Rachel Alexander
Homeowners’ Associations (“HOAs”) are losing money due to the high numbers of foreclosures and are scrambling to make up for it by assessing additional fees on the remaining homeowners. Banks are taking longer to foreclose on homes, leaving homes in limbo for months on end with no monthly fees coming in to the HOAs. 13 percent of homes nationwide are vacant, and in some states the vacancy rate is as high as 22 percent. To compensate, HOAs are acting like private investigators, even peering into homeowners’ yards daily until one weed pops its head up, then nailing homeowners with fines. Some HOAs are backdating letters, then dishonestly mailing them out later telling homeowners they have only a couple of days to respond to the backdate when the law actually says the time runs from the date the homeowner received the letter (this recently happened to me). Most homeowners do not have enough time nor knowledge to figure out how to respond adequately within a couple of days, so they end up paying extra fines. Another ploy of HOAs to generate money is to send letters to homeowners telling them the paint on their home must be redone, when the paint looks fine (this also happened to me).

Meanwhile, HOA rules, known as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (‘CC&Rs”) are being selectively enforced. In many cases, the homeowners who sit on the HOA boards have much more egregious violations of the HOA CC&Rs that are overlooked. At least once a week there is a car illegally parked in front of my home, but the HOA does nothing about it, probably because it is not an easy revenue generator.

The recent level of aggressive policing by HOAs is grossly unfair to the remaining homeowners who have regularly complied and paid their bills and mortgages on time. Their home values have massively decreased due to the homes foreclosing around them, and around 30 percent are underwater. Many are hurting economically, so it is a callous blow to get hit hard with excessive and unfair fines and fees due to no action of their own.

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.

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