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Homeowners Association Bankrupt Because Of One Obama Yard Sign

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Hum    6,929

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

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threetonesun    1,205

Good riddance.

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insanelyapple    71

Children in Africa are starving.

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zhangm    1,190

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.

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Art3x    81

Children in Africa are starving.

Children in America are starving...

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+Bryan R.    1,064

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.

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Geoffrey B.    1,414

sounds like American living to me.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,094

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.

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remixedcat    2,765

Bwahhahah!!!

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Mockingbird    2,052

Sounds good to me!

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Zippo7    4

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

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Hum    6,929

Children in America are starving...

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

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+FloatingFatMan    13,165

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

Bragging again, Hum? :p

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seta-san    1,080

Children in Africa are starving.

who cares.

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psionicinversion    180

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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Xilo    834

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.

I think the main appeal is that it keeps property values up and the neighborhood looking clean. Non-HOA neighborhoods run the risk of people doing whatever they want which drives people away from buying houses in the area.

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theyarecomingforyou    9,094
I think the main appeal is that it keeps property values up and the neighborhood looking clean. Non-HOA neighborhoods run the risk of people doing whatever they want which drives people away from buying houses in the area.

But it always strikes me as a contradiction how HOA's restrict personal freedom when the US prides itself on its liberty. I know the theory is that you don't have to buy a property in a HOA but when they're so common?and they seem to be based on the number of articles I read about them?many people have little choice. I can understand associations for upkeep, for d?cor in common areas in an apartment building or for governing how a shared area of land is maintained, as we have those in the UK, but when you have rules about what you can put in your garden or what colour you can paint your house then it starts to get a bit ridiculous, especially when the rules can vary wildly from one association to another.

That said I've seen quite a bit of hostility directed at them, so it's clear that not everybody agrees with how they operate.

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Hum    6,929

A lot of these HOA's do come across as Nazi-like.

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Growled    3,880
The association is bankrupt now.

Couldn't happen to a worse bunch of people.

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Rippleman    2,675

who cares.

you are one sick chick
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+hedleigh    126

who cares.

I'd say more people than the number who would care if you were.

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