HOA Nightmares

HOA Nightmares2022-12-16T16:52:47+00:00

HOA Nightmares

June 28, 2022: Maryland Homeowner fined $40,000 for a few inches of fence takes HOA to court2023-07-19T20:58:08+00:00

In 2017, Betty Hooker was approved for putting up a fence, but in March 2018, the HOA president said her fence encroached on communities’ communal areas, which was a wooded area, eight inches away from the fence. She received a letter from the HOA stating that they were going to take legal action if the fence isn’t moved. Betty Hooker received an estimate and went back and forth with the HOA on who was going to pay for it. The HOA filed a complaint in Circuit Court in March 2019, saying the fence was still encroaching and requesting a fine of $25.00 per day, dating back to November 2018, in addition to attorney fees and costs. Betty represented herself and lost, resulting in the judge ordering the Hookers to pay $22,000 in fines and $17,000 in attorney fees. Hooker requested an appeal while a sheriff was appointed to seize the home. During the appeal trial, it was made clear that the HOA ignored the due process and didn’t properly notify the Hookers of the inch of encroachment, resulting in the case being reversed and the Hookers were awarded costs.

Mar. 17,2022: HOA Forces over 50 Home Foreclosures2022-10-12T20:45:30+00:00

After 17 years of living in her Green Valley Ranch home, Monica Vella was kicked out of her home. She was at home when she got a knock at the door of the new homeowner. Monica said she paid off her house mortgage on time for two decades, but her mortgage company was not behind the foreclosure. The HOA was making numerous fines that totaled up to $8,000 and led up to the foreclosure. At least 50 other homeowners had their homes foreclosed due to the same reason of liens.

Feb 11,2022: HOA Tries Separation Fees2022-10-12T20:45:40+00:00

A woman was selling her home and successfully sold the home. Her HOA held a meeting with her telling her she will receive a $500 fee to completely separate her home from the neighborhood. The HOA also claimed that the fine was added due to her parking her trailer in front of her house, which happened 2 months prior without a fine given at the appropriate time frame listed in the community CC&R.

July 20,2021: HOA Harassment2022-10-12T20:45:52+00:00

Raelene and Steve Shifano moved into a condo and within a week of living there, they received a fine of $250 for the plumbing hoses not being changed inside of the home. The couple explained to the property management that there was an inspection of their home a week prior, and the hoses were fine, and questioned how the board knew what was inside their condo and when it was changed. A week later, the couple received a warning about unbroken down boxes in their garbage bin. The couple spoke to the property management and had the warning and the fine disputed. The couple then wanted to make their porch into a garden and contacted the Board seeking approval to dig up the dirt to make room. The Board accepted their request and began digging up their backyard. Two days later, the president of the Board showed up in their backyard yelling about how they did not have permission to proceed. The couple explained that they sent the Board an email and were granted permission, then told the president to check their email. She called 10 minutes after the incident and demanded they stop digging.

May 25, 2021: HOA Religious Discrimination2022-10-12T20:46:06+00:00

The family of Lehi received a fine due to their decorations for Ramadan. The family has stated that they should be able to celebrate and decorate their homes for their religious holiday. The family went on vacation and when they returned, they saw that they had received a warning for putting out unapproved decorations and gave them a $25 fine. The family was surprised as the family puts out more extravagant decorations for Christmas and has not received any fines or warnings. The family had a meeting with the HOA about the Religious Discrimination they were facing and questioned the legality of the fine. The HOA denied withdrawing the fine and ordered them to pay it off.

Oct. 14, 2020: HOA Censoring Freedom of Speech2022-10-12T20:46:18+00:00

Melanie Boyle hung up a hand-painted Black Lives Matter sign in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in July during most of the protests. Two months later, Boyle received a violation notice for her sign to remove it. Boyle was frustrated by this due to her six neighbors surrounding her having political flags and signs hung up around her. Her community did not have a problem with her sign as it is her freedom of speech. The HOA responded with the prohibition of all political signs in the neighborhood. Boyle fought back the notice as her neighbors still had their signs and was not intended to take theirs down.

Feb. 4, 2020: Car Booted in her Own Driveway2022-10-12T20:46:52+00:00

Cristina Trabada is a recent college grad and moved back in with her parents. She had visitor visitation for 14 days and her registration expired before going on vacation with her family. Trabada parked her car in her family’s driveway thinking her car would be okay. While on vacation she received endless calls from her neighbors telling her that her car had two boots on her wheels, and a bright orange sign with a $65 fine. It took days of emailing, calling, with the HOA to get her boots removed. A lot of residents have had to get boots removed from their cars. The HOA was overreaching for parking violations when there weren’t any rules in the communities CC&R.

Jan. 15, 2020: HOA Forcing Teen Out of Home2022-10-12T20:47:16+00:00

HOA forcing 15-year-old teen out of home after both of his parents passed away 2 weeks apart from each other. The HOA gave him a time crunch to move out of the 55+ living community. The teens grandparents took him in and explained how quickly they were pushing their grandson out of the house after he was orphaned.

Jan. 21, 2020: HOA Threatens to Fine Residents over Social Media Posts2022-10-12T20:47:06+00:00

Ashley Nordesnol is an admin for a private facebook group named Residents at VVL. The page has normal events posted on their community page from lost dogs to different event hosting, to election information. During the communities most recent Board elections, the community page began discussing the current running’s and information about what they propose. The Facebook page had several heated arguments over the potential officers and the Board officially announced the prohibition of social media posts about the running officers. The Board sent a letter to Ashley’s home, and 11 others, threatening her with $250 fine daily, as well as taking away her access to community amenities, if she does not maintain the negative comments about the Board members.

Jan. 3, 2020: HOA Discriminates Against Psychological Disability2022-10-12T20:47:34+00:00

Jason Neilson, who owns one of the 27 units in Creekside Condominiums, and his partner Kirsten Swick brought home a service dog on Dec. 14, 2016. Swick has depression and anxiety that are substantial impairments. In a letter required by the homeowner’s association board of managers, a licensed psychologist attested that Swick’s “psychiatric disability severely limits her ability to tolerate loneliness.” Creekside allowed one cat per unit as well as service animals, provided there was “reliable documentation of a disability and their disability related need for a service animal.” The Board rejected the request for the dog and fined Neilson and Swick $3,650 for having the animal. The Board was not satisfied with the documentation Neilson and Swick submitted. Neilson and Swick complied with the Board and did not allow the service animal at Creekside, the Board continued to levy fines against Neilson and Swick. After an attorney became involved, the Board acquiesce. Months later the Board emailed all homeowners with a $500 legal fee and blamed Neilson and Swick for the fee.

July 25, 2019: Lauderhill Overstepping its Boundaries2022-10-12T20:47:48+00:00

Lloyd Havel lives in the Hills of Inverrary, a private community. The HOA called Havel telling him his car is in disrepair and the tags are expired. Havel told the HOA that it was not in disrepair and that he drives it. Havel bought a new car and brought his old car outside and covered it in a tarp, until he decided what to do with it. Havel asked the HOA how they knew his tags were expired, and their response was that they noticed the tire was flat, then uncovered the tarp and searched his car. Havel filed a police report and began talking to his neighbors and they shared similar stories. The HOA stated that homeowners’ driveways are a common element, and that the association has access and homeowners have no privacy from the association.

Oct. 11, 2018: HOA Controls Indoor Home Decor2022-10-12T20:47:59+00:00

66-year-old Helene Feinerman is in a legal battle with the exclusive River Ranch Homeowners Association on Tucson’s far east side. The problem began last spring when Feinerman put up two, three-inch lighted plastic dragonflies in her front yard. The HOA, she says, told her she would have to ask permission to put them in the front yard. She has them in her backyard also. She asked by email, but it was rejected. She was told she’s having to ask by writing a letter. She refused since email requests had been accepted in the past and she says she saw the change in rules targeting her. In a letter written by her attorney, he noticed other people have décor in their front lawns. After thirty days, Feinerman put back up the fireflies, and a weed sign, saying “Happy 4/20” inside her house window as a tribute to her mothers passing date, April 20, and as she is a medicinal marijuana user for her debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis. The HOA said both the sign and the dragonflies needed to come down. The neighborhood became concerned as the HOA was requesting something inside her home to be taken down as they were trying to control her internal home décor. As a protest, Feinerman decided to order additional marijuana signs to put up, with each complaint from the HOA.

Aug. 27, 2018: Age and Race HOA Discrimination2022-10-12T20:48:12+00:00

Ward Tyczka was renting his Phoenix condo to a family with two children when the property manager began raising concerns. The family eventually moved out when their lease was up, but the property manager informed him this spring that Sunrise Village Condominiums Association had changed its rules to prohibit kids under age 16. Tyczka filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court against the association and its manager, saying the new rule discriminated against tenants based on age and tied his hands in legally renting or selling the condo. The lawsuit also cites emails in which the property manager highlights that the family renting his condo is black. The lawsuit says the condo association and Slusher went too far when bringing age and race into the equation. “I’m not going to get pushed around,” Tyczka said. “A lot of people I talk to think HOAs can do that, that this was the norm and that you can do this to people. No, you can’t.” His attorney notes the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race and against families with children. Tyczka seeks $300,000 in damages. Slusher responded to the lawsuit, denying many of the allegations say the rule prohibiting children no longer exists. “There is no rule or regulation or CCR currently denying anyone the right to reside in the SVCA based upon age.”

May 23, 2018: Valley Homeowner fight HOA and Actually wins2022-10-12T20:48:23+00:00

Chad Locridice received a letter from HOA attorneys discussing possible foreclosure, liens, and overall threatening language over a missing HOA payment. He had a serious brain injury at the time and that makeup payments were sent back, and he was ignored. He visited the office and left messages, but his payments were rejected, and the bill grew. The HOA violated their own Bylaws by sending his payment to collections months before the set date in the Bylaw. Locridice defended himself in court and won.

April 5, 2018: HOA Demands Pool Safety Fence be Removed2022-10-12T20:48:34+00:00

A family in Montgomery County is at a standstill with their neighborhood homeowner’s association. The Bender’s Landing HOA Board requested she needed to remove the safety fence around her swimming pool. The fence was installed the same year the home and pool were built in 2014. Their homeowner’s insurance company told Durgaperad that they are required to have a fence around their pool. But in 2016, the HOA told the family to take it down, claiming the fence is “not compliant with association guidelines.” “It provides safety for the entire community and our family.” Durgapersad exclaimed. She lives on a corner lot in the subdivision with no perimeter fence around her big yard. Without the safety gate around her pool, anyone could wander into her yard and fall in. “The pool fence is not an eyesore. It blends into the home. It matches the home, and there’s probably fifty fences on this same type installed in this neighborhood,” Dyrgapersad explained. By email, Benders Landing HOA president Bruce Johnson contends that corner lots like Dyrgapersad’s can only have a non-privacy fence constructed of iron no more than 4 feet tall. “a privacy fence goes around the perimeter of your yard. A pool fence is totally different,” argued attorney David Kahne. Kahne pointed out that the subdivision’s deed restrictions make no mention at all of pool fences.

Feb. 12, 2018: Family Says HOA Drove Them Out2022-10-12T20:48:48+00:00

Anonymous neighbors complained about how noisy the children were. The family moved there because there was a park and nice schools in the community. Some neighbors and HOA were warned that their children were not allowed to play in the common areas of the property. The HOA warned that their children were interfering with the quiet atmosphere of the community and if they continued, they would receive fines. The family hosted a watch party for their children and their friends watching the Women’s World Cup, when their desired team scored. The children ran outside celebrating and came back in two minutes, frightful due to their neighbor yelling obscenities at them. The next day, the family received a letter from the HOA reiterating that their children are not allowed to be loud in common areas. The family tried to take it to the Board but was ignored. The family moved out and issued a lawsuit.

Feb. 7, 2018: HOA Member Arrested for Theft2022-10-12T20:48:59+00:00

Karen Whiting, who owns community management association Method Real Estate, went to prison in mid-January for stealing more than $300,000 from four Valley HOAs she managed. The water and electricity were almost turned off in Gilbert Fincher Creek community Whiting was hired to manage because she hadn’t paid the bills, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents. Whiting pleases guilty to theft and fraud for taking almost $21,000 from that HOA, $177,000 from Gilbert’s Greenfield Lakes HOA, $117,000 from Phoenix’s Paradise Park HOA and $2,445 from Phoenix’s Gold Key Racquet Club. Board members from those HOAs testified about how the thefts hurt their communities, including home sales falling through and property-tax liens. When HOA members began to suspect wrongdoing, there was no regulatory agency for them to turn to for help. Instead, members themselves researched and documented the thefts and then notified Gilberts police.

Jan. 12, 2018: California HOA Forces Residents to Keep Garage Opened2022-10-12T20:49:12+00:00

Residents in a development near Sacramento are upset because HOA is forcing homeowners to keep their garage door open Mon-Fri from 8am-4pm. A resident was housing someone in their garage, which is against the communities CC&Rs. So the HOA decided to crack down on this issue, they’d force the residents to have their garages open, if they don’t comply, then they will face a $200 fine. After the residents explained their disdain with the new policy with reasonable worry about the possibility of robberies, the HOA sent a letter to the residents; “The new garage door policy has been put on hold by the bOard of Directors effective immediately. You may keep your garage doors down until further notice. The Board of Directors will be working with the Member (homeowners) to hopefully come up with a more ‘reasonable’ policy.

Nov. 13, 2017: Condo Homeowner Fights HOA and Wins2022-10-12T20:49:24+00:00

The bill arrived unexpectedly by email in May. It was from her Landmark Towers condominium homeowner’s association. The midtown Phoenix tower’s air-conditioning needed a major fix, and her share of the pay was $18,000. Francine Hardaway said she ‘freaked out’. “I was horrified and frightened,” said Hardaway, founder of Phoenix-based Stealth mode Partners. “When I bought my condo in 2011, it was at the height of the recession. I bought it for cash thinking that if everything went to hell in a handbasket, I could live there. “She rents out the condo in the iconic 17-story tower and doesn’t own another home. She banded together with a handful of other Landmark condo owners angry and confused about the unexpected $5 million charge. They all thought fixes to the high rise’s air conditioning system had already been paid for and were almost done, using about $6 million received in a construction-defect lawsuit settlement in 2013. The HOA assessment for a new HVAC system would cost each of them at least $15,000 per condo. Many other owners in the 236-condo high-rise said the same thing as Hardaway: They could not afford the assessment, and it could cost them their home. The group immediately started talking to other Landmark condo owners, sending out emails to their neighbors and going door to door. They only had a few weeks until the assessment when to a vote.

May 11, 2015: HOA Demands Caregiver to Paint House2022-10-12T20:49:38+00:00

Senior citizen couple, Joanne Rodriguez, points out the chipped and faded paint job on her home. The HOA sent Joanne a letter demanding her to paint her home. Joanne explained how she can’t afford to get the house painted, due to being the sole caregiver of her husband, Eddie, who has dementia and recently broke his hip. Eddie has faced multiple health challenges on top of that. Her husband was abused in a nursing home, and she refuses to admit him into another. Social security can not cover the bills and the HOA said they would give her time. She explained that it could be up to a year that she would be able to paint her home. People of her community church decided to paint her house for her, free of charge.

April 2013: HOA Demands Entrance Structure Be Removed2023-07-19T21:02:40+00:00

A homeowner received a letter in the mail from the HOA, to redo the front entrance of their home that has been there since before the move. They had received HOA letters before, to trim the palm trees, nip some weeds, fix a board on the gate, and even a new paint job on the home. The homeowner compiled each time but is growing frustrated with the recent demanded change of the house entrance structure that was built into the home. The letter stated “We noted the overhang on the entrance way to your house was not submitted for ABM approval and is in disrepair. Please remove the overhang in a workman-like manner. ABM will perform a follow-up inspection of the property… in compliance by 06/22/2013.

June 22, 2011: HOA Regulates U.S. Veteran American Flag2022-10-12T20:50:01+00:00

A 77-year-old Army veteran in Macedonia, Ohio, is fighting for the right to raise the American flag in his front yard. Fred Quigley, a retired Army chaplain and minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, is being threatened with legal action because his flag violates his HOA’s rules on flagpoles. As an alternative, the HOA offered to place the flag at the entrance of the development. Quigley refused. “It’s the principal,” Quigley told AOL Real Estate during a phone interview. “It’s about patriotism, and the soldiers I’ve had to hold as they were dying. It’s just important to me to be bold with the flag.” Quigley’s daughter fought with the HOA about how the flagpole is in regulation according to their rules, and the community could not understand how the HOA would deny a veteran his right to hoist the American Flag. Members of the local American Legion protested alongside Quigley as they saluted their flag.

2011, Fowl Play2022-10-12T20:50:09+00:00

When Kathy Fry moved to the Valley from the East Coast to guide her family’s small business in 2011, she and her husband fell in love with a small agricultural community in Tempe. The Frys were good citizens and brushed up on Tempe building codes. They studied the covenants and took walks around the neighborhood to get a feel for what was acceptable and in-character before undertaking their first curb-appeal projects. The Frys broke ground on their dream project, a remodeled backyard with a new elegant chicken coop. The HOA stated if the structure was no taller than the back wall, there wasn’t necessary permission. As the project moved along, Kathy changed plans. She wanted to increase the height of the coop to allow her to clean it more easily and minimize odors. She would also raise the back wall to shelter the coop from the view of those using the alley/horse path. She submitted her plans to the HOA and received a swift denial. Kathy found that odd, considering that her previous front yard requests took an agonizing 30 days or more to get approved by the Board. As the conflict wore on, she received swift fines, swift cease-and-desist letter and swift orders to tear it down. Fry sent the HOA excerpts from the city code and pictures of other backyard structures in the neighborhood, and repeatedly requested to meet with the HOA and discuss the situation. Frustrated with the HOA, and after months of delays and many attempts to meet with the board or committee, Fry decided to complete the coop. She had idle contractors, and chickens on the way. Fry hired an attorney and they tried everything short of filing suit, but after 7 months they were left with no choice. The Frys title had also become clouded because of the HOA assessments and notices. After their suit was filed, a representative of the HOA finally visited Fry’s backyard, took some measurements and determined the coop complied.

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