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HOA Violations, only a select few?

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by IRideYZFR6, May 23, 2010.

  1. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Paranoid much?

    I'm sure when they are following up on complaints about a trashcan they are at severe risk of burning down your house... or maybe bending a blade of grass.
     
  2. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    The question was asked because of the following quote.

     
  3. mamatothree

    mamatothree New Member

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    There are two covenant inspectors, both are, dare I say, mature women, and both have worked for the association for many years, both are long time residents of the Broadlands. The association does carry liability insurance for its employees as required by law. The inspectors do not scale fences, they take pictures over the fence if the gate is locked and, as has been mentioned many times before, employees and agents of the association are permitted by the governing documents to access property to document and correct violations.
     
  4. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Thunderchild-
    A bit of advice. Don't read every anonymous post as the gospel as to what might have occurred.
     
  5. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Which was followed by lots of information correcting the poster.

    Well here's a thought... one could get to know the people that manage the HOA. They are mostly your neighbors.

    Instead of treating the HOA with some distain that it's some foreign government imposing it's will on the neighborhood... people should recognize the HOA is primarily your neighbors working to keep your neighborhood the best it can be.

    Again.. if people actually didn't act with such distrust to the organization ran by themselves as homeowners - you'd see just how insulting such connections really are.

    Engage with the HOA... It may just surprise you.
     
  6. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    I don't, but say the Inspector stepped back to take a picture of some offending grass and in doing so tripped over something and fell and broke a planter box. That is why I asked the question, I used the other quote as an example, not Gospel.
     
  7. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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  8. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

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  9. Imaginary Friend

    Imaginary Friend Coffee is for closers

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    Original post was mine, not sure who "corrected" anything I originally said.

    Have and do engage with the HOA, and appreciate the time and efforts of the HOA staff and volunteers.

    I had a valid concern and posted about it. Didn't *****, moan or complain, just stated my concerns related to the thread topic.

    What I've learned since posting in this thread:

    - The covenant inspectors bring step ladders with them to check properties - If my back yard isn't visible behind my 6 ft privacy fence, why the need to climb a ladder to view it? Why the need to climb ladders to view anyone's yard? Front/side yards visible to the rest of community - makes total sense. Needing a ladder to "inspect" homeowners property when not visible to the rest of the community - still a bit extreme in my opinion.

    - HOA has the right to enter properties to investigate complaints or correct violations. I knew this, as I read everything I sign. However, entering a homeowners property simply to "look" for possible violations to me is a much different issue. Regardless of others' opinions here, I do have an expectation of privacy on my property.

    - Others have posted that inspectors shouldn't need/try to contact homeowners beforehand when complaints have been raised. Homeowners should be reasonable and live by the terms agreed to when we moved in. Fair enough, but not contacting homeowners to proactively address issues because the assumption is that it will immediately become confrontational doesn't seem to be reasonable to me either.

    - Both inspectors are "mature women", but I shouldn't be concerned with liability if any injuries were to occur while they are climbing my fence to take pictures of my property.
    If this is the case, why must sidewalks be shoveled 24 hours after snow, why no sledding on "the hill" anymore? Aren't these the same liability concerns that the HOA has?

    - There's always an annual thread on this forum each spring where homeowners complain that common area grass isn't moved frequently enough. The answer every year from the HOA comes back to "It's spring, it rains a lot, give them a chance" (which I agree with totally). However, I would hope the same benefit of the doubt would be given to homeowners as well. The warning I received because the grass behind my fence went unmoved for two weeks seems to me should fall into the same "reasonable standard" for spring (i.e. it rains a lot, grass grows).

    I didn't bring up anything about background checks, sex offenders or any evil conspiracy theories of what the HOA is up to. I just raised some concerns in a thread about the topic.

    Homeowners should be more understanding and appreciative of the job the volunteers do - fair enough point. I'd also add the HOA should also be a bit more understanding of the concerns raised by the homeowners in the community. Looking into complaints that affect the community is important an appreciated. "Fishing" for violations for whatever reason, seem a bit overbearing.
     
  10. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I was referring more to the incorrect claim that our inspectors were "climbing over fences."
     
  11. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Because many of the inspections are done because neighboring townhouses COMPLAIN TO THE HOA about the unkempt status of their neighbor.

    Sorry, but that would be too labor intensive, and even if we did it, written notification is required anyways. Otherwise, we have no documentation of all communications from the HOA to the homeowners about violations. You might be amazed how often we have to show the "proof" to homeowners.

    NO ONE IS CLIMBING YOUR FENCE!
     
  12. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    Long laundry list.

    My .02 worth...

    - The inspectors are most likely checking for violations based on a report filed by one of your neighbors, not just because they can.
    - As for notifying the homeowner, I am on the fence (pun intended). I am on the Modifications Sub-Committee and I will let homeowners know I want to inspect the property, but this is never an issue because the homeowner wants an approval (therefore accomodating) from the HOA to proceed. For violations, I do not think that they necessarily need to let the home know since, yes, there already have been confrontations. It is a slippery slope when you want to tell someone they are in violation as there is a tendancy to want to defend yourself on the spot.
    - As for liability concerns, if an inspector climbs a ladder to look into your "fenced" yard, then they are most likely NOT on your property. I would hazard a guess that just about everyone builds their fence to the full extent of their property.
    - Why should homeowners be given "benefit of the doubt" to maintain their own property? It is their property and they are responsible for it and it alone. The common areas are plentiful and the contractor who is responsible most certainly has other maintenance obligations as well. Your request for leniency sounds juvenile and/or lazy to me. "HLS didn't mow the common area, why should I"? Do you perchance have children? Do you let them get away with this tactic? Additionally, the HOA DID give latitude for mowing this spring.
    - And the HOA is understanding to concerns raised by the homeowners as it is your fellow homeowners who are easily the #1 source of violations reported. And I seriously doubt the inspectors are out "looking and fishing" for violations. Inspectors MAY find a few violations during their normal duties when they are checking completed projects to insure the application specifications were adhered to and homes for resale are in compliance.
     
  13. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Imaginary Friend-
    Send me your address and I will look into how your violation was discovered and the pictures of your lawn to better determine the reasonableness of the violation.
    Can't help you with anoymous posts.
     
  14. Imaginary Friend

    Imaginary Friend Coffee is for closers

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    Wow, not sure where I should even start with this one. Maybe because we OWN the property? Why do you think you have the right to tell me what to do with my property as long as I follow the rules I agreed to when purchasing my home?

    I do take great care of my property, and regardless of what you seem to think, I don't need HOA volunteers "help" to keep an eye on it for me or make suggestions for improvements.

    Way to change what I said completely. I didn't ask for leniency or complain about the job HLS does, rather I pointed out that it's a common complaint every Spring on this forum and I specifically said I agreed with the annual response from the HOA of "be reasonable, give HLS time, it rains a lot and grass grows". All I'm saying is shouldn't the same rules apply for the homeowners? The photo I received showed about 2 weeks of grass overgrown due to rain, no worse than my back yard the other 8 springs that I've lived here (without any complaint from the HOA).

    Do YOU have children? Do you talk down to them like you do to people here whose opinions differ from yours? Way to take a personal jab at me. Appreciate that.

    I think responses like this are why these threads of Homeowner vs HOA wind up being 20 pages long each year. Antagonize much?

    Look, it's grass, I mowed it, no lives were lost. I think the HOA overstepped in my case. it's my opinion. Others have theirs, I'm fine with that.

    Cliff offered to research the background of the complaint I received in an earlier post. I appreciate that and I'll be sending him a private email with my details.
     
  15. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Nor was my reply to you because it wasn't you who was going (IMO) off the deep end about 'concerns' that really are just exaggerations.

    You live somewhere where your backyard is not visible to your neighbors? This is a common thread in townhomes... people think because it's the backyard and they have a fence the backyard is 'anything goes'. Yet that backyard is directly below and in view of all the other neighbors on the row.

    You can follow up with the office on your particular circumstance, but I find it unlikely they were looking over fences unless there was a complaint. They aren't meter ladies... they aren't out looking to bust anyone for anything. They are patrolling the neighborhood for the obvious things from the visible areas. Yet if there are complaints or specific reasons, they will go and investigate those.

    No one has the staff or resources to go and look over everyone's fence all the time. And honestly I doubt anyone would want that.

    And if you worked the 'other side of the fence' you would see a majority of problem owners simply don't care - so you're wasting your time. For the other people who get 'caught in the crossfire' and get a violation that was accidental or you just didn't know. Just fix the issue and move on. For some reason people get all upset about getting a letter. WHO CARES? Just do what is required and move on. People act like a school child who got sent to the principle's office and it's going to go on their 'permanent record' or something.

    IMO the only advantage would be the cost savings of not pursuing more 'cases'. The rest of it people just need to not get so upset if they get a hoa notice. Get upset if you don't agree with it and need to fight something.. but if its because you forgot, just missed something, or just didn't know. BIG DEAL - just take corrective action and move on. No harm, no foul.

    1) Because they weren't climbing your fence
    2) Shoveling is a COUNTY requirement - not HOA. So ask the county
    3) No sledding on the hill - that is private property the land owner didn't want you on. Nothing to do with the HOA - so talk to Van Metre.

    You're trying to throw a rope around things that aren't connected.

    If you were mowing thousands of acres and responsible for hundreds of different locations... maybe your analogy would fit. But instead you are responsible for a few hundred square feet. You can't take care of just that? And again... you got a notice... so what. You cut the grass and life went on right? So who really cares that you got a notice?

    And where do you see them fishing for violations? Sounds like you are again drawing your own conclusions rather then having the facts... like saying they climbed your fence.

    The HOA isn't the meter maids - and the HOA isn't out to make money on its homeowners.
     
  16. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    If you followed the rules, you would not have gotten a violation notice would you? Just saying.

    And yes, IMO you did ask for leniency. Your posts clearly indicates that you want the same excuse/reason for not mowing your lawn as HLS gets to use "every spring". And for someone who stated early that they did not care about getting a violation notice and photo, you only cared that it appeared someone had climbedyour fence, you sure are posting enough about it.

    FWIW, I got a violation a few years back for the ligths being out in my front post. The lights were out for TWO days. Guess what, I fixed the lights and threw the violation letter away. I didn't post about it, I didn't complain to the General Manager about it being only 2 days. To me, there are 2 types of violation letters, those that certainly deserve them and those that are more like a reminder notice. I would certainly classify yours as a reminder notice.

    Yes, I do have children and teaching them responsibilty is one of my main priorities. ;)
     
  17. IRideYZFR6

    IRideYZFR6 Linux Guru

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    We have the HOA Design Guidelines online in pdf format, is it possible to get the covenant and bylaws also published on the site? I got out my Armstrong novel out and was skimming though it this weekend but it would be nice to have that online to read in my leisure instead of hauling that book around.
     
  18. Frame1

    Frame1 New Member

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    I am one of the select few. A big ol'target must be on my house or I unintentionally upset the wrong person. I can't stand the HOA here. If I do see these women behind my house I will have no problems giving them a piece of my mind. I believe one lives in my neighborhood and that is why I receive so many ridiculous letters. And they aren't responding to any complaints in my neighborhood. My house backs up to the Greenway and has a 6' fence behind it. All of us neighbors are good friends and could care less what our back yards look like. The builder didn't bother grading it so it could be functional so why should we really care. Our front yards, on the other hand are perfect, but God forbid that lamp post goes out. I'm sorry that I haven't dropped everything that I'm doing like running a business, household, and taking care of three children to get on that. Give me a break. I owned in Reston for 5 years and never had any issues. This is borderline harassment at our home. It's actually comical though. I believe a sitcom with characters based on the people that run this place could be the next Seinfeld.

    Thank you forum for letting me vent years of frustration. BTW, HOA keep taking my money every month and using it to bug the crap out of me...:angryfire:

    Also, HLS did cut my lawn in '08 while I was on vacation and charged me $40. I was gone for 10 days and it had rained lot. It's only 100 s.f and they had to break in to gain access. I called Armstrong and told her to just take it out then and she said they are only authorized to take HOA fees. I disregarded the letters and then found out that several months later they took $275 out of my checking account without getting authorization from me. Apparently, the General Manager can give permission to take out late fees without your permission. Just a warning people. Set up payment with your bank or mail it in. Do not give Armstrong permission to withdraw the funds themselves. I'm livid...I would move if I could.
     
  19. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    I see you dropped everything to type up this rant. :violin:

    Maybe you should have used the 5-10 miutes more constructively. :pofl:
     
  20. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    I will never, ever understand why people who don't like being subject to an HOA move into an HOA neighborhood.

    I am SO glad I live in one and I thank my HOA folks for doing the not-always-popular-job of keeping things looking nice.
     

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