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HOAs from Hell
Old 08-03-2016, 06:20 AM   #1
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HOAs from Hell

I saw this article and thought some of the members here might be interested in it.
Homes associations that once protected residents now prey on them | Bradenton Herald
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:32 AM   #2
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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
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:51 AM   #3
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+1 I don't have much of a problem with the lead in the story... the curtains that the homeowners installed violated the HOA rules that they obviously never considered... the HOA objected and offered a couple acceptable alternatives that the homeowner's stubbornly refused so they moved... it is a free country and they made their choice....good riddance IMO.

One of the reasons that people buy in such communities is because they like that fact that the homes will be relatively uniform.. lines have to be drawn somewhere and if you don't like where they are drawn either conform, work to change the lines or move. No problem.

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Daniel told the Meekers they had several options: put the old blinds back up with the device designed to keep the cord out of reach, install plantation shutters, get 75 percent of homeowners to agree to change the HOA rules, file a lawsuit or move.

Eventually the Meekers moved out in June instead of continuing the standoff over the curtains.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:06 AM   #4
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I have served on two HOA boards and the problems usually start when one of two things happen: the homeowner doesn't read the rules or they don't think they apply to them.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:14 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #6
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I have served on two HOA boards and the problems usually start when one of two things happen: the homeowner doesn't read the rules or they don't think they apply to them.
+1

I've also served on a number of HOA boards (because I crave unbridled power and domination over my neighbors someone has to do it and I have the time) and my experience is that it's almost just a few folks who are the problem. People who just don't think rules apply to them.

There are plenty of options for buying a house without an HOA, certain people should exercise this option.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:08 AM   #7
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sounds like serving on a HOA board can be really dangerous
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:10 AM   #8
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+1

I've also served on a number of HOA boards (because someone has to do it and I have the time) and my experience is that it's almost just a few folks who are the problem. People who just don't think rules apply to them.

There are plenty of options for buying a house without an HOA, certain people should exercise this option.
I agree. I served on the board of an HOA for 25 years and retained my sanity somehow.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:15 AM   #9
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Well different people have different expectations.

DW has an friend from high school who's told her many times about a cousin. Seems the cousin's HOA will not allow a couch on the front porch. They also have the gall to insist the cousin maintains her home. She thought this was a free country.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:21 AM   #10
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I have served on two HOA boards and the problems usually start when one of two things happen: the homeowner doesn't read the rules or they don't think they apply to them.
I will add in another.
When the management company attempts to enforce a rule that is counter to local LAW or proper procedures.

EXAMPLE: We have the usual rules about yard signs. Most are prohibited and political one not allowed. Texas has a statute the EXPRESSLY allows political sign of a certain size and number 90 dos out from an election. This overrides any little deed restriction and even local ords. I had the management company get all worked up over my LEGAL political signs and even continued to harass and threaten me after I sent their lawyer a copy of the LAW. Had to actually have a lawyer friend send them a nasty little letter and order them to stop enforcement of their stupid little rule in violation of Texas LAW.

Another example of HOA idiocy is when a rare freeze knocked the hell outa a few of my palms. I got the usual threat letters telling me to trim the dead IMMEDIATELY blah blah blah... EVEN after I sent the old lady busybody a letter from the State Arborist explaining that the dead fronds MUST be kept in place till the new growth emerges or the entire tree will die..she persisted.
I finally told her and the Pres to POUND SAND and sue me. I would wipe the floor with them.

HOA's can be their WORST enemy when the typical busybody nazis take over.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:23 AM   #11
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I'm so glad I don't have a HOA
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:58 AM   #12
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I'm so glad I don't have a HOA
Some of the article is scewed. Many of the stories were about Johnson County, KS. I'll not give too much of my personal opinion and add this gem:

When White Castle first put a store in JOCO it had to be painted beige. There was quite a discussion about the huge sacrifice the county made.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:02 AM   #13
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Having served on my neighborhood's HOA board for a few years, I can easily see this from both sides of the fence (so to speak). Most boards are composed of good people trying to do the right thing, who are volunteering their free time to help serve the community. Of course, there are occasional excesses... human nature, right? But on the other hand, I don't like being told that I can't plant a certain tree in my yard to replace a dead or diseased one or that I can't build a small garden shed in my backyard without getting written approval from every adjacent neighbor on all sides. These things seem arbitrary and intrusive... but when you think about it, so are many other things that regulate our behavior in society. Like, well... paying property taxes to support public schools when I don't even have children, or not being able to have a pet fox in my backyard, or not being able to shoot off fireworks at 3:00am. HOA rules and restrictions are just another layer of stuff that govern our behavior, no different really than city or state or federal laws. For people who can't understand that for some reason, well, there are obvious solutions. Move to another neighborhood, or city, or state, or country... or just comply, as most normal people do.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:03 AM   #14
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Sometimes the people who think the rules don't apply to them are ON THE BOARD! I was elected to the board after being an absentee owner (rental condo) for 14 years because I wanted to give back to the community. It's about 1 mile from my home but we never lived there. Once elected I found a board president who was mad with power and a compliant board which rubber-stamped her every move. Several of the people ON THE BOARD told me they didn't think an absentee owner was allowed to serve on the board. When I probed them on this, it became clear they knew nothing of the CC&R rules. At one point the president asked me to cite a pickup truck parked in the lot which had cobwebs under it. I referred to the CC&Rs which said it can't be inoperable and must be licensed. It was operable and tagged. I called the city to see if they had a rule I could use, but it was on private property, so the city declined. I reported back to the president that it was not in violation of the rules and what would she have me cite it under? Next thing I know, she had it towed. At that point I resigned and sold my property rather than accept the risk of lawsuits due to the board's unlawful actions. I made a nice profit and the live-in buyer fit in, so everyone made out, except the poor tenant I displaced. Never again!
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:11 AM   #15
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Well different people have different expectations.

DW has an friend from high school who's told her many times about a cousin. Seems the cousin's HOA will not allow a couch on the front porch. They also have the gall to insist the cousin maintains her home. She thought this was a free country.
She's right on the free country part.... she's free to sell and move if she doesn't like the HOA restrictions she implicitly agreed to when she bought.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:24 AM   #16
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I don't like HOA, but I have participated in them and understand all the crazy stuff they get to deal with, and the total lack of participation by the general homeowners.

Whenever someone tells me stuff they don't like about their HOA, I tell them run for the board, go around to all the homes, get commitment, or proxy votes from each house and get yourself elected so you can fix the problem.

Nobody to date finds the problems they tell me big enough to fix
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:35 AM   #17
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There are hardly any HOA's in the New Orleans metro area. Aren't they mostly put in place for newly built, planned communities? Much of our housing here is several hundred years old, and really there hasn't been much built since 1975 or so because our population has been declining. New Orleans proper had a population of 593,000 or more in 1970, which declined to 485,000 just before Katrina. Although many New Orleanians eventually returned after the storm, the current population is only around 379,000. Newly planned communities and HOA's aren't springing up everywhere here as they are in some other locations.

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I'm so glad I don't have a HOA
+1
Even if there was an HOA nearby, we'd rather put up with the possibility of messy neighbors than with the possibility of HOA bullies. Luckily, we have not had to deal with either. My sympathies for those who are trying to cope with these issues.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:58 AM   #18
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I just saw this in our local paper and printed it out for DH to read. We moved where we are now (last Fall) BECAUSE there is a tough HOA. The rules apply to us, and we know it. Our old neighborhood was going downhill fast, and we wanted protection from the same - we got slammed on the selling price, but bailed before it got any worse. DH got himself elected to the board within the first 6 months of moving here, so I get to hear the board's side of the story. People are truly interesting.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:12 AM   #19
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HOA's are like any other form of government, some are good and some are bad. You get what you pay for. However, in my experience when an HOA turns enforcement over to a law firm or management company that is getting paid to send out letters, enforcement becomes a profit center.

Our HOA, which I am on the board of, is like a small city government. The HOA provides, security, trash disposal, fire protection, common area maintenance, 24/7 ambulance service, and other benefits. However, it also enforces deed restrictions, and this is not always popular with residence. Our deed restriction policy is a multi-step process. The Architectural control board has enforcement responsibility. However the owner may appeal any ACB ruling to the full board. We are about 50/50 overturning the ACB. I do have little time for people that just ignore the rules and refuse to obey them.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:46 AM   #20
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HOA's can serve a purpose. We recently visited the area we lived in up until 20 years ago. The whole area was going downhill even before we left, and it was quite sad to see the condition of the neighborhoods. There was ONE exception, a large neighborhood that always had been sort of the top of the line, first one into the area development. We drove through it and were amazed at how it still was lookin' good. We also noticed a very prominent sign at the entrance to the area proclaiming something to the effect that "neighborhood terms and conditions STRICTLY ENFORCED" They obviously were and had a marked effect on preserving value/condition. I'm sure it was no fun serving on the board.
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