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(12News Phoenix)   Your house burned down during a massive wildfire? Sorry for your loss, but we're the HOA. Pay up. Now   ( 12news.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Property, Chalet Village, Assessment, HOA, property owners, The Bill, HOA fees, HOA membership fee  
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13007 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Mar 2017 at 10:32 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-03-05 08:49:16 AM  
Sue  the HOA for not maintaining the common areas. If they don't think fire id's an excuse, neither should you.
 
2017-03-05 09:32:47 AM  
 
2017-03-05 10:26:39 AM  

EvilEgg: Sue  the HOA for not maintaining the common areas. If they don't think fire id's an excuse, neither should you.


OMG. Somebody gofund this idea.  And every contribution to it should be $290. :)
 
2017-03-05 10:39:21 AM  
Never buy a property with a HOA.

That being said, the bylaws look extraordinarily weak. If a few people can show up and vote new rules in then you have all that's needed for a hostile takeover.
 
2017-03-05 10:45:21 AM  
I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.
 
2017-03-05 10:49:02 AM  

Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.


Is your HOA America?
 
2017-03-05 10:52:30 AM  
Well, the HOA's funding needs don't change because some houses burned down. The swimming pools and other recreational areas aren't going to clean themselves. But it does seem heartless to tell someone to pay up when their home has burned down.

I hope the people whose houses burned had insurance :-/
 
2017-03-05 10:53:17 AM  
Never buy in an HOA.
 
2017-03-05 10:54:17 AM  
F**k HOAs.  Right in the ear.
 
2017-03-05 10:55:29 AM  
The end game for HOAs is that they can put a lien on and eventually take your home if you are in default for an extended period.

In this case, if my house has already burned down, I would tell them to go ahead and take my rubble pile.
 
2017-03-05 10:56:31 AM  
I know y'all love to hate on HOAs but after living in a neighborhood without one where it was disbanded, I'd like an HOA

No car repair business, no crappy farm and a pool and park being maintained

Mind you the HOA fees were 25$ a year before it was disbanded and all it did was general upkeep
 
2017-03-05 10:57:13 AM  

Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.


In Florida the problem is that the seniors, who run all the HOAs, like to intentionally schedule meetings for the middle of the day when all the younger people are at work.  Of course even when they do schedule them at reasonable hours, a large portion of the younger residence still can't show up, because this is Florida, and we have a 24 hour economy.  The seniors then pass a bunch of rules and regulations based on whatever trivial non-issue bothered them that day.
 
2017-03-05 10:58:42 AM  

Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.


My problem was the brain-dead neighbors who *did* attend the meetings.

Now have a house with no HOA.
 
2017-03-05 10:59:09 AM  
winedrinkingman:
In Florida the problem is that the seniors, who run all the HOAs, like to intentionally schedule meetings for the middle of the day when all the younger people are at worky.

that is basically the issue with every hoa
 
2017-03-05 11:00:25 AM  

loonatic112358: I know y'all love to hate on HOAs but after living in a neighborhood without one where it was disbanded, I'd like an HOA

No car repair business, no crappy farm and a pool and park being maintained

Mind you the HOA fees were 25$ a year before it was disbanded and all it did was general upkeep


Deed restriction don't require an HOA.
 
2017-03-05 11:00:26 AM  
Their rental property burned? In a place with a name that includes Chalet? Twice? And you're griping about fees you can pass on to renters?  Yeah, boo farking hoo, GFY while I play the world's smallest violin for your investment property loss.
 
2017-03-05 11:01:25 AM  
I'm sympathetic towards the homeowners who lost their homes, but most of the time, stuff like this can be handled with a call or two to the HOA president without involving lawyers and media.  Once lawyers are involved, the costs rise exponentially.

Like the homeowner, the HOA still has its own bills to pay -- insurance, maintenance expenses, management fees.  Homeowners seem to have this feeling that the HOA fees are optional.  The HOA can and will put a lien on your property if you don't keep up with your obligations.

Sorry...  Former bitter HOA board member here.  I've seen both sides of the turd.
 
2017-03-05 11:02:27 AM  
What does the home burning down and owing the fee have to do with each other?  I hate HOAs, and wouldn't buy a property involved with one, but if you do and have, then why would you expect the obligation to vanish just because your home burned down?  That seems like a wildly optimistic assumption.  In theory you're paying the fee to employ people who manage and maintain shared facilities.  Those people and facilities still exist, irrespective of your house burning down.  The contract certainly doesn't say, fee is mandatory unless your house burns down or is otherwise unoccupied.  Now the HOA may be (probably is) a bag of d-cks, the money they collect may be (probably is) misspent, so by all means vote to get rid of the damn thing or otherwise fix it, but the tone of the article and the people suggesting this is somehow uniquely or bizarrely unjust doesn't reflect the grim, predictable reality of the world I've known.
 
2017-03-05 11:03:47 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Never buy in an HOA.


And if you do, READ THE FARKING DOCUMENTS.

FTA:  "It wasn't until he began living there himself that he looked more closely at the HOA agreement."

Also, just because he got burned out, doesn't mean he can't use the pool :)

On the flip side, the HOA likely has a problem with the notices, of course.
 
2017-03-05 11:04:04 AM  

loonatic112358: I know y'all love to hate on HOAs but after living in a neighborhood without one where it was disbanded, I'd like an HOA


use your city ordinances.
 
2017-03-05 11:05:00 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Never buy in an HOA.


But if you do, expect to pay the fees that come with it.

Going by TFA, the HOA (which no doubt required a dwelling there be insured) recommended trying to include the fee in their claim. The problem being that most claims have already been filed, so too late.

The upside is that it's paltry $290.00, or about 1/500th or less what the insurance company is on the hook for.
 
2017-03-05 11:05:23 AM  

Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.


I live in an unincorporated area of my town. We have a kind of HOA as it's voluntary and as far as I know, there are no rules.

Every so often they send out a crappy, what looks like a hand drawn map of the neighborhood and color in the houses that haven't paid. I guess they're trying to shame people into paying.

They provide no services that I'm aware of and the township board is farking useless. They don't respond to email and have zero information about what they actually do on their website and there are no meetings that I'm aware of. I have no idea what the money is for. There is a small community center so I guess it may be for that. Though they still charge residents to use it on top of the "HOA" fees.
 
2017-03-05 11:08:36 AM  

wax_on: Never buy a property with a HOA.


Townhomes make decent starters for young couples who find that their rented apartment doesn't have the space they need for a baby. Good luck finding one without an HOA. Not that you should really try. Your reward would just be having to lug your lawnmower around the whole block to get to the front lawn.
 
2017-03-05 11:12:24 AM  
Last year, my neighbor's house caught fire and severely damaged my house. It was bad enough that I had to move out because the fire wall was damaged.

Anyway during that time frame the HOA did property inspections to check for violations, but knowing I wasn't able to live at my house and was away, they basically skipped over my house until I was able to return. So that was good of them. Then had trouble with the trash people who I really don't like, which they didn't help with.
 
2017-03-05 11:16:54 AM  
Yet another example of why one should never, ever buy a home with an HOA.
 
2017-03-05 11:20:17 AM  

winedrinkingman: Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.

In Florida the problem is that the seniors, who run all the HOAs, like to intentionally schedule meetings for the middle of the day when all the younger people are at work.  Of course even when they do schedule them at reasonable hours, a large portion of the younger residence still can't show up, because this is Florida, and we have a 24 hour economy.  The seniors then pass a bunch of rules and regulations based on whatever trivial non-issue bothered them that day.


My community doesn't have that excuse.  The board and ownership are my demographic...middle aged working folk.  The meetings are held at a perfectly reasonable after work time and the voting ones are advertised weeks in advance.  Yes issues are framed with misleading language to discourage opposition but the community should have the brain cells not to fall for it repeatedly.

I remain here because the alternative to an HOA is a stroke-inducing commute.  The problems are largely financial and in principle.  It's actually an otherwise nice and convenient place to live.
 
2017-03-05 11:22:14 AM  

loonatic112358: I know y'all love to hate on HOAs but after living in a neighborhood without one where it was disbanded, I'd like an HOA

No car repair business, no crappy farm and a pool and park being maintained

Mind you the HOA fees were 25$ a year before it was disbanded and all it did was general upkeep


So, lesson learned is don't live near people who will only do right because of an external threat, got it.

/No HOA
//Hit with SC's 10000 year flood back in 2015
///Neighbors banded together and fixed each other up
 
2017-03-05 11:25:14 AM  

wax_on: Never buy a property with a HOA.

That being said, the bylaws look extraordinarily weak. If a few people can show up and vote new rules in then you have all that's needed for a hostile takeover.


This.  My parents HOA bylaws have an actual statement forbiding pink flamingos on the front lawn.  There is no excuse for such pettiness.

/after i read that i went home, bought a couple of pink flamingos, planted them in my front lawn, and sent my parents picts
//then again the original rules of the house i bought forbid asians on the property
 
2017-03-05 11:28:06 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Never buy in an HOA.


Some years ago a friend moved out of Jersey to Pennsylvania.  One of the reasons he gave for fleeing Jersey was NJ's notoriously corrupt system of municipal governments.    In Pennsylvania his new house was a part of a HOA.   From the frying pan and into the.......
 
2017-03-05 11:30:28 AM  

thurstonxhowell: wax_on: Never buy a property with a HOA.

Townhomes make decent starters for young couples who find that their rented apartment doesn't have the space they need for a baby. Good luck finding one without an HOA. Not that you should really try. Your reward would just be having to lug your lawnmower around the whole block to get to the front lawn.


No, your reward would be being able to use your property as you see fit.  I was, for a brief sad time, that young person that needed something more than an apt but who couldn't yet afford a house.  I should have just stayed in an apt. and saved for a real house.  Either that or have rented a house.  The biggest problem was that my hobby was restoring/working on cars.  The HOA would always have a shiat fit whenever I happened to open my garage door and they saw inside.  Apparently, they thought the only thing that should be in a garage is a single parked car. No tools, no bicycles, no camping gear, etc..

They had some absolutely insane ideas.  They even claimed that letting people change the oil in their car in their own garage would cause fires.  Don't know about you but I have never seen an oil change lead to a fire.  Oil is pretty darn hard to set on fire.  I know this since as a 14 year old me and a buddy tried to light some on fire and failed at every turn.

As for having to mow some grass, I am happy to do that in exchange for doing what I want on my own land.
 
2017-03-05 11:30:32 AM  

Ima4nic8or: Yet another example of why one should never, ever buy a home with an HOA.


Everyone of you here making that blanket statement is just ignorant. I've been a mortgage banker for 30+ years and know pretty much everything there is to know about buying, selling and owning real estate. I now live in a subdivision with an HOA. I read the documents BEFORE I bought my property and you know what? Everything is fine.
 
2017-03-05 11:32:46 AM  
Chalet Village HOA rules are notoriously arbitrary; when I bought a cabin in Gatlinburg, I avoided them. I belong to a different one; it keeps the driveway clear, removes dead trees and limbs, and few other small but helpful things, and they waived the fee for people with property damage until April, and those who lost their property (about 20 in my association) they dropped them entirely until they rebuild or sell).

My guess is these were automated notices sent by the realty company computer. If a few people object to them, they'll probably waive them. I know Ski Chalet Village got an insurance payout that should get them through the summer.
 
2017-03-05 11:33:28 AM  
If you can't engineer a vote to dissolve your HOA with your neighbours, you should probably not live there.
 
2017-03-05 11:33:50 AM  

gingerjet: wax_on: Never buy a property with a HOA.

That being said, the bylaws look extraordinarily weak. If a few people can show up and vote new rules in then you have all that's needed for a hostile takeover.

This.  My parents HOA bylaws have an actual statement forbiding pink flamingos on the front lawn.  There is no excuse for such pettiness.

/after i read that i went home, bought a couple of pink flamingos, planted them in my front lawn, and sent my parents picts
//then again the original rules of the house i bought forbid asians on the property


Just because an HOA passes rules does not make them immune from a lawsuit.  Satellite dishes mounted on roof tops is one such example where HOAs lost.

FWIW, I would gladly live in a townhome community with an HOA.  Fark lawn maintenance and all that.  One such area I was looking at to buy was comprised of people 40+ and no children.  Talk about a slice of heaven.
 
2017-03-05 11:33:56 AM  
Everyone hates HOAs, until they buy a nice house in a nice neighborhood and has some asshat neighbor who does something that bothers them.

Whether you want to admit it or not, unless you've got several acres of land, the activities of your neighbor's directly impact your quality of life.  HOAs serve an actual function, particularly in areas where the local government either doesn't have rules or doesn't enforce them.

HOAs grant people power.  And power can be abused.  And that's true of power at all levels.
 
2017-03-05 11:40:47 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Everyone hates HOAs, until they buy a nice house in a nice neighborhood and has some asshat neighbor who does something that bothers them.

Whether you want to admit it or not, unless you've got several acres of land, the activities of your neighbor's directly impact your quality of life.  HOAs serve an actual function, particularly in areas where the local government either doesn't have rules or doesn't enforce them.

HOAs grant people power.  And power can be abused.  And that's true of power at all levels.



So they're like a trade union, except instead of it being a trade it's snooty Republican home-owners who just don't like non-conformity and are willing to join a union in this instance to prevent it. Gotcha.
 
2017-03-05 11:42:44 AM  

Gary-L: gingerjet: wax_on: Never buy a property with a HOA.

That being said, the bylaws look extraordinarily weak. If a few people can show up and vote new rules in then you have all that's needed for a hostile takeover.

This.  My parents HOA bylaws have an actual statement forbiding pink flamingos on the front lawn.  There is no excuse for such pettiness.

/after i read that i went home, bought a couple of pink flamingos, planted them in my front lawn, and sent my parents picts
//then again the original rules of the house i bought forbid asians on the property

Just because an HOA passes rules does not make them immune from a lawsuit.  Satellite dishes mounted on roof tops is one such example where HOAs lost.

FWIW, I would gladly live in a townhome community with an HOA.  Fark lawn maintenance and all that.  One such area I was looking at to buy was comprised of people 40+ and no children.  Talk about a slice of heaven.


They do not make them immune from a lawsuit but that doesn't prevent them from passing such rules and attempting to make your life a living hell trying to enforce them.

/ignoring the fact that suing your neighbors is not exactly a winning proposition for happy cohabitation
//don't buy if they have an HOA.  period.
 
2017-03-05 11:44:01 AM  

starsrift: If you can't engineer a vote to dissolve your HOA with your neighbours, you should probably not live there.


I challenge you to dissolve an HOA.  Not a POA, and not a voluntary HOA, a real HOA.  They are almost impossible to dissolve.
 
2017-03-05 11:44:13 AM  

jmr61: Ima4nic8or: Yet another example of why one should never, ever buy a home with an HOA.

Everyone of you here making that blanket statement is just ignorant. I've been a mortgage banker for 30+ years and know pretty much everything there is to know about buying, selling and owning real estate. I now live in a subdivision with an HOA. I read the documents BEFORE I bought my property and you know what? Everything is fine.


Because when i read "mortgage banker" I promptly go to that person for sane and rational advice.
 
2017-03-05 11:44:23 AM  

winedrinkingman: Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.

In Florida the problem is that the seniors, who run all the HOAs, like to intentionally schedule meetings for the middle of the day when all the younger people are at work.  Of course even when they do schedule them at reasonable hours, a large portion of the younger residence still can't show up, because this is Florida, and we have a 24 hour economy.  The seniors then pass a bunch of rules and regulations based on whatever trivial non-issue bothered them that day.


No. The problem is the developers set up their own "property management company" to run the HOA in the new communities, so what should be community upkeep turns into just another profit center to be milked by them.
 
2017-03-05 11:45:11 AM  

thurstonxhowell: wax_on: Never buy a property with a HOA.

Townhomes make decent starters for young couples who find that their rented apartment doesn't have the space they need for a baby. Good luck finding one without an HOA. Not that you should really try. Your reward would just be having to lug your lawnmower around the whole block to get to the front lawn.


It depends what city you're in, you can find them without an HOA here.
Even if by chance the HOA wins in small claims, the assholes have no way to collect in this situation.
 
2017-03-05 11:51:23 AM  

jmr61: I read the documents BEFORE I bought my property



Seconded. Know what you are committing to BEFORE you sign.

Of course, "the system" discourages prospective homeowners from actually doing it. The first time I bought a house, the many papers were presented only at signing. Much eye-rolling and a few snide remarks ensued from the various professionals as my wife and I made them wait while we actually read them.

I will grant (in retrospect) that much of it was boilerplate, but it was new to us, dammit!

We did a few refinancings along the way. Having learned from the first time, I told the various professionals to give me copies of the documents several days before the signing. A few didn't take me seriously, with the result that the signing date was pushed back until they could bother to get around to sending me what I asked for.
 
2017-03-05 11:52:02 AM  
When buying a house, read the HOA, and do an inspection.  So many things can be solved later by doing this.
 
2017-03-05 11:53:35 AM  
Much as I, a liberal leftie with hippie overtones, may dislike HOAs for me this particular one doesn't seem to be doing anything horribly wrong. In the letter they sent they recognized the fire tragedy but said they can't really legally waive collection AND they have facilities they need to maintain. Sounds like they're in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

HOAs are free to exist for those people that like them. Diversity is good.

She provided a letter which accompanied the bill: "Please understand that this letter is difficult to send knowing and understanding the losses you all have experienced," it says. "However, we are bound by the covenants and restrictions in good times and bad. Looking long term, when your homes are rebuilt or you prepare to sell your properties, it is important that the facilities of Chalet Village are ready and available to continue to add value to your investments. Unfortunately, we are not able to achieve this without collecting the assessments necessary to operate."

 
2017-03-05 12:01:46 PM  

gingerjet: My parents HOA bylaws have an actual statement forbiding pink flamingos on the front lawn.  There is no excuse for such pettiness.


The folks who think this is the problem with HOAs are why there are HOAs.  A crippling special assessment because your board misread a communication from the city and bullied owners into approving it...THAT's a problem with an HOA.  Not that you can't litter your lawn with dumb shiat.
 
2017-03-05 12:02:40 PM  
It is common to assess dues on vacant land within a HOA, the dues are irrespective of property value and usually a set amount per lot.

Also, who doesn't have property insurance for losses from a fire?  It was an investment property, not a squatter's cabin.  No need for a Gofundme, he needs a Gofarkme instead.
 
2017-03-05 12:05:04 PM  
Said it before say it again.  HOA suck for a number of reasons.  Its one thing if all the hoa has power to do is deal with command areas of the HOA.  Its another when they can start telling you what you can and can't do on your land.

A HOA should never have the power to tell someone any of the following stuff

1st. what color their house/fence can and can't be.
2nd. if and what type of stuff they can have in their backyards. such as pools/kids toys/other items to make their yard fun for them.
3rd. if they can park and/or store items/rv/boats/etc on their land.  Sorry someone shouldn't be forced to pay to have their RV/boat/atv/etc  stored off site just because people round them don't like it.(no granted i am talking bout RV/boats/atv/etc that are in good working order and not busted up crap that belongs in a scrapyard that stuff go ahead and make them get rid of.)
4th. they can't have work trucks in their driveways.  I know of at lest 5 people living in different HOA round me who work in jobs that sometimes require them to be on call and have their work trucks with them(power/cable/tow/city) and are not able to park them in their driveways and must park them outside the HOA land.

All 4 of these examples are cause the HOA saids letting people do them lowers the land values.  I call bull if you own a house and can't make it work for you its worth nothing.
 
2017-03-05 12:11:23 PM  

loonatic112358: I know y'all love to hate on HOAs but after living in a neighborhood without one where it was disbanded, I'd like an HOA

No car repair business, no crappy farm and a pool and park being maintained

Mind you the HOA fees were 25$ a year before it was disbanded and all it did was general upkeep


Some of us live in areas with a concept called "zoning".
 
2017-03-05 12:13:52 PM  

American-Irish eyes: Abox: I recently discovered my hate for my HOA was misdirected.  The real problem is my brain-dead neighbors who skip meetings where terrible policies are passed because nobody shows up to vote them down.

Is your HOA America?


Very well done.
 
2017-03-05 12:14:54 PM  
I don't care how attractive the price or suitable the neighborhood, never purchase a property in an HOA. Ever.

HOAs benefit the developer far more than the homeowners, and allow for some rather nasty situations to occur in which the single homeowner can be at the mercy of other homeowners in the HOA. What's worse is when local governments collude with developers to establish HOAs for the purpose of either demographic management or tax management. At that point, you're looking at a de facto extension of the local government, but without the protections and rights a citizen normally has under a local government.

The only way to force HOAs to change or disband is to render properties associated with them worthless. The easiest way to do that is to never buy or rent a property in an HOA.
 
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