HANDS OFF!

A Personal Opinion  of Beanie Adolph

 Common ownership developments include condominiums, cooperatives, and both attached and detached single-family homes that are part of a mandatory homeowners association. All have received unjust treatment by the Texas legislature since their inception because of the total control by the HOA Industry and developers. All power was given to HOA boards, yet no independent agency was established to guarantee justice to homeowners.

The result has been disaster for too many homeowners as evidenced by the HOAdata foreclosure filings survey, and HOA foreclosure filings throughout the state of Texas. Many of the problems are posted on this Coalition site under “Complaints and Concerns”. Owners frequently ask, “They can’t do this, can they?” It has been understood that when threatened with foreclosure – for any violation – an owner’s knees buckle and he is willing to pay whatever is demanded. The result is a billion dollar Industry that uses any and every tactic to maintain control.

Whatever good that passed in 2011 legislation was often bypassed, ignored, or twisted by HOA boards, their attorneys, and management companies. Texas homeowners still have no agency to turn to for justice. Condos were not even included in many laws because the legislators saw only the differences in their structure instead of the similarities of the problems that had no relevance to the type of structure. Meetings, elections, record availability, and board control issues are problems common to all homeowners in HOAs. Members have a right to know and to participate in their governance to prevent the HOA fraud and embezzlement that has become too commonplace.

Despite the massive evidence of injustice and harm to homeowners, TCAA – Texas Community Association Advocates – the local CAI lobbying arm, is rallying its forces to protest “a commission to register and oversee all HOAs in the state of Texas”. TCAA says: HANDS OFF!  The HOA Industry lives on the backs of homeowners. HANDS OFF! This is the Industry’s golden egg.

It is time for homeowners to hold this industry accountable and be regulated like many other agencies that have quasi-governmental powers.  HANDS OFF?  No, we need HANDS ON to protect homeowners from abuse.  Texas needs an oversight agency so bad management companies, attorneys, and HOAs can be reported and made to follow the laws that govern them.  Write your state senator and representative today and request that they sponsor and support a bill to create this oversight agency for the HOA industry.