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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: 2 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 36 minutes by:
3/29/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,209
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.

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