‘Glorified debt collectors with the power to upend your life’
This You Tube clip is about 25 minutes long which is an awfully long time for blog-readers to sit still and listen to someone talk. Yes, yes I know. I am not the most exciting writer out here either. I am sure I have caused a yawn or two and perhaps put some to sleep. Numbers, manufacturing, and supply chain are not exciting topics. The “Pres” does not come down and congratulate you for opening lots up for the shop, getting parts for those lots, and maintaining orders. God help you if a production line shuts down and Ford or GM are on the line asking what you are going to do about it. You are still beholden.
John Oliver is talking HOAs or Homeowners Associations and how they are taking over the housing market. Factoid . . . “HOAs are a sneakily common force in daily life. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the US population lives in community associations, and 82% of all single-family homes sold in 2021 were in one.”
You can listen to wise-cracking John Oliver talk about the hazards of being a member of an HOA. Or you can read the cliff-notes from the Guardian which I will add the link to at the end of this post and commentary. The Youtuber is 25 long minutes (didn’t I say that already?).
I sat on a Homeowners Association Board. Granted it was a Board covering 75 homes. We collected dues of $200. That was not a month, it was a year. We spent what we needed to spend and saved the rest to do maintenance to the roads. It was simple. I am a member of an HOA owned by one person who has a board of three. They hired a professional HOA management business to manage the HOA and its properties which includes three ponds they call lakes. I live in The Lakes section not on the ponds and called The Lakes. We are over in the cheap seats or the bleachers drinking beer with the other Chicago Cubs fans. It is not bad as we have good neighbors.
Most recently, the HOA manager was reassigned. People got upset with him and wrote his boss. Robert the manager accused people of having weeds in their front yard, They did not. The pictures were not of their homes.
Robert the manager accused me of bouncing a check and the check being returned. However, the check cleared two weeks before the date of Robert’s letter. We have had the account for 25 years.
The checking account is backed by another account with more money and will automatedly cover any short fall. Another account sits behind that one too and can be drawn upon if needed. Robert is now assigned to another HOA. We have an experienced newbie now and she is just waiting to strike.
So yeah, there is a problem with HOAs. Locally, there is no law allowing HOAs to restrict parking on a public street in an ungated community. So yes, I see the issues with professionally (if you can call it that) run HOAs. They assume what they can and resist anything which counters them to the point of lying.
Oh, the article link . . . John Oliver Cliff Notes on homeowners associations: ‘Glorified debt collectors with the power to upend your life’, The Guardian, John Oliver. The YouTube clip is funnier.
‘Bout the time one or two bounce off the sidewalk they’ll change their tune.
They’re just bullies, treat them thus …
Prefer to pick my fights. Once Robert put it in a letter to me, it is no longer a he said or a he/she said. I can fight that as they are now committed in print. I am waiting for a letter retracting their letter. It has not arrived yet.
I will wait some more as I do not want to be the one this new person responds to first. I do need to go down to the post office and ask what I can do since they did not sign the “Certified Receipt.” The mailman did acknowledge it was delivered and taken by an individual at that address.
It is a game with them. They take the place of the city which the city does not mind. The city does not have to patrol the streets if the HOA is doing it.
Sadly this is nothing new, although it may be slowly getting worse over time. I remember friends complaining about HOA or Condo boards 40-50 years ago, with petty tyrants being one of the more common terms used.
No HOA is considered a marketing plus around here.
Most frequently, the retort to complaints about an HOA is you knew there was an HOA before you moved in. Unfortunately, the nature of HOAs is not disclosed to a buyer. Consequently, it is difficult to be an informed buyer making an informed decision. One would have better luck with a used car salesman in getting a fair deal.
The people administering the HOA are just plain stupid. To pull what ours did with my wife and I was ignorance. I write checks for a reason. I also use a checkbook ledger to watch when they clear and also to add in other expenses of consequence. I like to know my monthly expenses and plan accordingly. It is my nature to do so as tedious as it is. As it stands now, I will use certified mail to mail my monthly check to them. I already know it takes three days for the mail to get to them. It took another eleven days to deposit my check and to clear the bank. The bulk of the delay is with them.
I was not rude to this guy. I treated him with respect. The job is difficult. I rather not know him and he know me. I have “nothing” in common with him. I thought he was struggling as it was.