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H.O.A. Horrors

A woman in New Hampshire is getting sued by her HOA for having planted flowers that come back every year and not removing them. She got permission to plant the flowers by the developer before the HOA was there. She is fined $50 a day and has fines up to $6,000. Now her HOA is suing her and wants her to pay the legal fees as well.
Slacker likes his HOA for keeping the neighborhood clean, yet he does agree that sometimes the HOA goes too far. Slacker got a letter from the HOA for having his trash can out on the wrong day, because he was mowing the lawn. He also had a neighbor get a letter for having his work truck in the driveway for too long during lunch. 
I don’t live an HOA community but I have a friend who does. She lives right next to the president and they defiantly abuse their privileges. The president complains about everything like how she runs a fan and it’s too loud. After the HOA came out and said it was fine, the president then wrote e-mails to her complaining still about the fan. So my friend went to the next meeting and said she thought this was resolved but she was still getting emails. Yet the HOA won’t do anything when regular people complain and just say it is being reviewed.
Do you have any HOA horrors?
With Love-Intern Sarah

(photo courtsey of

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Topics : Human Interest
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Locations : New Hampshire

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03/21/2012 3:54PM
H.O.A. Horrors
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04/03/2012 1:17AM
HOAs Are Not Necessary to "Keep the Nieghborhood Clean"
"Slacker likes his HOA for keeping the neighborhood clean" How does an HOA keep a neighborhood clean? It is a common error to conflate restrictive covenants with the existence of an HOA corporation, since it is possible to have the former without the latter. To steal somebody else's comment from another blog: "I do understand your point about keeping up the deed restrictions, but careful, because you may be falling into a common error. Restrictive covenants are one thing, and HOAs are another. In order to enforce a neighborhood's restrictive covenants, it is NOT necessary to have an HOA. It is true that having a HOA can make it easier to enforce the covenants, in several ways. For one thing, you don't need to find a homeowner to be a plaintiff, although any homeowner will do and it shouldn't be that hard to find one if anyone's really interested. For another, if you have an HOA, you can bill all the neighbors and force them to help pay for the lawsuit. For another, you can enforce the collection of this bill with a lien against everyone's house. Finally, if the HOA wins the dispute with the homeowner whose grass is too high, or whatever (and the HOA always wins, because the rules and vague and discretionary and totally in its favor), the HOA has a lien against the homeowner for the penalties and legal expenses. As in, $700 for the pain and suffering caused by the too-high grass, and $15,000 for the lawyers." "The question is whether all this is a good trade-off. Without the HOA, the neighbors have deed restrictions and any one of them (or group of them) can sue if someone violates the restrictions. The concerned neighbors will have to pass the hat to pay for the lawsuit, so they probably won't sue if it's not pretty important. They can always coordinate all this through a civic club, which probably will be funded by voluntary contributions, which are a pain to collect -- but all these factors make it likely the lawsuits won't get out of control and people won't be losing their homes to foreclosure over silly disputes. Oil stains on the driveway, flagpole too tall, mailbox in non-approved location, shrubbery not up to snuff, miniblinds in front windows not approved shade of ecru -- and I'm NOT making those up, they are from real court cases." The existence of an HOA corporation introduces a set of incredibly perverse incentives and moral hazards. Since the professional property management companies and HOA law firms profit from strife and conflict within neighborhoods, it is in their financial self-interest to generate as many disputes and fines as possible.
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