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Posted: 6/30/2003 4:55:19 PM EDT
I'm shopping around for a new house, and one thing I DON'T want is a homeowners association. I've eliminated a lot of houses from consideration because of this. So now I find a very nice house with a HA, but there's an odd story about it. This is what was relayed to me by a friend who is a resident of the same subdivision. I may not be using the correct terminology, I'm not a real estate guru. Apparently, when the plot for the development was filed with the city, the attorney failed to file the HA paperwork with it. This wasn't noticed until about 8 years after the development was built. The paperwork was then filed at that time. She says that the HA is technically not legally valid, and that if you were to violate some term of the covenant, the association would not be able to enforce it in court. Does that sound possible? I do know that the HA fees are voluntary, so that leads me to believe that what she says might be true. Anyone know enough about this stuff to give me some insight?
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:06:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:07:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:14:28 PM EDT
[b]GovtThug[/b]: Good luck on this one. Even though the HA may not be able to enforce the covenant in court, there are plenty of things they can do to get under your skin. One of my top clients is currently president of his HA, and the powers that the HA has over the members is quite interesting. For example, in his HA, part of the dues goes to trash removal, i.e. the homeowners do not contract for that separately. When a member does not pay, trash service is the first thing that gets dropped. After that, pool privileges are suspended (not a real threat in December, but you get the idea), certain maintenance services are withheld, but most devastating of all, the non-payer is listed as delinquent in the HA newsletter! OK, some of this may sound like chickenshit, and it is, but it all adds up to a pain in the ass. I just bought a place in May, and I was adamant to our agent that I would not live in a development that had an HA. What you end up with are a bunch of Nervous Nelly old maids that have nothing better to do all day than to rat out even the tiniest infraction of the "rules." There are some people that seek out this type of regimented living, but I'm not one of them. I'll mow the grass when I'm damn good and ready, not when the neighborhood schedule says to.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:14:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:29:03 PM EDT
Some good advice so far. The dues are $50 a year, and I would probably pay that, as it goes for maintenance and snow removal and such. There's no pool. The fee isn't the issue. I just don't want some busybody poking their nose into what color my kid's playhouse is, or if my inlaws park their trailer in my driveway a couple weekends a year. I definitely don't want to be subject to someone else's foolish restrictions, but if the covenant doesn't have any real teeth, then why should I care about it?
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