Sunday, March 18, 2012

The price of order: Pros and cons of homeowners associations

The price of order: Pros and cons of homeowners associations
 About 15 percent of housing developments in Berks have some form of homeowners association, said Glenn R. Knoblauch, executive director of the county planning commission. The biggest growth in planned communities with associations is in communities that will accept only residents age 55 and older.

In most cases the rules and regulations do preserve order, said Tom Campisi, executive director of the Community Association Institute of Pennsylvania, an industry group that advocates for such associations.

"You don't want your neighbors putting a junk car on blocks in their front yard," Campisi said. "An important thing to remember is that both sides, the association and the homeowner, have rights. They also have responsibilities."

Campisi said most disputes between homeowners and association boards involve a lack of communication and reasonableness. While not wanting to comment on the Yergers' case specifically, he said doing the reasonable thing and communicating your intentions before taking action often will prevent a dispute. 

Fred Pilot sent me this piece from the Reading Eagle in Reading, PA.  It is ironic that I wrote Privatopia while I was living in Reading and teaching at Albright College.  Didn't change a thing in Reading, though, did it?  That was in 1993-94. And here in the Reading Eagle we have the sort of thing that provincial journalist used to write in the 1990s --a silly, ignorant, one-sided puff piece for CAI and the CID industry, published as if it were a real feature article.  Today, of course, the news media are much more educated on this subject, and even a quick Google search will produce some insight into the actual situation owners face with this industry, the huge volume of reform legislation, the tsunami of association insolvencies, etc.  But in a cultural backwater like Reading, which is still in a 1950s time warp in every way, somebody with a job on a newspaper can still produce claptrap like this and have an editor sign off on it.  


Anonymous said...

Funny, Homeowners have rights, HOA have rights..., if it were that honest and consistent. Pennsylvania, has anyone read Robert Metcalf? Google him and HOA. A brilliant man.
In my experience, in Pennsylvania, with an HOA, is if you even dare
ask the association attorney a question, for a clarification, you are
terrorized, death threated, witch hunted through the court and made
fraudulently homeless...GOT THAT? Maybe, it's just "that locale."

Anonymous said...

Thanks to "Anonymous" above (no relation). I had forgotten that Robert Metcalf was from Pennsylvania.

His "Position Statement On Common Interest Developments" (2007) is available at

He was also a guest of Shu's "On the Commons" back in July 2007.

Anonymous said...

More by Robert Metcalf is listed below. Now, if only the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would read these, investigate the groups fraudulently foreclosing and all the other horrific tactics enlisted by some of those who seek to abuse innocent homeowners, this would be a great benefit.

"HOA Personality," by Robert Metcalf, Chadds Ford, PA.
The HOA Personality November 20, 2007 By Robert Metcalf Chadds ...
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Nov 20, 2007 – By Robert Metcalf. Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania - ... The obvious, club-handed vaunters that live out their domination fantasies through pompous ...

"HOA Gravy Train," by Robert Metcalf, Chadds Ford, PA.
1 THE HOA GRAVY TRAIN by Robert Metcalf, Chadds Ford, PA The ...
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by Robert Metcalf, Chadds Ford, PA. The American Homeowners Resource Center asked that I elaborate on the phrase “HOA. Gravy Train,” which I us

Privatopia, info on Robert Metcalf:
The Privatopia Papers: Homeowners association cases fill court ... - Similar
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Aug 14, 2009 – How many association attorneys actually tell a homeowner to do ... Has anyone seen what Robert Metcalf has to say about his management company in Pennsylvania? ... My community is located in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. .... use of the U.S Mail to collect assessments under false pretenses -- that the ...
There are so many more brilliant writings on this issue, by Mr. Metcalf, including a letter to Pennsylvania, then Governor, Ed Rendell, "The obvious truth about HOA's l&II," etc. Hopefully, some day there will be a website with all his publications.
Funny thing is that Rick Santorum was a Senator in PA when all this mess and abuse was going on and in my experience, brought to the attention of the Pennsylvania attorney General and others...What did Mr. Santorum do to assist innocent homeowners being fraudulently foreclosed upon?