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Old 10-04-2012, 12:15 PM
 
7,687 posts, read 9,527,345 times
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Sounds like you have a decently run HOA.

Because Julius Caesar was a good ruler, though, does not mean that caesars in general are a good law of the land to enact.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,090,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Sounds like you have a decently run HOA.

Because Julius Caesar was a good ruler, though, does not mean that caesars in general are a good law of the land to enact.
Ahh
But does that also mean that the lands should have no laws?

What art thou think?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:39 PM
 
7,687 posts, read 9,527,345 times
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Probably the best thing to do is set up a fully accountable HOA. One with single year term limits, where the board members must run each and every year and campaign materials and platforms are sent to every homeowner. With the internet and Youtube, this is entirely possible. In this manner, the board can be elected online by each homeowner without having to attend a meeting, which may not be convenient for everyone.

Technology now allows each homeowner to take an active role in his own governance. I think everybody should have to campaign each year and every homeowner gets one online vote. Board members should not be allowed to appoint other board members without a vote.

I'm not sure how it works in my neighborhood, but I do know that in the years I have lived here, I have never been asked to vote for a board member. You have to be a lawyer to understand our covenants the way they are written, so I understand why most people just give up and don't care. You have a bunch of homeowners running around hating the board but feeling powerless to change it. If I had the time, money, and will, I would hire an attorney to decipher the covenants and take on the board myself and take it over, or at least encourage neighbors that I think would do the right thing to run. The problem is, even if I did that, I don't think it would work because I think the covenants require a quorum of 25% of the HOA to hold elections and I'm told that has never happened. I could pressure the board to change this, but what would be their motivation to do so?
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:56 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,090,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Probably the best thing to do is set up a fully accountable HOA. One with single year term limits, where the board members must run each and every year and campaign materials and platforms are sent to every homeowner. With the internet and Youtube, this is entirely possible. In this manner, the board can be elected online by each homeowner without having to attend a meeting, which may not be convenient for everyone.)))
It already works this way. Our assn is 2 years though, not 1. We have more open positions on the board than there are people running.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
(((Technology now allows each homeowner to take an active role in his own governance. I think everybody should have to campaign each year and every homeowner gets one online vote. Board members should not be allowed to appoint other board members without a vote. )))
There's some ancient technology that does the same thing, it's called a proxy ballot. And there's absentee ballots too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
(((I'm not sure how it works in my neighborhood, but I do know that in the years I have lived here, I have never been asked to vote for a board member.)))
It's pretty much the same situation everwhere. People don't want to get involved. The ones that do get labeled as ego maniacs on a power trip and worry about becoming public enemy number one by the whole neighborhood. 90% of the time, it involves board members begging other board members not to quit or to run again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
(((You have to be a lawyer to understand our covenants the way they are written, so I understand why most people just give up and don't care. You have a bunch of homeowners running around hating the board but feeling powerless to change it. )))
Well the fact is, they have all the power in the world to change it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
((( If I had the time, money, and will, I would hire an attorney to decipher the covenants)))
You're probably already paying for one. Why don't you contact your association and it's probably run by a management company who can try to explain what you don't understand or perhaps your assn has a law firm on retainer and you can call and speak to them. If you can't get ahold of anyone, you can look up your HOA on the secretary of state's website and see who the registered agent is and contact them. That's probably your management co or law office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
((( The problem is, even if I did that, I don't think it would work because I think the covenants require a quorum of 25% of the HOA to hold elections and I'm told that has never happened. )))
Yeah those quorums are a big problem. It's like in my last reply where I said the developer probably copy and pasted the documents from some retirement community in florida to save on all the money- more like hundreds of thousands of dollars to draft original documents. BUT the quorums are editable.
I think I already explained it a few pages back but in case I didn't, what we did was a couple of people went door to door to get proxy ballots signed. The proxies grant voting rights to someone else or in the case there is no one else to vote on your behalf, the secretary will. (The secretary wants to lower the quorum ) So with the proxies in hand... we actually needed more like 3/4 those in good standing (if lots of people aren't paying their dues, this will be easier) to amend our docs. You probably will need more than the usual meeting quorum so contact your lawyer and ask them. Once you've got the votes you need, contact your lawyer to write up the amendment and then you need to sign (notarized) and send it back to them and they'll file it with the courthouse for you. We paid about $800 to have them do that. We reduced ours to like 5 people, and there have been times we barely even got that. We used to have a room packed full of people back when people were good and pissed off but now that the community is in good shape, dues have gone down and most of the dead beats have moved out, people don't show up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
(((I could pressure the board to change this, but what would be their motivation to do so?)))
So you can get stuff done.
For us, we were having to reschedule our annual meetings over and over and over because of the quorum and each time we got fewer and fewer people attend. It was ridiculous.

Last edited by cittic10; 10-04-2012 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,117,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
They may not have any purpose. They more than likely were copy and pasted from some other association's documents. It was probably some zero lot line townhome community in west palm beach, florida. The builder probably didn't want to spend $50,000 or more to have lawyers write up documents that were unique to that community and took one glance at those and said "sure, thems look real nahss".
Ha! True. The first problem is that the rules for zero-lot-line are not applicable to a rural community where all lots are 2+ acres. The other problem is that they give control freaks something to back them up. "But it says right here that garage doors aren't allowed to be open for any longer than it takes to open and close them." (that was another real rule) I'm sorry, but if I'm spending the afternoon doing yardwork to comply with the no-weeds rule and the grass height rule, I'm gonna leave the garage open for a few hours.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Smryna
69 posts, read 147,568 times
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regarding the installation of amateur radio service antennas, the FCC has already defined that local government and HOA's must make a "reasonable accommodation" for such antenna structures. I'm an active radio amateur and have been since 1986, and sit on the board of directors of a Cobb county based amateur radio public service non-profit organization. I do have a small vertical VHF/UHF antenna on my home, and have never had any neighbor question, nor even notice it- despite it being on the front side of the house roof area. I don't have a tower or large HF array, but if I wanted to put one up, I don't think anyone would care, but I have no interest in HF, and if I did, there are much more covert, good performing antenna systems such as longwires that work just as good and are invisible unless you're standing in the backyard looking for it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:15 AM
 
2,741 posts, read 3,161,106 times
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Originally Posted by IC_deLight
The HOA will not "preserve property values" for the owners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
It most certainly can.

No it won't. The claim that HOAs "preserve property values" is a myth.

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
How about looking at this article entitled "Benefits of the Georgia Property Owners' Association Act". Look at all the "benefits". Ask yourself whether these are benefits for property owners or for the HOA attorneys....
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
That is just part of a brochure for a law office. It does not list benefits nor the purpose of an HOA.

Try reading the brochure. The brochure details the "Benefits of the Georgia Property Owners' Association Act". This act only applies to HOAs. You'll note all the benefits touted are beneficial to the law firm and other HOA vendors, not the property owners. From the HOA law firm's perspective, the purpose of an HOA is to create available prey (homeowners) to feed off of.

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
1. Perpetual liens on your home that can never be paid off are one reason you don't want an HOA while you live there and a reason for others to avoid buying there when you want to leave.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
No, it's a reason why you wouldn't want to move into an HOA neighborhood if you don't plan on paying your dues. This is no different than what will happen if you don't pay your taxes, don't pay a contractor or default a number of other contracts.

False analogy. Taxes are imposed by governments. An HOA corporation is not a government. Contractors or other contracts have a sum certain that will pay off the lien and the parties agreed beforehand on the service/product to be provided and price. That is not the case with the HOA. There is no agreement on a price and there is often no service provided. Insurance for HOA board directors is not a service or good benefitting the rest of the members. Getting nastygrams is not a service that anyone wants. There is no agreement for services or price up front. Instead, the HOA board has the ability to run up a debt using your house as the security for their spending spree. There is no amount that can be paid to pay off an HOA lien. It should be recognized for what it is - an illicit tax by a corporation. The contractors or other contracts have a price (consideration) and an agreement for products/services. The HOA does not agree and is not obligated to provide any services/products but the owners are expected to pay into perpetuity anyway.

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
2. In many places virtually all new housing built for the last many years is forced by local government to have an HOA. This makes non-HOA property a diminishing portion of the entire housing market. As such, the demand curve is working in favor of remaining non-HOA.

(cittic's tacky flag omitted)

What's the matter? You can't disagree that local government policy mandates all new housing to be burdened by HOAs and you can't disagree that non-HOA property is a diminishing portion of the entire housing stock. All too often numerosity is falsely accused with popularity. Numerosity does not mean popularity whether you are talking about cockroaches, epidemics, or HOAs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Now I will grant you that there are a number of little "mice" that feed off the cheese crumbs dropped by HOAs. Just as there are with government. But sometimes an HOA is needed and sometimes it isn't.

An HOA is not needed - ever. If you need a government such as a district then vote to create one. However, an HOA corporation is not a legitimate government.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
While there are initiation and transfer fees, and that may be viewed by some as a waste of money, I would debate that these are serious marketability issues. They are small potatoes compared to all the other stuff at closing one must pay. And they aren't necessarily mandatory. If a board of directors determines that houses are not selling because of a $200 initiation fee, then they can vote to do away with it or reduce it. It's a democracy.

HOAs are not remotely comparable to a democracy. There is no right to vote, no right to run for office, no equal protection, no due process, and zero respect for individual rights. The entire purpose of the HOA corporation structure is to disenfranchise the vast majority of the property owners.

Incredibly you believe you should be empowered to whimsically impose fees on property belonging to the property owners. The houses don't belong to the HOA corporation. Note to OP: Look at how pro-HOAers justify imposing fees on a whim on your property.


Originally Posted by IC_deLight
4. The people driving the creation of the HOA obviously intend to interfere with use & enjoyment of individual owners' properties. This will negatively affect use and enjoyment of property for you and your neighbors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
This is broadbrushing everyone involved with HOAs as a control freak and that's definitely not the case. If your idea of using and enjoying your property is putting junk cars up on blocks in your front yard then yeah, the HOA is going to interfere with that. If you keep up your property and don't break the rules then you'll be just fine.

What "rules"? If there are rules already existing the offended or injured property owner can file. But obviously this isn't the case. Obviously CONTROL by others is precisely the reason that the OP's "neighbors" want to form an HOA corporation. This group wants to impose an HOA so they can make up rules about how all the rest of the involuntary members should live and of course this group would sit in judgment over everyone else too. I think things were fine without the HOA.

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
5. Those seeking to form the HOA will try to enforce their whims thru litigation at your expense. Aside from the obvious problems the litigation creates for the individuals targeted by the HOA board, pending lawsuits make buyers wary of buying any homes in the subdivision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Some times there are ego maniacs in HOAs and sometimes there are ego maniacs in local government. There are also blankety blanks that live out in the country that will just as soon sue you as look at you if you do something they don't like such as putting a trailer in your yard. The bottom line is don't go pissing anyone off.

There is recourse against ego maniacs in local government. As far as suing someone there must be a cause of action. Seems to me that what this HOA group wants to be the "blankety blank" that gets upset if you put a trailer in your yard. The OP shouldn't need to worry about stepping on eggshells to avoid "pissing anyone off". It's his property.

Originally Posted by IC_deLight
6. Along with an HOA, the promoters will invariably seek the power to impose private "fines" and to charge assessments. They will want to impose a lien on your property so that you can be foreclosed upon if you don't pay what they demand. See the "benefits" article above where liens, foreclosures, etc. are touted as "benefits".
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
You seem to be forgetting that HOAs manage common area and amenities. They do what isn't going to be done if there is no HOA. In a community where there is neither common property nor amenities, and the local PD and code enforcement unit is taking care of any problems that arise, I don't see any need for an HOA personally.

Not at all. Requiring such areas at the time of platting is one way local government forces HOA on all new subdivisions. However, you seem to be forgetting that there are no amenities nor "common area" in the OP's case. By the way, "common area" is a misnomer used to mislead buyers that purchase HOA-burdened property. The area is not owned in common. The area is owned by the HOA. The area is simply "HOA-owned property".
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
They aren't merely just to charge fees and make peoples' lives difficult. It does sound like you had a bad experience with one. Maybe you had collections issues? If you don't want to pay dues, then don't move into a deed restricted community.

Ah, I forgot they are there to satiate board member's egos and to move money from the bank accounts of the homeowners to the bank accounts of the HOA attorney, HOA management company, and affiliated vendors.

Most anyone that has had the misfortune of occupying HOA-burdened property has had a bad experience with an HOA. Only 1% or fewer of the members can be board members so everyone else is just fodder for the board and vendors to mess with.

The comment about collection issues is snide but I'll bite. I have at least two issues regarding collections.

The first is the way the management company sought to extort money from homeowners. Upset enough to expose the state legislator that owned the management company and engaged in the "priority of payment scam" - a common scheme employed by HOAs and their vendors to extort junk fees from homeowners by re-characterizing the assessment payments. I think we changed that by going to the legislature because you certainly weren't going to change it otherwise. Next session maybe we'll just work on eliminating HOA foreclosure power altogether. No one needs an HOA.

The second collection issue concerns identifying which property of the HOA's should be seized in partial satisfaction of a judgment to myself and several other homeowners. The HOA checking accounts won't be enough. They were significantly depleted by the HOA attorney catering to HOA board members. Should I go for the front 100 acres? I could sell it for commercial development - maybe a cement plant or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
If the homes are close together and you get a bad set of owners or they are occupied by renters then you will probably end up in a run down neighborhood and to protect the values and keep yours from sinking, HOAs can most definitely help take care of many of those problems a lot more expeditiously than local government agencies.

Wow, stereotypes and all. Anti-renter is a common trait of HOA boards. You are correct that local government isn't going to get involved in discriminating against renters. They also won't get involved in racial discrimination, discrimination against families or children, or discrimination against people with disabilities. It's those pro-HOAers that are always working to decide who is desirable or undesirable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
As for the OP, again it depends on the neighborhood. If you live in an established high end neighborhood and everyone's got the wherewithal to maintain their homes and you've got no common area or amenities or things like community wells, roads or other infrastructure to maintain then you're right it's probably just some control freak with nothing better to do. Or it may be someone who's predicting a wave of "investors" buying up properties in the neighborhood so they can rent them out and "make a fortune!" Or so they think.

The lack of "common" area and amenities is a sufficient reason to avoid having an HOA. None of the other examples made any sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
On the other hand if you go through the neighborhood and see stuff like this...
...
An HOA can help improve property values by enforcing some basic rules and regulations. Such as not having cars up on blocks and not letting your lawn completely die out. Both of those items are also county ordinances but as you can see in the photo, the county ain't been 'round in some time. Complaints to the county are not anonymous. You have to give your name and address. At least in my county.

None of those are reasons to have an HOA corporation. The desire to be anonymous sounds no different than the KKK. In this country the accused generally has a right to confront the accuser. You prefer a system where the accuser can make accusations but never be held accountable to the accusation or identified. This is how unscrupulous HOA management companies and board members stir the pot. The HOA board wears the mask of anonymity provided by the HOA to exert their will over the property owners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Or to make sure people cut their grass and deal with any weeds that makes the property look really run down. Window unit air conditioners are usually not allowed either, at least in the south.

Or this...

Owners are also restricted from keeping piles of trash in front of their homes and dead trees in their yard.
By the way, dead trees can fall and damage houses which can have a very serious impact on resale values for everyone else. Or they can fall on power lines and knock out power to the whole neighborhood. Utility companies will come every couple of years and prune trees in their easement but they won't do anything about trees outside that easement.

Or this...

HOAs would have a big problem with keeping junk and rubbish and misc equipment in front of the home all the time. That makes the whole neighborhood look bad. Although they may want to see the plans or know what it will look like, they generally welcome the addition of storage sheds to the property. If not, using one's garage or an off site storage locker would be appreciated by all the other residents in the neighborhood.

Didn't see anything to justify perpetual liens that can never be paid off or "foreclosure" powers for a private club to impose on residents. Again an HOA corporation is a legal fiction. HOAs act through agents like board members. The HOA is just a hood worn by its agents. An individual with certain personality traits tends to be attracted to being in control of the HOA - you know the type that liked picking wings off of insects and tormenting small animals at a young age. Here's a good primer about HOAs: theHOAprimer

As for looking at "plans", these non-professionals are only seeking veto power over your property. They offer nothing of value. The existence of the HOA is nothing but a liability to the homeowners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Or this...
Contrary to popular belief, HOAs and the restrictions are normally very reasonable. You would most likely be allowed to have a small satellite dish... just not smack dab in your front yard!

"Allowed" to have a satellite dish? How pompous. Considering that HOAs have been prohibited by federal law from being able to prevent folks from having a small satellite dish since 1996, I'd tell you to take a hike if you tried to suggest I needed your approval before installing a satellite dish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Or this...
Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, HOAs normally don't allow you to leave your trash cans at the curb all the time. Only on trash day. They will have a problem if you let weeds grow in your driveway because that looks bad and reflects on the entire neighborhood. As would having a broken mailbox. Mostly common sense stuff.

Since when do you believe that the owners are interested in "impressing" passers-by? The owners aren't seeking the opinion of anyone else regarding the owners' properties. A buyer isn't buying the "whole neighborhood" - only a given house. The rest of the subdivision should not be under an HOA regime solely to cater to the whims of people who don't even live in the subdivision or who are otherwise interested only in leaving. They can leave and take their opinions with them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Or this...
HOAs also enforce rules that may exist about parking in the yard or in the street as well as provide additional short term parking for guests so that access is not blocked for other residents and emergency vehicles. They may also file complaints about zoning violations if a single family home is being used as a multi-family apartment complex.

You can file a complaint about a zoning law without an HOA. As for parking on public streets, the HOA corporation (and its agents) should have zero say in the matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
As you can see, these are all pretty reasonable things. HOAs are run by volunteers such as your friends and neighbors in the neighborhood. While I cannot guarantee that every single one of them is not out for a power trip, chances are they joined the board to protect everyone's investments because they care.

All they care about is gaining control over other people's property. HOAs do not "protect" any property value for owners and "property value" is not a justification for the type of regime and perpetual liens that can never be paid off that you wish to impose on people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
You may be thinking, "But that's why there's a city ordinance. Let them enforce it." While it's true many cities, towns and counties have many of the same, if not even stricter rules and restrictions that an HOA community has, clearly not all do. And enforcement may be less than expedient. The housing crisis has left many municipalities strapped for cash but also have a backlog of code violations due to unkempt unoccupied properties. Waiting for an HOA to get around to something may take a day or two. Waiting for a city to get around to it may take a year or two. With an HOA, you're using a volunteer body comprised of neighbors to enforce rule violations.

The HOA is not a governmental body and has no business making up private ordinances, sitting in judgment of property owners, or imposing penalties for "rules" violations. There is nothing here to justify a vigilante group going around and threatening property owners under the pretext of "protection".

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Or you may also be thinking, "That's why I live out in the country." Living on a large parcel of land in an area with mixed properties- some really high end and some really low end that have amateur junk yards, waist high weeds and mounds of garbage in their front yard, is very different than living in a subdivision or neighborhood where homes are on small lots, right up against one another. In one scenario, the lots are not viewed as one contiguous neighborhood so a handful of properties may do things to lower their own value but it has little or no effect on the value of other homes in the immediate area. Especially when several acres of woods screen the view of it. Whereas in a neighborhood of similar homes, such as the one shown in the photos, these properties are all viewed as comparables when you go to sell your home. The homes that are not maintained may sell for a lot less and that would make it difficult for someone who does maintain their home to get what its truly worth. Not to mention many buyers would take one look at that neighborhood and say "no way, Jose" and it's not because of the houses themselves. The houses are nice.

It's quite alright for the homes that are not maintained to sell for a lot less. As far as "someone who does maintain their home to get what its truly worth", you are showing your colors. The reality is that you believe your home is worth more than it truly is and you wish to be able to cast blame on others for your inability to get more for the house. There is no end of fault that a board can find with other people's property especially when the other people are the ones paying to satiate the board's ego and control issues. Tell us, how much do you think an HOA foreclosure affects i) the targeted owner, and ii) all the owners around the foreclosure. Your explanation of "need" for an HOA is simply not rational.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Neglect and not caring breeds more neglect and not caring. When a neighborhood doesn't enforce its rules and regulations and people start to get tired with how the neighborhood looks run down and may consider leaving. They too start to not care about their own property. They don't feel any pressure to keep up their yard or do many of the things they would do if everyone in the neighborhood was obsessed with keeping up appearances as many communities are. You can literally go into one subdivision and see where people take enormous pride in their homes and their community and drive right down the street and see where a different attitude, maybe because of a high number of renters or a lack of enforcement of the rules makes a huge difference in how much houses sell for and how a neighborhood feels.

I wonder how people managed for so many thousands of years to live just fine without HOAs. You have identified a few key words here: pressure, obsession. You have an obsession and you want to pressure everyone else in the subdivision to fulfill your obsession.

There is nothing wrong with people deciding to move elsewhere and again your explanations are irrational. On the one hand you seem to want to impose an HOA with the idea that the properties all must be ready for show as if owners were selling. If that's the case then why concern yourself with people considering leaving. Your whole mantra has been geared towards forcing the entire neighborhood to cater to the whims of people that would be leaving (i.e., focused solely on possible sales price).

One reason people stop caring about their own property is when so much control has been imposed that the property has lost the incidences of ownership. Having to get permission from the current "board" before improving your property? Having people drive by taking pictures to prove up whether the Joneses are living up to the standards of the Smiths? Getting nastygrams from "the HOA" based upon anonymous complaints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Some people just don't like to be told what to do. These tend to be people who have not yet had the displeasure of watching their neighborhood decline. I used to be one of these people.

Except that you didn't become someone that likes to be told "what to do". You revealed yourself as someone that wants to tell everyone else what to do. This is why HOAs are disliked by the vast majority of people who have had the misfortune of occupying property burdened by one. There is no doubt that the people in the OP's situation have the mentality that they need to control everyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
If you're considering leaving your neighborhood because of a select number of homes that are not maintaining their properties, instead of putting your home on the market, consider serving on the board of your homeowners association. Chances are you will bring a lot of valuable skills that will be useful but even more important, you will be bringing passion and a caring attitude that will help your community change for the better.

What a really shallow position. Maybe you should just leave the neighborhood. If the OP read this far he should have plenty of reasons for vehemently opposing any imposition of an HOA on his property. He will be dealing with people that can rationalize any conduct, no matter how egregious, under the misguided belief that they are "improving" the community. It doesn't take very long for such folks to be threatening foreclosure and actually foreclosing on the people that the "caring board" decides are "harming the community". The HOA managers and HOA attorneys love to encourage such behavior - it's quite lucrative for the vendors, not so much for the owners.

C.S. Lewis noted: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Last edited by IC_deLight; 10-05-2012 at 11:32 AM..
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,117,410 times
Reputation: 326
Whoa. I thought I was guilty of writing lonnnnnng posts!
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,090,866 times
Reputation: 3497
Folks, I have a personal policy on this forum... a self imposed limit on posting replies.. After page 5, I don't reply any longer. In this case, the OP has not returned and the topic is veering off into many different directions. So this is going to be my last reply in this topic. I welcome any questions anyone has about HOAs by direct message or by a message on my profile page.

I just wanted to make that clear before someone spends time posting a long reply aimed at me. Please check below for your quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by researchnerd View Post
Ha! True. The first problem is that the rules for zero-lot-line are not applicable to a rural community where all lots are 2+ acres. The other problem is that they give control freaks something to back them up. "But it says right here that garage doors aren't allowed to be open for any longer than it takes to open and close them." (that was another real rule) I'm sorry, but if I'm spending the afternoon doing yardwork to comply with the no-weeds rule and the grass height rule, I'm gonna leave the garage open for a few hours.
Ours specify that garage doors must be kept closed except for reasonable periods of time. So it sounds like yours may be a little more strict.

That may seem completely ridiculous but when homes are literally 10 feet apart and someone's got mounds of garbage piled up in their garage and they leave the door open all the time, it really might as well be a mound of garbage outside and it definitely does detract from the neighborhood.

I had a neighbor that always used to apologize to me because they garage was so messy and I'd see it from every window of the house. But I don't care how messy their garage is. There's no rules against having a message garage. Simply not leaving the door open all the time would be satisfactory to me. I ended up having to complain to the association about it because I didn't want to tell them myself.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a county ordinance about leaving garage doors open so in this case, the HOA was able to enforce a rule that had a very positive end result for me and others in the cul de sac that the county wouldn't have been able to.

Again, the rules are all bad until you need one of them


=============================

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
The claim that HOAs "preserve property values" is a myth.
Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it.
I've personally worked in an HOA and I know first hand the good work we've done to preserve property values. Most of the CCR enforcement deals with maintenance. And virtually none of them are county ordinances. The rest of the major projects have been in putting in new amenities that people have requested and maintaining the common areas.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((1. Perpetual liens on your home that can never be paid off are one reason you don't want an HOA while you live there and a reason for others to avoid buying there when you want to leave.)))
Again, if and only if you don't plan on paying the assessments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((False analogy. Taxes are imposed by governments. An HOA corporation is not a government. Contractors or other contracts have a sum certain that will pay off the lien and the parties agreed beforehand on the service/product to be provided and price. That is not the case with the HOA. There is no agreement on a price and there is often no service provided. )))
Yes there is. You are mistaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
((( Insurance for HOA board directors is not a service or good benefitting the rest of the members. )))
Yes it does benefit the directors as well as the rest of the members. D&O insurance protects the entire entity in the event of law suits. If we didn't have it, the association would have to go out of pocket to pay for legal defense and possibly any monetary judgment.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
((( Getting nastygrams is not a service that anyone wants. There is no agreement for services or price up front. Instead, the HOA board has the ability to run up a debt using your house as the security for their spending spree. There is no amount that can be paid to pay off an HOA lien. It should be recognized for what it is - an illicit tax by a corporation. The contractors or other contracts have a price (consideration) and an agreement for products/services. The HOA does not agree and is not obligated to provide any services/products but the owners are expected to pay into perpetuity anyway.)))
This is all completely wrong. The CCRs are one big contract. They detail every conceivable responsibility of all parties involved. There are no indefinite leans and there are no foreclosures unless it's a condo association and only when a million other conditions have been met, including a judgment in a court of law.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((What's the matter? You can't disagree that local government policy mandates all new housing to be burdened by HOAs)))

Well I do. Not the case where I live but I can't speak for every last little recently incorporated snobburb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
((( and you can't disagree that non-HOA property is a diminishing portion of the entire housing stock. All too often numerosity is falsely accused with popularity. Numerosity does not mean popularity whether you are talking about cockroaches, epidemics, or HOAs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
)))
I haven't made the claim that the number of HOA housing stock is indicative of the favorability of HOAs.
All this time, I have had one main premise and that's that HOAs are a necessary evil in metro atlanta and the style of development most of us have.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((
An HOA is not needed - ever. If you need a government such as a district then vote to create one. However, an HOA corporation is not a legitimate government.
)))
There once was a time that I would have agreed with this completely. Then from experience I learned that it's not a perfect world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((HOAs are not remotely comparable to a democracy. There is no right to vote, no right to run for office, no equal protection, no due process, and zero respect for individual rights. The entire purpose of the HOA corporation structure is to disenfranchise the vast majority of the property owners. )))
Utter nonsense. All members have those rights. The HOA is not intended to disenfranchise anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((Incredibly you believe you should be empowered to whimsically impose fees on property belonging to the property owners. The houses don't belong to the HOA corporation. Note to OP: Look at how pro-HOAers justify imposing fees on a whim on your property.[/color])))
Nobody has the right to "whimsically" impose fees without any reason.
Although I should bring it up at the next meeting. I kind of like the idea that when we impose fees, that we do so more "whimsically".

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((What "rules"? If there are rules already existing the offended or injured property owner can file. But obviously this isn't the case. Obviously CONTROL by others is precisely the reason that the OP's "neighbors" want to form an HOA corporation. This group wants to impose an HOA so they can make up rules about how all the rest of the involuntary members should live and of course this group would sit in judgment over everyone else too. I think things were fine without the HOA)))
There may be a good reason for it. I don't know where the OP's neighborhood is and I haven't seen it or talked to the neighbors and therefore I can't offer my opinion on whether an HOA would help in their case although I can say that in general, if there isn't any common property or amenties, everyone maintains their lot, there aren't any rentals, it's a fairly well to do neighborhood and all desired services are being offered by municipal sources (for the foreseeable future) then an HOA may not have a whole lot to offer. Then again it may.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
((([color="Sienna"]There is recourse against ego maniacs in local government. As far as suing someone there must be a cause of action. Seems to me that what this HOA group wants to be the "blankety blank" that gets upset if you put a trailer in your yard. The OP shouldn't need to worry about stepping on eggshells to avoid "pissing anyone off". It's his property.)))
One has far more recourse against their HOA and neighbors than they do against the local government. You should sit down with a copy of a complete set of documents and read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
((( By the way, "common area" is a misnomer used to mislead buyers that purchase HOA-burdened property. The area is not owned in common. The area is owned by the HOA. The area is simply "HOA-owned property".)))
Sorry, you're wrong again. The association is a co-op and it's owned by its membership. Thus, all members own the common area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((Ah, I forgot they are there to satiate board member's egos and to move money from the bank accounts of the homeowners to the bank accounts of the HOA attorney, HOA management company, and affiliated vendors.Most anyone that has had the misfortune of occupying HOA-burdened property has had a bad experience with an HOA. Only 1% or fewer of the members can be board members so everyone else is just fodder for the board and vendors to mess with.)))
There a lot of people and companies that make money from the system. It's not the ideal system in my opinion but your figures are off and you're clearly very emotional about this subject for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((The comment about collection issues is snide but I'll bite. I have at least two issues regarding collections. The first is the way the management company sought to extort money from homeowners. Upset enough to expose the state legislator that owned the management company and engaged in the "priority of payment scam" - a common scheme employed by HOAs and their vendors to extort junk fees from homeowners by re-characterizing the assessment payments. I think we changed that by going to the legislature because you certainly weren't going to change it otherwise. Next session maybe we'll just work on eliminating HOA foreclosure power altogether. No one needs an HOA.)))
I'll start with the most recent bit. Foreclosure is only available in this state to condos. Associations consisting of single family homes don't have that option. Extortion is illegal and far from the norm. All owners have rights and laws exist to protect owners. Again, the governing documents are a contract. Everything is spelled out in that contract.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((Wow, stereotypes and all. Anti-renter is a common trait of HOA boards. You are correct that local government isn't going to get involved in discriminating against renters. They also won't get involved in racial discrimination, discrimination against families or children, or discrimination against people with disabilities. It's those pro-HOAers that are always working to decide who is desirable or undesirable.)))
I'm not anti-renter. I'm anti landlord.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((None of those are reasons to have an HOA corporation. The desire to be anonymous sounds no different than the KKK. In this country the accused generally has a right to confront the accuser. You prefer a system where the accuser can make accusations but never be held accountable to the accusation or identified. This is how unscrupulous HOA management companies and board members stir the pot. The HOA board wears the mask of anonymity provided by the HOA to exert their will over the property owners.)))
KKK? Good one.
Again, the governing documents are a contract. Everything is spelled out in that contract.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((Since when do you believe that the owners are interested in "impressing" passers-by? )))
Because I am in charge of fielding the complaint phone calls and emails when people contact our association to complain about how someone's home is not being maintained. That's how.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((The owners aren't seeking the opinion of anyone else regarding the owners' properties. A buyer isn't buying the "whole neighborhood" - only a given house. )))
That's your opinion but that's not usually how it works with subdivisions. A poorly maintained community can bring everyone down. That's just the way it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((It's quite alright for the homes that are not maintained to sell for a lot less. As far as "someone who does maintain their home to get what its truly worth", you are showing your colors. The reality is that you believe your home is worth more than it truly is and you wish to be able to cast blame on others for your inability to get more for the house. )))
Forgive me but I don't think you understand how the housing market works.
Housing prices are established by comparable listings which take into account location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size and other major features.
So when homes are not well maintained they can drag down the value of neighboring homes simply because there are in the same neighborhood and are the same size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((I wonder how people managed for so many thousands of years to live just fine without HOAs. )))
That's an easy one. They lived on large properties far removed from their neighbors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((You have identified a few key words here: pressure, obsession. You have an obsession and you want to pressure everyone else in the subdivision to fulfill your obsession. )))
I did? I don't recall saying either of those words in this entire thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((There is nothing wrong with people deciding to move elsewhere and again your explanations are irrational.)))
OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
((( On the one hand you seem to want to impose an HOA with the idea that the properties all must be ready for show as if owners were selling. If that's the case then why concern yourself with people considering leaving. Your whole mantra has been geared towards forcing the entire neighborhood to cater to the whims of people that would be leaving (i.e., focused solely on possible sales price).)))
Because the prices their homes sell for dictate what prices our homes sell for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
(((One reason people stop caring about their own property is when so much control has been imposed that the property has lost the incidences of ownership. Having to get permission from the current "board" before improving your property? Having people drive by taking pictures to prove up whether the Joneses are living up to the standards of the Smiths? Getting nastygrams from "the HOA" based upon anonymous complaints?)))
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:46 PM
 
2,092 posts, read 2,558,164 times
Reputation: 1085
Regarding the OP...I am sure some of these posts probably scared them off :-)
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