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Subject: Voluntary HOA questions.
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07/08/2021 8:27 AM  

I live in a small subdivision in a rural area (Texas) that has approximately 45 homes. The subdivision is a “Voluntary HOA.” There are several people who choose not to belong to the HOA so they do not contribute “dues.” The dues have always been a nominal amount compared to other HOA’s. I will say that those who do not contribute to the HOA dues do keep their properties looking nice. That’s not the issue though.

The issue is the Voluntary HOA had a meeting with approximately 16 members showing up and they took a vote to raise the dues of which they passed. The money they raise is going for three things only.
1. To pay electric for a light at the entrance.
2. A PO Box
3. Road Repair

The issue with the roads is that they’re not private roads so they don’t belong to the HOA. They do not belong to the county either. The roads were given to the “public” by the original developer and is on file at the court house as such.

The board members are going house to house to collect the money. My neighbor had given them written notice last year that he chooses not to be a member of the HOA. However he would make a “donation” to the road fund and he did (last year). So now they are harassing him and semi threatening him (I’ve read the emails between them) after he sent another letter opting out. They said he can opt out but still has to pay dues. Say what??

Since this is a voluntary HOA and the HOA does NOT own the roads can they force him to pay for dues? Personally I think it’s wrong and since I’ve seen the communication between them I’m starting to change my mind about how they are doing business.
The board member who wrote the letters is not abiding by the HOA CC&R’s which is very hypocritical.


07/08/2021 12:54 PM  
If this is a voluntary HOA, I would think you can't be compelled to pay anything. I say "you" because this smells like a SWIM (someone who isn't me) question. If not, why hasn't your neighbor inquired about this himself?

And if the HOA doesn't own the roads, why hasn't anyone gone to the city or county overseeing the road and asked them to fix it. That said, unless the streets are some sort of main drag that gets a lot of use, you may have to wait until the city gets around to do repairs. If you and/or neighbors don't want to wait because the roads are deteriorating fast, contact your local government representative (e,g. city council representative ) to make inquires 9n your behalf?


07/09/2021 11:53 AM  
That’s exactly what I thought. If he chooses not to belong they can’t compel him to pay dues.
My post is not about me. It’s about the man who lives across the street from us. He BCC’d me his communication between himself and a Board Member. Twice he’s told them he doesn’t want to belong to the HOA but they keep harassing him.

The roads were handed over to “The Public for now and forevermore” by the developer and the HOA board members have gone back and forth for years trying to get the county to take over the roads. They absolutely refuse. Even the county Judge refused and said it wasn’t the responsibility of the county to maintain the roads in our subdivision. At one point they did say that if our subdivision paid to have the roads repaired to their standards they “might” take over the roads but that it wasn’t a guarantee. Several years ago the HOA got a quote for around $100,000 to chipseal the whole neighborhood but there’s not enough residents willing to do it.

Our subdivision is not in a city, it’s in the country so that makes it county.

FYI - our subdivision has some of the best roads in the county so that should tell you something.
Our county is 986 sq miles and a population of approximately 37,000.
I don’t know what the county spends their money on but it’s certainly not the roads.


07/09/2021 12:09 PM  
Posted By LisaM31 on 07/09/2021 11:53 AM

The roads were handed over to “The Public for now and forevermore” by the developer
You do realize that the chances are good that this is a line of bullsh-t, don't you? The developer can't just force the city or county to take over maintenance.

I would stop quoting it. What I think a group of you should do is hire an attorney to review the plats and covenants and try to figure out whether who owns the roads is clear.

Usually roads are either clearly shown on plats to be common area belonging to a bona fide hoa with corporate status, or the roads are clearly shown to belong to the county or a city.

Some other thoughts:

When you speak of this voluntary "HOA" "Board," you should put it in quotation marks. Why? Because I doubt this "Board" has any legal authority whatsoever. This "HOA" has no legal Bylaws, detailing say how officers and directors are appointed/elected and how often elections occur. Nothing in the subdivision's covenants authorize a HOA or Board. The courts view covenants as a contract. Without a term of the "contract" stating that a HOA Is hereby established, then this "Board" has no authority over anyone. And at the start of every meeting of owners, all owners and the "Board" need to admit they have no legal authority over anyone else.

In Texas I believe there is no statute that addresses voluntary HOAs. The main law that applies to your subdivision is the law on covenants.

This fellow being harassed by the "Board" should go pay 150 bucks or so to the local court and get a restraining order against all individuals harassing him. Or at least threaten this.
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