Voluntary or Mandatory?
By Jan Bergemann ( 6 - 5 - 2002 )
|Florida - We have here in Florida still
quite a lot of so-called Civic Associations or Voluntary Homeowners' Associations.
They were mostly created in the 70's and 80's before the industry and the
legislators realized what a great money-making business mandatory homeowners'
associations really are.
Quite a lot of the homeowners living in these voluntary associations have been happy until in recent times, when some busy-bodies felt that it was time for changes. These people come together and claim it's time to change the community. "Board meetings" are being held, Florida Statutes are plainly ignored, and the problems start!
Especially in the Orlando area homeowners
complained recently that they received letters from "their" board, claiming
that the former voluntary association has been changed into a mandatory
association, new deed restriction have been established and please pay
your dues immediately.
According to some Florida
Court Rulings this is not the way it works. If you are a member
of a voluntary association you can't be forced without your agreement to
become a member of a mandatory association. Don't let these busy-bodies
threaten or intimidate you!
And don't even consider joining this "Mandatory
Club"! Many homeowners living in mandated properties would only be too
happy to be able to get away from them.
These people will tell you how great the advantages are of being a member of a mandatory association. No pink houses in your neighborhood, no old cars in the drive-ways and no flag poles in the neighbors' front yard. And your property values will go up in no time!
What they will definitely not tell you
is that your money can be used to sue you, that you will be financially
responsible for any of the association's liabilities and that other people,
like these busy-bodies, have suddenly the right to tell you what to do
and not to do on your own property.
And in regards of mandatory homeowners'
associations raising property values?
So, don't let these busy-bodies talk you
into joining their new "invention". The day you regret it may be sooner
than you think.
Our legislators have so far failed to protect the rights of homeowners living in mandated properties and the industry is well entrenched in Tallahassee.
If you are a homeowner in a situation as described above, don't let them threaten or intimidate you. You do have RIGHTS !
And it's easier to fight for your rights
before these mandatory associations are using your own money to defeat
you in a Court of Law. As you can see from the Quoted
Court Cases it has been tried before and failed. As long as you
don't belong to a Mandatory Homeowners' Association you still have RIGHTS
If you have any questions, please write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org