Why doesn’t the HOA cut the grass….

or paint the house or perform all the other myriad of maintenance items that are causing a home to look bad.

While in a perfect world it would be nice if every home in the neighborhood had a properly maintained lawn, fresh paint on the exterior every few years and a nice fence, the reality is things happen.  Financial hardships occur or medical hardships.  You just never know what has happened to your neighbor. Recently, it’s been the mortgage crisis that has hit people the most.

While an association manager I heard more than once, “Why doesn’t the association just go cut the grass and bill the homeowner.  Isn’t that what we pay for?”  The simple answer is it would be considered trespassing.  While no one wants to be the one living next to this eyesore, the reality of association living is that it could potentially cost the association thousands of dollars in legal fees just to make someone cut their grass.  The process goes something like this-manager writes a letter informing a homeowner the lawn needs maintaining, homeowner does nothing, manager sends second letter stating the lawn needs maintaining, homeowner does nothing,manager send a final notice and still the homeowner does nothing.  The Board of Directors at this point must make a decision whether or not to pursue action against the homeowner.

Should the Board of Directors decide to pursue legal action against the homeowner for not maintaining his lawn the process is to contact the associations attorney.  The attorney sends a letter stating that the homeowner must maintain his lawn or face legal action.  Still nothing.  This continues for a while until the Board of Directors decides that they want definite action. The matter is brought before a judge and he issues a Final Summary Judgement for the homeowner to properly maintain his lawn.  This may or may not get someone’s attention finally but the reality is the association just spent a bunch of money, a portion of which was yours, to maybe get a lawn cut, a few thousand dollars in legal fees.   The question to ask was it all worth it in the end.

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