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Old 01-05-2017, 10:07 AM
 
1,564 posts, read 903,239 times
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Does anyone know what Texas law has to say regarding what constitutes a violation of deed restrictions? Does the HOA board have final say or is there a way to appeal its decision based on state or county law?
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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Nope I believe it's between you and the HOA. It's not like a municipal planning commission where you could appeal their decision to the city council. If you don't like their decision I believe the recourse is to sue them, which of course means you had better have a good case if you want to spend the money (not saying it's impossible).
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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Your deed restrictions are laid out in your governing documents of the HOA, which will also have a dispute resolution process laid out. You would have been provided a complete copy at the closing of your home purchase.

Last edited by mikeyyc; 01-05-2017 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:52 AM
 
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As stated, get a copy of your deeds by-laws.

What's the violation?
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:44 PM
 
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Keep in mind that under current law, if you go to court and lose, you have to pay the HOA's legal fees. Sometimes, it's far cheaper to just do what they want. Don't let your ego get in the way of saving yourself a lot of effort and money.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:12 PM
 
2,902 posts, read 3,656,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
Does anyone know what Texas law has to say regarding what constitutes a violation of deed restrictions? Does the HOA board have final say or is there a way to appeal its decision based on state or county law?
The question is are you complaining about something between you and the HOA corporation or is your complaint that the HOA corporation is hassling or not hassling someone else?

An HOA board is not a government and it is not a court of law. HOA boards (and particularly the vendors that profit off of chaos) are routinely attempting to create new restrictions or "interpret" restrictive covenants so as to further restrict one's use of one's own property.

Your problem description is remiss on detail. As a general principle you can file suit seeking a declaration of rights under the restrictive covenants. You may be able to seek to enforce the restrictive covenants against the HOA corporation - depending upon the details of your issue and the language of the restrictive covenants. You may be able to assert other causes of action - can't tell anything about your issue because of the lack of detail.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:36 AM
 
1,564 posts, read 903,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
The question is are you complaining about something between you and the HOA corporation or is your complaint that the HOA corporation is hassling or not hassling someone else?

An HOA board is not a government and it is not a court of law. HOA boards (and particularly the vendors that profit off of chaos) are routinely attempting to create new restrictions or "interpret" restrictive covenants so as to further restrict one's use of one's own property.

Your problem description is remiss on detail. As a general principle you can file suit seeking a declaration of rights under the restrictive covenants. You may be able to seek to enforce the restrictive covenants against the HOA corporation - depending upon the details of your issue and the language of the restrictive covenants. You may be able to assert other causes of action - can't tell anything about your issue because of the lack of detail.
The issue is regarding where trash cans can be kept between pickup days. Without going into details I'll just say that many residents of the subdivision have kept theirs at a location without issue for as long as ten years, but with the election of a new board last year all of a sudden they started getting violation notices from the management companies claiming that these must be moved. The deed itself does not make any explicit reference to trash cans. These is a section on what must be kept out of public view but it listed only things like drying clothes and laundry machines.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:18 AM
 
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From your description it sounds like the HOA is acting outside of their authority.

You are essentially asking for legal advice which is something fraught with risk when done online.

The most memorable recent story on HOA's in Houston was about the a Garden Oaks HOA who was found to be selectively enforcing the restrictions and whose board it turned out had violated several of them themselves.

Judge sides with residents in Garden Oaks case - Houston Chronicle

Not sure if you want to go through a four year battle like the family here did but maybe if you or an attorney can write them a firm letter explaining the risks they are taking by pursuing this dispute with you and other property owners you can dissuade them. No guarantees though.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,023 posts, read 12,209,139 times
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Just to make sure you've covered your bases. Have you gone to the HOA/Board meetings to see what's been done? It's quite possible that they've amended the deed restrictions during a vote/meeting if that's been one of their hot button issues.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:36 PM
 
2,902 posts, read 3,656,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
The issue is regarding where trash cans can be kept between pickup days. Without going into details I'll just say that many residents of the subdivision have kept theirs at a location without issue for as long as ten years, but with the election of a new board last year all of a sudden they started getting violation notices from the management companies claiming that these must be moved. The deed itself does not make any explicit reference to trash cans. These is a section on what must be kept out of public view but it listed only things like drying clothes and laundry machines.
The "management companies" are often scum of the earth. Their business model is to flood the subdivision with accusations of violations. They often get paid for each letter. They propose the fining policies to the HOA board. They typically try to entangle fines with assessments in order to generate revenue from "late fees" and threaten the homeowner with foreclosure to collect the late fees. They claim the late fees are for the HOA but in reality the "late fees" go to the management company off the books of the HOA.

The HOA board may not even actually be aware of what's going on. The management companies try to usurp board duties and authority via management contracts. Often the insurance policy the HOA relies on is actually owned by the management company or an affiliate of the management company. This is to ensure a tying arrangement so that once the management company provokes a lawsuit the HOA can't fire the management company and keep insurance coverage for that suit. The contract will provide that the HOA is on the hook for any judgment against the management company and that the HOA has to pay for insurance coverage for the management company. It's basically a contractual license to embezzle, cheat, steal, and threaten with no financial risk to the management company. The worst that happens typically is that the management company gets fired and another member of the trade group gets hired.

Now I ranted a bit but it's all quite accurate. The Property Code requires notice of an open board meeting at which the board is going to consider or vote whether to impose fines. There's no authority for a management company to usurp fining decisions and bypass the board decision and open meeting statute passed in 2011.

I know it's annoying but frankly you are better off if you wait until they actually send you a letter stating that you have been fined. It's even better when the management company files a "notice of lien" for the fine. At that point you have causes of action from which you can recover considerable sums instead of just playing defense.
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