Evan C. McKenzie: Professor, consultant, and public speaker

Visit my weblog, The Privatopia Papers

Dr. Evan McKenzie, J.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an Adjunct Professor in the Real Estate Program at The John Marshall Law School. He teaches and writes on issues of law and urban policy, land use, housing, and privatization of local government functions. He is one of the world's leading authorities on homeowner and condominium associations. He is an attorney, consultant, and expert witness who has represented homeowner and condominium associations and owners in complex litigation cases concerning the Operation of Community Associations, Land Use, Construction Defect, and Insurance Bad Faith among other subjects.
  • Dr. McKenzie has specialized knowledge of private governments set up by real estate developers to run common interest housing developments (CIDs), also known as "gated communities," "residential private governments," "homeowner associations," "condominium associations," "private communities," etc.
  • Having written about homeowner associations since 1985, Dr. McKenzie understands the "Micropolitics," the internal workings of homeowner associations as private governments, and the "Macropolitics," the relationship between homeowner associations and the larger community and society of which they are a part.
  • Books

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Papers

    • You can download pdf copies of some of my work here.
    • Watch the video on YouTube of my keynote talk on changes affecting the world of common interest housing, given at the Griffith University Strata Title Conference in Surfer's Paradise, Queensland, Australia--September 2, 2015.
  • Weblog

    • Evan McKenzie's weblog, The Privatopia Papers, was established in 2003 and is one of the most valuable sources of information for the press and the interested public on the rise of residential private government.
  • Activities

    • McKenzie has served as an expert consultant and witness in litigation concerning enforcement of HOA and condo association rules, taking of private property for public use, and related matters, including the following:
      • Suckerman, et al., v. Village of Winfield, et al., a DuPage County, Illinois case concerning association procedures and standard of practice in instructing a municipality to remove trees and shrubs from owners' private property.
      • Pollard v. Heard, a Cook County, Illinois case concerning an HOA that denied owners' application to build a house on their lot. The issues involved the standard of practice applicable to architectural review matters.
      • Helou v. Board of Directors of Country Club Village Court, a Santa Barbara County, California case concerning HOA election practices, the special assessment power, and the responsibility of an association for limited use common areas
      • County of Warren v. State of New Jersey, a Mercer County, New Jersey case involving the constitutionality and application of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act. The issues involved eminent domain or "takings" law, and environmental regulation of land use.
      • Promontory Crest HOA v. Simmons, a Los Angeles County, California case involving denial of an application for "hardscaping" and other architectural modifications.
      • Committee for a Better Twin Rivers v. Twin Rivers Homeowners Association, a Mercer County, New Jersey, case concerning the application of the New Jersey State Constitution to actions of HOAs that infringe on the freedom of speech and due process rights of residents
      • McKenzie has also been consulted on other matters, including HOA prohibitions on dangerous dogs; community association responsibilities under a conservation easement; condominium association rules concerning boat lifts; and related issues of association powers, responsibilities, and duties.
    • McKenzie is a public speaker on issues of law, public policy, and social science. He has given invited lectures at major universities including Harvard Law School, the University of California at Berkeley, and Hastings Law School. He has spoken at international meetings and conferences on gated communities and privatization including presentations in China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
    • McKenzie is frequently contacted by the press to serve as a source on matters related to his research interests. He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20; appeared on NPR nationally several times (All Things Considered; Fresh Air; Talk of the Nation); has been interviewed on numerous other AM and FM radio programs; has appeared on Chicago local television; and has been quoted in the major newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.)
    • McKenzie recently testified before the Maryland State Senate Judicial Affairs Committee concerning proposed legislation to prevent condo association and HOA attorneys from over-charging legal fees to unit owners in covenant enforcement litigation. The bill became law.
    • McKenzie teaches the course on the law of common interest housing at The John Marshall Law School, in the LLM Program in Real Estate Law
    • McKenzie is currently working on a book manuscript dealing with the growing problem of failed condominium and homeowner associations, and what public policies and industry practices are best suited to addressing the financial challenges facing associations, including such issues as budgeting, reserve accounts, assessment collection, and bankruptcy.
  • Areas of Expertise: Takings; Condemnation; Operation of Community Associations; Land Use; Construction Defect; Privatization; Insurance Bad Faith; Gated Communities
  • Contact information