Opinions on an HOA Rule - Talk About Marriage
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View Poll Results: Should HOA Covenants Ban Automotive Repairs?
Certainly - Only lower class Neanderthals work on their own vehicles! 0 0%
Yes 0 0%
No Opinion 0 0%
No - The Repair Work must be done within an enclosure and during reasonable hours of the day. 1 33.33%
No - Unless the Automobile Repair is extensive and is in view for an extensive period of time. 0 0%
No 1 33.33%
Absolutely Not - People should be allowed to do what they want when they want on their own property! 1 33.33%
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
Peridot's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 50
Opinions on an HOA Rule

I would like your opinion on the following scenario:

My husband was working on his project car this weekend in our garage. He was being discreet about it, however our neighbor got in his and his brother's face about how car repair was "low class" and that they were a bunch of "rednecks" and that he was going to report us to the HOA (As if he was the "model" neighbor, which he is certainly not).

I do not remember this rule being in the covenant (and I am an adjunct member of the HOA!), so I went online to look it up. It does say that one cannot do repairs or "extraordinary" maintenence on an automobile "on the lot." (which makes me wonder... he wasn't doing repairs or maintenence - but modification). This section is located with things like raising livestock and keeping boats and trailers on the property.

I am unclear if this is referring to outside activities or whether or not what one does in one's own garage is his own business.

I'm thinking about talking to the president about the issue because I'm not sure. I have a pretty good relationship with the HOA and I'd probably get a "don't do it again" from them if I go to them if we are in the wrong.

But that also makes me wonder if I should petition them to revise or clarify the clause. First of all, I think that in today's economic times, not everyone can afford to have their cars worked on at a garage for every service that is needed. I'm lucky, my husband is an ASE Certified Automotive Technician - so he can do just about anything without batting an eyelash and, in most situations, has a place to do it at (work). However, some "repairs" are common and I feel the rules need to be revisited. I would think the HOA would rather have some people do their own car repairs (as long as it is done in a respectful, environmentally responsible way) rather than aiding to undue hardship that would cause the property to go into foreclosure.

Does that make any sense? What do you think?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 14
Re: Opinions on an HOA Rule

I should preface this with the fact that I hate HOAs uniformly (no offense). That said...

First of all, if repairing cars is something a redneck would do then I gladly support those so-called "rednecks" since, without them, none of us would have working cars. That stereotype "insult" from the neighbor really burns me.

I think you're on the right track with petitioning because some of those "rules" are just overboard. Your neighbor just needs to learn to be tolerant of what other people can do. There's nothing "low class" about someone fixing their own car. If they have the means and the know-how, more power to them.

IMO, HOA rules should permit residents working on their own cars. Sure, there will likely have to be SOME kind of limitation (whether it be time, or litter, or what have you), but an all out ban on it should never be allowed.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 02:13 AM
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Re: Opinions on an HOA Rule

Well I am my HOA President, I've had my share of issues to deal with and I deal with things on a individual basis.

I had one home owner who was a mechanic, and he had a "pet Project" with a race car he was building. I told him I had no problem with him working on it as long as the car did not sit all over the drive way in parts or on blocks covered for days.

Sure people would complain to me, I would tell them, he inquired and asked for permission and I granted it with stipulations, he has followed them, he will pull his car out to work on it, but then place it in the garage when not in use.

I also had a neighbor whose daughter (in her 30's) stayed with them while her husband was in Iraq and she was Prego, She stayed in the bonus room above the garage during the summer. So a prego woman in a room that does not stay cold in the Hot Georgia summer....well they stuck a Air Conditioner in the window, which is a No no, complaints were filed. I discussed it with the board and we decided to allow the air conditioner until the end of the summer due to her special circumstance.

While "by-laws" are by laws, I think you need to be flexible and have open communication with your neighbors, I also put in a policy that if you have a issue with a neighbor you should discuss it between yourselves first before comming to me, and if you e-mail me a complaint, I will forward your complaint to that person so they can see who is complaining and why.....It has cut down on the # of complaints to me.

I had one neighbors HS kid hold "rock band" practice in his garage that faced another neighbors house, To settle it, I told the father of the HS kid, well if they are going to practice in the garage, you need to keep the garage door closed and put up some sound reduction (foam, rugs, etc) When he replied well it will be to hot for the kids then I said, well then have them do it inside your house, but not out here. They stopped, you see I did not "ban them" I jsut said they needed to keep it "in house" which of course they did not like.

but hey I am the bad guy.

For this case, I would allow the man to do work in his driveway/garage as long as the car did not stay out with "parts" for more then 2 days, I would be fine.

I guess Nascar drivers and Mechanics are "poor slobs?"
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