Your Neighbor in Real Estate

A Civic Lesson in HOA Rules Violation

A Civic Lesson in HOA Rules Violation

According to the CC&Rs and the Rules and Regulations that govern our Homeowners Association, there can be no excessive barking by dogs. What is meant by ‘excessive barking’ is not defined anywhere. Is it 1 hour of continuous barking? Or 5? Or 7,10, 1 week? What??Cooper

Each and every resident will  have their own varied interpretation of this very general statement.

So back to the Civic Lesson. Someone has decided that my dog barks excessively and has filed a violation report. Not one violation report, but 4, count ‘em 4. You would think I had a howling wolf-dog animal that is never quiet!

Funny thing, though, three of my other neighbors say that my dog does not bark excessively.. Two have said that my dog barks only when they go to their side or back yard to water the lawn or take out the trash. That is all, and then he quiets down when it is over. Excuse me, but my dog is only doing what I pay him to do. That is his job! He lets me know when strangers are around my property.This is perfectly acceptable dog behavior.The third neighbor does not hear my dog at all. The president of the home-owners association has come by my house to see/hear if my dog is barking and has not heard him either.

Now another funny thing,(no, not really funny) is that when more than 1 violation has been issued, the subsequent ones have a $100 fine attached to it. So... the neighbor that thinks your dog is barking can file numerous violations against you to the tune of $300 or more and you are guilty until proven innocent. That is how it works here. Because the fines are there on your account and then you appeal them!

CooperThe city code ordinance that covers the same type of nuisance requires that the complaint be filed by not only the complainant but also by another corroborating neighbor. I can see the reasoning for this, since it would not just be on the word of one person, but validated by two people. No such rule exists here. Also the nuisance noise has to be in a log kept for at least 2 weeks. If my HOA had something like this on the books, I would not have received these violations.

Sometimes CC&Rs can enable some residents to think they have power and control over your life. Some consider it a form of passive/aggressive behavior by using the the rules and regulations as a hammer against other people. I am not alone in this belief. Two neighbors on the same block have said that if they had known that these same people would constantly harass them with unsupported violations, they never would have moved here. How is that for their quiet enjoyment of their investment?

The rules and regulations here have to be more in line with the city ordinance. I, myself, do not like excessive barking by any dog, especially the yappers. But when it happens, make sure you have the right dog offender before you start accusing people based on nothing more than conjecture. Also, the process of being guilty until you prove your self innocent smacks of  un-Americanism.

Members of the general public: Read all the CC&Rs, Rules and Regulations.Make sure you have clarity on them, and make sure you can live with them before you make that commitment to live in a homeowners association.. I read them, but did not think I would come across such despots.
Cooper


I will never again live in an HOA, even if my neighbor paints his house purple. My peace of mind is worth more.

Tonight, I will appeal these violations. Wish me luck or tell me if you think I am way, way wrong.


Sandy Acevedo ~Your Neighbor in Real Estate ~ Whether it is to buy or sell property

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Comment balloon 21 commentsSandy Acevedo • July 20 2011 07:33PM
A Civic Lesson in HOA Rules Violation
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