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Residents disappointed at lack of control over neighborhood

Posted: January 29, 2012 - 1:01am

Editor:

I am sending this letter to get some visibility and maybe some help. I live in a Herbert Homes community in Grovetown called Grove Landing. I was recently sent a letter inviting us to an annual homeowners asssociation meeting. I went hoping to address some issues in our neighborhood, such as graffiti on the signs and dumping at the community pond.

I arrived 10 minutes early and was eagerly waiting to get some issues discussed, but as I and the other homeowners who actually pay HOA fees, we have no control over our community. First, developer Mark Herbert did not even show; he sent the HOA managers from Wright McLeod’s law offices to hold the meeting for him. They then advised us that no one in the community has any say on what happens in the community, and that the HOA documents give Herbert full control of the community and all funds until he has sold his last percent of any properties in the neighborhood.

The lady from Wright Mcleod’s office went on to brief the community on the money raised from the HOA dues and to let everyone know that Herbert had added a new fining policy to the rules and implemented it arbitrarily. We then were briefed on the budget for the past year and projections for the new year.

The members of the community have raised concerns about things that needed repair, and they were advised that Herbert knew of them for months and would handle them. The new concern is why this man, who does not reside in the community and has placed himself as the head of the HOA, would not let those that live there take over the HOA? It is to the point that I want to sell my house and not deal with the issue of having one man control our neighborhood.

Members of the community are frustrated. ... Is there any recourse people in the neighborhood can take to undo what has been done? I am really concerned as to how someone can give himself all rights to the money that we give to the HOA and spend it how he sees fit, and not how the community would like it.

David Barr

Grovetown

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Comments (3)

Riverman1

Oh, Maybe a Lawsuit

It sounds like you have some real grievances. He is violating the agreement if he is not acting as a proper HOA head. I'm sure an attorney could make that point with him and get him to decide it would be cheaper to clean up things than pay legal costs.

Little Lamb

HOA

I was always under the impression that HOAs and protective covenants are established for the benefit of the developer. The letter above lends credence to that idea. I guess the developer will cede control of the HOA over to homeowners when he has sold his last parcel. Until then, there is little the homeowers can do but watch.

One thing they can do is stop paying HOA dues. Of course, McLeod's law office will file leins on their property for unpaid dues (and the ominous-sounding "fining policy" mentioned above). But they could build those costs into the selling price whenever they get ready to sell the property.

PUPPYMOMMA

To answer your question

To answer your question regarding recourse- NO! Do not waste money on a lawyer. Little Lamb is correct regarding control of the HOA. I have personal experience with an HOA.
Hired a lawyer- could have paid a month's mortgage instead of handing it over to "He who did nothing but hang me out to dry".
After the first court appearance, lawyer tried to tell my husband and I that we could still proceed, at an additional cost. We put a FOR SALE sign out . Sold the house and moved to a rural area. So much happier. Funny thing is, the first lawyer we contacted gave us the 'free' advice regarding HOA- if you don't like it move-you won't win and you will spend a chunk of money . Passing on that 'free' advice to you. By the way, when all the houses are sold by the developer , there will be a HOA president . They will be the nosy, nit-picking person who feels it is their personal mission to make life hell for anyone that dares not cut the grass on time, has a vehicle parked in front of their house, their garage door open(they decide if it is unsightly , has too much junk,etc.) Good luck!

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