Real Rights for Homeowners

I believe that CountryPlace homeowners should be entitled to each of the rights and privileges that are enunciated in the “Bill of Rights for Homeowners,” as published by AARP. Whether or not I am chosen to serve on the CountryPlace Board, I will be actively advocating in Austin to have each of these provisions enacted into the Property Code of Texas State Law. If I am chosen to serve on the CountryPlace Board, I will be taking the initiative to have the Board and homeowners move to amend our community’s bylaws and other dedicatory instruments to reflect these homeowner rights, to the fullest extent possible within the context of existing state law. Following is key text of the “Bill of Rights for Homeowners” –


BILL OF RIGHTS FOR HOMEOWNERS

 

To ensure amicable and equitable relations between homeowners and their associations, this bill of rights seeks fair resolution of disputes, specifies rights regarding rules and charges, ensures individual autonomy, and promotes oversight and voting. The bill of rights uses reasonability as the touchstone for all actions, and includes a state Office of Ombudsperson for Homeowners to facilitate resolution of disputes in a manner that strengthens communities.

I: The Right to Security against Foreclosure

An association shall not foreclose against a homeowner except for significant unpaid assessments, and any such foreclosure shall require judicial review to ensure fairness.

II: The Right to Resolve Disputes without Litigation

Homeowners and associations will have available alternative dispute resolution (ADR), although both parties preserve the right to litigate.

III: The Right to Fairness in Litigation

Where there is litigation between an association and a homeowner, and the homeowner prevails, the association shall pay attorney fees to a reasonable level.

IV: The Right to Be Told of All Rules and Charges

Homeowners shall be told–before buying–of the association’s broad powers, and the association may not exercise any power not clearly disclosed to the homeowner if the power unreasonably interferes with homeownership.

V: The Right to Stability in Rules and Charges

Homeowners shall have rights to vote to create, amend, or terminate deed restrictions and other important documents. Where an association’s directors have power to change operating rules, the homeowners shall have notice and an opportunity, by majority vote, to override new rules and charges.

VI: The Right to Individual Autonomy

Homeowners shall not surrender any essential rights of individual autonomy because they live in a common-interest community. Homeowners shall have the right to peaceful advocacy during elections and other votes as well as use of common areas.

VII: The Right to Oversight of Associations and Directors

Homeowners shall have reasonable access to records and meetings, as well as specified abilities to call special meetings, to obtain oversight of elections and other votes, and to recall directors.

VIII: The Right to Vote and Run for Office

Homeowners shall have well-defined voting rights, including secret ballots, and no director shall have a conflict of interest.

IX: The Right to Reasonable Associations and Directors

Associations, their directors and other agents, shall act reasonably in exercising their power over homeowners.

X: The Right to an Ombudsperson for Homeowners

Homeowners shall have fair interpretation of their rights through the state Office of Ombudsperson for Homeowners. The ombudsperson will enable state oversight where needed, and increases available information for all concerned.

Real leadership fights for homeowner rights.

The more you know, the more you know we need real change.

 

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