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The Hated HOAs

by Bob Gatty

This guy is really ticked off. He's a Not Fake News subscriber who has had it up to here with HOAs. In fact, to quote Howard Beale in "Network," he's "mad as hell and won't take it any more!"

My friend describes himself as a "concerned citizen who challenged the HOA practice of hiding their financial information and lost because the law doesn't require it." He lives in Myrtle Beach, SC, so he's been trying to get the state legislature to do something about it. So far, he hasn't had much success.

My front yard. Does it look like we need some HOA telling us how to car for it?
One of 350,000 communities nationwide that have some form of community association, such as an HOA.

I sympathize with Mr. Mad as Hell because I don't like HOAs either. Why should some band of do-gooders have the right to tell me if I can plant a tree, fence my yard, or even what color paint to use on my front door? Do they pay my mortgage? When they do, I might consider cutting them some slack.

Meanwhile, here's what Mr. Mad as Hell sent me today (mildly edited):

H-O-A (should be WHOA!!) Whoa Nellie as Keith Jackson would say. That's exactly what South Carolinians expected when the SC Legislators designed and passed the "Homeowners Association Act".

It was supposed to stop the HOA Boards of Directors from creating their own "fiefdom" or dictatorships. It was also "supposed" to provide more transparency to the members, who would be able to look at ANY record, budget or minutes at any time. 

It did not accomplish its directive. The "ACT" falls way short! 

First, there is NO enforcement mechanism. NONE, ZERO, ZIP! The SC Consumer Affairs Dept. "takes complaints and logs them each year". OK, then what. Oops, nothing. Nothing happens. 

Next there is NO provision for following the guidelines of the Open Public Meetings Act. Boards and committees can still meet in secret and there is no requirement for recording the meetings, or even give notice of a meeting!  No one is allowed to go in most cases. 

Next there is NO provision for publishing DETAILED minutes of each and every meeting within 30 days of every Board, committee or member meeting. 

Budgets. There is no provision for a licensed accountant to provide information and take questions from the general membership BEFORE the budget is voted on by ALL the members. 

There is no restriction on how much the Board can increase the budget each year and a simple majority is all that's required. It most definitely should be two-thirds majority required to pass.

So you ask, "why wasn't this stuff in the Bill?"

 Here's why: Because the legislators are mostly LAWYERS and any bill that would reduce or eliminate legal issues or representation in tort law, would be a catastrophe to the legal profession! Lawyers would go out of business!

AND..think of ALL those bogus "association management" companies that do nothing. They would be gone! 

In this day and age with all the zoning and planning laws and requirements you most certainly don't need some wahoo telling you what color blinds to put up! There are enough regulations to go around. 

SC should push its Legislators to vote to ELIMINATE homeowners Associations in their current configuration and make them fraternal organizations.

Enough is enough! Enough Lawyers. Enough CPA's. Enough HOA Managers. Enough (too many) Boards of Directors. Enough demi-gods who really believe what they say and do is right.


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