I was revising a press resease at work today, which said that the Dutch city of The Hague has around 20,000 homeowners’ associations.
I mean, WTF?
Do these people like to have meetings and create paperwork just for fun? I vocalised about this fact at the office, and B. assured me that it’s not that bad, that a Dutch “Homeowners’ Association” is roughly equivalent to a body corporate. And since there are very few free-standing houses in large Dutch cities, that means that every row of town houses effectively consitutes its own homeowners’ association.
Fair enough, I thought. But the press release (which was for the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)) talked about the government wanting to help these associations with courses, education and establishing membership fees, in order to help maintain the standard of available private housing in the Netherlands. So the government wants to busy itself with how private homeowners look after their homes.
This is private property we’re talking about. These people own their homes. Shouldn’t they be free to decide for themselves how they take care of them? I’m sure they paid enough for the house in the first place.
In an over-populated country that’s half underwater, with an enormous housing shortage and around 500km of traffic jams every day, you’d think they might have something better to do.
Oh wait: I’m just watching the news, and someone is demanding that there be laws put in place regarding the transport of dogs in cars. Did I mention people take their dogs to restaurants in this country? Oh, and they’ve just found a hundren flea-ridden guinea pigs in someone’s attic. Looks like the important issues are already being taken care of!