Homeowner Associations a Social Disease?

Just like a social disease that keeps coming back, some Homeowner Associations never let a patsy out of their grip.

The latest “sucker” is some poor fellow in The Times Condominium At Sweetwater Del Webb Master Homeowner’s Association (Whew! Where do these names come from?)

Anyway, resident Larry Murphree thought he knew what was meant when GW Bush signed the “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act” in July of 2006. Muphree planted two little flags in flower pots outside the door of his condominium.

Along comes the HOA and starts whacking him with fines of a hundred bucks a day, liens, threats of lawsuit and foreclosure.

Murphree is now in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida. He notes that the flag act specifically says “A condominium association… may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.” Hmmm. Sounds moderately clear.

Whichever way it goes, Murphree will lose tens of thousands of dollars. The HOA will lose tens of thousands of dollars. The stature and marketability of the neighborhood will fall.  The lawyers, of course, will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars. It always seems to come back to that, doesn’t it?  The lawyers. They just keep coming back.

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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Filed under HOA, HOA Horror Stories, Homeowners Association

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