GREEDY SERVICE PROVIDERS ASK FOR VIOLATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
Provisions in House Bill 433 (Rep. Carl Domino) and Senate Bill 902 (Senator Dennis Jones)
An Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published March 11, 2007
Even in Communist East Germany nobody was forced to join a group they didn't want to be part of. But here in the United States of America -- The Land Of The Free -- a lobbying group for the service providers for community associations is trying to see a bill enacted that would actually do just that: Force homeowners against their will to be part of an association they don't want to be part of!
This is the wording -- very short -- considering the damage it can create!
The language is already vague in 720.403-720.407 -- and leaves more holes than a Swiss cheese for "inventive interpretation.” We have seen many exquisite examples. This addition was made in the last minutes of the legislative session in 2004, tagging it on to the HOA Task Force Bill SB 2984 -- with no regard to the effect it will have on many homeowners. The result: Confusion in the Department of Community Affairs -- supposed to regulate this provision -- many lawsuits and neighborhood wars that are still raging. Please, don't forget that the Revitalization provision in FS 720 was NOT a work of the Governor's HOA Task Force!
Under the cover of "Protecting Property Values" the industry created another great source of income. Even the Brothers Grimm wrote better Fairy Tales, because associations do everything else but protect property values.
I guess it's easier to fleece homeowners if they are part of an association? They surely are less protected against scams, criminal mischief and embezzlement than their neighbors outside of associations!
We had the same arguments in 2006, when Governor Jeb Bush finally vetoed the bill that included this provision. Please read my "OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR JEB BUSH".
And to add insult to injury, well-known CAI (Community Associations Institute) lobbyist Travis Moore dubbed this bill the "GOOD GUYS BILL"! Then who are the bad guys? The folks that don't want to live in an unregulated dictatorship called HOA -- and elected to buy a home in a community with expired deed restrictions -- to live free from abusive boards, management companies and attorneys?
In 2004/2005, when the opt-out provision in FS 720 still functioned, we saw in one "revitalized" association more than 70% of the owners opt out, even if they had to pay the court cost. I guess it shows the un-popularity of these homeowners' associations? The only real winners of these associations are the service providers -- and that's why they are pushing so hard for this dangerous provision.
Here is the solution to fix the problem, but as you can imagine, the service providers don't want that to happen. But I think our Constitution gives owners the right to make a choice! Then we can only hope for the integrity of our elected officials!
This amendment to FS 720.405-407 would give every property owner the choice -- and that's the way it should be! But it seems that we have to fight for every little freedom remaining in this country. There is always somebody who wants to restrict our freedom and wants to make a fast buck -- at the expense of us homeowners!
Just tell the members of the Senate Committee on Community Affairs to remove this provision from the otherwise perfectly fine bill, because this provision clearly violates our private property rights
Committee convenes on Wednesday, March 14, 2007, at 1:30 pm, in Room
412-K of the
tell them what you think!