Friday, March 12, 2010

Court sides with homeowner in dispute over pickup

Court sides with homeowner in dispute over pickup: "A.J. Vizzi has lived in The Eagles golfing community in northwestern Hillsborough County since he built a two-story house on a lake in 1997. For a few years, he parked his pickup in the driveway and didn't hear anything negative about it.

That all changed in 2001, when he said he received a violation notice from his homeowners association. 'Up until 2001, I was here for four years before they ever even told me I was in violation of any of their covenants,' said Vizzi."

The circuit court ruled in Vizzi's favor. So did the court of appeal. Congratulations! I see the HOA's attorney, Jonathan Ellis of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Tampa, was unavailable for comment. I wonder if they will try to take it to the Florida Supreme Court. Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link.


Anonymous said...

This was a win, however, the commentary was a little disturbing.

From the commentary it would appear that the HOA had a prohibition that the members eliminated and that such prohibition no longer exists even though elimination of the prohibition was not properly implemented.

The bigger problem is the suggestion that such a rule could ever be made enforceable. Without seeing the actual decision one can only guess at the court's reasoning. However, the troubling concern is that unless the authoritarian regime aspect is resolved, the HOA board could simply adopt a "rule" or "resolution" to re-create the problem all over again.

I hope that the court looked to the substance of the prohibition to determine that the "rule" was simply not enforceable.

Home Owner Association Racketeer said...

What a dark day for the other homeowners who take pride in following the rules, and do their collective duty to make the community a better society in spite of disregard by such elements of rogue individualism.

Anonymous said...

This is a VICTORY for all those who follow the rules they agreed to when they purchased their homes and a RUDE AWAKENING for HOA'S that they cannot just make up a rule whenever they choose and try and enforce it.
Same thing happened to us after 7 yrs of living in our community. They tried to say our pick up was illegal and tried to force us to park in garage overnight. Truck was OK in driveway during daylight, but not at night.
NOT! Then they go ahead in 2007 and file some bogus amendment to the bylaws to outlaw pickups. NOT! Board members in most HOA'S are ignorant of laws, are bored, power hungry homeowners who have nothing better to do than get in other people's businesses. In AMERICA, HOA's should be outlawed!!!!
This WIN is great for all of us as HOA's will STOP wasting homeowners $$$ filing frivolous lawsuits against neighbors and sticking us ALL with the bill.
Way to Go!District 2 Appeals court!

Anonymous said...

Another victory for home owners against their HOA, this time in Colorado. Cherry Creek is considered an upper-class district of the Denver metro area, with some actual gated communities.

Oddly, Alvarez [the HOA vice president] and Myers [the homeowner who sued the HOA] do agree on one thing: that HOAs are at the mercy of the management companies they hire and those companies' attorneys.

"The board was pretty much blamed for [the lawsuit] even though it was the attorneys," Alvarez says. "The board is all lay people; we're dependent on our lawyers."

Chambers, the attorney who represented Myers, says the problems lie with the tactics that management companies use and the influence they exert over HOAs. But he also points out that there is no one regulating HOAs in the state, so boardmembers can use their position to make arbitrary rules and make things miserable for other homeowners.

Since this dispute took place in Colorado, I'd like to remind readers that Colorado's self-described "Free Market Think Tank" said of HOAs; "Since HOAs are very local and small, participants are often neighbors and hence have incentive to settle disagreements in a civil manner."

Yeah, it pains me to mock an organization I use to do volunteer work for. But they really need to pull their heads out of their arses on this issue, and recognize that HOAs are (1) not a voluntary creation of a free market, and (2) one of the biggest threats to individual private property rights in this country.

Given that HOAs have every villain that conservatives and libertarians hate,

* plaintiff's attorneys so rapacious that they should keep Walter Olson working overtime, but he can barely be bothered
* double-taxation (with no Taxpayer Bill of Rights)
* an additional layer of government
* collectivism and "collective ownership"
* restrictions and threats to individual private property
* secretiveness, and lack of transparency
* "constitutions" that restrict the governed instead of the government
* fraudulent elections
* board members who trumpet their altruism; this should set off alarm bells in the mind of any Ayn Randian

I have no idea why the right-of-center folks are such HOA apologists. I can only assume that there is some knee-jerk reaction that makes them defend corporations, even though as corporations HOAs are a defective product.

I think what the free-marketeers who sing praises of HOA corporations are really idealizing is commune-ism. But that sounds too much like "communism."

Anonymous said...

Oops. Link appears to be bad.

Story about HOA dispute in Colorado is at ("this time in Colorado").

"Bad fences make bad neighbors for the Cherry Creek Farm HOA and its residents"

Westword. March 18, 2010.