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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116716
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I live in an HOA community and my back yard butts up to the

Customer Question

I live in an HOA community and my back yard butts up to the swale. We all have privacy fences up, with no physical access to the swale that the HOA says we must maintain. It is really overgrown and we have no idea how to get back to remedy the issue.
The swale is not considered my property but they are telling us it is our responsibilty. Any suggestions on this? Am I really responsible to maintain this?
The home behind me is another subdivison and they have people out weekly to mow behind their fence as part of their HOA. My HOA, USED to maintain (someone did and it was not me) I just dont even know where to start.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If the property is not owned by you, then you need to determine who the owner is and they would be liable for the maintenance costs. So if you or your association do not own that property, you need to check the land record for ownership and sue that owner for the cost of maintenance. If it is the association that owns the property, you need to look at your bylaws to see what they say about responsibility for maintenance of that land and if it is the association's responsibility, then you can sue the association in court to force them to maintain the property.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They do say that I do not own, but that it is the homeowners responsibility to maintain. I just don't understand how I can with no access to it. I do believe it is written in the bylaws that the homeowner is to maintain. Hard to understand the wording.
If that is the case could I actually fight them on this? There are at least 15 homes who have the same issue.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If the bylaws say it is up to you to maintain, then I am afraid that legally because the bylaws say it, they can force you to do so. You have to be granted access to it in order to maintain it. The homeowners will have to get together to have it maintained and you could not sue the association if the bylaws say you have to maintain it.