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Subject: Unauthorized improvements
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CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/22/2019 12:04 PM  
I'm a homeowner and I need your professional advice on what I should do.
We bought a house couple months ago and until yesterday I received a letter from my HOA's lawyer to give me a final notice of violating Deed Restrictions on "Unapproved Improvements" terms. However we haven't done any improvement since we moved into the house. I guess the previous owners might do some improvement on the house but I am not sure what it is. The letter stated that this is final warning (this is first warning for me!) lawsuit may be filed.
What should I do? Should I contact to the lawyer? or should I reach out to my HOA? Please give me an advice what I should do. I attached the lawyer's letter below.

Thank you very much.

Attachment: 142241341871.pdf
Attachment: 142241345054.pdf

BobB31
(Florida)

Posts:100


04/22/2019 12:14 PM  
The first step should be to request a hearing per the letter attached. After that, you can consider further actions.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 12:15 PM  
I'd check the purchase documents that you and the seller signed, in case the seller represented to you that all HOA rules had been followed. You may have a claim against the seller. I'd definitely let the HOA know that you didn't make any improvements.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/22/2019 12:22 PM  
Try a phone call to the President of the Board of Directors - see f you can find out what the specific issue is.

As long as you KNOW this isn’t something you have generated, write a letter to the Board of Directors, requesting a hearing and noting that you have done NOTHING since you bought the house- ask for copies of previous comment inactions. Cc the law firm, perhaps (not my field, but others here will provide more specific recommendations).

Btw, no advice you drive here is professional in nature - you should consider advice just that - broad advice.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1418


04/22/2019 12:27 PM  
I don't know if this common in TX, but in Florida the closing agent typically requests the HOA to supply the assessment status and if there any outstanding violations (known here as an estoppel letter or certificate). The closing agent is often a title insurance company, did you purchase an owner's title insurance policy? If the association certified that there were no outstanding violations, then they would probably not be able to enforce against anything that existed when you bought. In addition to requesting a hearing, I would suggest contacting the closing agent to see what they requested and received from the association. If you bought title insurance, they might even provide a lawyer to represent you.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
ND
(PA)

Posts:308


04/22/2019 12:29 PM  
I'm not sure how things work in Texas, but in my state, when homes are bought/sold, there is a process whereby any existing, unresolved violations are brought to the surface during the sale and either accepted by the purchaser (by way of continuing with the purchase) or corrected by the seller prior to continuance of the sale/purchase.

At some point during the process, you should have become or been made aware of existing violations and given option of continuing with the purchase or not. If this occurred, it's possible that by continuing with the purchase, you essentially accepted responsibility for known violations. However, perhaps this isn't the case in Texas or maybe it didn't occur. If it didn't occur, then those involved in the transaction of your home should be on the hook to explain and be held responsible.

In any event, I would likely generate my own letter that would be sent to attorney, HOA Board, and Management Company indicating your knowledge of the current situation (that you recently settled on your home, have been a member in the HOA as of MM/DD/YYY, were unaware until receipt of this letter of any violations) and request a hearing before the Board (as offered at bottom of 3rd page) to dispute fines and question existence of violation. I certainly wouldn't volunteer to pay for anything at this point, but I would suggest being amicable and express a desire to work toward correction of anything that may not be in compliance. That said, not knowing what the violation may be, it could be something significant for which correcting it may be quite extensive or expensive. Need to request a hearing to find out more as to what's going on.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/22/2019 12:40 PM  
If you contact the HOA's law firm, then the law firm can respond directly to you, even if you had a lawyer involved. So I would contact the board and others, but not the law firm.
AugustinD


Posts:1765


04/22/2019 12:50 PM  
The HOA attorney's letter has my nomination for stupidest I have seen in the last 12 months. The HOA attorney does not even indicate what the violation is. The HOA attorney appears clueless that the owners are new. The letter is demanding payment of attorney's fees. "Welcome to our HOA. Both the Board and the HOA attorney hate HOA members. Here's a sample of our hatred and incompetence." Someone needs to advise this HOA's board and attorney of the psychological impact of first impressions.

Stay calm. Take the advice from BobB31, ND, JohnS111's first post, DouglasK1 and GeorgeS21. Document all communications you have with the HOA. I think anything that CamyT writes the HOA subsequently will be many times more professional and polite than this horribly written, horribly reasoned, HOA attorney's letter.

You may also try the Houston HOA hotline at (832) 251-1874, as provided at https://www.caihouston.org/page/HOAHotline .

I am sorry this happened to you.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:374


04/22/2019 3:46 PM  
Camy

DouglasK and ND both described processes which take place in their states, in Texas there is a similar process involving a document known as the Resale Certificate.

You would have been given one sometime after the purchase to contract was signed and well before the closing of the sale. Most likely you were not given a paper copy, it would have been on a CD or thumb drive, along with financial information about the association, the governing documents, and other documents like rules and regulations.

If there was an outstanding violation on the property at the time the Resale Certificate was produced, it is unlikely your agent, the title company, or your lender would have allowed the sale to close until the issue was addressed. If the Association did not note the violation on the Resale Agreement, they will have a very difficult time holding you responsible.

If I were you I would:

1. Find the Resale Certificate and look at item I in which the association should have described any violations taking place on the property. If a violation is noted and it was not resolved, shame on your agent, the title company, and your lender. If there is no violation noted, take no immediate action.
2. Contact your agent and inform him/her of what is going on.
3. Contact the person at the title company who managed the closing of the sale and inform him/her as well.
4. File to appear at the hearing. At the hearing, present the Board with the Resale Certificate and, if appropriate inform them they should have resolved the issue with the seller. Take your next steps based on their response.
5. If this is not resolved by those listed above, I would seek out an attorney who specializes in HOA law. You do not want a general real estate attorney, nor do you want to use a friend or relative who happens to be an attorney and whose area of specialization is family law.

ND offered sound advice about writing letters and keeping copies. You should keep at hand what he wrote.

BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:374


04/22/2019 3:48 PM  
Whoops!!! "purchase to contract" should have read "contract to purchase"
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/22/2019 7:25 PM  
Hi Camy

Here's a link to a standardized resale certificate from Texas.

https://www.trec.texas.gov/sites/default/files/pdf-forms/37-5.pdf

Section "I" is where the HOA should have described any physical deficiencies.

If the things the HOA is complaining about now aren't listed on the resale certificate, they cannot add requirements now. If it was listed, you are obligated to comply.

If the Seller never gave you a resale certificate, the Seller is probably liable for failing to disclose - But that depends on your state's law on whether the resale certificate is mandatory or optional. In my state, it's mandatory.

Collect whatever docs you can. Speak with a lawyer.






Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6402


04/22/2019 8:23 PM  
What fine advice you've received, Camy. I really only skimmed it, but i'd take all th steps lists except contacting an attorney. Save that for late if the HOA does practice due process by listening to you at a hearing, where you'll show the docs that others have recommended.

I also would NOT contact the Board president.. Boards govern HOAs, not presidents, and you don't want to put the president on the spot. There is no purpose in contacting her/him. Follow the procedures to attend a hearing instead. If you have an onsite prop. mgr., or one that's frequently on your premises, it might be a good idea to make an appointment and have that person explain to you want is going on. .
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/23/2019 7:20 AM  
My rationale for calling the P was to simply ask about the situation ... I’ve been P several times over many years and always welcomed calls where I could get a heads up on something having gone wrong ... in this case, I would says thanks for the call and I’ll look into it, then task the MC to let me know wha is going on ... then nip in bud if a mistake, or prepare for the resolution meeting, if appropriate.

Solve as the lowest level, as quickly as possible - another job of the P, IMO, is to welcome new neighbors and help them with issues - this is certainly an issue.

Now, there could be things we don’t know about ... there sometimes are.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:214


04/23/2019 8:01 AM  
Well CamyT we're practically neighbors! I live in 77036 too. :-)

Texas Property Code 209.006 deals with this: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.209.htm

1)Yes, check the disclosures by the seller.
2)They are suing you not the seller. They are required to send YOU notice via Certified Return Receipt Mail.
3)They are required to describe the basis for their enforcement.
4)You can request a hearing with the board within 30 days for receiving the notice.
5)They must give you a date specific to cure the violation.

It doesn't sound as if you received certified mail. This notice doesn't tell you what the violation is other than a vague "architectural" reference. There is no specific date by which the violation may be cured.

If it were me I would call the attorney, ask for the original violation notice and request a hearing. You might even ask the attorney what exactly is it the HOA wants cured since you have no idea (He likely won't know either). At this point I would try to work with the person and take an attitude of trying to solve a problem rather than getting angry. I was an HOA president for a long time and a judge would likely laugh the HOA's attorney out of court given the circumstances. Heck, in real life it would never go to court on such a shaky foundation... just my opinion.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1418


04/23/2019 8:41 AM  
The OP has not replied, hopefully they are reading this thread as it contains a lot of great info from a variety of posters, including those in TX who are familiar with the laws and how things are typically done in that state. CamyT, if you are still following this can you report back what you find out?

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:298


04/23/2019 8:50 AM  
Posted By JaredC on 04/23/2019 8:01 AM
...

If it were me I would call the attorney, ask for the original violation notice and request a hearing. You might even ask the attorney what exactly is it the HOA wants cured since you have no idea (He likely won't know either). At this point I would try to work with the person and take an attitude of trying to solve a problem rather than getting angry. I was an HOA president for a long time and a judge would likely laugh the HOA's attorney out of court given the circumstances. Heck, in real life it would never go to court on such a shaky foundation... just my opinion.




Just one comment on this: the attorney's client is the association, not individual homeowners. The attorney will likely refuse to talk to the homeowner since no attorney-client relationship exists, and there is a possibility of an adversarial relationship developing. My association's attorney would definitely refuse to discuss anything in a similar situation and would refer the homeowner to the board for information.

But I agree with other comments. The OP should understand the proper procedure for dealing with alleged violations, follow the procedure to the letter, and put everything in writing. It sounds like the board doesn't have its act together on this; they're asking to have the whole thing thrown out because they are not following correct procedures.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 9:16 AM  
Thank you! I took your advice and contact title company to obtain the Disclosure and Resale Certificate. We will see if there is any unresolved violation.

CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 9:18 AM  
Yes I did took everyone advice. I contacted title company to obtain the Disclosure and Resale Certificate. We will see if there is any unresolved violation and go from there. Thank you for all the advice!
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 9:21 AM  
I combined your advice with others who live in TX. I agree I'm asking title company to check and email us the CD to check if there is any unresolved violation. Thank you for advice. I will update with group later.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 9:24 AM  
That's why I got confused. They want us to submit ACC application for violation. But I don't know what violation to resolve. I just try to figure out to see if there is any violation before we closed on that house first. Thanks!
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:214


04/23/2019 9:54 AM  
Well in the letter the attorney encourages calling into their office. Furthermore it's likely the attorney is unaware of the particulars of the circumstances i.e. violation notices were sent to previous homeowners not you. It wouldn't surprise me at all if someone in the HOA completely dropped the ball on that very important piece of information.

There is no need to be adversarial yet. I worked with several HOA attorneys from the HOA side of the equation and we expected our legal counsel to advocate in the best interests of the HOA which included talking with affected homeowners and reaching resolutions that cost everyone involved the least amount of resources whether time or money. That said reaching out to the HOA simultaneously would be a smart move too. I'd send emails so that you have a "paper trail". As a practical matter you MUST know what the violation is in order to be able to fix it.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:374


04/23/2019 10:38 AM  
Camy, you should have been given all the documents by the title company long before closing.

Regardless of what the letter you received said, do not, repeat do not, submit an Architectural Change Request form until this is settled.

Someone, probably the PM, knows what this is all about. Depending on the size of the management company, he or she may have prepared the Resale Certificate. The Board may or may not be aware of the underlying situation, probably they are as a Board decision should have been made to move the violation from the compliance process steps followed by the management company to the next step of referring the matter to the attorney.

It has crossed my mind the management company may not have correctly prepared the Resale Certificate and is now attempting to find cover. The PM, and whomever prepared the Resale Certificate, should be required to attend the hearing and 'splain things.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 11:08 AM  
Updated to my situation:
I think I am in bad situation. I contacted to the title company, they still insisted that there were no violation until the date we closed on the house. However, later on, they email to us the HOA Fee Schedule and in there, it stated that the house is on pending deed restriction violation (I attached the letter). So I decided to call to HOA and they said if I bought the house, I also bought the problem. They do not care if we bought the house that comes with problem.

They do not schedule for any hearing. They said I can apply for ACC, but they cannot warranty that problem will be solved.

How could the title company let a huge problem like it passed by? I thought the title company supposes to clear any violation or legal issue before processing the closing.

I do not know what to do. So much headache!
Camy

Attachment: 142383365971.pdf

CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 11:08 AM  
Updated to my situation:
I think I am in bad situation. I contacted to the title company, they still insisted that there were no violation until the date we closed on the house. However, later on, they email to us the HOA Fee Schedule and in there, it stated that the house is on pending deed restriction violation (I attached the letter). So I decided to call to HOA and they said if I bought the house, I also bought the problem. They do not care if we bought the house that comes with problem.

They do not schedule for any hearing. They said I can apply for ACC, but they cannot warranty that problem will be solved.

How could the title company let a huge problem like it passed by? I thought the title company supposes to clear any violation or legal issue before processing the closing.

I do not know what to do. So much headache!
Camy

Attachment: 142383750271.pdf

AugustinD


Posts:1765


04/23/2019 11:38 AM  
CamyT, I would write the HOA a letter stating the following:
___________________________________

April 23, 2019

Dear Sharpston Civic Association,

I do not have a description of the violation that Sharpston claims exists for my home at [insert street address]. I honestly have no idea what the violation is. Please provide all documents on file with the HOA pertaining to the violation. I want to resolve this as soon as possible. But I cannot do so until I know exactly what is in violation.


Thank you,

[insert signature and printed out name]
____________________________________________


Send the letter certified mail, return receipt requested. Report back here at hoatalk[dot]com with a description of the violation.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:214


04/23/2019 12:02 PM  
Amen Augustine. I agree the violation comes with the home however you still don't know what it is. It would seem as if the HOA did not submit the necessary violation information to the title company. Also, you did not follow up on the disclosure. Two parties are to blame here. Regardless there is nothing you can do if you don't know what the violation is. The HOA MUST be reasonable enough to pass that info along or their case will go nowhere. Remember they notified the previous homeowner not you.

Augustine is right.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/23/2019 12:03 PM  
Posted By CamyT on 04/23/2019 11:08 AM
Updated to my situation:
I think I am in bad situation. I contacted to the title company, they still insisted that there were no violation until the date we closed on the house. However, later on, they email to us the HOA Fee Schedule and in there, it stated that the house is on pending deed restriction violation (I attached the letter). So I decided to call to HOA and they said if I bought the house, I also bought the problem. They do not care if we bought the house that comes with problem.

They do not schedule for any hearing. They said I can apply for ACC, but they cannot warranty that problem will be solved.

How could the title company let a huge problem like it passed by? I thought the title company supposes to clear any violation or legal issue before processing the closing.

I do not know what to do. So much headache!
Camy



2 big question Camy:

1. Did you or your realtor ever receive a copy of the violation notice at or before the closing?

2. Title companies typically date and time stamp every document received. Can you get a copy of the violation notice with date that title company received it and who they received it from?

Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/23/2019 12:08 PM  
Posted By NpS on 04/23/2019 12:03 PM
Posted By CamyT on 04/23/2019 11:08 AM
Updated to my situation:
I think I am in bad situation. I contacted to the title company, they still insisted that there were no violation until the date we closed on the house. However, later on, they email to us the HOA Fee Schedule and in there, it stated that the house is on pending deed restriction violation (I attached the letter). So I decided to call to HOA and they said if I bought the house, I also bought the problem. They do not care if we bought the house that comes with problem.

They do not schedule for any hearing. They said I can apply for ACC, but they cannot warranty that problem will be solved.

How could the title company let a huge problem like it passed by? I thought the title company supposes to clear any violation or legal issue before processing the closing.

I do not know what to do. So much headache!
Camy



2 big question Camy:

1. Did you or your realtor ever receive a copy of the violation notice at or before the closing?

2. Title companies typically date and time stamp every document received. Can you get a copy of the violation notice with date that title company received it and who they received it from?




Third question:

3. Many large real estate companies has their own title division. Was your title company related to your realtor?

Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 12:17 PM  
1. No my realtor did not receive any copy of the violation notice. Hence we did not receive it neither. I checked the disclosure and the previous owner did not state the violation on it neither.
2. The title emailed us the copy of HOA schedule fee, there is not our signature or stamp on it. The HOA stated that the title company did not pay for the legal fee for the violation neither, they only paid for the owned HOA money.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 12:18 PM  
3. No, I think the seller realtor want us to close at this title company
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/23/2019 12:21 PM  
JaredC
We did review all the documents before signing, including the disclosure. The buyer did not state any violation on the disclosure, and on the CD, title company only paid HOA transfer fee, but they did not pay for violation legal fee, even though HOA already sent that HOA fee schedule to them.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:214


04/23/2019 12:31 PM  
Even if the violation was not disclosed that would be a problem between you and the title company and/or seller. It does not concern the HOA.

At the end of the day Augustine's generic letter is the next best step to take. Personally I would make sure to include the HOA attorney on any email communications with the HOA to ensure there is no break down in communication anywhere in the process. Send the "Augustine" letter Certified Mail, Regular Mail and email. Because you are now in a legal process it is very important to be able to demonstrate being a reasonable and prudent person.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:374


04/23/2019 12:37 PM  
Before embarking on a long, stressful, expensive legal journey, see if you can find out what the issue is. If it can be fixed for a few hundred dollars, it may be worth it to do so and pay the $237.00 outstanding fees.

However, you do have an issue with the title company and, frankly, with the HOA as the Resale Certificate was apparently not correctly filled out.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/23/2019 2:57 PM  
Posted By CamyT on 04/23/2019 12:17 PM
1. No my realtor did not receive any copy of the violation notice. Hence we did not receive it neither. I checked the disclosure and the previous owner did not state the violation on it neither.
2. The title emailed us the copy of HOA schedule fee, there is not our signature or stamp on it. The HOA stated that the title company did not pay for the legal fee for the violation neither, they only paid for the owned HOA money.




As Bill says, see if it's just a few hundred buck, pay it, lick your wounds, and move on. Lesson learned.

On the other hand, if you're talking about a lot of money, that's different.

1. Your HOA. No matter how the HOA responded to your original inquiry, be sure to let them know that the Seller did not disclose the deficiency to you.

2. Your Realtor. Let your realtor know that you aren't happy with her performance. She should have verified whether there was or wasn't a deficiency, and then followed up to get you the details before you got to closing. She's the only one I see who has actual skin in the game. Her reputation depends on what you have to say about her.

3. The Title Company. It's not uncommon for title companies to miss non-monetary deficiencies and deficiency notices that don't follow standard form. You can make noise, but you're unlikely to have much success trying to recover from them.

4. The Seller. If the Seller failed to disclose, the Seller is liable to you for what it cost you. Need to find out where they are now and what assets you might be able to go after inexpensively. Talk to a lawyer.

5. The HOA again. I've never seen a deficiency notice like that one. It doesn't describe the defect. Not standard by any stretch. Maybe not adequate as a resale certificate under Texas law. Check with your lawyer.

6. The Seller's Realtor. If they selected the Title Company but didn't make sure that you were properly notified of the deficiency, they could be liable too. Realtors can get in trouble with Board of Realtors for inadequate disclosures. Low likelihood of success. But I look at it this way. Both realtors made commissions but failed in letting you know what should have been disclosed to you. They should take part of the hit.

Best of luck.


Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
AugustinD


Posts:1765


04/23/2019 3:18 PM  
Consistent with the Resale Certificate NpS linked and what BillH10 posted, Texas Property Code 207.003 (b) (11) requires the HOA to provide to the buyer a resale certificate containing inter alia, "a description of any conditions on the owner's property that the property owners' association board has actual knowledge are in violation of the restrictions applying to the subdivision or the bylaws or rules of the property owners' association;." See https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.207.htm

Section 207.005(c) appears to let the owner's agent and title company off the hook.

What CamyT shared with the hoatalk forum pis no "description of any conditions on the owner's property that... " et cetera.

For now, I would not pay the HOA a cent. If the HOA gets ornery, cite the law above to them and say you are doing the best you can and you hope the HOA is as well.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8425


04/23/2019 3:31 PM  
Camy

You are the middle of a legal merry go around. Yourself, the seller, real estate agents, the HOA, and maybe a closing attorney or two. I could get time consuming and it will get expensive.

My suggestion is like some others. Open communication directly with the BOD. Be friendly and wanting to work with them to make this all go away. It might be cheaper to jump through their hoops, make the necessary, and pay any fines.

Go hat in hand to the BOD an start with you want to ba good neighbor approach long before considering the merry go round approach.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6402


04/23/2019 4:14 PM  
I'd agree to write directly to the Board IF you don't have a property mgr. In larger HOAs, the PM is the way to begin such a process. If Onwrs could communicate directly with the Board" or the Board president in our complicated high rises, no one would be on the Board.

So, Camy, it depends upon how your HOA is set up. I agree starting at the lowest level and that may be the PM.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3264


04/23/2019 5:06 PM  
Posted By BillH10 on 04/23/2019 12:37 PM
Before embarking on a long, stressful, expensive legal journey, see if you can find out what the issue is. If it can be fixed for a few hundred dollars, it may be worth it to do so and pay the $237.00 outstanding fees.


Yep, contact the HOA to find out what the matter is. Nothing states what is specifically wrong. It might be something as simple as the wrong color mailbox. $30 fix.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/23/2019 5:08 PM  
Try the phone call or direct contact.... keep it friendly ... note you have no idea what the letter was about and want to move past it.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/23/2019 7:09 PM  
Camy

Here's a video clip from your Association's website. Call the phone number. Tell them that the first notice you got as a new owner was the lawyer's letter and you would like to know what the violation is. Ask for copies of all prior notices on the violation.

https://sharpstowncivic.org/contact/helpful-videos/

Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/23/2019 7:10 PM  
In case that was the wrong link, try this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=195&v=pTFkPKileUE

Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
CjC


Posts:186


04/24/2019 5:57 AM  
Strangely enough (and I don't agree) in our HOA, we have had the the BOD agree to allow a property owner to place an improvement on a property, but only until the house is sold. We allowed a fence for the owner but once they sell, it must be removed. Because this was a strange case, the letter approving it did not say if the seller or the buyer was responsible for the removal. IT was not a violation at the sale of the house since the seller still owned it and it was approved but once the new owner took possession, it because a a violation. I wonder if something like that happened here. Don't ask how it was resolved here...
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/24/2019 6:06 AM  
Posted By CjC on 04/24/2019 5:57 AM
Strangely enough (and I don't agree) in our HOA, we have had the the BOD agree to allow a property owner to place an improvement on a property, but only until the house is sold. We allowed a fence for the owner but once they sell, it must be removed. Because this was a strange case, the letter approving it did not say if the seller or the buyer was responsible for the removal. IT was not a violation at the sale of the house since the seller still owned it and it was approved but once the new owner took possession, it because a a violation. I wonder if something like that happened here. Don't ask how it was resolved here...



That wouldn't fly in my state.
Buyer is legally exempt from any violation that is not clearly identified in the resale certificate. Period.

Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
ND
(PA)

Posts:308


04/24/2019 6:18 AM  
Posted By CjC on 04/24/2019 5:57 AM
Strangely enough (and I don't agree) in our HOA, we have had the the BOD agree to allow a property owner to place an improvement on a property, but only until the house is sold. We allowed a fence for the owner but once they sell, it must be removed. Because this was a strange case, the letter approving it did not say if the seller or the buyer was responsible for the removal. IT was not a violation at the sale of the house since the seller still owned it and it was approved but once the new owner took possession, it because a a violation. I wonder if something like that happened here. Don't ask how it was resolved here...



That's idiotic all around. Welcome to the neighborhood! Oh by the way, the fence that you fell in love with when you bought the house needs to be ripped out because it's suddenly a violation. No way. Good luck with that one.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/24/2019 8:42 AM  
Thank you for helpful information! I took your advice. So I reached out to the HOA yesterday, they were not helpful. They just informed briefly that the seller did something with the driveway and conversed the garage. They told me to apply for ACC application with the dimensions and drawings... However I do not know the original dimension or how the house looked like before. Even in the survey, it only has the current setting of the house.
So I emailed to HOA again today to ask them for more details. Hopefully they can provide me all the documents of the violation that they sent to the previous owner or anything can help me with the drawing. We will see. I will update when I have any news from them.
Thanks again
AugustinD


Posts:1765


04/24/2019 9:06 AM  
Write the HOA the following:

Dear Madam or Sir,

Texas Property Code 207.003 (b) (11) requires SCA to provide a resale certificate containing, among other things, "a description of any conditions on the owner's property that the property owners' association board has actual knowledge are in violation of the restrictions applying to the subdivision or the bylaws or rules of the property owners' association." See https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.207.htm . I attach the resale certificate SCA provided. It does not include this statutorilyl-required description. I am trying to resolve this amicably. Please provide an exact description of the violation.


Thank you for your assistance,

____________
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:374


04/24/2019 9:06 AM  
Camy, this is sounding like a lot more than a few hundred dollars if you are talking about unauthorized garage conversions and restoring structures to some prior configuration.

Do wait to see what information you receive, in the meantime I recommend you begin looking for an attorney who specializes in HOA law. I think you are going to need him or her.
ND
(PA)

Posts:308


04/24/2019 9:15 AM  
Another source of info should be your local zoning and permitting authority. Whatever changes were made sound like they could be structural which, in my area, would require a permit to accomplish. And depending on actual changes, there may be architectural renderings, engineering inspections, etc. that are available from the same entity.

Further, this sort of thing should have been disclosed in a different way by the seller during your purchase process as a modification to the property that occurred sometime recently. Look through those seller disclosure documents for identification of what was done.

Entire situation is very intriguing and either extremely coincidental or very much intentional (on the part of the seller) that it's all coming to fruition (in a bad way) right now.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/24/2019 9:19 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 04/24/2019 9:06 AM
Write the HOA the following:

Dear Madam or Sir,

Texas Property Code 207.003 (b) (11) requires SCA to provide a resale certificate containing, among other things, "a description of any conditions on the owner's property that the property owners' association board has actual knowledge are in violation of the restrictions applying to the subdivision or the bylaws or rules of the property owners' association." See https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.207.htm . I attach the resale certificate SCA provided. It does not include this statutorilyl-required description. I am trying to resolve this amicably. Please provide an exact description of the violation.


Thank you for your assistance,

____________




I wouldn't send that letter just yet. It looks to me like this is a voluntary membership association. The statute might not be applicable under the circumstances. Better for Camy to continue pursuing copies of all documents relating to the deficiency. Their failure to respond with good information in a timely manner actually works in Camy's favor if things ever get nasty.

Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
ND
(PA)

Posts:308


04/24/2019 9:20 AM  
As Bill suggests, do wait to see what information you continue to receive from realtors and agents involved in the transaction of your home, the HOA/Management Co, possibly local zoning authority, and any other sources.

Be amicable and agreeable with the HOA/Board/MC but DO NOT blindly comply with their demands to furnish drawings, fill out forms requesting permission for your improvement, etc. By doing so, you are somewhat taking responsibility for the existence of it all and in the likely event the improvements are rejected by the Board (after you give them what they want), you will be even more on the hook to undo the improvements (at your expense).
CjC


Posts:186


04/24/2019 10:42 AM  
Yup it was idiotic. That is why 3 sellers later it is still there and the BOD can't do anything about it. But they THOUGHT they could for a while. Violation letters would be meaningless in this situation, but the buyer has to fight it. They could try to get $ from teh buyer but he has a leg to stand on and he can fight it like in this situation.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/24/2019 11:14 AM  
Uh ... I have property in a "voluntary HOA" neighborhood - dues/assessments are voluntary, but the restrictions in the CC&Rs are not voluntary.
CamyT
(Texas)

Posts:12


04/24/2019 11:16 AM  
Posted By NpS on 04/24/2019 9:19 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 04/24/2019 9:06 AM
Write the HOA the following:

Dear Madam or Sir,

Texas Property Code 207.003 (b) (11) requires SCA to provide a resale certificate containing, among other things, "a description of any conditions on the owner's property that the property owners' association board has actual knowledge are in violation of the restrictions applying to the subdivision or the bylaws or rules of the property owners' association." See https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.207.htm . I attach the resale certificate SCA provided. It does not include this statutorilyl-required description. I am trying to resolve this amicably. Please provide an exact description of the violation.


Thank you for your assistance,

____________




I wouldn't send that letter just yet. It looks to me like this is a voluntary membership association. The statute might not be applicable under the circumstances. Better for Camy to continue pursuing copies of all documents relating to the deficiency. Their failure to respond with good information in a timely manner actually works in Camy's favor if things ever get nasty.





NpS,
You are correct. It is a voluntary membership association. I do not know what the difference between Voluntary membership association and involuntary association is. Does it mean they might not have the authority to make me comply their rules or regulation?
I already emailed to the Association and the lawyer. We will wait to hear from them.
Thanks for your advice. I've learned a lot from you and others.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


04/24/2019 11:19 AM  
Camy,

Your CCRs should note the HOA is voluntary - however, if everyone's deeds connect back to the CCRs, the architectural and modification, etc, restrictions may be mandatory.
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/24/2019 11:23 AM  
Deed Restrictions a/k/a Covenants are NOT voluntary, they 'bind the land'.

Voluntary membership in a Home Owners' Association has no 'bearing' upon the existence of said restrictions.

ANY home owner subject to the restrictions may enforce same. (99% of the time)

IMO: as others have stated your first issue is discovering what EXACTLY is the 'violation'

honey will work much better at this stage than vinegar
AugustinD


Posts:1765


04/24/2019 12:10 PM  
Thanks for pointing out that there is at least in part a voluntary aspect to this association. I agree that my citation of Texas Property Code Section 207 is premature and possibly flat-out wrong.

The fee schedule attachment CamyT provided says that, "membership dues are voluntary for most properties" in SCA. I see the Association web site links all the different sections' covenants.

Texas Property Code Section 207 says that it, "applies to a subdivision with a property owners' association that is entitled to levy regular or special assessments." Texas Property Code Section 209 says an association may be either incorporated or unincorporated.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3463


04/24/2019 12:20 PM  
Posted By CamyT on 04/24/2019 11:16 AM
Posted By NpS on 04/24/2019 9:19 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 04/24/2019 9:06 AM
Write the HOA the following:

Dear Madam or Sir,

Texas Property Code 207.003 (b) (11) requires SCA to provide a resale certificate containing, among other things, "a description of any conditions on the owner's property that the property owners' association board has actual knowledge are in violation of the restrictions applying to the subdivision or the bylaws or rules of the property owners' association." See https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.207.htm . I attach the resale certificate SCA provided. It does not include this statutorilyl-required description. I am trying to resolve this amicably. Please provide an exact description of the violation.


Thank you for your assistance,

____________




I wouldn't send that letter just yet. It looks to me like this is a voluntary membership association. The statute might not be applicable under the circumstances. Better for Camy to continue pursuing copies of all documents relating to the deficiency. Their failure to respond with good information in a timely manner actually works in Camy's favor if things ever get nasty.





NpS,
You are correct. It is a voluntary membership association. I do not know what the difference between Voluntary membership association and involuntary association is. Does it mean they might not have the authority to make me comply their rules or regulation?
I already emailed to the Association and the lawyer. We will wait to hear from them.
Thanks for your advice. I've learned a lot from you and others.




I saw a potential limit on applicability on the resale certificate requirement in the statute at 27.002. I don't want to guess on how it relates to voluntary Associations. If things wind up going screwy, you should speak with someone who has local knowledge about what that limitation means.

BUT --- The limit on resale certificate requirements has nothing to do with the ability of a voluntary association to dictate rules or assess fines against all owners in the community. A voluntary Association can enforce rules against every owner regardless of membership. Take another look at the video clip. What was said was accurate, except maybe the part about getting answers by calling the number provided

You're on a good path now. Keep plugging away at getting copies of all deficiency notices.


Je publie un degagement de toutes responsabilite. Read all posts at your own risk.
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/24/2019 1:14 PM  

CURRENT DEED RESTRICTION VIOLATIONS: There is a pending deed restriction violation at
this address that must be remedied by the current or future owner to prevent legal action
being filed against the Owner (current or future)
. In the event the violation is not cured suit
may be filed seeking a court order to cure the violation, injunctive relief, and all costs and
attorneys' fees incurred in seeking remedy of the violation.
Please note:
 ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN SHARPSTOWN ARE DEED RESTRICTED (SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL-ONLY)
 No Resale Certificate Fee Assessed.
 It is neither the policy nor a requirement of SCA to sign a 60-day notice agreement or a resale certificate.
 Sharpstown Civic Association, Inc., does not own or have control over any community property (common areas). Under Texas
Property Law there is no requirement for SCA to have insurance for such.
MANDATORY FEES
TRANSFER Fee - $250.00 REFINANCE Fee - $100.00
FORECLOSURE SALES REQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL $150.00 FEE.
This represents the change in ownership when the bank became the owner of record for the property.
LEGAL FEES DUE _______NO _$237.50___YES
Legal fees may be incurred from continuing violations of deed restrictions at a residential property.
SCA MEMBERSHIP DUES: Section 1A only PAID: ______ NOT PAID: _______
VOLUNTARY FEES
Although membership dues are voluntary for most properties, ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES in Sharpstown are
subject to the SCA’s enforcement of deed restrictions, including ARCHITECTURAL CONTROLS
. Any planned
exterior modifications to a property by current or new owners, regardless of paid membership status, MUST be
submitted in advance for committee approval, along with any associated fee. Failure to submit a request before
making modifications could result in fines and/or legal fees.


Fix it OR sell it OR lose it to foreclosure.
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