Breaking HOAs

Posted on July 26, 2013 by admin

Posted on July 17, 2013  (Internet)

I had a friend in graduate school — a lawyer — who made a hobby and a habit of breaking HOA’s. He knew the governing law inside and out, better than the boards did, and would take careful notes of every procedural irregularity he could find. When he had enough information, he’d pounce.

He’d send them a note, pointing out that they were operating outside of the bounds of their charter and therefore without legal authority. Their actions were acting in restraint of otherwise lawful trade and hence constituted criminal action under both common and statute law, and that this was clearly a well-organized conspiracy and therefore fell under criminal conspiracy. Since they were acting both to demand that the homeowners spend money, levying fines, and demanding dues as well, they fell specifically under “extortion” statutes, which in turn made their conduct a federal offense under the RICO laws as well. Finally, since these actions were made outside of the bounds of the HOA charter, they were not protected by any sort of corporate or official shield, and that he could therefore sue each of them as individuals and hold them individually liable for the entire amount of money ever paid to (or at the demand of) the HOA, tripled because of the RICO provisions. From their personal fortunes.

He offered a deal, “in the interests of avoiding expensive litigation.” Either formally unencumber the property of interest, or face charges.

I think his record, last time I checked, was something like 19 wins, no losses.

(I think he got started on this when his HOA started pulling stuff like fining him for allowing guests to park in the guest parking space that the HOA president liked to use.)