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HOA Discrimination


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#1 Fashionista

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:59 AM

I live in Macon, GA.  Three weeks ago I had a shed delivered to my backyard.  The President of the Association said we had to remove it as it was a violaton of the HOA covenants.  He also said that since we lived on the lake, he pursued those violations more than homes not on the lake. We also got a letter in the mail stating we should remove the shed. My husband and I drove around the subdivision and took pictures of more than 50 HOA covenant violations.  We sent the pictures to the HOA with the addresses on the back of each photo.  A week later we received a letter stating if the shed was not removed within a week, we would be charged a fee, and if the fee was not paid, a lien would be put on our home. I had the shed removed.  However, other violations of the Restrictive Covenants are still in place, a couple of sheds, boats on trailers in driveways and yards, and satellite dishes that can be seen from the street.  I believe we have been discriminated against since all these other Covenant Violations have not been dealt with and WE are not being represented by the HOA, but singled out to obey the Covenants.

Thank You. 



#2 Fallen

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:28 AM

Not all discrimination is unlawful (like those people who live next to the lake).  One way to address this would be to become active in the HOA (including lobbying to vote out people you don't want running it).

I'd like to think you read the covenants and by-laws, etc. to ascertain what it is about your shed that's problematic before you had it removed.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#3 pg1067

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:42 PM

Next time you get a traffic ticket, stand around on the side of the road and take video of all the other drivers who don't get tickets.  Take your video to the police and/or the court and see what good it does you.

 

Unless this rule was enforced against you and not enforced against others because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. (and nothing in your post suggests that was the case), there is nothing illegal about selective enforcement.

 

Don't like it?  Move.  This sort of thing is one of the major negatives associated with living in an area governed by a homeowners' association.  Or organize your neighbors and vote out the person(s) involved from their positions on the HOA board.  Maybe you can even run for the board yourself.  I'm not sure, however, that your campaign platform that absolutely no violation of the CC&Rs will go unaddressed will be particularly persuasive.



#4 Fashionista

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 08:28 AM

I appreciate the two points of view I have received thus far. No, we have not been discriminated against due to race, sex, gender, etc,etc,etc.  However,  the definition of discrimination is disadvantageous treatment or consideration.  An individual need not actually be harmed in order to be discriminated against.  He or she just need to be treated WORSE or DIFFERENTLY than another for an arbitrary reason.  I also read on FindLaw.com that an HOA has the duty to represent the interests of ALL homeowners in the association and if the HOA fails to do its job, I should consult an experienced real estate lawyer.  As I said, there are other homes on the lake with sheds, boats on trailers which are in violation, and numerous satellite dishes that can be seen from the street which are violations.

Thank you.



#5 pg1067

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:07 AM

the definition of discrimination is disadvantageous treatment or consideration.

 

I disagree that "discrimination" necessarily includes a component of disadvantageous treatment.  To discriminate merely means to treat one person or thing differently than another person or thing.  Of course, dictionary definitions are not terribly relevant and, in legal matters, most discrimination is perfectly legal.

 

 

 

An individual need not actually be harmed in order to be discriminated against.  He or she just need to be treated WORSE or DIFFERENTLY than another for an arbitrary reason.

 

I disagree that discrimination requires an "arbitrary reason."  Otherwise, I agree with these statements (although discrimination could also result in better treatment).

 

 

 

I also read on FindLaw.com that an HOA has the duty to represent the interests of ALL homeowners in the association and if the HOA fails to do its job, I should consult an experienced real estate lawyer.

 

I don't know where specifically you read this, but it's sort of like saying that a United States Senator has a duty to represent all of his/her constituents (i.e., all of the residents of the state that the Senator represents).  Expressed as an ideal, it's true.  However, as a practical matter, it's utterly impossible because all of a senator's constituents and all homeowners subject to the governance of an HOA rarely have identical interests.  As in politics, members of HOA boards play favorites and have their own sets of biases and tolerances.  When an HOA does something a homeowner doesn't like, legal action is infrequently the right solution.  Rather, the right solution is generally to try and elect someone else.



#6 sentinel1900

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:10 PM

Being somewhat familiar with your original post, I would offer this viewpoint.  The rules as set forth by your homeowner's association will be your best guide.  Do they provide a means of handling disputes, mediation, etc.?

 

You are very much entitled to file complaints with the Association regarding other violations.  This does not help your position.  I do not remember your state, but as for federal discrimination issues, the actions of the Association are not discriminatory in and of themselves unless the actions were the result of you being in a protected class.

 

See what provisions are made for a breach in the agreement. 



#7 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:31 PM

Did you get this issue addressed?






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