STOP HOA ABUSE - SUPPORT HOA REFORM
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A homeowner association (abbreviated HOA) is a private self governed association often formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes in a residential subdivision.
Today Homeowner Associations represent a $90 billion a year “unregulated” industry. This is a lot of money, and thanks to greed and a lust for power, it attracts some unscrupulous people.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a home in a community with a Homeowners Association there’s a lot to consider before you do. I’m not saying all HOAs are bad, but buying a home in an HOA community is much more than amenities, manicured lawns, and annual dues.
Homeowners Associations are legal entities that are usually (almost always) incorporated. By incorporating these communities, the developers are able to create “LEGAL - PRIVATE GOVERNMENTS that DICTATE LIFESTYLES by writing deed restrictions. It’s also where a handful of fellow home owners (with no experience required) serve as the Association Board Of Directors and get to act as Accuser, Prosecutor, Judge and Jury.
The governing documents of a Homeowner Associations are the Declarations of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), By Laws, and Articles of Incorporation. All of the documents are LEGALLY binding for both - the individual members - and the Homeowners Association.
Unfortunately for the homeowner, the contract is usually (almost always) written by and FOR developers, making it - IN FAVOR OF THE HOA. In addition, governing documents are NOT subject to state or federal review, and provide very little (if any) protection for property owners. These contracts do not allow for any of the usual negotiation - you either take it or leave it. And you should know the Association rules may change from year to year - depending on which neighbors happen to be serving on the Association Board.
By purchasing a home in an HOA community, you are assumed to have agreed to the contract whether or not the seller made full disclosure of its contents and implications. Further, because of these negative implications, sellers of HOA property will try to withhold as much information as they can possibly get away with.
The fact is - that just the act of filing deed restrictions at city hall - LEGALLY CONSTITUTES - FULL - PUBLIC - DISCLOSURE.
And, it’s important to note that state laws governing HOAs are heavily skewed in favor of, real estate industry stakeholders: land developers and home builders, bulk investors, HOA management firms, and HOA attorneys. All work diligently to influence the legislature to enhance the rights and powers of developers and the corporate HOA entity - while severely limiting the private property rights of homeowners.
As mentioned above, the CC&Rs will grant a handful of your neighbors, referred to collectively as the Board of Directors, powers beyond those of local, state, and federal governments. It will also shield them from any personal liability, and thus eliminate any incentive to exercise that power in a reasonable and rational manner. And best of all, no experience is required for any seat on the board.
In Kentucky, governance within a Homeowners Association is organized under weak or nonexistent corporate laws. All too often, HOA Board members abuse their positions, some of their violations consist of discrimination through selective enforcement, abuse of the legal system, and erosion of property and privacy rights.
More disturbingly, some board members commit IMMORAL, INDECENT and CRIMINAL ACTS, acts that have absolutely nothing to do with enforcing or upholding the CC&R, all while hiding behind the corporate veil of the HOA.
To make matters worse, in Kentucky, Homeowner Associations are classified as a "private entity" versus a "public entity". This classification means that no matter how many HOA complaints the Kentucky Attorney General receives pertaining to HOA abuse, the OAG considers an HOA complaint a "civil matter" and refuse to protect the homeowner. This loophole leaves the homeowner with the decision to either be victimized by their HOA or spend thousands of dollars out of pocket to legally defend themselves.
Further, the attorneys get paid - whether he or she wins or loses a case - so it’s not uncommon for an association attorney to take on a patently frivolous or clearly unwinnable case in order to rack up substantial fees.
For the attorneys, it's all about making money, for corrupt board members, it's about bullying and placing a financial burden on the homeowner, a tactic the HOA uses to cause harm to the homeowner.
The articles / publications, videos, broadcasts and analysis posted in this petition help explain the truth about this industry. The article, "HOA Gravy Train" (at the top of the page) explains it in very simple terms, how it all started and how it became a cash cow.
Below, are just a few of the reforms we need in Kentucky:
Attorney General oversight of homeowner, condominium, and cooperative associations. Expand the Attorney General’s powers to bring action against an HOA or board member for alleged misappropriation of funds, fraud or criminal acts against the Association or members. Powers to permit the court to order restitution, removal of a board member or other remedies, including payment of the AG’s office costs.
Administrative oversight of real estate licensing boards and agencies. New laws mandating better buyer disclosure standards.
Require background checks on those who run HOAs. Currently, there’s little vetting of those serving on HOA boards or the property managers who run the day-to-day operations. A board President or Treasurer, for example, could have a felony record, might be in arrears on his or her own financial matters or might even have a history of judgments or bankruptcy.
Enacting better laws requiring open records and open board meetings.
Enact a grievance procedure where homeowner disputes can be resolved amicably without resorting to litigation.
Over nine hundred supporters have signed this petition and many have included their own personal HOA experiences. We’re close to reaching our goal of 1000 signatures, so please keep sharing this petition and keep writing and calling your state representatives.
Your signature of support is very much appreciated!
Old Taylor Place
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