Can I Cite My Homeowners Association for Violations of the Deed Restrictions? - HOA IN VIOLATION!!!

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Real Estate Agent with Bayou Properties Realty

Can I Cite My Homeowners Association for Violations of the Deed Restrictions?

Every week, a representative from my homeowners’ association drives through my neighborhood in an unmarked car noting violations of the neighborhood deed restrictions both large and small. Forget to mow your yard, put up a swing set without asking, leave a car parked for too long and you can expect to get a less than friendly letter telling you to fix it or face liens and lawyers. While residents have agreed to the restrictions and should abide by them, I have seen many neighborhoods where the association itself is not abiding by the rules that are equally applicable to common areas. For example, I was showing homes in a nice neighborhood the other day, but the common areas were totally overgrown with clover. If a resident had a yard that looked like the common area, he would definitely receive a citation for it.

When common areas are not held to the same high standards as the homes in a neighborhood, home values can decline.

This raises the question of what power homeowners have over the association in enforcing a neighborhood’s deed restrictions. I suppose this is different by neighborhood, but in general I think the answer is “very little.” Homeowners obviously can’t file a lien or seek a judgment, and it is pretty pointless to wait until the annual meeting to have your voice drowned out by neighborhood busybodies. I guess my best advice is to send your share of letters to the association and hope they address the problem.

If anyone else has any ideas or has dealt with this problem in the past, I would love to hear about it!!

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Rainmaker
1,078,011
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

In such instances, the owner should write to each board member, provide specific direction on how to correct and then sue EACH director individually and let the HOA insurance get involved....that is the BEST way to get them educated fairly quickly - when they are paying for it.  Many times, these duties/board offices fall to people with time and little or no education in the process and many rarely have a proper set of HOA documents.

I no longer manage rental property in self-managed HOA properties because of the lack of over-sight and the tendancy of the board members to be "power hungry"...at least with a professional HOA management firm, there is someone with knowledge to temper situations before they get out of hand.

February 20, 2009 02:43 PM #1
Rainmaker
184,989
League City, TX - Worrell Team, REALTORS, GRI, CNE
Bayou Properties Realty - League City, TX

Thanks for the comments, Wallace...  You make good points for how to handle this.  Many people don't take this seriously.  However, I don't normally like to promote litigious approaches. I wish there was another way, but sometimes extreme actions are necessary I guess.  Very good advice to lower the likelihood of having to deal with these situations by targeting neighborhoods with Professional Management Firms!  Generally making efforts to avoid nightmare situations is the key to happiness.

February 20, 2009 08:34 PM #2
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Rainmaker
184,989

League City, TX - Worrell Team, REALTORS, GRI, CNE

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