Saturday, March 2, 2019

Resident Fined By HOA Due To A 'Male Appendage' on the Sidewalk

HOA - the infamous 'Home Owners Association'... something that I never had any idea existed before we moved to the US and into a gated community.

The offending image of a 'male appendage' left after a car was parked in a light snow storm.

For friends of mine in other parts of the world - "any person who wants to buy a residence within the area of a homeowners association must become a member, and therefore must obey the governing documents including Articles of Incorporation, CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) and By-Laws, which may limit the owner's choices."

In short, don't expect to paint your house any color you want. Expect to get threatened with a fine if you don't get your trees trimmed regularly enough, have a footpath (sidewalk) that needs pressure washing... or any other slight infraction of the multitude of rules that are governing the community. 

We had one neighbor in our community a few years ago, who was fined for leaving his pickup truck in his driveway. Refusing to pay, the HOA then attempted to put a lien on his home due to the unpaid fine. The resident fought it in court for a very long time. In the end, the HOA was ordered to pay the legal fees of the resident and shortly after the bylaw was changed, which meant it was all for nothing - after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of the community's HOA fees (residents' contributions).

There are any number of similar war stories across the country between resident and HOA.

The latest episode making headlines this week is based in Tennessee. One lady posted on a Reddit community dedicated to people angry about HOAs (aptly titled "F%#& HOA") that she was fined $100 by the HOA because her car had left the shape of a "male appendage" on on the ground after a snowstorm.

According to the letter of notification from the board, "Your car, specifically the Honda, left this offensive image on the ground..." This was cited as a violation of a bylaw against "displaying offensive images or slogans." The board continued to say that they also had photographic evidence of the "obscene" pattern.

This is bizarre - I sometimes see naughty images in the clouds as the wind shifts them around - am I able to fine somebody? Or does the local community 'spy' just have a dirty mind? 😋

The offending resident stated, "I died laughing y'all. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of being fined for, and we flat out told them we weren't paying... Finally after a few back and forth emails, they simply sent us a picture 'describing the problem'"

She also said that she and her husband were confused at first, because the HOA were being 'vague'.

I'm now looking for more bizarre HOA stories - I can really relate. But male appendage shaped car shape in the snow? - this is beyond crazy!

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