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Subject: Any Legal Recourse? Neighborhood Field being using by non-residents
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Author Messages
KipperJ
(Texas)

Posts:4


04/12/2018 10:06 AM  
A couple weeks ago we set up a birthday party on the soccer field in our neighborhood. The field is meant for our neighborhood and part of our HOA dues go towards its upkeep. When we arrived there, ALOT of people were already there. None of them were aware of reserving the field and multiple told me they just show up here to play. I asked a few people if they lived here and none said they did. When I stated it was for residents only, a couple of the gentlemen approached me and got rather aggressive with me. While I guess I could have come across as questioning their validity their aggressiveness towards was unwarranted but I simply just left the field with the children in tow. I imagine there are a few that could have been of our neighborhood but I get the feeling the vast majority were not.

When I contacted the HOA, they were aware of the issue and stated they had received complaints before but they were unable to do anything: "there isn’t any way that we can enforce who uses the soccer fields since the area is open and located on a public street."

Is this actually true? Would anyone have any experience in this matter? Are there really no legal recource's for our community to take? It feels strange we can't enforce its use in any way... considering our community created it, put the goals there, and keeps it maintained. Thanks for any insight you may have.
TimM11


Posts:218


04/12/2018 10:23 AM  
Does your HOA own the property, or does someone else own it and your HOA just maintains the field on it?

If your HOA owns it, and the people using it don't live there, then they are trespassing, and I'd just call the police to report it. It doesn't matter if the street is public if the property isn't. But from your description, I'm not quite clear on the ownership of the property.
KipperJ
(Texas)

Posts:4


04/12/2018 10:27 AM  
I will get back to you on this. Thank you for responding though.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:107


04/12/2018 10:38 AM  
It's difficult to enforce trespassing on common property. My experience has been that the police will not enforce a trespass unless there are "private property/no trespassing" signs posted, someone authorized by the HOA calls it in, AND stays on the property until the police come, to personally authorize the police to remove the trespasser. And I've had to submit a list of authorized names to the police.

Usually the sticky part comes in getting that authorized person to stay on the property until the police arrive. When I was a portfolio manager, my office was 20-60 miles from my properties. Assuming I was even in a position to drop everything and go out to a property, the offenders might just leave before I get there. Board members and other resident volunteers who agree to go on the authorized persons list may not be home when the trespassing occurs.

MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 10:45 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 04/12/2018 10:38 AM
It's difficult to enforce trespassing on common property. My experience has been that the police will not enforce a trespass unless there are "private property/no trespassing" signs posted, someone authorized by the HOA calls it in, AND stays on the property until the police come, to personally authorize the police to remove the trespasser. And I've had to submit a list of authorized names to the police.





Yea dat.

I'd recommend that the OP MYOB and bring this up at a HOA meeting. Trying to enforce the rules yourself may not work out for you.
KipperJ
(Texas)

Posts:4


04/12/2018 10:51 AM  
Posted By TimM11 on 04/12/2018 10:23 AM
Does your HOA own the property, or does someone else own it and your HOA just maintains the field on it?

If your HOA owns it, and the people using it don't live there, then they are trespassing, and I'd just call the police to report it. It doesn't matter if the street is public if the property isn't. But from your description, I'm not quite clear on the ownership of the property.




I was just told that the Developer currently owns the land but it is going to be deeded over to the HOA once all of construction is completed.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:107


04/12/2018 10:56 AM  
Oh I should add, if these are organized teams using the field for practice, your manager could call the soccer league and ask them inform their members it is not a public field. That worked for me once. It didn't eliminate the problem but it greatly reduced it.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 11:03 AM  
Posted By KipperJ on 04/12/2018 10:51 AM
Posted By TimM11 on 04/12/2018 10:23 AM
Does your HOA own the property, or does someone else own it and your HOA just maintains the field on it?

If your HOA owns it, and the people using it don't live there, then they are trespassing, and I'd just call the police to report it. It doesn't matter if the street is public if the property isn't. But from your description, I'm not quite clear on the ownership of the property.




I was just told that the Developer currently owns the land but it is going to be deeded over to the HOA once all of construction is completed.




Well then, you're a tresspasser too.
KipperJ
(Texas)

Posts:4


04/12/2018 11:21 AM  
Ha, go figure. I imagine they have some kind of agreement but I get the feeling its loosely based on verbal communication. Sounds like until this thing gets deeded over there isn't much to be done.

Thank you all for replying.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:531


04/12/2018 5:48 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 10:45 AM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 04/12/2018 10:38 AM
It's difficult to enforce trespassing on common property. My experience has been that the police will not enforce a trespass unless there are "private property/no trespassing" signs posted, someone authorized by the HOA calls it in, AND stays on the property until the police come, to personally authorize the police to remove the trespasser. And I've had to submit a list of authorized names to the police.





Yea dat.

I'd recommend that the OP MYOB and bring this up at a HOA meeting. Trying to enforce the rules yourself may not work out for you.



As a member of the association, isn't this her business?
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:531


04/12/2018 5:51 PM  
Posted By KipperJ on 04/12/2018 10:06 AM
A couple weeks ago we set up a birthday party on the soccer field in our neighborhood. The field is meant for our neighborhood and part of our HOA dues go towards its upkeep. When we arrived there, ALOT of people were already there. None of them were aware of reserving the field and multiple told me they just show up here to play. I asked a few people if they lived here and none said they did. When I stated it was for residents only, a couple of the gentlemen approached me and got rather aggressive with me. While I guess I could have come across as questioning their validity their aggressiveness towards was unwarranted but I simply just left the field with the children in tow. I imagine there are a few that could have been of our neighborhood but I get the feeling the vast majority were not.

When I contacted the HOA, they were aware of the issue and stated they had received complaints before but they were unable to do anything: "there isn’t any way that we can enforce who uses the soccer fields since the area is open and located on a public street."

Is this actually true? Would anyone have any experience in this matter? Are there really no legal recource's for our community to take? It feels strange we can't enforce its use in any way... considering our community created it, put the goals there, and keeps it maintained. Thanks for any insight you may have.



As someone already mentioned, posting the property will help with trespassing enforcement but it may also prevent people from using it. I can see why someone would assume an open field is public property if it next to the public street and not identified as private.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 6:01 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/12/2018 5:48 PM
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 10:45 AM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 04/12/2018 10:38 AM
It's difficult to enforce trespassing on common property. My experience has been that the police will not enforce a trespass unless there are "private property/no trespassing" signs posted, someone authorized by the HOA calls it in, AND stays on the property until the police come, to personally authorize the police to remove the trespasser. And I've had to submit a list of authorized names to the police.





Yea dat.

I'd recommend that the OP MYOB and bring this up at a HOA meeting. Trying to enforce the rules yourself may not work out for you.



As a member of the association, isn't this her business?




Read the thread
1) it’s not association property
2) it’s not posted nor identifiable as private property
3) it’s not association property

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:531


04/12/2018 8:20 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 6:01 PM
Posted By BenA2 on 04/12/2018 5:48 PM
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 10:45 AM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 04/12/2018 10:38 AM
It's difficult to enforce trespassing on common property. My experience has been that the police will not enforce a trespass unless there are "private property/no trespassing" signs posted, someone authorized by the HOA calls it in, AND stays on the property until the police come, to personally authorize the police to remove the trespasser. And I've had to submit a list of authorized names to the police.





Yea dat.

I'd recommend that the OP MYOB and bring this up at a HOA meeting. Trying to enforce the rules yourself may not work out for you.



As a member of the association, isn't this her business?




Read the thread
1) it’s not association property
2) it’s not posted nor identifiable as private property
3) it’s not association property




NOW we know that the developer owns it. Maybe I should wait until tomorrow to respond so I can make my argument using information not currently available.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 8:56 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/12/2018 8:20 PM
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 6:01 PM



NOW we know that the developer owns it. Maybe I should wait until tomorrow to respond so I can make my argument using information not currently available.




You made your post after the OP stated that the field wasn't HOA owned. That's on you
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 8:57 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/12/2018 8:20 PM




NOW we know that the developer owns it. Maybe I should wait until tomorrow to respond so I can make my argument using information not currently available.


You made your post after the OP stated that the field wasn't HOA owned. That's on you
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4166


04/13/2018 1:01 AM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 11:03 AM
Posted By KipperJ on 04/12/2018 10:51 AM
Posted By TimM11 on 04/12/2018 10:23 AM
Does your HOA own the property, or does someone else own it and your HOA just maintains the field on it?

If your HOA owns it, and the people using it don't live there, then they are trespassing, and I'd just call the police to report it. It doesn't matter if the street is public if the property isn't. But from your description, I'm not quite clear on the ownership of the property.


I was just told that the Developer currently owns the land but it is going to be deeded over to the HOA once all of construction is completed.


Well then, you're a tresspasser too.


Sorry Mark I would call BS on your response. I would be virtually positive that Kipper’s documents will note their is ZERO tresspassing on this individual’s behalf. I would bet the developer MUST turn over in future OR potentially the Developer was supposed to already turn over and has not done so yet in violation of their State Laws. YEP a developer in my past did that trash and got caught.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/13/2018 8:03 AM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 04/13/2018 1:01 AM
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 11:03 AM
Posted By KipperJ on 04/12/2018 10:51 AM
Posted By TimM11 on 04/12/2018 10:23 AM
Does your HOA own the property, or does someone else own it and your HOA just maintains the field on it?

If your HOA owns it, and the people using it don't live there, then they are trespassing, and I'd just call the police to report it. It doesn't matter if the street is public if the property isn't. But from your description, I'm not quite clear on the ownership of the property.


I was just told that the Developer currently owns the land but it is going to be deeded over to the HOA once all of construction is completed.


Well then, you're a tresspasser too.


Sorry Mark I would call BS on your response. I would be virtually positive that Kipper’s documents will note their is ZERO tresspassing on this individual’s behalf. I would bet the developer MUST turn over in future OR potentially the Developer was supposed to already turn over and has not done so yet in violation of their State Laws. YEP a developer in my past did that trash and got caught.




The developer owns the parcel, not the HOA. Hence, the OP has the same, not more nor less, rights to be on the field. Kids from out of town have the same right to call the cops on him as he does to them.

If he has reservations, then his recourse is to call the developer, and they can inform the police.

Just because the documents state that in the future the field will change hands means nothing. I could have a contract with you to buy your house in three months. That doesn't give me the right to go there now and watch TV
AugustinD


Posts:1222


04/13/2018 8:27 AM  
If the developer won't install a fence with magnetic pass cards or similar, then I think ultimately the HOA should consider this. A soccer field is expensive to upkeep, especially in the drier parts of Texas. Same idea as putting a fence around a pool, with only residents having keys or similar to the gate.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:531


04/13/2018 4:44 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/13/2018 8:03 AM

The developer owns the parcel, not the HOA. Hence, the OP has the same, not more nor less, rights to be on the field. Kids from out of town have the same right to call the cops on him as he does to them.

If he has reservations, then his recourse is to call the developer, and they can inform the police.

Just because the documents state that in the future the field will change hands means nothing. I could have a contract with you to buy your house in three months. That doesn't give me the right to go there now and watch TV



Ownership is not the only test for the right to use property. The fact that a reservation system has been set up and the assessments go towards upkeep indicate that it is intended for use by the HOA members.

It's not unusual for a developer to sell homes in a subdivision, build amenities and collect assessments before an HOA is even established. Generally, the developer allows residents to use them even though they don't own them yet. And why not, the amenities are put there to increase the value of the homes the developer is selling.

JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4166


04/14/2018 10:55 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/13/2018 4:44 PM
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/13/2018 8:03 AM

The developer owns the parcel, not the HOA. Hence, the OP has the same, not more nor less, rights to be on the field. Kids from out of town have the same right to call the cops on him as he does to them.

If he has reservations, then his recourse is to call the developer, and they can inform the police.

Just because the documents state that in the future the field will change hands means nothing. I could have a contract with you to buy your house in three months. That doesn't give me the right to go there now and watch TV



Ownership is not the only test for the right to use property. The fact that a reservation system has been set up and the assessments go towards upkeep indicate that it is intended for use by the HOA members.

It's not unusual for a developer to sell homes in a subdivision, build amenities and collect assessments before an HOA is even established. Generally, the developer allows residents to use them even though they don't own them yet. And why not, the amenities are put there to increase the value of the homes the developer is selling.



Depends on your State and the laws. In my last HOA the developer did not transfer the common area lots as required by Colorado state statutes prior to the sell of any lots. When they wanted to try and start assessments I asked what the assessments were to be used to pay for ... when developer stated for Common area property ... my response was the HOA did not OWN any common area property. LOL ... the look on their face was priceless.

Also, in Colorado the Developer is obligated to pay for the maintenance of any property they have reserved the right to utilize for any of their construction activities. In our case the Developer reserved the right to use common area property for storing any construction materials. Therefore, until they were done building ... they had to pay to maintain.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/14/2018 11:56 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 04/13/2018 4:44 PM


It's not unusual for a developer to sell homes in a subdivision, build amenities and collect assessments before an HOA is even established. Generally, the developer allows residents to use them even though they don't own them yet. And why not, the amenities are put there to increase the value of the homes the developer is selling.





That the developer is allowing home owners to use the field is a much different thing from the OP, who has no ownership of the field calling the cops on others, who also has no ownership of the field.

I stand by my advice to the OP to MYOB and shut up, and to complain to the developer if his reserved area is disturbed.
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