenkins to continue pushing these HOA-burdened properties, one must wonder whether the Ombudsman is just another example of regulatory capture by the HOA vendors represented by CAI.
IC_deLightFeb 24, 2013 06:31:11 AM
I would *never* consider living in an HOA community. From what I've seen in addition to being harassed for ridiculous trivial issues, people in HOA's typically pay huge money per house for maintaining tiny bits of common lawn that shouldn't even exist in the first place. HOA's are a total con job to create cash flow after the sale.
Tom HurstFeb 22, 2013 15:46:59 PM
MANNY LOPEZFeb 25, 2013 12:30:23 PM
Glad you included at least some voices of reason on this show. HOAs have become increasingly common because local governments and homeowners like them. Many local and national surveys have shown this to be true. Most news stories about HOA issues focus on the vocal minority and ignore the silent majority of people who are happy with their HOA and where and how they live.
George McCabeFeb 21, 2013 10:00:07 AM
Numerosity does not equate to popularity regardless of whether you are talking about cockroaches, epidemics, or HOAs. Those "national surveys" are nothing but propaganda from Community Associations Institute - the trade lobby group for HOA management companies and HOA attorneys. The reality is that HOA burdened properties are terrible for everyone except perhaps the board members. Board members are an extreme minority of all homeowners living in the subdivision. A large percentage of the population has no choice but to live in HOA-burdened housing because that is all that governmental bodies have been allowing to be built for decades.
IC_deLightFeb 24, 2013 05:54:10 AM
Had my fair share or run ins with our Eldorado HOA board. In my opinion they're just a bunch of money driven bullies. They try and justify their existence by slapping fines on anyone who can't afford to challenge them in court. Meanwhile, dozens of bank owned homes in my neighborhood continue to deteriorate. I even had to photograph board members properties to show the many violations they themselves were violating when I was tired of the petty harassment. The next day we received a half dozen violations! When I threatened them with the Ombudsman office for retaliation, I didn't hear from them for a year. We're moving next month, in to a nice non-HOA community by the way. And FYI, the big fish in the game are the management companies like Terra West. They're just in it for the money and can never be held legally responsible for anything the HOA does. Just another corrupt American idea.
KeithFeb 20, 2013 12:03:11 PM
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