June 20, 2024 at 7:33 pm

She Complained To Her HOA About Her Slumlord Neighbors, So They Did Some Investigating And Actually Made Sure They’d Be Held Accountable

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/Unsplash/@enginakyurt

Folks, hang on to your hats…

Because this is an actual POSITIVE STORY about an HOA.

Yes, you read that correctly!

Dive in to the story below and see what you think!

The Rental Property From Hell.

“After posting my HOA board gutting story, I figured it was time to share another story that happened only a few months ago, and show that some good can come from HOAs that don’t have power hungry buffoons running them.

During my tenure, I have seen all sorts of weird appeals and issues that we had to resolve from pond management problems to neighborly disputes. The issue is this story however centers around a specific renter in our neighborhood along with their terrible management company.

At the end of every quarterly meeting that we have for the community, members have a chance to stay back and review issues with the board case-by-case. Typically, this consists of community members who have fines that want to appeal or settle. This time however, a regular attendee came in, which surprised all of us.

What was this all about?

She had never once had a fine, helped with some committees, and had two amazing kids, one of which was special needs (important later). She sat down and calmly set down a folder in front of us, and that’s when I knew she was serious.

Then she began to explain how she needed help from the board with “an issue” with her neighbor. She described in painful detail about how her neighbor had been digging up and taking her flowers and had kept flipping around the basketball hoop that her special needs son used regularly.

She had even installed a camera and had video evidence proof (which she showed to us).

Immediately, I became concerned and told her to call the police. She looked down and informed us that she had, and the police told her to go through the HOA first.

While that still made no sense to me, I said that we could look into how we could help. She thanked us with teary eyes and left after that. I walked out of the meeting scratching my head on how I could help without even really knowing what I could do.

What’s this…?

When I got home, I looked up the address of the neighbor that was bothering her to discover that the house belonged to a renter and property owner that had a longgggg history of issues with the HOA.

While I am not really allowed to discuss specifics here, let’s just say that the property has had 10 tenants in seven years and still has some serious outstanding issues with the board.

I looked up the property company and discovered that they owned over 50 houses across multiple towns in my area, and had a D- rating with the BBB.

I contacted my other board members and asked their opinion on the situation while providing them with the findings of my research.

One of them reminded me that the management company had sent a representative to the meeting prior and tried to appeal a whole host of fines with the excuse that they simply did not want to pay them.

I had honestly forgotten that was the same house. Not too mention, they also tried to claim that since their tenants did not want to pay, neither should show the property company. We denied all of their requests since they were years behind in many fees and dues.

This wasn’t good…

I drove by the property and realized how bad it looked. The grass was over a foot high, there were dog chains in the front, and their flowers were of course immaculate, and the neighboring house’s were missing.

I saw the basketball hoop flipped around for myself, and could not help but let my jaw drop. I could not imagine how that lady felt for the atrocities that she had to deal with having neighbors like that. I took some pictures and drove back.

It was time for action.

I contacted the board’s legal consult and asked if there was anything that we could do to help.

Since the property ownership company had refused to pay dues and fines for over 8 years since buying the house, we did have the authority to foreclose and then put the house for sale through the bank that had the loan (which, I thought was a little strange that corporate housing company would mortgage it given the amount of houses that they owned, but oh well).

I did not like the idea of foreclosing just yet, so I set up a meeting request with the tenant. I sent a request for him to talk to the land owner since we were not allowed to interact with renters, and made my list of items.

When the next meeting rolled around, the same representative from the company that showed up a few meetings ago was there. He stayed around and when it was time for his individual time slot, he sat down and calmly asked what was wrong.

My VP started with the list of fines and past due payments and asked if/when they planned to pay it. He replied calmly that they had no intention of paying them. I then asked him if he knew that means the company could lose the house to foreclosure.

He looked sheepish for a second and then replied that they had great lawyers since they had dealt with this through other neighborhoods. We tried to reason with him a bit more, but it was clear that they thought that they were above the community standards and owed us nothing.

I personally like to wait 10 years before finally deciding to foreclose on a delinquent house, since no account has ever had that long of a history with the HOA as we are usually able to resolve the issue.

HOAs need to use that authority extremely carefully. Since this was clearly never going to be resolved, the board voted to start the proceedings to foreclose on the property.

It looks like their plan was coming together…

I reached out to the other HOAs where the company held property and found out two of them were doing the same thing.

While it is currently an on-going case, there is a chance that we can also file a class action lawsuit against the company for property negligence.

We will see what happens, but I would love to run them out of business since all they do is get bad renters, ruin houses, and ignore HOA rules.

I also got into contact with our community’s police contact and informed him of the flower stealing and trespassing. He was stunned to hear that the department had turned this lady away, and offered to help.

She reached out to me a few days ago to let me know that there is now an investigation into the matter, and that she’s trying to sue him for stealing property. I offered to testify if it ever came to that, and I am sure that she will win.

Moral of the story: be nice to your neighbors, and property ownership companies are terrible for communities.”

Check out what folks said on Reddit.

This individual shared their own story.

Source: Reddit

Another reader spoke up.

Source: Reddit

This person shared their thoughts.

Source: Reddit

Another reader talked about their situation.

Source: Reddit

Some people, I tell ya…

They’re creeps!

If you liked that story, check out this one about a 72-year-old woman was told by her life insurance company that her policy was worthless because she’d paid for 40 years. 🙁