Letter: Don’t be fooled by HOA modernization



Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are behind us, I wanted to remind area owners within homeowners associations of issues that could pose more direct challenges to everyday lives than could any federal politician.

This is a sequel to my May 26 letter, in which I pointed out that HOA boards of directors, their hired property management companies and their specialized legal counsel, who are part of an international organization called Community Associations Institute, often wield their powers with little accountability, particularly when homeowners are not aware of their rights.

When state law and community-governing documents prevent imposition of aggressive policies, CAI may attempt to persuade homeowners to sign away their rights without realizing what is occurring.

One partner of the five largest CAI firms wrote a blog post in August advocating updating older HOA articles, bylaws and covenants, producing a more streamlined set of guidelines.

On the surface, this makes sense, but don’t be hoodwinked. The actual agenda may be to add language that inhibits homeowners’ rights. Changes could involve additional fees and stricter architectural covenants.

If your HOA is considering the implementation of such a modernization process, examine it skeptically and consider the motives of those behind the scenes. More clarity usually means more revenue from intrusive fees and lawsuits to feed the bureaucratic beast.

Clint Harris,



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