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Subject: Approval Request to ARC Acceptable Communication Methods in TEXAS
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JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/19/2021 3:28 PM  
Hello,

I cannot recall where I saw it, whether in the property code or in our HOA documents but somewhere regarding a approval request to the ARC of a HOA in Texas, I did see that email is an acceptable form of communication.

Does anyone know where it states this? I did see it, but, I cannot recall where.

Thank you
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4284


04/19/2021 3:30 PM  
Start with your documents. If you don't see it, go to the county or state website where the property code is and look it up that way.

JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/19/2021 3:33 PM  
I did but cannot find it. The property code is higher up the hierarchy of documents above the HOA documents. THis is why I was asking if anyone in Texas was familiar with the acceptable ways of communicating to a TEXAS HOA
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


04/19/2021 7:38 PM  
Communicating with owners in an HOA in Texas can be complicated.

Some governing documents stipulate forms of communications. Legislative actions since 2011 may allow email communications if the owner "opts-in" to receive certain Associations communications via email, otherwise USPS mail or other positive delivery services must be used.

The answer to your questions depends, as others have commented, on the language in your documents and Texas Property Codes.
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/19/2021 9:50 PM  
But, I am wondering about the acceptable means of communication from owner to HOA? as in the request to have landscape plans approve. It talks about this in the DCCR's but, it does not specify other than that the request must written and approved.
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


04/19/2021 11:21 PM  
Janet,

Have you asked your ARC how to submit a request?


U.S. Mail is always acceptable.
Email is normally acceptable but you need to check with your Association to find out if it's acceptable to them.


BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


04/20/2021 6:32 PM  
Janet

Depending on the age of your DCCR's, there may be language regarding submission for architectural changes along the lines of " An Architectural Change Request Form must be submitted to the (Committee, Board, or whatever) for review and approval prior to any work taking place" or words to that effect.

Associations typically have an Architectural Change Request Form which must be completed and submitted. Often the ACC Request can be filled out and submitted on-line which automatically submits the document to the right place, which is often the Management Company which must then send the requests to the Architectural Committee or another designated destination. Associations which are really on top of their game have the submission process automated to the point a submission will generate a response which says 'Thank you for your submission, the Architectural Committee will review etc. etc."

In deference to those who do not have or use computers, or who have difficulty using one, every Association I have seen in Texas (a bunch) allows a paper submission via US Mail, fax, FedEx or another delivery service, or in-person delivery to a designated location.

Most Architectural Request Forms, or the guidelines for their use, describe the various means for submitting applications by the owner to the HOA.

If this is not clearly spelled out, call the Property Manager/Management Company and ask what the process is.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


04/20/2021 6:49 PM  
To clarify a previous post--

The changes in the property code implemented by the Legislature in 2011 and later sessions pertain to outbound communications from the HOA to owners. Modern documents often state the use of email, or electronic communications are acceptable. Other, older documents most often state US Mail or some other positive delivery method must be used. We have one client, whose attorney must have been a Gene Rodenberry/Star Trek disciple, who include electronic communications in the language of a 1981 set of condominium documents. But, those do not apply to PC 209 Homeowners Associations.

It is those Associations to which the legislative changes apply: the Association may ask if owners wish to receive official notices via email rather than by traditional methods. Those owners must make a specific statement they choose to "opt-in" to receive official notices electronically.

Opt in or not, as a management company we insist certain notices be mailed as well. This works for us as our clients have fewer than 50 owners and the expense is not significant. People do not read email, have filters set, or what have you. It is not worth the mooing and oinking about not receiving the meeting notice to not use US Mail.

The master association in which we reside has 9,300 owners. The Board wishes to minimize the notification expense for meetings; they use the email process as much as possible.

I do not believe there is language in the Texas property code regarding the form of inbound communications to the Association.
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 3:07 PM  
I finally drug it out of him and he supplied me copy to which I already had of the article in the DCCRS that addressed this. However, I had an real estate attorney read over the article and it does not specify that there must be a form submitted with the request for review of a proposal. I submitted a lengthy request with photos, sketches, exact bushes, that had already been on the approved list, along with flowers and had it laid out that would show the specific plans, had photos of the plants bushes and exactly where each would be placed on March 8, 2021.

After emailing them a couple of times, I got responses saying that they were reviewing it. April 8, rolls around the 30 days is up. Per our documents, my request was approved fully.

Then a few days later, my neighbor is on my camera on my property saying that she was going to rip out or have her landscaper rip out what I had in the ground which had grown back because they are perennials. She was saying that I did not have it approved.

Once again I contact the property manager to find out why they have not voted and reminded him of the 30 day deadline.
He then tells me about a form that I needed to submit. Instead of him replying to my initial email with a form that I could use to submit, they just ignored me. It is now April 21, 2021 and this much time has passed. I asked him why her did not send it. He told me that the form is there to assist the homeowners but if I did not want it to submit what I had completed

Mind you that he had already replied to my formal ARC request regarding other matters before. They got the request they chose to ignore it. I have the form now. I will not resubmit. In fact he tried to tell me that the article mentioned the form. I have attached it to this post

Attachment: 142173836171.pdf

JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 3:07 PM  
I finally drug it out of him and he supplied me copy to which I already had of the article in the DCCRS that addressed this. However, I had an real estate attorney read over the article and it does not specify that there must be a form submitted with the request for review of a proposal. I submitted a lengthy request with photos, sketches, exact bushes, that had already been on the approved list, along with flowers and had it laid out that would show the specific plans, had photos of the plants bushes and exactly where each would be placed on March 8, 2021.

After emailing them a couple of times, I got responses saying that they were reviewing it. April 8, rolls around the 30 days is up. Per our documents, my request was approved fully.

Then a few days later, my neighbor is on my camera on my property saying that she was going to rip out or have her landscaper rip out what I had in the ground which had grown back because they are perennials. She was saying that I did not have it approved.

Once again I contact the property manager to find out why they have not voted and reminded him of the 30 day deadline.
He then tells me about a form that I needed to submit. Instead of him replying to my initial email with a form that I could use to submit, they just ignored me. It is now April 21, 2021 and this much time has passed. I asked him why her did not send it. He told me that the form is there to assist the homeowners but if I did not want it to submit what I had completed

Mind you that he had already replied to my formal ARC request regarding other matters before. They got the request they chose to ignore it. I have the form now. I will not resubmit. In fact he tried to tell me that the article mentioned the form. I have attached it to this post

Attachment: 1421740154.pdf

JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 3:08 PM  
I do not understand why everything i post seems to come in 2's
AugustinD


Posts:1903


04/21/2021 3:15 PM  
JaneL2, does this HOA have Board-created Rules and Regulations? If so, do these Rules and Regulations talk about this form (that the manager brought up)?

It seems to me this manager and their board do not have their act together. Worse, they are jerking you around when they say they are reviewing the application. To protect your rights, on this matter and in the future, I would communicate by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Save every email and every letter that you receive on this matter.
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 3:37 PM  
I am afraid in light of just getting served by a constable this morning a lawsuit filed by neighbor that it has gone way beyond saving anything. However, I have a whole slew of email requests that I have made to the HOA regarding this and other things over several years that they have completely ignored. Now, they are scrambling but it is too late
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 3:37 PM  
I am afraid in light of just getting served by a constable this morning a lawsuit filed by neighbor that it has gone way beyond saving anything. However, I have a whole slew of email requests that I have made to the HOA regarding this and other things over several years that they have completely ignored. Now, they are scrambling but it is too late
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


04/21/2021 4:26 PM  
If you were served with a document this morning by the constable, you have way more on your plate than an architectural change request.

It seems to me the management company and the Association should have had their act together on the architectural change process, including submissions, years ago. This process is one of the very first which is established, often by the developer as purchasers wish to make changes as soon as the sale closes.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:588


04/21/2021 5:36 PM  
Posted By JaneL2 on 04/21/2021 3:37 PM
I am afraid in light of just getting served by a constable this morning a lawsuit filed by neighbor that it has gone way beyond saving anything. However, I have a whole slew of email requests that I have made to the HOA regarding this and other things over several years that they have completely ignored. Now, they are scrambling but it is too late




I’m so confused. Is your neighbor on the board? Is she suing you on behalf of the association?
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 5:47 PM  
the neighbor is not on the board. she moved into our established peaceable community 3 years ago and has picked me for her punching bag. She is suing me for not doing what she wants me to do or not do in regards to my front yard. I had a beautifully landscape yard lush and green with shamrocks and lilac flowers for ground cover. I had a flower bed out front that in the summer time I planted flowers. However, she saw that I enjoyed this and filed DEMAND letter to the HOA for all of the ARC approved request and all of the contracts, etc etc and found that I had not gotten approval.
The president of our HOA and the property walked the property in 2020 to access violations. I did not get any letter or notification that I was in violation and supposedly everyone had violations. The board did not do anything about it at all. My neighbor takes pleasure in constantly stalking and harassing me though. As a result of the demand letter that the HOA and I received in February, I removed all in my yard that I had not gotten permission for.
But some of the shamrocks and flowers have grown back and she is insisting that they be removed. She filed lawsuit this morning stating that I have not followed the rules. I have lived her 20 years and not had issues with any neighbors because we all live our lives and mind our own business. She is suing for 5000 to help ease her pain of living here.
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 5:49 PM  
I attached the dccr article 5 that talks about the approval process. NO FORM IS MENTIONED

Attachment: 1421492575571.pdf

TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


04/21/2021 6:03 PM  
Posted By JaneL2 on 04/21/2021 3:08 PM
I do not understand why everything i post seems to come in 2's




Double posting occurs as a result of hitting the submit button twice.

Multiple clicking is sometimes done because people are used to "double clicking"

Multiple clicking is sometimes done because internet service or this website is slower then normal providing a response to the submit button and the poster thinks it didn't go through and clicks the submit button again.
AugustinD


Posts:1903


04/21/2021 6:26 PM  
Posted By JaneL2 on 04/21/2021 3:37 PM
I am afraid in light of just getting served by a constable this morning a lawsuit filed by neighbor that it has gone way beyond saving anything. However, I have a whole slew of email requests that I have made to the HOA regarding this and other things over several years that they have completely ignored. Now, they are scrambling but it is too late
If these email requests are still on your email server, and in the view of the lawsuit your neighbor filed, for legal reasons, please continue saving the emails on the server itself.

Did your neighbor's attorney ever send you what is known as a "demand letter"?

Does the lawsuit name only you as a defendant? Or does it also name the HOA?

If you are not comfortable elaborating at this point, I understand.
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 7:46 PM  
I am named on the demand letter and the cease and desist letter and even after complying with the demand letter, the C and D letter is real nasty and threating and then there is the JP laswuit
JaneL2
(Texas)

Posts:78


04/21/2021 7:48 PM  
I do not know if i replied to your post. Maybe I just replied to my post anyhow i did reply
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1104


04/22/2021 7:19 AM  
I don't believe there is anything in the Texas code that addresses ARC communications except that violation letters must be by certified mail.

We do almost all approval requests by email.
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


04/22/2021 7:29 AM  
So, the real question is "how to prove you submitted your request" because 30 days have passed and, per the governing documents, it's an automatic approval (VA actually used to have a statute that said that - wish they still did).


Your best proof is the response to your emails.

In the future, I would send requests via certified mail, return receipt.
Keep a copy of what is sent and, if possible, include the certified mail number in the letter.

For example: Sent via certified mail xxxxx-xx-xxxxx-xx

If not, include on the return receipt portion (the green card you fill out) a short description of what the receipt is for ( landscape ACC request).


Again, your best proof is the initial email exchange between you and the PM.

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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Approval Request to ARC Acceptable Communication Methods in TEXAS



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