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Old 05-21-2009, 03:08 PM
 
5 posts, read 46,626 times
Reputation: 11

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Does anyone know if GA HOAs are subject to similar laws as listed below (for AZ): Do HOAs have the burden of proof in violation accusations or can they just ignore the constitution completely and say "you are screwed and you have to pay whatever we say"

You have the right as a member (home owner) to request a response to the "violation"---but you have to make the request via certified letter (Per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 33-1803.C and ARS 33-1803.C). I would venure to guess the HOA and/or their reps know this and refuse to respond or inform you of the "correct" procedure in requesting a response...

C. A member who receives a written notice that the condition of the property owned by the member is in violation of the community documents without regard to whether a monetary penalty is imposed by the notice may provide the association with a written response by sending the response by certified mail within ten business days after the date of the notice. The response shall be sent to the address contained in the notice or in the recorded notice prescribed by section 33-1807, subsection J.
D. Within ten business days after receipt of the certified mail containing the response from the member, the association shall respond to the member with a written explanation regarding the notice that shall provide at least the following information unless previously provided in the notice of violation:
1. The provision of the community documents that has allegedly been violated.
2. The date of the violation or the date the violation was observed.
3. The first and last name of the person or persons who observed the violation.
4. The process the member must follow to contest the notice.
E. Unless the information required in subsection D, paragraph 4 of this section is provided in the notice of violation, the association shall not proceed with any action to enforce the community documents, including the collection of attorney fees, before or during the time prescribed by subsection D of this section regarding the exchange of information between the association and the member. At any time before or after completion of the exchange of information pursuant to this section, the member may petition for a hearing pursuant to section 41-2198.01 if the dispute is within the jurisdiction of the department of fire, building and life safety as prescribed in section 41-2198.01, subsection B.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:24 PM
 
593 posts, read 2,560,202 times
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Being on the board for our HOA and having legitimate reasons to go after people. (Severe neglect of upkeep of their property, multi-family usage, etc.) I can tell you that it's difficult to go after people for HOA rule violations. Say they can slap a $25 fine on you for not mowing your lawn. They have to take it to court to force you to pay that. It would costs thousnads in legal fees and take years to get that done. Our management co (which has a lawyer on staff) said the best hope you have at assessing fines is when it's a violation of the county or city ordinance. Then the city will go after them.
This doesn't really answer your question but if you are being harrassed by your HOA, the bottom line is writing letters is really all they have for you. They're not going to pay thousands to pursue some miniscule fine.

We have people that have lived in our sub for years since the place was built and never ever paid their dues and we can't even do squat about that.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:16 PM
 
5 posts, read 46,626 times
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Unfortunately there are hundreds if not thousands of nightmare stories dealing with HOAs un-constitutional practices. While you are correct that no immediate "action" will be taken for $50.00 /day of not cutting your grass. They will continue to pile on interest, legal fees, late fees until it gets large enough (it happens pretty quickly) to take you to court and take your home from you because you were 1 day late on cutting you grass? There are dozens of examples of fines compounded to over $5000.00.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:37 PM
 
593 posts, read 2,560,202 times
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First of all, they'll have to pay a lawer a few grand to go to court. Do you know if your hoa even has a few grand to spend on that?
Second of all, if you don't have the money, they aren't going to get any money.

Third of all, if it goes to court, it will most likely be dismissed. They can't charge you $50 a day for not cutting your grass. That's just not reasonable or realistic.

4th of all. They're not going to take your house. Do you think your mortgage company wil let them do that?

What is this all about anyway? What are they hasseling you over?
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
1,570 posts, read 5,299,530 times
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The OP asks if GA HOAs are subject to laws like those in AR? The fast answer is that the laws vary state by state. You'd need to check the laws in your state.

As a general statement, in most states - No, the HOA need not provide proof of a violation. The HOA does not have the same standard of proof as a criminal trial in a court of law. Again the standard would vary slightly by state. But the HOA need not prove beyond all measure that someone failed to cut his grass or had a car up on blocks, etc.

Most state laws (again, check your state laws) do require the HOA to give some type of notice and allow for protest or rebuttal prior to handing down a fine for a violation. Usually there is some type of due process before a fine is leved - but it may be only an opportunity to rebut the complaint in writting or something like that. Again, a "Perry Mason" type trial is not required to be held by the HOA.

The first thing you will want to do is to review the governing documents of the HOA. Odds are the documents outline how fines are determined and leved.

It is unlikely ... and rather silly ... to suppose there is any such document that allows the HOA to say "you are screwed and you have to pay whatever we say". Let's calm down, get real and be reasonable.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 46,626 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbark Hickory View Post
First of all, they'll have to pay a lawer a few grand to go to court. Do you know if your hoa even has a few grand to spend on that?
Second of all, if you don't have the money, they aren't going to get any money.

Third of all, if it goes to court, it will most likely be dismissed. They can't charge you $50 a day for not cutting your grass. That's just not reasonable or realistic.

4th of all. They're not going to take your house. Do you think your mortgage company wil let them do that?

What is this all about anyway? What are they hasseling you over?
Actually to respond to the statements you made:
1. HOAs are suppose to manage the income and ensure surplus for major repairs and maintenance such as community pool, tennis courts etc. And that includes litigations. Besides, they all have a law firm on the payroll anyway (who do you suppose writes all the legal threats).
2. A majority of the cases are ruled in favor of the HOAs because they have deeper pockets and lobbyists working for them (I read somewhere it's like over 85%).
3. They can put a lien on your house and foreclose, it's in CCR. Because it is considered a "private contract" there is nothing the mortgage company or the government can do to stop it. This particular issue have been brought up to courts many times because it is unconstitutional in many respects but because of what I stated in the first 2 items the courts almost always rule against the home owner. Many view the HOA as a "private government" and not a democratic one at that. There is a statistic on the % of foreclosures due to the HOA and I believe it is around 26%.

I have had many disagreements with my HOAs before, the most recent one is borderline extortion. I have other priorities in my life, like most people, that take precedents to my "law care", JOB, FAMILY etc. So I was "late" on getting my grass mowed, they send me a warning letter. I had to arrange to take off from work to "mow the lawn", when I did, I receive the fine letter the next day AFTER I MOWED the damn lawn that says I would be fined $50.00/day until the violation has been corrected. Based on their letter, I "corrected the violation" on the date of the letter so 0 days have transpired and no fine is due. So I wrote an "appeals letter" which is promptly denied and I am being fined $50.00 for WHAT?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:15 AM
 
5 posts, read 46,626 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMichelle View Post
The OP asks if GA HOAs are subject to laws like those in AR? The fast answer is that the laws vary state by state. You'd need to check the laws in your state.

As a general statement, in most states - No, the HOA need not provide proof of a violation. The HOA does not have the same standard of proof as a criminal trial in a court of law. Again the standard would vary slightly by state. But the HOA need not prove beyond all measure that someone failed to cut his grass or had a car up on blocks, etc.

Most state laws (again, check your state laws) do require the HOA to give some type of notice and allow for protest or rebuttal prior to handing down a fine for a violation. Usually there is some type of due process before a fine is leved - but it may be only an opportunity to rebut the complaint in writting or something like that. Again, a "Perry Mason" type trial is not required to be held by the HOA.

The first thing you will want to do is to review the governing documents of the HOA. Odds are the documents outline how fines are determined and leved.

It is unlikely ... and rather silly ... to suppose there is any such document that allows the HOA to say "you are screwed and you have to pay whatever we say". Let's calm down, get real and be reasonable.
I did write an "appeals letter", but because they do not have the burden of proof (which goes against everything the constitution stands for). They can say you are guilty of the claimed violation anyway they see fit. In essence, not in so much the same words as I have used "you are screwed and you have to pay whatever we say".
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:25 PM
 
5 posts, read 17,809 times
Reputation: 16
"I have other priorities in my life, like most people, that take precedents to my "law care", JOB, FAMILY etc."

Then why did you willfully buy a home in a neighborhood with a HOA and covenents? You didn't have to buy a home there. There are neighborhoods without covenents where you can do what you want (or do nothing) and it's all cool with neighbors because they don't care what their yard looks like either. Why buy a home in a place where people care about how there yard looks (and thus have covenents) if that is something that is not a priority to you?
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:42 AM
 
5 posts, read 46,626 times
Reputation: 11
I'll answer in two parts.
First, this is my first home purchase and no one mentioned to me at the time of purchase that there is HOA and the extent of their control over home owners. Many people who purchase their homes for the first time falls under this trap.
Second, I do in fact want a good looking yard. What I don't care for is being FINED for lawn maintenance that is done a few days late because I have other life issues to deal with. I do not neglect my yard work, it simply has it's place in the order of things just like everything else. It WILL be done, just not dictated by the whim of a few individuals who decides which day is good for every person in the community.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:14 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,729,270 times
Reputation: 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7mikechu View Post
I'll answer in two parts.
First, this is my first home purchase and no one mentioned to me at the time of purchase that there is HOA and the extent of their control over home owners. Many people who purchase their homes for the first time falls under this trap.
Second, I do in fact want a good looking yard. What I don't care for is being FINED for lawn maintenance that is done a few days late because I have other life issues to deal with. I do not neglect my yard work, it simply has it's place in the order of things just like everything else. It WILL be done, just not dictated by the whim of a few individuals who decides which day is good for every person in the community.
So you weren't given a copy of the HOA regs at the time of purchase, or you just didn't bother to read them? The former would be something that would make your statement correct- the latter would mean that you put yourself in this position- it wasn't anyone else's fault. First-time buyer or not, you've got to read what you're signing.
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