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When a developer creates an HOA, they write the all the conditions.  They write the declaration, the bylaws, the articles of incorporation, the covenants, and the “rules”.  

So they can set up anything they want.  They can make the roads public or private, they can make it so that the members vote on all changes to the covenants or rules, or that the Board makes all decisions.  They can have all the Board Members be HOA members, or make it so the developer can put his employees on the board.   They can give some properties multiple votes and other properties only one vote.   So bottom line, by keeping possession of some of the properties as rental properties, the developer could maintain control of the Board forever, and always has total control of the HOA.

They can decide that you can only have brown curtains in your window, what color you can paint your house, whether you can park your car in your driveway, if you can have a pool or swing set in your yard for your children, if you can smoke on your own front porch or back deck, what plants you can grow,  if you can put an RV or Boat on your property, how much you will pay the developer each year, how much you will pay his employees, what internet service you will use, etc., etc., etc.  

This power also includes total control of every aspect of elections, including who counts the votes, who handles the votes before they are counted, and to whom, and when the proxies and ballots are sent out.  The Board also has control of all the free communications to the members, the website, social media, weekly newsletter, and the email list.   They can use this communication to degrade any homeowner that attempts to challenge or question them. 


They can use their power to financially damage and harass the homeowner.  They can falsely charge them with a covenant violation and fine them without due process.  Yes, the homeowner can file in court but the HOA can continue to fine them on a daily basis and add additional false violations and increase the fines while the court case is in progress.  The HOA can also selectively enforce the covenants, or their interpretation of the covenants.  Court cases can take years to resolve and many homeowners would be forced into bankruptcy and have their home foreclosed before they could reach the end of the court case.

There is no oversight on HOAs as there is on all other forms of government in the USA.

As there are no penalties in the law for Board Members that violate the law, there is no need for them to follow the laws.  True, technically homeowners can sue an HOA, however it is not a realistic option because the Board Members and the HOA corporation use the insurance and the collective funds of the HOA to pay for their attorneys while the homeowner would have to pay for their attorneys out of their life savings.  The HOA will just stall and drag out the lawsuit to run the homeowner out of money while they continue to fine and harass him and possibly attempt to foreclose on his home.  So in reality the HOA Board and just refuse to follow the law.

In theory, HOAs are not dictatorships, because in theory the homeowner can take the HOA to court to attempt to force the HOA to follow the laws, even though the laws give the Developer and the Board overwhelming power over the homeowner, but in reality, HOAs are in fact virtual dictatorships under current law in most states.

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