My question involves real estate located in the State of: Texas
In regard to HOAs... we can agree that HOAs can be effective in unholding a certain level of aesthetic value in a neighborhood. But how much power do they really have? In reading incorporation, by-laws, declarations, etc., for an HOA, one can learn a great deal about the requirements and guidelines set forth. However, they are completely lacking in defining repercussions for actions/inactions. For instance, we hear stories about homes being foreclosed on for unpaid HOA dues. In our declarations, we can find reference to properties where owners have been cited to maintain their lawn (the HOA has the right to have the grass mowed and then the property owner must pay for it). However, beyond that, nothing.
My next-door neighbor has a downspout on his gutter system that he has had problems keeping affixed to the house. He has repaired it numerous times, but it keeps detaching when we have high winds. The HOA has sent him a few notices to repair it, and he has repaired it numerous times. Finally the last time the piece detached, he removed it completely. He received no further notices from the HOA.
Last week, he checked his HOA account online and found that he had been charged a $20 fee for a certified letter; he had not received a certified letter. When he contacted the HOA manager to inquire about the erroneous fee, he was told that he was sent a certified letter regarding the gutter situation. He assured her that he had removed the gutter, at which point he was advised that this was not good enough - it had to be replaced. He was perplexed, as he had not been advised that removal was not good enough. To this, she responded that their "system" only allows 3 notices before automatically referring to Legal. He has already contacted a company to permanently fasten a brand new gutter to his house to appease the HOA, and advised them of such. But, we are curious - what exactly would a HOA's Legal representative do about such a situation? His problem was not constant, although apparenlty the HOA perceived it as such. What could he be sued for? And how can they charge him for a certified letter if they cannot produce record of a letter having been sent "certified"?