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  1. #1
    ufzc3mj8 is offline Junior Member
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    What is a Home Owners Association / HOA ?

    What is the name of your state? Indiana

    Hello. I live in a subdivision, and my wife babysits out of her home. I have my immediate neighbors that think her babysitting "lowers the value of their home" and is against the "covenants of the subdivision".

    In section 1 of the restrictions and covenants, "Land Use and Building Type: No lots shall be used for other than residential purposes." This is very vague and hard to interpret what it really means. The way I personally interpret it is that babysitting, besides the fact that probably 50% of all stay at home mothers do it for other children, and 100% of stay at home mothers do it for their own children, babysitting would be a residential purpose. The neighbors have been at us since 10/17/2006, 6 months to the day when we moved into the home.

    I'd like to get others opinions on the above topic. Is babysitting a "residential purpose"?

    Also, in section 18 of the restrictions: "[Name of subdivision] Association: The owners of not less than 75% of the lots in said [Name of subdivision] shall be authorized to form a community association to be known as [Name of subdivision] Association. Only one association may be formed by the owners. The owner's association shall have such authority as may be determined by the by-laws adopted by the owners forming the association." This also brings up a good point. Does this mean that 75% of the property owners in the subdivision can create an association? Presently, we do not have an association, and in the introduction paragraph, it states the following: "NAME and NAME, husband and wife, of COUNTY, Indiana, hereby declare that they are the owners (owner) of the real estate shown and described in this plat and do hereby lay off, plat, and subdivide said real estate in accordance with the information shown on the plat, being the certified plat attached hereto and incorporated herein. The subdivision shall be known as [Name of subdivision] SUBDIVISION."

    Opinions? Does this really mean that the restrictions are not enforceable without 75% of the property owners forming an association or does it mean that the 2 individuals named in the introductory paragraph are the association (even though they do NOT own the property in the subdivision... the homeowners do?

    Any information is helpful. I'm already in the process of interviewing agents to sell my home, just because I want to live in a home where I like my neighbors, and they return the favor . I don't know what to do. I'm a nice guy, and they're threatening to take me to court. I don't want to waste money that I don't have on a lawyer, but if I'm reading this correct, the 2 owners out of like 60 homes in the neighborhood, can't do anything really without forming an association. Actually..... the whole document is pretty much null and void without an association, right?
    Last edited by ufzc3mj8; 04-22-2008 at 09:20 AM. Reason: removed extra line
  2. #2
    divgradcurl is offline Senior Member
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    There are two things here -- the CC&R's, and the HOA. The developer put the CC&R's in place when the property was originally subdivided.

    In section 1 of the restrictions and covenants, "Land Use and Building Type: No lots shall be used for other than residential purposes." This is very vague and hard to interpret what it really means. The way I personally interpret it is that babysitting, besides the fact that probably 50% of all stay at home mothers do it for other children, and 100% of stay at home mothers do it for their own children, babysitting would be a residential purpose. The neighbors have been at us since 10/17/2006, 6 months to the day when we moved into the home.

    I'd like to get others opinions on the above topic. Is babysitting a "residential purpose"?
    Is it a business? Are you babysitting for your kids and neighbor kids on an occasional basis, or are you treating this like a business?

    I don't know why this is so hard to understand. Residential purposes means residential purposes. If you are running a business out of your home, that is very likely not a "residential purpose." But if residential purposes is not defined in your deed, you will need to look to see if this is defined in your local municipal or zoning ordinances to give you an idea of what it might entail.

    Opinions? Does this really mean that the restrictions are not enforceable without 75% of the property owners forming an association or does it mean that the 2 individuals named in the introductory paragraph are the association (even though they do NOT own the property in the subdivision... the homeowners do?
    No, the restrictions are enforceable, it's just that without a HOA, enforcement has to be done through the court system.

    I don't want to waste money that I don't have on a lawyer, but if I'm reading this correct, the 2 owners out of like 60 homes in the neighborhood, can't do anything really without forming an association. Actually..... the whole document is pretty much null and void without an association, right?
    Nope. The CC&R's are enforceable by any property holder in the subdivision, it's just that without a HOA, you have to hire a lawyer and head to court, instead of complaining to the HOA.
  3. #3
    ufzc3mj8 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you

    Thanks for all the advice. It's kinda funny that today in the mail, I got a letter from the developers that want to start an association. I'm sure it's because of us, and a few other dog issues in the neighborhood (3 loose pits the other day... a little scary for the little dog that was inside a fence thank God). We'll see what happens. I'm moving one way or another, so it doesn't really matter in the end, I just want to stop the harassment from the neighbors temporarily.

    She watches a couple kids during the week, pretty much regularly. I'm not a lawyer... I'm just some guy that's looking to do the right thing. I thought originally that we were in the clear, but I'm not so sure now.
  4. #4
    MABOAT is offline Member
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    Every HOA has their own Restrictive Covenants. All Neighbors have their own IDEA of what they mean.

    When you move put these questions clearly in your Real Estate Contract to be answered by the Attorney (if possible) that wrote the CC&R's.

    In the meantime you do have the right to ask the attorney that wrote the CC&R's your questions in your current HOA. Just make certain you ask Specific Questions and you do not have to offer up any details about yourself.

    Good Luck
  5. #5
    ufzc3mj8 is offline Junior Member
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    Foster Family

    Thanks for all the information. You've been very helpful. You're right, everybody has their own IDEA of what means what. The way I look at it, we're treating these kids as our own. If we were doing it for free, would we be okay?

    Also, there's a family down the road that has 5 foster children. More kids than we have here, and, they're also getting paid to take care of the children. How is this ANY different? Traffic is not mentioned at all anywhere in the CC&R's. Should that family be forced to get rid of the kids?

    Residential purposes.... can anybody point me in any direction to find exactly what this means in the state of Indiana?
  6. #6
    divgradcurl is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the information. You've been very helpful. You're right, everybody has their own IDEA of what means what. The way I look at it, we're treating these kids as our own. If we were doing it for free, would we be okay?
    This issue of an in-home business goes beyond the HOA. What if one of the children you are watching was injured? Would your homeowner's insurance protect you? You might want to check to be sure. Have you been reporting the income on your tax forms?

    Also, there's a family down the road that has 5 foster children. More kids than we have here, and, they're also getting paid to take care of the children. How is this ANY different?
    Two things. First off, foster care is different, because the state is involved. Second, even if there were no differences, there is generally no requirement for a HOA to treat everyone equally, so long as they are not discriminating based on membership in a protected class.

    Residential purposes.... can anybody point me in any direction to find exactly what this means in the state of Indiana?
    It is unlikely a state law -- most likely a local county or municipal ordinance, if it is defined at all. Contact your local city hall or county seat to try and find an answer to your question.

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