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Jody Peskin’s Answers

490 total


  • Can I stop an HOA Board from meeting?

    I am on the HOA Board in my community and due to a prior dispute, I have advised the other members that I am not comfortable meeting at another members home - a neutral meeting place would work better. My request is ignored by the President and th...

    Jody’s Answer

    Since the meeting is tonight and you do not have time to contact the association's attorney, I'd suggest you go to the meeting - even if you are uncomfortable, there are apparently other board members and the association's business should trump your personal feelings as long as you are not in danger of physical harm.

    If your documents allow for participation by electronic transmissions, you could participate via speaker phone or even Skype - but if the other members are not willing to accommodate you, until the underlying matter is resolved, you should appear.

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  • What recourse do I have on a roofing company that took $3900 to start a roof repair on 11/15/13 and still has not started?

    He will not return my money and keeps making up excuses as to why they haven't started the job. He even went as far as to tell me that he got arrested and used the money to get himself out of trouble.

    Jody’s Answer

    My guess is he has no intention of ever giving you back any of it, nor does he intend to do the work. Reputable roofers rarely request money up front, and if so, it is usually a small amount. There's a statute of limitations for you to pursue him through the courts (whether civil or criminal.) I'd suggest going both routes. One will give you a maoney judgement, the other will punish him, and may or may not provide restitution. You need to act fast and if you aren't comfortable handling it yourself, you should contact an attorney. You can probably file a civil suit yourself in the magistrate (small claims) court in the County where the business is located or where he lives. You have been too kind to wait this long.

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  • My neighbors just informed me that they want to put an addiction to the back of their house that will cross my property line.

    My neighbors had a survey done and it showed a price of their roof is on my property, I was not are of this. They want to add the addition under that piece roof since the its has been there so long and grandfathered in according to them. The zoni...

    Jody’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I do not practice in your state, and I agree with the other attorneys who've posted, but would like to throw out one more suggestion. You may want to hire an attorney for a one hour consultation and learn what your options are. I don't know what the configuration is to your and your neighbor's lots, and don't know if this is feasible but you may be able/willing to sell a portion of the land your neighbor wants to your neighbor (if it won't affect your house and lot too much). If you have a large lot, you may find yourself with some extra income, and still require your neighbor to pay not only for the land but all associated costs, such as changing the lot size on both parcels etc... Just something to consider and a real estate attorney could have more options to assist you in resolving the matter while maintaining peace with your neighbors.

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  • Does the HOA have the right to take your ammenities away because you can't afford to paint your house? We r current w/our dues

    My husband currently lost his job and we are living off of our savings. Part of that savings was to paint our house. When I notified the Property Manager, who is also a resident in our neighborhood, of our predicament, she not only fined us, but...

    Jody’s Answer

    The answer is in your declaration of covenants. It is possible that the covenants may allow for suspension of use of common areas and facilities for failure to comply with the covenants, including not only paying annual assessments, but also making needed repairs to the home's exterior and the landscaping. I don't know if this is included in your documents, so you need to look and see if it is in there. Also, I would suggest you ask to meet with the board in executive session (not in public) to discuss your current financial situation and ask that the board provide you with a reprieve until such time that you are financially able to make the repair (paint) and give them a time frame when you hope to be able to come into compliance (I am presuming the house does need to be painted, as you haven't complained that there is nothing wrong with the exterior). The board is not psychic and doesn't know if you are suffering from a job loss, or health issues (which can be costly) or any other set of facts, so let them know and see if they can allow this to slide til you get your feet back on the ground. Understand, however, that if this is how it will be from now on, ie no hope of improved financial means, the board may not be forgiving and you may need to find additional work somewhere to cover the expense of caring for your home.

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  • I rent a home within a HOA, who fined me $50 (which I paid) for weeds. HOA again claiming I did nothing & doubled a new fine.

    I hired a gardener after the first fine was accessed which I paid for (both the gardener and the HOA fine). A new certified letter arrived claiming it was a repeat violation for the same issue regarding the weeds. My gardener sprayed for weeds 9 d...

    Jody’s Answer

    As a tenant you should have been provided a copy of the Declaration of covenants so you would know what you can/cannot do and what the procedures are. Take a look and see if you are entitled to a hearing and if so, ask for it. Usually you only get 10 days to make that request, so act quickly. Take copies of your invoices and receipts for payment and show the board that after the first incident, you hired a landscaper and show that they are working on the weed situation and that you request the board waive the fine at this time since there's been a lot of rain, weeds grow, but you are doing your best and are paying good money to have the weeds eradicated by a professional.

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  • Builders are parking their trucks opposite my driveway, making it impossible for me to reverse out of the driveway.

    A construction company is building townhomes directly opposite my home. Despite numerous phone calls to the company, the builders are continuing park their trucks opposite my driveway. While they are parked on the opposite side of the road, the r...

    Jody’s Answer

    You may want to contact your nearest fire station (non-emergency number) and ask them to take a look and see if they can drive down the street with those construction vehicles parked/blocking the road. It's amazing what authority the fire department has when it comes to ensuring life saving equipment getting through narrow streets, whether it be fire trucks or EMT vehicles. Good luck!

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  • What are the rights of homeowners when a business in the area is playing loud music during weekends and weekdays until 3:00am?

    There is a hotel near our complex that has parties in the weekends and also some weekdays. We can hear the music until 3:00am. The hotel is aware that the complex can hear it and they do nothing. The cops will go and the hotel will turn it down a...

    Jody’s Answer

    While I completely agree with my feloow posters, I'd like to be a bit more specific and offer another possible option, too. Since when the police appear, they tend to turn it down, give the police an opportunity to leave and let the violators raise the volume again, take one night, and remain vigilant. Call the police over and over and over - every single time they raise the volume, call again - do not use 911 if there is a local non-emergency number you can use, call that. At some point the officers will realize their admonitions to lower the music are being ignored and they'll get ticked off and they'll finall cite the offenders, who will have to explain before a judge how they can violate local law and also interfere with the quiet enjoyment of your property.

    2nd I'm not from your area and do not practice there, but ask that you inquire from your local city officials if they have a noise ordinance. Also find out if they have a "quality of life" division within the police department or perhaps a code enforcement division. Police, as you've noticed, don't like getting invovled in noise problems when they are dealing with drunks, theives, robbers, murderers, etc... But code enforcement officials deal solely with such issues and will usually pursue such issues dilligently.

    3rd you may want to start keeping a calendar of which days and how often the noise is affecting you, and whether it's caused sleep deprevation so that you are suffereing anxiety or having it affect your work, and whether you've actually had to see a dr for lack of sleep etc.... You may then want to talk with an attorney to send a cease and desist letter or threaten suit for their interference with the quiet enjoyment of your property and the aggravation and anxiety it has casued. You definitely would need to speak to a local attorney to see if you have any options in that regard.

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  • Can I be forced to be a part of a newly formed HOA?No bylaws or declaration was recorded when subdivision was developed.

    When I purchased my property in Georgia the title search revealed no bylaws or declaration of covenants had ever been filed for the subdivision, this was confirmed by the developer and his attorney. Now a group of 3 homeowners has formed an HOA an...

    Jody’s Answer

    Unless you consent to be bound by the covenants, your neighbors cannot enforce any such covenants on you. Only those who owned the land before you owned it can bind you to covenants (ie the developer who sold it to you) without your consent.

    You may want to hear your neighbors out as to why they want an HOA and what benefits would there be. Are there common areas or a sign out front that needs to be maintained? Is there a need for insurance on shared land? These would be good reasons for an HOA, because otherwise, if someone were injured, (walking their dog-foot in gopher hole, sprained or broken ankle) each of the owners could be personally sued and a judgment could mean a lien on your home. Whereas an incorporated HOA would add a layer of protection, would or should carry insurance and keep your home safe from such threats. If there are no common areas, but land adjacent, an HOA could purchase or lease property, and perhaps build a clubhouse, pool, and other facilities that may add value to the community. If there is no adjacent lands to buy and no front entry way to be maintained, there may not be a benefit. If they want to throw parties, then perhaps only a neighborhood civic organization would be useful, not an HOA.

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  • Can a homeowners association use the funds to pay for landscaping on lots they personally own that our neighborhood doesn't use?

    We was promised a pool, & playground once the last 2 vacant lots sold in my neighborhood. That was promised in 2008. The lots are no longer for sale and haven't been since mid 2013. The Developer owns them and collects our HOA fees. Our neighborho...

    Jody’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree that you must first review your covenants. You may want to see what it says about the developer's turning over the association. It may say that the association must be turned over when certain events take place, which include a period of years, when a percentage of lots have been sold, or even not til all lots are sold. The latter scenario usually doesn't count if the developer is holding on to lots to keep for himself and they are not available for sale to a third party, but all the other lots have been sold. It may be time for the members to meet with a real estate attorney, preferably one knowledgeable about community association law, and demand that turnover take place. An alternative (or starting place-which may also require hiring an attorney in order to get the developer's attention) may be to ask for an inspection of the association's books and records and see where the assessment funds are going. It could be that the street lights and insurance and care for the common areas and cost of a management company to handle collections, etc... is taking all the association money and all is being done correctly. Since the association is probably incorporated, then he must provide the information if requested as required under the GA non-profit corporation code at 14-3-1601, et seq. Some information, such as budgets, are allowed, some informaiton requires you have a good faith proper purpose for reviewing the requested information, not just because you're nosey. Wanting to know how your assessments are being spent is considered a valid purpose for a review of the records.

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  • Change HOA covenants in Georgia

    How does an HOA Board of Directors change the covenants

    Jody’s Answer

    The answer will be in your homeowner association's covenants, called a Declaration. If you do not have a copy, and the association's management company doens't provide them and they aren't on line on the association's website, you can get a copy from the Cobb County Superior Court records. By the way, Cobb County has an on-line website with every deed and docuemtn filed in superior court - so try that first. Look under the "Amendment" section and it will explain everything that is required to be done to change the covenants. Also, though POAs (Property Owners Associaiton Act)must have 66 2/3rds vote to amend, not all HOAs in GA are subject to the POA, and some require a simple majority and others require 80% or even 90%.

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