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Subject: Enforce maintenance of Common Area
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MichaelR17
(Georgia)

Posts:1


08/28/2019 4:39 PM  
Hello all,

Slightly unusual situation here. My HOA consists of approximately 70 single family homes, and also has a common area with a pavilion and access to a small community lake. The unusual part is that the common area is not connected to the rest of the neighborhood. The HOA has a single entrance to the county road, and you have to go approximately a quarter mile down a county road before turning on to the common area driveway.

This inconvenient layout makes it very unusual for the common area to actually be used by anyone. The common area is protected by an automatic gate at the street, all HOA members have a keycard that allows access. However, the gate has likely had mechanical issues for years, and in the last several months has stopped functioning entirely.

As mentioned, the common area is rarely used, which is likely why the gate was allowed to fall into disrepair. However, this changed approximately 6 months ago when I purchased my property. This is also unusual in that my property is actually on the county road, outside the rest of the neighborhood, and adjoins the common area. In fact, the main access to my driveway connects to the common area driveway, and requires me to pass through the gate. My complaints to fix the gate resulted in no actual action. There was even a 2 month stretch where the gates were completely disabled and made the common area inaccessible to everyone.

The HOA has very recently mechanically disconnected the gate and chained/locked it open. I believe they do not intend to repair it, as they have also installed no trespassing signs. Granted this solves the access problem, but I do not believe this band-aid fix complies with the by-law requirement to “maintain” the common area. The act of maintaining something implies keeping something in functioning order.

This gate exists for a reason, as it provides security to the common area and to my property, and keeps our non-HOA members that might want to access the private lake. I would love any advise on how to get the HOA board to make this repair, as they do not appear to be willing to do so.

Thanks,
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8623


08/28/2019 6:08 PM  
Tomato Tomatoe… Who benefits in the end? You say yourself that not everyone uses it. It basically benefits you. The board is going to do what benefits the majority. Which isn't to spend any more money maintaining something that has proven no benefit.

You can offer to take up the care for the fence/gate since you use it. Get permission not forgiveness...

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6647


08/29/2019 1:24 PM  
You're right, your document say the board must maintain the common area, so even if you're the only who uses it, they must maintain it. If all owners don't want to pay to maintain this, they must vote to change the document.

You say it's in a bylaw, but usually the duty to maintain the common areas is in the CC&Rs, which probably take a signficul nat majority of owners to amend. bylaws usually take less Ownrs votes and sometimes the Board itself can amend them.

Meantime, though, your problem is getting the board to do its job. do you have your request in writing to the Board to fix it? Maybe if you do a little research and find a fix that satisfies you and present that yo the Board, that might do the trick.

Melissa is wrong there often are many common area items that get little or no use or only are used by the same few. Still, if common area, the board is responsible to maintain .
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:420


08/29/2019 2:40 PM  
Michael,
My question is why would they have your entrance behind the HOA's community property fence and gate? It seems like your property driveway would be on your property not HOA's. If I was on your board and knew this I would be asking you to contribute to the repair since you probably have much more use of the gate than all of the rest of the community. Here are other questions.

1) How old is your community?
2) Do you have any other common area that is in disrepair?
3) Does the HOA have a reserve account for repairs of common area items?
4) Is your HOA healthy meaning do they have cash in the operating accounts?
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:164


08/29/2019 2:58 PM  
The Board has to maintain the common areas but that does not mean they have to keep them the way they have always been. I can see the Board saying the gate is not needed because of lack of use and removing it. You are worried about what might happen and maybe the Board does not believe those things will happen. I think you will probably have to wait until yours concerns actually happen.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3367


08/29/2019 5:15 PM  
Unless the gate is required per the CCR's or bylaws, the HOA is not required to repair the gate, and can completely remove it if it chooses.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3775


08/30/2019 8:25 AM  
Hi Michael

Are you saying that you have to go through the locked gate to get to your driveway?

I assume you have a key to that lock. Correct?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
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