Over 80% of new homes sold today are governed by homeowner associations, or HOAs. If you own a home in a community with an HOA, you should get to know your HOA for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, working with your HOA protects your investment. After all, in some cases you’re just one HOA vote away from a hellish nightmare. And HOAs can foreclose on community properties.

At their best, HOAs are annoying student council adults telling you to trim your shrubs and move your trashcans. But at their worst, they are glorified debt collectors with the power to upend lives and expel people from a neighborhood.

— John Oliver, Last Week Tonight

The proliferation of HOAs has been called the most significant privatization of local government responsibilities in recent times.

Here’s Last Week Tonight‘s take on HOAs:

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