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Subject: How do you get rid of a HOA in Oklahoma?
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KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/14/2017 10:42 PM  
I live in a HOA in Oklahoma. In general the HOA does not cause me any problems. I pay a very minimal $70 a year. I don't get hassled, fined or any other problems. The reason I would like to get rid of it is none of the members follow any of the rules. There are rules about number and types of structures, no renters(main reason I'd like to abandon it since I can't rent my property supposedly), can't have a business(many do), etc. I don't want to start a big fight and I would still pay the $70 to maintain the road and lights but the annoying rules need to go since they are not being followed by anyone. Is there a way to get this started or is it time to talk to an attorney?
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3427


04/14/2017 11:11 PM  
Not that I am aware of in Oklahoma as far as State Statutes. You might look at your CCR's to see if they make any such statements. However, if you have common area property, especially streets and lighting you really do not want to eliminate the association. Without the association and your governing documents ... while you might be willing to continue paying $70 (or other amount) if others do not then there is no recourse to force them to pay without the contract or essentially your CCR's.

Here is a website which has link for some State laws:
https://homeownersassociations.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/oklahoma-law-for-homeowners-associations/
KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/14/2017 11:14 PM  
I don't know all the details since I am relatively new, but I'd really just like to get rid of all the rules and continue paying for the road and lights. I question whether that is being taken care of since nobody can remember any work ever being done to the road. I believe just the light bill is getting paid since the lights are still on? I would think we should possibly discuss getting new LED lights to keep that cost down and fix the potholes in the roads, but I really don't know what goes on with the HOA since there are no meetings, the dues aren't being collected this year so far and no letters.
PitA


Posts:0


04/16/2017 9:32 AM  
How do you get rid of a HOA in Oklahoma?


Short answer: You can't.

Options:

1. live with existing situation
2. amend the 'documents' as per their internal methods
3. move
SleepyC
(New Mexico)

Posts:8


04/16/2017 10:49 AM  
OF COURSE you can dissolve an HOA in Oklahoma. Every state has a mechanism for dissolving associations, corporations, not-for-profit corporations, partnerships, LLCs, religious institutions, whatever--all legal entities can be dissolved.

If the HOA by-laws or similar documents do not provide for a dissolution procedure, state law would come into play.

After all, sometimes HOAs go bankrupt and have to dissolve for that reason alone. You can't force something to exist that cannot exist because it is so deep in debt.

[When a marriage is dissolved, we call it a divorce. A marriage is a legal arrangement of a special kind. You don't have divorce instructions on your marriage license because they exist in state law---and, it would be quite unromantic!!)

Anyone who tells you otherwise is mistaken. I've owned various entities and dissolved them myself, personally, without the help of a lawyer in some cases because I knew my local law so well.

So the first question is, is the trouble of dissolution worth it to you *and your neighbors*?

Alternatively, in your case, could your covenants be amended to cover only maintenance of certain facilities, and forbid the board from regulating use and architecture, or whatever it is you want the board to not be able to do?

Do your governing documents provide for an amendment procedure? I'll bet they do. However, I do know of an HOA whose amendment procedure is so in doubt, they probably can't, so I don't want to assume here. But normally an amendment path is stated right there.

The second question is, do your neighbors agree with you? This is vital. You can do nothing by yourself.

Third question--Can you and your neighbors afford a lawyer to help you make the changes you want to see, and will they contribute the cash?

If you can afford it personally, look for a real estate litigation (preferable) or real estate transaction lawyer licensed in your state, and call them. You should be able to get 5-10 minutes of free advice over the phone. First, make sure you don't call your HOA's law firm, they cannot work with you. You have to find a different firm. I live Avvo.com as a free lawyerly advice source.

Good luck







KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/16/2017 10:50 AM  
I talked to an attorney and he said, "Real property covenants may be “abandoned” by a wholesale waiver and failure to enforce them over a long period of time. The best example is May Avenue in Oklahoma City where the waiver/abandonment of a residential-only covenant by allowing a substantial number of customer traffic businesses in the neighborhood."

I wonder if that applies in this situation with multiple covenants not being unenforced? I have like 6 out of 32 property owners running businesses on their property which supposedly isn't allowed. Another, with a business, has a 4 door shop and we are only supposed to have a 2 car garage.
SleepyC
(New Mexico)

Posts:8


04/16/2017 10:53 AM  
One more thing---

If the HOA is nonfunctional, states often (maybe always) have a mechanism to deal with this, too. I don't know so much about that little bit.

You could ask a lawyer how OK handles nonfunctioning entities.

Sometimes there are registration requirements, notice requirements, etc etc required by the state, but it varies by state. If so, and if not done,
this is definitely A Thing you would want to know about.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14635


04/16/2017 2:01 PM  
Posted By KieranD1 on 04/14/2017 10:42 PM

Is there a way to get this started or is it time to talk to an attorney?




The process would be the same in any State.

Gather support and amend your CC&Rs.

Note: this typically takes 2/3 or more to approve.
KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/17/2017 12:02 AM  
Is it possible to sue the HOA to enforce their covenants in order to bankrupt them in court?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14635


04/17/2017 2:56 AM  
Is it possible to sue your HOA to enforce the covenants?

Yes.

Will this bankrupt them?

Probably not. It will likely cause special assessments to pay legal bills.
Keep in mind, you will have to pay your legal costs and your share of the HOAs legal bills (as you are a member of the HOA).
Additionally, you will likely not receive any money from the legal action. The judge will more likely insist the HOA start enforcement or worse, assign a receiver to take over the Association (which will result in your assessments being raised to pay the receivers salary) until things are straightened out.


If it does bankrupt them, you very likely may have receivership imposed until the bills are paid.


Another thing to keep in mind is that any legal action will likely cause potential buyers to steer clear of the development until the issue is resolved.
PitA


Posts:0


04/17/2017 6:26 AM  
Posted By SleepyC on 04/16/2017 10:49 AM
OF COURSE you can dissolve an HOA in Oklahoma. Every state has a mechanism for dissolving associations, corporations, not-for-profit corporations, partnerships, LLCs, religious institutions, whatever--all legal entities can be dissolved.

If the HOA by-laws or similar documents do not provide for a dissolution procedure, state law would come into play.

After all, sometimes HOAs go bankrupt and have to dissolve for that reason alone. You can't force something to exist that cannot exist because it is so deep in debt.

[When a marriage is dissolved, we call it a divorce. A marriage is a legal arrangement of a special kind. You don't have divorce instructions on your marriage license because they exist in state law---and, it would be quite unromantic!!)

Anyone who tells you otherwise is mistaken. I've owned various entities and dissolved them myself, personally, without the help of a lawyer in some cases because I knew my local law so well.

So the first question is, is the trouble of dissolution worth it to you *and your neighbors*?

Alternatively, in your case, could your covenants be amended to cover only maintenance of certain facilities, and forbid the board from regulating use and architecture, or whatever it is you want the board to not be able to do?

Do your governing documents provide for an amendment procedure? I'll bet they do. However, I do know of an HOA whose amendment procedure is so in doubt, they probably can't, so I don't want to assume here. But normally an amendment path is stated right there.

The second question is, do your neighbors agree with you? This is vital. You can do nothing by yourself.

Third question--Can you and your neighbors afford a lawyer to help you make the changes you want to see, and will they contribute the cash?

If you can afford it personally, look for a real estate litigation (preferable) or real estate transaction lawyer licensed in your state, and call them. You should be able to get 5-10 minutes of free advice over the phone. First, make sure you don't call your HOA's law firm, they cannot work with you. You have to find a different firm. I live Avvo.com as a free lawyerly advice source.

Good luck















You can dissolve the CORPORATION.

The HOA ITSELF (created by the Covenants) continues without the benefit of its members being shielded by the corporate status from PERSONAL liability.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1515


04/17/2017 1:50 PM  
Posted By PitA on 04/17/2017 6:26 AM
You can dissolve the CORPORATION.

The HOA ITSELF (created by the Covenants) continues without the benefit of its members being shielded by the corporate status from PERSONAL liability.

Exactly. A corporation going out of business will not extinguish the covenants and deed restrictions that run with the land. The homeowners will still be on the hook for things like road maintenance, drainage structures and street lights. And without that corporate shield, if the other owners won't pay then it's possible that you will be dangling on the hook all by your lonesome.
SleepyC
(New Mexico)

Posts:8


04/18/2017 3:09 AM  
The correct process in the state for dissolving an association would have to be followed to avoid the problems mentioned here.

Florida is a unique (and beautiful ) state, and so is Florida's local law. This is why an Oklahoma lawyer must be consulted by the original poster, who is from Oklahoma. What is true in Florida may be completely irrelevant in another state.

The following is a general outline, subject to local state and municipality differences.

First, enough people in the HOA must want it to dissolve. If that's not the case, then nothing else really matters. That number might be in the by-laws. If the by-laws are silent, normally state law takes up the slack.

Next, the board needs to develop a plan in consultation with a lawyer. All contracts in which the HOA owes money have to be satisfied--paid off, or renegotiated, so that there are no obligations remaining.

All taxes that might be owed must be paid. In some states I know of, the government itself has procedures to make sure this happens.

Also, it's possible there is a waiting period or other provision to give creditors an opportunity to come forward. Again, check state law.

Next, the assets of the HOA have to be disposed of. So if there's park land, it has to be transferred to the municipality, or sold to a private entity.

If there's a golf course, then that land, buildings, whatever goes with it, has to be sold, donated to a charity, or transferred to the municipality.

The profits on these transfers, if any, have to be distributed to HOA members.

Deed restrictions can be removed with the express consent of everyone affected by the deed restrictions. The HOA could address this as part of its plan.

In some states I know of, in one where I actually own property, there is no obligation to record deeds when real estate changes hands. This means you can buy and sell real estate without making a public record of it. In another state where I used to own property, there is a "rush to record" situation which is almost the exact opposite of that first state. Title companies record deeds as fast as possible because the date of recording can protect them from claims--a claim being somebody coming out of the woodwork with a deed to the property.

That said, updating or changing a deed depends on where you live. But the notion that deeds can never be changed is false.
KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/18/2017 3:14 AM  
Obviously nobody wants restrictions on their property and the most annoying is the restriction that I can't rent. I was just asking how I could get rid of the restrictions. I guess the easiest way is to have a meeting and send letters to everyone to vote on it? As annoying as the restrictions are, I am following all the rules.
SleepyC
(New Mexico)

Posts:8


04/18/2017 3:23 AM  
Here's a link that might be helpful. Again, one would have to lawyer up.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/remove-deed-restrictions-100821.html

I also know of an owner, who happened to be a lawyer, who sued a neighbor in their common HOA and made that neighbor add deed restrictions that the lawyer-neighbor wanted added.

The HOA was not involved and I don't think anybody even knew about it for a few years. It's unclear (to me) if the HOA now has any obligation to enforce those new deed restrictions.



SleepyC
(New Mexico)

Posts:8


04/18/2017 3:27 AM  
Actually, Oklahoma, some people do like restrictions and rules and are glad to have an HOA to enforce them.

I am very glad I don't have to live next door to an auto repair business run out of somebody's garage, for example. Different people want different things.

Your governing documents (by-laws, CC&Rs, Rules & Regulations, Covenants whatever they call them in your case) will specify how the rules can be changed.

KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/18/2017 10:14 AM  
an example is one of my neighbors is running a washer/dryer repair business out of his home. His boneyard is in his backyard and not his garage. I would consider that to be an eyesore?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1515


04/18/2017 1:28 PM  
Posted By SleepyC on 04/18/2017 3:27 AM
Actually, Oklahoma, some people do like restrictions and rules and are glad to have an HOA to enforce them.

This raises a key point: if things devolve to where the HOA is not enforcing the restrictions then why bother having them? Even so, if the restrictions are eliminated there might still be covenants for maintenance and repair of common property.
PitA


Posts:0


04/18/2017 2:55 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 04/18/2017 1:28 PM
Posted By SleepyC on 04/18/2017 3:27 AM
Actually, Oklahoma, some people do like restrictions and rules and are glad to have an HOA to enforce them.

This raises a key point: if things devolve to where the HOA is not enforcing the restrictions then why bother having them? Even so, if the restrictions are eliminated there might still be covenants for maintenance and repair of common property.





Ya think ?!
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3427


04/18/2017 11:37 PM  
KieranD1:

I would recommend that you run for the next Board of Director position. This is potentially your best and least expensive route (court or lawsuits are expensive) way to work on fixing your issue. Yes ... It may take a while to solve the problem, but it would be the cheapest option. Sometimes those hard decisions are not fun, but as long as you are looking out for the welfare of all owners equally and following the CCR's ... that is what is most important. Also, I find "honesty is the best policy". If you have an issue and you are open and honest with owners, showing them the document area violated, state law violated, etc., generally they do not have an issue. When you come across as my way or the highway ... some people dig in and are then not reasonable. Your HOA potentially has issues ... to avoid legal costs I would first try to make changes via other available avenues.
KieranD1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:8


04/19/2017 12:04 AM  
I got one last question which might be a roadblock to any changes. Out of the 32 properties in the HOA 6-8 are owned by the same family. One of those family members is the president of the board and I would bet there would be resistance to change. Its so goofy, but the rules specifically prohibit travel trailers and second residences, but my next door neighbor asked permission from the president and she gave him permission to break the rules and allow his mother to stay in a travel trailer on his property. I have 3 other neighbors doing the same thing, but what is one more? I can post a copy of the covenants if it is helpful. There have been a few revisions and it is a little confusing which ones stand.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3427


04/19/2017 12:50 AM  
Posted By KieranD1 on 04/19/2017 12:04 AM
I got one last question which might be a roadblock to any changes. Out of the 32 properties in the HOA 6-8 are owned by the same family. One of those family members is the president of the board and I would bet there would be resistance to change. Its so goofy, but the rules specifically prohibit travel trailers and second residences, but my next door neighbor asked permission from the president and she gave him permission to break the rules and allow his mother to stay in a travel trailer on his property. I have 3 other neighbors doing the same thing, but what is one more? I can post a copy of the covenants if it is helpful. There have been a few revisions and it is a little confusing which ones stand.


Sometimes the answer is in other areas ... What does your local government allow??? LOL ... an owner in my last subdivision tried that BS and all others had to do is complain to the local government. Unless you want to have the large expense of filing a lawsuit for garbage ... you have to become smarter and think outside the box.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14635


04/19/2017 6:59 AM  
Keep in mind that in addition to the Association, you have the authority to enforce the covenants.
This would be done through the courts and the action would be against the violators.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3427


04/19/2017 8:39 PM  
Posted By KieranD1 on 04/19/2017 12:04 AM
Its so goofy, but the rules specifically prohibit traveI can post a copy of the covenants if it is helpful. There have been a few revisions and it is a little confusing which ones stand.


The ones which "stand" will be the documents most recently filed and which may replace other sections.

I agree with TIm that your other avenue is to insure documents are upheld via court; however, that takes money. Depending on your state ... check your statutes ... as some state the winning party in such a suit gets their legal fees reimbursed by the loosing party. Also, in some the winner cannot have their property assessed for any of the legal fees if they win.

However, I would first check with the local government to see if they have ordinances against what you described. My local government did and that was the route we took as it did not involve legal fees.
AntonyR
(Utah)

Posts:6


04/22/2017 6:50 PM  
I think you can't. And one thing somebody don't take care of the rule that doesn't mean that you have to do the same. You can't rent your property is a tough restriction but what can you do in this case. I like your idea about it. "I guess the easiest way is to have a meeting and send letters to everyone to vote on it?" I think you can make a try.
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