Power Breakfast: Homeowner associations hurt by foreclosures, Cobb EMC, Atlanta schools, Kia

The unintended consequences of foreclosures are far and wide, and AJC writer Christopher Quinn reports on one of them.

Homeowners across metro Atlanta are paying hidden costs of neighbors’ foreclosures as their homeowner associations get stuck with maintaining abandoned properties until the lender or a new buyer takes over, Quinn writes.

If HOAs don’t maintain them, the empty properties drag down values of other homes and turn off prospective buyers, Quinn writes.

At the same time the associations are spending more money on maintenance and repairs, they are suffering the loss of monthly dues from foreclosed homes in their neighborhoods, Quinn reports.

That causes them to have to raise the dues on those who do pay, Quinn writes.

Is it fair?

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79 comments Add your comment

Eric

July 8th, 2011
8:00 am

This is absolutely NOT fair to existing homeowners! I sold my townhouse right before the crash of 2008 and was thrilled to be out of the HOA community. It was nothing but greedy, squabbling, power-hungry people trying to impose their will on the others. I think it’s wrong for someone to have to pay for the upkeep of other people’s property. It’s enough to take care of one’s own property. As a society, we are obsessed with property values to the point of being mean-spirited to our own neighbors. One more thing–defaulting on a mortgage should have no bearing on the market value of an adjacent property. Defaulting on a loan is a separate issue from value in the market. Why are these two connected? EThere needs to be a law to protect existing homeowners in this case.

Patrick

July 8th, 2011
8:11 am

If the HOA is so concerned about property values then they need to quit their complaining and just deal with it. And if the HOA is paying for people to do work they can do, like cut grass, etc., then they are just lazy. Probably why those people got into the HOA. They want to tell everyone else what to do but not put forth the effort themselves. Luckily, my HOA is small and we all know the value of hard labor.

Steve

July 8th, 2011
8:13 am

Eric – if a house next to mine is foreclosed, and the bank decides to sell under circumstances that create a sales price less than what I think my house is worth – or maybe even less than my mortgage – that affects the value of ALL houses in the area because appraisers must take those sales prices into account. Good luck on getting a law passed!

PR

July 8th, 2011
8:19 am

Wah, Wah, Wah. HOA are just a bunch of big crybabies. If they want to have control over people’s homes they can pay for it. Don’t like it, dissolve the HOA. Never want to live in an area with an HOA, they all are like little hitlers. Total A-holes.!

Mary

July 8th, 2011
8:23 am

I think we should do away with all HOA and let the local counties deal with unwanted eyesores on their time!! And don’t tell me you don’t want the goverment in your business, they already are so much this won’t matter either. HOA are a waste of time and money!! I know I live with one…and if people are so concerned about the looks of someones else home, then why don’t you do something nice for them and ask if they need help cutting the grass for FREE!!! Neighbors used to do that until the South became and ugly melting pot of people who are just right down MEAN and judgmental!!

MrLiberty

July 8th, 2011
8:25 am

My wife and I went out of our way to make sure our current house was not under an HOA. We hated the kind of neighborhood the HOA was creating in our last house and swore we would never again live under that kind of regime and with those kind of people. Now we live in a great neighborhood with wonderful people, interesting and unique houses and a sense of community that comes from free association and genuine cooperation, not from some totalitarian covenant that everyone plays politics with to undermine. Reading these problems these HOAs are having only reinforces the soundness of our decision.

NoMoreHOA

July 8th, 2011
8:30 am

From my personal experience, part of the problem is that the HOA’s are not working with the homeowners to avoid foreclosure. With strict and inflexible policies against renting properties, the homeowners are left only one alternative – foreclosure. If the HOA’s are going to be so rigid enforcing the by-laws, then, yes, they should take responsibility.

Marie

July 8th, 2011
8:39 am

@Mary, I would not mind helping someone who is legitimately disabled, elderly or have truly fallen on hard times maintain their property. But from my experience some people who purchase homes in decent communities are just plain lazy. It’s as if they come into the neighborhood for the sole purpose of aggravating those of us who care about the way the neighborhood looks.

While I have heard all the horrible stories of these nazi-like HOA; it’s also no picnic living next door to some slob who could careless about the appearance of the neighborhood.

SNash

July 8th, 2011
8:40 am

HOA should be outlawed all together. I live in a HOA community and we dont meet people do what they want. It is a waste of time and money. The HOA are those that want to be in control of something. Get rid of HOA’s in GA. We need to lobby to get have them OUTLAWED.

cat mama

July 8th, 2011
8:47 am

The HOA CANNOT do abandoned yard maintence and other upkeeps on their own time. Most HOA participants are VOLUNTEERS and have full time careers and family! What is frustrating are those people who DO NOT pay and still steal services of the community (climbing fence to use pool!) and leaving tons of trash behind! My community has an annual fee of only $200 and offers to let you make monthly payments. Come on, in 10 months @ $20, ANYONE can afford that! If you don’t pay , you should’nt play!

Mayretter local

July 8th, 2011
8:50 am

it’s a double edged sword, and always will be.

and they exist because some homeowners & renters DON’T have the common courtesy to even mow their grass when needed. it’s amazing how just that simple act can keep everything looking pretty neat, even if nothing else is done.

i don’t live in an HOA community, nor would i want to; not my cup o tea.

but i do have a huge multi-acre “estate” next door that has been abandoned for 2+ years. the house and outbuildings are now not worth saving, for whomever manages to buy the property. thank goodness for fences and the trees we planted blocking the view…

i go over there and check on things, put some mosquito floats in the pool, and make sure there are no signs of squatters. who knows what’s i may find one day, so i’m always packing heat on my visits :)

DirectorOfAnHOA

July 8th, 2011
9:18 am

If your homeowners association conforms to the Georgia Property Owners Association Act (POAA) it is possible for the HOA to foreclose *before* the bank does. Then the HOA is in control and can choose to rent out the property and maintain it up to community standards. Don’t wait for the bank to foreclose — step in and avoid the problems of an abandoned property!

rojer

July 8th, 2011
9:28 am

Another one that will never buy a house subject to an HOA declaration. Plain and simple, its a cash grab for lawyers and property management companies. And youve got to deal with someone else telling you what you can or cannot do with your property.

HOA President

July 8th, 2011
9:43 am

For those of you who are not in an HOA community you are all slobs and the HOA members do not need you. As some of you have mentioned, all you need to do is mow your lawn and keep the front of your house looking neat. Is that so hard to ask? If you can’t do this then go live in the projects.

mark

July 8th, 2011
9:44 am

I have been not able to sell my house because of all the forclosure in the area and tried to lease it. My HOA is prohibiting me bacause of a amendment the add in 2008, tried to get a hardship for me to lease for a year and i will be forced to forclose. HOA has to much power on what we can do, i also say get rid of them. Ours rides around with a truck and gives everyone a report card, I have better things to do with my life. Now I cant retire after working 40 years, I thought being an american was freedom, where is mine

GeorgiaBorn

July 8th, 2011
9:54 am

I am a board member on an HOA. I run the architectural control committee and those that complain about HOAs always amuse me. The HOA is in place to help homeowner’s make sure that their home values don’t decline because of neighbors that don’t take care of their homes and their property. Those of you that complain about HOAs will be the first to raise hell when you try to sell your house and you live next door to someone that has a rusted car in their front yard, peeling and chipped paint, grass that is 4 feet high and dead trees. These are some of the things that my committee on the HOA makes sure doesn’t happen in our neighborhood. We don’t act like “little hitlers” and one poster noted. Our main objective is to make sure that homes and properties are maintained and in doing that, it ensures that your home value is not brought down by an inconsiderate, slob of a neighbor.

Furthermore, it is my experience with being an HOA board member that those that complain about HOAs the most are the ones that violate HOA covenants and bylaws the most. Before you buy a home, you are made aware that an HOA exists. If you want to take your chance and live in a fee simple community or if you have a problem with HOAs, the DON’T BUY A HOUSE in a community with an HOA. That’s your choice.

Chris

July 8th, 2011
9:56 am

If a person files bankruptcy even then HOA fees can still be collected in Georgia but it is not likely the person has any money to give them. Liens and court cost will damage any HOA more since they have to pay all the attorney fees in hopes to collect some money. Banks will not take back over the property even if foreclosed as they know they would have to pay the HOA dues so they leave the property in the name of the owner that foreclosed to stick them with the HOA fees. It is a no win for all involved. I know being I was on an HOA Board just how hard this is on everyone.

HOA President

July 8th, 2011
10:00 am

Amen GeorgiaBorn, well said

DirectorOfAnHOA

July 8th, 2011
10:01 am

Chris, a bank may choose not to foreclose after a property is abandoned, but when they foreclose they become the responsible owners. That is the definition of a foreclosure. If a bank is refusing to foreclose, and thereby become responsible for association dues and property maintenance, there are ways to force the bank to foreclose, or the HOA can foreclose on the property themselves under certain circumstances.

AJ

July 8th, 2011
10:02 am

I am on the board of a condo association facing several of the same issues as SFR HOAs. The difference here is that it’s not a question of cutting the grass. When you buy a unit in the high-rise you are bound by the deceleration of condominium and are required to accept that. Still, people don’t read the rules before buying and then discovery they can’t do whatever they want. If you redo your floors that requires approval since it may cause problems for your downstairs neighbor, if you want to rent you have to be under the rental cap, if you don’t want to pay your dues then someone else has to pay for the upkeep of the common structures…. the story goes on and on an on…. sounds like a good followup article for the AJC to do

AdvocateOfHOA

July 8th, 2011
10:04 am

I’m with GeorgiaBorn on this one. I too live in an HOA community of about 60 homes. And every HOA general membership meeting, the ones that are bitching the most are the ones that don’t want to follow the simple rules with have in place which are basically KEEP YOUR HOUSE AND YOUR YARD LOOKING NICE. We also require that if your going to build something on your property such as a pool, a fence, an outbuilding, etc, just get approval first. This ensures that your not building something unsightly that your neighbors have to look at. You also have to submit paint colors for your house before your paint. This ensures that your neighbor doesn’t paint his house pink.

If you live in a community without an HOA, then I would love to hear from you when your neighbor does paint his house hot pink or lets his grass grow 8 feet high and doesn’t trim his hedges or as GeorgiaBorn says, parks a rusted car in his front yard. Try to sell your home if any of these things occur. HOAs are popular to people that realize that they are in place to maintain property values. Those that hate them usually don’t like being told that their house looks like crap.

Unknown

July 8th, 2011
10:12 am

I believe the bank, who holds the mortage on the property, should be held accountable to maintain the property.

Elle

July 8th, 2011
10:30 am

It should not take a governiing board – HOA – for homeowners to keep their grass cut, pull the the trash after pick up, and keep the place clean. However, I am astonish that homeowners that works hard all day, drive nice cars and can not keep the major investment (a home exterior clean).

It is amazing to me that people can walk into their yard everyday and can not take care of thier property.

The HOA should have a minimal role, however, these folks need someone to teach them everything. No wonder the jails are overcrowded. No one wants to responsible.

GeorgiaBorn

July 8th, 2011
10:35 am

You’re right Elle, it shouldn’t take a HOA board for homeowners to keep their grass cut and their properties looking nice, but unfortunately it does with some homeowners. I have been the architectural control committee chair for over two years and have only sent out 5 violation letters in that time. These letters were mostly due to dead trees and overgrown shrubs that needed trimming. Nothing major but if we had not sent the letters out, the dead trees would still be in these people’s front yards and the shrubs would be grown over the gutters. Believe me when I tell you that these people’s neighbors really appreciated that our board asked nicely that their sloppy, lazy neighbors clean up their yards.

Morrigan

July 8th, 2011
10:45 am

PR and Mary, do you even know what HOAs are? Stop ranting about subjects with which you are unfamiliar.

If you don’t want to live under a HOA, don’t. No one’s got a gun to your head.

If you don’t like the way things are done in your HOA, go to the meetings. Write letters and copy your neighbors. Get on the HOA board. You know, just like you’d do with the city or county if you weren’t too lazy.

Oh, and Mary….”until the South became and ugly melting pot of people who are just right down MEAN and judgmental!!”…like you, maybe?

brad

July 8th, 2011
10:57 am

A close reading of Das Kapital reveals that the HOAs are rooted in the contradictory character of the economic value of the commodity (cell-unit) of a capitalist society, are are the conditions that propitiate proletarian revolution. Beware.

atllaw191

July 8th, 2011
11:01 am

No its not fair, and I think HOA’s need to sue the banks and the people involved in foreclosures. I’d offer my pro-bono skip trace and review documents to find out who to sue and take them to court, because banks aren’t even allowing short sales in my neighborhood and we all feel we’ve been taken HOSTAGE!

Kneel Borezt

July 8th, 2011
11:11 am

Neighborhood Nazis deserve all the contempt (and more) that’s being heaped upon their fascist heads. In fact, they need to be overthrown, tried at Nuremberg and hanged from their necks until dead, dead, dead.

Vince

July 8th, 2011
11:16 am

The owners of the property…whether it is an individual or a bank…should pay for the upkeep of the property and also pay the dues.

Emma

July 8th, 2011
11:37 am

My feeling on HOA’s is that they’re mini-Socialist states. Actually, more Communist, as there’s not usually a lot of cooperation involved, just a lot of fascism. So, I think it’s completely fair that anyone who moves into an HOA neighborhood needs to be responsible for empty properties — isn’t that really what the HOA is for?? You all pool your money to “pretty up” the subdivision and, inevitably, the definition of “pretty” falls under the personal preferences of whomever has time to be actively involved in the HOA.

This is why I will never live in an HOA neighborhood, and why I think that many of the residents of same are hypocrites — the flag-wavers who want rules enforced against others, but not against them, for example.

Samantha

July 8th, 2011
11:52 am

No it’s not fair that homeowners have to foot the bill for foreclosed homes. The banks that took over the property is responsible for doing so, NOT the other homeowners. I am part of my neighborhood association and that is how it’s supposed to work.

mark

July 8th, 2011
11:53 am

Kneel I totally agree, when an HOA runs there weekly pass through of a neighborhood and 116 out of 121 homes get letters on what is wwrong with their house that is over the top, a few on the funniest was that their front light was crooked by 1/2 inch, they had a broken flower pot under the bushes not seeable by the street, someome had cream color lace curtains and they were not pure white, how does that take the value down in a home.
to many southern woman with nothing better to do with their lives and have no control of their own so the try to control others

HOASupporter

July 8th, 2011
11:55 am

How many of the people complaining about HOAs attend their annual meeting? How many have volunteered to be on the HOA board? Or committees? You have to be the change that you want to see. I am sure the board would welcome you and your ideas if you are even eligible to be on the board. I have witnessed people join a board, attend 1 meeting and then quit after making false accusations about the board and community.

In life we have choices. Its your money so you can decide where choose to live or purchase a home. And no one forces you to buy a home in a covenant controlled community. There are many communities that are not governed by an HOA. And if you decide to live in one of those communities, I wish them best wishes bc they just got a new neighbor who refuses to follow simple rules and is probably a bad neighbor.

P.S – I’m not cutting your grass for you, I have my own grass to cut. If you didn’t want to cut your grass, why did you buy a home with grass?

KenFromCalifornia

July 8th, 2011
11:55 am

the larger problem is why banks take so long to foreclose on a property.

it’s typically not because of any law…some houses sit vacant simply because a bank doesn’t want such a “toxic asset” to show up on their books. as long as the pretense exists that someone is living there, then a bank can tell everyone that things are cool. a bad non-performing loan is still a loan, but a foreclosure means that the loss is official.

how many people actually went to their bank’s office and handed over the keys? at that point, the bank should foreclose. but the house just sits there while the neighbors and the HOA have to suffer the consequences of the bank’s lethargy.

so if a law were to be passed, i would suggest that a law be passed that forces the banks to take over these properties immediately once they are informed by the prior owner or the HOA that the house is vacant. the bank sends somone out to confirm, and that should be that.

this whole exercise where the federal government, freddie & fannie, and the banks are dragging their feet on foreclosures simply to protect housing prices that were artificially (and illegally) hyped up over the past 8 years, well now you see the consequences of this failed national policy. but that’s a topic for another forum.

p.s. – i have no sympathy for HOA’s. after that article printed in this newspaper about the homeowner fined by her HOA because she watered her lawn to keep in green in the winter (the HOA demanded that everyone’s lawn go dormant and turn brown), that is the proof that HOA’s aren’t a really a homeowner’s best friend.
HOA’s complain in this article that properties aren’t being maintained, but when a woman does maintain her property simply by watering her lawn she gets penalized by the HOA anyway???

that makes these current complaints from HOA’s ring hollow.

WHOA is me for joining a HOA !

July 8th, 2011
11:59 am

I by passed the HOA and pretty much taken the initiative and try to look out for my neighbors empty home. For example, since my next door neighbor cannot find a tenant for his place he has let the property go down in its appearance. So, I have been cutting his grass, picking up trash left by other
neighbors and pretty much looking out for his place. On numerous occasions other neighbors have
been using his property as a auto mechanic shop. Huge oil spills have been left on the county roads as well as on my neighbor’s private property. Police and code enforcement cannot do anything because they have no idea where the owner of the property lives. So, we continue to pay the HOA
fees while our property value drops by 70%. I would slit my throat before I would join another HOA !

GeorgiaBorn

July 8th, 2011
12:11 pm

I don’t understand your post WHOA. You blame the HOA for your neighbor’s house falling into disarray? Your post makes absolutely no sense. You have stepped up and tried to police your neighbor’s vacant home but others in your neighborhood are using it for a garbage dump and oil changes, yet you complain that you pay the HOA dues and still your property is losing its value. Perhaps if your other neighbors quit abusing this property, it wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in. I just don’t see how this is the HOAs fault. Please elaborate. Thanks.

Cyrus K. Malekabadi

July 8th, 2011
12:16 pm

Problems with HOAs should be dealt with swiftly via legal action. Contact my law office at 404-522-0341 for a free consultation regarding your property rights. Beware of most attorneys however, law firms such as Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco are scum who represent the HOAs and NOT the middle-class homeowners. They clearly prefer to represent the HOAs because it is a very lucrative business to be in! Do they care about your property rights? The answer is no.

I’ve filed lawsuits against several HOAs in the past 6 months, the problem is growing to epic proportions! I help the average joe defeat HOAs and their garbage know nothing attorneys.

The Law Office of Cyrus K. Malekabadi, 404-522-0341

Wondering Allowed

July 8th, 2011
12:21 pm

Did I miss something? Were there hoodlums pulling guns on people requiring they purchase homes in communities with HOAs? Were there HOAs that took over neighborhoods, forcing existing homeowners to join the HOA under threat of death? From the tone of these comments, it’s hard to believe that people actually chose to purchase homes subject to HOA guidelines.

Give me a break. HOAs aren’t kept secret and then sprung on unsuspecting homeowners. Every person living in a PUD made a conscious choice to purchase a home in a PUD. Each of those people knew there were rules, and that there were boards that could change those rules. Each of those people was aware that there were financial obligations, and that if some subject those obligations didn’t keep their ends of the bargain, those remaining would have to pay extra.

I previously owned a condo. After one board meeting, I realized these well meaning uninformed very nice idiots shouldn’t have any control on my largest personal investment, my home. Within a week, the “For Sale” sign was hanging in my window.

What’s next? Complaining about ice cream being cold? Or hands having fingers?

Vince

July 8th, 2011
12:35 pm

@ Cyrus…

Indicative of what’s wrong with this country. Represent one person (a rule breaker) to the detriment of an entire neighborhood. So what if the attorney and the rule breaker get a fat paycheck! Hey! It’s Ameican as apple pie…right?

Several years ago a homeowner in our neighborhood clearly broke the rules they had agreed to follow when they purchased their home. Despite several warning letters they proceeded with their illegal construction. Our HOA attorney sued and they sued back. Finally, after a year of haggling and court costs a settlement was reached and every homeowner in the community had to foot the bill by contributing hundreds of dollars to cover attorney fees.

In the end, it didn’t matter what was right. The attorneys just took home a fat paycheck courtesy of every person in the neighborhood.

Disgusting!

IT'S NOT FAIR OR RIGHT

July 8th, 2011
12:44 pm

IT’S NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE OTHER HOMEOWNERS TO PAY FOR FORECLOSED HOMES THAT ARE OWN BY THE BANK OR WHOMEVER. IT’S THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BANKS TO PAY FOR THEIR BANK OWNED FORECLOSURES & SINCE THEY AREN’T LENDING ANY MONEY TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT BAILED THEM OUT A YEAR OR SO AGO, THEY SHOULD HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY TO HANDLE THEIR FORECLOSED HOMES. THE BANKS SCREW THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ENOUGH IN LIFE, THE GOVERNMENTS FED, LOCAL, STATE, ETC. SHOULD FORCE THEM TO FOOT THEIR OWN RESPONSIBILITY.

James D.

July 8th, 2011
12:52 pm

Enter your comments here

LaPhonso

July 8th, 2011
12:56 pm

I live in goberment houseing. I cant never take care of my yard but i keep my rims on my ride very shiney. most of my paycheck goes to my carz wheelz.

James D.

July 8th, 2011
12:58 pm

The attorney above (Cyrus M.) knows what he is talking about. HOAs are unregulated government entities that operate under the cloak of non-profit corporations. They are fueled by incompetent attorneys (Weissman Nowack is the biggest and most notorious) and act as the puppets of rogue property managers (Heritage, Today, CMA, Sentry, Novarre and the list goes on). They are corrupt and rotten to the core. Thank heavens for the foreclosure mess to help neuter these out-of-control organizations. Sadly, homeowners just accept their authority without questioning it.

Kate-on-an-HOA-board

July 8th, 2011
1:15 pm

Wow. There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about HOA’s in these threads.

If you live in an HOA community, you ARE the HOA, along with all your neighbors. It’s not some external entity.

There is a board that makes everyday decisions. If you don”t like the decisions, you’re free to get elected and have a go at it instead. Or get on a committee. Or volunteer for something. Or just try actually talking with the board, and more than once, to understand why things are done the way they are.

There are occasionally truly lousy boards fulled with control freaks. If that’s where you live, you have my sympathy. Boards are composed solely of your neighbors who may not have ideal skills (or frankly, any skills) to be heading an HOA. If that’s the case, again…get involved and fix it. It’s pure democracy. And it’s your daily lifestyle at stake, not just your property values.

Well-run HOAs (yes, they do exist) enhance everyone’s living conditions and do indeed keep property values up. Like it or not, the condition of properties in your neighborhood has a direct and powerful influence on what your house is worth.

And before you call Cyrus or one of his kind above, know that “suing an HOA” you are, in essence, suing yourself and all your innocent neighbors. So instead of padding an attorney’’s pockets by suing yourself (some conveniently forget to mention that little bit of wacky logic in their pitches), it’s a good idea to seek other ways to handle problems. Any money an HOA spends defending a lawsuit comes right out of your own pocket. The only winner is the attorney.

[...] Power Breakfast: Homeowner associations hurt by foreclosures, Cobb EMC …Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)We also require that if your going to build something on your property such as a pool, a fence, an outbuilding, etc, just get approval first. This ensures that your not building something unsightly that your neighbors have to look at. …and more » [...]

Soothsayer

July 8th, 2011
1:21 pm

Let me glady say to ‘HOA President’ SUCK IT! HOAs suck and are a scam and you know it. Disciplined homeowners get the shaft ALL THE TIME by having our HOA dues increased because of SLUGS WHO HAVE HOMES IN THE COMMUNITY REFUSE TO PAY THEIRS! They don’t bother to go after those people with any fervor, they just raise the dues for those good people who have been FAITHFULLY paying. Furthermore, the majority of our HOA dues go to cover upkeep of a freaking swimming pool that gets trashed year after year and not really used by the majority of people in the subdivision. That and the little monument area leading into the subdivision. I can only hope that owners will become fed up enough to move to dissolve our HOA at some point.

David Staples

July 8th, 2011
1:30 pm

HOAPresident – perhaps you’d like to re-think your remarks: “For those of you who are not in an HOA community you are all slobs”

I don’t believe Roy Barnes’ house in Marietta is part of an HOA. Nor is the Governor’s Mansion or many of the other residences up and down West Paces Ferry. Likewise, my horse farm is not part of a Home Owners Association. I suppose we’re all just a bunch of slobs? If being a part of an HOA means being arrogant and rude, then I certainly don’t want anything to do with them.

Perhaps some of you don’t remember the man in the Bridgemill subdivision in Canton that simply wanted to put a flag pole in his yard. Heaven forbid someone actually install a classy display of patriotism in their yard! He ended up suing the HOA and won. I say good for him. Personally, I’d rather be thought of as a slob by the HOAPresident commenter than to have to sue a group of my neighbors just to be allowed to display the American flag.

Laurie

July 8th, 2011
1:55 pm

I think this is part of being in an HOA. But ultimately, the HOA’s should be able to place liens on these homes until the banks reimburse them for any upkeep. Because as us homeowners have to pay our dues and keep pour proerty up to snuff, so should the banks.

Techmom

July 8th, 2011
1:59 pm

There are good and bad HOA boards just like there are good and bad neighbors. Your only hope is that a few reasonable people volunteer to be on the board and vow not to let the extremists win any major battles. Volunteer and recruit like-minded neighbors. It is a lot of work though. We eased the burden by ‘outsourcing’ certain things like the finances. The treasurer was still responsible for signing checks but instead of making it his/her full-time job, we hired an accountant to track everything, cut the checks and provide monthly and annual statements.

I don’t agree with all the rules about renting though. Our previous HOA revised the covenants after we moved out and our house was already a rental. My feeling is that they can enforce the covenants just the same whether the house is lived in by the owners or not. The covenants state that you have to pay a $300 annual fee just to rent your house (for what purpose I’m not sure), you had to hire a lawn service that would cut the grass, bushes and maintain weed/fertilizer treatments. Part of my contract with my renters is that they do that work. If I had to pay for someone to do that work, I couldn’t rent the house or I’d be taking a huge loss. The rent barely covers the mortgage as is. I told them they could try to enforce the new covenants on us and they’d likely end up with another foreclosure or they could let me us do as we had been doing and let the renters maintain the yard and such and just as they do with regular residents, they can send us letters if anything needs to be done. So far it’s been two years with the new covenants and we’ve only received one letter and resolve the issue within a matter of days.

Pippi LongSasusage

July 8th, 2011
2:06 pm

Why do Republicans hate America?