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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 John McGuire

Bruised, abused, mocked, harassed, dejected and frustrated, homeowners in HOAs have tried to fight back. They have been sued, fined, ridiculed, outgunned and left standing alone in a sea of their neighbors, homeowners like themselves too terrified to even talk to them lest they find themselves in the crosshairs of the HOA.  Over the years I have talked to and witnessed some of these homeowners as they start an organization to fight the injustices of HOAs only to end up fighting amongst themselves.  Their vision of taming the HOA monster evaporating into thin air. Could part of the problem be the lack of teamwork?  Are they listening to each other or shouting over each other? Is the key to real reform as simple as listening?


John McGuire joins us On The Commons. John, a Virginia delegate has one of the most amazing and inspiring personal stories I have yet to come across.  When all the odds seemed to be against him, John fought and earned one of the coveted spots as a Navy Seal, despite being told he couldn't do it. Later he defied the odds again and survived a life threatening accident, learned to walk and to write his name - again.  Incredibly none of what he went through in life convinced him he couldn't do something.  Being told he couldn't do something was the impetus he needed to prove them wrong. John strongly believes in teamwork and like every good leader, gives credit to his team.  I heard about John when he managed to help resolve a 20 year HOA horror story.  We'll get to know John personally and learn about his philosophy, talk about the problems in HOAs and start looking at different ways of dealing with the problems millions of American homeowners face nationwide.   . . .   Listen to John McGuire . . .


Tell us your stories  in your own words 

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On the Commons with Caroline Douglas

In a free and civilized society there is the expectation that the citizens have rights, including the right to be treated fairly.  However fairness seems to be one of the first casualties in mandatory membership residential associations.  Gone are all the safeguards put in place by the Constitution.  Gone is the notion of checks and balances and the idea that in the event of a dispute there will be a fair and just outcome. Is this just an HOA problem or does it affect other institutions?

Caroline Douglas joins us On The Commons.  Caroline has a law degree, and is passionate about the law.  She is an author and a professor in Maryland and is always willing to share her knowledge, expertise and ideas with us.  She is very well aware of the what can happen when the safety nets fail to ensure fairness.  We'll talk about the meaning and need for law.  We also learn about a 30 year old case, how that was handled in court and what has happened in the Pam Smart case.  How can we ensure fairness in this world? . . . Listen to Caroline DouglasWrite Comment (0 comments), Powered by Mambo and Maintained by Terry Bartholomew