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Old 03-06-2016, 11:36 AM
 
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I have lived in my subdivision for around 11 years and there has never been any mandatory HOA rules or fees. It's one of the reasons I picked this location. I got a letter saying there will be a vote in April to change the By Laws attached to everyones deed in the subdivision. It's going to change a paragraph that talks about an "opt in HOA" to a mandatory HOA with dues. It also says it's going to decide the yearly due's amount based off of a committee. I will be contacting an attorney tomorrow to discuss this with them but I am also hoping to see if anyone has heard of anything like this before.

Is there some online resource where I can get a copy of my deed with these "by laws" or will I have to go down and pay for one? The property assessor application has a link to deed but it's only one page long so I'm pretty sure that's not it...

If I have not had a mandatory HOA fee in 11 years it seems like I would be covered under some kind of grandfathered rules where they could not force me to pay anything, regardless of some vote.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:15 PM
 
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Did you sign CC&R's when you purchased? You need an attorney to review but if you didn't agree to a future HOA when you purchased it seems like it would be hard to create a mandatory one now.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:29 PM
 
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The attorney is a good idea. He should be versed in corporations, however small like your HOA.

You should also get neighbors together and let them know the info you find out so they are prepared at the meeting and don't go in ..."hmmm. ah...well..." People who are intent on plowing ahead to make changes without quoting any documents for your edification like to catch people off guard and unprepared. You need to know you all have rights.

I was going to tell you some of the following...what it says in your master deed, declaration, most likely will require winning the vote of a great majority and that such a meeting will have requirements on timing, notification, etc. but I found it here for your state in an easy to read paragraph. I followed with a link so you can read the whole thing:

There is no set method for amending a master deed, CCRs, or bylaws. This is because each document is different. The requirements in one master deed regarding amendment may not be the same as those found in another. As we have said before, in Tennessee the documents are important. That being said, it is safe to say that an amendment will require the vote of a super-majority of the Association. Since a vote of the Association is required, a meeting of the Association will likely be required. A meeting is required because the vote must be held at a meeting of the Association because the Association is a corporate entity and acts by and through its members at duly-held meetings. Thus, the notice and quorum provisions of the bylaws of the Association come into play. Generally stated, the amendment process requires notice of a meeting at which the amendment will be discussed and voted upon, a duly-held meeting, and an affirmative vote authorizing the amendment by some super majority of the membership of the Association. When you think about this process, it becomes logistically complicated.

Further, an amendment is a legal document. (another can of worms.)



Amending Association Documents | Tennessee Condominium and Homeowners Association Blog

Let us know how it goes with your attorney.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:42 PM
 
22 posts, read 174,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Did you sign CC&R's when you purchased? You need an attorney to review but if you didn't agree to a future HOA when you purchased it seems like it would be hard to create a mandatory one now.
Thanks for all the replies so far! I did not sign any CC&R because there was not a mandatory/enforced HOA. It was one of my requirements when selecting a house, that I can have a pink door. On the downside it means you can also have a yellow door...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cully View Post
I was going to tell you some of the following...what it says in your master deed, declaration, most likely will require winning the vote of a great majority and that such a meeting will have requirements on timing, notification, etc. but I found it here for your state in an easy to read paragraph. I followed with a link so you can read the whole thing:
Everything that is described in that link sounds like what is happening. (1) There is some kind of by-laws attached to the deed that detail out the optional HOA, how the voting works, etc. (2) They have sent out a letter to everyone letting them know the proposed changes and the time/place of the vote. The letter also contains no way to contact anyone to get more information! It was also stuck behind my flag and not IN the box. Probably half of the people didn't even get it if the wind was blowing.

I'll be calling the register of deeds in the morning to see if I can get a copy of these by-laws. I assume if they are attached to my deed that they would be able to provide me with them? If they are not attached then I assume they can't really force me to do anything.

Through my wife's work we get free legal assistance, so we will start the ball rolling on that front tomorrow. I also think maybe a website/facebook page and some signs might be in order to do a better job of getting the word out about what is going on what people's rights are or are not.
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:11 PM
 
2,741 posts, read 3,161,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoda911 View Post
I have lived in my subdivision for around 11 years and there has never been any mandatory HOA rules or fees. It's one of the reasons I picked this location. I got a letter saying there will be a vote in April to change the By Laws attached to everyones deed in the subdivision. It's going to change a paragraph that talks about an "opt in HOA" to a mandatory HOA with dues. It also says it's going to decide the yearly due's amount based off of a committee. I will be contacting an attorney tomorrow to discuss this with them but I am also hoping to see if anyone has heard of anything like this before.

Is there some online resource where I can get a copy of my deed with these "by laws" or will I have to go down and pay for one? The property assessor application has a link to deed but it's only one page long so I'm pretty sure that's not it...

If I have not had a mandatory HOA fee in 11 years it seems like I would be covered under some kind of grandfathered rules where they could not force me to pay anything, regardless of some vote.

"Bylaws" are for the organization. I think what you are referring to are the restrictive covenants burdening the property.

Sounds like what they are proposing is amending the deed restrictions. To do that they will have to vote to amend the restrictive covenants as provided under the restrictive covenants themselves or by state law if state law allows for fewer number of property owners to amend.

Sound the alarm. The proponents of this are not your friends. Along with "mandatory membership" will come perpetual liens that can never be paid off. Moreover, they will seek the power of foreclosure of your property to collect those "dues". You can bet they already have targets in mind - that's what prompted this to begin with. The "dues" will be used to pay for insurance for the board members and to build a litigation war chest. You can also be assured they will seek to generate all sorts of other fees and fines as soon as they can impose involuntary membership on everyone.

You should be able to obtain a copy of the deed restrictions from your county clerk.

When you consult an attorney, RUN do not walk away from any attorney affiliated with Community Associations Institute. This is a trade-lobby group for HOA attorneys and HOA management companies that will sing the praises of HOAs while its members craft various ways to pyramid up junk fees and threaten you with foreclosure to collect them.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:53 AM
 
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Yeah, bylaws are good for how to carry out the master deed/declaration/whatever that is attached to your deed. Ones I've seen will, for example, say this and that will be done or not done. Then the bylaws address how this or that can and can't be carried out.

Some communities have them online. You might be surprised to find them there, although your community leaders seem to be more secretive.

This HOA fee. What would it cover? Do you have amenities in common that are now falling into disrepair and need to be repaired?

Or are there people suddenly moving in or suddenly with time who think this would be a fun way for them to feel in control of people and money?
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:58 AM
 
22 posts, read 174,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cully View Post
This HOA fee. What would it cover? Do you have amenities in common that are now falling into disrepair and need to be repaired?
The current opt-in HOA covers the street lights and nothing else. I have no doubt that at the meeting they will say "this is all it will ever cover" but you and I both know that is not the case. As soon as it's mandatory they will start introducing restrictions on my property.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:13 AM
 
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So the lights are private. But on roads maintained publicly and open to the public?

Do you really need the lights? Maybe get a group together to say never mind to the lights and whoever is secretly leading this won't have an argument.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:27 AM
 
22 posts, read 174,552 times
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The lights could be paid for on a house(s) by house(s) basis, based on if the people living by it wanted to be paid. The subdivision is just choosing to collect money and pay for them, and calling it an opt-in HOA fee. I would be happy to just pay for my own street light. The roads are public, you can park on the street, the Nashville street sweeper comes by, brush pickup, etc...

I will be going around lunch to the register of deeds office to print out any restrictions that are attached to my deed, and will report back.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:47 PM
 
5,048 posts, read 6,392,001 times
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Keep us updated.
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