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We own 25 acres of semi-developed land in a gated community…

We own 25 acres...

We own 25 acres of semi-developed land in a gated community with and HOA. The common area road is paved to just below our property, the test of the road is gravelled. We can not access our property year round due to snow cover. The HOA refuses to pave or snow plow the entire road, leaving us and a few neighbors without year round access to our properties. Their excuse is "the road is too steep" to plow during snow season. The road is no steeper than any mountain road that is regularly plowed in this area. This restriction on a few owners seems completely wrong. We were never informed when we bough the property that we would have only a few months per hear access to our acreage. It has caused us financial hardships and has tendered our property nearly worthless. We had planned to build a year-round home. We are retired and have invested all we have in this.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?

WAshington State

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

What sort of paperwork? We have county records of ownership

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

An officer of the HOA may have embezzled from the reserves. No one knows where the substantial amount of money is. Also the officers behave like they are ruling their own little kingdom!

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
6/11/2017
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42,574
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

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Do the Bylaws of the HOA state that the Board is responsible or having all roads plowed and maintained year round?

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I don't know. I don't have them handy. I have never heard of such a provision and the real estate agent who sold us the property never mentioned any restrictions to using the property. Also we were provided with the CCRs at closing so we did not have them for making the decision to buy.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
We asked many questions before we purchased, including access to our property. We made it clear this was for a year-round residence

Ok, thank you for that information. This is going to boil down to what the Bylaws and CCRs state about what the responsibilities of the HOA Board is in the neighborhood. I find it incredibly unlikely that the Bylaws state that the Association only has to plow and maintain roads that are easy to do..

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It is far more likely that they have a blanket duty to maintain all roads year round, regardless of the difficulty in doing so.

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So your recourse here is to sue the Assn under a breach of contract claim (after you review the Bylaws and CCRs ) and get a judge to order them to maintain all roads year round..

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In most Bylaws, it states that the winner of any action gets his attorney fees paid by the loser so if they are breaking their legal duties here, then if the Bylaws are typical, then you can get any attorney fees paid back from the HOA.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Ok, good. I agree that it is unlikely that by-laws would state that they can, in effect, doscriminate. But someone said there was "an agreement" or "understanding" about not plowing to the entire road.

"Understandings" don't hold up in court when put beside written Bylaws that impose a duty on the governing body to perform services that they are legally bound to provide..

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But the only way to hold their feet to the fire is to get this in front of a judge to put them under an order..

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you!

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

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Thanks much

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42,574
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified
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