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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.


 "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


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 Robin Lent

"If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is."  When confronted with anything that "sounds too good to be true", don't take it at face value, instead do a little digging to get the details.  One of these golden gems in the land of residential associations is Alternate Dispute Resolution, or ADR.  Proponents would have us believe arbitration and mediation are cheaper, quicker and better than going to court.  It sounds too good to be true so I did a little digging, and several years ago wrote a paper on my findings which is on my web site. You can read it  here.  But there is so much more. 


As time goes on and more and more people fall in the trap of giving up their right to go to court, some pretty unsavory details have come to light. Mediation is used pretty extensively in neighborhood association wars which usually include a confidentiality clause, in other words, a gag order. I have always opposed this.  


Robin Lent joins us On The Commons.  Robin, a Texas homeowner got tangled up in a battle with her association 10 years ago, went to a court ordered mediation and after an exhausting session, when she was ready to drop, signed an agreement that included a confidentiality clause.  The terms of the settlement are sealed so we will NOT be discussing them BUT for the details of the mediation process, and the fall out of the gag order,  you will have to tune in.  It was a huge eye opener for me and I learned so much from this show.  So, you think you want to go to arbitration?  Please tune in.   Listen to Robin Lent     



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On the Commons with John Cowherd and Bill Davis

I can't even begin to tell you just how appalled, angry, disgusted and frustrated I am at the state of housing, American style.  Most countries in the world have a healthier respect for private spaces, whether those spaces are owned by the residents or leased.  But with the proliferation of mandatory, forced membership in residential corporations, Americans are subject to the whims and caprices of neighborhood self appointed "enforcers" and their hired " professionals" aka, HOA attorneys. After all, they really are not smart enough or capable enough to live in their own homes without a lot of oversight.


John Cowherd and Bill Davis join us On The Commons in the first of a two part show analyzing how and why we got to having such disrespect and disdain for private property. The largest tools in these tyrants' toolbox is the statutory right to fine and then to foreclose to collect these fines. No oversight is provided by the governmental bodies authorizing these remedies, no thought to protecting the rights of the owners.  After all, they agreed, right?   . . . Listen to John Cowherd and Bill Davis    


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