Real Estate Law

Have real estate law questions? Ask a real estate lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I bought my home in a townhome community in 2008 and

Customer Question
I bought my home...

I bought my home in a townhome community in 2008 and installed a fence around my back yard at that time. We pay $93 in HOA fees which includes landscaping services (lawn mowing, trimming, pre-emergent and weed applications, etc.) In 2016, the HOA decided to stop providing weekly landscaping services to homeowners with fences, and move to an every-other-week schedule. My neighbors on either side do not have fences, receive weekly service, and have pristine yards. I now have terrible weeds and my grass often reaches the 8” mark during the height of growing season in the two week span that occurs between services. This is the height at which city code enforcement kicks in.I realize the HOA fee does not cover landscaping exclusively, but it is the majority as we don’t have any common areas or amenities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, or a clubhouse of any kind. Every square inch of property in our community is owned by the homeowners. There was no vote, and there is nothing in writing anywhere regarding this change in landscaping services. When I discussed this with the board, I was simply told that this was “the way it was always supposed to be, and they’re just simply enforcing it now to keep the HOA fee at the same rate, rather than having to raise it for everyone.” No one told me this at the time I purchased my home or I would likely not have installed the fence. I’m now paying for services that I’m not receiving. I will either need to buy equipment and supplies to manage the yard myself, or hire an additional service to come on the alternating weeks. I would prefer to pay a reduced HOA fee than force the board to raise the fee for everyone, but they refused my offer. Do I have a case? Thank you!

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

No, I wanted to see if I even have a case yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the home located?

Norcross, GA (30092)

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

I think that's all for now.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 36 minutes by:
3/29/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,721
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified

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

You need to start by reading your bylaws first. If the bylaws state as the Board says, then you are liable for your own landscaping for having a fenced yard and they did not need a vote to change things because the board has a right to enforce the bylaws as written, even though they may not have previously enforced them. I understand you want your grass taken care of and want to pay the lower fees, but this is a matter up to the board.

If the bylaws say they will care for lawns in fenced areas, then you could seek to sue the board for not following the bylaws and changing the bylaws without notice and a proper vote of the members. However, this means you would need to engage a local attorney to take the HOA to court over the issue if they violated the bylaws.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a real estate lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,721
126,721 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.

Law Educator, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

12,142 satisfied customers

17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

8,377 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

8,253 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,208 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,998 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,572 satisfied customers

12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
I maintain my own front yard and HOA claims I have to ask
I maintain my own front yard and HOA claims I have to ask permission to replace or plant same plants already approved for the development. I don't see anything specifically noted in the bylaws. The ma… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,142 satisfied customers
What is an HOA's legal responsibility if after move than two
What is an HOA's legal responsibility if after move than two or three years after you purchased a new townhouse and installed all of your landscape and cement patio in your fenced in back yard, the HO… read more
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
8,845 satisfied customers
We have a townhouse located in Plano, TX. Last year the HOA
We have a townhouse located in Plano, TX. Last year the HOA installed a new fence in all the back yards of the complexes. When building the fence they put in a rot board at the bottom of the fence. Th… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney
Juris Doctor
6,208 satisfied customers
Hello, I have a rental home in Utah that is governed by an
Hello, I have a rental home in Utah that is governed by an HOA master association. I have owned the home since 2005 and have had very infrequent encounters with them in the past until recently. Back a… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
Dear HOA law: we are a 1600 homeowner HOA in Northern California
Dear HOA law: we are a 1600 homeowner HOA in Northern California and dealing with installing a video surveillance system for security purpose. The fund of $100k is reserved and vendor is selected and … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
126,721 satisfied customers
We have a corner lot and put up some trellises in our back
We have a corner lot and put up some trellises in our back yard. Our HOA says we have to take them down because the by-laws state that there can be no structures that can be seen over a 6ft. fence fro… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,142 satisfied customers
Can a HOA force homeowners to remove a fence that was erected
Can a HOA force homeowners to remove a fence that was erected by the builder to separate the backyard from the street. The fence runs behind 12 single family homes and is approximately 600 feet and pr… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I live in San Diego County, CA. My HOA has decided they want
I live in San Diego County, CA. My HOA has decided they want to paint the wrought iron fence in my back yard. The fence has not been painted in over 10 years and now has a jasmine bush woven through t… read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
8,337 satisfied customers
In my HOA, one homeowner planted bushes near his property line
In my HOA, one homeowner planted bushes near his property line as a decorative screen. The adjoining neighbor is complaining that the bushes (which are 5 feet tall) constitute a "fence". Our HOA CCRs … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,142 satisfied customers
Our HOA (we are in Ohio) rules require fence plans to be submitted
Our HOA (we are in Ohio) rules require fence plans to be submitted and approved by the HOA Board. Plans must specify material, location, color, model, etc. There are no specific design elements ( such… read more
Law Pro
Law Pro
Doctoral Degree
19,000 satisfied customers
the HOA has rules & regulations regarding common property.
the HOA has rules & regulations regarding common property. if a homeowner is claiming the fence between their house and a single family home not related to the HOA is a security issue does the HOA hav… read more
Law Pro
Law Pro
Doctoral Degree
19,000 satisfied customers
a neighbor erected a double fence to the middle of my front
a neighbor erected a double fence to the middle of my front yard on his side as a kennel for his dogs one person on the archtectual review board aproved of the one fence this is an hoa governed commun… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,939 satisfied customers
I live in a new community in Florida whereby the developer
I live in a new community in Florida whereby the developer still oversees the HOA. In our HOA docs there are no guidelines concerning the type of fences homeowners can install however the HOA has insi… read more
Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,526 satisfied customers
Homeowners are making requests to add fencing behind their
Homeowners are making requests to add fencing behind their homes for privacy and to enclosure areas. These areas are not large and frankly do not include a lot of technical expertise. The fencing guid… read more
KimberlyLaw
KimberlyLaw
Principal Attorney
Master\u0027s Degree
3,911 satisfied customers
I live in a single family detached home in a 109 home development
I live in a single family detached home in a 109 home development with a Homeowners Assoc. Paticipation in the HOA is required and monthly dues are paid. This covers the landscape upkeep of 10 acres o… read more
evanesq
evanesq
Managing Attorney
Doctoral Degree
6 satisfied customers
I am in a hoa development that is under construction. The developer
I am in a hoa development that is under construction. The developer owns the most homes. He wont keep the weeds and appearrance up on his homes. The hoa is is billing me for dues. I refused to pay bec… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,142 satisfied customers
I live In Roxbury Township, Northern New Jersey and want to
I live In Roxbury Township, Northern New Jersey and want to install a fence and I need to know the maximum height allowed. My zip code is 07847. Please give me any and all information you may have. Th… read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
We deliberately bought a small lot so we would have limited
We deliberately bought a small lot so we would have limited yard work. It is on a small lake and was to have a walking trail behind it. The developer came to us several months after we had moved into … read more
FiveStarLaw
FiveStarLaw
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
477 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x