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Subject: HOA fence project, 4 months no gate, cant rent place
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Author Messages
KellyH4
(Florida)

Posts:5


03/16/2020 3:22 PM  
Hello,

I was wondering if there is anything I can do? I own a townhouse and I had a tenant, they moved out in November. The house went on a market to rent December 1, 2019 and on December 5, 2019 the association tore down my backyard fence. The fence project was supposed to take 2 weeks. The new fence finally went up in Mid January, but they did not put a gate door on.
It is now March 16, 2020 and every person that looks at our place to rent is turned off because our gated fence is not complete. They have a dog and they need an enclosure. We have lost thousands of dollars in money by not being able to have a tenant.

What can I do???

The HOA said they are working on it......but its been months.

Thank you for any information.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9127


03/16/2020 4:12 PM  
Honestly? Your schedule is not the same as the HOA's schedule. That is all there is to it. I don't think it's the HOA's responsibility if you can't rent your home. Plus what is the policy on pet ownership in your HOA? Maybe they aren't in a hurry to accommodate pets. Pets are not required when you live in a house.

Former HOA President
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3048


03/16/2020 4:15 PM  
Have you contacted the board in person? I always start with letters because you need a paper trail, but they can get lost in the mail or in an office (or be ignored altogether).

I assume this fence (and the gate) is association responsibility and if so, it may have made the decision to skip the fence. you should already know who's responsible for what (and If you don't, pull out your documents and read them). If the association is responsible, you'll have to ask why it's taken so long. If other homes have fences with gates, I would think the board would want to be consistent with the overall look in the community.

Of course, that could be the problem - that style of fence may no longer be available and now they have to find something that's close to the original design, maybe even have it custom built. Then you have to find some to do the work haggle over price and then get an installment date. That's tricky when spring weather is so unpredictable and it's a also possible this coronary is messing something up.


If homeowners have to install the gate, check the requirements for submitting an exterior change request.

Oh, in case you're wondering - the association isn't responsible for your rental income. You made the decision to rent out the place, so finding someone willing to rent it (with or without a fence) is your job.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:233


03/16/2020 4:19 PM  
Posted By KellyH4 on 03/16/2020 3:22 PM
Hello,

I was wondering if there is anything I can do? I own a townhouse and I had a tenant, they moved out in November. The house went on a market to rent December 1, 2019 and on December 5, 2019 the association tore down my backyard fence. The fence project was supposed to take 2 weeks. The new fence finally went up in Mid January, but they did not put a gate door on.
It is now March 16, 2020 and every person that looks at our place to rent is turned off because our gated fence is not complete. They have a dog and they need an enclosure. We have lost thousands of dollars in money by not being able to have a tenant.

What can I do???

The HOA said they are working on it......but its been months.

Thank you for any information.





Find a temporary solution. For example, buy a 4x8 sheet of lattice and tack it up over the opening. Even if they ultimately make you take it down you haven't lost much money.
KellyH4
(Florida)

Posts:5


03/16/2020 5:08 PM  
We are allowed to have pets in the community. It is a safety issue as well. The townhouse in the middle of a city and there are many break-ins through unlocked gates. I always had mine locked, with a pad lock and a bike lock, now there is no door.


KellyH4
(Florida)

Posts:5


03/16/2020 5:10 PM  
I do think the fact that I dont have a gate, in a city, and its a safety issue that its the associations fault. The project has gone months and months longer than we were told and it has left my house vulnerable and undesirable.

Other units that are the same, except they have a completed gate and door have rented within days.....



KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7036


03/16/2020 6:40 PM  
As Sheila asks, have you contacted your board in writing? Do you have replies in writing?

It's not about "safety" or your ability to "find a tenant," it's about whether your governing documents say the HOA must repair & replace your fence and gate. Do they say that? It sounds like they might since the HOA tore down your fence.
KellyH4
(Florida)

Posts:5


03/16/2020 6:46 PM  
Oh yes, it was a big project for all 100 units. We were not assessed as we had the funds for it. Other Units have been all been completely replaced, its just my row of 6 that are out of luck. I have emailed the board and the management company for months and they keep saying, "next week, next week....by the end of next week..."

I would not live in the unit without a gate, like I said when I lived there, I had it pad locked and with an extra lock. This is South Florida, where convenient crime is high.

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:613


03/16/2020 7:32 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 03/16/2020 4:12 PM
Honestly? Your schedule is not the same as the HOA's schedule. That is all there is to it. I don't think it's the HOA's responsibility if you can't rent your home. Plus what is the policy on pet ownership in your HOA? Maybe they aren't in a hurry to accommodate pets. Pets are not required when you live in a house.



I strongly disagree. The board has a duty to the owners. That is their sole purpose.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:613


03/16/2020 7:42 PM  
I think you brought up some good points. I'm not an attorney but if anyone can show harm or loss due to the board's neglect, they would likely have a lawsuit. My point is that if the board is dragging their feet and not finishing the project in a timely manner, without good cause, they are potentially putting the HOA at risk for liability. If the delay is beyond their control, they certainly should be willing to explain that.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9127


03/16/2020 8:05 PM  
What exact liablity? Not having a gate sounds much safer than having one. Plus the HOA is NOT in the business of someone renting out their homes. So they are liable because you can't rent.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2299


03/16/2020 8:43 PM  
Kelly,

Why not hire someone to replace your gate?

If I felt endangered I would do this and send the bill to the HOA.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:893


03/17/2020 8:16 AM  
I would call the HOA property manager and get a time frame on the project completion. YOU give THEM a deadline. Piggyback that phone call with a demand letter giving them 10 days to complete the project or you will contact an attorney, Be sure to send the letter certified with return receipt. Orally and in the letter offer to have the project completed at your expense and send them the bill..
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:233


03/17/2020 8:37 AM  
Posted By LetA on 03/17/2020 8:16 AM
I would call the HOA property manager and get a time frame on the project completion. YOU give THEM a deadline. Piggyback that phone call with a demand letter giving them 10 days to complete the project or you will contact an attorney, Be sure to send the letter certified with return receipt. Orally and in the letter offer to have the project completed at your expense and send them the bill..




When I had a few rental properties I ran it like a business because it is. In this case what's cheaper, paying yourself to get the gate built now or waiting for the HOA to respond when so far they haven't? You can always push for reimbursement afterwards but in the mean time your losing income. Three months of rental income has now been lost. I'd be more concerned about this than my beef with the property manager and do what I needed to in order to get the unit rented.
ND
(PA)

Posts:407


03/17/2020 10:55 AM  
Either the HOA Board/Management, or the contractor, or both are executing this job poorly. Not completing timely, not communicating well, not attentive to safety/security/inconvenience impacts of this project on homeowners. Assuming the fence is an amenity that the HOA is responsible for maintaining, then they have a duty to maintain it properly and in a timely fashion (if doing a complete reinstall).

Unfortunately, only way you're going to be made whole is if you spend quite a bit of time and money to try and sue those involved, ensuring you have a pretty good case supported by evidence, documentation, and thorough accounting of things to substantiate your claims. Even then, there's no guarantee you'd be victorious . . . in which case you'll be out even more money.

I'm not sure what kind of fencing this is, but I also don't suggest going through the expense of installing a gate yourself. That could be quite expensive and may cause additional issues. Further, your are not likely to ever get reimbursed by the Board/Management/HOA without significant effort on your part.

I suggest buying a couple of prefab sections of fencing (it's inexpensive compared to a complete gate) and fill the hole where the gate is supposed to go. Attached it in a way that is secure but also doesn't cause any sort of damage, holes, or direct attachment to the newly-installed fence. You could "sandwich" the new fence between your 2 pieces of pre-fab fence. Inform the Board/Management you are doing so (don't ask permission) as a result of the overall lack of timely completion of the project, lack of communication, and lack of care for your personal safety, and lack of care for your lost income due to inability to rent the home.

I personally would have done this long ago if I knew for a fact that my ability to rent the house has been harmed by the fact that a gate doesn't exist.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7036


03/17/2020 11:04 AM  
I like NT & John38's ideas.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9299


03/17/2020 11:32 AM  
As suggested. I would have some sort of temporary "fence section" put up blocking the exit. As also said, do not permanently attach it to the existing. A couple of bungee cords would work
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:233


03/17/2020 11:52 AM  
Posted By ND on 03/17/2020 10:55 AM
Either the HOA Board/Management, or the contractor, or both are executing this job poorly. Not completing timely, not communicating well, not attentive to safety/security/inconvenience impacts of this project on homeowners. Assuming the fence is an amenity that the HOA is responsible for maintaining, then they have a duty to maintain it properly and in a timely fashion (if doing a complete reinstall).

Unfortunately, only way you're going to be made whole is if you spend quite a bit of time and money to try and sue those involved, ensuring you have a pretty good case supported by evidence, documentation, and thorough accounting of things to substantiate your claims. Even then, there's no guarantee you'd be victorious . . . in which case you'll be out even more money.

I'm not sure what kind of fencing this is, but I also don't suggest going through the expense of installing a gate yourself. That could be quite expensive and may cause additional issues. Further, your are not likely to ever get reimbursed by the Board/Management/HOA without significant effort on your part.

I suggest buying a couple of prefab sections of fencing (it's inexpensive compared to a complete gate) and fill the hole where the gate is supposed to go. Attached it in a way that is secure but also doesn't cause any sort of damage, holes, or direct attachment to the newly-installed fence. You could "sandwich" the new fence between your 2 pieces of pre-fab fence. Inform the Board/Management you are doing so (don't ask permission) as a result of the overall lack of timely completion of the project, lack of communication, and lack of care for your personal safety, and lack of care for your lost income due to inability to rent the home.

I personally would have done this long ago if I knew for a fact that my ability to rent the house has been harmed by the fact that a gate doesn't exist.




That's why I suggested Lattice as a temporary fix in an earlier reply. It's cheap. The worse thing that can happen is she is fined for not filling out an ARC request and possibly being fined. This is by far cheaper than 3-4 months of lost rental income.
KellyH4
(Florida)

Posts:5


03/17/2020 6:30 PM  
Thank you for all the advice.

The management company said they just got rid of the fencing company and are now searching for a new bid. There are properties with no fence and then there are some missing the door(mine), however most are completely finished. I have called a company to come install a door for us, because who knows how long finding a new company will take. I didnt do this in the past because every other week, I would email the management company and they would say, "You'll have a door by the end of this week, or next...." I just kept getting the same information, and then two months went by.




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