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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 Huhn

The stories vary little and over time have become predictable.  The same words are used over and over again when talking about life in an HOA.  Fear, harassment, fines, threats, abuse, vandalism.  Over the last four or five decades, America's residential neighborhoods have been transformed from tidy, happy communities into places of terror.  Places where individuality, personal expression and personal freedom have given way to war zones.  Far from the love affair Americans allegedly have with their HOAs, the truth is homeowners say they hate their HOAs.  

And with very good reason.

Dr. Robin Huhn joins us On The Commons.  Robin lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and like many homeowners across the country, has experienced firsthand what it feels like to be caught in the cross hairs of the neighborhood bullies.  She is currently on the board of her association and shares with us her experiences as a homeowner, a board member and an advocate for the owners.  We will hear about some of the calls and emails she gets and will learn what life is like when one finds oneself living in a house that has been targeted.  My guess is that many of my listeners will understand exactly what she is talking about.     Listen to Robin Huhn

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On the Commons with John Cowherd

If you are reading this promo or tuning into On The Commons regularly, chances are you have had a nasty surprise or two when you bought your HOA burdened house.  I often hear homeowners tell me they will never buy in an HOA again for as long as they live.  Do you suppose they would have felt that way had they known what they were getting themselves into?  Would a 2 or 3 inch stack of legal papers prepared them for life as usual in an HOA?  Do you feel you were you given all the necessary and pertinent documents about the association before closing escrow?  Did you have enough time to read and understand the contents of the package?  Were there any red flags?  What would you tell a friend and/or a relative who is house hunting to look for? What do you think should be included in a disclosure package that is not included now?  

John Cowherd joins us On The Commons.  John, an attorney in Virginia, is one of a handful of attorneys across the country who represents homeowners in disputes with their HOAs.  John is also interested in educating the public about HOAs and condominiums.  He has a widely read and discussed blog called Words of Conveyance  where he writes about cases, legislation, and how stories that have made the headlines might affect associations.  We talk to John about the Virginia Disclosure laws and whether they are doing an adequate job of informing potential buyers of what they can expect if they buy in the HOA.  We also talk about whether the 72 hours buyers are given is enough time to read through the package and make a decision of whether to not to cancel the purchase. He gives us a lot of food for thought.        Listen to John Cowherd     

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