A post in r/ProRevenge demonstrates how homeowners can take back control of a homeowners’ association that is too restrictive.
Homeowners’ associations can get in the way of eco-friendly home improvements.
Although homeowners may be trying to conserve money or do their part for the environment, some HOAs are more interested in how a property looks. HOAs may require a certain type of lawn or block solar panel installation, and even fine homeowners for gardens and clotheslines. Many states have changed their laws in order to restrict HOAs. However, even when HOAs are given authority to enforce rules, they can be circumvented.
This is what the parents of this Redditor did in Florida five years ago, when they were fighting a HOA for home repairs. This user claims that their parent’s home was damaged by Hurricanes and they had to replace the roof. The poster says, “My parents looked at roofing options to determine that a metallic roof would reduce the damage and maintenance on their house.”
They checked the HOA regulations and found that metal roofing was not allowed. The poster’s parents were not aware that this rule, which was over 30 years old was not meant to restrict the attractive, eco-friendly roofing they wanted.
The Redditor claims that “reviewing the bylaw in more detail revealed it clearly refers to older, crappier roofs.”
They wanted to make sure so contacted their HOA. The homeowners waited for two months before they decided to start construction. Redditor claims that the HOA immediately fined their parents $25,000 and ordered them to take down the metal roof.
Poster attributes decision to HOA financial problems, writing: “The HOA had a lot of money to spend on other repair/dues and someone thought it would be a good idea to fine the entire neighborhood.”
There is a positive ending. The user’s parents found a law on Florida’s books forbidding HOAs from banning environmentally-friendly upgrades. It was a good thing that the roof style they chose generated heat passively, and reduced energy consumption. The homeowners even voted out the HOA leadership and took over the HOA to stop future abuse.
A commenter expressed his delight at the outcome, saying “Fine Print gets you every single time.”
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