Sunday, June 27, 2010

On The Commons

On The CommonsOn The Commons turns 10 years old this month. Our special guest is Evan McKenzie as we celebrate 10 years and kick off a brand new season of On The Commons.
Give it a listen and post a comment telling us all what you think...


Anonymous said...

I posted my comments about the interview here, but this quote of yours from the program is worth repeating for those who didn't read the earlier story about the fire departments (emphasis added):

(00:22:48) It's like something you would see in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. People think these things don't go on. But we know they go on every day in condo and homeowners associations. These people who have no idea how to use power at all. They won't even accept limits on their power. They don't even know what the law requires of them, these directors. They go by what some lawyer tells them to do, which the lawyer tells them to do only because he or she knows they can get away with it. Because the only recourse you have is some civil suit. Here in Illinois, we don't have an Ombudsman. Most states don't. There's nowhere for owners to turn. If the lawyer tells them "Oh, just jack 'em around. Who cares what the rules are? Who cares what the law says? It' doesn't make any difference. The transaction costs of enforcing an owner's rights are so great that they are hardly ever able to do it. (00:23:40)

Regarding the "only recourse you have is some civil suit," it's no surprise that HOA corporations and their attorneys like it that way.

In 2006, the Larimer County (Colorado) Republican Party passed a resolution stating that



Whereas… Homeowners associations are prevalent and their actions impact property values, property rights, living environment, and personal rights of the residents; and many of the HOA’s have abused their power, disobeyed the law, and generally acted in ways harmful to their members and have failed to meet their fiduciary duties:

Therefore let it be Resolved… That the Larimer County Republican Party urge the Colorado General Assembly to cause HOA's to be legally accountable to their members such that members harmed by the HOA’s action can take pro se legal action through the court to recover damages, remove board members, and apply the same level of accountability generally expected of all levels of government.

In response, the HOA law firm HindmanSanchez stated that (April 28, 2006, emphasis added):

Despite the urgent tone of this resolution, homeowners in condominium communities and pre and post-CCIOA planned communities already do have the right to enforce the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) and their governing documents by filing a lawsuit against their association for violating the law or their documents. (Confused about whether you live in a CCIOA community? Click here.) In addition, Section 123 of CCIOA provides that the "prevailing party" is entitled to the costs and reasonable attorneys fees incurred in bringing the action. Therefore, if the association loses, the court will order the association to pay the owner's costs and attorneys fees. Owners may also collect any actual damages caused by the association's failure to follow the law or the governing documents. (Click here for another post addressing CCIOA's enforcement provision.)

Anonymous said...

An excellent interview and I have to admit, I expected it would be. Many thanks and gratitude to Dr. McKenzie and Shu Bartholomew for their expertise.
More on this later.