Couple in nasty battle with South Natomas homeowners association - Real Estate - The Sacramento Bee
"The Campbells say the dispute began when they raised questions about the association's finances and complained about a lack of handicapped access to the neighborhood swimming pool. In return, they say, they were threatened with fines, disciplined, and denied homeowner privileges. The dispute has escalated to the point that the Campbells say they have gone to the FBI with allegations about the association's finances, while the association's lawyers have told the Campbells they don't even own their home."
I was interviewed for this story and had this to say:
"Despite the prevalence of HOAs, there is no government entity that regularly oversees how they operate, McKenzie said. There are many devoted board members and many conscientious association lawyers, he said. But when things turn sour, associations and their lawyers wield outsized power, while homeowners have little recourse. Litigation is often the homeowners' only option, but few have the funds to hire lawyers, McKenzie said. He likened it to a criminal justice system with prosecutors but no defense lawyers. "Because they only represent one side, they become extremely adversarial," McKenzie said of HOA attorneys. "They are pro-association and anti-owner. They want total obedience. The owners are the enemy. They see them as troublemakers."