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Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 10:04 AM   #1
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Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

We live in a "55 or better" community. It is a gated community and access to our clubhouse is controlled by magnetic cards issued only to residents. The community is run by a Homeowners Association (HOA) that is still under the control of the developer until all houses are completed. For the last two years we have held monthly poker nights in the clubhouse. This is very low stakes - $5 buy-in. The house takes no cut, the game is hosted by a different volunteer each month. Maximum bet is $.25. Now, because of an anonymous complaint to the state Charitable Games Commission, we have been visited by a "Senior Special Agent" from the commission's Enforcement Division. We are pretty sure that the complaint came from a "bible-thumper" resident. The community management agent has suspended any and all gambling in the clubhouse until the HOA attorney researches the issue. The agent stated that Virginia law prohibits gambling in public locations; a poker game in a private home is allowed but not in our clubhouse which is considered a public facility. We are starting a letter writing campaign to our county supervisor and to our state delegate to get this issue settled either administratively, or legislatively, if necessary.

I guess this rant is really directed at the do-gooders who are trying to impose their morality on the community. When they hold bible study sessions in the clubhouse nobody complains but they feel they have the right to prevent a purely social event because it offends their beliefs. I hope that they don't realize that people actually get naked in the locker rooms, we may have to start working out in our street clothes! I can see that the upcoming election of a homeowner board of directors for the HOA is going to get ugly.

Anybody else live under an HOA or Condo association? Have you had these kinds of issues?

Grumpy
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Nothing but bad luck in HOA's for me. Either they took the money and didnt do anything useful, they were run by former "lions in their field" who no longer had a field and wanted to make one out of the association, or they were operated by political aspirants who unfortunately did all sorts of things with the money that nobody wanted them to do.

Of course, theres also the one Rewahoo runs, which is undoubtedly well run and full of happy residents.

The epitome's of my HOA stories are one from mine and one from my dads. In mine, a resident (retired lawyer) started replacing a rotten wood front stair with a very attractive and well made stone/concrete one. The HOA jumped in when he was 90% done and demanded that he remove it and submit the appropriate paperwork to the HOA to do the construction, then rebuild it. Granted, he didnt do what he was supposed to do but AFAIC if you're doing something nice looking to your house, its your house...lets not make problems where they dont exist. Anyhow, he fought them for 18 months, leaving the stair in its ugly unfinished state, which included a huge piece of OSB nailed to the front of his house. At the end of 18 months, the HOA gave up, agreed to pay all of his legal costs, let him finish the stair building the way he wanted to and ran away. Spending about 250K in *MY* money in the process. As of when I moved out 4 years ago, they had spied some residents living in homes backing up to an association owned greenspace were landscaping the rear areas of their yards past the property lines. Bastards were putting in little rock gardens, some wood chip, some gravel, little statues. Made for a very attractive walk down the path that bisected the green space...much nicer than the previous fences and concrete retaining walls. The HOA was considering taking action against all of them. Never heard what happened.

My dads "sun city" story is even better. His place has two golf courses, an 18 and a 9 holer. Each has a clubhouse, proportional in size to the course. The association leadership, after buying some new computers for the office and then taking them home, and finishing up 2 years of filling their cars from the gas pump thats intended only for use by the lawn equipment, decided that they would be taking over the larger club house, doubling it in size, and using it for office space. Shifting the residents all to the smaller clubhouse.

That didnt work out too well for them when 2000 residents and their lawyers descended on the next HOA meeting.

That was my first criteria in buying a new home: no HOA.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Grumpy.....

It's hard to tell from your post so please make clear, is your outrage because the complainers are so-called "bible thumpers" or because the HOA is meddling in the poker game for whatever reason?

CFB.....

I tend to agree with you. As much as a condo or townhouse would fit into my RE travel plans, my personality isn't a good fit with an out-of-control HOA. I find the sensible zoning laws in my community and a paid handyman that helps me with heavy work I can't do alone anymore fills the bill better.


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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

In our area all newer subdivisions have HOA (anything less than 20 years old). They are generally handsoff. My neighborhood, all additions, external structural changes, etc. must be approved, but they are lienient. and I haven't heard of anything being denied. As you walk around you see lots of "minor" violations, but nothing egregious.

Of course, these are family houses, lots of kids, working parents, etc who are all too busy to be too caught up in the little stuff. I would imagine that an over 55 community with self-appointed "police" who have time on their hands would be another matter altogether.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

I've been in three. The current one I'm in seems to be the best so far...they've actually got money in the bank, don't do much except make sure the common area grass gets watered, and hold the HOA meetings. They actually reduced the HOA dues from $300 annually to $250 annually this year. And they're looking at relieving the HOA management company of their fees duties by sending out the HOA bills themselves.

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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

I watched a lawyer show on tv last night, and stayed in a holiday inn express once, so I have to ask...doesnt requiring a card key to get into the building make it a little less public?

And couldnt you just use poker chips that are exchanged for cash at someones home instead of making cash bets?
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 11:05 AM   #7
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

I've been living in a condo w/HOA for 4 1/2 years now, and things have been fine. Our board has actually decreased our monthly fees for the past two years in a row, while making substantial improvements in the common areas. I guess it all depends on who you elect...we're lucky that we have a great board (at the moment!).
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 11:28 AM   #8
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Sounds like it's time to have Muslim Call-to-worship time in the same building. Guess you'll find out how Christian-like they really are.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 11:53 AM   #9
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

I've also had a good HOA experience. Been here for about 3 years, no assessments and no changes in dues. I live in a very small complex (8 people), with very little politics and neighbors who are mostly "keep our own stuff to ourselves" kind of people. The HOA basically collects our $170/month and pays the gardener and puts the rest into reserves.

Though I did have one neighborn inform me that during the summer, we should close our bedroom window because "noise travels easily" LOL
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 12:16 PM   #10
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry
Sounds like it's time to have Muslim Call-to-worship time in the same building. Guess you'll find out how Christian-like they really are.
Or turn you poker game into a coven of witches (Wicca) and the chips into your sacrament. Turn about is fair play.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 12:42 PM   #11
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

I don't know how far you'd get, but I'd go back to the original assertion that the game was in a public facility and beg to differ. It is obviously on private property - not public - nor is it a "public house" or a place that caters to the public. It is a clubhouse for the use of residents. As a common room, it might be considered an extension of your own house.

Safest thing is to get an attorney (of your own) to look at it.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 12:44 PM   #12
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
And couldnt you just use poker chips that are exchanged for cash at someones home instead of making cash bets?
CFB,

We did use poker chips, no cash visible. That didn't stop the bible thumpers.

Grumpy
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 12:50 PM   #13
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Then you arent gambling. No money involved on the premises.

Right?
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 01:09 PM   #14
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

I would continue the poker game and use chips only to keep score, maybe continue the score for a month or so and see what happens. She has scared you off and won. That will give you time to figure out whether or not you can play for small stakes in the common area without running into problems with your local statutes.

Maybe the folks with the lowest score bring the beer next time, that will surely get her goat! Those of us with a mischievous bent could create a booby prize that would appropriately honor the PITA member.

There is no revenge sweeter than making the PITA the subject of derision!
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 01:29 PM   #15
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry
Sounds like it's time to have Muslim Call-to-worship time in the same building. Guess you'll find out how Christian-like they really are.
Not sure where you're going with this larry, but I believe Muslims are more universally opposed to gambling than Christians. Many Christian denominations openly accept gambling. I assume you've attended a "Vegas Night" fund raiser over at your local Roman Catholic Parish. And, of course bingo night, and on and on.......

From Al-Jamiat in reference to gambling: "This heinous malady and crime has become so prevalent that the harmful implications that it is having on society can no longer be perceived. From leaders to governments, intellectuals to laymen, this disease has now gripped every sphere of society and is threatening to ruin. Mind you it has already ruined the lives of many. The true lament is when you flip the pages of the newspaper or magazine to see Muslim names appearing as big winners."

I'm not sure if Grumpy and the Saturday Night Poker Club would get relief from bringing in the Muslims!

I bet that if Grumpy and the guys can find alternative accocodations for a little while, it will all work out. Hopefully the HOA attorney will come back with good news.

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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 01:39 PM   #16
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet

I'm not sure if Grumpy and the Saturday Night Poker Club would get relief from bringing in the Muslims!

Youbet - Larry and I, with my witches coven joke, were proposing to fight fire with fire. They won't let us gamble? Wait till they see Muslim prayer services or a wicca coven in the same room they hold bible study. Pretty juvenile suggestions but holier-than-thou types tend to bring that out.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 01:42 PM   #17
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Don't take my comments too seriously. My point was that bible beaters would probably show a fair amount of hiprocracy should a different religious group inflitrate their clubhouse if they're that concerned about a few guys playing cards.

Love thy neighbors as thyself.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 01:54 PM   #18
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Sorry about your situation.In my experience, unhappy, miserable, mean spirited people exist in every walk of life. Some people just can't help themselves. They see others having a little fun, and they 'get off' by ruining it. MY ADVICE: Move the game to your own unit and forget about it! It's just not worth the fight.

I've had a very bad experience with HOA's. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I will NEVER under any circumstances live in a home that has an HOA.
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 02:09 PM   #19
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

Quote:
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Don't take my comments too seriously. My point was that bible beaters would probably show a fair amount of hiprocracy should a different religious group inflitrate their clubhouse if they're that concerned about a few guys playing cards.
Oh........ I thought you were doing the "out of the frying pan and into the fire" routine by replacing the anti-gambling "bible thumpers" with the even more anti-gambling "koran thumpers."

I tell ya......if it's not one thing, it's another........

Grumpy, Alex is right. Go find someplace to play cards with the boys and worry about some bigger issue in life. Sh!t happens and this time it just happened to happen to you and the poker club.

Yeah Alex, no HOA for me either. Like Grumpy, this kind of crap would get on my nerves. Next time it won't be some anti-gambling extemist but someone else nit-picking some other minor violation of the rules. :P
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)
Old 03-06-2007, 02:37 PM   #20
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Re: Home Owners Association Do-gooders (Rant)

My last HOA spent eight months arguing about some one's bird feeder .
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