Hoa horror. Would you bail or stay and fight?

6 Replies

Last year, I bought a house in the subdivision Grove Park in Durham, NC.  We got renters in the place and ended up asking them to leave because they could not follow the hoa guidelines and they were happy to go.  Got new renters in and I am realizing that the hoa difficulties are not valid issues.   We get about one letter per month for minor issues, but this one takes the cake.  I got a letter saying that the renters need to clean up a planter in the backyard because it is full of weeds.  First off, those weeds are rosemary, which were there when we bought the house, NOT weeds.  It has a layer of pine straw over the bare earth.  Second, it's in the BACK YARD, not visible from the street.  In order to see this planter, the hoa had to ride a golf cart down a greenway and use binoculars.   This is not cool.  I felt I was being targeted, but when looking on the neighborhoods social sight, I am learning that we are not being targeted, that this sort of thing happens all the time.  One person got told to remove their high grass from the mailbox.... it was daylillies.   Another got told to remove weeds from a planter and stated they are phylox, not weeds.   So would you stay and fight, or just sell this place and buy elsewhere, leaving the hoa nazi's to their game?   I would take a loss.  I replaced flooring and got a new water heater, etc.... thinking I'd keep this place at least 20 years .

@Cheryl R. What are the repercussions for not complying? I might also take a picture of the plants that are supposedly a problem and head to a local gardening store where you can by the plants in question to demonstrate that the plants are intentional.

I myself had an HOA manager that was working to make the community in her image. As a result, she irritated the entire neighborhood, created a hostile working environment for herself and quit. I don't know that you're in a fight or flight situation, but I would learn who is enabling this behavior and essentially go over the head of whoever is sending out these notices. Ultimately in an HOA complex, you're all working together to make it a comfortable living situation. I might talk to the HOA president. Ideally, that is an elected position that requires input from the residents.

Hope it works out!! Best of luck!!!

Well you can fight t but you’d probably lose. I would never buy a rental with an hoa and this is essentially the reason why.

I may live somewhere that had an hoa but as rentals it likely just makes your time harder than it should be

Hi @Cheryl R.  - it's great to see another person on BP that owns property in the Grove Park subdivision... I live on Lakeside. 

While the violation letters are obnoxious and there have a been a lot of them sent out this spring, I can confirm that the HOA President has had a meeting with the on-site HOA Manager and in the next couple of weeks the HOA Board plans on having a special session to discuss the enormous amount of violation letters that have been distributed.

While I'd love to list your property if you were to leave the subdivision - I do not think that this is a "flight scenario". I think with the outcry from the community, the HOA board is going to be proactive in this situation.

Okay, I took time to read your whole post now. The HOA of grove park also sends me letters every few months to move trash cans, pick up leaves, paint my mailbox, etc. they’re pretty anal about things I agree. But the neighborhood looks really nice and the grounds are extremely well maintained. I’d prefer that they be annoying about little things rather than have the neighborhood look ******.... I’ve never actually received a fine for a violation. I think of the HOA as a free property manager for me.

@Cheryl R. You may want to get more involved with the HOA. Get to know the board members. Attend meetings if they have them. I work with property managers all the time. The more they see me, the less I get bothered. Like anything, real estate is a people business. Good luck!!