November 24, 2014
MaintStreet quoted me in How to Avoid War Between Homeowner Associations and Residents. It reads in part,
When Robert Stern moved into the Sedgefield retirement community in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. four years ago, all he could see was four golf courses, a pool and club house on multiple wooded acres.
“Our home is on the 14th hole of Lion’s Paw golf course where there is beautiful water lining the green,” Stern told MainStreet. “It is common to see egrets, herons, geese, turtles and other wildlife coming in and out of the area.”
But lurking under the beautiful scenery was the Homeowners Association, which Stern discovered when he left for six months to live in his Nevada retirement home. Stern is among the 63 million Americans living in communities across the country under the jurisdiction of an HOA, according to the Community Association Institute.
“Our property was being neglected and is currently a mess and the dysfunctional Sedgefield Committee won’t take responsibility for not having performed contractual compliance inspections,” said Stern.
“An HOA is a double edged sword,” said David Reiss, professor of real estate with the Brooklyn Law School. “HOAs allow residents to have a lot of sway over their environments but they also make decisions that individual residents don’t like. If you don’t agree with the decision, whether it be over a big or small issue, it can grate no matter what the decision is.”
How to Resolve Disputes
Resolving a dispute with an HOA can involve litigation or joining the club.
“When it comes to the tyranny of the board, we have met the enemy and it is us,” Reiss told MainStreet. “A very effective technique to contest a decision with which you disagree is to run for the board.”
Under most HOAs, boards are elected by residents.
“Those who are willing to do the work end up calling the shots,” Reiss said.| Permalink