HOA Meeting Turns Deadly

September 18, 2012

Homeowner association meetings can get heated as neighbors fight with neighbors or dispute board rules. But a recent HOA meeting in Louisville, Ky., resulted in two people dead. 

A 55-year-old man, Mahmoud Yousef Hindi, has pleaded not guilty to two murder charges that stem from accusations that he opened fire at a home owners meeting on Sept. 6, killing two members of the board.  

According to police reports, Hindi allegedly confronted the Spring Creek Homeowners Association over a fence dispute. The board reportedly said the fence did not meet height or design requirements in the upscale neighborhood of $300,000 homes. The board reportedly also had objections over his driveway.

Hindi could possibly face the death penalty, prosecutors say.

This isn’t the first time a homeowner association meeting has resulted in gunfire. 

In 2000, in Arizona, a man was convicted of murdering two women when he opened fire at a home owners meeting, stemming from a dispute with the HOA over an awning and air-conditioning units. In 2004, a Chicago man, who had been evicted from his condo for breaking building rules, was convicted of shooting and murdering a 75-year-old woman on the board of the condo association. 

Indeed, a study of HOAs and condo associations in California over a 20-year span revealed that more than 40 percent of board members say they had been threatened with violence. 

"If they serve on the board for a couple of years, it's not at all unusual that a board member would be threatened or would at least feel threatened," Evan McKenzie, an associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told the Associated Press. 

"Associations are seen as the bad guys," adds David F. Feingold, an attorney who represents homeowners associations in the San Francisco Bay area. "They've got a rap for being overreaching and overbearing. In America, we have 'My home is my castle.' You're really challenging that proposition."

Source: “Deadly Home Owners Meeting Violence Like Shooting in Louisville Rare But Have Happened,” Associated Press (Sept. 17, 2012)

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