Open Letter to My Homeowner Association (HOA)
Pros and Cons of HOAs
Over the years, I've listened to many stories about the Homeowners' Associations of America. The dreaded HOA who seem to go above and beyond to pester residents of communities.
HOA employees are just doing their job; someone has to do it. It's our choice to live in a deed-restricted neighborhood. We could also choose not to. Their job isn't an easy one. They hear all sorts of excuses from residents who don't play by the rules.
Having an HOA is beneficial for a community. They assist with property values and resale. I've lived in communities with an HOA for almost 25 years and I appreciate their work and dedication to the area. I never had an issue with them until now. Could it be because many of the residents aren't paying their fees due to foreclosures, rentals or just because they don't want to? I don't know. I don't care to get involved with their situations.
I just don't appreciate when they seem to pester and harass residents over insignificant and frivolous things. I would like the HOA to care more about the communities wants and needs and less about the almighty dollar. Hence my letter to the HOA . . .
My Letter to the HOA
I have received so many letters from you I thought it was time I send you a letter. This is not a letter of praise. This is not a letter of gratitude. This is a letter of annoyance. This is me telling you I'm tired of being harassed. This is a Sunshine anti-fan letter.
Let me remind you, in case it has slipped your mind . . . I pay you, you don't pay me. I send you a quarterly payment to do your job. Yes, do your job. I don't pay you to harass me with silly letters. Such as making me aware that my granddaughter left her tricycle on the porch. Seriously? Do you not have better things to do?
Let me remind you one more time . . . I pay you! I don't pay you to send me a letter that I didn't edge the border of my flower bed when it was only 2 inches high. Really? There must be something more constructive for you to do to earn your salary. OK, I think you now realize that if it wasn't for the residents, you most likely wouldn't have a job . . . a thank you once in a while would be appreciated. I'll now mention the letters I received about a few leaves scattered on the street. Just in case you weren't aware of this, the street is actually the county's property. Surely you knew that. How about the letter for weeds? The same weeds that found their way to my yard via my neighbor's lawn. The dead spot of grass that's the size of a baseball. Oh my.
Residents supposedly break rules when they don't adhere to each covenant? I won't get into "aren't rules meant to be broken" here, but seriously . . . you must take into consideration that there are always, always two sides to every story. Just because you have the power of the HOA, please don't think that you could do no wrong. I'm here to tell you that you can. You aren't perfect. Perfection doesn't exist in the real world.
What Is a Homeowners Association?
Tale of the Letters . . .
First it was a cordial reminder letter. The next month it was a 2nd reminder letter. Then a 3rd letter with a threat to fine me due to not adhering to the "Covenants of the HOA." You are going to fine me for not tending to my lawn, which I do weekly? I pamper my lawn more than I pamper myself. How dare you accuse me or threaten me of being neglectful. I consider that rude. Did you forget who pays your salary? In a nutshell, would you pay a fine for something that you know you did correctly, yet someone else didn't? I'm not passing the blame. If I was guilty as charged I would pay the fine. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. Do you?
I'm curious as to why you just drive by homes with your notebooks and never step out of the car. Yes, I've seen you casually coast your car from home to home jotting down notes and taking photos. Why don't you ever stop by and ring the bell to say hello? If the neighborhood has an HOA, chances are it's a safe area. Do you fear confrontations? Are you guilty of something? I consider that cowardly that you won't say hello to me. Maybe we could chat and discuss issues that I might have. Or we could just talk about the weather. I mean I do pay you, wouldn't you like to meet your boss? I am a nice person. I don't bite.
Have you considered cutting back on letters and "going green" and doing your part to save the environment? In addition, you could stop wasting our money and go paperless. Did you ever stop and think about the trees that could be saved with the amount of letters that you mail out to residents? You are cutting off our oxygen! How about using email instead of snail mail? Wouldn't that be wiser? How about the telephone? Something for you to consider if you care anything about the environment. Also if you care anything about saving the residents some money. (Insert humor.)
For the record, I did mail you your letters back. I included the dates and times of all impending fractions of the "covenant" rules that I supposedly broke. I don't feel I had to do so; I'm an adult and I sure as heck don't think it's right that I need to be "told" when to tend to my yardwork. I sure as heck don't need to be told to clean up leaves from neighbors' trees that the rain washed to the front of my house. Do you ever take into consideration that a hardship might have been bestowed unto residents? Do you ever think that you might be too annoying? Believe it or not, we can all be annoying. No one is perfect.
You Get What You Pay for . . .
Word on the street is that you ended a contract with the maintenance company. You put some good people out of work. Why? Because you received a cheaper deal from a company that you aren't sure if their work is up to par. Yet you saved money. Never mind that the good people who are now out of a job were residents of the community. They worked endless hours to be sure our community sparkled. And it sure did.
Since you are now saving money, does this mean our fees will be reduced? I didn't think so. That's more pocket money for you. My fees went up from $158 a quarter to $250 a quarter within 10 years. What do we get? More firework fiestas to drive our animals insane. No thank you!
I do understand you have a job to do. I just don't agree with how you perform your duties. I don't trust the HOA and I am entitled to voice my opinion. All I ask is that you do not harass. No one likes their buttons pushed. No one. It's just not the American way.
As with any group of people, anywhere there will be bad apples. These bad apples ignore the rules. They ignore the "covenant" and don't pay homeowners fees. That's unacceptable. I also think it's unacceptable when the good apples have to suffer due to the bad apples.
Some HOAs try to take advantage of the good apples by trying to siphon extra fees out of them to compensate for the bad apples. That should never be permitted. Maybe I live on a different planet than these HOA's, but if that's the case, I'll stay on my planet and you stay on yours. Never, ever try to abuse your power. Never, ever try to do wrong unto someone who is doing the right thing.
Are you a fan of HOAs?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Linda Bilyeu