Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homeowners association members face violence

News from AP | The Dallas Morning News, dallasnews.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Disagreements that boil over into shouting matches, finger-pointing and even fistfights are often part of neighborhood homeowners association meetings, but the kind of violence that erupted in Louisville leaving two dead is uncommon.
I have some comments in this AP piece on the general issue of HOA violence.


Anonymous said...

"And the job is not for everyone, with people not wanting to get involved in judging their neighbors' property."

But that isn't the problem, is it?
The problem is that there are people who want to judge other people's homes and to demand that those other people alter their homes to suit these "judges". Having the purported authority to "fine" and dispossess other people from title and possession of their homes is very fulfilling for some of these "judges" and quite lucrative for the vendors who are only too anxious to promote and support the person with the most obnoxious demands as "judge".

Anonymous said...

Try this one instead.

That being said, this is a fairly one-sided story. It is not "a balanced piece from the perspective of board members and aggrieved homeowners," as Schreiner claimed it would be.

(1) The story is titled "Homeowners Association Members Face Violence", but is only concerned with threats and violence against board members. It does not even hint that members who are not board members may also face threats and physical violence.

(2) There were shootings of HOA board members in 2000, 2004, and now 2012. Three incidents in 12 years is hardly a trend, out of a population of 60 million people.

(3) Putting aside the other forms of abuse (emotional, financial, etc.), how much physical violence is there in HOAs? And how much of it goes unreported to the police?

(4) While not physical violence, it should be noted that every fine, every fee, every demand letter from an HOA to a homeowner is backed with a threat. And homeowners often have very little, if any, recourse.

(5) "McKenzie pointed to a more than 20-year-old statewide review of HOAs and condo associations in California that showed that more than 40 percent of board members surveyed say they had been threatened with violence. 'If they serve on the board for a couple of years, it's not at all unusual that a board member would be threatened or would at least feel threatened,' McKenzie said. 'Because people get really angry about this stuff.'"

Did the statewide review differentiate between actually being threatened with violence and feeling threatened? Did the statewide review ask the homeowners if they had been threatened with violence?

(6) "Local and state governments generally offer little or no help to the boards."

Is this a complaint from board members, or an observation by the reporter?

(7) In 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Two-thirds of people who live in the jurisdiction of a homeowners association are 'annoyed' by them, or worse, and 19% have been in what they call a 'war' with their HOA."

That's 40 million people and 11 million people, respectively! That might have been worth mentioning.

Overall, this story does not shed much light on the issue at all.