FENCE JUMPERS

A Personal Opinion  of Beanie Adolph

Are HOAs governments? Do they have governmental powers? Do they have governmental responsibilities? Well, they surely have powers that most governments envy – total control with no accountability. When Texas Property Code 204, written by the CAI, was approved by the Texas legislature in 1995, such total control was given to HOA boards, that the Texas HOA industry took off running, citing homeowners, fining them, placing liens, and filing foreclosures. (See HOAdata.) It was and is BIG BUSINESS for the CAI Industry! Fortunes were to be made and no time to be lost. Attorneys, management companies, and vendors enjoyed and are still enjoying Boom Time – on the backs of homeowners.

But when it comes to the responsibilities, it’s time to jump the fence. The CAI maintains they are not governments. Contracts is the word used and homeowners’ willingness to enter into the contract. Yet no contract was offered spelling out the loss of Constitutional rights. No contract was offered informing owners that buying into an HOA is far worse than co-signing a note with strangers. A note has a fixed amount, defined terms, and can be paid off. In an HOA there is a lien that can never be paid off. The homeowner is a guarantor for all debts incurred by the HOA, and his house is security for their spending sprees. Homeowners are generally stunned, asking, “They can’t do this, can they?”

And there is the question: What is TCAA?

Texas Community Association Advocates is an organization with stakeholders who are involved in community association living. TCAA’s mission is to promote meaningful legislation to create an environment that supports the development of well-governed, well-managed community associations. Well governed means exalting the status of rules – rules designed above all to protect property values – above the fabric of the community. Protecting property values was the mantra for years until the bursting of the housing bubble proved that claim false. The new mantra is “strong neighborhoods”, and TCAA is rallying its stakeholders to show up at the Capitol to advocate for Texas homeowner associations and the professionals who serve them – not for homeowner rights!  TCAA/CAI is a trade organization and has opposed all homeowner-friendly reform for years yet once again wants to claim it speaks for the homeowner by talking about strong neighborhoods. Fence-jumping again. The CAI Industry is self-serving – a trade organization. It does not serve homeowners.  It feeds off homeowners.

Homeowners need an independent agency to oversee HOAs, Townhomes, and Condos.  There must be NO CAI connection – no CAI input. There must be penalties levied on HOA boards, attorneys, and management companies for failure to adhere to the law.  Justice for homeowners is too long overdue. Homeowners must write to their state senators and representatives declaring that TCAA and CAI are trade organizations and do NOT represent homeowners. The TCAA record of opposing homeowner friendly legislation defines them.  Why does the HOA Industry make this constant effort to pretend what it is not?

Homeowners:  Write your legislators today!