How do I get my neighborhood's HOA to let me build a shed? (Howe: rental, house)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Oh wow, this is a quite interesting point and pretty much exactly the kind of information I was looking for!
As I said above, I did not have a copy of the CC&R's, since I'm a renter and although I asked the HOA manager to send them to me, so I can do some reading on my own, she did not oblige.
That's because the HOA management companies want to force you to buy a set - from them (or their affiliates). Funny how all the blockwarts love to claim "you knew it when you moved in" and yet these documents are not so readily available.
However, the rejection email had a copy of one page containing section 3.12 which I typed in my original post. That's where I saw that apparently as long as the outbuilding complies with requirements i through v (which mine obviously doesn't being 4 inches taller than 6 feet and not being made from the same materials as the house). Nevertheless the HOA manager "explained" to me that I read it wrong, that the exception is only for builders (?!) and I'm not a house builder and approvals are required. I'm quoting from her email: "ALL IMPROVEMENTS MUST BE APPROVED PRIOR TO INSTALLATION OR CHANGES"
Well she can't read. But then there are no educational or licensing requirements to call oneself an "HOA manager" in this state. That aside, look at the remainder of the response I provided above. The management company rep pick and chose what to disclose.
If you want to pursue the shed, you should look at the remainder of the restrictive covenants to see if there is a provision for automatic approval if the Architectural Committee does not act within a certain timeframe. If so, all you need to do is wait out the time period - you are automatically approved. Keep all evidence of your prior submission.
The manager's refusal to forward the application is not your problem. If the manager is not the Architectural Committee, then the clock is running in your favor and you may soon have an automatically approved shed.
The best part? You've seen some of the reality of the HOA industry before purchasing HOA-burdened property. Rest assured, it only gets worse. Just say "no thanks" to buying HOA-burdened property.
Unfortunately, I think part of the problem here stems from a general dislike towards renters and the owners that rent out houses in HOA neighborhoods. The stereotype exists that renters will not take care of their yards or their homes and landlords that don't live near the property will neglect to maintain the yard as well(the good ones will just include a third-party yard maintenance contract with the price of the rent).
I don't think this should be reflective as HOA's being hard to deal with in general, but I have a feeling that once she found out that you were a renter and not the owner, she shut down all reasoning and just doesn't want to deal with you at all. Just a theory. I guarantee that when your neighbors heard that you were renting in their HOA neighborhood, they probably let out a little disappointed sigh inside their heads. I'm not saying it's right, but it's the truth. The typical stereotype is that renters stay for a year or two, let the yard die because they don't want to pay for watering the grass, and then move on.
Well, HOAs deal with owners. Renters need the owner to interact with the HOA on their behalf. Renters don't having any "standing" with the HOA. Remember it stands for Home Owner Association!
...and that is a misnomer chosen to help market properties burdened by involuntary membership in a corporation. Frequently the terms "home" or "homeowner" are nowhere in the name of the corporation. But names are chosen for marketing purposes anyway, not reality.
During the period of declarant control, the "homeowners" will have little to no say in anything. They are mere funders. After the period of declarant control, the actual homeowners tend to be treated like mere renters in their own property. In either case, the home owners are saddled with all obligations and liabilities that the board imposes upon the members - and the vendor trade groups are always encouraging boards to do just that.
Tenants have greater rights than owners. Being burdened by an HOA is not a privilege - it is a sheer liability. That's why the legal term of art is "burden" - there is no "benefit". Your property is burdened by involuntary membership in a private corporation. As to "preserving property values" puhhlease. That's another vendor myth. HOAs do not preserve value for the owners, only the vendors of the HOA corporation.
I would agree that renters have no obligations to the HOA corporation under the "contract theory". However, this legislative session, the HOA trade group of management companies and HOA attorneys lobbied for the authority to "fine" renters. This of course makes no sense at all. First, corporations have no authority to "fine" anyone because they are not political subdivisions of the state to which such powers have been delegated. Second, the HOA corporation has no contractual privity with the renter. Finally, "fines" are not a contractual remedy.
Don't be fooled by the term "homeowner association". That is a marketing term only. "Association" is a misnomer. These entities are corporations, not associations. The property is burdened by involuntary membership in a corporation and it has nothing to do with "association" or "community". If the corporation was such a good thing, membership would not be involuntary.
I basically agree with you IC. I only live in an HOA community because the City of Austin required that the developer create one to manage the land set aside for a greenbelt as rainfall catchment in our urban infill mini-subdivision. Ours is itty-bitty and literally managed by the homeowners. Frankly, it is a burden and we are exploring ways to disband it or to allow it to end at the 20 year mark. You couldn't pay me to live a master-planned, corporate built, HOA community.
An interesting point people keep saying is that you can always buy in a non-HOA neighborhood. But, if you want a new home you really have no choice but to be in an HOA neighborhood.
I have had houses in non-HOA neighborhoods in Seattle and HOA houses here. In the non-HOA neighborhood people still took care of their house and yard. We had city laws against the things that dropped the property values.
I do like the HOA amenities like pools and parks so I do see some value. IMHO, The problem is the policing by the HOA that people get upset about.
From this point forward, let's keep the focus of this thread on helping the OP deal with her/his HOA to get a shed built.
About half of the thread has covered the subject of whether HOAs are good or bad, and it's always a popular topic in this forum, but it just isn't helpful to someone who must somehow deal with one to build a shed.
HOA rules are pretty well defined. If the metal shed is not allowed I suggest putting in one constructed as outlined within the HOA guidelines. Problem solved.
Another alternative is to join the architectural committee and get to know the people. Our architecture committee probably only has 2 or 3 people. So once you are on it, it probably is easy to get them to approve you.
Everyone complains about the leaders of the HOA, but the reality is hardly anyone wants to participate. If you want to make it better you simply can run to be on the board. Most likely you will have no competition. Architecture committees may be appointed by the board so it may be even easier to join.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.