Sunday, December 11, 2011

Require homeowners associations (HOAs) to be subject to the Constitution

Are we united or are there two forms of political government within this great country? If America is to remain a united people, it is time that the US prohibits the writing of private contracts, Declarations of CC&Rs, subject to common law servitudes in order to subvert the application of the US Constitution. It is time that these private local governments be made subject to the US Constitution and stop being treated as independent principalities.

By virtue of an unconscionable adhesion private contract favoring the subdivision developer and HOA board of directors, homeowners associations are allowed to deny constitutional protections and the application of the laws of the land. Over 20% of Americans, who are homeowners living in these private governments, live at the “suffrage of the board,” with state laws that do not punish board violations of the laws or of the governing HOA documents.
George Staropoli of Arizona-based Citizens for Constitutional Local Government has for more than a decade argued that Privatopia is an extra-constitutional form of local government that's prone to abuse of power and thus a danger to civil and property rights. Now he's drafted a petition to the White House urging that Privatopia be deprivatized and subject to constitutional restraints.

It's not clear from the petition how this is to be accomplished. For example, by preempting state enabling statutes that allow the formation of mandatory membership HOAs? The aim of this petition could also be achieved at the state level by repealing HOA authorizing statutes and subjecting existing and future HOAs to state government codes as special districts or taxing authorities.


George K. Staropoli said...

I will explain to the President, whoever he/she may be, when I get a response. So, help me get a response by signing the Petition.

Make this one country, "indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Right To Own Your Own Home said...

The H.O.A. system cannot work, because there are too many perverse incentives and moral hazards built into it.

When 1 out of 5 people "have been in what they call a 'war' with their HOA," something is seriously wrong.

Proposals for H.O.A. reform -- however well written and much needed -- are doomed to failure; in part because they are either too vague, or are dependent on several reforms being enacted to be effective.

I fear that, like post-Kelo reforms regarding eminent domain, most H.O.A. reforms that become law will be largely symbolic and perverted by the industry, and the situation will actually be worse. eg, ask Shu Bartholomew about H.O.A. ombuds offices and mediation. Ask homeowners in Texas about Senator Carona's "Property Owner's Protection Act"

A few tweaks here and there isn’t going to make H.O.A.s work for the homeowners. They cannot, because the structure is too fundamentally dysfunctional. And the industry has too much of an incentive -- to the tune of $30 billion to $50 billion a year -- to make sure it stays that way.

My solution is simple:

Give homeowners the right to opt-out of their H.O.A., and thus make them truly voluntary.

Contract Requiring or Prohibiting Homeowners Association (H.O.A.) Membership Void
A contract is void if it requires that, to own a home, homeowners or applicants for home ownership:
(1) must be or may not be members of an H.O.A. ; or
(2) must remain or may not remain members of an H.O.A.

This is not a radical idea, as it is based on the "right to work" laws that exist in 22 states. For example, Texas Codes Title 3 § 101.053.

Contract Requiring or Prohibiting Labor Union Membership Void
A contract is void if it requires that, to work for an employer, employees or applicants for employment:
(1) must be or may not be members of a labor union; or
(2) must remain or may not remain members of a labor union. (Enacted 1993.)

For as long as I can remember, prohibiting mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment has been in the platform of the Republican Party. Why not prohibit mandatory membership in an H.O.A. union as a condition of home ownership?

I believe that my proposal is the only way H.O.A. corporations will start treating their members as customers, rather than as a product to be farmed out to the property management companies and rapacious collections attorneys. If an H.O.A. provides value for the dues they charge, homeowners will want to freely remain members. Isn’t that how a free-market is supposed to work?

See my web site at

Anonymous said...

If people don't want to live in an HOA they can buy somewhere else. Nobody is holding a gun to their head to make them buy -- oh buy wait, they are buying in that nice community because it looks so pretty and has nice amenitites...but then again, if it didn't have rules, then people would park their cars on the lawn, leave trash around, and paint their homes wierd colors. You can't have it BOTH ways. Either you want to live in a nice community where your property values are somewhat protected, or you can go live in an unregulated neighborhood where your neighbor can do anything they like that WILL affect your property value.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at December 17, 2011 8:11:00 PM CST,

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with your Big Lies.

Please provide evidence for your assertions that

1) non-HOA neighborhoods are trashy

2) HOAs protect property values