NATIONAL – Homeowner Association Feuds Grow Amid Rules and Fees
“Love thy neighbor as yourself” is a noble idea, but community governance brings complicating factors. More and more U.S. homeowners live in community associations, also called homeowners associations or HOAs. Amenity maintenance, development plans, rules and amateur governance can all result in bitter feuding within these groups. Buyers should study the rules before purchasing a home in an association. Owners should learn how to contest a decision if a conflict arises.
Evan McKenzie is professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of “Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government.” He says disputes in associations are on the rise, with many factors contributing to the problems. Poor management, governance by poorly trained volunteers, owners struggling with high association fees, a lack of detailed association laws and the rise of this type of housing are all contributing to association infighting, says McKenzie. He said homes in associations are now “the predominant form” of new housing across the country. Read more: