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virginia townhouses court ruling legal fees

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#1 Hum

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:29

Back in 2008, a couple in Olde Fairhaven, Virginia put up a sign in their lawn showing their support for a presidential candidate. This simple action led to a feud that has raged for years and cost the neighborhood homeowners association hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now the HOA is broke, and the central “town square” that turns a clump of townhouses into something resembling a community is up for sale.

It began simply enough: with an HOA known for taking hardline stances, and an “Obama for President” sign. When the couple received a warning that the placard was four inches too big, they could have taken the sign down or chopped a few inches off. Instead, they chopped it into “OBA” and “MA” signs. Homeowners associations are not known for their appreciation of whimsical humor or feeble protests.

The HOA board first passed a resolution granting itself the right to fine residents who violated the rules $900 per incident. Then, when the couple applied to have work done on their deck and on their roof, the board turned them down. Believing that the rejection was retaliation, the couple sued.

“It’s like we weren’t living in America. You are always one board election away from a tyranny. They wield enormous power,” the wife told The Washington Post.

Ultimately, the Virginia courts found in the couple’s favor. If an HOA’s covenant doesn’t spell out that it has the right to fine residents, it can’t arbitrarily start fining people. Rejecting the roof and deck projects in an unannounced super secret meeting was improper. Oh, and the HOA was on the hook for $100,000 worth of the couple’s legal fees.

The association is bankrupt now. There are no more parties in the common area. Because once, a campaign yard sign was four inches too big.

source


#2 threetonesun

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:33

Good riddance.

#3 insanelyapple

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:34

Children in Africa are starving.

#4 zhangm

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:35

Ultimately, the Virginia courts found in the couple’s favor. If an HOA’s covenant doesn’t spell out that it has the right to fine residents, it can’t arbitrarily start fining people. Rejecting the roof and deck projects in an unannounced super secret meeting was improper. Oh, and the HOA was on the hook for $100,000 worth of the couple’s legal fees.


Damn straight.

#5 Art3x

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:35

Children in Africa are starving.


Children in America are starving...

#6 +Xenosion

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:37

Good. HOA's should not be a haven for control freaks to have their day. Let it be a lesson. I can only hope that more issues like this are resolved in the same way.

#7 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:43

sounds like American living to me.

#8 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:45

I've never understood the popularity of HOA's in America. I can certainly understand the benefit of pooling resources to help with upkeep but all too often HOA's are abused by manipulative and egotistical people to impose overly draconian rules. Personally I think that political signs are horribly distasteful and wish that people didn't have to be subjected to them but what's distasteful to me could be very important to someone else; some people don't like Christmas lights but that doesn't mean they should be banned altogether.

#9 remixedcat

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:48

Bwahhahah!!!

#10 illegaloperation

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 15:55

Sounds good to me!

#11 Zippo7

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 16:06

Could not have happened to a nicer group of people, 1 HOA down, 100k+ to go time for others to get the ball rolling.

#12 OP Hum

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 17:00

Children in America are starving...


I'm starving ... and am 4 inches too big.

#13 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 17:03

I'm starving ... and am 4 inches too big.


Bragging again, Hum? :p

#14 seta-san

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 17:09

Children in Africa are starving.


who cares.

#15 psionicinversion

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 17:31

I'm starving ... and am 4 inches too big.


I always thought you were a woman so 4 inches more than i thought... i stand corrected!!

proper lol for sign.



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