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Homeowner Association Blocks Guests When Fees Go Unpaid 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the balance-of-power dept.
The Stoneybrook West homeowners association in Orlando, Florida is serious about collecting its fees. So serious in fact that the association will not let anyone coming to see Melissa Solis in the gated community. Solis has fallen behind on her association fees and now guards at the gated entrance to her neighborhood prevent her friends, family, babysitter and even the pizza man from going in to see her. Even Melissa's mother-in-law was banned from coming inside when she came for a family birthday party. Association lawyer Jim Gustino says, "We have to bring whatever lawful pressure that we have to bear on these folks. No one feels good about it, but it does result in collecting money. Many folks will, by some miracle, come up with the money they couldn't come up with before, because they don't want their family members to be denied entry."

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Homeowner Association Blocks Guests When Fees Go Unpaid

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  • What's Next? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Logical Zebra (1423045) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:21AM (#31521764)

    So if she still fails to pay the HOA fees, will the association next block her from entering her own neighborhood?

    • Re:What's Next? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by amplt1337 (707922) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:31AM (#31523354) Journal

      HOAs are pure evil.

      And it amazes me that a country full of people that supposedly care about their freedoms and whatnot, will gleefully hand over their rights to boards governed by petty backyard Napoleons just so they can buy in an area where someone else mows the grass.

      • Re:What's Next? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @01:07PM (#31524610) Journal

        It supposedly keeps the rabble out.

        The theory is that you can force people to keep their homes maintained, which makes the area look prettier and thus raises your property value. This also keeps the crime out, and the gangs and rabble and unshaven unwashed masses.

        The reality is the guy next door is still running a crack house. It's easy to force him out because you can go to the bank and get a lien on his house for his owed fees. Then when he doesn't pay further, you foreclose his house. But if he pays his fees or pays his lien, and you can't get enough evidence to get a police raid done (and the cops find stuff), you're still living with a drug dealer next door.

        They don't supply any services except telling everyone else to not let their yard look like ass.

        • They don't supply any services except telling everyone else to not let their yard look like ass.

          And, the problem is that if you buy in a nice enough area, everyone keeps their yards and houses looking nice anyway.

          When I was shopping for a house after four years of living in a townhouse with an HOA, I told my realtor that any houses that were in a Homeowners' Association were unacceptable.

          I bought a nice house in a nicer part of town - and because I'm not paying those fees I could afford a better house than if I had bought in an HOA development. The townhouse HOA fees were aproaching $200 a month, for

      • I am living in the first house I ever bought. When I bought it, I didn't realize what idiots HMAs are. If I ever buy another house, I am going to tell my realtor that I specifically want a house in a neighborhood in which there is no HMA, period.

        About once every three or four months, I get nastygrams for stupid-ass made-up stuff. My shrubs are too high. (They aren't.) My mailbox pole is leaning. (It's not.) I need new pine straw around my house. (I don't.)

        I came to the conclusion a long time ago tha

        • Lord help you if you ever try to hang your laundry in the fresh air outside in order to conserve a bit of electricity. HMAs go positively ballistic at the sight of a few t-shirts and denims hanging in the backyard of a house you own - never mind a pair of boxers.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by flyneye (84093)

        I don't even get my lawn mowed. I live in a middle class neighborhood that you couldn't tell from the next one. There is an HOA who dropped by a list of "suggestions" and guidelines for landscaping, lawnmowing, parking, placement of trash dumpsters, etc. It woulda been a real downer too, because I wanted to plant lots of fruit trees and berry bushes on my open property( a no no since it attracts birds who eat berries and sh*t purple on the cars), but then I caught the association head getting head from what

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "And it amazes me that a country full of people that supposedly care about their freedoms and whatnot, will gleefully hand over their rights to boards governed by petty backyard Napoleons just so they can buy in an area where someone else mows the grass."

        I've always wondered how these things can be made enforceable...

        I mean, why hasn't some lawyer taken and challenged these things. Isn't there something about not being able to sign your rights away on certain things...etc?

    • by BitterOak (537666)

      So if she still fails to pay the HOA fees, will the association next block her from entering her own neighborhood?

      If you don't pay your rent, you get booted out. That's the way it's supposed to work. I don't know why they start by blocking guests though. It would make more sense to lock the tenant out.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They're not tenants though. It's a Home Owner's Association. They're supposed to be peer organizations. In reality, I'm pretty sure most of them are just scams by the land developers to continue extracting money from people after they've sold them the property.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by flyneye (84093)

      For a small fee, we will drive the van down to Fla. and disrupt this evil organization so Mellissa can get pizza again. Hannibal and Faceman will infiltrate the Association and get the goods on the hoods. I will be welding armor plating to the van and mounting .50 cal machine guns on top, so I pity the fool who doesn't open a gate for me. Murdock will get into a chicken costume and dynamite the gates anyway. In the end, the HOA will have to give back all their ill gotten gains and we will be eatin' pizza in

  • Communists (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moof123 (1292134) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @07:07PM (#31530466)

    HOA's are voluntary communism. I'm amazed to see folks who rant about freedom and liberty only to choose to live in one of these distopian cookie cutter "communities" full of conformist rules. Thanks to private security, they are like mini police states.

    I made a conscious decision to buy a place where I could paint my house without getting approval from a committee. I have not regretted it, despite having one dirtbag neighbor with a bunch of dead and dying cars. It is worth it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Qzukk (229616)

      The problem is that the "land of the free" keeps on shrinking. I'm watching that out of my office window as we speak: street after street of little houses of varying quality (some are well kept, some with rotting roofs and dead cars in the yard) being bought up and demolished to make room for tall, skinny rows of townhomes. You can bet those townhomes have HOAs, even the ones being squeezed in between the dingy trailer home and the quaint little house that's still painted like a candy cane from Christmas.

  • Siege engines?

    Boiling oil?

    Invaders at the Gate?

    This is the result of rampant competitiveness; you end up with a country filled with a small handful of Winners and a ton of Slaves.

    Nice. What a great way to live.

    Or you could move to Canada where neighbors treat each other with a modicum of respect and compassion and you don't need to own a gun because you're not terrified of getting attacked.

    Of course, Canada has been sliding, but at least it has a bit more of that bedrock of sanity upon which its brand of S

    • by operagost (62405)

      Or you could move to Canada where neighbors treat each other with a modicum of respect and compassion and you don't need to own a gun because you're not terrified of getting attacked.

      Or you not make up ridiculous xenophobic straw men. We aren't even talking about guns here. This is about HOA, which are voluntary. When I was looking for a house, those with HOAs were summarily eliminated from consideration.

      • Or you not make up ridiculous xenophobic straw men.

        Done!

        Problem is. . . It's not all that ridiculous, is it?

        Sigh.

        It's not the people who steer me towards xenophobic tendencies. It's the particular flavor of social programming and resulting group behaviors which allows the rampant sociopathy to have its way with the world at large.

        But like I said, the same thing occurs up here. It's just less. Probably because there's only 10% of the populace as compared to the U.S. and the same approximate space to put everybody. If the lunatics annoy, you have plenty

  • by sjames (1099)

    I can't help recalling the episode of the X-Files where Mulder and Scully investigate an HOA. Perhaps this woman should consider a koi pond...

    • I'm reminded of that episode so many times. The HOA in my neighborhood will fine you if your grass gets over a certain height or you leave your trash can out in front of the house for too long (over 2 days after trash pickup). It was my first house and I didn't really know what the HOA did besides making sure everyone had nice looking houses. When the weather is nice, you'll see a couple people wandering the streets with clipboards in hand and stern looks on their faces. When the weather is nasty, you neve

    • It's not a swimming pool, it's a reflecting pool! There's nothing in your guidelines about reflecting pools. They're very tranquil, you'll like it.

  • I just moved from a condo with a COA to a free-standing house with no HOA and I couldn't be happier. I really won't miss dealing with would-be dictators and arbitrarily applied rules while paying $300/month in association dues for the privilege. But on the other hand, one reason our dues were so high was because of neighbors not paying their share. Some places were foreclosed or abandoned (and banks won't pay the dues) and then there were assholes who just stopped paying dues --yet were able to buy luxur

  • That is what I did with a small group of friends from the neighborhood. We have 112 townhome units and a board with 4 officers. Three of us ran for the board and won our respective elections, and now we live in a more free neighborhood. We tore out the childrens playground and installed a dog park. We got rid of the swimming pool that cost $30K/year to maintain and was only used by the illegal daycare facility that one of the residents was running (which we also got rid of). We got rid of all the slimy back

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