HOA hasnt responded....

8 Replies

I own a home in a community with a HOA. (My live-in home) The neighbors bought 6 (yes 6) dogs that bark everytime we walk out of our house now. Our yards are fairly close together, and these dogs sit on the fence that line our back yards, wait for us to move, and bark uncontrollably. They take them inside when they start (after maybe 10-20 minutes), but we are literally tip-toeing around that side of the home and yard, to see if we can sneak past the dogs, if they are out. (They bought these dogs maybe 6 months ago, and weve been putting up with it since)

I realized yesterday that this was completely unacceptable, and that these animals were literally affecting our property, its usage, our privacy, and our well being in the community.

We called and left a message 90 days ago, and also sent a letter to the owners, and heard no response. The dogs are let out anytime, and are seriously uncontrollable. They are crazy small dogs that run to the fence, and jump, growl, and bark, and appear very angry. We cant use our back porch without having to guage the situation first. "Are the dogs outside? Can you see if they are out?" This is the conversation before we exit the house most days.

Im a patient man, but I plan on suing for the square footage of the house that was rendered useless because of the barking of the dogs (per month), honestly, I'd like to try for the entire mortgage payment, for the time spent trying to get the neighbors to comply.(6 months as of right now). We contacted the HOA, and havent heard anything back. Its been 2 weeks since we sent them a letter, as per their guidelines for a disturbance situation. Weve followed the community guidelines the whole way.

So my question is, how would you continue with this? Should I get an attorney to press on both the homeowners and the HOA? What would you want back for the time you spent listening to these dogs, and trying to get rid of them?

PS. - I have movies of the dogs in action (as well as other neighbors commenting on the craziness of the situation), and also photos of our yards, and how the dogs affect us. Also, I dont actually "own" the home free and clear. I have a mortgage. Im just used to saying that.

Anthony

Well, Ive tried to talk to them about it, but they seem very uninterested. They dont seem to think its that big of a deal. I told them that things were going to have to change, or I would be contacting the HOA. They said "ok", and shut the door in my face. This type of behavior pisses me off even more, as you can imagine. This is the reason Im thinking about suing. Simply because they are avoiding the situation, and making me mad.

I sent them a letter also, outlining the situation, per the guidelines of the HOA. I asked them to call me on their own time, so we could work toward fixing the situation. They never called.

I have also called thier home, but I think they have caller id, and dont answer when I call. I leave messages, but they have never been returned.

The rules for the HOA are very clear. Anything on a property that is disturbing another property must be removed. Also, the state of delaware states that any owner of a residential property housing 3 or more dogs must have a kennel license, which I am sure they do not have. So not only are they breaking HOA rules, but state law as well.

Originally posted by "TonyS.":
The rules for the HOA are very clear. Anything on a property that is disturbing another property must be removed. Also, the state of delaware states that any owner of a residential property housing 3 or more dogs must have a kennel license, which I am sure they do not have. So not only are they breaking HOA rules, but state law as well.

Keep all your documentation, even the dates you try to go outside and are barked at. Report them to the city--what ever your animal control agency is.
As far as the hoa, this may be an example of selective enforcement, but have you asked to be heard at a board meeting? What of other neighbors? If they are similaarly affected, ask them to track and report these animals, too.

Anytime you are dealing with a situation like this where there is complaint or issue you need to send your letters certified, return requested and keep all of your documentation.

I heard about some kind of gizmo that you can put in your yard that emits a high pitched sound which is supposed to stop dogs from barking and not harm them. Might be worth a shot.

I'll qualify what I am writing here by saying that I am currently the president of the HOA where I live.

My three most persistent complaints are:

1. Property maintenance
2. Animals
3. Property design and decorating issues

I don't know where you live in Delaware, but typically you would report this to the DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources). Wilmington and Dover have Animal Control Officers who you would report this to.

If you have not already done so, send two letters ... one regular mail, one certified return receipt to the HOA. Do this twice, waiting a week or two in between each. If they do not respond within two weeks of the last letter ... send a compliant to the DNR. Selective enforcement HOAs like this are what sends them swirling down the drain.

Remember, pet owners look at their pets like kids. You are basically asking them to 'correct' or get rid of some of their kids. I know, I have had to do this twice.

I don't condone this, however, the second time I had to deal with this, the neighbor without the dog wired up a stereo and set it by the fence. When the dog came out and started barking he switched on the stereo until the owner let the dog in. That one almost fixed itself.

Originally posted by "navydoc":
I don't condone this, however, the second time I had to deal with this, the neighbor without the dog wired up a stereo and set it by the fence. When the dog came out and started barking he switched on the stereo until the owner let the dog in. That one almost fixed itself.

What an absolutely marvelous idea. That might work with almost ANY neighbor problem.

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