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  • Writer's pictureAmber

HOA or Government? Can you guess correctly?

Updated: Apr 29

For ALL of following statements, are we describing an HOA or the Government?

  1. They mandate how much you owe them each year.

  2. If you don’t pay them, they can make you lose your home.

  3. They create rules and fine people who break them.

  4. To get elected, no experience or skills are required.

  5. Elected officials often push their personal agenda or pet projects.


Was it a little difficult to pick between an HOA and the Government? That’s because HOAs and Governments are quite similar and the correct answer for all the statements is: BOTH.


Let’s do a quick review of each statement:

  1. They mandate how much you owe them each year. The Government taxes you each year to pay for services they provide. Boards charge you monthly dues to pay for services the HOA provides. You have almost no say in how much either charges you. In California, HOA Boards are allowed raise dues 20% every year. Imagine if a politician did that, they wouldn’t last past the next election cycle.

  2. If you don’t pay them, they can make you lose your home. The Government charges taxes on your property. If you don’t pay, the government can seize your home. HOA dues are also connected to your property. You can’t escape owing HOA dues, not even thru bankruptcy. If you don’t pay them, an HOA can put a lien on your home and force a sale.

  3. They create rules and fine people who break them. The Government creates laws and determines how much to fine law breakers. HOA Boards create Rules and Regulations and decide how much to fine residents. These HOA “laws” do not require any approval vote by Owners.

  4. To get elected, no experience or skills are required. The Government has the press which usually investigates any candidate running for office. HOAs do not have any independent vetting process. Most Owners have little or no insight into what actual skills or qualifications a Board candidate possesses. Any candidacy statement they provide is not validated by anyone and can be a complete fabrication of their skills and experience.

  5. Elected officials often push their personal agenda or pet projects. The Government pays its elected officials and they are often working on important societal problems such as homelessness, crime, etc. HOA Boards are unpaid, volunteer positions that require solving problems such as dogs peeing in the planter. The only rational incentive for joining the Board is getting the ability to push what’s personally important to you. Unfortunately this is a violation of your Board duties which require you do what’s best for the HOA, not yourself.

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