When will Americans declare independence from HOA tyranny?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

US Constitution (pixabay.com)

In honor of Independence Day, today let’s take a look at a list of Constitutional Rights not guaranteed in homeowners, condominium, and cooperative associations.

Because, after all, according to HOA industry trade group lobbyists from Community Associations Institute (CAI), association governed common interest communities are private organizations, not government entities.

While the U.S. Constitution was written to uphold certain inalienable rights, and to create constraints that would prevent abuse of power by the government, those constraints need not apply to private, non-governmental organizations, among them HOAs.

CAI and like-minded political pundits will cite that Americans have the Constitutional right to engage in contracts, per Constitution Art 1, Section 10. (See emphasis in BOLD)

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

Of course, proponents and cheerleaders for association-governed common interest communities gloss over the fact that in nearly all cases, a home buyer or heir does not knowingly and willingly agree to sacrifice Constitutional rights and protections in exchange for holding title to a home.

The association member that objects to the terms of the contract or violation of rights and freedoms is dared to sue the HOA, at great personal expense. Worst of all, HOAs often manage to get away with unconstitutional acts by arguing that association-governed communities are private organizations governed by contract law. Therefore, it is argued by the industry that HOAs are not subject to Constitutional constraints expected by all levels of U.S. government.

If all of the relevant facts and potential risks and liabilities of buying into an HOA were fully disclosed, most Americans would probably not agree to the terms of governing documents for a mandatory association. Either they would attempt to negotiate better terms in the “contract” (CC&Rs), or they would opt not to buy in, and simply walk away from a sale.

 

 

How HOAs defy the Constitution

Under each amendment of the U.S. bill of Rights and Constitution, I have included links to previous articles that illustrate how association governed communities trample over individual rights of its homeowners and residents, defying federal and state law.

1st Amendment: Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.*

Homeowners’ Associations and the First Amendment: Are your 5 Freedoms Guaranteed?

It’s Memorial Day weekend – here come the HOA flag restrictions

CA SB 407 would uphold First Amendment rights for HOA residents

Texas State Rep files bill to prevent HOA restrictions on displays of religious items

Does U.S. Housing policy violate 1st amendment religious rights?

 

4th Amendment: Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Security guard charged with 2nd degree murder in fatal Riverwalk Community Association shooting

River Walk HOA fires Citywide Protection after 2nd degree murder charges filed

MI condo association being sued by priests for breaking and entering

How much authority is appropriate for private police officers & the communities they serve?

 

5th Amendment: Prohibition of unlawful taking without just compensation, Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy.(and by extension, also the 14th amendment, equal protection and due process clauses that apply to all states)

Do some U.S. homeowners have more private property rights than others?  

Private property rights practically nonexistent in this AZ HOA

Can hostile takeovers of condominium associations be prevented?

Hostile takeover of HOA in Indiana?

What gives one person the right to take your home?

Do homeowners experience due process in HOAs?

 

7th Amendment: Right of jury trial in civil cases.

Does court victory for home builders create more risk for condo owners?

Recent amendment to Michigan HOA bill prevents suing developer for construction defects

State legislators want to prevent multi-million dollar HOA, condo construction defect verdicts

 

8th Amendment: Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments.

How HOAs abuse power to impose fines

Condo owners, managers speak publicly about abusive association

GA law enables HOA fines, threat of foreclosure over wounded Veteran’s placement of trash can

TX: Single mom threatened with HOA foreclosure for removing a tree

 

15th, 19th, 26th Amendments: non abridgment of voting rights

Rethinking HOA voting rights

How inequitable voting rights harm residents of HOAs

Don’t all HOA members deserve the right to vote?

 

Division of powers outlined in articles Art 1 Legislative Art 2 executive Art 3 judicial

Comparing Homeowners’ Associations to Local Government: Division of Power and Due Process

 

As Americans, why should we be expected to accept this kind of tyranny?

 

*Reference:

Bill of Rights – The Really Brief Version

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are summarized below.

1 Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

2 Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia.

3 No quartering of soldiers.

4 Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

5 Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy.

6 Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial.

7 Right of trial by jury in civil cases.

8 Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments.

9 Other rights of the people.

10 Powers reserved to the states.
Read the complete text of the Bill of Rights.

https://users.csc.calpoly.edu/~jdalbey/Public/Bill_of_Rights.html

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One Reply to “When will Americans declare independence from HOA tyranny?”

  1. Aloha from Hawaii!

    What about 18 US Code Section 241 (which text can be accessed using this link, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/241)?

    Lila for Hui `Oia`i`o

    On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 10:35 AM, Independent American Communities wrote:

    > deborahgoonan posted: “By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities > In honor of Independence Day, today let’s take a look at a list of > Constitutional Rights not guaranteed in homeowners, condominium, and > cooperative associations. Because, after all, according t” >

    Like

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