Homeowners fed up with what they say is bully behavior
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Today’s report from KSHB in Kansas City, Missouri, highlights a big problem for many association-governed planned communities: developers that control their new home neighborhoods with an iron fist.
According to the report, homeowners in Copperfield Home Owners Association believe they are not getting their money’s worth from their HOA fees. Maintenance is not up to the standards they expect. The private community pool is not securely locked at night. Assessments keep rising, but there is little to show for the extra cost to members.
But watch below what happens when homeowners have the audacity to complain. Threats. Fines. Lawsuits.
Homeowners are so frustrated and fed up with developer James Peterson that they have organized a petition and even held an election of their own board of directors.
The problem is, when a planned community is still under construction with most of the lots vacant – as is the case in Copperleaf – state law permits the real estate developer to control the HOA and appoint all, or a majority, of its board members.
So Mark Andrew’s recent election to the HOA board is entirely invalid, unless homeowners can convince the court otherwise. And that is doubtful.
And as you watch this video and read the transcript, take note of the votes that Peterson claims for himself: 320 votes for lots that have yet to be sold or developed! They are merely homes in theory right now. But those 320 votes exceed the 300 votes of current homeowners. And, of course, at no time in the history of HOA-Land has there ever been a case where every eligible vote is cast in an election or on any issue facing the association.
And readers, take note that those votes not only ensure that Peterson continues to control the board of his development empire. They also ensure that the developer controls the Covenants and Restrictions, Rules and Regulations, and every dime paid in HOA fees.
This is the havoc that is wrought by attaching voting interests (notice I did not call them rights) to property rather than to the people who reside in Copperleaf.
In essence, Peterson is King of Copperfield. Homeowners are merely serfs expected to pay homage to the King. That probably explains why Peterson feels entitled to withdraw the rights of homeowners to use the common amenities for having the nerve to complain.
And the industry calls community associations a form of democracy?
Is Copperfield still part of the U.S.A.? Or has it been teleported to a Communist, Fascist, or Dictator-led regime?
No freedom of speech, no access to HOA meetings for the local press or media. Just HOA taxation without representation.
Take note: mandatory association governance is corporate governance based upon contract law rather than the Constitution of the United States.
But, of course, that “contract” – the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions – is generally written by an attorney working for a real estate developer. Add in a few regulatory clauses to appease local governments and a few for relatively meek and underfunded oversight agencies. Require mandatory adherence to these Declarations in the deed of each parcel sold to home buyers.
And, viola! The homeowner is on the hook as indentured servant to the HOA forever more – or until the association utterly fails under the crushing weight of severe underfunding and overt oppression.
Perhaps the following report will cause future buyers to reconsider the wisdom of buying into an HOA.
Residents, developer fight for control of HOA with $300,000 stuck in limbo
Control of HOA and $300,000 at stake
7:29 PM, May 15, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Homeowners are in a bitter, ongoing dispute with the developer of their north Kansas City neighborhood over who has control of the homeowners association.
At stake is who controls more than $300,000 in association fees, who’s responsible for the upkeep of the neighborhood and who controls amenities like the pool and clubhouse.
Read more (video):
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