Across the country each day, thousands of homeowners are discovering that their neighbors have almost complete power over how they live their private lives. And tens of thousands of homeowners are having second thoughts about their HOA “investments.”
One out of many disputes is typical and involves homeowners Chris and Lavina Marmo of the Glenmont Commons Homeowners Association in Parsippany, NJ. The HOA warned its residents about a series of smash and grab robberies in the neighborhoods townhomes. Chris and Lavina purchased some wrought iron doors to install on their back patio where all the breakins are occuring.
Wrong choice. Glenmont Commons said the security gates were illegal and the couple was going to face daily fines and possible lawsuit. The HOA won’t even compromise or try to find reasonable common ground.
Is it just a power trip by board members who held HOA offices for too long? Or do HOA officials really believe that their properties are better protected by stark sameness on street after street? Who knows?
But a pretty good reminder to Chris and Lavina is “Don’t fight. Just lie back and take it.” You cannot and will not win. Reasonableness is not at play in the HOA system.