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(Newser)   Things you give up when living in a condo: C) Planting flowers   (newser.com) divider line 117
    More: Asinine, condos, Kimberly Bois  
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9622 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Mar 2012 at 10:13 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-25 08:17:12 AM
But the New Hampshire woman says she planted the flowers with permission from the developer, before there was a condo board at the Portsmouth complex.

Got that in writing? No? Well, then you didn't.

/Condo associations can be jerks.
//But some idiot will take things to far if you don't draw a bright clear line.
///I have no idea if she is that idiot.
 
2012-03-25 09:07:18 AM
Hopefully for her, the COA will back off now with all the bad press. No one is going to want to buy in there now knowing that such pedantic twats run the joint.
 
2012-03-25 09:30:04 AM

EvilEgg: But the New Hampshire woman says she planted the flowers with permission from the developer, before there was a condo board at the Portsmouth complex.

Got that in writing? No? Well, then you didn't.

/Condo associations can be jerks.
//But some idiot will take things to far if you don't draw a bright clear line.
///I have no idea if she is that idiot.

From other article:
The disputed plants include perennials Bois and her late mother planted in mulch beds that were put into place by the developer in front of her home. Bois said she has a letter from the Massachusetts developer granting her permission to do so after she offered to plant perennials in place of annuals the developer's wife had been planting. The mulch bed, she said, is the same size and shape as originally constructed.


Though why you'd continue to live under those rules, you might be an idiot.
 
2012-03-25 09:50:45 AM
You don't live in a house. Get over it.
 
2012-03-25 10:21:05 AM

Ed Finnerty: You don't live in a house. Get over it.


THIS.

Now we wait for the double-wide brigade to chime in with how they'd never put up with some communazi telling them what they could and couldn't do with their "house".
 
2012-03-25 10:21:16 AM
She may have originally gotten permission to plant those flowers in a common area, but as they are perennials, she's no doubt planting them every season. Now that new rules have been passed, she's in violation of the rules, despite whatever deal she and the developer originally worked out.

I'm not getting any of the outrage here.

Maybe she could move her gardening hobby indoors where no one will be able to tell her not to do it.
 
2012-03-25 10:21:56 AM
This is why I would never live in a condo, which is really like living in a college dorm, except when I lived in a college dorm, no one hassled me.
 
2012-03-25 10:22:46 AM
I have owned a condo. read the frickin' fine print.
 
2012-03-25 10:25:01 AM
Her condo is prettier than mine. Can I make her paint it black?
 
2012-03-25 10:26:14 AM
Now what's the point of owning a condo anyway? It's like an apartment, but you "own" it? All the hassle of owning a house with a HOA, but combined with the disadvantages of renting an apartment?
 
2012-03-25 10:26:34 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: She may have originally gotten permission to plant those flowers in a common area, but as they are perennials, she's no doubt planting them every season. Now that new rules have been passed, she's in violation of the rules, despite whatever deal she and the developer originally worked out.

I'm not getting any of the outrage here.

Maybe she could move her gardening hobby indoors where no one will be able to tell her not to do it.


How do I know that you're not a gardener? A gardener would know that perennials come back every year.
 
2012-03-25 10:32:03 AM
D)Playing solitare til dawn with a deck of 51
 
2012-03-25 10:33:00 AM
here is the trick. lived somewhere small where there are maybe 20 people tops in the community. get to know your neighbors. volunteer to sit on the board meetings. organize a group to plant flowers in the common areas. volunteer to head that committee. there. problem solved.
 
2012-03-25 10:34:26 AM
Doesn't matter if the lady had something written in blood by the developer, her condo docs spell out in excruciating detail what is her property and what are common areas. What's interesting is the part of the story that talks about how her neighbor built a patio on the common area. Sounds like the board is fighting them both and needs to treat both issues the same way.

The ability to enter into contracts and seek redress of a violation is pretty fundamental freedom and I don't understand why people have a problem with this. So if you don't like having to live by a set of rules spelled out in advance, don't buy a condo or a house governed by an HOA. It's really simple.

On the other hand, if you want some control over the area you live in so that neighbors don't, say, park a 83 impala on blocks in the front yard, then an HOA might be the right thing for you.
 
2012-03-25 10:35:01 AM
When you choose to live in a condo you voluntarily give up control of your property. The same rules that say you can't plant flowers also stop your neighbours from using towels as curtains and leaving auto parts strewn all over the front lawn.

If this exchange doesn't work for you then DON'T BUY A CONDO.

Also, before you purchase try reading the rule / by-laws etc.
 
2012-03-25 10:35:20 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: She may have originally gotten permission to plant those flowers in a common area, but as they are perennials, she's no doubt planting them every season. Now that new rules have been passed, she's in violation of the rules, despite whatever deal she and the developer originally worked out.

I'm not getting any of the outrage here.

Maybe she could move her gardening hobby indoors where no one will be able to tell her not to do it.


The federal government and states are prevented from passing Ex post facto laws. Are HOA and COA? Assuming she had permission to plant flowers in the common area why aren't her actions grandfathered if they pass news rules?
 
2012-03-25 10:36:04 AM
Great, now I have Paint it Black stuck in my head. Not that it's a bad song. Could be a lot worse, there's a Dolly Parton thread up there.
 
2012-03-25 10:38:45 AM
Kar98

"Now what's the point of owning a condo anyway?" It's like an apartment, but you "own" it? All the hassle of owning a house with a HOA, but combined with the disadvantages of renting an apartment?"

I know pretty much what my "rent" will be.Taxes & condo fees go up, but nothing like costs can in a tight rental market. After 5 years my costs are below what renting would be and I theoretically have some equity. All outside maintenance is covered. No snowplowing for me.My complex is nice, but not anal about little stuff. One of the kids in my building plants a small flower garden every year. It's a nice sign of spring. I'm in a superb location for outdoor stuff with several major highways
 
2012-03-25 10:40:55 AM

Sudlow: Kar98

"Now what's the point of owning a condo anyway?" It's like an apartment, but you "own" it? All the hassle of owning a house with a HOA, but combined with the disadvantages of renting an apartment?"

I know pretty much what my "rent" will be.Taxes & condo fees go up, but nothing like costs can in a tight rental market. After 5 years my costs are below what renting would be and I theoretically have some equity. All outside maintenance is covered. No snowplowing for me.My complex is nice, but not anal about little stuff. One of the kids in my building plants a small flower garden every year. It's a nice sign of spring. I'm in a superb location for outdoor stuff with several major highways


Also, if you live in a decent sized city your options are rent an apartment, buy a condo or spend a million+ on a town house. Hell, in some places condos are going for over a million each.
 
2012-03-25 10:42:11 AM

Tillmaster: AverageAmericanGuy: She may have originally gotten permission to plant those flowers in a common area, but as they are perennials, she's no doubt planting them every season. Now that new rules have been passed, she's in violation of the rules, despite whatever deal she and the developer originally worked out.

I'm not getting any of the outrage here.

Maybe she could move her gardening hobby indoors where no one will be able to tell her not to do it.

How do I know that you're not a gardener? A gardener would know that perennials come back every year.


They come back every season, almost as though they were planted every season...

The problem is that she is making permanent changes to the planting area. If someone who only plants annuals moves out or abandons gardening, their annuals die and that is that. If this lady moves out her perennials and self seeding annuals will continue to grow and spread.

A better example would be that the condo association says you can write on the sidewalk with chalk, and this lady wrote in paint. Ignore the chalk and it just washes away. Ignore the paint and it starts to look like shiat over time, not to mention the cost of removing paint when she stops maintaining it or moves out.
 
2012-03-25 10:43:39 AM
I don't know why some people think the common areas are theirs to take over. And she wants her attorney fees paid by the Association? Because she can't follow the rules?
 
2012-03-25 10:45:29 AM

Kar98: Now what's the point of owning a condo anyway? It's like an apartment, but you "own" it? All the hassle of owning a house with a HOA, but combined with the disadvantages of renting an apartment?


Pretty much. It's not for everyone. But in some areas, it's the only viable choice if you want to own and it may make more financial sense to go that route. Here in DC, my monthly condo mortgage plus condo fee is less than the market rental rates for the same sized unit. And I get to discount my real estate taxes and loan interest from my gross income. Once I leave the area, I can have a renter cover the mortgage.

Can it be a hassle at times? Definitely. But all in all, I'm happy with the decision to buy.
 
2012-03-25 10:45:57 AM
She's not actually planting flowers. She planted perennials in the past. More than likely the condo "board" is actually a private management company. They take condo fees and then use them for groundskeeping etc. Perennials cut into their bottom line as they can't replant annuals every year (her neighbors have similar flower beds, but with annuals in them according to the article) and charge whatever they want for the said annuals (with a hefty profit margin) to the condo complex's account. Basically she's cutting into the management company's bottom line.

I highly doubt any of her neighbors give a shiat as it seems attractive and well-kept.
 
2012-03-25 10:48:21 AM

Kar98: Now what's the point of owning a condo anyway? It's like an apartment, but you "own" it? All the hassle of owning a house with a HOA, but combined with the disadvantages of renting an apartment?


Owning a condo does not have "all the hassle" of owning a house. I don't ever have to cut the grass, shovel snow... if the roof leaks, it's not my problem to fix (my HOA would fix that and repaint my ceiling). I don't need seal a driveway... or fix my AC unit if it breaks -- all the HOA. I'm paying for it, yes, but I don't have to deal with the annoyance of shoveling snow or finding a contractor to do the work. The HOA keeps the pool running, brings in mulch... hell, the HOA even setup a complex wide new window project to upgrade all the units windows.

Yes, I'm paying for it.. but I have zero hassle of picking windows, finding an installer... ordering the windows, making sure it's installed correctly or any of that. I'll get a week's notice of when my unit will be done, I just need to take down my current window treatments.. and then put up new ones once the install is done. It's fantastic!

I've never had a problem with the HOA rules.. but then I have no desire to plant a garden or decorate... or all the things people see to run into problems doing.

In terms of renting.. there isn't much difference except that I get to decorate and do want I want with the interior space. I have the hardwood floors I want.. the appliances I want.... the paint scheme I want... and all of that. Anything I care to do, I don't need to get HOA permission to do and it's done how I want it, not how the landlord wants it.

If you count building equity in owning then a condo has that over an apartment. Though, I really doubt one actually builds equity once the total amount paid in the mortgage (i.e. all the interest) is factored in things.

My brother, who owns a house, also owns all sorts or tools and whatnot that I'd never consider buying... lawn mower, rototiller, edger... branch cutter thing... every weekend, it seems, he's got some project or other to do around the house. I don't.

I fully understand why some people hate HOAs -- some boards are just batshiat crazy... but you know what? Run for the board if you don't like it. They have elections, vote the insane people out and sane people it. I have no sympathy for people who live with an HOA... and whine and complain... but aren't on the board.
 
2012-03-25 10:48:36 AM
sallys

I don't know why some people think the common areas are theirs to take over. And she wants her attorney fees paid by the Association? Because she can't follow the rules?

THIS. Far too many people simply do not understand "common elements"
 
2012-03-25 10:56:26 AM
I am AMAZED to find such intelligent comments on fark...had just about given up clicking on the right.


/going to the politics tab now....am sure that same well thought out comments will be found there.
 
2012-03-25 10:56:43 AM
We own a condo on the ground floor which has a flower bed area in front of our patio. We can plant any flowers we want as long as we keep them looking good.

I guess our HOA is pretty reasonable.
 
2012-03-25 10:57:53 AM
I'm dealing with something similar... Why did I buy this condo? Well, it's 50% less than houses in the area and didn't have to have tens of thousands of $$$ of work done just to move in. It was 1/5 the cost of buying a "starter home" in my old neighborhood. The association IS active, but reasonably fair although I'm a little ticked that it takes FOREVER to get something done (you have to put a request in writing, then there has to be a meeting and a vote, and THEN they can make plans to do the work).

We made it clear when we moved in that we'd take care of the gardening. Now it's looking like by the time I get things approved, I might as well be making plans for 2013. Oy.

I don't mind the rules - they generally are for everyone's protection and work to keep the costs down. But the degree of bureaucracy for such a small place (under 8 units) is frustrating. We'll see how the next meeting goes.
 
2012-03-25 10:58:20 AM

The_Homeless_Guy: She's not actually planting flowers. She planted perennials in the past. More than likely the condo "board" is actually a private management company.


Condos do not work this way. The Board is elected by the owners and is empowered to make decisions according the the corporation's by-laws, rules, and decleration. Most Boards in turn hire management companies who handle the day to day operations, however the final decisions rest with the Board. The article doesn't incluse the rules, but all condos have "exclusive use areas" and common areas". Generally, common areas are everything outside (except porches / patios / decks). In mos cases individual owners are never allowed to modify the common areas.
 
2012-03-25 11:02:03 AM
I read this same story over at the entitlement whore Consumerist from a different news source. What's not mentioned here is that her condo association rules do not permit OR prohibit the planting of flowers. Also, they never notified her of the fines. She got a letter once a month stating that she needed to remove the flowers, but nothing about a fine. It wasn't until she said fark it, and tried to sell the condo and found the lien in place.

/condo association Nazis galore in this story.
 
2012-03-25 11:02:19 AM
I think her little planting is ugly. I am also wondering what her dead mother helping to plant them back in the day has to do with anything.
 
2012-03-25 11:03:11 AM
I was gonna plant some datura outside my building.

Instead I think I will eat the seeds. And grow some daturas within me!!!
 
2012-03-25 11:03:52 AM

waiting4godot: Owning a condo does not have "all the hassle" of owning a house.


Some, but not all. But it does have most of the disadvantages of renting an apartment.
Personally, I don't want to hear the fat guy upstairs walking around, or the girl next door slamming her headboard into the wall at 3 AM.

Yes, owning a condo may be building equity, but the 'shared wall' thing is not my cup of tea. Others love it. For me, no. Given the choice between shared wall or lawnmower, I know which I'd pick.
 
2012-03-25 11:08:03 AM

Kar98: Now what's the point of owning a condo anyway? It's like an apartment, but you "own" it? All the hassle of owning a house with a HOA, but combined with the disadvantages of renting an apartment?


It's cheaper. Why would anybody willingly pay some faceless landlord a bunch of money each month that is not much more than pouring it into a hole? If you're not going anywhere anytime soon, a condo is a better choice. The mortgage on condos is pretty much universally cheaper than an apartment of the same size/quality in any market. You end up paying yourself. A few years of that and you can maybe upgrade to a real house. Play your cards right and you can keep the condo and rent it out and somebody else pour their money into you hole.
 
2012-03-25 11:11:19 AM

chookbillion: I think her little planting is ugly. I am also wondering what her dead mother helping to plant them back in the day has to do with anything.


Nothing. It was just put there to draw out comments from a**holes. Gives us farkers a way of knowing who to ignore.
 
2012-03-25 11:13:04 AM
Sadly, she will lose this case because the condo community has written bylaws that outline the rules regarding shared community space.

On the other side of the coin, the Condo board is not very bright for enforcing these rules for flowers. The public media attention may get them to back off.
 
2012-03-25 11:13:41 AM

gblive: Sadly, she will lose this case because the condo community has written bylaws that outline the rules regarding shared community space.

On the other side of the coin, the Condo board is not very bright for enforcing these rules for flowers. The public media attention may get them to back off.


Please read my post. She has a case here.
 
2012-03-25 11:14:59 AM
used to own a home with yards of yard (veggies, flowers, shrubs, trees, boulders...)
now living in nice apt (divorced) and each spring is a struggle with the urge to get dirty.
i still help my ex with yard chores - gladly!
starting sunflower seeds next week - will plant along a freeway fence so i can see my garden when i drive by.

/good luck lady!
 
2012-03-25 11:16:36 AM
I listened to an interview with this women on CBC Radio 1 this week. Miss Bois claims that she actually did have permission for the flowers going forward, and that it was first a verbal agreement, and then written down in a series of emails (which she retained).

The condo board sued her for something like $12,000 (I forget the actual number, but it's high), plus an additional $6,000 for solicitor-client costs. Miss Bois claims she attempted to settle out of court, by offering to take the flowers down, pay a portion of the fine, as well as a portion of the solicitor-client fees; the condo board declined and opted to go ahead with the case. Of course, she counter sued, claiming that she had an agreement allowing for the flowers, and, in the alternative, the new rules cannot operate retroactively/retrospectively (I use both terms because lawyers and courts alike mix them up).

Further, Miss Bois said that not only did she have permission, it was clear that the developer intended that permission to go forward in time, as the developer actually assisted Miss Bois in creating the flower boxes, expending considerable resources (nice bricks and wood) in the process. She argues that implicit in this expenditure was the guarantee they would be permanent--why spend so much money building something that will be useless in a few months?

I know virtually nothing about this area of the law, and even less about American/NH laws on the topic. However, it seems that she at least has an arguable case. Further, while I'm not sure how often claimants receive solicitor-client costs as part of their damages, but in Canada, it almost never happens. Even if the condo agreement has an indemnification clause in it, it's unlikely either party will receive solicitor-client costs: they'll simply get standard costs (which nowhere approach solicitor-client).

Long story short, it's going to cost Miss Bois a lot, win or lose.
 
2012-03-25 11:17:03 AM
Anyone catch the caption on the photo?

"This is not Kimberly Bois' flower bed, but it is a bed of flowers."
 
2012-03-25 11:19:51 AM
http://consumerist.com/2012/03/condo-association-puts-lien-on-womans-t ownhouse-over-tiny-flower-garden.html

Article with more details I was mentioning.
 
2012-03-25 11:20:17 AM
FLOWER BED
blog.nj.com
 
2012-03-25 11:20:24 AM

MayContainHorseGluten: chookbillion: I think her little planting is ugly. I am also wondering what her dead mother helping to plant them back in the day has to do with anything.

Nothing. It was just put there to draw out comments from a**holes. Gives us farkers a way of knowing who to ignore.


:)
 
2012-03-25 11:20:48 AM
I learned last night that there are 3 open seats (out of 5) on my HOA's Architecture Review Board. I'm going to sign up at next month's election. I'll approve anything.
 
2012-03-25 11:21:26 AM

jayphat: I read this same story over at the entitlement whore Consumerist from a different news source. What's not mentioned here is that her condo association rules do not permit OR prohibit the planting of flowers.


Most don't have a rule specifically dealing with flowers. A by-law prohibiting modifications to the common areas is almost universal.

Also, they never notified her of the fines. She got a letter once a month stating that she needed to remove the flowers, but nothing about a fine. It wasn't until she said fark it, and tried to sell the condo and found the lien in place.

I agree this is a problem. Condos should be allowed to recover costs associated with rule enforcement and remediation; however they should not be allowed to arbitrarily impose fines. Where I live you have to go through the courts if an owner will not pay imposed costs / legal fees. This means a neutral third-party decides if the situation is fair and assures the rules in question are reasonable. Also, most areas require a formal Notice of Lien to be sent by registered letter.

/condo association Nazis galore in this story.


The reason why most condos enforce the rules include:

1. Enforcing the rules is a legal obligation of the Board. If they choose to not enforce a rule (rather than formally repeal it), they can be sued personally.
2. A condo's value is tightly linked to the consistency of the common elements. Condos that let owners paint the exterior, have large gardens, etc. generally lose value.
3. Boards have to treat everyone equally and fairly. If you let one owner plant flowers then you have to let all owners plant them. The problem here is that someone always takes it too far.
 
2012-03-25 11:21:48 AM

NewWorldDan: I learned last night that there are 3 open seats (out of 5) on my HOA's Architecture Review Board. I'm going to sign up at next month's election. I'll approve anything.


Penis shaped mailboxes for everyone.
 
2012-03-25 11:24:52 AM

YouPeopleAreCrazy: waiting4godot: Owning a condo does not have "all the hassle" of owning a house.

Some, but not all. But it does have most of the disadvantages of renting an apartment.
Personally, I don't want to hear the fat guy upstairs walking around, or the girl next door slamming her headboard into the wall at 3 AM.

Yes, owning a condo may be building equity, but the 'shared wall' thing is not my cup of tea. Others love it. For me, no. Given the choice between shared wall or lawnmower, I know which I'd pick.


Well, you have to buy the one that doesn't have anybody above you and doesn't have a shared wall. My condo is one of 4 in each building. 2 of them are "up and downs" like mine that are the entire corner of the building, an "upper," and a "ranch." On one side is the other "up and down" and there are two walls between us. He has his wall and I have mine. On the other side is the garage where all four units have a garage. Two walls there too. And above the garage is the "upper" and there are two walls between my upstairs and it.

Buying into someplace that has always been a condo and not old apartments that were converted is important.
 
2012-03-25 11:34:29 AM
You joined the association.
You signed the papers.
You are an idiot.
No sympathy.
 
2012-03-25 11:39:57 AM
She may have originally gotten permission to plant those flowers in a common area, but as they are perennials, she's no doubt planting them every season.

Annuals have to be planted every season. Perennials come back on their own.
 
2012-03-25 11:49:51 AM
But the New Hampshire woman says she planted the flowers with permission from the developer, before there was a condo board at the Portsmouth complex.

Bullshiat. Condos don't exist without associations. She might have talked to a builder before the condos were finished but only a fool would believe that they could negotiate themselves out of terms of the upcoming covenants. That's like saying, "I talked to the crew building the road and they told me there wouldn't be a 25MPH zone in front of the school so I'm allowed to drive 45 through here."

If you want to put your personal stank on a home, don't buy a condo. How hard is that to figure out?
 
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