Sunday, November 06, 2011

Out of Balance: Homeowner Rights vs. Responsibilities |

Out of Balance: Homeowner Rights vs. Responsibilities |
Attorney Roger Wood, formerly of the firm of Carpenter Hazelwood, has now declared his independence and presents himself an advocate of the homeowner. This is producing some controversy, as one might expect. Scott Carpenter's firm figures prominently in many of the Arizona stories of owners crushed to a pulp by the industry, and in the minds of many owners' rights advocates there is no stronger advocate of absolute board authority over owners than Scott Carpenter. So--this is quite a defection.


Anonymous said...

Is Wood’s “changing sides” a recent epiphany respecting out of balance homeowner rights or a self-serving financial decision...more contested homeowner/association matters and far too many members of the “association bar” whose practice is exclusive to representing associations and their boards versus a less crowded “homeowner bar” (We’re putting the “H” back in HOA), as such, a potentially more lucrative practice?

"November 2011 is the beginning of a new day for homeowners in Arizona. Gone are the days of homeowners not having a voice. Inaccessible and overpriced attorneys for homeowners are a thing of the past. The uneven playing field of Board/Management/HOA Lawyer versus homeowner is set to be righted.

Announcing the grand opening of The Law Offices of J. Roger Wood, PLLC, providing legal advice and litigation services for Arizona Homeowners." JRWood, 11/02/2011

Fred Fischer said...

Carpenter Hazelwood like many other HOA service providers, primarily depends upon HOAs for their livelihood and only has a duty to the bottom line. Unlike municipal and State forms of governance who have a duty to protect the civil liberties, health, safety, welfare of its citizens and the use and enjoyment of their private properties. So it’s no surprise or mystery why HOA attorneys advocate absolute Board authority over the owners. Since that’s how these industry trained and self certified service providers retain control over the corporate housing product that they created to benefit themselves except for the owners.

This is why CIDs when under HOA control are not community’s but instead corporate housing products and very defective ones at that as history has proven. In addition when municipalities started mandating the creation of HOAs to govern CIDs. They also imposed upon property owners the inherited corruption that comes with, the privatizing of services. Making HOAs even more of a liability and defective product that is long overdue for a major recall since they are un-fixable.

J. Roger Wood said...

Thanks for the mention on the blog Professor. I had a great conversation with some Arizona homeowners last night (a few from AZ CHORE) and told them my story of "defection". I'm going to be a zealous advocate and after much musing over the last many months (and some discontentment over the last two years), I'm excited to be a voice for Arizona homeowners. There aren't many and there is a need.

Anonymous said...

"But Homeowner, you have rights. The laws in Arizona, your CC&Rs and Arizona’s laws for non-profit corporations all give you rights. Full financial disclosure. The right to speak at a meeting. Board recall. The right to be treated fairly and as other Homeowners in a similar situation have been treated. The right to live peaceably and quietly, without unnecessary intrusion. It’s your house and it’s still America, after all....But maybe it’s time that Homeowners flex some muscle and exercise those statutory and contractual rights. So folks, get up off the couch and sell the hoopdie."

Big deal. Another "homeowners have rights" article. The CAI says that all the time.

Except it ignores the fact that, as Mike Reardon has observed:

Most normal people shun association meetings after discovering what a sham they are.
The folks angry enough to come to a meeting and endure the patented "abuse them till they leave" routine....well most normal people want even less to do with that!
It really is a remarkable pathology!

Unless Mr. Wood is going to be working on a contingency or pro-bono basis, I wouldn't trust him any more than I would trust any other lawyer.

Otherwise, he'll get paid no matter the quality of his service. And as Benjamin Barton has observed, it's practically impossible to hold a lawyer accountable for malpractice.

I say this from personal experience. I had a lawyer who is one of the few in my state to represent homeowners against their HOAs. And he screwed me over as much as the HOA's lawyers did.