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Subject: selective rule enforcment.
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JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 3:34 PM  
First i would like to state there is a definition page for terms in our cc&r's

on this page it defines limited common use property as the area in the plot plan that is not the structure.

I understand this to mean everything that is not your house.

One of our rules state that homeowners should not use the limited common use area for storage of trash, building materials, personal property or obscene materials.

I with about 25 other members we're fined for violation of this rule. We were told we were in violation of this rule for having our campers / boats / trailers in our backyard. for The record, city ordinance says they are allowed on your property but must be behind the front of your house. There is no other rule at all that limits objects like these.

The definition page has no definition for the terms used in that rule outside of the one that I pointed out. I and my neighbors have challenged this rule stating it does not say no campers / boats / trailers. They state that it qualifies as personal property. I challenge that this is selective enforcement. Since there is no definition of personal property in the definitions page I argue you have to go by the legal definition which states personal property is any movable object that you own. i also use the defintion of storage as any object that is in a place for future us. i challenge that in order to enforce this rule they must fine every person who has a grill out side or trash cans next to the garage or a car and their driveway.

When I bought the house the current homeowner had a trailer he used for work next to the garage in the area that is considered the backyard. As I drove through the neighborhood multiple people had trailers and campers in their backyard. After the first year and talking with my neighbors and being told by the company who manages our HOA that we must follow the city ordinance, i bought a boat.

i was never given a copy of our rules when we moved in. I called multiple times asking for a copy he was told we would be giving them at closing. This is my first time deal with an HOA. In order to close on the house we had to sign that we received them even though we did not, (mistake, i know). After moving in I called multiple times to get a copy sent and it was never sent. The third time I called I asked what the rule was and that's when I was told to follow city ordinance. For the record the HOA manager we had was found to be negligent in his job even to the extent of embezzling money and is no longer with the company.

Fast forward six years later for the first time since I've lived here with a new board president they're einforcing this rule but only on boats, trailers and campers. We have rules that specifically State you cannot have a pool that can be seen from the road, it must be blocked by Shrubbery or privacy fence. I can see three from my front door. These rules have not and have never been enforced. I have asked other neighbors have they ever heard of them enforcing the rule on boats, trailers and or campers. One neighbor who's been here 13 years has had a camper and never had an issue another has been here 17 years and has never had an issue.

do i have any leg to stand on. our rules state they must have 66% to change a rule. over 34% of us are in violation and many more dont have an issue with them. the new hoa president kept a snowmobile trailer in his drive way till last year which is a violation of city code. With the attorney present we have a meeting next week. I'm prepared to challenge that they cannot selectively enforce this rule. The either have to not enforce it at all or enforce it to the full extent fineing every person who has a vehicle in the driveway. Every house here has more Vehicles than can fit in the garage except for a handful.

My thought process is, if they fine everybody with a vehicle people will vote the change the rule. Since they don't have the necessary numbers no new rule would be voted in limiting boats or trailers or campers.

thanks for ypur help

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:6784


09/07/2017 4:02 PM  
Funny bet you never cared about this rule till it was enforced on you? Your complaining about seeing other violations are you not? What do you think their reaction is going to be if they were addressed to? "Well it's selective enforcement cause Mr X over there has a boat.. etc." You don't like the rule, then get enough votes to change it.

BTW: Your rules are available at the courthouse. Not all states make it mandatory the rules be turned over at purchase. It's viewed as your responsibility to be informed. So the CC&R's and the Articles of Incorporation are PUBLIC documents. The By-laws are HOA documents. They may or may not be on file at the county courthouse with the CC&R's. The Articles of Incorporation are STATE level documents if your HOA is incorporated. A state website may have a copy.

So cry selective enforcement all you want. In the end, you may well be in violation. You just are making the others in violation not too happy by pointing out theirs as well.

Former HOA President
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 4:27 PM  
melissa, i am not complaining about others in violation of other rules, im sorry of it came off that way. i was trying to use an example how only, part of one rule is being enforced for the first time. i have no issues with the pools. that is a diffrent rule. they have never enoforced a rule in the 6 yrs i have lived here.

its not that now the board has changed and they are going to enforce the rules. its they are selectively going to enforce only part of one rule. i park in my driveway, i will burn my self by getting them to enforce the rule completely. but my point in that is to get people to take notice in it.

there is only 2 people who i know of that have an issue with campers ect. they are both on the board. they in fact were so pushy about this that one board member quit over it. i tryed to talk to the new president about it and 3 diffrent houses came out and watched him scream at me while i held my 2 year old and threaten violence against me. the people who watched even asked why i didnt yell.back or do something. i stated that they all saw how he acted and i will ask him to step down at this meeting. he did this in my driveway.

the desicsion to enforce this at the last board meeting was not a majority's desicion of the home owners but of the 3 remaining members. only 4 non board member's showed up. i was at the er with one of my children while the wife watched the younger 2.
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 4:34 PM  
melissa, you are right, i never had an issue with the rule till now. first time i have had an hoa. i had never seen the rules, my fualt, i see that now. i called the management company to find out if it was ok and was told i could have the boat. should have gotten writen documentation, again my fault.

but dont they have to enforce the rule on every one. what if the president was a vegetarian and hated the smell of grilled meat, would it be fair of him to use us rule to just fine everybody who has a grill because he doesn't want them grilling and allow others to violate the rule.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:434


09/07/2017 4:45 PM  
To be honest, it sounds like the perfect time to run for the Board, maybe call a members meeting to recall the current members and you and like minded others run for the positions.

You need to read the CC&R's very closely. Personally, I've never heard of your yard being considered common area. Your yard is your property and you pay the taxes on it, right?
Sounds messy. Keep us informed.
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 4:56 PM  
My wife or I will be trying to get on the board if we can get an opening. My wife manages multi-family housing already. I don't have the experience in the related field I'm just willing to stand up and do it.
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 4:58 PM  
I took a screenshot of the definition. I think the key word is limited. Because it defines common use area and limited common use area. It would not let me upload the screenshot
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:434


09/07/2017 5:12 PM  
Posted By JustinC3 on 09/07/2017 4:56 PM
My wife or I will be trying to get on the board if we can get an opening. My wife manages multi-family housing already. I don't have the experience in the related field I'm just willing to stand up and do it.




That's the way to do it. Jump in with both feet. I bought into a HOA that was stalled completely. Now I'm the president. I wish I had found this forum a long time ago. There is a lot of good info and good people on here.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14854


09/07/2017 6:29 PM  
I am going to expect that you are within a condominium project.

Limited common use areas in a condominium project often include balconies, patios and enclosed rear yards.

As others have said, even though the city ordinance says you can store your property there, per the covenants (the deed restrictions you agreed to comply with when you purchased the property) you may not store that property there.

You effectively entered into a contract where you said you would comply with the terms of the contract regardless if the city allows something or not. The Association is simply enforcing the terms of the contract.

The way to fight it is to gather support and amend the contract.
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 6:40 PM  
its a subdivision but is basicly considered a condominium. i understand the idea that they are enforcing the rules as you said. were i question it is how they are enforcing rules on one item that is not clearly defined, and now doimg it for the first time in my 6 years and neighbors 17 years. i do t understand how they can say personal property means boats and campers only since its not in the definition page that way. how they can enforce part of one rule and none of the ithers. our cars are personal property, how are they not forced to fine that. again if definition page said personal propert means campers and boats or the rule said no campers or boats i would understand that.

next tuesday will be interesting. i think if there forced to fine all cars in tje driveways the rule will be changed.
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


09/07/2017 6:46 PM  
Does the rule say SHALL NOT or SHOULD NOT?

SHALL NOT means not permitted
SHOULD NOT means it's permitted, but we would like it if you didn't


SHALL NOT has teeth and can be enforced
SHOULD NOT is meaningless
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 6:48 PM  
again dave, i think my issue is can they enforce it on one item that is covered by personal property and not another that is concidered personal property.
JustinC3
(Michigan)

Posts:8


09/07/2017 6:50 PM  
i respect and understand most everyones ipnion that i have read but havnt see that point addressed.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


09/07/2017 10:51 PM  
Posted By JustinC3 on 09/07/2017 3:34 PM
First i would like to state there is a definition page for terms in our cc&r's

on this page it defines limited common use property as the area in the plot plan that is not the structure.

I understand this to mean everything that is not your house.

One of our rules state that homeowners should not use the limited common use area for storage of trash, building materials, personal property or obscene materials.

Is this in your CCR's or just a Rule & Regulation? If it is in the CCR's it will be very legally binding because it is a contract agreed to when you purchased and signed. If it is just an R&R it is more easily challenged because it is implemented by a handful of individuals (i.e. a board) and not by the entire membership and must also be very reasonable. Yes ... you are right they also cannot selectively enforce.

I with about 25 other members we're fined for violation of this rule. We were told we were in violation of this rule for having our campers / boats / trailers in our backyard. for The record, city ordinance says they are allowed on your property but must be behind the front of your house. There is no other rule at all that limits objects like these.

The definition page has no definition for the terms used in that rule outside of the one that I pointed out. I and my neighbors have challenged this rule stating it does not say no campers / boats / trailers. They state that it qualifies as personal property. I challenge that this is selective enforcement. Since there is no definition of personal property in the definitions page I argue you have to go by the legal definition which states personal property is any movable object that you own. i also use the defintion of storage as any object that is in a place for future us. i challenge that in order to enforce this rule they must fine every person who has a grill out side or trash cans next to the garage or a car and their driveway.

I would agree with your above statement in bold.

When I bought the house the current homeowner had a trailer he used for work next to the garage in the area that is considered the backyard. As I drove through the neighborhood multiple people had trailers and campers in their backyard. After the first year and talking with my neighbors and being told by the company who manages our HOA that we must follow the city ordinance, i bought a boat.

i was never given a copy of our rules when we moved in. I called multiple times asking for a copy he was told we would be giving them at closing. This is my first time deal with an HOA. In order to close on the house we had to sign that we received them even though we did not, (mistake, i know). After moving in I called multiple times to get a copy sent and it was never sent. The third time I called I asked what the rule was and that's when I was told to follow city ordinance. For the record the HOA manager we had was found to be negligent in his job even to the extent of embezzling money and is no longer with the company.

Fast forward six years later for the first time since I've lived here with a new board president they're einforcing this rule but only on boats, trailers and campers. We have rules that specifically State you cannot have a pool that can be seen from the road, it must be blocked by Shrubbery or privacy fence. I can see three from my front door. These rules have not and have never been enforced. I have asked other neighbors have they ever heard of them enforcing the rule on boats, trailers and or campers. One neighbor who's been here 13 years has had a camper and never had an issue another has been here 17 years and has never had an issue.

do i have any leg to stand on. our rules state they must have 66% to change a rule. over 34% of us are in violation and many more dont have an issue with them. the new hoa president kept a snowmobile trailer in his drive way till last year which is a violation of city code. With the attorney present we have a meeting next week. I'm prepared to challenge that they cannot selectively enforce this rule. The either have to not enforce it at all or enforce it to the full extent fineing every person who has a vehicle in the driveway. Every house here has more Vehicles than can fit in the garage except for a handful.

Again, is it a Rule or is it in CCR's (Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions)??? If you are discussing votes to change ... that leads me to believe you are discussing CCR's; however, you need to make sure.

My thought process is, if they fine everybody with a vehicle people will vote the change the rule. Since they don't have the necessary numbers no new rule would be voted in limiting boats or trailers or campers.

They also would need to fine everyone with trash recepticles, building materials, grills, etc. or essentially ANY personal property.

thanks for ypur help


DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


09/08/2017 3:42 AM  
Posted By JustinC3 on 09/07/2017 6:48 PM
again dave, i think my issue is can they enforce it on one item that is covered by personal property and not another that is concidered personal property.



Sure they can. They can selectively enforce however they see fit.

Should they? Nope

Are they opening themselves up to a discrimination suit? Perhaps

However, the board can very well interpret most anything in your documents however they like.

You need to go to court to find out if their interpretation holds any legal standing.
GeorgeR8
(Arizona)

Posts:138


09/08/2017 6:42 AM  
Posted By JustinC3 on 09/07/2017 4:27 PM


the desicsion to enforce this at the last board meeting was not a majority's desicion of the home owners but of the 3 remaining members. only 4 non board member's showed up. i was at the er with one of my children while the wife watched the younger 2.





Homeowners wouldn't vote on this.

People let the board make decision after decision as they should, but the first time they disagree with something they think everyone should vote.
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