Lawmakers in some states, including Missouri, are saying enough is enough. It’s time, they say, to take on a more aggressive role in regulating the $85 billion HOA industry. The Star examined HOAs in an August series.
While many homes associations still support their residents, others now harass them with narrow and odd rules. Fines for violating those rules can be heavy, leading to liens against residents and even loss of their homes. More critics in Kansas City and nationwide are tracking the problem, but regulations by state and federal lawmakers remain rare.
Sergey Peklun’s dog, Julia, helped him handle health problems stemming from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. His condo association in Florida said OK, then withdrew its consent for him to keep Julia. As he seemed about to lose his court challenge, Peklun committed suicide.
A North Carolina man thought he’d fill in a long-bare spot in a common area with some colorful flowers. But that was against the rules, and his HOA began fining him $100 a day. He fought back, but he gave up after spending $19,000 on fines and attorneys.
You may have heard about problems people have living in homeowners associations. Perhaps you’ve had problems yourself. But you may not know that there is a growing sense that HOA problems have become a national housing crisis.
Homeowners associations in Missouri would be required to undergo audits and make financial records available to members under proposals now before the General Assembly. Proponents say the measures will safeguard homeowners, but some homeowner advocates say the proposals will instead protect the $85 billion HOA industry.
Homeowners in some neighborhoods are getting hit with an increase in their HOA dues, courtesy of a metallic green insect called the emerald ash borer. As the beetle infestation continues to spread through neighborhoods across the country, homes associations are being forced to decide whether to treat their trees or remove and replace them.
Jim Hildenbrand’s lawsuit against his Olathe HOA wages on after the Kansas Court of Appeals sent the case back to district court for more work. Hildenbrand and the Avignon Villa HOA were back in Johnson County District Court this week.
The former treasurer of the Charleston Harbor homeowners association, who admitted to stealing more than $100,000 from the Kansas City HOA, was placed on two years’ probation by a Clay County judge. The action upset many homeowners, who wanted a more severe punishment.