Another Culprit in the Housing Meltdown: Those F#$%&!#$!! Homeowners’ Associations
For whatever reason, almost 60 million Americans live under the watchful eye of one of those Godforsaken homeowners’ associations. What the F$#!$ is the attraction? You have all the risks and responsibilities of owning your own home, and yet you’re right under somebody’s thumb as if you were a tenant. The worst of both!
We’ve all heard news stories — and first person accounts — about homeowners’ associations that give new meaning to words like Petty and Anal Retentive. No pets. Or even better, you can have a dog as long as it doesn’t go above a certain weight. “Fido has gained three pounds. Get rid of him or get out.”
Your house has to be a certain color. You’re only allowed to have certain types of plants in your yard. Your fence (if you’re even allowed to have one) has to be a certain type/size/color. No vehicles can be parked overnight in your driveway or on the street in front of your house — your own vehicles or your guests’.
Who the hell are these small-minded douchebags? All they’re doing is screaming to the world that their potty training was absolutely stone cold fuckin’ Brutal!
And now, if you’re frantically looking for ways to avoid foreclosure, here’s another thing your friendly hall monitor won’t let you do: Rent out your house as an income property.
Eww! Renters! They’re dirty, they use drugs, they’ll never amount to anything and they bring down property values!
As this article says: “Houses on the market are sitting empty and their would-be sellers are desperate for cash — but many homeowners associations are banning rentals…Even though demand for rentals is at an all-time high, 18 million housing units are sitting empty in the U.S.”
About 40% of homeowners’ associations have rules prohibiting owners from renting out their houses. And if that isn’t bad enough, there are entire towns that have these prohibitions. Take Madison, Mississippi (please!).
Preventing foreclosures — keeping people in their homes — is the way to recover from this crisis; or at least to prevent us from spiraling even further downward. Presumably nobody disagrees with that. The only disagreement is over the method; whether these foreclosures are prevented by “government intervention” or by millions of lazy homeowners suddenly getting a grip and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.
I’m not usually in favor of the federal government stepping in and overriding local authority. But in this case: Do It!
Congress needs to pass a law telling these anal homeowners’ associations to get out of the way. Local governments — homeowners’ associations, municipal governments — can NOT be allowed to prevent a desperate property owner from renting out his own house.
A federal law like this would allow tens of thousands — maybe millions — of strapped homeowners to save themselves from foreclosure and bankruptcy by renting out their homes.
And unlike the trillions of dollars we've already handed to Wall Street — this law wouldn’t cost a dime.
Congress: Do the right thing.
cross-posted at Bring It On!