Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dealing with homeowners' associations has got to be hell for libertarians

I'm serious. Is there any other institution so focused on making and enforcing trivial and often idiotic rules?

From Marketplace:
If you have trouble keeping your lawn green in the summer time, here's an incentive: a $200 dollar ticket. That's what some homeowners in one Denver development are facing for brown patches in their yards. Yes, in the same state that just experienced a rash of massive wildfires.


  1. Interestingly, this is small government and a "voluntary" association that you can leave at any time by moving.

    1. Ah but you make it sound easy, when in fact leaving means selling your house. I am in a NYC Co-op, which has many of the features of a HOA, and it includes some real difficulties in that transaction; i.e., purchasers must be approved by the board. The presence of an HOA may deter some buyers and winnow your prospective buyers, especially ones who may be well qualified to purchase; e.g., investment (buy to rent out) or those looking for a summer home.
      In the OP's case what needs to happen is sanity be included in the HOA's rules. The purpose of HOA's is to set a floor on property values, hence the green lawn requirement. However, there needs to be provisions for water emergencies, which are not uncommon events in the west - CA had a 7 year drought in 1970's and another one that went from 1986-90.