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Old 07-21-2017, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Gwinnett County, Georgia
331 posts, read 190,470 times
Reputation: 468

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Kind of lengthy, so here are my questions. Has anyone ever prevailed in a law suit against an HOA? Do they just have unlimited power against homeowners? I was wondering if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act might offer some relief. But the lawyers with whom I've spoken only ask that I try to work it out with the HOA. So if anyone knows of an attorney who might be able to answer some questions over the phone, I sure would appreciate the help. We'll pay for a consultation if an attorney thinks there's an opportunity here. Thanks in advance.

$150 in fines later, here's my story.

A notice arrived in April from the neighborhood HOA ordering that our entire house be pressure washed. Though it didn't really need it, I paid someone to come and do just that, pressure wash my whole house. In June, another message arrived claiming that we were assessed a $50 fine because we were still in violation of the covenants for not having pressure washed our home. I mailed in a copy of the receipt from the company who did the first job and images of clean surfaces thinking that the HOA would accept that as proof of performance and also asked for details and an image of the area that they thought needed more attention. Then I rented a machine and spot cleaned the house again.

This week I received the next response, a notification and a $100 fine along with a threat of a daily fine for $25 for each day that the property remains out of compliance, no images, no details, just a notification of a fine. I called the HOA and reached a condescending employee claiming that a photo that was supposed to accompany these letters but hadn't shows mildew just above a window on the right side of our house. Seems this HOA rep came by on very rainy July 13 and claimed to have noticed mildew on our darker vinyl siding. I also left a voice mail for our HOA rep to call.

I've asked my neighbors with whom I have only a cordial relationship (no reason for them to spare my feelings) to tell me if they thought some surface areas needed to be cleaned and they've all said no. I have also asked a board member who lives right down the street to come by and look at my house while it is sunny out. That letter should have arrived today via certified mail. And what do you know? The HOA rep finally returns a call that I made four days ago. She had an attitude, but she called.

I told her that we complied at the first notice, that there hadn't been any mildew on that side of the house since April and that the house is ready for another inspection. She'll ask a board member to come by and I am to call her back next week for the status.

We acknowledged the existence of the HOA when we bought this home. We didn't expect them to engage in this kind of arrogant, bullying behavior. We pay our dues on time regularly, but maybe they need more money. Frankly, I don't think anyone ever came by. They just saw us owner occupants as easy targets.

Thanks for reading all of this. Sharing the story sort of eases some of the frustration.

Last edited by AtlantaMove; 07-21-2017 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
4,908 posts, read 3,707,121 times
Reputation: 2465
In before someone fails to read the entire post and says to "just comply." It sounds like you need to push harder on the lawyers. It truly sounds like the hoa has no interest in working anything out except money from your wallet.
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:48 PM
 
4,240 posts, read 2,821,095 times
Reputation: 2758
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
In before someone fails to read the entire post and says to "just comply." It sounds like you need to push harder on the lawyers. It truly sounds like the hoa has no interest in working anything out except money from your wallet.
Agreed. And I'm a big fan of HOAs. This HOA, however, sounds particularly awful. Thankfully,y I never have to deal with any of that. Our HOA restains our decks at minimum every two years and repaints the houses every five years or so. They can't complain about them being dirty!
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:22 PM
bu2
 
8,969 posts, read 5,665,308 times
Reputation: 3535
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaMove View Post
Kind of lengthy, so here are my questions. Has anyone ever prevailed in a law suit against an HOA? Do they just have unlimited power against homeowners? I was wondering if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act might offer some relief. But the lawyers with whom I've spoken only ask that I try to work it out with the HOA. So if anyone knows of an attorney who might be able to answer some questions over the phone, I sure would appreciate the help. We'll pay for a consultation if an attorney thinks there's an opportunity here. Thanks in advance.

$150 in fines later, here's my story.

A notice arrived in April from the neighborhood HOA ordering that our entire house be pressure washed. Though it didn't really need it, I paid someone to come and do just that, pressure wash my whole house. In June, another message arrived claiming that we were assessed a $50 fine because we were still in violation of the covenants for not having pressure washed our home. I mailed in a copy of the receipt from the company who did the first job and images of clean surfaces thinking that the HOA would accept that as proof of performance and also asked for details and an image of the area that they thought needed more attention. Then I rented a machine and spot cleaned the house again.

This week I received the next response, a notification and a $100 fine along with a threat of a daily fine for $25 for each day that the property remains out of compliance, no images, no details, just a notification of a fine. I called the HOA and reached a condescending employee claiming that a photo that was supposed to accompany these letters but hadn't shows mildew just above a window on the right side of our house. Seems this HOA rep came by on very rainy July 13 and claimed to have noticed mildew on our darker vinyl siding. I also left a voice mail for our HOA rep to call.

I've asked my neighbors with whom I have only a cordial relationship (no reason for them to spare my feelings) to tell me if they thought some surface areas needed to be cleaned and they've all said no. I have also asked a board member who lives right down the street to come by and look at my house while it is sunny out. That letter should have arrived today via certified mail. And what do you know? The HOA rep finally returns a call that I made four days ago. She had an attitude, but she called.

I told her that we complied at the first notice, that there hadn't been any mildew on that side of the house since April and that the house is ready for another inspection. She'll ask a board member to come by and I am to call her back next week for the status.

We acknowledged the existence of the HOA when we bought this home. We didn't expect them to engage in this kind of arrogant, bullying behavior. We pay our dues on time regularly, but maybe they need more money. Frankly, I don't think anyone ever came by. They just saw us owner occupants as easy targets.

Thanks for reading all of this. Sharing the story sort of eases some of the frustration.
Go to a board meeting and tell your story. The HOA will have at least quarterly meetings, usually monthly. The representatives from the property management company won't be as nasty in front of the board and homeowners.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:25 PM
bu2
 
8,969 posts, read 5,665,308 times
Reputation: 3535
The members of the board are fellow homeowners. You get some HOAs where the boards get carried away, but it sounds like you complied. You shouldn't have any trouble with the board. I was on one for 8 years and president 3 of those years.
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:10 PM
 
1,137 posts, read 473,385 times
Reputation: 870
I've personally had alot of bad experiences with finicky HOA's and dislike how much power that they have here in Georgia. I personally believe they are just a racket. I'm sure others support them and are for them, and thats fine.. But I personally could do without them. I've had one literally ding me for cutting my grass too short.. I mean, are you literally on my yard with a ruler measuring my grass?

and $150 in fines is nothing. I've paid well over $2k in HOA fines.

Good luck though, I would be calling every attorney I could, also I would record the calls you make to the HOA. Georgia is a one consent state, the other party does NOT have to be aware that the call you are making is being recorded in Georgia.

Last edited by Need4Camaro; 07-22-2017 at 03:37 PM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:13 PM
 
131 posts, read 46,521 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaMove View Post
Kind of lengthy, so here are my questions. Has anyone ever prevailed in a law suit against an HOA? Do they just have unlimited power against homeowners? I was wondering if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act might offer some relief. But the lawyers with whom I've spoken only ask that I try to work it out with the HOA. So if anyone knows of an attorney who might be able to answer some questions over the phone, I sure would appreciate the help. We'll pay for a consultation if an attorney thinks there's an opportunity here. Thanks in advance.

$150 in fines later, here's my story.

A notice arrived in April from the neighborhood HOA ordering that our entire house be pressure washed. Though it didn't really need it, I paid someone to come and do just that, pressure wash my whole house. In June, another message arrived claiming that we were assessed a $50 fine because we were still in violation of the covenants for not having pressure washed our home. I mailed in a copy of the receipt from the company who did the first job and images of clean surfaces thinking that the HOA would accept that as proof of performance and also asked for details and an image of the area that they thought needed more attention. Then I rented a machine and spot cleaned the house again.

This week I received the next response, a notification and a $100 fine along with a threat of a daily fine for $25 for each day that the property remains out of compliance, no images, no details, just a notification of a fine. I called the HOA and reached a condescending employee claiming that a photo that was supposed to accompany these letters but hadn't shows mildew just above a window on the right side of our house. Seems this HOA rep came by on very rainy July 13 and claimed to have noticed mildew on our darker vinyl siding. I also left a voice mail for our HOA rep to call.

I've asked my neighbors with whom I have only a cordial relationship (no reason for them to spare my feelings) to tell me if they thought some surface areas needed to be cleaned and they've all said no. I have also asked a board member who lives right down the street to come by and look at my house while it is sunny out. That letter should have arrived today via certified mail. And what do you know? The HOA rep finally returns a call that I made four days ago. She had an attitude, but she called.

I told her that we complied at the first notice, that there hadn't been any mildew on that side of the house since April and that the house is ready for another inspection. She'll ask a board member to come by and I am to call her back next week for the status.

We acknowledged the existence of the HOA when we bought this home. We didn't expect them to engage in this kind of arrogant, bullying behavior. We pay our dues on time regularly, but maybe they need more money. Frankly, I don't think anyone ever came by. They just saw us owner occupants as easy targets.

Thanks for reading all of this. Sharing the story sort of eases some of the frustration.
I had an HOA once but they were not as awful as the one you are describing. It will cost them more in legal fees to enforce their disapproval of your pressure washing than just agreeing you complied which it sounds like you did. Read the covenants and see what you agreed to (e.g. Does it state the HOA can assess a daily 25$ fine for noncompliance? Does it state the fees can be challenged?).
I would not pay the fine.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:37 AM
 
643 posts, read 310,934 times
Reputation: 404
Your house sounds very dirty.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
20,901 posts, read 32,910,098 times
Reputation: 12556
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHonchoATL View Post
Your house sounds very dirty.
No doubt you serve on the board.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Gwinnett County, Georgia
331 posts, read 190,470 times
Reputation: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHonchoATL View Post
Your house sounds very dirty.
I know, right?
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