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  1. #1
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    HOA - wanting to tow cars parked overnight

    What is the name of your state? Florida

    In last night's board meeting, they passed a motion that would start a policy of towing cars from the street, after 1 warning, if they were parked overnight between the hours of 2 am and 7 am. The streets are technically public street, but privately maintained (by the HOA).

    The problem. There are 12 houses in the neighborhood that are NOT members of the HOA because the buildered screwed up when filing the papers with the county. I live on one of the blocks where the majority of them are. Our side of the street is in the HOA; the other side of the street, minus one house (who signed on to be in the HOA) are NOT members. The next block has 3/5 houses on 'the other side of the street' also NOT in the association. There is another 2 houses in other parts that aren't in the association either.

    The HOA said they would be sending letters out to the HOA members that they were going to start the towing policy next month. I've sent a letter to the board that they CANNOT enforce this policy on our two blocks, nor anywhere near the other two houses because we cannot force HOA policies on non-members. They are going on the fact that there will be a sign that says they can tow.

    My question to the board was "how are they to know if it is one of the HOA member's cars or their guest's car on the street? What if the neighbor across the street parks on our side of the street? My recommendation again is to NOT tow on our street. I don't want to be special assessed because our board makes stupid decisions.

    Can they tow a non-HOA member's car? Any recommendations here?
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    What do the CCRs say about your question?
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    The reason for the policy is that the Covenants and Restrictions say that you can't park on the streets. There are 13 houses in the neighborhood who are NOT covered under the C&Rs.
  4. #4
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    You wrote >>The streets are technically public street<< you mean they are open for use of residents and guest of residents dont you ? Private roads can still be open for use of residents and guest. Never heard of a city letting private any private party/ hoa maintain the streets unless they are designated as city/county/TWP roads but minimal maint roads. WHY dont you go to the next board meeting or bring up to board members a possible solution wich would be that the homes that were not covered by these covenants to be issued parking placards that can be hung from the rearview mirror so the cards would indicate No towing by the hoa to be used by owners and guest of the owners who are exempt. There is no way now to impose rules on them and if any on your board think so they truly need to be replaced because all they will do is cost the hoa money in legal fees. your solution is by far the easier though . Even with placards sooner or later some one will get towed and the hoa will be sued. If the HOA has a attorney perhaps the atty can be contacted and send the board a letter explaining the risk of suit. If this board is truly that headstrong thinking they are going to impose rules on the 12 exemptions then maybe its time to sell and get into a property with out any hoa.
  5. #5
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    We like the neighborhood - very kid friendly. Unfortunately the current board is run by some very stupid people who don't think thru all their decisions

    And selling homes these days in this market really isn't feasible. We are covered under the grandfathered homestead taxation that would cause great harm to pocketbook for a comparable home.

    I'm one of their thorns They just hate it when I've discovered another one of their stupid errors.

    The streets are technically public street, but privately maintained (by the HOA).
    The streets are considered public county roads. The roads haven't been turned over to be maintained by the county because here are certain issues that have to be rectified before it could be (involving $$$$$$$$). If they were county maintained, then the folks with their golf carts couldn't run around on the streets (not us) We have no sidewalks. Then you have the other faction with their little mini-bikes (not us) that couldn't use the roads.

    Placard idea is a good one. But again, they are forcing their policy on the non-HOA members.

    Any other ideas?
  6. #6
    CLJM is offline Member
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    GinnyJ,
    Would you please clarify "technically" public but privately mainted by the HOA ?
    Are you meaning the public has use of the streets within the community but that they are actually owned and maintained by the Association and that they are not a part of the city/county road system ? That is how I am reading what you are saying and, also specifically because you said the Restrictions and Covenants specify "no parking on the streets".
    I do have some experience in that area...as a former Board member of a HOA in Virginia.
    If the Association does indeed own the roads, then indeed they can require no parking on their streets. For the homeowners that are in the HOA, that is a requirement they must abide by. For the homeowners that are not in the Association, they still must abide by the ownership requirements of the streets.
    Now, again...that is only if the HOA owns the streets. (All maintenance, re-pairs, re-paving, etc. )
    The only thing I can think of that would justify not allowing the HOA to require non-street parking of the non HOA people, would be if the houses had no garages and no driveways, therefore no other place to park except the street.
    Hope this helps.
  7. #7
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    The streets are considered public county roads. The roads haven't been turned over to be maintained by the county because here are certain issues that have to be rectified before it could be (involving $$$$$$$$).
    The HOA does not OWN the streets. They are only responsible for the maintenance.

    The whole area in questions is divided into two different HOAs. The area was platted in 1925 with it being considered county roads. The first subdivision that went in was a 55+ community of manufactured homes. Then, a developer came in and purchased the rest of the land that wasn't developed, but was platted. He had the area rezoned to allow regular houses to go in. They sold it to two subsequent developers. The last developer is the one that screwed up the way they registered the HOA and missed the other side of the street. In addition, he sold several other pieces of land that were to be common grounds to individual folks. So, there are houses that are legally NOT in the HOA.

    They cannot be legally required to pay towards the maintenance of the roads. If the roads were turned over to the county, then our taxes would go up for the subdivision, but EVERY lot would then pay towards the maintenance.

    So, the C&Rs say we cannot park on the streets. We have driveways that are not large enough to accommodate more than two cars in most cases. We have no sidewalks, so if people want to put up a basketball hoop, then they move their cars to the street. There are families with 4 cars because they have driving kids.
  8. #8
    CLJM is offline Member
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    GinnyK,
    The HOA must be having to maintain the streets because they have never been turned over to the county---perhaps because of the road bond $$$ or perhaps because the developer didn't build the road to the specifications that were required to become part of the county system.
    If your documents say the HOA residents cannot park on the street, then the Board of Directors have no choice but to enforce that restriction---unless a quorum and percentage vote of the community changes the R&C's that are the protection for the commmunity. For, just as some like street parking, others do not...and perhaps one of those read the documents and called for the Board to enforce them. Depending on the actual verbage and if it is ambiguous enough it may be possible to "amend" that requirement by way of a Board vote in the Operating Procedures. Many people buy in a R&C community purposefully because they want the restrictions and they have a right to have them enforced----actually they can force the enforcement.
    I might also add.... if the HOA resident has a guest visiting them, the HOA resident would be responsible for having their guests adhere to the community rules. ( an ex. A guest drives their car down to the beach common area where it clearly says " all cars will be towed after 6". The guests park and leave their car. Community closes down the beach area at 6 and has the car towed away. There are fines and towing charges to get the car back.
    There are many examples and each HOA and R&C's are different--that is why it is so important to read the documents before you buy. Also, it's quite true that most Board members and committee leaders choose to volunteer and serve just for the very reason you gave....
    I'm one of their thorns They just hate it when I've discovered another one of their stupid errors.
  9. #9
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    The real issue isn't if members of the HOA get towed or not. The problem is that the board is putting into place a policy that will probably land up getting a car towed for one of the non-HOA homes. I do NOT believe that the HOA can force their policy down the throats of these homeowners. How is the tow trucker and board member going to know at 3am whether the car parked on the road is one that can be attributed to an HOA-house or not? It was mentioned that the non-HOA members could have placards that they would have to remember to keep on their dashboard. They would have to provide it to any guest that they have. That's the issue that I have. I really don't think we can shove our policy over to the other side of the road.

    Can the HOA reach that far?
  10. #10
    CLJM is offline Member
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    GinnyJ,

    Can the HOA reach that far?
    Yes, Ginny, they may very well be in their purview if the R&C's dictate it. I will also tell you there are some Boards that simply take it upon themselves to vote for anything they want----and they can do that too...until along comes someone who challenges them---just like a homeowner can basically shun the covenants and do whatever they want, until the Board challenges them. That is why it is imperative for every homeowner to understand their requirements, rights and protections of what the R&C's mean. And, as I said Ginny, most people become involved in the leadership positions simply by way of not liking what the Board is doing so they run for the Board to make a change. But still, the Community documents "run with the land"---that is, they are a part of everyones deeds and so, it is the fiduciary responsibilty for the Board to enforce the documents and they bear a great liabilty. The documents also sets forth the procedures to change the documents but that is not always an easy thing to do. Most documents are also "generic and ambiguous in their meaning....leaving an opening for a broad interpretation-- that is so the Board and community can operate without constantly changing the R&C's. So...you will find that most communities also have "Operating Procedures" that are more detailed than the R&C's.
    I have been involved in more than a few cases where the a homeowner takes the Association to court for NOT enforcing the documents just as much as the other way around.
    The Board policy that they are putting into effect is to enforce what their documents say---and that is the correct thing to do however, because there is a unique problem with some non-HOA on the street, the HOA attorney will have to be involved and he/she will instruct and guide the Board on the correct way to handle it.
    Sounds like you are interested enough to perhaps take a more active role---that's a good thing and I am sure you will enjoy it. Also...you might (probably will) find that there are some Boad members themselves who don't understand the documents. For me, I would want to know what the deal is on the Roads----why haven't they been turned over and how much $$ it is costing to not turn them over and what is the liability factor ? And, even if they are turned over, your R&C's may dictate that non-street parking is still a requirement.
    Hope I have been helpful.
  11. #11
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    I called a board member today with my concern. I hadn't even considered the road that border the other HOA. He understood where I was coming from - I don't want to pay a special assessment because someone sued us because the board made a stupid decision.

    He's taking the concern to the POA attorney as it relates to the policy that was being sent to her also.

    FYI - I've been involved with the rules committee and am getting ready to help work on the budget.
  12. #12
    CLJM is offline Member
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    Quote:

    FYI - I've been involved with the rules committee and am getting ready to help work on the budget.
    GREAT !!!! Glad to know you are involved !
    I am sure you understand that the Board must enforce the documents...and, if there are problems or contradictions that come to light, like the non-HOA street issue...the POA attorney will guide the Board to the right solutions. Perhaps the Board Member you contacted may not have considered the ramifications of what that policy might mean for the non-HOA, so, in that respect it was good to communicate with him. I would also think that since your HOA has a retained Attorney, that all policy decisions and legal issues would be run thru him/her. The Attorney has a responsibility and liability too---they are not going to sign off on something that has a high percentage chance of incurring legal problems for their communities---or they'd loose their reputation and/or be fired ! All Board meetings are conducted in "open session" so all residents can attend and participate except for closed sessions only for the Board and Attorney dealings.
    Oh...I forgot to ask...since you are on the "rules" committee, would that mean that before the policy went into effect your committee would have had to set up procedures for the policy and sign off ?
    Good Luck to you Ginny...I would be interested in knowing the outcome.

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