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HOA Question Authority of HOA to Enter Property

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by dcdavis, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. dcdavis

    dcdavis Ooops!!

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    I'm curious about the HOA's authority to enter my property without my permission. I don't have my HOA docs in an easily accessible place, but do they reserve for themselves the right to enter my property?

    This comes up because I received a "yard maintenance" notice in the mail. Totally fine with that. Except that they physically opened the gate to my opaque fence, stepped inside my backyard, and took a picture. All without any direct consent.

    I'm cool with them taking pictures from the street or common space. Heck, I'm cool with them standing on my neighbor's deck and taking a picture down into my backyard (no expectation of privacy there). But to actually walk in my fenced in, closed off yard is a little over the top, IMHO.
     
  2. msflynn

    msflynn New Member

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    Yes the HOA has the right to go onto your property. They can also have permission to actually go onto your property and mow your lawn if you do not take care of it. They normally do not go inside a gated property unless they have a complaint from a neighbor, but they do have permission.
    I can look up the exact working in the documents if you would like.

    Staci
     
  3. Sunny

    Sunny Chief Advisor

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    look out for my dog! and what my dog leaves in my back yard! ( this is where i would insert a set of yosemite sam "back off!" mud flaps!)
     
  4. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Ashburn Farm HOA has the same rights noted by msflynn with their membership.
     
  5. jwf

    jwf Active Member

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    That's what I love about HOA's. Everyone has rights but the owner of the property.:screwy:
     
  6. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    What rights don't you have?
     
  7. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    you have the right to read the documents you are signing/receiving? Either way, why would you move into an HOA neighborhood without getting a basic understanding of the operating principles?

    You can make an informed decision when moving into a house.... either you agree or you do not.... hard to understand your statement/gripe.
     
  8. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    You have the right to complain about a neighbor's three foot tall grass yard and ask them to deal with it. Which may include them going on the property to confirm it.

    You have the right to complain about a 24 foot commercial truck parking on your street every night, and have the HOA deal with it.

    And you have the right to ***** and moan to HOA volunteers whenever you feel like it.

    What more could you ask for?
     
  9. teak

    teak New Member

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    I feel the HOA should at least try and get in contact with you before entering your property. If no one is home, I think they should at least leave a note saying they entered your property.

    I actually feel it's a good thing they can enter property. If there was a 30 feet hungry/angry Python, I would rather have the HOA person eaten than say my kid or me :) Wow I didn't know a 30 feet python was living in my 8 feet tall grass.

    I have a condo where I call got a call today notifying the building engineer needs to enter the unit to check on a possible leak. I don't think it was a phone call to "ask" permission to enter, but more of a "hey we're going to enter and we want you to know". Again if they get eaten by a 30 feet python, we'll I'm glad it was them. I'm sure the HOA doc has language saying they can enter the unit under certain circumstances.
     
  10. msflynn

    msflynn New Member

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    It is a totally different thing entering into someones home - physical building -then walking around the edge of the property, and possibly opening a fenced gate. The HOA is only walking around the property because of a complaint and or normal section inspection not because they want to see what you are doing or in anyway trying to invade your privacy. Part of living in an HOA aside from the added amenities and activities is the uniformity and general upkeep they allow which in turn adds value to your home.

    Staci
     
  11. jwf

    jwf Active Member

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    I am all for a bunch of people getting together and pitching in to get common services taken care of like landscaping, cable, trash, snow removal, recreation....if that was all the HOA was about I have absolutely no problem with it. I happily pay my HOA dues for that every month and I congratulate the fine job the HOA is doing.

    What I have a problem is with any organization that can take action against me because my artistic opinions are different from someone elses. I have a problem when my freedom of speech is infringed upon and I have to get permission from a group of people that don't pay my mortgage nor my property tax nor my liability insurance. I have a problem with people saying "If you don't like HOA's then you don't have to live here." You are right, I don't have to live anywhere but I want to live in Ashburn. Can you tell me where in Ashburn you can live and not be under an HOA or condo control in a single family home? I shouldn't be forced to live in West Virginia because I don't want to live in an HOA. Where I come from in Ohio, HOA's are laughed at. The neighborhood I lived in was just like this one and no one needed an HOA because the kind of people that lived in those neighborhoods didn't need someone else to tell them what the rules are for being a good neighbor. It was just common sense and respect for your neighbors.

    I knew very well what I was getting in to when I moved into an HOA. As an American, I love this country and what it stands for; freedom and justice for all. It just seems to me sometimes that we lose a little more of our freedoms everyday in such small amounts that now, sure, not being allowed to paint my house purple doesn't seem unreasonable now but what will it be 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from now. Just look how far our culture has fallen in the last 20 years.

    Then again, maybe that is what we really need HOA's for. Because we just don't know what being a good neighbor and respect for others means anymore in this "new" culture of self absorbed importance.

    I apologize for offending any HOA officers. I have no problem with you. You are doing a fine job. It is just what the HOA represents to me is all. And not this one, but any HOA.
     
  12. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    jwf-
    No offense taken here. If you feel that a violation letter from the HOA is unwarranted in your circumstance, you can take that up with the Board. I think this HOA is very lenient and tries to give residents as much freedom as possible.
     
  13. jwf

    jwf Active Member

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    To be honest, I have never had an issue with the HOA here and I have no complaints at all. As I said my feelings are not directed towards Broadlands HOA, just what the concept of what the HOA is in general to me is all I am saying.
     
  14. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    "Can you tell me where in Ashburn you can live and not be under an HOA or condo control in a single family home?"

    Plenty of places. Old Waxpool Road (the unpaved cut-through from Broadlands to Belmont Ridge), that little area by the corner of Ashburn Rd and Shellhorn Rd (there is a church and a newer shopping center with the Papa Johns), old Ashburn, off Belmont Ridge Road by Route 7 (both sides of Belmont Ridge-near Belmont Country Club), Broadlands Blvd (there are a few houses next to St. Theresas church), the purple house next to the CVS on Ashburn Farm Parkway.

    Now, these tend to be your older homes and some of them aren't much to look at. But you could have your Ashburn and be relieved of the HOA restrictions.
     
  15. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Tons of places - they just aren't subdivisions and you won't get the ammenities like you have in the subdivisions. Heck, just go right down Waxpool right past broadlands to find some homes, or go right up Ashburn Road.

    Well this isn't Ohio and HOAs are required BY LAW for subdivisions like this here in VA. How old was your neighborhood in Ohio? You're comparing apples and oranges.

    You should be taking this up with the Politicians then. Of course you can drive through parts of Sterling too and compare and see just how much they appreciate their freedoms.

    Or.. since you had the example... check out the purple house on Ashburn Rd.
     
  16. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild New Member

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    I love that purple house! I made a point of showing it to my brother and nephew when they came over the first time.

    As for notification to enter, when a Rep. from the HOA came by to "inspect" the location of a shed I wanted to install on my property, he knocked on the door introduced himself and explained why he was there. I went with him to show him exactly where I was going to put the shed and explained why it was the best location for me.

    The problem I have with the HOA (any) is what I can install on my property and having to get their approval. If I wanted to install a brick wall to house flowers in front of my house I should be able to do it without approval from someone else. Now, if I wanted to install flood lights all around my house, that is where I think the HOA approval would be needed. I also would like to think if you got the neighbors approval to modify the house for things that would make a difference, like an addition that could possible impact them then the HOA would not object and deny the request. I had a friend in Columbia, MD and we designed a deck that had a spiral staircase that led to a brick patio below. We got the approval from the neighbors (he was in a townhouse) and submitted the proposal to the HOA and they denied the request saying "It doesn't match the rest of the decks in the community" they then said the only decks approved are rectangles with no stairs. I don't know if our HOA would do this, and maybe someone who is on the HOA could answer.
     
  17. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    IMO, you can't have it both ways. No approval for some things, approval for others... there are too many grey areas that people could and probably would exploit.
    Neighbor approval is fine and dandy but what if you do not get along with your neighbor? Do you want them to have a potential impact on what you can and cannot do?

    As for HOA, we have a pretty good set of guidelines, some very specific and some interpretive. As for townhomes and attached single family), the rules are more restrictive simply since they are "attached".

    Please remember, approval is only needed for exterior modifications (landscaping aside). Approval is not need for for maintenance (e.g. replacing a broken fixture with same or very similar).

    Bob T. - Modifications Sub-committee member
     
  18. jwf

    jwf Active Member

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    Not entirely true unless this has changed in 10 years. You also need approval on interior elements as well. For example, when I was reading my HOA docs 10 years ago I specifically remember a clause that said I needed HOA approval to paint the inside of my house if the inside was visible from the outside through a window by the rest of the public. So if I wanted to paint my living room purple, the HOA could stop me because they don't like purple living rooms. It is those kind of restrctions that make me not such of a great fan of the HOA. That is my only point.
     
  19. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    As a member for a few years, I have never seen an application nor would I care what you do to the interior of your home.

    If this does indeed exist, I am not familiar with it nor have I seen the clause myself.
     
  20. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    HOOOLLLD on a minute Babalooey. You're missing a key point. Virginia law virtually forces you to live with a HOA if you live in a development over a certain size...

    So while you're right...you don't have to sign.... to me, almost forcing you to live in a HOA by default is coercion.

    BTW, I've lived in some HOA's that were NIGHTMARES. I've not seen anything between Broadland's or AF that's even close to the intrusive/abusive nature I've seen before. ANd yes, I served two terms on the HOA board, fighting for the homeowners against the puppets the developer put on the board.
     

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