I bought a house and moved a renter into the house, then realized the HOA is terribly strict. There were posts in their neighborhood website about people having liens on their home for not doing what the HOA wanted and they seemed unrealistic. One person said that she was being threatened for a "crooked mailbox flag", and others seemed just as petty. Some people said that they had liens put on their home for things that were not wrong with their home. They claimed they thought the process was "silly" and did not go to their "hearing" and got slapped with a lien.
The HOA responded harshly that these people need to follow the rules.
Yikes! I have renters! I did put in my rental agreement that HOA guidelines must be followed, but do I need to put in anything else next time? I am redoing an agreement and will be showing the home later this week. Do I need to state that they will have to pay fines? How do you deal with a very strict hoa?
Hi, I always ask my tenants to read, sign and date the HOA rules (they are not just guidelines) in addition to all other required lease documents so they can't say they didn't know. The HOA will most likely consider you responsible for any issue related to your tenant, especially when it comes to fines.
As far as a strict HOA, this is a topic in itself. The HOA has to be strict and enforce the rules, that's their duty to the homeowners. If they don't, they "grandfather" behaviors or actions that overrule the actual rules in court or made the rules impossible to enforce. As a example, we had an owner moving his unit wall and effectively taking over common space (end of hallway). Because the HOA didn't do anything for years, the HOA would lose now if trying to take the issue to court. So strict rules enforcement is a great thing in my opinion.
If the rules themselves are too strict, it is a different problem. When complaining about a crooked mailbox flag, they should indicate which section of the rules mandate that it is not acceptable. The same goes for any complaint of any kind and especially before any fine gets assessed. There is usually a long story behind a lien... since it costs money to everyone.
My recommendation is to obtain and record everything you can in writing or emails if you get targeted by the HOA. There are so many "I said/he said" and angry phone calls or aggressive behaviors reported but very hard to prove if things get worse and you need to involve a lawyer.
If the HOA is unrealistic, you may want to team up with other owners and make sure they don't get re-elected at the next HOA election. You may also want to talk to the property management company. They can act as mediator (at least the good ones do) and should be able to explain what appears unreasonable expectations. I always ask them to explain how it works in the other properties they manage...
Thanks for the great info... I will have out a copy of the HOA guidelines with some of the more restrictive rules highlighted (like a fine for street parking), and let them know that if they violate, they pay the fine.