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HOA Targeting and Discrimination

Discussion in 'Other Legal Issues' started by Edward H Hartnett Jr, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Edward H Hartnett Jr

    Edward H Hartnett Jr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    We live in a small 213 Home Community with a HOA and a new 2021 Management Company who Inspects Properties for Compliance with the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The 1st Property Inspection was done in May 2021 and we received a violation email and letter concerning 2 shrubs on the East side of our Property that had brown leaves they said were dead and we needed to remove them. We sent photos showing there weren't dead and agreed to trim and prune and the violation was deleted. June 2021 the 2nd Property Inspection, again the East side of our Property, we received an email and letter about 2 tree stumps they said needed to be removed, nothing in our CC&Rs states anything about tree stumps. One of the tree stumps 21+ years old and the other 7+ years old, which we informed the Management Compliance person of all of this. She stated in an email that we were right and nothing was in our CC&Rs about removing tree stumps, we thought it was over and done. Next Inspection July 2021, 2 emails and letters, East side of our Property, again one was about the 2 tree stumps and the other was about re-sodding around 2 trees that the shading caused the grass to die. I checked with 3 Homeowners within a 1/2 a block of our Home who also had dead grass areas near trees and none of them received a violation notice. We have filed a BBB Complaint against the Management Co. about the tree stumps considering our HOA never took any previous action about these tree stumps in 7+ and 21+ years, The Management Co. Compliance person admitted in an email there nothing in our CC&Rs and we questioned why all these issues, same side of our Property weren't addressed on the 1st Inspection, have no response to our BBB Complaint. We also sent a USPS Certified Letter about all of this, considering the re-sod and no other Homeowner receiving such a violation notice, appears now to be targeting, singling out and may be an act of discrimination, which was stated in the Certified, no response yet. Know I am a 100% VA Service Connected Disabled Veteran as well, which they are aware of.
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the joys of living in a community ruled by a HOA. If you believe that your HOA is being arbitrary and inconsistent with its enforcement of the standards then see a lawyer in your state familiar with the law regarding HOA communities for help. I had a friend who was facing a similar problem in my state regarding a shed on their property. I'm an attorney sent the HOA a letter and laid out our position on the matter, and informed the HOA that if it came to litigation on the matter the inconsistent enforcement could, under my state's law, end up resulting in the court stripping the HOA of its power to enforce community standards. Not surprisingly the HOA dropped the matter very quickly, likely after its own attorney confirmed the law that I cited. HOA boards fear the loss of the power they have, so my lawyer letter was quite effective. I don't know the Texas HOA case law, but it may be that the lawyer you hire can similarly find some supporting law for a good lawyer letter that will get the HOA to back down without the need for a costly lawsuit.

    Why did the HOA single out my friend and not others with the same alleged violation? Because it turned out that one of her neighbors made a stink about the shed, and the other homes with sheds didn't have neighbors making a stink over their shed. The HOA was simply trying to get that neighbor off its back. Something similar may be happening with you.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No house in any HOA controlled zone is worth the hassle, yet people continue to spend good money to be controlled, ruled over, and threatened by the comrades that operate "The Politburo"
    -aka- "HOA".
     
  4. Edward H Hartnett Jr

    Edward H Hartnett Jr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What you have stated may be true, unfortunately it is our situation and we live in a HOA small Community. We need an answer/s if we have a case for discrimination since we can prove Homeowners with the same dead grass under trees have not been sent a violation letter as we have, and isn't funny the first 3 inspections by this New Management Co. we have received 3 violations, one each month, all on the same East side of our property and not all at once, and this is more than we received in 21+ years living here. We believe one or more HOA Board Members may be involved in this.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The only way you can receive THE answers to your dilemma is to consult a local attorney, or three.

    Most attorneys offer prospective clients a free initial consultation.

    The consultation allows YOU to discuss your concerns and receive specific answers that you might find helpful.

    You can also learn what the attorney would charge to assist you in resolving your dilemma.
     
  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Two things here. First, most discrimination is legal. The law only makes discrimination based on certain characteristics illegal, like discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, etc. You've not said on what basis (race or whatever) you think is involved with the alleged discrimination.

    Second, what you are describing is potentially arbitrary/selective enforcement, which is a bit different from the issue of illegal discrimination. It may be that under your state law arbitrary or selective enforcement can be a problem for HOA management and if so that's something you could use to resist the HOA enforcement actions. Best to consult a lawyer to make the most of that if you're not familiar with your state's law on that.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I agree that selective enforcement is more than likely the issue at hand rather than discrimination.

    Here are a couple of resources:

    Enforcement of CC&Rs - Property Owners' Associations - Guides at Texas State Law Library

    Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants by Texas HOAs (texashoalaw.com)

    And several case decisions from Google Scholar that resulted from a search of selective enforcement cases from Texas.

    Homeowners Association "selective enforcement" - Google Scholar

    You'll have to read them and decide for yourself if consulting an attorney is appropriate.

    The BBB is useless. Supported by member dues. Foxes guarding the henhouse. Don't expect any help from that quarter.
     

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