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Subject: HOA Fine For Not Consenting to Termite Inspection
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NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/20/2019 11:37 AM  
Once a year, the HOA hires a termite inspection/treatment company to inspect the interior and exterior of condo units. Response is required on whether homeowner will be present during inspection on specific date, permits the HOA to allow inspector to enter (owner gives key to HOA manager) or the homeowner may refuse an inspection. Due to work, logistical reasons and not wanting to give the HOA manager or neighbors a key (I have a high threshold as to who I will give a key to my unit to), in the past, I have refused an inspection with no problem from management. This year, though the announcement of the inspection included the following sentence "If your unit is not available, Termite company will fine the HOA $50, to which the owner is responsible for paying." Sounds like a money grab either by the termite company or subliminally by the HOA. Owners still have to option to refuse an inspection, but there will be fine associated with it for the first time this year.

CC&Rs state "Entry into a Unit for other than emergency repairs shall be made only after three (3) days notice has been given to Owner and the Owner has consented thereto which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld and shall be made with as little inconvenience as possible to the Owner and any damage caused thereby shall be repaired by the entering party."

In the owner responsibility section of the CC&Rs, it states that the owner is responsible for Interior Termite Eradication and the HOA is responsible for Common Area Termite Eradication. If I am responsible for interior termite eradication, then why is the HOA in the first place paying for an interior insepction of units and then fining people who do not wish to participate?

The date/time again does not work for me this year (dates/time are not changeable) and I don't trust anyone with the key. Other than replying with "I do not consent. My unit will not be available for inspection" what else could one state politely but firmly about objecting to the fine aspect of refusing entry?

Just so this thread doesn't go off-topic, entire complex was tented/fumigated 6 years ago, and after last year's termite inspection, less than 3% of units needed treatment.



JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/20/2019 11:39 AM  
Why are you resisting the inspection?
AugustinD


Posts:2045


11/20/2019 11:47 AM  
Posted By NpB on 11/20/2019 11:37 AM
In the owner responsibility section of the CC&Rs, it states that the owner is responsible for Interior Termite Eradication and the HOA is responsible for Common Area Termite Eradication. If I am responsible for interior termite eradication, then why is the HOA in the first place paying for an interior inspection of units and then fining people who do not wish to participate?


First I suspect the board reasons that "eradication" and "inspection" are different things. Second the HOA insurer may be behind this inspection. Third, I can see the reasonableness of this and its consistency with the covenants and/or case law. I think it's reasonable because termites can and will cross boundaries until a small problem becomes a big one.

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/20/2019 12:44 PM  
Inspecting both inside and outside is not just reasonable, it’s kinda essential, isn’t it?

I’m assuming the additional $50 is for the inspector to device other methods to inspect some areas from the outside? Attic? Plumbing entry into the house?

Why wouldn’t someone want their investment inspected?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:526


11/20/2019 2:11 PM  
An inspection isn't much good if it misses a portion of the property. How could you rely on the results?

And I expect the company is protecting itself: it doesn't want to provide a "no termites found" result and then have the HOA come after them six months later when termites are found in that un-inspected portion. In the company's place, I would refuse to do the work under such circumstances.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/20/2019 2:16 PM  
Sounds like you are unreasonably witholding your consent to the entry. Having said that, if this is the first time they're threatening to "fine" you for "unreasonably witholding consent", make sure that's actually a violation for which they may fine you. Just saying an owner shall reasonably consent to something does not automatically mean they have a right to fine you for such a "violation",
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/20/2019 3:18 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 11/20/2019 2:16 PM
Sounds like you are unreasonably witholding your consent to the entry. Having said that, if this is the first time they're threatening to "fine" you for "unreasonably witholding consent", make sure that's actually a violation for which they may fine you. Just saying an owner shall reasonably consent to something does not automatically mean they have a right to fine you for such a "violation",





There is no fine in the fine policy for this violation. It is not even mentioned as a violation. Why would the termite company charge the HOA for not being able to enter a unit?
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/20/2019 3:21 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/20/2019 11:39 AM
Why are you resisting the inspection?




Would you trust giving the keys to your unit to a termite inspector or to HOA manager? What if no one from the HOA will be physically present to watch the inspector?

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/20/2019 4:19 PM  
I lived in an apartment that required a pest control person to enter every so often. Sometimes I was home and sometimes not. It was no big deal at all. There were times I was even still in bed. Didn't move a muscle. They just came in. Sprayed around a few areas and done.

It is important for pest control to be kept up. Believe me, you don't want bugs getting into your food or walls. Plus if you refuse and they go into your neighbors home, your to blame for not allowing proper pest control. That is why they treat everybody.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/20/2019 5:01 PM  
NpB,

This is serious stuff.

Termites don’t need keys.

I strongly recommend you rethink this entire scenario.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/20/2019 10:03 PM  
Posted By NpB on 11/20/2019 3:18 PM
There is no fine in the fine policy for this violation. It is not even mentioned as a violation. Why would the termite company charge the HOA for not being able to enter a unit?

Honestly, I don't think they would. If it was me, I'd ask to see the contract. The board might think it's extremely important to have every unit inspected and is employing s scare tactic to get people to comply.

For years we had a Big Termite Co. bond for our 105 buildings (including the homes) and the cost of that bond included one onsite home inspection per year. It wasn't mandatory and in many years less than half of the homeowners would arrange for an inspection. It was on the owners to call the local Big Termite Co. office to schedule an appointment.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/21/2019 6:10 AM  
Everyone knows we are talking about TERMITES, right?

One organization I am part of - social organization - just removed a 3000 sf house from a lot ... eaten up by termites in about 2 years ...

They eat 24 hours a day ...
TimM11


Posts:323


11/21/2019 6:32 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 11/20/2019 2:16 PM
Having said that, if this is the first time they're threatening to "fine" you for "unreasonably witholding consent", make sure that's actually a violation for which they may fine you. Just saying an owner shall reasonably consent to something does not automatically mean they have a right to fine you for such a "violation",




This is the crux of the issue right here. It sounds like the HOA is creating a fine out of whole cloth, especially if it's a departure from what they've done in the past. I can understand the reasoning for the inspection, but the HOA still needs to go about it the right way.

Just because something may be a good idea for an HOA to do doesn't mean they can do it however they want.
ND
(PA)

Posts:375


11/21/2019 9:58 AM  
Is this the same NpB (Arizona) w/ 49 posts who in other topics claims to be a Board Member? If I recall correctly, you're having issues with a neighbor over a streetlight install, were assaulted, have neighborhood debates over email, etc.?

If I have you mixed up with another NpB from Arizona, my apologies. However, if the same person . . . as a Board Member, I would think you (should already) have answers to all these questions you're asking, or at least me able to work with management more directly on your questions and issues. Things don't seem to make much sense here.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/21/2019 10:23 AM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 11/20/2019 5:01 PM
NpB,

This is serious stuff.

Termites don’t need keys.

I strongly recommend you rethink this entire scenario.




I agree.
TimM11


Posts:323


11/21/2019 1:31 PM  
The OP never said they were against inspection per se. They said it was going to happen when they weren't going to be around, they weren't comfortable giving someone a key to provide access, and there's nothing in the docs that requires them to do this. Again, this is not about whether the inspection is a good idea, it is about the process.

To the OP, I would ask your HOA to show what gives them the authority to levy the $50 fine for noncompliance if it is not in your docs. If it is the inspection company, the HOA shouldn't have agreed to it, and I'd consider filing a complaint with the Secretary of State and/or whatever state agency licenses pest control companies in AZ.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/21/2019 1:34 PM  
There are 2 kinds of homes in Florida. Those that have had termites, and those that will.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/21/2019 1:39 PM  
Tim,

Appreciate the thought, but this, to me, is easy.

You do anything possible to ensure you and neighbors guard against termites.

I’m certain some arrangement to be there, have a friend or neighbor there, work with local fire department or police department, to have a rep there, etc, could be arranged.
TimM11


Posts:323


11/21/2019 1:41 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 11/21/2019 1:34 PM
There are 2 kinds of homes in Florida. Those that have had termites, and those that will.




There are two kinds of HOAs: those that operate correctly and legally, and those that don't.
TimM11


Posts:323


11/21/2019 1:53 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 11/21/2019 1:39 PM
Tim,

Appreciate the thought, but this, to me, is easy.

You do anything possible to ensure you and neighbors guard against termites.

I’m certain some arrangement to be there, have a friend or neighbor there, work with local fire department or police department, to have a rep there, etc, could be arranged.




Nobody is questioning the danger of termites. I live in a state where they are seldom an issue, but I still understand how much trouble they can cause.

I don't blame the HOA for wanting to do an inspection and I think that they'd be wise to put language requiring it in their docs, with homeowners being responsible for their own if they can't participate in the one arranged by the HOA. But HOAs levying fines out of the blue with no authority to do so is never okay, no matter how important an issue is. They need to do it right.

Maybe the HOA doesn't have someone nearby they feel comfortable trusting to be there to supervise. Not everyone does. But if the FD or PD would do it, I suppose that could be an option.


JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/21/2019 2:10 PM  
NbP

When you share wals, floor, ceiling, etc with other units you have an obligation to not damage other units such as your unit be the source of a termite infestation.

Put on your big boy pants and do the right thing. Work with the termite company to arrange an inspection time with you there.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2761


11/21/2019 5:27 PM  
I have to agree with most of the folks here - you are being unreasonable. I understand your reluctance in giving a stranger access to your home when you're not there, but there are 365 days in the year - are you saying you can't take ONE day to take care ofvthis? What will you if a neighbor's home gets infested in part because your unit couldn't be inspected completely? Will you pay for ALL the repairs to your home if the other home get treated inside and out, except you're and so the termites went to the only place they stood a better chance of survival?

Get over yourself! If the scheduled date is inconvenient for you, work with them to schedule it on a day when you can be there (most people rearrange their work schedule with their supervisor if necessary). Or have someone you trust to stay a while. OR pay for your own inspection Inside and out and send the results to the association. And if you intend on doing that, you need to make sure your contractor does the work properly because it some of this will involve the common area, you should be held responsible for any damage

NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 3:31 PM  
Posted By TimM11 on 11/21/2019 1:31 PM
The OP never said they were against inspection per se. They said it was going to happen when they weren't going to be around, they weren't comfortable giving someone a key to provide access, and there's nothing in the docs that requires them to do this. Again, this is not about whether the inspection is a good idea, it is about the process.

To the OP, I would ask your HOA to show what gives them the authority to levy the $50 fine for noncompliance if it is not in your docs. If it is the inspection company, the HOA shouldn't have agreed to it, and I'd consider filing a complaint with the Secretary of State and/or whatever state agency licenses pest control companies in AZ.





Excellent post. Thank you for the recommendations.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 3:34 PM  
Posted By TimM11 on 11/21/2019 1:53 PM
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 11/21/2019 1:39 PM
Tim,

Appreciate the thought, but this, to me, is easy.

You do anything possible to ensure you and neighbors guard against termites.

I’m certain some arrangement to be there, have a friend or neighbor there, work with local fire department or police department, to have a rep there, etc, could be arranged.




Nobody is questioning the danger of termites. I live in a state where they are seldom an issue, but I still understand how much trouble they can cause.

I don't blame the HOA for wanting to do an inspection and I think that they'd be wise to put language requiring it in their docs, with homeowners being responsible for their own if they can't participate in the one arranged by the HOA. But HOAs levying fines out of the blue with no authority to do so is never okay, no matter how important an issue is. They need to do it right.

Maybe the HOA doesn't have someone nearby they feel comfortable trusting to be there to supervise. Not everyone does. But if the FD or PD would do it, I suppose that could be an option.






Excatly! Why would anyone trust a termite inspector not accompanied by someone from the HOA during the inspection.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/23/2019 3:36 PM  
Why would you not? No one wants to be in your house unless they are paid professionals... I wouldn't care. There is always the police I can call if something comes up missing or I am harmed. Of course, I am sure you would blame the HOA for that....

Former HOA President
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 4:01 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/23/2019 3:36 PM
Why would you not? No one wants to be in your house unless they are paid professionals... I wouldn't care. There is always the police I can call if something comes up missing or I am harmed. Of course, I am sure you would blame the HOA for that....





Well yes, I would blame the HOA and their vendor, but why put oneself in that situation? It would take years before I would feel comfortable giving a neighbor a key and I would certainly not give it to HOA manager. I am of the attitude that the HOA or their contractors can only enter my unit with a warrant or during an emergency.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/23/2019 4:14 PM  
Well, NpB, perhaps you can keep us up to date on the activities, legal and otherwise.
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