Good place to come home to?

Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel

By Wayne T. Moses
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006


The idea of creating homeowners associations isn't new, but the way it's done has changed in recent years, because service providers such as management companies and attorneys have realized that these associations are a great cash cow.
The reason: Legislators all around the nation created laws governing HOAs -- ambiguous laws, easy to interpret any which way you want to twist them and nearly unenforceable.
There is no accountability demanded of the people in charge, but they have the money to fight you in a court of law -- right or wrong. Many owners don't lose in court because they violated the laws and/or rules; they lose because they plainly run out of money to fight for their rights.
This opens the door for all kinds of shenanigans -- from just plain power-hungry board members to greedy managers and attorneys. The money is always there, and don't forget, your home is collateral for any bills they create.
It is our responsibility as the owners to change that. We may not have the finances the industry is putting up to defeat owner-friendly bills, but we have the power of numbers. Together we have a chance to create the necessary changes that will help us to turn our communities back into friendly neighborhoods!
Our property values will not go up because we all have the same beige-colored doors. Our communities will not get better because we all have the same peach-colored shingles, or whatever color the board president's wife likes. Our neighborhood will not be more neighborly because the condo commando is running around with a notepad writing violation notices for flowers with too bright colors in the front yards.
And it surely doesn't improve our lifestyle if our board forecloses on a family for small amounts of unpaid dues! Is that what our society should stand for?
We need to get back to the better times when neighbors talked to neighbors, communities helped families in need and everybody respected each other as neighbors and human beings!
These better times will only return if we all work together to create the laws that will stop most of these shenanigans.
United, we can convince our legislators that they need to create the laws and enforcement of such laws that help to make our communities good places to come home to! Everyone's help is needed to help us achieve our goal: fairness in all associations.
Wayne T. Moses lives in Boca Raton.