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View Full Version : Rot in Hell Homeowners Associations



Kegboy
05-23-2008, 08:57 PM
Sorry if Rot in Hell threads are passť (that's why I didn't capitalize it), but I need to vent.

So I come home tonight from a very hard, long week at work. As I'm driving into my neighborhood, I think, "you know, I need to mow this weekend." I stop at my mailbox, and I just barely notice a soggy piece of paper stuck under the flag. It's a notice from my HOA that I have 24 hours to mow my yard or they'll do it for me, and put a lien on my property of $500+.

Now, I'll admit, it was long. It was starting to seed (which is the first time I've seen it do in a year and a half living here.) I just mowed last week, but I mow it to 3" (on the advise from my landscaper neighbor) because it's so thick.

The note said that "there had been numerous complaints" about my yard, but on a hunch, I drove around and saw 7 other notices (and this was at 8pm). So I think it's safe to say that the state of lawns in our neighborhood was brought up at the board meeting last week, so someone just went around with a bunch of form letters. And while some of the lawns were on par with mine, some were much worse.

Now, if you really want to go around plastering notices threatening legal action, that's one thing. But to do it on the day before a 3-day weekend when it's been raining all day? That seems a bit ridiculous IMO. I'd hate to be one of the people who comes home Monday to have that waiting for them.

kester99
05-23-2008, 09:07 PM
Could be time for the btowncolt and twes landscaping service...know what I mean? Clear out a little deadwood?

Shade
05-23-2008, 09:15 PM
24 hours? That's ridiculous. Sounds like a scam to me.

Twes
05-23-2008, 09:22 PM
I heard they were going to start that crap in our neighborhood too.

Wouldn't that be funny if we are neighbors and didn't know it.

Kegboy
05-23-2008, 09:23 PM
24 hours? That's ridiculous. Sounds like a scam to me.

It says that the by-laws state that they don't even have to notify me, but they're doing it as a courtesy. IDK, maybe they're short up for funds.

Kegboy
05-23-2008, 09:26 PM
I heard they were going to start that crap in our neighborhood too.

Wouldn't that be funny if we are neighbors and didn't know it.

Considering I've lived here a year and a half and only know the actual names of one of my neighbors (and first names at that), no, it wouldn't surprise me much. [/recluse]

kester99
05-23-2008, 09:27 PM
It's decks that do it.

No front porches. No sidewalks.

That's why a subdivision is not a neighborhood.

Shade
05-23-2008, 09:31 PM
It says that the by-laws state that they don't even have to notify me, but they're doing it as a courtesy. IDK, maybe they're short up for funds.

Anything for money, eh?

Twes
05-23-2008, 09:49 PM
I'm up on the northeast side of the city. I've got a pretty significant commute every day and it get's to be a grind getting home in daylight to keep the damn yard mowed. We also have an irrigation system so of course this doesn't help. Peak season we're mowing every 4 days it seems.

Honestly I can understand why there may be situations where notices go out, but a homeowners association taking that bold a move would really really **** me off.

2 people working...long commutes trying to make it work to stay in school districts etc. Of course gas prices through the freaking roof. Juggling rain storms, work requirements, daylight, kids...

That's just all we need is one more person pushing us. I keep mine pretty cut but I can appreciate the frustration.

Makes me want to live on an acreage.

DisplacedKnick
05-23-2008, 09:56 PM
I was gonna post something but decided it might not be taken so well.

Just, uh, life is good.

indygeezer
05-23-2008, 10:17 PM
For 18 years I have been forced to live in a house where my lawnmowers, and the attendant gasoline, oil, paint, paint thinners, etc. are stored in an attached garage which also houses my furnace and waterheater...and their requisite pilot lights.

Did I mention the 4 lbs. of black powder I keep in my Hunters den above the garage??

JayRedd
05-23-2008, 10:36 PM
Land of the free...

indygeezer
05-23-2008, 11:35 PM
Land of the free...


Only if you're here illegally.





ducking.........running

Big Smooth
05-24-2008, 12:01 AM
When I worked in foreclosures, I always hated dealing with HOA liens.

SoupIsGood
05-24-2008, 01:37 AM
I've always lived in a middle of a ton of corn. The way most nieghborhoods are so snitchy and prissy has always struck me as ridiculous. If you want to grow your lawn out, grow your damn lawn out, I say.

But then I also understnad other people have different priorities... with ultra-short and -kept grass being one of them. :shrug:

Bball
05-24-2008, 06:03 AM
You'd think a 'reminder' notice to everyone about the rules of the HMA and responsibilities everyone has might've been a nicer first notice/warning....

-Bball

indygeezer
05-24-2008, 06:40 AM
I've never understood the legal thinking that allows these organizations their quasi-governmental power.

idioteque
05-24-2008, 09:18 AM
I've never understood the legal thinking that allows these organizations their quasi-governmental power.

I think it's kind of like high school. You (or your parents) basically sign your rights away when you agree to attend that school or move in to that neighborhood.

I really hate all that crap, though. And because of what I want to do for a living I will probably always live in a city, although I'd love nothing more than to live out in the country and do whatever the hell I want with my home without and neighbors or anything bothering me about it. Part of the American dream is being able to own your own land, the last thing anyone wants to go with that is Bob from accounting leaving snooty letters on your doorstep about mowing your lawn.

DisplacedKnick
05-24-2008, 10:05 AM
I've never understood the legal thinking that allows these organizations their quasi-governmental power.

That's simple - when you agree to accept the covenents when you move into a neighborhood you've entered into a civil contract and agreed to allow the association to enforce that contract. You're breaking no laws by not fulfilling the terms of the contract - the local governing entity won't enforce issues beyond what their ordinances state. However it is a contract which is civily enforceable.

Pretty much like any other private contract you may enter into. If the guy who rents my ground doesn't pay me when the contract says he should, I can't go to the sheriff and get anything done - I have to bring a civil suit against him. The difference is that in this case you've also granted the HA enforcement authority. If I was kegboy and this really pissed me off I'd get with the other folks who received notices and write a letter to the HA about how they've overstepped their bounds and present it at the next meeting.

I'm assuming you know that already.

Wouldn't surprise me if they went a bit overboard in this case because they've heard about people cutting their grass less often because of the high price of gas and want to nip it in the bud. Still seems a bit overzealous.

BTW - lawns are going to seed extremely fast around here because of how cold it is. The grass is stressed and like any plant, it responds to stress by frantically tring to make more little plants.

Kegboy
05-24-2008, 11:47 AM
FYI, here's the email I sent to the board:

Subject: lawn care notices
<O:p</O:p
Too whom it may concern,
<O:p</O:p<O:p</O:p
I wish to take a moment to address the lawn care notices put out on Friday, May 23rd. Just to be clear, I do not wish to quibble with the action. And while the content was harsh, I understand the reasoning behind it. The last thing we want are overgrown lawns giving our community a black eye.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
However, I do wish to address the timing. In the future, I would recommend not putting out 24-hour notices on a day when it is raining. Also, considering that it is a popular vacation weekend, I would hope you do not take action against home owners who may be out of town and will not even see their notice for a couple days.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
Lastly, if you wish to set a higher standard for lawn care, I would recommend starting with the common areas. Of the properties with notices that I observed, a number of them had grass that was no higher than what I have observed in the common area behind my property this spring.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
Thank you for your time,<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
Third B. Kegboy
2 Cool Drive


(Note: Name and address may have been changed to protect someone from ever having to host a forum party.)

heywoode
05-24-2008, 12:18 PM
Oh Kegboy, I sympathize with you. We had opportunity to live in a subdivision like yours, and we chose to buy a house on a platted lot within the city, not in a subdivision or area under a HOA. Working in county government, I have seen it get ugly WAAY too often to ever be willing to live under a set of covenants and restrictions. DK is dead on that the local gov't won't do anything to help (either the HOA enforce their covenants or you avoid them) and the matter would be handled as a civil matter.


I've always lived in a middle of a ton of corn. The way most nieghborhoods are so snitchy and prissy has always struck me as ridiculous......

A great example of why adhere to the same feeling as SIG:

Friends of ours moved into one of the snootier subs in our community. They had to have a 15K gift from mommy & daddy for a down payment to do it, but they got in. They were thrilled at their upward mobility and were looking forward to socializing with some of the movers & shakers of our community on a much more personal level.
They were moving stuff in, having had possession for two days...My friend noticed the old battle-axe next door coming up the driveway to greet them. He put on his best smile, put down his load, and headed out to meet her with a smile. He said hello, and her first words were, "When are you going to mow that awful lawn?" Welcome to the f#*king neighborhood, indeed.
The following week, still their FIRST WEEK in the new digs, there were three packages delivered from UPS and left on their front porch. Both of our friends (husband and wife) work in the courthouse with my wife and I, so we got to witness this first-hand. The neighbor across the street from our friends noticed that the packages had been there for a couple of hours and nobody had gotten those unsightly things indoors, and she had to keep looking at them...(what an inconvenience, I tell you!) The nosy neighbor knew that my friend's father was retired, and knew his cell number. She called him saying she was concerned about the packages being outside so long. (This is not Indy we are talking about; there was very little worry about theft.) My friend's father then called his daughter-in-law at work to tell her about the grave circumstance that was on their front porch. She then called my friend, her husband, and he felt the need to leave for lunch early to go and get those packages indoors so that the neighbor wouldn't be subjected with having to look at them while apparently sitting on her front porch and watching their house.

They were there ONE WEEK and wished they hadn't bought the $170,000 beautiful house that was basically their dream home. Pretty sad.

I will NEVER live under covenants & restrictions or a HOA. I will live under a bridge first. I'm not in any way kidding.

grace
05-24-2008, 02:01 PM
(Note: Name and address may have been changed to protect someone from ever having to host a forum party.)


Oh come on, I'm sure the muscrats would make us some great ice cream. Yum, yum.

SycamoreKen
05-24-2008, 04:32 PM
As i keep telling my wife, white rock makes a great yard. Not only is it convienent for you, but look at all that water you conserve.

Twes
05-24-2008, 10:05 PM
To good neighbors!

:cheers::bananadan

indygeezer
05-25-2008, 07:46 AM
And yet, nah meverm,mind...I consider them para-governmental with a bunch of political wannabe's. Anyone can run for the board but the elections are not monitored...and that is one of my objections. They have power with little oversight. They may change the ordinances with no input from the governed and in my case, each time I brought up my desire for a matching utility barn (architecturally similar to my home) I've been stonewalled.
There are 7 sections to my subdivision...each with it's own set of regulations. Which side of the street you live on can determine whether or not you're allowed a utility barn, a satellite dish, a motorhome or even a place for your boat. Then there is a whole different set for those living "lake front".

and yet, it's a compromise...my wife is suburb and I'm country. (she wins)

It is equidistant between her work, my mother, and her mother.

Twes
05-25-2008, 11:27 AM
To date my desire to not have anything to do with this crap -- meetings or subdivision politcs has far outweighed my desire to be involved and voice desire for changes.

As long as they are doing basic common sense stuff to take care of the communal common sense chores I write checks and we're all happy.

They don't bother me and I don't have to bother them.

travmil
05-25-2008, 07:43 PM
They may change the ordinances with no input from the governed...

The very first president of our HOA was a brilliant guy who of course each subsequent board memeber has hated with the white hot fire of a thousand suns. The reason he was brilliant is that he foresaw the jackassery that was to follow him in HOA leadership. He got all of the things in that make sense, and then instituted a rule that henceforth, ANY change to the covenants required a vote in favor from two thirds of the homeowners in the association. Since barely 10% of the people here even care enough to attend the meetings, this has basically prevented them from being able to pass any asinine rule that they wish. Every, and I mean EVERY association meeting begins with a vote to try to overturn that two thirds requirement.

Los Angeles
05-25-2008, 10:09 PM
I hate this stuff. I will never get a condo because of the condo associations.

RWB
05-26-2008, 10:02 AM
Simple solution. Invite all of us over for a Pacer party. When bad neighbors approach let us your guest know. We will let them know you're disturbing our friend and we know where you live. End of problem.

DisplacedKnick
05-26-2008, 12:09 PM
To good neighbors!

:cheers::bananadan

I saw my neighbor yesterday.

I was mowing pasture out near my section of woods and he was picking up branches in his section of woods.

We waved. That'll do for our contact for the next 3 months.

Good neighbor even though one of his tree branches occasionally falls into my fence and shorts it out.

Putnam
05-26-2008, 12:57 PM
I saw my neighbor yesterday.

We waved. That'll do for our contact for the next 3 months.

Me too. I borrow my neighbor's rototiller; his son gathers walnuts from our trees and sells them to the Amish every Fall. If we happen to catch each other out we'll stand across fence and talk, but it is just as likely we'll not speak for 3 months as that we will.

So, I sympathize with Kegboy and the others. Neighborhood associations sound just awful.

Twes
05-26-2008, 01:19 PM
I'd like to own so much land I never have to see another person if I don't want to.

I'd also like a welded wire fence around it tall enough to keep the free running dogs out. All coyotes in the fence would be subject to eradication of course.

Dogs are a problem on my current lease.

PacerPete
05-26-2008, 01:34 PM
While I have many many complaints against HOAs and agree they are quasi-dictatorships for little caesars, they do perform a benefit for the neighborhood. Whenever a former coworker of mine proudly bragged he didn't live in a neighborhood with an association, I had to remind him of all the times he complained about his neighbor's trash and ugly paint color.

The question is whether or not you can put up with the ashholes who have your best interests at heart. You can't vote 'em out, nobody wants the job. Ours bark, but don't carry a big stick, so usually they're just ignored, but that's unfortunate sometimes whenever people have weeds overgrowing their lawns or paint their house pink.

These HOAs with horrid covenants are becoming more common, so beware. I would never negotiate buying a house without first checking with the HOA and the neighbors. I would also ask to see newsletters. You can learn a lot there.

Unclebuck
05-27-2008, 02:32 PM
Keg, if you didn't live in such an exclusive and obviously upper crust subdivision - maybe you could let your property go. Besides in your subdivision, I'm sure no one mows their own lawn

Bball
05-27-2008, 02:45 PM
I tell you what... when my neighbors start getting snooty and complaining I just put the wheels back on the trailer and move to a new lot! ;)

:rimshot:

-Bball

Twes
05-27-2008, 03:27 PM
http://blog.sixwise.com/photos/images/images/82/600x480.aspx

I keep our place pretty cleaned up.

grace
05-27-2008, 03:29 PM
Keg, if you didn't live in such an exclusive and obviously upper crust subdivision - maybe you could let your property go. Besides in your subdivision, I'm sure no one mows their own lawn

:lolchair::rotflmao::lmao:

Gyron
05-27-2008, 03:42 PM
http://blog.sixwise.com/photos/images/images/82/600x480.aspx

I keep our place pretty cleaned up.


I like the natural wood look your going with there. It has a certain rustic appeal about it.

Careful posting pictures of your place, Geezer will have it out on the market and posted on the internet for sale before you know it.....