March 25, 2008

Video: HOA News Austin, Texas, Typical Abuse of Power


  1. Fantastic story and coverage. I commend this station for taking this story as most every homeowner in an HOA community feels the HOA abuse daily.

    It is not true that all owners know what they are buying into, as we did not even get our by-laws until over two months after we closed and if we did see the by-laws first...we would have ran from buying our home.

    It is a nightmare living in a Texas HOA and our political leaders in Austin favor the HOA lobby over the citizens that voted them in.

    My vote in the future will be much different, I am a Republican, but after dealing with HOAs and the politics in Austin, I am proud to call myself Independant. No longer will I be a straight ticket voter.

  2. This news story hit the truth spot on. Beware to anyone buying into an HOA.

    Get the by-laws before you buy. Texas HOAs I feel hurt residents and only favor Property Management Companies.

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  3. We bought our first home in a HOA community and we did not receive the by-laws or rules until two and half months after we closed on the house after we had to make request. The day of closing, they rushed us through paper work as we were first time homeowners, perhaps nieve to the process, we were told that we were just signing a paper that stated we acknowledged we were moving into an HOA community. But when we finally received the by-laws, we said “Dear God, what have we done!” The rules were wide range that literally we could be written up for anything. One rule stated that our vehicles had to be in the garage at all times.

    It is the closest thing to living in hell after we have been living under the HOA power for four years that feels like we are living under Communist rule and if we speak-up or disagree with the HOA, you feel like you are targeted like the MAFIA where the HOA will come after you trying to find anything they can to fine you for. Many residents are silenced out of fear as high power legal teams of the Property Management Companies threaten foreclosure by which destroying your credit, leaving you paying all the legal fees, and putting your family on the street.

    But the normally response from the HOA when you can get in touch with them or a return call is to call the city. Even the neighbors have said the same thing and said the HOA is pointless as they don’t do anything accept take our money and patrol to fine us.

    Yet, the HOAs not only get a nice large contract, many get a percentage of every fine written and every late fee…which is the same as offering a police officer a bonus for the more tickets they write. It is a well oiled profit machine where the homeowner has no power, no voice, and no rights and is a prisoner of their own home. Some HOAs even get a percentage if you decide to sale your home. It is out-of-control & really I feel it is legislation written by crooks.

    Now cities are beginning to mandate that all new communities have an HOA, because in reality the homeowner is paying a private tax for code enforcement and the city can put the code enforcement on the community and save the city at the cost of the residents.

    Now don’t Republicans always preach less government? Lets see, I have a National Government, State Government, County Government, School Government, City Government, and a Community Government.

    I have called three attorneys and spoken and met with Texas leaders who have all told me that the HOA is basically a tax and in the level of power they have more power than the bank and even the state to foreclose on your house. I was told it takes longer for the state to foreclose over property taxes than for the HOA to foreclose and have a family out on the street. Then many times, it is the HOA that turns and buys the house and turn to sell for a profit.

    I am very disturbed at the HOA in the well covered article by the Dallas Morning News about the community in Frisco that told the resident his 2007 F-150 did not meet community standards and a year ago another residents brand new Chevy Avalanche also did not meet the community standards and would have to be kept in the garage. In Houston an 82 year old widow with a paid off house had the HOA foreclose on her for less than $900 which is going on all over the state and country. Then in Florida a U.S. Veteran is being sued by his HOA for flying the American flag.

    So now the HOAs mandate what we must drive, how our house must look, how our property must look, how we must dress, what we are allowed to say, where we are allowed to go and so on. I know to do anything to my home or property even as simple as making a repair or repainting the same color…I have to get three neighbors written approval that I have to submit to the board and wait for their approval before I can do anything.

    In our HOA like most, when the builder hands it over to the residents the HOA is under funded to where what the builder promised as sales points were misleading. Then the HOA has to cut benefits and raise dues just to maintain the HOA. But in our HOA we were told there was not enough in the budget to have a crime watch program, continue any quarterly news letters, or any HOA events…all we have is one pool and the common grounds that we pay $420.00 per year in dues when other communities for this amount have full scale water parks like wet and wild, with club houses, fishing ponds, and really a resort style. So we question where is the money going in our community? Because the only communication we get is in the form of a letter that is 9 times out of 10 a violation.

    I feel that it is a system of corruption that our leaders support these HOA lobby groups that line their pockets at the cost of the citizen. I am a life long Republican and over this one issue I am changing to Independent along with my family. We will no longer support just the party or a straight ticket. Two senior citizens we know and my own parents will not buy a new home, one of which backed out of a deal for a new house solely due to refusing to live in an HOA community. (I don’t blame them a bit…in fact they were wise.)

    If you look at all the websites, all the citizens, and now even conventions being held by citizens fighting for fairness and protection of their homeownership rights, which under an HOA there are none. I have not spoken to one Texan in an HOA that has stated they like it, some have said they are ok, but most being the majority that is a large majority have said really bad things, some so colorful words that I won’t mention.

    We have decided that this will be the last house we buy in an HOA and even if it means giving up our Native Texas family heritage to move to another state…then we will. It is also causing us to change our political support. Texas is just two-steps away from being California in how the state is ran.

  4. AnonymousJune 11, 2009

    Texas - if you think that the HOA nightmare is limited to Texas and that moving to another state will help, you're wrong unless perhaps you move to Alaska (a great state too, but hard to imagine moving there from Texas).

    HOAs are a cancer that has overrun most areas of the United States. It is a national problem that should be addressed.

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  6. I have complained to my HOA about portions of my dues allocated for children's events, even tho we, and many others in the neighborhood, have no kids. We're talking about Halloween parties, Fathers day socials, Christmas hayrides, etc. I have never gotten a straight answer from any of these people on the Board.

    The saddest thing of all is that not a damn thing can be done---HOA boards have more power that a member of the Texas House!

    Will never live in an HOA community again, never.....

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  8. it was realy wonderful blog..!

  9. Thanks so much for this blog. I have had it up to HERE with my HOA and finally wrote an article exposing HOA abuse, which has gotten worse due to the economic downturn.

  10. AnonymousJuly 28, 2011

    Request a copy of your HOAs financial records and audit them. They are obligated by law to disclose them. They should be able to provide the last 3 years at least.

    if you see questionable things disclose it to all members of your neighborhood. Demand your HOA board explain unnecessary expenditures and petition to have the board members removed. The petition is the most powerful tool the community has. Most judges will rule on the side of the petitioners if you have a majority of the community sign.

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