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Old 08-03-2016, 11:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by aggie76 View Post
HOA's can only enforce rules that should be clearly spelled out and agreed to by the homeowners. I have very little sympathy for 99% of these type of stories. Is the blind rule STUPID, INTRUSIVE and OVER REACHING ? Hell yes BUT thats the fault of the homeowners who are too lazy or un-involved to change it or change the management team. In EVERY single HOA hood we've lived in it has been near impossible to get even close to a quorum at the required HOA meetings to get ANYTHING done. I walked the hood one week trying to drum up support for a change that 100% of the folks I spoke with wanted and agreed to show up. Even the management team and the board wanted the change...end result...6 friggin people outa over 400 doors bothered to show. No legal quorum No change.
The little girl and the coed story is touching BUT hundreds of thousands , maybe MILLION of parents have installed the simple little device to get the cord outs the way. It sNOT an unreasonable fix and the parents were just being stubborn and unreasonable.
They did the correct thing and MOVED.
We used to have that issue. Then we managed to get enough people to come to 1 meeting to change the rule such that if there is no Quorum, then another meeting will be held and no matter how few people show up, it shall be declared a Quorum. Not sure how we ever got enough people to show up to add this rule in the first place, though.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:46 PM   #22
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There is an HOA in our development and that is a good thing. In this part of WV there is no zoning, so absent the HOA a homeowner would be free to turn the house into a strip joint or bar or junk parts dealer or... you get the idea.

One guy two doors up from our house that has had a junk car in his driveway for about a year and a half now, a clear violation of the rules he agreed to when he bought the house. He's ignored letters from the HOA and they are now in the process of filing a lawsuit. That is going to cost the HOA time and money, but they'll eventually get it back when they file the lien and the house is sold. I don't think they can force a sale to collect on the lien though so it might be a long time. Frankly, I wish they could force the sale. Like others, I have little patience with those who think the rules don't apply to them.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:14 PM   #23
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I had a few bad experiences with my last HOA...

First, it seems some guy got in charge and then proceeded to have the HOA 'hire' his mgmt company!!! Yes, he hired himself and paid himself good money.... more than the old company was being paid...

Now, these people seemed to go out of their way to find 'problems' so they could justify their fee... I got a letter that my driveway was 'dirty'.... well, duh... it is a driveway.... now, it did not have a single oil stain or in fact any stain... it was just old concrete and looked like every other driveway in the neighborhood...

It took a few years for the people to get worked up enough to get him voted out... but then he refused to call an election!!! It was finally forced on him and he chose a building 15 miles away to have the meeting... well, enough people showed up to vote him out, but he did a procedural thing to try and invalidate the results... I think it took another 6 months to get him out...


We get a new mgmt company... and what do I get... a letter saying that my fence does not come close enough to my house on one side.... now, I have been living in the house for over 20 years and the fence was the one there was there when I bought it... how did suddenly 'move' And also, who came on my property to measure it... there is no way you could see from the street as it was maybe a 1/4 inch off... I fought it for awhile, but then just removed one board and moved it over... fence looked worse, but it was not compliant....


Now, this was the association that was also supposed to prevent people painting their houses some god awful color.... but guess what.... people started to do it and nothing happened...

I finally moved, but it was because the neighborhood was going downhill and I needed more space, not the HOA...
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Old 08-04-2016, 04:36 AM   #24
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I'm so glad I don't have a HOA

+1
None in my beach community. I live in a neighbor hood where most of the homes like mine have been knocked down and replaced with McMansions. I can just see me being the target of a HOA if there was one.

Cheers!
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:03 AM   #25
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DH and I have a single family house in a community around a small lake. I joined the HOA Board because they were good people and I like this neighborhood and the natural beauty. I'm also retired and have some Board experience.

What an eye-opener. The Annual meeting was a zoo; people who liked the sound of their own voices just ranted for as long as they wanted. The people running the meeting did not get it under control and some major issues were not voted on.

We elected a new Board (including me) with 2 write-in candidates who did not get elected. One of them, whom I'll call Joe, got an attorney who claimed that the election was invalid for a variety of nitpicky reasons. Example: it wasn't a secret ballot (required by the By-laws) because each ballot had to be signed and the people who counted the ballots (but not anyone else) know who voted for whom. We spend too much money going back and forth with Joe's lawyer and finally decided to just put Joe on the Board. Joe said he'd call off the lawyer and support the revised Restrictions we're trying to get voted in. (Current ones are an outdated patchwork.)

Joe is on the Board now and has gone back on his promise to support the restrictions and says we have no legal standing as a Board anyway because there's no document from the now-defunct developer saying we have it. (A friend who's an attorney and an HOA president gave me a free opinion that the By-laws DO give us authority.) Joe apparently sues people for a hobby and has the bottomless wallet to do it. He came in one day moaning that it was going to cost $12K to get his Mercedes transmission repaired.

And the neighbors. One got a permit to addle the eggs of the prolific Canada geese. Another, a wildlife lover, called her a murderer. My next-door neighbor, a lovely man who mows his lawn twice a week, thinks there should be NO algae on the lake. (You can do that but it takes chemicals and this time of year it would kill all the fish.) One guy just does what he wants with his house even if it's against the restrictions so we have all kind of actions against him.

Fortunately, the Board members other than Joe are wonderful people and we work well together. I will have plans for keeping the next meeting under control. If I lose too much sleep over all of this I'll quit, but so far it's been OK.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the people in the article; the Conditions and Restrictions were referred to in the deed so they bought into them. I do remember one article about a Johnson County HOA that told a woman to take down a fence around her pool because it was too high; the maximum permissible height was low enough that someone could climb over it, causing a huge potential liability for the homeowner. That was just plain stupid.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:08 AM   #26
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I'm so glad I don't have a HOA
+1

Actually, I do have one, but maintaining the entryway signs is about all they do.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:44 AM   #27
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IMO, another victim story about the evil HOA. READ THE DAMN COVENANT!

I would LOVE to live in a place where the expectations are not only defined but enforced. Too many people nowadays have no respect for their neighborhood or neighbors.

My main problem is that I would adhere to the letter of the rules and I'd be going crazy if someone else flaunted them!
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:02 AM   #28
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The family in the beginning of the link used an unsafe blind in their children's bedroom and to correct the measure they choose a window covering that violates the HOA rules (that they agreed to) vs the extremely inexpensive repair to the blind. Obviously then, HOAs are unsafe and don't care about children. Got it.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:10 AM   #29
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The family in the beginning of the link used an unsafe blind in their children's bedroom and to correct the measure they choose a window covering that violates the HOA rules (that they agreed to) vs the extremely inexpensive repair to the blind. Obviously then, HOAs are unsafe and don't care about children. Got it.
+1 That is what I had started to write but then changed it. Another "victim" and it's the evil HOA's fault!
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:18 PM   #30
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We have never lived where there was a HOA. My DH would not adjust well to someone telling him what he could or could not do, especially in his younger days. I have always been extremely good about following the rules (except from 18-24 yrs in the 70's), but would suffer because of DH. My DH takes great pride in our house and yard though.

We live in WV, but live in an older neighborhood. We live fairly close to 2 hospitals, WVU, a pharmaceutical plant and a few larger federal governmental agencies. When we moved here, we had a doctor on one side of us and another across the street and an orthodontist on the other side and a college professor 2 houses down. They have since moved a short distance away where they had new homes built. However, our neighborhood, still is a nice one. No cars up on blocks, etc. Lawns mowed nicely, homes kept up and people will stop by and tell you how nice your house looks, when you have work done. I consider ourselves fortunate that we live where we do.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:53 AM   #31
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I have been the President of my Condo Ass'n for ~10 years, and a Board member for 8 years before that. The 5 member Board has always gotten along extremely well. The only time there is a problem is when an owner or renter violates the 'Rules and Regulations.' It is really very simple: there is a one pet, 30 pound pet rule; and various vehicles that are not passenger automobiles must be parked in the adjacent lot (100 yards away). Every new Owner or Renter reads these and signs off on them, When they then choose to violate this straight forward policy, after a few written warnings, the lawyers get called in. [If the prospective owner/renter does not like these rules, why not just live elsewhere?] Besides that, co-existence has been calm and steady.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:27 AM   #32
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The thing is, the concept of "i don't want other people telling me what to do" is a non-issue for 99% of people. If you like your house looking nice, kept up, relatively consistent with the neighborhood, well maintained... then you're probably complying with the neighborhood without any HOA issues.

But yes this whole article "I moved because...the HOA wanted my daughter to live in a room which could kill her" is ridiculous. Many other options besides drapes to avoid cords in a window covering.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:36 AM   #33
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I am on the board of the HOA at our vacation home. The (volunteer) board -- 15 of us -- do everything a management company would typically take care of. Accounting, billing, budgeting, hiring/managing the maintenance and office workers, road and facilities maintenance.

Most of the complaints we get are "why did the dues increase?", and 99% of the time the complaints are from members that do not understand capital reserves and long-range planning. One member came to a meeting with his own calculations from the budget and basically accused us of stealing $50,000 from this year's revenue, since we had collected it and not spent it. Even when the Treasurer walked him through the amounts being put into capital reserves (which is clearly spelled out in the published budget,and actually more than the $50K he calculated), he didn't understand.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:43 AM   #34
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I was the Treasurer of our HOA for 25 years, and some of the questions are unbelievable! When we had to reroof the complex, someone demanded we sign a statement that none of the board members are related to the roofer!
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:48 AM   #35
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I remember a few people complaining about the monthly dues. The board tried to explain that dues reflect costs. If one wants lower monthly dues then ways must be found to lower the costs of maintaining the property.

We asked for volunteers to oversee landscaping and find a new management company that might be cheaper. These were two of our biggest costs. Nobody bothered to volunteer.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:15 AM   #36
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I don't have much patience for people who buy homes without first reviewing the deed restrictions that apply to the property.

Maybe I was fortunate in that I had experienced homeowners as co-workers advising me on such issues, or maybe it was that I did not purchase my first property until somewhat later in life (age 35) and gained additional wisdom during this time.

My purchase was a FSBO, but perhaps buyers Real Estate agents share some of the responsibility in educating first time buyers in HOA governed communities.

A typical Warranty Deed is only one or two pages and clearly references the restrictions that would apply.

-gauss
I disagree a bit gauss, my HOA deed was so weighed down with "legalise" that I had to submit it to my attorney and it took her a number of days to decipher the muddled writing. I still have the copy, its 187 pages. A new condo just lost a suit brought on by a group of purchaser due to the ambiguity in the language.

My small development just voted to kick our property management team to the curb and rewrite the entire HOA laws over. Now my development is extremely small, 17 townhomes so that makes life easy. Our new contract is paired down and simplified, it now cover snow removal, yard maintenance and maintenance of the gate to the driveway.

Now we do have a great board, lol hard not to with only 17 members but I would definitely think long and hard before going into a bigger development or condo.

I agree, in philly atleast there is a huge lack of transparency. I think it's a bit sleezy that you have to be an engineer to understand most of them
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:22 AM   #37
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I was the Treasurer of our HOA for 25 years, and some of the questions are unbelievable! When we had to reroof the complex, someone demanded we sign a statement that none of the board members are related to the roofer!
LOL. This reminds me of the time when I was on an HOA board and one homeowner wanted a new address because the UPS guy couldn't find her house. We told her we don't manage addresses, the fire department does. She got mad at us and wondered why we wouldn't grant her request.
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:36 AM   #38
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I remember a few people complaining about the monthly dues. The board tried to explain that dues reflect costs. If one wants lower monthly dues then ways must be found to lower the costs of maintaining the property.

We asked for volunteers to oversee landscaping and find a new management company that might be cheaper. These were two of our biggest costs. Nobody bothered to volunteer.

In my old neighborhood the cost of running the pool was over $60K per year!!! And it was not open that long... I never understood where all the money went....

Never checked out our current neighborhood as it has two pools and many more tennis courts.... but then again we pay 50% more in dues....
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Old 08-05-2016, 03:03 PM   #39
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I was the Treasurer of our HOA for 25 years, and some of the questions are unbelievable! When we had to reroof the complex, someone demanded we sign a statement that none of the board members are related to the roofer!
I think I would have responded: "We are not required to do that and we won't so what are you gonna do? Move? Please?"
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:31 PM   #40
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I was the Treasurer of our HOA for 25 years, and some of the questions are unbelievable! When we had to reroof the complex, someone demanded we sign a statement that none of the board members are related to the roofer!
It's not totally outrageous. I've been on a number of boards and you do have to be ever vigilant - some people take advantage.

And you need to keep an eye on the management companies. Most are good, but on the first board I was on (a large condo complex with a large budget and I was young and a tad naive) - the management company offered to take the board members out for a fancy dinner. We declined and ended up switching companies a few months later.
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