guest blog by Nila Ridings
The good doctor and his wife really wanted to follow their HOA’s rules and regulations. They also wanted to keep harmful fertilizers out of the Intracoastal Waterway near Jacksonville.
They filed the necessary paperwork for a “Florida Friendly” yard. After getting no response during the customary 30 day waiting period, they started their landscaping project.
Whoa! The official “HOA Double Standard” raised its ugly head in the form of a nasty lawsuit!
Dr. and Mrs. Sidle had followed all the HOA rules, but the HOA didn’t bother to follow its own. So, off to see the judge they went. The court ordered mediation and the HOA board gave complete representation to the mediator to settle the case. Everyone agreed and the couple planted all the approved flowers. They were even presented with the first-ever Gold Certified Florida Friendly Landscape Award in Duval County.
The problem? The HOA president didn’t like the mediator’s decision and demanded a full-blown trial!
Ultimately, the judge ruled in favor of Dr. and Mrs. Sidle. Sadly, the Sidles weren’t awarded their legal fees. And all their neighbors will undoubtedly get slammed with a special assessment to pay for the board’s arrogance and ignorance of Florida law.
No mention of the current board’s status, but I hope this board president gets booted into the Intracoastal Waterway with all that soggy St. Augustine Grass draped around his neck. The Florida Friendly Landscape Award sounds like a winner but this board president has proven himself to be a real loser!
Another case where the HOA fails to respond and somehow, its the homeowners fault? I wonder what would happen if there was a law like this….”If the board member does not prevail, he/she has to cough-up the legal fees out of their own pocket.” You bet your bootstraps there would be a fraction of the HOA lawsuits there is now.
Sounds fair to me!