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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29595
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am on the board of our home owners association. One home

Customer Question

I am on the board of our home owners association. One home owner has installed a portable basketball goal in her driveway. We have sent her two letters explaining she is in violation of covenants. She has been approached "face-to-face" and she inform us that she has no intention of removing the basket ball goal. Belonging to the association (paying annual dues) is voluntary; abiding by the covenants is mandatory.
Is this a situation that could be resolved in Small Claims Court?
Excerpt from the covenants:
STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF HOUSTON
DECLARATION
OF
COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS
. FOR THE SUBDIVISION KNOWN AS
11~11~~IIIII~IIIWII~'1UI111
Doc ID: 009126670014 Tvee: QLR
FUed:(###) ###-####at 12: 18:68 PM
DEERFIELD Fee Amt: $36.00 PaQe 1 of 14
HoulIon. Ga. cItric SueeNor Court
Caro vn V. Sull1van Clerk PHASE NO.4 IK4183 PG278
BOOK 4183 PAGE 285
DECLARATION OF COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTIUCTIONS Page 8
3.16 Basketball Goals. No basketball goals, portable or otherwise, will be allowed.
A complete set of our covenants is available on the association's web site:
dhoa.net
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

A Small Claims Court judge cannot order a homeowner to follow the rules of the association - they can only impose monetary damages. If the HOA were to impose fines on the homeowner for not following the regulations, one of the options would be to go to Small Claims Court to collect those fines. However, honestly, there is little benefit to the HOA in doing that. An HOA cannot represent itself in court - it's necessary to hire a lawyer (unless you happen to have a board member who is a lawyer and can do the work).

Under Georgia Statute, Section 44-3-232, all lawfully imposed HOA fines constitute an automatic lien on the homeowner's property. If she does not pay the fines, the association has the right to foreclose on her home. Does she want a basketball hoop enough to lose her home over it? Because that's the choice she's making here. It may help to have a local attorney send her a letter explaining the statute, calling upon her to remove the goal and letting her know that she is legally obligated to pay all your attorney's fees. If you'd prefer not to involve a lawyer at this state, the HOA can send a letter instead, stating what the fines are, noting that she is in violation every day that the basketball goal stays there (meaning she can be fined daily), and that she'll have to pay your lawyer when you bring a suit to foreclose. Hopefully, that will resolve the matter.

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