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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6848
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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I belong to an adult community with a HOA …there are rules

Customer Question

I belong to an adult community with a HOA …there are rules to the appearance and maintenance of the properties…I have been having what can only be described as a personal conflict with the head of the architectural committee…short story …I was denied planting of trees along the rear border of one of my three homes I own in the community even though this home is a non-conforming home situation where there is a public sidewalk along the back border of my property…every other home in this situation has a hedge border ...EXCEPT mine…when I requested the plantings I was denied by the architectural committee but only know the name of one of the members…when I drove by his home (which is a conforming house back yard touching backyard of another home) I noticed he not only had a violation of the border planting but his trees are over the 4 foot limit and in fact about 20 feet high…so the man in charge of the committee is denying me what he has and is a clear violation to a conforming home…when I pointed this out it started a rift between us…now I’m having an issue with the “conformation” committee regarding the citation of yard is un-kempt…????? With the third home I purchased in the community…what is strange is that I bought the home from a friend who said she never ever received any violation from the association in the past of any type…and the citation I received is after I’ve spent 2 thousand dollars on landscaping the property…my neighbors are all at a loss to find anything wrong with the property???? It’s the best looking and well-groomed yard on the block???
So I approached the association office to request the names of members on the conformation committee and was told that the names are secret? Can this be legal? Can people on a committee be completely secret yet pass and serve violations under the name of “conformation committee” and nothing more…???? I have no idea if the committee even exists and who is on the committee? When I wrote to the board requesting the names of all committees be published there was no reply and it’s been over 2 months? The names of the board are mentioned in our monthly publication but no one on the committees ever have their names published??? Can an association make me pay dues to an association who threatens to impose violation penalties from committees that remain secret? At the last board meeting it was announced that the suggestion box has been taken down and the ability to reply to the community web site has been disabled due to the negative comments…
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.

Can an association make me pay dues to an association who threatens to impose violation penalties from committees that remain secret?

Yes, they absolutely can, and will until a court order stops them in their tracks.

There is no way to work out differences with the kind of people you are describing here. You didn't say what state you are in, but nearly every state has Adopted statutory condominium rules and regulations. You can review those, but I doubt that you'll understand the significance of them in enough detail to take on the Board yourself. Ports usually become more agreeable when they understand the costs that might be involved in defending a lawsuit. At that point the matter devolves into discussions between your lawyer and theirs. That is where matters are often resolved favorably for the homeowner.

Please enter a positive rating for my assistance here by clicking on 3, 4, or 5, for which there is no additional cost to you. Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
You didn't answer my question as to whether or not it is legal to have secret committees? I live in NJ
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.

Your question is now a direct legal question requiring an opinion of a licensed New Jersey attorney. All I can do is point out the current condominium statute, A text of which is which is At: http://www.c-ihc.org/PDF/Condominiumact.pdf. There was a massive amendment introduced in 2005, but I don't know whether it passed the legislature or not. That text is at: ftp://www.njleg.state.nj.us/20042005/S2500/2016_I1.HTM . No one would fault you for not wishing to read these massive statutes, trying to find an extremely small point of regulation, such as providing names of committee members. I urge you to consult with a local attorney who might be familiar with cases dealing with condo associations which are similar to yours.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 6 months ago.

Hello again. Do you have a follow-up question? I am not an employee of Just Answer and I receive credit for assisting you based on your rating. Please enter a positive rating for my assistance here by clicking on 3, 4, or 5, for which there is no additional cost to you. Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

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