Homeowners Assocations Governments?

There seems to be some disagreement over the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision that the first amendment doesn’t apply to homeowners associations. I have no love of homeowners associations. I went out of my way to avoid them when I was buying my home. Why so many homeowners buy homes that force them to enter into contracts to limit the use of their property, I will never understand.

But should they be treated as governments? With all the constitutional limitations imposed as a matter of course? I’m not too sure about that. I don’t see any reason why homeowners shouldn’t be able to enter into contracts with other homeowners over what they can and can’t do with their property. I don’t even have a problem with the owners entering into a contract that specifies that they will follow any rules that the homeowner association passes, even though at that point, the association would be indistinguishable from a government.

If people want to preserve their constitutional rights, and their right to property, there’s an easy solution: tell your potential neighbors who demand you enter into an association contract that they can go to hell, and find yourself a better neighborhood. Otherwise, you decided that having your dream house was more important than your freedom. That should be a choice you’re allowed to make. But I won’t have too much sympathy for folks who complain about it later.

5 Responses to “Homeowners Assocations Governments?”

  1. Michael says:

    Here in Atlanta 90%, if not higher, of all homes are subdivisions with these evil organizations. Its the main reason I still live in an apartment,instead of a house. My wife and I both hate having to be told what we can or can not do on OUR property. As for those who do choose to live this way, hope it works out. I just like my feedom to much to be dictated too.

  2. Ryan says:

    I agree 100%. HOAs get filled up with people who have nothing better to do than dictate the use of your property, the color, size, and or shape of your house. We live out in the country so We can barely see our neighbors but my in-laws live in a sub with a HOA. Last year my Father in-law had his boat in the driveway for about 30min while we got the trailer lights working. In that time no less than 3 members of the HOA board came by and told us we couldn’t have the boat in the driveway. Talk about microregulation and management.

  3. We bought this house because we pretty much had to, though I wasn’t happy about it. We moved from a 2800 sq ft ranch on five acres out in the country to a small neighborhood with a HA, on a quarter-acre lot, and people living way too close. So while I hate HAs, I agree that they aren’t governments, and they can write whatever contracts they like.

    What I do not think they should be able to do is add new regulations, and then apply them retroactively. If it ain’t in the contract I signed, it don’t apply to me. Period.

  4. straightarrow says:

    Homeowner association members have the right to be dictated to if they waive their autonomy, if they want. But I question their intelligence. No matter their education or supposed accomplishments.

  5. GeorgeH says:

    I love HOAs, at least compared to the alternatives, Zoning Laws, or having a neighbor open a paint and body shop in his garage.

    Houston is, I believe, the only major city in the US without zoning and that is because it was an early adapter of HOAs and deed restrictions, making Zoning unnecessary.

    With a HOA, you know what you are buying into. With Zoning you only know you are gonna get screwed over by corrupt politicians sooner or later, and your property values trashed.

    Buy property subject to a HOA and Zoning?
    The worst of both worlds.