Homeowners’ Associations – A good
place to come home to?
VIOLATING WHAT RULES?
The fairy tale of owners disregarding the
Article from the May/June 2007 Edition
Jan Bergemann, President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
living in mandatory associations know the famous words thrown at them by
board members: “The rules are the rules! You were told about the rules
when you bought your home. Now obey by it!”
so! It may interest you that most of the legal fights in associations
(estimated 80%) are not caused by owners violating the original
deed-restrictions. Most legal battles are caused by capricious
interpretations of the rules or changes made to the initial rules –
often without consent of the owners.
and board members alike have to be aware that legal battles don’t
serve anybody but the attorneys. Win or lose – the homeowners always
eager to start law suits – it’s their real income – are only too
happy to supply over-eager board members with “opinions” that
entitle them to change existing rules. And that’s where owners get
upset – rightfully so!
the ever-fashionable arguments about the color charts. The idea behind
rules is not that it gives the wife of the newly elected president the
right to change the “approved” colors -- just because she doesn’t
have the same taste as the wife of the former president.
the owner, when I buy a home that is painted pink in an association –
I buy it because I like it painted pink! And by buying the home and
signing off on the existing deed-restrictions gives me the right to own
a pink home in this association. I have the right to repaint the house
in the original color. Period! There shouldn’t even be a debate over
this – much less nasty letters and a law suit. But it happens all the
time -- often in your own community!
moving into HOAs have to be aware that there are deed-restrictions they
have to obey by. That’s why there is the so-called disclosure law –
often overlooked! Don’t forget, the whole system of homeowners’
associations is based on contract law. Buying a home in a community
binds you to this contract. But a contract means as well that it can’t
be changed at random, just because some board members feel that way –
and many neighbors remain silent, hoping they will not be the target of
board harassment in the near future!
gets people really upset are power-hungry neighbors, who serve on the
board trying to push their personal agendas. And we really see a lot of
this! If you go through court files and arbitration records you will see
that most of the legal arguments are caused by changed rules, or
interpretations of these rules.
be owners should change the tune and ask board members, who are dead-set
to change certain rules, to move if the don’t like the rules? May be
that would stop some litigation hungry board members?
we all should never forget: We are all homeowners and pay the price if
boards don’t like the existing rules – or make up their own! And all
we want is a nice, peaceful home in a neighborly community – not a
place riddled by litigation!
remember: Litigation sure doesn’t improve your property values!
ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL!
WELL! ... I FINALLY BOUGHT: "MY DREAM HOME”
TO ENJOY RETIREMENT LIFE
MADE NEW FRIENDS AND BUDDYS
OF PARTY'S FOR MY WIFE
SEEMED THAT LIFE WAS PERFECT
MY NEIGHBORS FELT THE SAME
ALONG CAME: "DEATH BY CCR'S"
OVER ... I'M FAIR GAME
PETTY RULES AND REGULATIONS...
ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU CRY
FULL OF WOES ... NO PINK FLAMINGOS
TELL US WHY?
MANAGERS AND LAWYERS
CLOSE BUT THEY WON'T TELL
OUR DREAM HOME SHOULD REMIND US
BOUGHT A ONE WAY TICKET TO BELL
... THERE'S LOTS OF OPEN MEETINGS
TO "JUSTICE FOR H. O." (Home Owners)
ARROGANT BOARD MEMBERS SAY WHAT
WANT YOU TO KNOW
C.A.l. AND U.L.I. WILL
YOU LOSE IT ALL
I WOULDN'T SELL: "THAT DREAM HOME YET
WRITING'S ON THE WALL
… WE'RE NOT AFRAID OR STUPID
YOUR THREATS MEAN NOTHING HERE
MARCHES ON..... SOON YOU'LL BE GONE
PUT YOUR RULES AND CCR'S
WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE
ENJOY THOSE PRECIOUS "GOLDEN YEARS"
MESSING 'ROUND WITH MINE
(REPEAT FINAL CHORUS)