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Subject: Paint revolt
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Author Messages
RobertW31
(New York)

Posts:40


08/19/2021 9:06 AM  
I am president of a townhouse hoa and we are currently having some of the buildings trim painted. One of the residents does not agree with the shade of blue that was being applied to her 3 unit building. She has informed the board that she does not give permission for the painters to be in her property. She has also said she does not want the unit painted. We have offered to have give us a sample if the shade of blue she prefers . That us where things stand at the moment. We don’t know as yet is she will offer a color choice. The building has already partially painted. If she does not cooperate we know all the by-laws are on our side and we can force the issue. I plan to consult with an attorney to determine our next steps to force the issue to make sure we do it the right way.

So my questions are:

Has anyone encountered a similar situation and how was it handled?

Once we know we are on firm legal ground I need to protect the painters. Can the police be asked to observe?. Would it be a court order for example.?

Another option but not one I really like is to finish painting the adjoining units, skip hers, and then according to the bylaws we could have her pay for the painting costs, in the future if we have to force the issue later on.This is because of her deliberate refusal to have her unit appropriately maintained. The scheduled costs are paid by the association from the HOA fees.




AugustinD


Posts:1937


08/19/2021 9:09 AM  
RobertW31, unless you quote all the relevant sections of your HOAs CC&Rs or other governing documents, I do not see how any response here can be helpful.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4297


08/19/2021 10:20 AM  
Something similar happened in our community over a tree - we were pruning and cutting down some trees because our townhouse community had issues with sewer line disruption and a few incidents of roof damage and at least one case of foundation damage. One lady was gung ho on saving her tree and stood in front of it when the tree crew showed up. The property manager was called, who called our security officer (an off duty cop) and he persuaded her to stand down and plead her case before the board, as the next meeting was coming up in two weeks.

The lady showed up and I remember saying something like (1) the tree is community property and the association has the duty to care for it, which may include pruning and removal - you didn't plant this tree, nor have you done anything to maintain it (2) this tree has caused damage to your neighbor's unit (I think they foundation issue) and we have to do this in order to fix the problem and prevent further repair costs to the association. And all of us help pay for maintenance, so no one person has a right to say nada (3) if you're hell bent on keeping this tree, our attorney could prepare a document in which YOU agree to pay for any and all subsequent damage caused by this tree.

Her husband had said something about "I'll pay $200 or so" for the foundation damage, but then I noted the damage was actually costing several hundred dollars (north of $500) and the sewer line damage had cost the association an average of $3000 a pop - did he really want to pay THOSE kind of repair bills? In the end, the board voted (again) to remove the tree and the family backed down. They also sold the house to their daughter a few years later and moved out, so I guess it ended happily every after.

Now, in your case, if the trim is HOA common area, I don't see how the resident can stop this. That said, I agree with Augustin - get your association attorney to review this and perhaps send her a letter as to what's her responsibility vs. the Association's, including citations and what could happen if she doesn't agree to allow the painting (namely legal action if she tries to stop it.)

I would hope you wouldn't need police - and I doubt they'd come out on something like this (maybe the sheriff might - try contacting them). Personally, if she gets physical the painters could file a criminal complaint regarding assault, so if she wants to go through all that drama over paint, have at it.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/19/2021 10:44 AM  
Look in your CC&Rs. Check for the sections that define Unit, Common Elements, and Limited/Exclusive Use Common Elements as well as any sections that address maintenance responsibilities.

I'm assuming that since you're painting the exteriors that these are either common elements and the responsibility of the association for maintenance (typical) or the exteriors are actually owned by individual homeowners but the association still maintains them (less common).

In any case, if the association is responsible for maintaining the exterior, then it's up the board to decide what paint colors are used (consistent with any architectural guidelines). Individual owners have no say about this, although if you have an architectural control committee they may have input or even the final say.

This particular owner may have more of a case if she actually owns the part of the building that is being painted, but even so would very likely have to comply with the community colors whether she likes them or not.

Can she make trouble? Of course. Will she get anywhere with it? Depends on the exact wording of your CC&Rs.

I'm always amazed that people who can get bent out of shape over gradations in colors insist on buying homes in communities where exterior appearance is controlled by the association.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


08/19/2021 1:00 PM  
I agree.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/19/2021 2:28 PM  
I agree with others too. I'm wondering gif the painters must f go through her unit to paint?

I think, Robert, you're citing your CC&rs, not your Bylaws, right? Or are you citing some sort of Architectural Guidelines?
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:306


08/20/2021 10:17 AM  
Who owns the building that the condo is in? Who is responsible for the maintenance of the exterior of the building? That should decide who determines the color.
RobertW31
(New York)

Posts:40


08/20/2021 10:26 AM  
To clarify these are townhouses the owners own the inside the outside and the lots. The residents give the board authority to do the painting replace the roofing and lawn are. They pay for this in association fees. The bylaws give us the authority to go on their property to do maintenance, repairs etc.

This lady is not yielding we have even talked with her. Our lawyer is going to send her a letter with the bylaws telling her we are painting her unit.

By the way we are talking about a pair of shutters and a front door.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1469


08/20/2021 12:08 PM  
Some Clarity needed, are you painting the inside of the unit or the exterior building? If it is the exterior, she don't have a leg to stand on, If you are painting inside her unit, then she has a point.
AugustinD


Posts:1937


08/20/2021 12:19 PM  
Posted By RobertW31 on 08/20/2021 10:26 AM
The residents give the board authority to do the painting replace the roofing and lawn are.
Do tell more about how the residents "give the board authority to do the painting." Has the board come up with some kind of contract that residents sign with the HOA, going beyond (the board thinks) the covenants?
RobertW31
(New York)

Posts:40


08/20/2021 12:38 PM  
When a person buys a home they agree to comply with the rules and bylaws of the Home Owners Association. These bylaws and rules include how to resolve issues,. In this case if a homeowner fails by intention or omission to follow the rules regarding the maintenance of their home the board has the right to enter their property to make this repairs and charge the cost to the homeowners assessment. In this case the painting of her unit has already been
contracted for so she will not be charged.

RobertW31
(New York)

Posts:40


08/20/2021 12:39 PM  
It is the exterior trim on her unit.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4216


08/20/2021 12:45 PM  
In my townhouse community, owner is responsible for exterior maintenance, HOA is responsible for painting. There is nothing in our organizing docs that says how often a house gets painted.

A full paint cycle takes us 5 years.

We don't paint rot. The painter inspects the houses being painted, and provides notice of any pre-painting repairs that need to be done.

We have a published policy that - We paint one row at a time - Our painter will not jump around from a house on one row to a house on another row. Either the row is ready or it isn't.

We also have a published policy that - If a row isn't ready, we may defer painting to the next year.

By doing things this way, we shift some of the burden onto the immediate neighbors to light a fire under the laggard's A.

We are around 85% effective with this approach.

The other 15%, we deal with on a case by case basis.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AugustinD


Posts:1937


08/20/2021 12:52 PM  
Posted By RobertW31 on 08/20/2021 12:38 PM
In this case if a homeowner fails by intention or omission to follow the rules regarding the maintenance of their home the board has the right to enter their property to make this repairs and charge the cost to the homeowners assessment.
Covenants like this are common nationwide. However, competent HOA attorneys advise to proceed with great care, and really, where there is no emergency, avoid all together, going onto another person's property. This is regardless of covenants like the one you describe.

You posted to this thread asking whether the HOA is on "firm legal ground." If I were on your board, I would vote to send this to the HOA attorney post haste.
In this case the painting of her unit has already been contracted for so she will not be charged.
AFAIC, Statements like this continue to cause me to question how legally firm the ground on which the HOA stands is.

Without seeing the covenants in full, for me the legalities are about as clear as mud.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


08/20/2021 1:06 PM  
Posted By RobertW31 on 08/20/2021 10:26 AM
To clarify these are townhouses the owners own the inside the outside and the lots. The residents give the board authority to do the painting replace the roofing and lawn are. They pay for this in association fees. The bylaws give us the authority to go on their property to do maintenance, repairs etc.

This lady is not yielding we have even talked with her. Our lawyer is going to send her a letter with the bylaws telling her we are painting her unit.

By the way we are talking about a pair of shutters and a front door.



Best way to handle it.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1469


08/20/2021 1:57 PM  
Posted By RobertW31 on 08/20/2021 12:39 PM
It is the exterior trim on her unit.




Then she's SOL.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/20/2021 2:33 PM  
Posted By LetA on 08/20/2021 1:57 PM
Posted By RobertW31 on 08/20/2021 12:39 PM
It is the exterior trim on her unit.




Then she's SOL.



If the association owned the exteriors, I'd agree.

I'd also agree if there were something in the governing docs that authorize the board to paint the exteriors.

But the OP has said that homeowners actually own the exterior of their homes and the land they sit on. If the governing docs are vague - or if it's a case of "this is how we do things" because a previous board decided that it would save money and the homeowners at the time were OK with it - then the homeowner may actually have a say.

Not that I think that's a good idea because the community will maintain a consistent appearance if the association takes care of the painting. I'm just not sure where the final authority is, and it's unfortunate that it may require police or lawyers to sort this out.

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