Do you live in a subdivision or condo with a Homeowners Association? Then this blog’s for you. I just received a lengthy email from a friend who lives in a condo that has become all kinds of crazy. I managed high rise condos/lofts and luxury townhomes for a while. I made some friends (and some enemies I suppose) but learned a lot about people and their homes. I was completely amazed at some of the things I saw. Did you ever see the movie “Over The Hedge”? It’s a cartoon movie that came out a couple of years ago, and is actually pretty entertaining…even for an adult. There’s a lady in the movie who is the President of the HOA. She tried to totally annihilate the little wild animals stealing her food, but ended up “nuking” herself in the meantime.
Granted, this is an extreme case and is a cartoon, but gives you the feel of some of the things that go on in an HOA. They are not all this bad of course. As a matter of fact, I worked with some totally awesome boards that are truly amazing in their work. One committee of the board put together an “adopt a family” program for Christmas that is straight out of a movie. When the family with 10 kids saw all those presents when they don’t have anything themselves, and didn’t think they’d be getting any presents at all because of lack of funds, well, it really made my heart warm up about 10 degrees. But, there were other boards that I would just stop and stare at with no words to communicate, because they were being so crazy I just couldn’t imagine any way to respond to them.
Homeowners Associations were put into place to help manage the funds and the common areas of the condo or subdivision. They are to keep a uniform exterior appearance and governance for the area. They are to provide for the landscaping, pool maintenance, snow removal, etc. They were never designed to be a kingdom that rules over the non-board members telling everyone what to do. One would hope that the board members would govern as fairly as possible, but as is the case with politicians (these boards are elected), many will take advantage of their authority to set up a little “fiefdom” of their own. They just can’t seem to help it.
If you are reading this and you are a member of an HOA board, please be fair to everyone. Please stop being antagonistic and let go of your pushy, scary, bully ways. People don’t like it, and you will not be re-elected. Calm down, take it easy, and work for the good of your home. If you are in an HOA membership and you agree, please run for the board and clean house of the weirdo’s.