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Welcome to On the Commons!

Image On The Commons is a weekly radio show, dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominiums.  It is broadcast live from WEBR, Fairfax, Virginia and available on this web site.

Join us as we explore the world of homeowner associations and condominiums, which are the fastest growing form of residential development in America today.  This housing concept includes homeowner associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and both attached and detached single-family homes.  Unfortunately this type of housing is not as utopian as its advocates would have us believe.  Living in a homeowner association means giving up a part of the American dream.  It means giving up Constitutional rights and control over one’s most valuable asset - one’s home.

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 "Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right."  --- Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B Sanders

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Its Here! 

The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Nila Ridings

Reporters are finally getting bold enough to start reporting the horror stories that keep cropping up in homeowner associations across the country.  Sometimes they even get the facts straight.  The stories are frequently as ridiculous as reporting crying babies to the HOA, to fining owners for having unapproved garden hoses in their yards or having the wrong shade of white blinds in their widows.  These stories will make you scratch your head and wonder if absolutely everyone is so ridiculous and out of touch with reality to believe that these are important issues.  Occasionally the headlines will promise a meatier story, one that we should be aware of that could affect us all.  The many embezzlement stories that result in special assessments that we read about would fall into that category.  But if you really want to know what is happening "behind the HOA closed doors", where do you go?

Nila Ridings joins us On The Commons.  Nila is an HOA homeowner in Kansas where life is nowhere near as rosy as she expected it to be when she bought her house.  She has since done her homework, been active in the legislative arena, lobbied to get homeowner rights codified in Kansas and has shared her knowledge and insights with owners caught in the crosshairs of their associations.  She is a frequent blogger on Ward Lucas' Neighbors at war.   And if one wants to find the unreported stories, one asks Nila.  I did just that.  We all hear the silly stories, the "too many rose bushes", the costly ones about driveways having to be torn out because they are 2 inches wider than the approved plans, but which stories does she hear too often for comfort?  Which stories tug at her heartstrings the most?  Her number one story is not one the media reports on often but should.     Listen to Nila Ridings     

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On the Commons with John Cowherd and Jeremy Moss

Newton discovered that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Is that what we today call "unintended consequences"?  How often do we head down one path towards a goal without thinking through the end results?  Could we avoid many of the pitfalls we are dealing with if we stopped long enough to think things through?  

One of those unhappy and unpredicted results may well be the sheer number of zombie foreclosures being reported nationwide.  The unfortunate circumstances the homeowners find themselves in and the rather significant negative effect those vacant houses have on their immediate surroundings is an area of concern.   And since most of the housing in many parts of the country is in mandatory membership residential associations, these zombie foreclosures also impact associations through lost assessments.  

John Cowherd and Jeremy Moss join us On The Commons.  Both are attorneys in Virginia and both specialize in HOA and condo association law. They also both have blogs where they discuss zombie foreclosures.  Jeremy's blog is called The Moss Report  and  you can access John's blog at Words of Conveyance   John, changed his practice and now represents homeowners in HOAs.  Jeremy, an attorney with Mercer-Trigiani, represents associations. I am grateful to both gentlemen for coming in to the studio and sharing their thoughts. We'll talk about zombie foreclosures, explain what they are and talk about why we have so many of them now.  We'll also discuss different ideas on how to deal with them. There is a lot to learn by listening to this interview.     Listen to John Cowherd and Jeremy Moss     

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