We have eight units in our condo. Three are for sale, three have liens
for unpaid monthly assessments.
Only one has the owner living in the unit (four empty, three rented).
One owner doesn't live in the US.
The three who are in arrears on monthly assessments have NEVER resided
in the units they own. I
hope all the flippers burn in hell, slowly. They are the scum that tax
money is being poured on.
I've got no problem with that. One of the main reasons we moved last summer
was than the 2BR house next to our old place sold and the new owner finished
the upstairs and put 2BR's in the basement and was suddenly renting out a
5BR house. Talk about putting 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.
What happens if the market is low, like now, and someone wants to
move? While the people staying don't want the apartment to be rented,
when they are in that situation, ready to move, retire, have to go to
assisted living, they may not like it when the rule impacts them.
I will agree that rental units are often not well taken care of, but
otoh if the price is low and that's the only reason the buyer can
afford to buy, that can be bad too.
Of the 110 houses in my 30 year old HOA, I think 15 or 20 are rentals
now and about 10 or 15 of them are owned by those who once lived here,
and most are in as good a condition as those resident owned. Of
course things vary widely.
That was probably illegal. Do you need certificates of occupancy where
you live? Did he have a C of O for two families?
Long before Barack Obama got to Hyde Park/Kenwood in Chicago, it was a
beuatiful neighborhood that was on the brink of being ruined by a
combination of speculators and people who could no longer afford to
live in their entire homes subdividing homes illegally to make room
for one or two more families. The n'hood got organized.
One of the tools they used to stop this was getting members of the
HPKCC, Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference to keep on the look-out
for plumbing trucks. Of course some people need plumbing repairs,
but if the truck was there for more than an hour, it was likely a
conversion, and that always meant an illegal conversion. Then
someone would call the building inspector, and I think in the 50's and
early 60's that have to hound him because he was often in on it.
Another tool was the House Tour. There are loads of these around th
ecountry now, but I think they originated in Hyde Park and Kenwood.
It's not just about pride and bragging. The purpose was to show how
beautiful the houses are inside so that people with money will buy one
in the area. Even where the houses aren't as fancy as the ones in
Kenwood, they are often much better than one's unseeing guess.
Anyhow, preventing illegal conversions and the other projects of the
HPKCC is why the n'hood looks as nice now as it did 50 and 80 years
ago. I'm not sure when the houses were built. www.hydepark.org
I used to live in Hyde Park, the part south of 51st St. In the dorm,
the fraternity, and two years sharing an apartment with friends. Just
a 2-bedroom with living room, dining room, large pantry, and sunporch.
Very common in Chicago.
At least some proposals for mortgage aid are designed to exclude
investment properties. Sometimes it's hard to write a law that does a
good job targeting the intended target. But certainly it would
require that the owner reside in the property.
BTW, I know that Bush and Paulson deserve some of the blame for giving
money to banks which then didn't lend it to anyone (but bought other
banks or paid dividends with it) but does the Congress deserve blame
too. Were the restrictions supposed to be in the law, or in the
contracts drawn up by the executive branch to implement the law?
I'm sorry, but you have me confused with someone who cares. I do not, and
would not live in a HOA. Yes, when people don't get involved, the deserve
what they get. Like our current situation in Washington. I voted and
worked 14 hours on election day at a voting station.
If we are still talking about the original case posted, and even if
we're not, here's some more information about that case from another
forum. I'm neither of the people discussing this.
My quote starts with the actual court decision, which was given I
think as a link in the news story:
I'll be quoting from it, as it demonstrates a very common behavior
typical of the arrogant, out of control HOAs in operation these days,
which often disregard their own by-laws, remain in office while
refusing to hold elections, and purport to change the rules of the
HOA, without following the rules of the Association.
That is exactly what happened here.
Actually, this is in dispute, and the dispute was resolved in favor of
Vizzi. The Vizzis only received a "Windsor Park Declaration" relating
to the specific sub-part of the community they lived in, and allege
that they never received a copy of the "Eagles Master Declaration," a
document covering the larger set of communities, years after their
purchase. This is, sadly, all too common.
This was found by the court in this case to be undisputed. Therefore,
they were not on notice.
The rules he bought into were the ones he was actually provided a copy
of and upon which he conditioned his purchase of the home.
Incidentally, it is NOT the HOA in charge of Windsor Park Association,
where he lives, which is attempting to enforce this agreement against
him. It is an upper level HOA, in charge of the entire set of
communities, which is attempting to enforce it against him.
His actual neighbors have no complaint.
this case, there were two separate documents, both contracts. The
purchaser was only provided with one. The other was only provided
years later, and only years after that did they attempt to enforce it
against him. There's a very real question of detrimental reliance on
their inaction, even had the purchaser ever agreed to the Eagles
Master Declaration in the first place, which he didn't.
The only rule to which the homeowner had agreed was in the Windsor
Park agreement, which only prohibited parking vehicles in the driveway
which are "primarily used for commercial purposes." It said nothing
about pick-up trucks. The Eagles Declaration, the one that was never
provided to the homeowner, did list pick-up trucks as impermissible.
The Eagles Declaration also arguably forbids trucks in general from
being parked in driveways. If this were true, then all the residents
would be forced to get rid of their SUVs, which are, apparently, also
considered legally to be "trucks." A fine kettle of fish that would
This isn't all. Even if the contract in question were enforceable
against this homeowner, there are doubts as to whether the officers of
the homeowner association in question were even duly elected. If they
were not duly elected, they have no business issuing fines or
enforcing rules against anyone. The plaintiff homeowner alleges that
the board has failed to hold elections at all, as required by the
bylaws, and that therefore, the current holdover board has no legal
right to hold office. This part of the suit is stayed pending
administrative proceedings on the same issue.
--- end quote ---
An HOA is a corporate equivalent of a government, and it controls
the community. Signing the agreement is mandatory when purchasing
into the community. For those people who wonder if government would
be better if it were run like a business, look at HOAs before
deciding if that alternative is preferable.
Dissolving an HOA usually isn't as simple as voting it out of
existence. The development of the community carried a lot of costs
that were not born by the local governments but were carried up by
the developer, who passed that responsibility onto the HOA. Those
development expenses are usually only partly included in the costs
of the houses. A lot of it is also structured into the HOA fees,
along with the maintenance costs. Even if the HOA were dissolved,
the debts remain, and somebody has to pay them. The local
governments usually don't want to, which is why they encourage HOAs
in the first place.
Abiding by the terms are mandatory. In Maryland at the very least
there is no method of signing an agreement, at least for some HOAs,
but I'll bet all. A well organized HOA might want to make sure that
all prospective buyers knew there were covenants on the land, but the
seller would often want them not to know, depending on whether a buyer
would be happy with such covenants or unhappy to have them.
(My seller was afaict scrupulously honest, and he didn't say a word. I
don't know why not. It might have slippped his mind and I didn't
think to ask. Nor did his real estate agent tell me, but they may
have violated real estate law when I wanted to make an offer but they
said he wouldn't be interested. I should have insisted, because the
law required them to relay good-faith offers.)
And even if a state had an agreement, and somehow a buyer never signed
it, the conditions go with the land and are binding whether he signed
them or not, unless the owner can show that he didsn't know and
needn't have known about the terms. That's hard to show. In other
long post today by me, it turns out in the OP the owner knew about and
agreed to his local n'hhood's terms and had no reason to think there
were additional terms by a higher level HOA that his own local HOA was
a member of. How could he know there were two sets of documents?
I agree with you here. The problem is in people more than the form of
government. That's why "checks and balances" are so important, why
each part of government being subject to investigation or overruling
by others is important.
A corrupt or badly informed HOA doesn't have much of that, except in
the civil courts, wyhich can be very expensive about cases which are
often "not that important".
I've read of cases where prospective purchasers have been denied the
opportunity to read the HOA rules before purchasing the property and
thus being bound by them: "This is proprietary information."
Huh..I would think that you wouldn't need that sharp of a lawyer to get out
of that one. Unless they signed a statement agreeing to follow the rules
HOAs are evil. I personally would *never* buy a house in a neighborhood with
an HOA. But I guess some people like them, so what-evah....
Not so sure. If the buyer knew there were HOA rules and he bought the
house without reading them, he may have waived his right to read them
in advance. The remedy would have been to insist that the seller
provide the docs in advance, to give him time to read them. Didn't
the seller have a copy? If for some reason the seller didn't have a
copy, couldn't he get a copy from a neighbor? If not, what's the
seller going to do? Maybe try to sell the house to someone else. But
let's say he already signed the contract with the first guy?
If there are 100 members of the HOA, why should 99 of them forfeit
their rights under the HOA docs because one seller, or the HOA board,
refused to show the docs to a buyer. I don't think a court would allow
This is not just about a contract between the seller and the buyer.
The seller rarely even cares anymore. But every member of the HOA is
a party to this contract.
Maybe the buyer could argue fraud, and get the sale of the house
reversed. Then the other members of the HOA would not suffer. But
to find fraud the misrepresentation has to be substantial, more than
trivial. Even then, this is not a case where the buyer didn't know
there was an HOA. He knew and he didn't have to buy. He just didn't
know what they contained. I think it would be a very hard case to
BAck when I was eligible for the draft, a friend had some serious
physical problems that wouldn't be visible during the quick physical
that the Selective Service gave potential draftees. The law provided
for a Medical Interview, which was a one-to-one meeting with a doctor
where the doc would mostly read the medical record, and maybe -- i
odn't know -- run tests of his own, to see if the person was still
draftable (The army doesn't want people who are already sick.) And the
courts held that if one requested the interview but couldn't get one,
and one showed up at the regular army physical anyway, he had waived
his right to the Medical Interview. My friend found out that the
doctor doing them in his city had resigned. He didn't want to go to
Viet Nam but he took a chance and went to the army physical anyhow,
and showed the doctor there the medical history, and was deferred. But
by showing up, he had effectively waived his right to the Med
You don't have to sign anything, not the HOA rules nor an agreement to
follow the rules sight unseen for them to be binding. They are
binding in many states, maybe all but one, whether you've signed
anything at all as long as you own the property they apply to.
Compare it with zoning laws. You might want to run a beauty salon in
your basement, or an insurance agency in your den, or an antique store
in the whole first floor, but if the property is not zoned for that
you can't do it legally. Whether you agreed to the zoning laws or
Certain HOA rules can probably be ignored if no one complains, but
others someone is likely to complain and unlike zoning, which allows
for individual variances, HOA, condo, and co-op law likely don't.
For example, the architecture committee or the board here is supposed
to review all the plans for fences. Fences have to made of real wood
and not painted. But I noticed recently that a house at the far
corner of the n'hood from me has a plastic fence. I guess no one
In another case, fences were built around the back yards of two
houses, one from the end of one building and the other from the facing
end of the next building. They normally would have left 6? feet in
the middle, which is the public easement, for everyone in the n'hood
to use, especially people who want to go around to the back of their
houses without going through the house, like to take a lawn mower back
there, or to deliver a piano. Instead, one of the two neighbors said,
People can go through my side gate, my yard, and the back gate, and
I'll never lock either gate. And that's good enough, but someday the
house will be sold, and sold again, and the new owner won't know or
won't want to obey. And new people will move in next door who won't
want to go 6 houses in the other direction. He'll lock the gates, and
will be outraged when someone tells him he can't. Maybe his home was
broken into through a rear window at his previous location, and it's
important to him to lock the gates. Who will pay to have part of the
fence moved, parts of both fencs?
I meant here "the remedy that a court would likely say the plaintiff
had", not the right to disobey the rules after he went through with
I'm not saying this is a good remedy, not at all. I was just
predicting what a court would say in the case raised.
I don't even consider getting a copy of the documents at the closing
to be of much value. Who is going to stop and read them at that time,
with everyone waiting, and who is going to delay the closing to give
himself time to read them and consult with his family about the effect
they will have on them, or with a lawyer about the legal obligations?
Getting them at the closing, which seemed to be supported by some
posters, even at the start of the closing, is pretty much worthless in
terms of deciding whether to buy the house. 99%+ with go ahead with
Prospective purchasers must, by law, be furnished with documents - the
bylaws, rules, etc.. Minutes of board meetings
would not be available to prospective buyer from the association, but
any seller in their
right mind would furnish copies. Unless the assn. is a hell hole and
the seller doesn't want
that disclosure. It would be a very good guage of the issues that
arise, how business
is transacted, etc.
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