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Author Topic: HOA Rule changes  (Read 1875 times)
AH6FC
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Posts: 110




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« on: January 27, 2005, 06:10:52 AM »

Greetings to all of you out there battling the restrictions that we "voluntarily" signed when we bought property with restrictive CC&R's.  I have a general question, though perhaps not directly related to "antenna restrictions," it certainly could impact antennas.

At what point are the frequent "rule changes," made by HOA boards, subject to (realistic) challenge?  We've received annual "notices" stating that "these are now the rules we're going to enforce, regardless of what was allowed before."  Do prior inconsistent applications of the rules/CC&R's make any practical difference if one is to challenge a HOA board?  One can always hire an attorney and spend lots of $$, but is it ever really worth it?

I understand this is a rather general question and I apologize if it is not appropriate in this forum.  Though I'm not optimistic, perhaps HOA boards inconsistent application of rules could provide an opening for changes...to at least allow reasonable antennas?

Thanks

73's & Aloha,
Bill
AH6FC
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20633




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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2005, 08:50:38 AM »

I sure can't answer your question, but would recommend a consultation with a local attorney who specializes in this, if you can find one.

It is unfortunate that HOAs seem to frequently overstep their bounds and authority, and the HOA managements are usually unpaid volunteers who just became experts last Thursday at the last board meeting...

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W0MT
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Posts: 173




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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2005, 09:54:40 AM »

I agree that you need a local attorney to answer your question. There are simply too many unknowns to be able to answer this.

Robert, W0MT
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N0IU
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Posts: 1350


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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2005, 09:58:25 AM »

I my subdivision, there are only 15 homes and the CC&Rs clearly state that all changes or amendments must be approved by a majority of the homeowners. You might want to check and see if such a clause exists in yours.

NØIU
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20633




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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2005, 10:23:04 AM »

I owned a CC&R property once, back in '89.  It was the only property I've ever owned that didn't really appreciate in value.

But anyway, while I owned it, I reviewed the CC&Rs in great detail, attended HOA meetings and so forth.  One thing of interest to me was that "the majority of the homeowners" was often just a few people (the association had 70 member homeowners) because simply notifying the owners that a vote would occur at the next meeting, and advising when and where that meeting would be, served as sufficient notice.  If people didn't show up, too bad -- their "vote" wouldn't count, because they weren't there to cast a vote.  There were no mail ballots for anything.

So, if five people attended the meeting, and three voted for something, the simple majority carried.

Be careful.

WB2WIK/6
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KG4GXI
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2005, 11:00:23 AM »

If they were not enforcing rules and many homeowners have installed stuff that is not allowed, there could be an issue in enforcing those. Stuff like yard upkeep is easy to crank up the heat, but things like basketball goals and antennas are a different critter.
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3734




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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2005, 05:11:10 PM »

Our HOA can only vote if there is sufficient members or their proxy at the meetings.  I think it is 3/4 of the membership.

They mail out proxy cards so your vote counts if you can't make the meetings.

They approve just about all improvements unless you want to paint your house pink or some loud color.


73 james
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6055




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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2005, 02:09:11 PM »

I had been informed (when I was looking at a house) that unless the deed that specifies the restrictions contains the language 'subject to change by the HOA' you are bound to follow only the ones specified at the time you bought the house.  Of course, what is legal in one state may not be in another--and also, most paperwork does contain that language.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20633




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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2005, 10:39:10 AM »

K1CJS, I wouldn't believe anything anyone told me about CC&Rs and the HOA's ability or inability to change rules.  I'd want the statement in writing, signed by the president or chairman of the HOA, and stating the rules interpretation as binding and perpetual in the event of a change in board members and officers.   And I'd probably want that notarized to authenticate the signature.

Even then, it might be subject to change, but I'd feel a little bit better about getting it in writing, and in this fashion.

Better still would be to not look at any covenant restricted properties, as the news never gets better with age.

WB2WIK/6
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W4TME
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Posts: 299




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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2005, 09:16:11 AM »

My situation is even worse.  My neighborhood is still under development.  Until homeowners have purchased 76% of the lots, the developers have 100% control of the HOA.  The neighborhood has enough property for 700-800 homes and currently only about 400 homes have been built in the past 10 years, so we have about 8 years to go until the HOA is under the control of the actual home owners.

If there is a variance in the way the CC&Rs are enforced, the developers just amend the CC&Rs for that one lot.  People who have tried to fight the HOA with lawyers are essentially stonewalled when the BoD changes the HOA language to be more advantageous for the HOA.  This is a no win situation for the homeowners for at least the next 6-8 years.

I did try to get specific clauses taken out of the CC&R I signed, but since this area was (and is) a seller's market, they told me that if I didn't sign as is, then they would void my contract and sell the house to someone else.  It truly is a no win situation.  I hope we do get federal relief for this problem soon.

-Tim
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WB2IVU
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2005, 09:55:43 AM »

I live in a manufactured home (a/k/a trailer park for some of you), community in Bloomfield New York. The management company has published and distributed to each Homeowner a set of Community Rules and Regulations that is a whopping 38, double sided pages long, covering everything from obtaining homeowners insurance that names M****n  Management as an additional insured to the type of flowers you can plant to the time of night your child who is under the age of 15, must be inside.  

Any of you who are living in a community with CC&R’s, the first thing I’d do is check to see if there is a Fair Housing Enforcement project in your area. If so, make an appointment and have them review the CC&R’s with you. You might be surprised to learn as I did, my Landlord violated several of the Fair Housing laws, a few of the New York State Executive Laws and not to mention a couple of the HUD laws. Lawsuits based on violations of civil rights will be costly for a HOA to defend, just as my Landlord is finding out. Use that knowledge to defend your individual rights (and antenna's), even if you signed a document agreeing to the CC&R’s. A violation of the Human Rights Laws is a violation of the law regardless to the fact you may have agreed to them.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20633




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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2005, 10:06:15 AM »

W4TME, you situation sounds strained.  When I looked to see where you were, I see you're in a suburb of Raleigh and wondered why you landed in a CC&R development, when I know of so many nice places to live in your area that are completely covenant-free (I just looked this past summer, when visiting the area for a couple of weeks).

I think this just reinforces my conclusion about how to avoid CC&R neighborhoods: Don't ever look in any, to begin with.  If you never look at a single home for sale having restrictive covenants, then everything you do look at won't have any.

WB2WIK/6
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6055




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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2005, 12:43:13 PM »

WB2WIK,  That information was gotten from an attorney I had asked to look over the papers from the former owner.  BTW, I ended up not buying the house because of language contained in the sales agreement that restricted just about anything that could be done in the neighborhood.  The sad part about it was the owner of the property had several people back away from buying because of those restrictions.
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WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20633




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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2005, 02:37:38 PM »

K1CJS, I hear you!  But I don't think that's a "sad" thing at all -- it's a very happy and good thing, far as I'm concerned.  That people backed out of real estate deals due to restrictive covenants is an excellent way to indicate that people are sick of them and would rather buy other properties, instead of ones having CC&Rs.

Now, if we could only convince *everyone* to think that way, in exactly one year, every single CC&R in America would vanish due to lack of any market for the properties.  In fact, it probably wouldn't even take a year.

WB2WIK/6
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KF7CG
Member

Posts: 863




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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2005, 03:34:18 PM »

One other goup that has to be convinced on HOAs and CC&R restrictions are the local zoning boards. Believe it or not Zoning Boards often use CC&R and HOA rules to enforce laws that they can not but want to. Then they use HOA maintenance as a cost avoidance tactic.

A city might not be able to banovernight parking in the driveway, but a HOA can. Then there is the antena thing and a myriad of other regulations that CC&R or HOA power can accomplish but a town government cn't.
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