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  1. #1

    Default HOA at War with Me

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: California
    So my hoa lost a battle last year with me regarding a flag pole my son and I put up and they hate me.
    So now, they are going after me for a small yard fake animal (a rat) that was put up before Halloween a couple of years ago and left on the mail box because when we where taking down all the Halloween decorations the mail carrier like it and so after talking to him, we left it out.
    Letter is a hearing that states "failure to remove stuffed rat from atop the mailbox"
    The CC&R's 15.2.16 states, "All structures within the Project shall at all times be maintained by their respective Owners in a clean, first-class and properly painted condition."
    They say they'll fine me up to $100 for first violation, $100 for second and third $200 and continue fines until cured.
    Need some help in fighting this if there is any way, at the least make it miserable for them.
    First that I noticed is that they gave me notice less than 10 days before hearing.
    Second, I drove around and took pictures of other owner's mailboxes that look like hell; rusted, paint weathered etc. Mine is newly painted but yep, has a stuffed rat glued to it. Totally selective.
    Also, lots of other owners have lots of little yard animals of all kinds of material all over the place; I'm not the only one with yard things.
    I've researched some things and need help on this; It doesn't seem to fit what they are trying to hit me up with a fine for and clearly are going after me for the flag pole loss.
    Is this fight hopeless?
    At the very least, I'd like to make it miserable for them
    Regards and thanks
    D.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,901

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    If you're talking about a war, you almost certainly will lose. Your HOA will use your own money to defend themselves against any litigation you start.

    You have no right to "make things miserable" for people. This is the attitude that is going to work against you (and really, if that is how you feel, a community are always going to be problematic for you).
    Threatening to fine you for violations of the rules is certainly within their purview. If they actually go to try to enforce a rule/covenant whatever, then you can possibly raise a challenge/defense, but it takes a lot more than "other people are technically breaking the rules" to excuse your violations. As your mother told you growing up: two wrongs don't make a right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4,301

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    Ditto what flyingron wrote. Plus this.

    1. Move rat.
    2. Sell house.
    3. Buy a new house not in an HOA.
    4. Be happy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    They are going after me for a violation for paint?? My mailbox is newly painted the same color. They are selectively going after me for a violation of something that doesn't even make sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,901

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    They are going after me for a violation for paint?? My mailbox is newly painted the same color. They are selectively going after me for a violation of something that doesn't even make sense.
    Unless you didn't explain yourself well, this has nothing to do with the paint, but the rat. Of course, it is a little ambiguous as to what "first class" means. You can argue that a fake rat is clean.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    They are going after me for a violation for paint?? My mailbox is newly painted the same color. They are selectively going after me for a violation of something that doesn't even make sense.
    We have no idea what they are going after you for other than what you wrote.

    Saying others are getting away with whatever isn't going to help you much.

  7. #7

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    We have no idea what they are going after you for other than what you wrote.

    Saying others are getting away with whatever isn't going to help you much.
    There is no case about selective persecution?

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    There doesn't have to be a specific prohibition against a rat on your mail box or what kind of yard art you have. It's the standards of conformity that the HOA can enforce.



    No. Special rules apply to HOAs. They only have to type it up and have the document recorded. That puts the kibosh on selling or refinancing without addressing the fine.



    Because he who gives up freedom for security deserves neither. That's exactly what you do when you buy a home in an HOA. You put yourself at the mercy of the power hungry Nazis.



    Nope. It's like a traffic ticket. Once you pay the fine you are done. If you want to litigate, you litigate before you pay. You file suit for a declaratory judgment and injunction against the HOA. If you lose you'll pay the HOAs lawyer fees as well as your own.



    I would be surprised if your neighbors would be willing to incur the wrath of the HOA Nazis.
    Thanks for the insight and not judging.
    Why couldn't I file a small claims suit against them? Can I drag a board member into small claims.
    My beef is the selective persecution and this ability, I guess, to just slap a lien on someone with zero accountability or proof that one did violate the CC&R's? Is that not what the courts are for?

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    It would appear that it's you who is going to war against your HOA, not the other way around.

    Installing a flag pole, as noted before, comes with certain legal protections that an HOA cannot get around. They're popular with the Ham radio community for that reason, you can hide an antenna in it.

    While the CC&R that you cite is a bit general I would bet there's one regarding decorations for holidays. When you chose to move to this community you gave up some control and agreed to the enforcement mechanisms in order to preserve property values, appearances, etc. I suspect that a glued on rat on top of your mail box would not be considered "first class and properly painted condition".

    There are a lot of things to square off with an HOA over but is this really one of those things? A toy rat on a mail box? Perhaps an examination of your priorities is in order if this is what grinds your gears.

    The HOA are not Nazi's. Nazi's killed millions of people for the sole reason that they were different than them - not just us Jews - and launched a global war of domination. Millions of people died to defeat them not counting those in the death camps and concentration camps. Your HOA just wants you to abide by the terms of the agreement to which you are a party. To use the word 'Nazi' in the manner that you did is to dilute who the Nazi's were/are and what they stood/stand for and the actions that they undertook and continue to strive for.
    Priorities are fine. It's the principle. Just like the flag pole. They threatened the same way even after I sent them the U.S. and California laws. Rats are a normal animal that we live with and my mail man likes it. It's the year of the rat by the way. My point is it is very unobtrusive compared to a lot of this people have out on display. A drive around the neighborhood and I saw everything from Gnomes to goats etc. I don't see how my rat harms the HOA anymore than these other things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    There is no case about selective persecution?
    You mean selective enforcement but I get your point. That may be a defense against a lawsuit, if you get sued. But claiming it without litigation is meaningless.

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
    View Post
    Why couldn't I file a small claims suit against them? Can I drag a board member into small claims.
    I already explained that. It's like a traffic ticket. Once you pay it, it's a conviction, whether you admit to the infraction or not. You don't get to sue the cop for pulling you over.

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
    View Post
    My beef is the selective persecution and this ability, I guess, to just slap a lien on someone with zero accountability or proof that one did violate the CC&R's? Is that not what the courts are for?
    Not for HOAs. There's a separate set of laws that apply. The CC&Rs are a contract that you agreed to be bound by when you bought the property. In other words you agreed to be fined if you didn't conform. You agreed to a lien on your property if you don't pay the fines. You agreed to be subjugated to HOA board members. If you want to go to court you have to be the one to initiate litigation to see if you can put a stop to what's happening to you. The HOA Nazis (oops - board members) can just steamroll you with the stroke of a pen.

    I don't live in an HOA. Never have, never will.

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    I don't see how my rat harms the HOA anymore than these other things.
    Watch this movie and maybe it'll inspire you:

    https://www.amazon.com/Willard-Bruce...0365871&sr=8-1


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    So my hoa lost a battle last year with me regarding a flag pole my son and I put up
    I (and perhaps others) would be interested in how that success came about since you didn't come back to the flag thread with any results:

    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=241697

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
    View Post

    So now, they are going after me for a small yard fake animal (a rat) that was put up before Halloween a couple of years ago and left on the mail box because when we where taking down all the Halloween decorations the mail carrier like it and so after talking to him, we left it out.

    Is this fight hopeless?
    At the very least, I'd like to make it miserable for them
    Yes, it's hopeless. You aren't going to make anybody miserable other than yourself when they fine you and put a lien on your house.

    You won the flag thing because there are laws that protect your right to fly the flag.

    This rat thing is really a stupid reason to fall on your sword. Take it down and be done with it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: HOA at War with Me

    If there was an actual CC&R rule regarding yard decorations and what and where can be out at the sole discretion of the board that they are fining me over, then fine I'll remove it. They are not. And as far as a lien? Don't they actually have to file some sort of court documents??
    I also don't understand why so many here are pessimistic on how to go after a group of power hungry Nazis.
    So, I can pay whatever fine and then take to small claims??
    Would getting a list of my neighbors that are ok with it help?
    Anything??

    Quote Quoting L-1
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    Sounds like a little malicious compliance is in order. So......Paint the rat to maintain it in a clean and first class condition. Perhaps a nice combination of Red, White and Blue. After all, who could complain about such a patriotic color scheme?
    Now your talkin!

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