HERE IS THE OPINION:
"Section 2 of your by-laws sates individual assessments relate to architectural review fees, lot maintenance, or any cost incurred. Lot maintenance is an effort to keep up standards in your community.
Section 5 allows you to levy fines for violations of the conditions and covenants including monetary damages, etc. It is my opinion you are able to impose a lien for penalties as a portion or item of regular assessments. Additionally, you are entitled to foreclose on these items as a matter of law. To do so, the POA would need to file a lis penned and lien as part of a foreclosure.
In conclusion, it is my opinion the POA may legally treat penalties levied against individuals for failing to maintain their lots under Section 2 and Section 5, as lienable amounts collectable as individual assessments."
First, I appreciated the board following the state law they had sent to me. At the time, I met with President Walton, Vice President/Legal Chair, Garrison, and DeMarchi (unsure of his titles, at the time), and asked them what other resident that they had imposed state law on, regarding copies, etc. There was a bold face lie, when I was told DeMarchi had never sent the law to me. A copy of the email, including the law, has been attached to a previous article. Later, when I requested copies again, I received a letter from Board Member Anderson, advising me that residents couldn't have copies, and board members couldn't either (Published in previous articles.) Needless to say, I was delighted to receive my copy.
As I read the legal opinion, that mentions individual assessment, lot maintenance, liens, foreclosure, and the "effort to keep up standards in your community", I was surprised! Why? You could lose your home, in foreclosure, for failing to mow your grass, and pay the penalty fees, assessed by a board, that does so little in their "effort to keep up standards in your community"!
Don't worry yet! Recently, I was told about a situation in the condo area, so I'll have to call it a rumor. It seems that there was a real mess outside of this particular condo. Written notice was given, and some attempt was made by the owner to clean up some of the mess. It wasn't nearly enough, so the responsible parties wanted to send another notice, and sought legal opinion before they did it. The attorney decided to take a ride out, and view the situation. After, the attorney's tour, it was advised that the responsible parties, leave it alone, as the attorney, had observed that some of the very concerns they had for the area in question, blatantly existed outside of other condos. The governing group had failed to maintain the standards of the community consistently. Your board has been failing to maintain the standards for a long time. If you are ever confronted with this situation, don't hesitate to drive through our community, and take pictures.
I have a great vacant lot owner next to me. They usually contract with McMillin's lawn mowing program, and the association grounds crew, mow their lot. The lot has not been mowed since LAST SUMMER. Imagine that! What kind of standard is that? This is what you get, when this board decides what the standards are.
STILL ON MCMILLIN'S VACANT LOT
THE LOT NEXT TO ME
THE EVER PRESENT TRACTOR AND PILE
When you leave the farm machinery parked on a vacant lot, allowed with this board's standards, what do you get? A letter from a resident asking whether they can add chickens and pigs, to their yard. Seriously, it happened and was reported at a board meeting, and the board laughed. It really isn't a laughing matter, when the standards are as low as they are here!