Dealing with HOA Notice

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Sandtrap
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:56 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:50 am
Definitely do not ignore the notice. At the same time, though, there is no need to be a pushover.

After thinking some more about this, here's what I'd do
1) Politely write a response saying that you want a face-to-face meeting with the board. This should be granted to you.
2) Prepare a written brief and distribute it at your face to face meeting (as well as mailing certified copies to the board) that shows the letter from the previous board saying no violation, the inspection report, and note that five years has elapsed, you didn't install these things, you relied on a letter from the board saying all was cool in part for your purchase
3) Offer to paint and/or move the cable because that's an easy thing to do, will make your place look better, and shows you're not unreasonable. It's an easy fix and an easy way for someone to "win"
4) Request relief from the a/c issue due to the confusion and miscommunication and the lack of notice during your five year ownership

You want to appear polite, courteous, confident, willing to play ball but at no time should you just bow down and act like the board is some sort of royalty. You want to come to a compromise about everyone's concerns and don't want to be unreasonable, but at the same time they should also know they aren't dealing with a pushover and fighting you will not be a simple matter. It's OK to smile, shake your head side to side, and say, "I'm sorry, I want to work this out but that's not good enough for me."

Now If they won't grant a face to face hearing, then I'd take care of the cable and then spend a couple hundred bucks on an attorney to write a couple of GFY letters and then you can decide where to go from there.
Excellent advice.
"GFY" letter. :shock:
Funny one.
j :D

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StevieG72
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by StevieG72 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:34 pm

You may want to check with your cable / satellite company if the service is still active.

Let them know the install violates the HOA rules and needs to be fixed. This will likely be cheaper or free.

Window AC units can be unsightly, especially if they are sagging, or supported haphazardly.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

zengolf2011
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by zengolf2011 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:53 pm

Did you do your due diligence in reading the CCRs before buying the house? It'll cost 700 bucks to be a good neighbor. Just do it!

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John151
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by John151 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:04 pm

Condo board members are usually well intentioned but often ill informed. My condo association’s primary governing document is called the Declaration. It’s forty pages long, and in the thirty years I’ve lived in my association, I may be the only unit owner who’s actually read it.

The board members simply ignore it. In fact, the board president thinks that it’s only a “suggestion” put forward by the builder, that it’s not a legally binding document, and that the board members can depart from it at any time.

For example, the Declaration says that the association will pay for gardening work. But as a cost-saving measure, the board members have adopted a rule requiring individual unit owners to maintain the flower beds closest to their units. If a unit owner fails to do that, the board will hire someone to do the work and bill the unit owner for the cost, plus a $25 fine.

I’ve found it easier to weed my assigned flower bed than to go to court over the matter, but you should read your primary governing document, whether it’s called the Declaration or the Covenants, to see if the board members are exceeding their legal authority. If they are, you have a choice: you can voluntarily do what the board members want you to do, or you can go to court.
Last edited by John151 on Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by deltaneutral83 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:09 pm

I see a lot of chatter about what was relevant 5 years ago. I'm sure the covenants have been amended since you bought 5 years ago by the HOA board members. Request the most recent copy of the covenants if you want to be 100% sure. Satellites and AC unit notices from HOA's are frequent. I highly doubt your HOA is sending you a notice if you aren't in violation. You could also email someone who sent you the notice and ask. The pomp and circumstance of asking for a hearing based off a solitary notice where all the indications seem to point to this being a violation (as it would in my subdivision and thousands others) cracked me up. Basically, they will say thanks for coming now move your satellite/AC unit. These are the types of things that are common place, if you want to live in a neighborhood where you can have a satellite visible from the road you don't want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA.

JoeRetire
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:06 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:53 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:46 pm
Perhaps some allow the board to withhold parking/pool privileges but again I don't know of any.
Yes, that's the sort of thing that I meant was explicitly allowed, not making up penalties on the fly.

Some boards have the right to restrict usage of amenities and even cut off utilities if bills aren't paid.
Very odd. Where is this HOA located?

An HOA cutting off utilities? In at least some (most?) states/cities that definitely wouldn't be permitted. That's something I'd probably challenge in court if it came down to it.

aqan
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by aqan » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 pm

slow_investor wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:41 am
Long story short, received a notice from HOA regarding Satellite Dish cable hanging on the siding and to remove Window AC Unit.
I bought this house 5 years ago, HOA letter during the time of sale had "No Violations", Window AC was part of sales contract. Have home inspection report done during the sale with picture showing the window AC unit and Satellite Dish Cable as is now.

How to respond and what to do ? I can remove them but would cost me between 500$ - $700 based on estimates I got.
I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner.

gmc4h232
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by gmc4h232 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:32 pm

Sounds like you’re gonna have to move. I really don’t see any other solution. Good luck selling your house with such flagrant violations.

JoeRetire
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:39 pm

aqan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 pm
I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner.
The HOA doesn't need to tell you anything.

The By-Laws and Covenants tell you the rules. If you ask for a copy before purchasing you know the rules. If you don't ask for a copy, then it's hard to blame the HOA.

toofache32
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by toofache32 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:05 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:46 am

I assume your rules don't allow hanging wires like these.

So just pay to remove them and get back into good graces with the HOA.
What is the benefit of being "in good graces" with such a meddling organization like this that will obviously come back at you next time another cable gets loose?
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:46 am

The fact that your letter at the time of sale had "No Violations" doesn't mean that there wasn't a violation or two waiting to be noticed at some point in time.
Of course it does. If there is something in writing from the HOA that there were no violations, then there were no violations. Incredibly simple. We just need to see if the rules have been changed or updated. But since it sounds like you run a kangaroo court, I guess the game is played differently.

criticalmass
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:27 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:29 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:22 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:16 pm
And it only works if the bylaws and covenants of the HOA permit those actions in response to violations. HOA boards can't just make up punishments.
My board uses increasing monthly fines and/or legal action but they are very willing to work with people who are earnestly trying to resolve a situation in good faith.
My board does too - because that is what is permitted in the voted-upon and approved Bylaws. And of course they work with folks when possible.

But they cannot invent a punishment that isn't in the bylaws. Prohibiting the use of parking spaces or pool access isn't permitted. Nor are stockades, pillories, or public shaming. Those kinds of things just invite a lawsuit.
When you say prohibiting use of parking lots and pool is not permitted, I’m not sure what you are referring to. It certainly was explicitly permitted in the HOA I lived in, which is why I brought it up earlier. If you aren’t sure what your board can do, check the recorded covenants.

criticalmass
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:29 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:05 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:46 am

I assume your rules don't allow hanging wires like these.

So just pay to remove them and get back into good graces with the HOA.
What is the benefit of being "in good graces" with such a meddling organization like this that will obviously come back at you next time another cable gets loose?
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:46 am

The fact that your letter at the time of sale had "No Violations" doesn't mean that there wasn't a violation or two waiting to be noticed at some point in time.
Of course it does. If there is something in writing from the HOA that there were no violations, then there were no violations. Incredibly simple. We just need to see if the rules have been changed or updated. But since it sounds like you run a kangaroo court, I guess the game is played differently.
There were no violations at that time. Did the letter state there could never again be a violation, or that the AC was present at that time?

criticalmass
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:32 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:46 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:43 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:29 pm
My board does too - because that is what is permitted in the voted-upon and approved Bylaws. And of course they work with folks when possible.

But they cannot invent a punishment that isn't in the bylaws. Prohibiting the use of parking spaces or pool access isn't permitted. Nor are stockades, pillories, or public shaming. Those kinds of things just invite a lawsuit.
Agreed that penalties should be reasonable and pre-defined but some bylaws or house rules explicitly permit that sort of thing and it makes sense to me, especially if the violation is financial, such as not paying fees.
I don't know of any HOAs that have rules allowing the Board to make up punishments. Perhaps some allow the board to withhold parking/pool privileges but again I don't know of any.

The ultimate penalty in many HOAs is eviction. Lawyers will always get involved before that point.
Only if the covenants/declaration explicitly state that eviction/forced sale is a proper remedy. Mine only stated loss of amenities was a remedy.

OnTrack
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by OnTrack » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:31 am

bob60014 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:05 pm
The Communications Act of 1996, rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

However, it says nothing about a neat installation (cable routing). Most info I have read covers the antenna only, not the cable. I'm fairly certain the HOA can object to the look of the cable.

https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-rece ... vices-rule
"The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal."
Seems to me that the cable is necessary use the dish. So although the word "cable" is not explicitly included, it is implied, otherwise how could the dish be used and a signal received? Now whether the HOA can require the cable to be painted or hidden would seem to fall under whether it "unreasonably increases the cost of installation".

OnTrack
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by OnTrack » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:37 am

duplicate, deleted.
Last edited by OnTrack on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mlebuf
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by mlebuf » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:41 am

If you have visual proof that those alleged violations were there when you purchased the house 5 years ago, they will have a very tough time getting an enforcement in court. As for the AC wire, it's likely that homes in your community put up holiday lights with exposed wires too. If they come down on you for an exposed wire, while allowing holiday lights, they are practicing selective enforcement. Judges don't like that. If they complain about your satellite dish, assuming it's a DirecTV size dish, the HOA cannot prevent you from having one. That is federal law:
http://www.hindmansanchez.com/resources ... d-answers/

Keep in mind that to get an enforcement, the HOA has to sue you and win. That can get expensive, and if they lose, they may be forced to pay your legal fees in addition to the cost of taking you to court. My experience is that these hobby cops often act like schoolyard bullies. They try to threaten and intimidate residents hoping they will quietly comply and roll over. However, if you stand your ground, they often become amazingly reasonable. On two separate occasions I was threatened lawsuits and fines. I hired an attorney who told them they would have to sue me and win. On both occasions they backed off and that was well over 5 years ago.

For the record, I am not an attorney.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

JoeRetire
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:50 am

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:27 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:29 pm
My board does too - because that is what is permitted in the voted-upon and approved Bylaws. And of course they work with folks when possible.

But they cannot invent a punishment that isn't in the bylaws. Prohibiting the use of parking spaces or pool access isn't permitted. Nor are stockades, pillories, or public shaming. Those kinds of things just invite a lawsuit.
When you say prohibiting use of parking lots and pool is not permitted, I’m not sure what you are referring to. It certainly was explicitly permitted in the HOA I lived in, which is why I brought it up earlier. If you aren’t sure what your board can do, check the recorded covenants.
I said "not permitted" in the context of "My board does too". Sorry that wasn't clear to you. I'm quite clear what my board can and cannot do.

johnubc
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by johnubc » Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:59 am

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:22 am
I have had very good luck simply ignoring "notices" given to me by my HOA. I am 3 for 3 in doing nothing and having no negative results for things like this.
This is not good advice. You will very likely be surprised when you try to sell your home and discover these outstanding violations - and fees to go with it.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:50 pm

Our condo buildings face a central courtyard that has very attract grounds and residents sit there and socialize. One of our Rules and Regulations is that all blinds facing the courtyard must be white to keep a common and attractive appearance. It had never been an issue until one resident switched his to dark red. He didn't realize his error until they were bought and installed, and his unit was far enough above the ground it wasn't terribly noticeable. We knew he would be moving out in a few years so we let him slide, but they had to be fixed when the unit was sold. He sold, gave the purchaser enough off the price to purchase new, compliant blinds, and that was the end of it. But he did pay to get into compliance, just later rather than sooner.

We would require an air conditioner that faced the courtyard to be removed ASAP, and have done so.

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Pajamas
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Pajamas » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:53 pm

mlebuf wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:41 am
That can get expensive, and if they lose, they may be forced to pay your legal fees in addition to the cost of taking you to court.
And vice versa. . . .

gostars
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by gostars » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:09 am

OnTrack wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:31 am
bob60014 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:05 pm
The Communications Act of 1996, rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

However, it says nothing about a neat installation (cable routing). Most info I have read covers the antenna only, not the cable. I'm fairly certain the HOA can object to the look of the cable.

https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-rece ... vices-rule
"The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal."
Seems to me that the cable is necessary use the dish. So although the word "cable" is not explicitly included, it is implied, otherwise how could the dish be used and a signal received? Now whether the HOA can require the cable to be painted or hidden would seem to fall under whether it "unreasonably increases the cost of installation".
This ^
I'd mail them an envelope full of sand and tell them to pound it, but that's just me. A $500 charge to reroute a cable would almost certainly be considered to unreasonably increase the cost of maintenance and use and would fail to meet the requirement. Essentially, you can tell them that their rule violates federal code, and if they don't like it, they can appeal to the FCC. The FCC will make a ruling, and if you lose, you have 21 days to comply and they can't penalize you as long as you comply within that period and your claim isn't frivolous. If they lose, they have an envelope full of sand to pound. My reading is that you would likely win a ruling on this, and even if you lose, the claim was not in any way frivolous, but I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
Relevant bits, from 47 CFR 1.4000
(4) Any fee or cost imposed on a user by a rule, law, regulation or restriction must be reasonable in light of the cost of the equipment or services and the rule, law, regulation or restriction’s treatment of comparable devices. No civil, criminal, administrative, or other legal action of any kind shall be taken to enforce any restriction or regulation prohibited by this section except pursuant to paragraph (d) or (e) of this section. In addition, except with respect to restrictions pertaining to safety and historic preservation as described in paragraph (b) of this section, if a proceeding is initiated pursuant to paragraph (d) or (e) of this section, the entity seeking to enforce the antenna restrictions in question must suspend all enforcement efforts pending completion of review. No attorney’s fees shall be collected or assessed and no fine or other penalties shall accrue against an antenna user while a proceeding is pending to determine the validity of any restriction. If a ruling is issued adverse to a user, the user shall be granted at least a 21-day grace period in which to comply with the adverse ruling; and neither a fine nor a penalty may be collected from the user if the user complies with the adverse ruling during this grace eriod, unless the proponent of the restriction demonstrates, in the same proceeding which resulted in the adverse ruling, that the user’s claim in the proceeding was frivolous.
For the A/C, you're on your own there.

aqan
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by aqan » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:57 am

JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:39 pm
aqan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 pm
I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner.
The HOA doesn't need to tell you anything.

The By-Laws and Covenants tell you the rules. If you ask for a copy before purchasing you know the rules. If you don't ask for a copy, then it's hard to blame the HOA.
They gave OP a letter stating ‘No Violations’. Shouldn’t they have checked before giving ‘all clear’ verdict?

JoeRetire
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:05 am

aqan wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:57 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:39 pm
aqan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 pm
I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner.
The HOA doesn't need to tell you anything.

The By-Laws and Covenants tell you the rules. If you ask for a copy before purchasing you know the rules. If you don't ask for a copy, then it's hard to blame the HOA.
They gave OP a letter stating ‘No Violations’. Shouldn’t they have checked before giving ‘all clear’ verdict?
Probably. But it doesn't matter - there is clearly a violation now.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:14 am

aqan wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:57 am

They gave OP a letter stating ‘No Violations’. Shouldn’t they have checked before giving ‘all clear’ verdict?

It's probably best to see the entire wording. It may mean there are no outstanding cited violations, which would be true. It may not mean they have done an inspection and no violations were found. Or it may just be imprecise wording.

But clearly there are cited violations now which must be disclosed to any future buyer unless rectified.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:25 am

Gather support. Run for HOA board. Have supporters also run for HOA board. Legally dissolve the HOA. Problem solved.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:31 am

Without knowing the rules, I cannot give advice. Just because a rule was violated for x years is not a defense. You need to be more specific about the rules. You cannot have window units for ac? Or is it installed half baked?

criticalmass
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by criticalmass » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:42 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:25 am
Gather support. Run for HOA board. Have supporters also run for HOA board. Legally dissolve the HOA. Problem solved.
Good thinking, until it snows and there is no association to pay for plowing, or the parking lot needs replacing, or trash pickup is needed, or someone hurts themselves on a swing set and an attorney is looking for a defendant to pay medical bills plus damages. A HOA swing set accident causing a permanent disability in one state cost millions. Surely the residents would prefer to insure/pay such liabilities themselves rather than the now dissolved association/corporation, right?

Better idea is simply move to a place with no restrictions or has restrictions you don’t mind.

FreemanB
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by FreemanB » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:47 am

gostars wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:09 am
This ^
I'd mail them an envelope full of sand and tell them to pound it, but that's just me. A $500 charge to reroute a cable would almost certainly be considered to unreasonably increase the cost of maintenance and use and would fail to meet the requirement. Essentially, you can tell them that their rule violates federal code, and if they don't like it, they can appeal to the FCC. The FCC will make a ruling, and if you lose, you have 21 days to comply and they can't penalize you as long as you comply within that period and your claim isn't frivolous. If they lose, they have an envelope full of sand to pound. My reading is that you would likely win a ruling on this, and even if you lose, the claim was not in any way frivolous, but I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
Except the $500 charge does not increase the cost of maintenance and use of the satellite. It doesn't change it at all. Now if re-routing the cable initially had cost an additional $500, then someone could have tried that argument at the time of the installation. However, I'm willing to bet that it could have been routed that way for no additional cost at the time. Of course, most people don't bother to check the standards for things like this until they get a violation, so the installer just did it in the simplest way possible. As it stands, the $500 is the amount to come into compliance due to the installation not being done properly in the first place. You can appeal it to the FCC all day, and it won't change a thing.

jimmo
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by jimmo » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:38 pm

Has the OP responded as to why he has a window unit A/C? If it's against HOA code, then all homes must of been built with central heating and cooling. Removing a window unit A/C should be a pretty easy fix, or is it that you want to play hardball with HOA? Window unit A/C's can look pretty dumpy, particularly if visible on front side of house. Not sure what kind of condition yours is in, but condition is probably beside the point...it's apparently not permitted in your HOA and you finally got called on it.

The fact that your home had no outstanding violations when you moved in I don't think is relevant. If you had it in writing that the window unit A/C and satellite cables were specifically in compliance that'd be another story. Those aren't one in the same. Regardless, HOA covenants takes precedent and it's your responsibility to know the bylawas.

I know people like to complain about HOA's, but they do serve a purpose. You live in close proximity to a number of homes all built around the same time, and like it or not, if they don't upkeep their property it impacts your property value. People want to have some assurances that there is a mechanism in place to hold people accountable. Whether a window unit A/C and dangling satellite cables are a problem is another story. Obviously some HOA's enforce more strictly than others. And now that you have outstanding violations, those will need to be cleared/rectified before ever selling yourself, or future buyers will be notified and will want resolved before closing

jimmo
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by jimmo » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:48 pm

I live in an HOA neighborhood but there is little to no enforcement. My neighbor has an old rotting fence in disrepair on one side and a chicken wire fence on the other side, and a yard that is pretty much all weeds and annual crabgrass. Landscaping is overgrown and unsightly. Basically it's the eyesore in the neighborhood we're all well aware of. I'd prefer that not be the case, but doubt my HOA would do much about it or that this person would actually do anything in response to violation. For every person complaining about their HOA being too strict, there are others that wish their HOA would actually do some measure of enforcement.

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munemaker
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by munemaker » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:59 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:11 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am
Edit to add - I view this the same way I view speeding while driving. I acknowledge the law, choose to ignore it and accept whatever consequences arise.
Yeah, definitely self-entitlement.
I look at certain fines as a kind of fee for doing what I want to do; in a way, the price of freedom.

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Pajamas
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Pajamas » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:18 pm

munemaker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:59 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:11 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am
Edit to add - I view this the same way I view speeding while driving. I acknowledge the law, choose to ignore it and accept whatever consequences arise.
Yeah, definitely self-entitlement.
I look at certain fines as a kind of fee for doing what I want to do; in a way, the price of freedom.
Yes, a lot of people only consider themselves and do not care about the possible consequences of their behavior on other people. For instance, speeding can injure or kill others.

cherijoh
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by cherijoh » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:27 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:19 pm
Never having lived in an HOA development (and never will), I can't provide first hand knowledge. I think I'd take a multi-pronged approach.

First, I'd get together with the head of the HOA and ask respectfully how I might modify my "stuff" to abide by the rules. Ask him to come to your house. Ask about painting the disk wire or what other thing might be done. Same for the AC.

Along with this, I think I'd take my digital camera with a long range lens and go on a hunt for any and all violations in the HOA area. This would require knowing the rules inside and out. File complaints on all of them. Personally, I see these things complained against you as nit-picky that someone who has no life has decided they have to raise a fuss about. If you can find out who complained, pay particular attention to their property and file complaints on every single thing they might be in violation of.

I would not get along well in an HOA area.
No it doesn't sound like you would do well at all in an HOA area.

Our HO board members make periodic walk throughs of the neighborhood, so it isn't necessary (and IMO unlikely) that a neighbor made this complaint. Unless of course the A/C unit is a dinosaur and is loud enough to disturb your next door neighbor's sleep. Most people only complain about their neighbors to the HOA when the violation affects them personally or make the neighborhood look like a trashy trailer park (i.e., lawn unmown for months on end or a car up on blocks in the driveway for weeks on end).

Some boards take enforcement more serious than others, so the fact that the board 5 years ago didn't have a complaint doesn't necessarily mean much IMO.

mak1277
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by mak1277 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:30 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:18 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:59 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:11 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am
Edit to add - I view this the same way I view speeding while driving. I acknowledge the law, choose to ignore it and accept whatever consequences arise.
Yeah, definitely self-entitlement.
I look at certain fines as a kind of fee for doing what I want to do; in a way, the price of freedom.
Yes, a lot of people only consider themselves and do not care about the possible consequences of their behavior on other people. For instance, speeding can injure or kill others.
So you genuinely never exceed the speed limit?

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8foot7
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 pm

FreemanB wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:47 am


Except the $500 charge does not increase the cost of maintenance and use of the satellite. It doesn't change it at all. Now if re-routing the cable initially had cost an additional $500, then someone could have tried that argument at the time of the installation. However, I'm willing to bet that it could have been routed that way for no additional cost at the time. Of course, most people don't bother to check the standards for things like this until they get a violation, so the installer just did it in the simplest way possible. As it stands, the $500 is the amount to come into compliance due to the installation not being done properly in the first place. You can appeal it to the FCC all day, and it won't change a thing.
OP has been using satellite for five years even after HOA letter said no violations. If he now has to pay $500 to use the same satellite solely to comply with HOA rules, then that sure is an increase in the cost of use.

That said, OP ought to move the wire if it looks like crap.

cherijoh
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by cherijoh » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:38 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:46 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:43 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:29 pm
My board does too - because that is what is permitted in the voted-upon and approved Bylaws. And of course they work with folks when possible.

But they cannot invent a punishment that isn't in the bylaws. Prohibiting the use of parking spaces or pool access isn't permitted. Nor are stockades, pillories, or public shaming. Those kinds of things just invite a lawsuit.
Agreed that penalties should be reasonable and pre-defined but some bylaws or house rules explicitly permit that sort of thing and it makes sense to me, especially if the violation is financial, such as not paying fees.
I don't know of any HOAs that have rules allowing the Board to make up punishments. Perhaps some allow the board to withhold parking/pool privileges but again I don't know of any.

The ultimate penalty in many HOAs is eviction. Lawyers will always get involved before that point.
Our HOA definitely withholds pool privileges if you are behind in the quarterly HOA dues. Since the pool maintenance is paid from the quarterly HOA dues, I think this is perfectly fair. I don't know if they would bar you from the pool for other types of non-compliance.

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Pajamas
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Pajamas » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:42 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:30 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:18 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:59 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:11 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am
Edit to add - I view this the same way I view speeding while driving. I acknowledge the law, choose to ignore it and accept whatever consequences arise.
Yeah, definitely self-entitlement.
I look at certain fines as a kind of fee for doing what I want to do; in a way, the price of freedom.
Yes, a lot of people only consider themselves and do not care about the possible consequences of their behavior on other people. For instance, speeding can injure or kill others.
So you genuinely never exceed the speed limit?
Is that what you would say to the jury in your defense if you killed someone while speeding?

JoeRetire
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:44 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:38 pm
Our HOA definitely withholds pool privileges if you are behind in the quarterly HOA dues.
I assume this is spelled out in the by-laws?

cherijoh
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by cherijoh » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:50 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:06 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:53 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:46 pm
Perhaps some allow the board to withhold parking/pool privileges but again I don't know of any.
Yes, that's the sort of thing that I meant was explicitly allowed, not making up penalties on the fly.

Some boards have the right to restrict usage of amenities and even cut off utilities if bills aren't paid.
Very odd. Where is this HOA located?

An HOA cutting off utilities? In at least some (most?) states/cities that definitely wouldn't be permitted. That's something I'd probably challenge in court if it came down to it.
Some older condo units have common boilers (for heat), water supply, and often cable TV (in the days before internet and the explosion of options). The fees are included in the homeowner's dues which could be quite substantial. I used to live in a condo where water and cable was included in the dues. We paid for electricity and had a heat pump.

mak1277
Posts: 801
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by mak1277 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:53 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:42 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:30 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:18 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:59 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:11 pm


Yeah, definitely self-entitlement.
I look at certain fines as a kind of fee for doing what I want to do; in a way, the price of freedom.
Yes, a lot of people only consider themselves and do not care about the possible consequences of their behavior on other people. For instance, speeding can injure or kill others.
So you genuinely never exceed the speed limit?
Is that what you would say to the jury in your defense if you killed someone while speeding?
No, but it's a fair question for another person who's being judgmental.

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Pajamas
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by Pajamas » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:55 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:53 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:42 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:30 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:18 pm
munemaker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:59 pm

I look at certain fines as a kind of fee for doing what I want to do; in a way, the price of freedom.
Yes, a lot of people only consider themselves and do not care about the possible consequences of their behavior on other people. For instance, speeding can injure or kill others.
So you genuinely never exceed the speed limit?
Is that what you would say to the jury in your defense if you killed someone while speeding?
No, but it's a fair question for another person who's being judgmental.
I don't own a vehicle and I don't drive. On the rare occasions when I do drive, I don't speed at all.

FreemanB
Posts: 264
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by FreemanB » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:40 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 pm
OP has been using satellite for five years even after HOA letter said no violations. If he now has to pay $500 to use the same satellite solely to comply with HOA rules, then that sure is an increase in the cost of use.

That said, OP ought to move the wire if it looks like crap.
Actually, the OP said they didn't even use the satellite dish at all, so I'd personally just pay a handyman with a long ladder a much smaller amount to simply disconnect and remove it. Why re-run it if he doesn't even use it, and plans on taking the dish off completely in a year or two when he redoes the roof? Either way, the FCC permits reasonable restrictions on the installation of satellite dishes. This falls under that category. The amount of money required to correct it isn't relevant if it violated the standards to begin with.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3921
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:11 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:38 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:46 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:43 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:29 pm
My board does too - because that is what is permitted in the voted-upon and approved Bylaws. And of course they work with folks when possible.

But they cannot invent a punishment that isn't in the bylaws. Prohibiting the use of parking spaces or pool access isn't permitted. Nor are stockades, pillories, or public shaming. Those kinds of things just invite a lawsuit.
Agreed that penalties should be reasonable and pre-defined but some bylaws or house rules explicitly permit that sort of thing and it makes sense to me, especially if the violation is financial, such as not paying fees.
I don't know of any HOAs that have rules allowing the Board to make up punishments. Perhaps some allow the board to withhold parking/pool privileges but again I don't know of any.

The ultimate penalty in many HOAs is eviction. Lawyers will always get involved before that point.
Our HOA definitely withholds pool privileges if you are behind in the quarterly HOA dues. Since the pool maintenance is paid from the quarterly HOA dues, I think this is perfectly fair. I don't know if they would bar you from the pool for other types of non-compliance.
The legality of that varies by state. Florida requires you be 90 days or more late, Illinois prohibits it altogether. You are paying for the pool (even if you are paying late). What if they cut off parking and you have nowhere to park? Or what if they barricade your front door (that is illegal unless they legally had you evicted)? There are procedures and processes for them to get their money. They can put a lien on your property and foreclose on it. They can assess late fees and collection/attorney fees. You can also never recover lost pool time. You can recover fines or late fees if it comes to that.

Reading some of these comments it is obvious some people have never lived in a HOA. As I said above, they can take your home away from you. As others pointed out, some are very lax (not usually good as it can lead to lower property values). Some are nit pickers.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

j0nnyg1984
Posts: 448
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:12 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:59 am
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:51 am
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:45 am
My point is this....if a notice says "do [something] or you will be fined," then my response is to ignore it. If I get fined, so be it, but odds are nobody will follow-up. I'm not suggesting that someone ignore multiple communications, fines, etc. But there's no reason to act on the first one.
Guess it depends on the homeowner's association and the individual's level of self-entitlement.
I don't believe the rules don't apply to me, I just choose to roll the dice and pay whatever fine might be levied rather than waste my time on the minor things some nosy board member writes me up for (e.g., weeds in my driveway cracks, crooked mailbox). If they want to follow-up with a fine, I'm happy to pay it.

Edit to add - I view this the same way I view speeding while driving. I acknowledge the law, choose to ignore it and accept whatever consequences arise.
My man 👍🏻

toofache32
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by toofache32 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:57 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:05 am
aqan wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:57 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:39 pm
aqan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 pm
I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner.
The HOA doesn't need to tell you anything.

The By-Laws and Covenants tell you the rules. If you ask for a copy before purchasing you know the rules. If you don't ask for a copy, then it's hard to blame the HOA.
They gave OP a letter stating ‘No Violations’. Shouldn’t they have checked before giving ‘all clear’ verdict?
Probably. But it doesn't matter - there is clearly a violation now.
Apparently, it's not so clear. Supposedly, the HOA already ruled on this and said there were no violations when he moved in. If nothing has changed with the cable and/or AC unit, why would the HOA change their mind on this? I do understand that we are working with incomplete information here.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3921
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:11 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:57 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:05 am
aqan wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:57 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:39 pm
aqan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 pm
I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner.
The HOA doesn't need to tell you anything.

The By-Laws and Covenants tell you the rules. If you ask for a copy before purchasing you know the rules. If you don't ask for a copy, then it's hard to blame the HOA.
They gave OP a letter stating ‘No Violations’. Shouldn’t they have checked before giving ‘all clear’ verdict?
Probably. But it doesn't matter - there is clearly a violation now.
Apparently, it's not so clear. Supposedly, the HOA already ruled on this and said there were no violations when he moved in. If nothing has changed with the cable and/or AC unit, why would the HOA change their mind on this? I do understand that we are working with incomplete information here.
The HOA said there were no outstanding violations that had been cited. Often things are cited because someone complains. For example, existing neighbor doesn't care that your dog barks a lot (maybe they have a dog that barks a lot). Neighbor sells and new owner can't stand it and complains. Most HOA's don't have a "police" squad that rides around looking for violations on a regular basis (many do have busybodies though). Someone might not complain for years. The buyer is given a copy of the bylaws, declarations and rules before closing. This is so they know the rules, bylaws, etc. and can look them over. I wouldn't buy in an HOA without carefully reviewing these documents.

randomguy
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Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by randomguy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:21 pm

mlebuf wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:41 am
If you have visual proof that those alleged violations were there when you purchased the house 5 years ago, they will have a very tough time getting an enforcement in court. As for the AC wire, it's likely that homes in your community put up holiday lights with exposed wires too. If they come down on you for an exposed wire, while allowing holiday lights, they are practicing selective enforcement. Judges don't like that. If they complain about your satellite dish, assuming it's a DirecTV size dish, the HOA cannot prevent you from having one. That is federal law:
http://www.hindmansanchez.com/resources ... d-answers/

Keep in mind that to get an enforcement, the HOA has to sue you and win. That can get expensive, and if they lose, they may be forced to pay your legal fees in addition to the cost of taking you to court. My experience is that these hobby cops often act like schoolyard bullies. They try to threaten and intimidate residents hoping they will quietly comply and roll over. However, if you stand your ground, they often become amazingly reasonable. On two separate occasions I was threatened lawsuits and fines. I hired an attorney who told them they would have to sue me and win. On both occasions they backed off and that was well over 5 years ago.

For the record, I am not an attorney.
It isn't selective enforcement in most cases because Holidays lights tend to have a specific carve out where you are allowed to have them up between like Nov 15 and Dec 31 and the are often limits on what you can do.

And yes you will end up in court if both sides stand their ground. But yeah it can get expensive and you have to ask your self do you really want to pay your lawyer and their lawyer (pretty standard HOA clause where I live) for a clear cut violation. You might be able to argue if the cable is neat, but an AC thing is pretty binary. Personally the party that playing with other peoples money seems far less likely to blink. YMMV

michaeljc70
Posts: 3921
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:34 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:21 pm
mlebuf wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:41 am
If you have visual proof that those alleged violations were there when you purchased the house 5 years ago, they will have a very tough time getting an enforcement in court. As for the AC wire, it's likely that homes in your community put up holiday lights with exposed wires too. If they come down on you for an exposed wire, while allowing holiday lights, they are practicing selective enforcement. Judges don't like that. If they complain about your satellite dish, assuming it's a DirecTV size dish, the HOA cannot prevent you from having one. That is federal law:
http://www.hindmansanchez.com/resources ... d-answers/

Keep in mind that to get an enforcement, the HOA has to sue you and win. That can get expensive, and if they lose, they may be forced to pay your legal fees in addition to the cost of taking you to court. My experience is that these hobby cops often act like schoolyard bullies. They try to threaten and intimidate residents hoping they will quietly comply and roll over. However, if you stand your ground, they often become amazingly reasonable. On two separate occasions I was threatened lawsuits and fines. I hired an attorney who told them they would have to sue me and win. On both occasions they backed off and that was well over 5 years ago.

For the record, I am not an attorney.
It isn't selective enforcement in most cases because Holidays lights tend to have a specific carve out where you are allowed to have them up between like Nov 15 and Dec 31 and the are often limits on what you can do.

And yes you will end up in court if both sides stand their ground. But yeah it can get expensive and you have to ask your self do you really want to pay your lawyer and their lawyer (pretty standard HOA clause where I live) for a clear cut violation. You might be able to argue if the cable is neat, but an AC thing is pretty binary. Personally the party that playing with other peoples money seems far less likely to blink. YMMV
Exactly. A board member that will be paying 1/20th or 1/200th of legal bills is less likely to blink than an owner footing the bill themself.

I have a few rules for HOAs:

1) Avoid them if possible
2) They have serious power- avoid getting on their bad side as the rules, bylaws and declarations always favor them
3) If they are really unreasonable, try and get on the board

michaeljc70
Posts: 3921
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:40 pm

mlebuf wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:41 am
Keep in mind that to get an enforcement, the HOA has to sue you and win.
Not really. They can put a lien on your property for non-payment of fines (or assessments). When you go to sell, you will have to sue them or pay the fines plus interest (plus attorney fees if applicable). In the meantime, most buyers will run away.

OnTrack
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:16 pm

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Post by OnTrack » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:41 am

Here is one approach:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WXx-5Urn4Ls
In the video, a homeowner put up a large sign that says
“If you are considering purchasing a home in Alford Meadows You may want to RECONSIDER . . . YOU could be the next target of the HOA!”
It was eventually settled out of court:
http://www.reporterherald.com/news/love ... ouple-that
The second link above states "Although the sign itself would be a violation of the HOA's covenants, Sinnett said the lawsuit contesting it was unsustainable because HOAs are quasi-governmental bodies, and the First Amendment protects the right to protest any such group's actions."

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