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.
An Olathe HOA has filed a police report and called a special meeting to discuss a “significant” budget shortfall. Parkhill Manor also has filed a lawsuit demanding its former property manager return its "records and bank accounts."
Kansas lawmakers have stifled an effort to make HOAs more accountable by placing their oversight under the Kansas Attorney General’s office. Lawmakers shot down House Bill 2629 last week after a 36-minute debate on the House floor.
Scott Wircenske sued his Olathe homes association because it wouldn't let him see the HOA's financial records. Now, he's supporting a bill in the Kansas House that would require the attorney general to investigate complaints against HOAs.