When critiquing the Homeowner Association movement, most of our attention is directed at problem HOAs in the United States. But the out-of-control HOA board, it seems, is an international problem.
In Dubai, residents of Palm Jumeirah were furioius when their water was cut off for five hours. The problem was that a homeowner was late paying a water bill so all other homeowners were forced to suffer for this one person’s mistake. Dubai has a history of out-of-control neighborhood governance. Property rights there are somewhat vague and ill-defined.
In the Philippines five members of a family, including the president of a Homeowners Association, were recently murdered. The suspects are reportedly some HOA residents who are afraid they’re going to be losing their homes.
In South Africa, the major Property Owners Association is in a zoning war with the City of Johannesburg over the power developers should have over the quality of their construction projects.
What distinguishes American Homeowners Associations from others across the world is that Americans are protected by a Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly, the right to due process, the right to protect the integrity of one’s home and private papers.
On second thought, don’t Americans sign away all those rights away when they buy property in a Homeowners Association? They do?