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   Virginia rules that condo boards and HOAs can't fine rules violators. Is this what freedom smells like?

15 Dec 2012 08:03 AM   |   9679 clicks   |   Washington Post
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dready zim     
But how will the busybodies get you to do the irrational stuff they want you to do?

15 Dec 2012 08:07 AM
K3rmy     
No. Freedom smells like the awesome fries covered in cheese, bacon and jalapeno slices from Rick's Steaks this afternoon.

This is merely "you have to go by the contract which states you cannot make up rules as you go along" smelling.

15 Dec 2012 08:07 AM
dready zim     
Stuff like calling the management office or having the wrong color blinds

"Don`t call us and get us to do our job or we will fine you!"

/freedom smells like the lack of TSA in an airport...

15 Dec 2012 08:09 AM
Snort     
Sounds like someone's personal kingdom got squashed. The HOA chairman sounds like a thief to me using the condo as a piggy bank.

15 Dec 2012 08:10 AM
Nuclear Monk     
Doesn't seem quite as exciting as I first thought...all depends on whether the original documents establishing the HOA include them. If they don't, then no fines.

New HOAs will undoubtedly have the fines in their original documents.

15 Dec 2012 08:10 AM
Skarekrough     
Freakish what people will put up with. I would have paid neighborhood kids a c-note to lob Molotovs into his driveway every night until he either moved or his home burnt to the ground and was forced to live somewhere else and therefore could no longer be a resident.

15 Dec 2012 08:13 AM
NutWrench    [TotalFark]  
Freedom smells like bacon, Do you hear me? Bacon!

15 Dec 2012 08:16 AM
ChubbyTiger     
How had this guy survived? I can only picture hundreds of knifed tires, epoxy in door locks, rat heads nailed to the front door, etc. I'd call him a douche, but I doubt he's been that close to a vagina in decades.

15 Dec 2012 08:17 AM
rnatalie    [TotalFark]  
My son rents a unit in that development. I thought it sounded familiar.

15 Dec 2012 08:18 AM
K3rmy     

Nuclear Monk: New HOAs will undoubtedly have the fines in their original documents.


All they need to do is to state they have the option of levying new fines and rules and necessary in the original deed. (or in the case of this one, all that was needed was the ability to amend current rules and penalties as allowed by state law, which was NOT in the original deed)

Looks like the tenants never got any results in their struggles. Fairfax County had purchased some condos for low income housing. The Condo associate tried to rack up fines (which I think was more to get rid of the low-income people than to make money) and Fairfax County laid down the biatch smack.

15 Dec 2012 08:19 AM
j0e_average     
In this environment, I'd be concerned that some Oxford-cloth resident/psycho might just snap, and then stalk from condo to condo with an Armalite AR-10 carbine gas-powered semi-automatic weapon, pumping round after round into HOA board members. This might be someone you've known for years. Someone very, very close to you.

15 Dec 2012 08:27 AM
SpacemanSpoof     
I'm a little mixed on this. Taking the teeth out of a contract essentially nullifies it, which means this ruling could very well be the death of HOAs. Yeah, it's fun to bash the ridiculous, over-the-top HOA antics, but I'd wager those are more the exception than the rule. There are benefits to having an HOA, like like landscaping and maintenance of common areas, building pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds, and hosting neighborhood events and parties. I used to live in a neighborhood where HOA dues were optional, and the association couldn't afford to do much besides cut the grass at the neighborhood entrance. Plus, there were a lot of run-down houses, overgrown lawns, and the like which generally made the neighborhood kind of depressing.

The place I live now has a much more active HOA, and it's a much more pleasant place to live. I've gone to some of the meetings, I've seen the budget, and I can't really complain about how they're spending my money. Sure, some of the rules seem onerous, but they are somewhat flexible, and minor offenses are often overlooked.

Best advice? Before buying a house, ask for a copy of the covenant. If you don't like it, don't buy the house.

15 Dec 2012 08:30 AM
Maxor     
In someways this is a good thing but it isn't as broad as the headline makes it sound.

I view HOAs alot like unions initially a good idea to solve a problem that exists, but the way they developed into the organizations of today only have a passing nod at what was originally intended and don't necessarily stop the problems created to solve.

15 Dec 2012 08:34 AM
HoneyDog     
Taking the teeth out of a contract essentially nullifies it,

The original contract said no other fees or fines would be assessed, so there isn't any "teeth" in the contract. Perhaps you should RTFA before commenting.

I for one, would never buy housing unit that was part of an association.

15 Dec 2012 08:36 AM
thisone     

j0e_average: In this environment, I'd be concerned that some Oxford-cloth resident/psycho might just snap, and then stalk from condo to condo with an Armalite AR-10 carbine gas-powered semi-automatic weapon, pumping round after round into HOA board members. This might be someone you've known for years. Someone very, very close to you.


waiting for the "shave and a haircut, two bits" knock are you?

/possibly not obscure Right to Remain Silent, Act 1

15 Dec 2012 08:39 AM
Babwa Wawa     

K3rmy: Looks like the tenants never got any results in their struggles. Fairfax County had purchased some condos for low income housing. The Condo associate tried to rack up fines (which I think was more to get rid of the low-income people than to make money) and Fairfax County laid down the biatch smack.


This - they finally f*cked with City Hall. Unbelievably stupid to think that the government would put up with shenanigans. And it looks like the County took away their toy. Finally.

I don't understand why nobody's lawyered up before. I guess they kept them in the "annoying, but not enough to do anything about it" range.

15 Dec 2012 08:42 AM
vudukungfu    [TotalFark]  

dready zim: /freedom smells like the lack of TSA in an airport...


this

15 Dec 2012 08:46 AM
Mentalenemasquad     

ChubbyTiger: How had this guy survived? I can only picture hundreds of knifed tires, epoxy in door locks, rat heads nailed to the front door, etc. I'd call him a douche, but I doubt he's been that close to a vagina in decades.


That was beautimus, man. I cried...

15 Dec 2012 08:49 AM
AfroX     
i45.tinypic.comView Full Size

15 Dec 2012 08:51 AM
Arthen     
As a denizen of Reston these HOAs can't get biatch slapped hard enough.

15 Dec 2012 08:53 AM
Alonjar     
unfortunately HOAs these days, particularly in Northern Virginia, are really just crafty contracts to continue sucking money out of residents. My parents own a condo in the area.. the builders set up a HOA management contract where they collect like $350 a month in neighborhood fees for maintenance.... but I have absolutely no idea where that money goes. There must be 100+ units in the neighborhood, and there is no way in hell mowing the 5 foot strip of grass in front of the buildings costs this.

They basically say Hey, buy this property from us AND pay us rent every month.... and morons like my parents just agree to it.

Its retarded and sickening.

15 Dec 2012 08:54 AM
jso2897    [TotalFark]  

SpacemanSpoof: I'm a little mixed on this. Taking the teeth out of a contract essentially nullifies it, which means this ruling could very well be the death of HOAs. Yeah, it's fun to bash the ridiculous, over-the-top HOA antics, but I'd wager those are more the exception than the rule. There are benefits to having an HOA, like like landscaping and maintenance of common areas, building pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds, and hosting neighborhood events and parties. I used to live in a neighborhood where HOA dues were optional, and the association couldn't afford to do much besides cut the grass at the neighborhood entrance. Plus, there were a lot of run-down houses, overgrown lawns, and the like which generally made the neighborhood kind of depressing.

The place I live now has a much more active HOA, and it's a much more pleasant place to live. I've gone to some of the meetings, I've seen the budget, and I can't really complain about how they're spending my money. Sure, some of the rules seem onerous, but they are somewhat flexible, and minor offenses are often overlooked.

Best advice? Before buying a house, ask for a copy of the covenant. If you don't like it, don't buy the house.


Did you RTFA? Reading the covenant before hand isn't much use if the management then proceeds to make up new rules as it goes along, now, is it?

15 Dec 2012 08:54 AM
rev. dave     
If we ever crack open the constitution again for a constitutional convention, we need to make it so you can not turn over your property rights like this to someone else. It is like a little taste of communism. At the very least a totalitarian mini-state.

15 Dec 2012 08:54 AM
kronicfeld    [TotalFark]  
Not surprisingly, that is not at all what the ruling said.

15 Dec 2012 08:54 AM
Taxcheat     

SpacemanSpoof: Best advice? Before buying a house, ask for a copy of the covenant. If you don't like it, don't buy the house.


Nice in theory, but in many areas there is no reasonably affordable housing that's not part of some HOA. I went on a job interview in Florida, and there was almost no non-HOA housing anywhere. Fortunately, I didn't get the job.

15 Dec 2012 08:55 AM
thisone     

Taxcheat: SpacemanSpoof: Best advice? Before buying a house, ask for a copy of the covenant. If you don't like it, don't buy the house.

Nice in theory, but in many areas there is no reasonably affordable housing that's not part of some HOA. I went on a job interview in Florida, and there was almost no non-HOA housing anywhere. Fortunately, I didn't get the job.


Is it possible to look at the contract, then say "I'm not signing without these revisions" and win, just like you would with a work contract? I mean, the HOA could potentially be preventing someone from selling their house in a timely manner. (yes, the person who bought originally blah blah blah, but with ever changing HOA contracts, the original buyer can't always be fully responsible).

/I live on a managed estate, £20 a month for care of all roads and communal property, and they can't do much to you aside from dirty looks and can fine you only if they can prove you destroyed communal property.

15 Dec 2012 09:00 AM
Alonjar     
Oh, and people should be put in jail for towing HOMEOWNERS cars due to HOA fees.

Like I cant even remotely see how thats legal.... but here in VA the auto shops and towing companies have ridiculous lobbying power and have had all the laws crafted for them. You should see the extortion that happens with the state "safety" inspections on vehicles.

I pretty much hate everything about Virginia, its a rather horrible place.

15 Dec 2012 09:01 AM
PunGent     

rev. dave: If we ever crack open the constitution again for a constitutional convention, we need to make it so you can not turn over your property rights like this to someone else.


Yes, this sort of thing NEVER happens outside of HOAs. Google Bell, California. Makes this guy look like small potatoes.

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-15/us /california.bell.lawsuits_1_tere s a-jacobo-victor-bello-angela-spaccia?_ s=PM:US

You could also inadvertantly make all kinds of useful trusts...for the elderly, for example...illegal.

My point is, be careful what you ask for, and how the legislation is written.

15 Dec 2012 09:02 AM
ModernLuddite     
Yeah, I'm thinking once the financial records are opened up that guy is going to get murdered.

15 Dec 2012 09:04 AM
generallyso     

Taxcheat: Nice in theory, but in many areas there is no reasonably affordable housing that's not part of some HOA. I went on a job interview in Florida, and there was almost no non-HOA housing anywhere. Fortunately, I didn't get the job.


In more and more areas finding a house without a HOA is like finding a telecom without a mandatory arbitration clause in its contract.

15 Dec 2012 09:05 AM
PunGent     

Alonjar: Oh, and people should be put in jail for towing HOMEOWNERS cars due to HOA fees.

Like I cant even remotely see how thats legal.... but here in VA the auto shops and towing companies have ridiculous lobbying power and have had all the laws crafted for them. You should see the extortion that happens with the state "safety" inspections on vehicles.

I pretty much hate everything about Virginia, its a rather horrible place.


Could be the HOA had some sort of "junk car" clause in their covenant...ie, no valid plate or sticker, they CAN tow you.

Sounds like they were just making stuff up, or abusing existing regs here, though, and they deserved to get hammered.

Always risky judging legal cases from media accounts...best to read the actual case file, if at all possible.

15 Dec 2012 09:05 AM
The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men     
How hard could it be to vote the current condo board out?

15 Dec 2012 09:07 AM
Obama's Left Nut     

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: How hard could it be to vote the current condo board out?


Exactly. The people like to complain, but not run for the board and do something about it. My current home has no HOA but if it did you can bet I am running for a board seat.

15 Dec 2012 09:20 AM
rnatalie    [TotalFark]  
Some of what this HOA was doing was clearly illegal under the existing Commonwealth laws. You can't cut off people's utilities because you believe they aren't paying their HOA fees.

I'm in a couple of HOAs (one less than two miles from the subject one, our general philosophy is that if we wanted to live in Reston, we'd have bought in Reston). We've got some problems with people not paying the assessments, but we just hired a outside company to deal with that and eventually you can foreclose on them (though you'e usually way back in position).

Unfortunately the company we had dealt with for management ended up being prosecuted for fraud and one of the principals for shooting a police officer.

15 Dec 2012 09:24 AM
machoprogrammer     
HOA should be illegal. Seriously

15 Dec 2012 09:30 AM
DiscoDJ     

dready zim: freedom smells like the lack of TSA in an airport...


Can we get an Amen from the Congregation?
AMEN!

15 Dec 2012 09:33 AM
SuperTramp    [TotalFark]  
rev. dave

If we ever crack open the constitution again for a constitutional convention, we need to make it so you can not turn over your property rights like this to someone else. It is like a little taste of communism. At the very least a totalitarian mini-state.

It's both hilarious and sad that in the good ol' bootstrappy USA, so many are willing to live in a dictatorship just so they don't have to clean out the gutters or mow the lawn.

15 Dec 2012 09:36 AM
machodonkeywrestler     

rev. dave: If we ever crack open the constitution again for a constitutional convention, we need to make it so you can not turn over your property rights like this to someone else. It is like a little taste of communism. At the very least a totalitarian mini-state.


Nothing like communism. At the very least this reeks of monopolies and the "company store" mentality.

15 Dec 2012 09:43 AM
I May Be Crazy But...     

Obama's Left Nut: The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: How hard could it be to vote the current condo board out?

Exactly. The people like to complain, but not run for the board and do something about it. My current home has no HOA but if it did you can bet I am running for a board seat.


It's the time of year for that to happen at the condo I rent and there's fliers up telling us to vote for them. I've never seen so many people with a poor grasp of written English trying to get a position of power at one time.

It's not a comforting thought that they get to make rules I have to follow.

15 Dec 2012 09:43 AM
HindiDiscoMonster     

SpacemanSpoof: I'm a little mixed on this. Taking the teeth out of a contract essentially nullifies it, which means this ruling could very well be the death of HOAs. Yeah, it's fun to bash the ridiculous, over-the-top HOA antics, but I'd wager those are more the exception than the rule. There are benefits to having an HOA, like like landscaping and maintenance of common areas, building pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds, and hosting neighborhood events and parties. I used to live in a neighborhood where HOA dues were optional, and the association couldn't afford to do much besides cut the grass at the neighborhood entrance. Plus, there were a lot of run-down houses, overgrown lawns, and the like which generally made the neighborhood kind of depressing.

The place I live now has a much more active HOA, and it's a much more pleasant place to live. I've gone to some of the meetings, I've seen the budget, and I can't really complain about how they're spending my money. Sure, some of the rules seem onerous, but they are somewhat flexible, and minor offenses are often overlooked.

Best advice? Before buying a house, ask for a copy of the covenant. If you don't like it, don't buy the house.


In response, I would just like to convey my personal feelings about this particular ruling: HA HA!!!

15 Dec 2012 09:48 AM
Endive Wombat    [TotalFark]  
Wait...they shut off their heat and AC? I thought that switching off basic services was illegal?

15 Dec 2012 09:48 AM
HindiDiscoMonster     

AfroX:


So much this, there is unsufficient this in this to express the thissness this deserves.

/THIS

15 Dec 2012 09:49 AM
ph0rk     
I'd love to see what the knee-jerk anti-HOA brigade would do if their across-the-street neighbor's hard looked like this:

i220.photobucket.comView Full Size


or they have several rusting hulks parked out front, leaking oil, or a water-logged pair of sofas the garbage trucks won't collect so they just sit there, on the curb, for months.

Without a contract with teeth that shiat is essentially permanent.

15 Dec 2012 09:51 AM
natazha     

SpacemanSpoof: this ruling could very well be the death of HOAs.


RTFA, it's the death of HOA boards making up new rules without legal authority to do so. I've seen HOA agreements that controlled all exterior aspects of a property, regulated parking, and even controlled the interior colors of any room visible from the street. Check out Irvine, CA.

15 Dec 2012 09:52 AM
HindiDiscoMonster     

ph0rk: I'd love to see what the knee-jerk anti-HOA brigade would do if their across-the-street neighbor's hard looked like this:



or they have several rusting hulks parked out front, leaking oil, or a water-logged pair of sofas the garbage trucks won't collect so they just sit there, on the curb, for months.

Without a contract with teeth that shiat is essentially permanent.


Ask what they charge to dump there as opposed to using the city dump?

15 Dec 2012 09:53 AM
ph0rk     

HindiDiscoMonster: ph0rk: I'd love to see what the knee-jerk anti-HOA brigade would do if their across-the-street neighbor's hard looked like this:



or they have several rusting hulks parked out front, leaking oil, or a water-logged pair of sofas the garbage trucks won't collect so they just sit there, on the curb, for months.

Without a contract with teeth that shiat is essentially permanent.

Ask what they charge to dump there as opposed to using the city dump?


i116.photobucket.comView Full Size

15 Dec 2012 09:55 AM
machodonkeywrestler     

ph0rk: I'd love to see what the knee-jerk anti-HOA brigade would do if their across-the-street neighbor's hard looked like this:

[i220.photobucket.com image 320x240]

or they have several rusting hulks parked out front, leaking oil, or a water-logged pair of sofas the garbage trucks won't collect so they just sit there, on the curb, for months.

Without a contract with teeth that shiat is essentially permanent.


Most places have cities ordinances that prevent shiat like this, so all they would have to do in call code enforcement a couple of times and voila, the cities comes in and throws all the shiat in a bin and hauls it away. So no need for a HOA.

15 Dec 2012 09:56 AM
HindiDiscoMonster     

ph0rk: HindiDiscoMonster: ph0rk: I'd love to see what the knee-jerk anti-HOA brigade would do if their across-the-street neighbor's hard looked like this:



or they have several rusting hulks parked out front, leaking oil, or a water-logged pair of sofas the garbage trucks won't collect so they just sit there, on the curb, for months.

Without a contract with teeth that shiat is essentially permanent.

Ask what they charge to dump there as opposed to using the city dump?


Oh come on, that was funny... :D

15 Dec 2012 09:57 AM
Endive Wombat    [TotalFark]  

SpacemanSpoof: Best advice? Before buying a house, ask for a copy of the covenant. If you don't like it, don't buy the house.


My parents were looking to buy another house in the Palm Springs area a few years ago. They found a house they wanted. When they asked to review the HOA rules, they were told that they were not allowed to read them. Something in the rules said that they were for owners and renters eyes only...and that if they wanted to read the rules, they had to make a formal offer, go to the main office building for the community association and pay something like $500 to have a .pdf emailed to them.

They told the homeowner (who also happened to be the HOA treasurer) to go fark himself and walked away from the sale.

15 Dec 2012 09:58 AM
Barricaded Gunman     
PunGent: Always risky judging legal cases from media accounts...best to read the actual case file, if at all possible.

Says you. I myself am quite comfortable making snap judgments with minimal information.

15 Dec 2012 09:59 AM
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