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Old 02-05-2013, 09:27 AM
 
165 posts, read 174,503 times
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I was in an HOA that was so abusive that a guy who lived there lobbied the state to change the laws for them and succeeded. They are entirely too powerful. What you need to do is find an HOA that has lower fees, so that it is more difficult for them to get into your wallet. This is not to say that they still can't make your life hell. There really needs to be reform in this area. Part of the problem is that state and local governments don't want to provide services any more like roads so that pawn that off to HOA's even though you pay the same taxes.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:05 AM
 
244 posts, read 484,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
The right to contract goes way back in the common law, and is law in every state of the union - its not something that comes from federal law. Its hard to imagine capitalism without the ability to make a contract. Union contracts are no different from any other contract in that respect.
Not civil contracts in general, but Union exclusionary contracts which are a violation of anti-trust laws if the contract was within any other context. In other words, the federal government gave union contracts and only union contract special and artificial legal status. You are right, however, that civil contract law and property law both have old European based origins and many fundamental elements of which can't be challenged.

Quote:
It is true that the right to contract is to some degree artificial - its possible to have a society without contracts. Its also, by the same token, possible to have a society with very limited property rights. Prior to 1400 or so fee simple property ownership in england and other western societies was rare, and "property" had all kinds of encumbrances. Its just as easy to imagine a functioning society in which the rights of property owners to voluntarily form associations was limited in some way, as it is to imagine a society in which rights to contract are limited.
Sure, I agree. But I am not referring to contracts in general, but the exclusionary union contracts, which have special legal status in the US and thus should not be compared to property rights, which has no such special status and is broadly adopted without much controversy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:35 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,816 posts, read 10,721,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaOne View Post
Not civil contracts in general, but Union exclusionary contracts which are a violation of anti-trust laws if the contract was within any other context.

Anti-trust laws are not intrinsically natural, but were passed for public policy reasons. If the govt felt that applying them to collective bargaining did not advance those policy reasons, then a carve out makes sense and is not particularly "artificial". Similarly the govt has carved out exceptions for certain sports leagues, etc.



But again the only point made, was that its not necessarily easier to 'go live somewhere else' in response to an HOA, than to 'go work somewhere else' in response to an agency contract. I think that point holds, whether you think anti-trust law is as natural as laws restricting the rights of property owners, or not.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:44 AM
 
244 posts, read 484,331 times
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Lets take a theoretical case - if one particularly large HOA came into existence for the entire region known as Vienna and ever property owner in Vienna drank the same Koolaid and agree to it; would the government step in and make such a transfer of property rights to the HOA illegal? I guess what keeps HOAs from treading such dangerous waters is that they are individually autonomous and there is no national or even large regional organization.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,816 posts, read 10,721,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaOne View Post
Lets take a theoretical case - if one particularly large HOA came into existence for the entire region known as Vienna and ever property owner in Vienna drank the same Koolaid and agree to it; would the government step in and make such a transfer of property rights to the HOA illegal? I guess what keeps HOAs from treading such dangerous waters is that they are individually autonomous and there is no national or even large regional organization.

I don't think HOA's should be illegal. I never said they should be. I just don't think agency shop contracts should be illegal either.

if someone wants to modify Va's right to work law, so that agency shop contracts were legal for unions with no members outside Va, or below a certain size, that could be quite interesting.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:52 AM
 
367 posts, read 763,988 times
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HOA is the worst, CMC manages our association and it has been nothing but terrible, increases every year for nothing more! Will I buy HOA again, yes only because every tract home in this area has one.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:54 AM
 
244 posts, read 484,331 times
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I used to work for a company in MD that depended on unionized pipe fitters. I don't recall whether there was an agreement that they could not hire any non-union workers, but at least on the same job, you couldn't have a mixture of the two. It was very frustrating for the business owner. I for one am glad that no such practice is legal in VA.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,301 posts, read 5,501,816 times
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Default Less money is not necessarily better

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
I was in an HOA that was so abusive that a guy who lived there lobbied the state to change the laws for them and succeeded. They are entirely too powerful. What you need to do is find an HOA that has lower fees, so that it is more difficult for them to get into your wallet. This is not to say that they still can't make your life hell. There really needs to be reform in this area. Part of the problem is that state and local governments don't want to provide services any more like roads so that pawn that off to HOA's even though you pay the same taxes.
HOA communities can be as good or as bad as the people who live in them allow them to be. Yes, it is a "form of government" and if you ignore what is going on by not reading the CC&Rs you received when you bought into the community, or by failing to attend on a more or less regular basis the HOA board meetings, you are opening up a potential can of worms.

Plenty of HOA's work just fine, but almost ALL of them are underfunded with regard to any common areas that might need future maintence (e.g. common roofs, clubhouses, swimming pools). The reason they are underfunded is that the developer starts and initially runs the HOA charging a fee he or she usually knows will do little more than pay for mowing right aways or yards, shoveling or plowing snow, or replacing light bulbs in street lights. Why? The developer has an interest in selling the property. He wants to show "fees" are low. Unfortunately low fees may mean lack of reserving for the areas previously mentioned and when it comes time to perform such maintenance a "special assessment" is necessary.

I personally believe that developers should not be able to "sign off" on an HOA community until they have paid for a reserve study by a firm selected by the owners, not the developer's "friend" owners, and the developer makes up any difference in reserving for future maintanance.

We are continuing to see increases in HOA's for three main reasons:

1. The Clean Water Act of 1977 requires water retention areas be developed for any home. It is far less expensive and more practical for a developer to build one or two water retention areas for an entire community than to build one for each individual home. Therefore a "common" area is built that all members in a community are responsible for.

2. The developer fills the CC&Rs with protection for himself in case he has made any errors in building codes or with faulty construction. Typically an HOA homeowner finds he can only press a claim through the Homeowners Association and the CC&R's require 2/3s or 3/4's of all MEMBERS, not just those voting to allow a lawsuit.

3. Local governments enjoy the ability to collect the same taxes from an HOA homeowner as from a non-HOA homeowner but don't have to provide services mentioned previously (mowing, plowing, street maintenance).

HOA's are going to continue to proliferate, and doing away with one is not easy--who owns the water retention areas? Do you need to build one on your own lot? Do you have the space to do that? What about swimming pools, clubhouses, and security on gated communities?

HOA's can provide great service for some people--but almost never to an inactive community. You MUST be involved in order to live successfully in an HOA community. You must make sure your Board follows it's own rules. You need to vote new folks in every so often to get new ideas and perspectives. Someone who stays a long time (nine years, I think I saw one poster mention) can begin to forget that it is the community he/she serves, not himself.

Finally, here is a set of proposed HOA laws by a Houston attorney which would be well to adopt in every state. Whether you live in an HOA or not, I urge you to press your state legislators to pass these protections.

Quote:
A BILL of RIGHTS for HOMEOWNERS in ASSOCIATIONS:
Basic Principles of Consumer Protection and Sample Model Statute
By David A. Kahne
Law Office of David A. Kahne
presented by The AARP Public Policy Institute, a part of the Policy and Strategy Group of AARP
We encourage every homeowner across the United States to read this Bill of Rights and become active in your home state to make it become law.
In August 2006, The AARP Policy and Strategy Group released this publication by David Kahne. Texas Homeowners for HOA Reform believes the Sample Model Statute in Mr. Kahne's publication addresses nearly all our objectives in a fair and reasonable manner for homeowners and associations alike. The approach taken in his Bill of Rights is a common sense way of balancing the rights of homeowners against an HOA board's duty to enforce Deed Restrictions and collect dues.
We endorse the Bill of Rights because it would go a long way to stop abuse of homeowners by their associations.
THHR-AARP HO Bill of Rights

Last edited by Wardendresden; 02-05-2013 at 12:41 PM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:33 PM
 
165 posts, read 174,503 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I don't think HOA's should be illegal. I never said they should be. I just don't think agency shop contracts should be illegal either.

if someone wants to modify Va's right to work law, so that agency shop contracts were legal for unions with no members outside Va, or below a certain size, that could be quite interesting.
I think that they should be limited in their ability to regulate your life and take your money. In most cases, they should follow county ordinances as far as the exterior of your private property such as house color, yard, allowed activities, etc. That would go a long way.

There should also be stricter rules on how much they can charge for special assessments and how they handle the money. These are minor governments with more power in many ways than any local government ever had. They can have a small group of people with a lock on the power and it's small tyranny.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:59 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,853,947 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMOCCC View Post
I think that they should be limited in their ability to regulate your life and take your money. In most cases, they should follow county ordinances as far as the exterior of your private property such as house color, yard, allowed activities, etc. That would go a long way.

There should also be stricter rules on how much they can charge for special assessments and how they handle the money. These are minor governments with more power in many ways than any local government ever had. They can have a small group of people with a lock on the power and it's small tyranny.
You seem uncomfortable with the right of free association, which is odd given the earlier claim of conservatism.

No one forces anyone to live in an HOA-regulated development. When you choose to buy a property in an HOA-regulated development, you agree to all the Bylaws and other sundry regulations. If you don't agree, then don't buy and don't move in.

HOA's may perform some "government-like" roles, but they aren't governments. They don't have the same powers and obligations.
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