What can be done about HOA dysfunction?

Independent American Communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

After listening to residents, and reading and learning about issues affecting association-governed common interest communities for more than five years, as well as writing about them for almost three years, something very important is happening.
Finally, people are starting to discuss possible solutions to problems and alternative housing models.

When I first began participating in HOA discussion forums, most of the conversations were either an exercise in self-promotion, gripe sessions, or downright adversarial exchange. None of it was productive conversation.

A few years ago, the only news reports about HOAs, condominiums, and cooperatives were either press releases (advertising) or “horror” stories about displays of the American flag, holiday decorations, or houses painted blue. These days, the media is paying attention to more important issues such as theft and embezzlement, fraud, crime and blight in failing associations, fair housing violations and discrimination, HOA foreclosures, and…

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One Reply to “What can be done about HOA dysfunction?”

  1. In order for an owner or resident of a HOA-managed community to begin to positively address their HOA dysfunction issues, they should read and understand their own governing documents. Governing documents that I have read are very comprehensive and reasonable balance the interests of all interested parties: owners, residents, contractors, mortgage lenders, local and state governments, etc. Most “how to” books on condo living I’ve read note that most owners/residents are not aware of what their governing documents specify. Herein is the root of the HOA dysfunction problem. Such ignorance or apathy lends itself to exploitation by individuals who are out to maximize their own rewards at the expense of the entire HOA community. Such individuals may include the community’s sociopaths (an estimated 5% of the general population) and various contractors who offer their “services” to the community for a fee.


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