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"Got a letter from the Neighborhood Nazis (HOA)" Topic

39 Posts

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1,799 hits since 1 Mar 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 3:44 p.m. PST

It seems that the five foot expanse of old wooden fence on the side of my house— the expanse which is set back about 70ft from the road and sidewalk, in the 10ft or so clearance between my neighbor's house and mine, and largely obscured from view by a large, evergreen American Holly tree (whose lowest branches are less than half a yard above ground surface, if that) that borders the corner of my house (also five feet wide) and the trunk of a maple tree which sits in front of that— yes, that enormous expanse is "dirty" and needs to be cleaned so as to maintain property values for the neighborhood.
It is, by the way, pretty much just an old fence, greyed with age— like 90% of all the equally old fences in the neighborhood— and in good repair. It is also completely invisible while driving past (unless one is driving a riding lawnmower set on the lowest gear, and decides to stop and peer around the two trees). You can, I suppose, stop directly on the sidewalk at the point of the property line between the two houses, squint through the branches and see the fence, if you happen to be the sort who likes to squint at fences.

As it is, it's hard to call the thing "dirty." There's a light tone streaking part of it that *might* be some sort of algea growth within the wood; it's certainly not directly on the surface. It might just be the result of uneven weathering. So whoever walked onto my property to look at the thing didn't really take a close look.

I know this is not the result of a neighbor's complaint— my next door neighbor refers to the HOA "inspectors" as "the Fieldstone Cops," and rates them about as significantly as I do. Nor would the neighbors across the way complain either (not that you can even see the fence from their property).


Ah, well, I will clean the thing. Eventually.
Till then, the Neighborhood Nazis will just have to untwist their undies whenever they walk by and get over it.

CPT Jake Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 4:32 p.m. PST

Piant it you slacker.

Maybe a flourescent pink?

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 4:39 p.m. PST

Paint it as an American flag then call your local Fox TV station. grin

Space Monkey Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 4:40 p.m. PST

If you willingly move into a neighborhood with an HOA you've got only yourself to blame.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Mar 2012 4:53 p.m. PST

Have you considered a mural?

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 4:58 p.m. PST


pmwalt01 Mar 2012 5:07 p.m. PST

HOA = Home Owners Association. An organization in a sub-division responsible for ensuring community by laws are abided by, common areas are kept up, etc., Normally they collect annual dues to perform all those tasks, costs vary.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 5:22 p.m. PST

Break out the 20/0 brushes…

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 5:58 p.m. PST

its an eyesore. burn it down!

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 6:23 p.m. PST

Build a moat, rampart and stockade. You could probably get the FEDS to fund it.

galvinm Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 6:35 p.m. PST

Darn HOA's.

I would never live in an area, conquered by the HOA fascists.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 7:13 p.m. PST

We formally dissolved ours. Been much nicer here since.

nazrat01 Mar 2012 8:27 p.m. PST

"If you willingly move into a neighborhood with an HOA you've got only yourself to blame."

Hear, hear!

Skeptic01 Mar 2012 8:28 p.m. PST

LOL! It doesn't sound like a suitable neighbourhood for a Japanese garden, then…

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 8:39 p.m. PST

How do you clean a unpainted wooden fence?

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 10:29 p.m. PST

What happens if you do nothing?

Whatisitgood4atwork Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 11:19 p.m. PST

<How do you clean a unpainted wooden fence?>

Water-blasting always works for me. I water-blasted, then stained a fence that had been bare wood for a decade or so a while ago and that worked fine.

SMPress Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 6:12 a.m. PST

"What happens if you do nothing?"

Indeed, everythign around my area has an HOA. Mine have sent me a letter demanding that I remove my trailer fromt he side of my house. I have received same letter every January for the last 5 or 6 years. So far, they have done nothign about it. I still have the original covenance that I signed when I moved in saying that trailers need to be parked behind the front of the house. They have since changed it, I found out by downloading the current version from their web site, to trailers needing to be parked behind the back of the house. I never signed this, and wont abide by it. They can probably put a lein on the house until I fix it, which is just moving the trailer, so what do I care?

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 6:53 a.m. PST

If you willingly move into a neighborhood you've got only yourself to blame.

Fixed that for you.

Eclectic Wave Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 8:28 a.m. PST

"What happens if you do nothing?"

Sometimes nothing, sometimes they call the police, sometimes they put fines in the form of liens on your property for not fixing problems, don't tell you that they have, and you only find out when you go to sell your home, and in really extreme cases, have forced people out of their homes because of hugh "fines' they place on the property that those on fixed incomes (retired people) cannot pay which forces them to put liens on the property which forces the state to take their property away for unpaid liens.

NAZIES is a very appropriate term for these people.

MahanMan Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 8:46 a.m. PST

Wait…now I'm a tad confused, SMP.

If you only signed the *original* HOA regarding your trailer, and have that copy (I presume that you do), wouldn't that hold up in court? I mean, these organizations can't just assume that they have the power to *force* the residents to abide by their rules w/out consent, can they?:

Space Monkey Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 9:12 a.m. PST

Fixed that for you.
No you didn't.
None of the neighborhoods I've lived in tried to tell me what color I could paint my house or fine me if a light bulb burned out. We had murals on our fences and weird sculptures on the porch.
Sure, there was that city ordinance that kept me from storing my VAST collection of greasy rags and newspapers on my front lawn (which was a foot high and dry as a bone at the time)… but I'm thinking maybe that had more to do with public health and welfare than it did some nosy old hag who refused to mind her own business.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 9:46 a.m. PST

Can't you just say you're going for the "distressed" antique look ?

Followed by "get off my land" ?

Do these guys have legal powers ?

Farstar Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 10:34 a.m. PST

Do these guys have legal powers ?

Depends on what you signed during the home purchase. While they can and do overlap municipal beautification laws, their own powers derive solely from the contract you signed, along with forty other mysterious pieces of paper, to buy the house.

As for front lawns, the city can tell me to mow, but they can't order me to water, especially under the standing drought conditions here. An HOA would try to fine me for not watering, drought be Bleeped texted.

Tacitus02 Mar 2012 1:05 p.m. PST

I had umpteen problems with my HOA until I ran for and was elected to the board of directors. Amazing what people are not willing to say or do when they have to say it to your face (as opposed to sending a letter).

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 1:21 p.m. PST

Had to sign the contract to get in the neighborhood.
Mostly, nothing they do has been any kind of big deal. The most annoying thing is when they sent me a letter in mid November asking me to clean something that would require me standing out in near-to-sub-freezing temperatures spraying water on the side of my house. Naturally, I ignored that notice, believing that my personal health and preserving my home from potential ice damage outweighed whether someone could see an obscure portion of my home (again, the area is not visible from any street or sidewalk, or my neighbors' homes). I'll look into doing the cleaning if the apparent early spring holds true over the next few weekends.

I'm tempted to make a small sign for my fence, unreadable from any distance or angle anywhere over two feet from the front of the fence, saying, "If You Are Reading This Sign, You Are Trespassing On Private Property And Will Be Prosecuted. Report That, Schweinhund." evil grin

Alas, my wife would probably object. (And would probably be right.)

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Mar 2012 4:34 p.m. PST

Better: "If you are reading this you are in range"

SMPress Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 5:18 p.m. PST

"Wait…now I'm a tad confused, SMP.

If you only signed the *original* HOA regarding your trailer, and have that copy (I presume that you do), wouldn't that hold up in court? I mean, these organizations can't just assume that they have the power to *force* the residents to abide by their rules w/out consent, can they?"

I dont know what they can do. Obviously they changed the Covenance since I moved in, I have the original that I signed. I never signed the new one. No idea if they can legally make me follwo it or not, I am no lawyer. I do know my trailer is where I keep, and transport my miniature business to shows, and it isnt going anywhere until they bring in the armored car to cover the tow truck driver…

cfielitz02 Mar 2012 8:06 p.m. PST

Don't get me started about my HOA!

Lou from BSM02 Mar 2012 9:24 p.m. PST

A friend of mine lives in an HOA development. He worked brutal hours for a construction company that was working on an industrial complex (70-80 hours per week, including weekends).

Needless to say, he didn't pay much attention to his grass.
He paid even less attention once he started receiving notices from the HOA regarding the length of his grass, until they threatened putting a lien on the house.

So one day, he gets home from work around 8pm and commences cutting the grass. The next day, when he got home, there was a notice from the HOA regarding noise complaints from his lawnmower, and a request to cut his grass when most people were awake (The majority of folks in this development are retirees). OK…. game on!!!!

The next time his grass needed mowing, he did so at 7am on a Sunday morning, when most people are waking and getting ready for church. Of course this prompted another letter…

The final straw came when he cut his grass one day, and then saw the little old lady drive up to his yard on her golf cart. She parked, dismounted, and proceeded to walk over to his grass with a wooden 12 inch ruler (like you would see in a classroom) and proceeded to measure the height of his grass (I think four inches was the max).

Within two weeks, all the grass on the front of the property was removed and replaced by white stones. He was sure to purchase just enough to ensure a maximum base of four inches!!!

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member03 Mar 2012 10:22 a.m. PST

No you didn't.

Just my opinion.

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member03 Mar 2012 6:42 p.m. PST

Had that problem once. I replaced the lawn with wild flowers and clover. :)

14Bore04 Mar 2012 4:38 p.m. PST

You could tear it down, then plant bamboo, then let the rest of the neighborhood deal with it in oh say 5 years

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2012 7:04 a.m. PST

Whattayaknow… cold snap. Gotta wait till it warms up again to clean the fence. Alas and alack— the local property values for all the homes in our cul-de-sac— none of which are currently for sale— will just have to suffer. Boo hoo frickin' hoo.

Last Hussar11 Mar 2012 4:05 p.m. PST

I read a story about 2 years ago I think that a house was legally reposessed by the HOA for non payment of fines ($800). The guy was serving in Iraq, and never knew. The court had no choice but to serve with the HOA.

HOA powers, apparently, are far greater than proper laws (obviously in a narrower field), and there are no controls on them.

I really do not understand why Americans put up with them.

Last Hussar11 Mar 2012 4:08 p.m. PST

Found it


Its not just the fact the guy is a soldier – the HOA sold the FULLY PAID UP HOUSE for $3,500. USD He may be protected because he is a soldier. What if he was a civilian, working abroad?

Farstar Inactive Member16 Mar 2012 1:41 p.m. PST

Contract law can be nasty.

"It's not like the bank is taking the house; these are your neighbors."

If only that were actually the case.

HOA's are increasingly managed by subsidiaries of or partnerships with the same realty offices that sold you the home in the first place. Companies, in other words, that are going to make money when you move. Your actual neighbors have nothing to do with it most of the time.

The line from the HOA representative in that case is especially damning: "We are only required to send a certified letter." Well Bleeped text you too! The Judge should have been wary of the whole mess, but really this comes down to an HOA that's gone Lawful Evil. Too many of them do.

14Bore30 Apr 2012 4:24 p.m. PST

link know much about HOA's and after seeing this don't want to

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2012 8:23 p.m. PST

HOA's can be he bane of life in the US.

Good luck wih your fight against the jackinoffices.

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