My Life in a Homeowners Association: Collected Resources

Last week I was unanimously re-elected to serve another three-year term on my neighborhood homeowners association’s board of directors.

As the late Jerry Garcia sang, “what a long strange trip it’s been.”  I was elected to my association’s very first resident-controlled Board in the spring of 2007, just months after my wife and I moved in to our new home.  I think the entirety of my speech was “I just moved in and I’m a real estate attorney.”  When your neighbors have issues with the developer, apparently that’s all that’s needed to be said. 

I was re-elected in June 2008, resigned in October 2008 in protest over another Board member’s conduct; in January 2009 my wife received a call from my replacement to the Board and endured forty minutes of a screaming tirade from said Board member (for reasons we still aren’t sure of) and had to deal with the joy of having that incident dragged into our church by said Board member (again, not sure why).  Fast forward to last summer when that Board member resigned, I applied for my old seat and was reappointed for the rest of the term.  In October I and my fellow Board members were accused of “election fraud” when we didn’t follow Minnesota election laws which, by the way, did not even apply to a homeowners association (go figure) en route to enacting an amendment that – wait for it – allowed residents to park cars in their driveway.  Apparently my neighbors felt that we did alright (well, at least most of them) since myself and two other incumbents were unopposed for re-election.

Why do I continue to put up with all of this?  Because, as I’ve said time and again, homeowners associations walk a very fine line between maintaining order and preserving property rights and I want to do my part to make sure that my association stays on the right side of things.  Also, as a marketing guy, I can appreciate the font of original source material my Board tenure has provided in the form of countless articles, blog posts, and even a few “Legal Minute” spots on the Real Estate Radio Hour. 

To commemorate the start of my third term, here they all are for your reading and listening pleasure:

Dealing With Conflicts of Interest (CIC Midwest News, Summer 2009)

Paradise Lost:  What to Do With the Homeowners Association When the Developer Goes Down (January 10, 2010)

Dealing With Neighbor Disputes (May 15, 2010)

The Trouble With Homeowners Associations (July 12, 2009)

Election Law for Homeowners Associations (August 28, 2010)

Election Law for Homeowners Associations (Real Estate Radio Hour Legal Minute, September 25, 2010)

The Law of Homeowners Associations (Real Estate Radio Hour Legal Minute, August 28, 2010)

Homeowners Associations in Perspective (October 31, 2010)

I’m looking forward to three more years of inspiration.