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HOA experience??..Post your issues

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by vipermann123, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. vipermann123

    vipermann123 Formula 3

    Jun 13, 2005
    1,753
    Irvine, Ca
    Full Name:
    Uzy Malik
    Do you live in an HOA community? Do you sit on the Board of an HOA?

    List some of the interesting things which have happend during your HOA meetings or complaints brought by residents, or something unusually strange the board did.

    Thanks,
    UZY
     
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  3. NeuroBeaker

    NeuroBeaker Moderator
    Moderator

    Oct 1, 2008
    32,726
    Huntsville, AL., USA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    My sister would visit home from university and take a bunch of her friends back with her. As my parents are always happy to make their pool table available, keep the fridge stocked with soft drinks, and the pantry full of snacks, our parents' house is a pretty popular one for impoverished university students to visit. :)

    My parents' cars fit in the garage with no space to spare so the kids' cars would park on the driveway. They all fit on my parents driveway, not on the yard, weren't blocking or bothering anyone else, and were only to be there short-term (about 4 nights in total). Anyway, the Chairwoman of the Homeowners Association was on her usual nightly prowl of the neighbourhood and came knocking on the door the next morning to inform my parents that they "would not be permitted to use their driveway as a carpark for youths", that visitors' vehicles must be removed overnight, that she'd already taken photographic evidence with her digital camera, and that my parents would be fined $100 a night for every night they didn't comply - starting that night. :rolleyes:

    My Dad told her to get off his property. Shortly after that, he got into a conversation about it with our immediate next door neighbor while getting the mail and he goes: "Well, I have space for an extra car in my garage and I'm sure a few other people do too." So that evening the student cars got distributed amongst the garages in the neighborhood to keep them off the driveways and out of sight of the Chairwoman. (Hurrah for neighbors! :D)

    About 4 months later, there was a Homeowner's Association election. My parents printed off dozens of fliers and actively campaigned to make sure the nit-picking power-crazed woman was replaced with someone more moderate. Apparently, this was a view widely shared in the community (she'd been very aggressive with everyone over quite minor issues) and she was voted off the governing committee. Soon after that, the rules were clarified so that visiting cars were allowed overnight on the driveway providing no cars were 'permanently' stored on the drive. A number of other similarly pedantic rules were relaxed as well.

    Result. :)

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     
  4. Futureman

    Futureman Formula 3

    May 16, 2007
    2,024
    Andrew,
    Didn't you say you grew up in Huntsville? What neighborhood was this? I've only heard of one HOA in Huntsville/Madison area being that picky and that would be The Ledges.
     
  5. agup48

    agup48 Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 15, 2006
    26,282
    Phoenix
    Full Name:
    AG
    Not my story, but search Dollyman, it's about a guy here in Phoenix, that got his Audi booted while it was parked in his spot, and legally. His story is on VWVortex. He basically fought back, put his Audi on dollies, and rolled the car into his garage and held their dolly "hostage". Its a great read if you can find the summary.
     
  6. NeuroBeaker

    NeuroBeaker Moderator
    Moderator

    Oct 1, 2008
    32,726
    Huntsville, AL., USA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    Hi Dick,

    It was in Edgewater. The HOA there is nowhere near as picky any more as the people who were really pushing hard in that direction were voted out as soon as their term was over. My parents have since moved to Hampton Cove, which is a little more picky than Edgewater is now (the HOA requires you to hire gardeners to tend to grass rather than let you cut it yourself) but is still not as bad as during the Edgewater times of the aforementioned incident with the cars. It's a little strict at times, but generally fairly and sensibly enforced.

    At the moment, the biggest thing the HOA in Hampton Cove is trying to decide on is what to do with the homes that have shorelines around the lake: some of the shores are eroding and threatening the public footpath around the lake. If shore reinforcements are installed, it would be at the homeowner's expense and they would be liable for the maintenance and safety of the reinforcements - however, they don't actually own the 2 feet of land on the shore and if you don't install the reinforcements (no obligation) then you don't need to pay for them to be maintained and the erosion isn't your problem - but nobody else will take care of it either.

    Many waterfront folks have the position that, as it's really for the public good rather than for the good of homeowners who have shoreline, they're generally willing to either pay to install or maintain the footpath - not do both - and they don't want to be liable for their condition or any accidents people have on them. Not sure that one's going to be resolved any time soon. :eek:

    I see you're in Alabama yourself:


    Where abouts? :D

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     
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  8. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    I replaced the carpet in my bedroom with Bamboo at my Hawaii Condo. I knew it was a no no before I started, but I really don't like being told what to do by anybody. Those old Montana roots sometimes take over reason. I completed the job without anybody catching on except a trusted neighbor.
    About a year later I received a letter from the HOA ordering me to remove the flooring. I had changed the lock on the front door and no one but my neighbor had a key. So while I was back in Montana maintinance used an extension ladder to gain entry to the front deck. They had a master key to the patio sliding doors, and entered the property without my consent. This was witnessed and photo'd by my neighbor.
    I'm heading down in January to do battle.

    I also built a fire wall completely up to code between my garage area and my neighbors. We share a two car garage with two garage doors. Because I did not beg for permission, I have been ordered to remove it. Not going to happen.
     
  9. 101010

    101010 Formula 3

    Jun 22, 2008
    1,825
    GREAT NEIGHBOR!!
     
  10. NeuroBeaker

    NeuroBeaker Moderator
    Moderator

    Oct 1, 2008
    32,726
    Huntsville, AL., USA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    It's interesting to note how many neighbors help out during picky disputes/difficulties with Homeowners Associations.

    I can understand objecting to something really drastic like you suddenly started using your front lawn as a junkyard or simply stopped maintaining your house and allowed it to fall into unsightly disrepair, but for the most part HOAs seem to cause a lot of bother over insignificant issues - it merely gives the board members some feeling of power and they tend to abuse it while they temporarily hold the position. :eek:

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     
  11. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    9,908
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    Scott
    I belong to an HOA in Mexico. It is perfect for me because a majority vote can modify any of the rules. One vote per condo. There are 16 units....and I own 9 of them.
     
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  13. NeuroBeaker

    NeuroBeaker Moderator
    Moderator

    Oct 1, 2008
    32,726
    Huntsville, AL., USA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    LOL! :D

    Excellent, Scott. :cool:

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     
  14. Innovativethinker

    Innovativethinker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2009
    5,588
    Bear Creek, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark Jones
    My guess is the downstairs neighbor complained about the carpet being changed out and the increased sound transmission resulting from it. The only reason maintenance would go into your place is if there was a maintenance problem and had to get in to fix it.

    Here is a resource for Hawaii law, and Richard is a good guy: http://www.blogger.com/profile/16291670568673228936

    I doubt you own the garage, so you would not have the right to build something on it.

    If you think you can break the rules and expect to win - you won't. You will end up with a ton of legal bills and still have to correct it.

    I would try to negotiate something reasonable - if you want to be an arse management will simply send it to legal - much simpler than dealing with a difficult person.
     
  15. S Brake

    S Brake F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2006
    16,696
    Utah
    Full Name:
    Dave
    My parents own a condo that is controlled by an HOA, we lived there for two years. We got a notice last summer that all residents need to pay an additional $500 special assessment because the HOA was behind on payments by around $70,000. The management took over from another company because they let things get behind to the tune of $50,000. This new management company also jacked up the HOA fees by $20 per month but still managed to go further in the hole.
    Starting in January the residents will be making the move to take control from the developer and start a self directed HOA board.
    I will NEVER live in a community that is managed by an HOA.
     
  16. Innovativethinker

    Innovativethinker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2009
    5,588
    Bear Creek, Ca.
    Full Name:
    Mark Jones
    The management company does not raise dues - only the Board can do that. My guess is the owners that promised to pay their dues didn't, and now you are paying for that shortfall.

    If the developer still owns units it is highly unlikely you will be able to take control from them - check your CC&Rs and Bylaws for developer rights and voting classes.

    So you want someone that has no experience or training responsible for what could be your largest asset? Best of luck.

    Association living isn't for everyone.
     
  17. S Brake

    S Brake F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2006
    16,696
    Utah
    Full Name:
    Dave
    The Board is the developer, the CC&Rs state that he has control until January 2010 at which time the residents can vote to transfer power. He has done a lot of questionable things with all of the utility contracts.
    There is a resident that works at another HOA management company in Salt Lake, we moved in July so I'm not up to speed on what they've decided on doing.
     
  18. wingfeather

    wingfeather F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2007
    3,493
    rock bottom
    I don't mind HOA's. They tend to keep neighborhoods cleaner than not, keeping property values up. For that I am willing to put up with some hassle!
     
  19. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,453
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    i refuse to live where they are HOA's. i bought my house cheap enough i will just rent it out and buy another house somewhere else if there is a bad enough issue. i pity the the idiot who tries to tell me what i can do on my land. i can stack cars up like cord wood if i want to. i just wish i had enough land to have a shooting range.

    my next place is going to be better. been here almost 10 years in my first house. :)
     
  20. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    36,881
    Babcock Ranch, FL
    Full Name:
    Dave
    I was president of the HOA in my neighborhood 20 yrs ago when the builder first handed control over. here's a sampling of the calls I got.

    Q: "My neighbor's tree is dropping leaves in my yard, what will the HOA do about it?"
    A: "Well, we won't buy you a rake, but that's what I suggest you get."

    Q: "The kids are walking across my yard when they get off the school bus, I want you to tell them not to."
    A: "Can't do that. But you might just put up a fence to keep them out. Oh, sorry, no fences allowed. Have you considered asking the bus driver to stop in front of someone elses house?"

    Once a tree on the common area fell on a house, I got this call from the lawyer who lived there. "The big tree in the common area fell on my house, I expect the HOA to pay for my damages." My response, "Mr Portnoy (Yes, really that was his name) you are an attorney, right? Did you read the HOA agreement when you bought your house? It has a hold harmless clause. You're on the hook for the damages to your house." His response, "I'll sue." Mine, "You can't win, but if you do, we'll just have to have a special assessment to pay for the legal fees attached to your property."

    One neighbor parked a CAMPER in his driveway. It was his in-laws visiting for the weekend. I got a call, maybe 6, from neighbors complaining since the agreement said, "No trucks or commercial vehicles parked in view of any other neighbors" Told them all, "It's not a truck, it's not a commercial vehicle, it'll be gone Monday. Unless he towed it in with a truck, and parked the truck next to it, he's on solid ground."

    Ok last one. My next door neighbor called to complain once when the snow removal crews were doing driveways on a Sunday. Needless to say it had snowed Saturday evening. She thought there should be no activity in the neighborhood on the sabbath. I told her we'd skip her driveway if that would help.

    I probably could remember 50 more with a little time.

    Needless to say, I served one year and then told them, "No thanks" when asked to carry on the following year.

    Now, having said all that, if you buy in a neighborhood with a HOA, then read the rules, and live by them. IF you don't want to follow the rules, live elsewhere.

    DM
     
  21. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    83,415
    Vegas baby
    They are a double edged sword.

    I have 2 high rises and both have some pretty strict HOA's. But, the restrictions work both for and against me.

    For example, all construction is limited to after 9 and the workers have to be out or the building before 5PM. If not, they and the owners are fined. They cannot do any work on the weekends. If you're doing construction, it's a total hassle and takes twice as long and is twice as expensive as a home to do. But, if you're living there, you don't want a jackhammer above your head all weekend either.

    They have restrictions on what kinds of things you can construct, how electrical and plumbing is handled, etc. So, you can't do everything you would like. But, the flip side is that I don't want the guy next to me to have a flood or fire either.

    The biggest problem I had once was that they HOA wanted a $3000 deposit for someone to deliver a piece of furniture or they would not let him in the building. I went down to complain and they waved it. They thought it was some kind of construction but it wasn't really.

    So, I'm OK with HOA's but you have to expect that what you sew you also reap.
     
  22. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    45,753
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    WIN
     
  23. wingfeather

    wingfeather F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2007
    3,493
    rock bottom
    Well said.
     
  24. Futureman

    Futureman Formula 3

    May 16, 2007
    2,024
    Madison. I'm up on the hill in the neighborhood across the street from Horizon Elementary. When I first moved here from Texas, I lived in the apartments at the back of Edgewater.
     
  25. NeuroBeaker

    NeuroBeaker Moderator
    Moderator

    Oct 1, 2008
    32,726
    Huntsville, AL., USA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    Amazing, I know exactly where that is. :D I grew up in Madison between the ages of 1 and 14.

    In my very young childhood I spent a lot of time near Slaughter Road... I went to a private school called Country Day School - their original site was on Rebecca Pines Drive in a subdivision off Slaughter Road and their 'new' site was tucked behind Monrovia Family Dentistry near the intersection between Slaughter Road and Highway 72 (University Drive NW). I also used to do gymnastics on Slaughter Road when Southern States Gymnastics was based there...

    ...ah, happy memories. :D

    I may have to look you up to say hello in person next time I'm visiting my folks in the area. ;) :D

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     

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