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Subject: Folks who don't mow their lawns
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Author Messages
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:144


05/24/2021 4:23 PM  
We have landscaping included in our HOA fees, and inevitably some people are not satisfied with the quality of the work. Our policy has always been that users can put red lawn markers in order to skip a lawn service. This is handy if, say, they have new sod, or if we're fertilizing and they have their own fertilizer service.

However, several residents are placing their flags out every week, effectively opting out of mowing, but they don't keep up with it themselves.

Is the only solution to fine them? Or can we have the landscapers mow their lawn then send them a bill? Curious how everyone handles this.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/24/2021 4:32 PM  
We did not let you opt out of it. Maybe due to special reasons but the HOA was responsible for lawncare. That is the one responsibility we had in our Documentation to provide. We let you put a lock on your backyard and make mowing back there options. However, ALL front yards were to be mowed by lawncare. Plus you could opt out of the weed care but it was done 2 times a year.

Keep in mind lawncare you hire has to have their own insurance. So any damages go to their insurance and company NOT the HOA. The HOA just can relay the message to them.

Former HOA President
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


05/24/2021 4:36 PM  
Just create a rule that says at the Boards discretion any yard can be cut if it is determined that it needs to be. Also, how can you charge them an additional fee when they are already paying for the service to begin with?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


05/24/2021 4:41 PM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 05/24/2021 4:23 PM
We have landscaping included in our HOA fees, and inevitably some people are not satisfied with the quality of the work. Our policy has always been that users can put red lawn markers in order to skip a lawn service. This is handy if, say, they have new sod, or if we're fertilizing and they have their own fertilizer service.

However, several residents are placing their flags out every week, effectively opting out of mowing, but they don't keep up with it themselves.

Is the only solution to fine them? Or can we have the landscapers mow their lawn then send them a bill? Curious how everyone handles this.





Last year even before CV issues, we had our landscapers show up at the HOA meeting. They did say they were having problems hiring people. It comes down to people, young ones especially that do not want to perform manual labor. This is forcing landscapers to either jack up their rates with their clients to attract a quality talent pool or skimp on services. It really is not fair to the customers of the landscaping companies to suffer because lazy people do not want to bust a sweat.

Consult with other landscaping companies to see where they are with an available workforce.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


05/24/2021 7:51 PM  
The Declaration of the Association in which we reside requires front yard landscaping be maintained by the Association. No planted, replaced, or refurbished. Maintained.

This requirement has led to some lively, or more accurately, spirited, opinionated, heartfelt, emotional, and sometimes angry conversations over the years. We missed most of those discussions as we purchased when the Association had been managing its own affairs for a year or two. Glad we did.

The Declaration provides some clarity as to what the Association is to provide, otherwise interpretation would be a challenge. A detailed scope of work and calendar of events has calmed most of the mooing and oinking about matters such as when the bushes will be trimmed, mulch spread, and fire ants treated.

As of today:

1. An owner may opt out of the services but may not opt-out of the assessment for services. That would require an amendment to the declaration. Most realtors who specialize in this association make it crystal clear to buyers the front yard landscaping requirements as the annual assessment is quite high as a result for an association with no pool or clubhouse.

2. An owner who opts out must perform services to the same level as does the contractor as is described on the scope of work for the week, on the same day of the week as does the contractor or one day later. The contractor is here on Friday, it is reasonable to extend the window to Saturday for owners who perform their own maintenance.

3. The compliance review of opt-out properties expects the appearance to be the same as the contractor service provided appearance.

4. A small number of owners accept the services of the contractor then proceed to perform additional services to their own standards. Perfectly acceptable.

5. Those who opt-out must execute an acknowledgement of their responsibilities, which includes an expedited compliance and hearing process in the event their property is not maintained to the level of service provided by the contractor.

6. A few services are not eligible for opt-out, primarily those which ensure compliance with city property code standards such as height of the bottom of the canopy of trees over sidewalks, streets, and alleys.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/25/2021 8:36 AM  
Our HOA does all landscaping. We do not let people opt out of it as we want a common look. When people can opt out, there goes your common look not matter what you tell them to do. We do have some owners that will do yard work in addition to what our what our landscaper does and this is all well and fine.

We also do not owners plant or replace anything unless it is identical to what existed. We pride ourselves on a common and good look.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/25/2021 9:20 AM  
Reminds of The Stepford Wives.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/25/2021 10:05 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/25/2021 9:20 AM
Reminds of The Stepford Wives.



Overall, I do not disagree with this but it is a major selling point. When people drive in here we often hear, wow this place looks good. Each home has 20ft x 30ft backyard, surrounded by a 7ft privacy fence. The HOA does maintain backyards. Owners can pretty well do as they wish in this area, Grow dope for all we care.

Our homes usually sell in less then 2 weeks on the market and at or over asking price so I believe we are doing things right.

FYI
112 small, patio homes. No amenities. Public streets though a dead end neighborhood thus no traffic.

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/114-Tennis-View-Ct_Lexington_SC_29073_M65533-09786#photo21
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/25/2021 10:12 AM  
My wife and I probably had that same comment when we first drove into the only HOA we lived in. We got the very worse an HOA can be the first go around.

"Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me".
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/25/2021 12:34 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/25/2021 10:05 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/25/2021 9:20 AM
Reminds of The Stepford Wives.



Overall, I do not disagree with this but it is a major selling point. When people drive in here we often hear, wow this place looks good. Each home has 20ft x 30ft backyard, surrounded by a 7ft privacy fence. The HOA does maintain backyards. Owners can pretty well do as they wish in this area, Grow dope for all we care.

Our homes usually sell in less then 2 weeks on the market and at or over asking price so I believe we are doing things right.

FYI
112 small, patio homes. No amenities. Public streets though a dead end neighborhood thus no traffic.

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/114-Tennis-View-Ct_Lexington_SC_29073_M65533-09786#photo21




CORRECTION

The HOA does not maintain backyards. Owners can pretty well do as they wish in this area, Grow dope for all we care.
BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:100


05/26/2021 11:39 AM  
JohnC46,

I really like that your HOA allows owners to maintain their own back yards but the HOA maintains the front yards. It seems like a great way to keep a nice uniform appearance to the properties. I looked at the picture of one of the patio homes and am quite impressed. I'm not a fan of HOAs in general but it looks like yours is a fairly successful one and the properties sell fast.

I hope to find something like that when I am ready for a change from complete owner maintained home to a mixture of both. Seems like a good compromise to me.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/26/2021 12:07 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/25/2021 10:05 AM

Our homes usually sell in less then 2 weeks on the market and at or over asking price so I believe we are doing things right.
It seems to me much of the country (not in the path of a potential wildfire) is currently in a housing bubble.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


05/26/2021 12:14 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 05/26/2021 12:07 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/25/2021 10:05 AM

Our homes usually sell in less then 2 weeks on the market and at or over asking price so I believe we are doing things right.
It seems to me much of the country (not in the path of a potential wildfire) is currently in a housing bubble.




This is true but where I live in S.C (Greenville) condos have been a hot commodity for years. Our units never stay on the market for more than a few days. The current bubble has just pushed the prices higher but the demand was already hot. Obviously, I'm grateful. For those that are interested, here's what $180-$210 will get you in our neck of the woods.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/412-Sparrow-Hawk-Ct-Greer-SC-29650/11038098_zpid/
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/26/2021 12:18 PM  
Here is what...well .. stupid buys in my neck of the wood, https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8142-White-Oak-Ave-Northridge-CA-91325/19951676_zpid/
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/26/2021 12:35 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 05/26/2021 12:07 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/25/2021 10:05 AM

Our homes usually sell in less then 2 weeks on the market and at or over asking price so I believe we are doing things right.
It seems to me much of the country (not in the path of a potential wildfire) is currently in a housing bubble.



I was listening to a program last week during which a guest kept insisting that we're not in a housing bubble because there is real demand for housing which exceeds supply. For the life of me I couldn't understand why he believed that demand created by, for instance, loose lending standards and lairs' loans, had a different effect that somehow made the current situation OK. Demand is demand, it drives up prices until one day the music stops and it all goes bust. (I fearlessly predict a future increase in loan defaults, foreclosures, and all those things that made the 2008-2012 downturn so exciting.)

In my part of the country, if you want to buy a house nowadays you have to troll the MLS and other listings, and the minute a house pops up you put in an offer for more than the asking price and waive all contingencies - and there is still no guarantee that your offer will be accepted. It's nuts. The only way to have some breathing space is to buy new construction - but that means you'll be in an HOA and your choice about where to live may be limited. And new construction prices are also nuts. Perhaps those tariffs on lumber were not the best idea...?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/26/2021 12:39 PM  
Perhaps those tariffs on lumber were not the best idea...?

You think?
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/26/2021 12:45 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 05/26/2021 12:35 PM

I was listening to a program last week during which a guest kept insisting that we're not in a housing bubble because there is real demand for housing which exceeds supply.
Does the guest per chance make his or her living from the sale of homes?

For the life of me I couldn't understand why he believed that demand created by, for instance, loose lending standards and lairs' loans, had a different effect that somehow made the current situation OK. Demand is demand, it drives up prices until one day the music stops and it all goes bust. (I fearlessly predict a future increase in loan defaults, foreclosures, and all those things that made the 2008-2012 downturn so exciting.)
The house flippers are surely working hard to get their free lunch.


In my part of the country, if you want to buy a house nowadays you have to troll the MLS and other listings, and the minute a house pops up you put in an offer for more than the asking price and waive all contingencies - and there is still no guarantee that your offer will be accepted. It's nuts. The only way to have some breathing space is to buy new construction - but that means you'll be in an HOA and your choice about where to live may be limited. And new construction prices are also nuts.
I concur with your concerns. How this country promotes borrowing and borrowing some more, particularly to the little guy/gal who hasn't much in the way of math skills and will tend to go with the herd, scares me.

Thanks for the report from the Midwest.

JohnC46, thanks for the elaboration.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/26/2021 12:46 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/26/2021 12:18 PM
Here is what...well .. stupid buys in my neck of the wood, https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8142-White-Oak-Ave-Northridge-CA-91325/19951676_zpid/



Homes like that are priced in the $500s in my area. This is Ohio and not a McMansion area. When California's prices don't look terribly outlandish to me, something is out of whack.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/26/2021 12:51 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 05/26/2021 12:46 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/26/2021 12:18 PM
Here is what...well .. stupid buys in my neck of the wood, https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8142-White-Oak-Ave-Northridge-CA-91325/19951676_zpid/



Homes like that are priced in the $500s in my area. This is Ohio and not a McMansion area. When California's prices don't look terribly outlandish to me, something is out of whack.



McMansion, this is 1100 square feet
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/26/2021 12:52 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 05/26/2021 12:46 PM
When California's prices don't look terribly outlandish to me, something is out of whack.
[AugustinD shaking head] Nooo, not California. Once it was the place to be.

At least read the NY Times article on Lake Meade's low levels: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/14/opinion/water-hoover-dam-climate-change.html

At the end of the 2015 movie "The Big Short" (about the 2008 housing et cetera collapse), it's observed: "The small investing Mike Burry still does is all focused on one commodity: water."

Let's see what our resident Californians have to say (hopefully while experiencing breathable air quality).
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/26/2021 1:05 PM  
It is Arizona and Nevada that have to worry first about Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/26/2021 2:09 PM  
Invitation to participate was a bit critical (not sure why) of my home state, which I love. Have lived as an adult in six other states.

Mowing lawns is the subject, anyway.
BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:100


05/26/2021 3:54 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/26/2021 2:09 PM
Invitation to participate was a bit critical (not sure why) of my home state, which I love. Have lived as an adult in six other states.

Mowing lawns is the subject, anyway.



The thread did get off topic but I was just saying that in JohnC46 HOA, the owners can have it both ways, achieve the uniform look many are looking for but allowing the owner to get their hands in the dirt and having control over the backyard.

Thirteen years ago I purchased a lot and built a house in a 1970's development that was not completely built out and many of the lots were overgrown from years of neglect. The HOA went bankrupt so enforcement of mowing of vacant lots went by the wayside. The lot next to me has not been mowed since I moved here and neither has the lot across the road from me and the lot behind me. My husband has gradually mowed more and more on the lot behind us. This doesn't bother me very much. Nothing we can do about it and we were aware of it when we bought the property. In spite of this, our home value has increased $60,000 in 13 years. It's a rural area and we get e-mails every day from realtors wanting to list our house or people interested in buying it.

My husband and I are in the over 55 category so JohnC46 type of housing may appeal to us in a few years. I am not able to keep up with home maintenance like I used to. It sure takes me longer to get some of those house chores done particularly the outside.
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