When I first moved in they harassed me till I got a professional Gardner. I was so broke after losing my job in 2007 I went without food in order to pay the Gardner because I did not want to get harassed.
In the 80â€s they sent me a bill for $300 for removing a piece of drift wood from my front yard. That piece of drift wood had a lot of sentimental value. My husband proposed to me while I was setting on that piece of drift wood. I kept that piece in my front yard so we knew how hard we struggled to get our first house and to keep our family together. I had to hire an attorney to get that piece of drift wood back.
In the 90â€™s they were harassing me about the paint chipping on the front exterior. We painted it several times. As you all well know paint in Pacifica wears out fast. The Homeowners Association harassed me till I got vinyl siding. They harassed me into cutting down my tree because of the pine needles. I will not even tell you about the issues when we moved our fence forward. Did you know you have to get permission from the Homeowners Association to do any upgrades on your house?
In 2000 â€“ 2013 I feel that they have increased their harassment ten fold. I have been continually harassed about a small shed I have on the side of the house. I have limited ability to use my shoulders and my husband uses a walker, so the shed is easier for me to take my garbage out. The shed is mainly concealed by plants and it is never over packed. The homeowners Association have threatened me several times to remove it or they will and I will be responsible for the cost. They are insisting that I prune my plants back that are in front of the shed but I like them and I do not want to change the design. They do not like the moss growing on the red bricks in front of my house. I like the moss it looks old and rustic and I do not find it offensive and neither does my professional Gardner. I did pay someone to power wash the house and the garner pruned the plants. I thought they would be satisfied. Now they want me to paint my house which is going to cost $5,000. My husband is on disability and I have been on disability for two years and I am just getting back to working. The painting will be done in due time.
We have an older population that does not have the means or the physical ability to comply with some of their unreasonable demands. I feel the Homeowner Association is putting undue pressure and hardship on families during this economic down turn.
I work night shift and I sleep during the day. A woman from the Homeowner Association demanded my grandson wake me up so she could serve me papers. I feel this is the icing on the cake, so the homeowner Association is taking me to court and charging me a $500.00 fee for failing to comply with FSIA regulations. I never received a letter stating I had to go to a meeting and failure would result in a fine. I can honestly state I have never receive their bylaws in the 28 years I have lived in Fairmont. I would like to know who has received their bylaws. Has any one gotten notice when they make changes? What has change recently that they feel the need to take people to court? What are they going to do with all the money they are receiving from these fines? Write more letters to harass us. I know I have had my difference with the Homeowner Association but they have gone too far. We all know our home are an investment and I think we as homeowner can make judgment on what is needed. I would love to disband the Homeowner Association.
Usually the name of the HOA is on your preliminary title report that you received from the title company and the CC&R's are usually available upon request for your review. Sometimes the association is so small, there is not a lot of information about them.
Excerpt from the website...
Fairmont Subdivisions Home Improvement Association
P.O. Box 1052, Pacifica, CA 94044
Office Hours: M-W-F: 9 am - 2 pm
The CC&Rs run with the land. As such, homeowners are bound to maintain their property as documented in the CC&Rs regardless if one fails to pay your yearly assessments.
Personally, I have been living in this subdivision for 43 years and I appreciate that the volunteers take the time to address homes/homeowners who are not taking care of their property.
Reading all this, I'm concerned. I want to paint the house soon, since it's in bad shape, are there any color restrictions or requirements in notifying the assn? i also want to pace a few shrubs and hedges in the front yard, it just looks so empty right now. It'll also serve as a barrier to keep my toddler from running into the street.
I don't want to contact them in case they want to charge me a $500 fee for a house with peeling paint and then charge me again for filing out some sort of repainting request.
I'm really sorry to hear about your problems!
Have you spoken with anyone from the Association about your yard? The phone number should be on the letter you received, and maybe their office hours too? I forget where I actually came across their office hours, not that they actually keep to them....but you can always leave a message.
I called several times, before I was able to reach an actual person, who cut me off in the middle of my explanation to say, "let me guess, you bought a house, and your yard is a mess?" Answering affirmative to that query, I was told that they would let inspector for my area know that the house was recently purchased and I was working on the yard. I never heard from them again....
Now, it's a little bit frustrating to think that someone is going around keeping track of messy yards, but not what houses were foreclosures/for sale and thus have terrible yards. Even more frustrating that it seems they can't put two and two together. However, I think the case is, that things aren't exactly that organized in the Association.
I imagine that the inspectors are volunteers, and they can only do so much. That being said, if your yard meets the general "husbandry" that you would think they require, I would bet they just forgot to take you off the list. Annoying? Yes. Probable? Judging by my experience with them, yep again.
I would call them.
As for the neighbors yards? They probably got the letters too, and are doing what they can to fix it up. My friend and my next door neighbor both got the letters, and I imagine so did everyone else who is putting in a new lawn right now (of which I have seen several).
As for opting out, my friend and I both discussed that and we still aren't clear on what that section means. I would again contact them, and ask them to clarify. However, after I got over my initial surprise/anger/resentment of the Association, I realized that they're just trying to keep our neighborhood a better place. The letter was annoying, but it got me to put in a new lawn, and several of my neighbors have dropped by to tell me it looks great. That community feeling was totally worth it....
Speaking of community, if you contacted them, fixed up your yard, and they're still giving you a hard time, please let me know, because I'd like to be a good neighbor and help you out too!
I just looked at 6 homes for sale in the Fairmont area, and none of them list the FSIA or their dues in the listing. It's not unusual that people dislike organizations that tell them what color they can paint their home, and it just seems that this should be the kind of thing disclosed upfront.
Honestly, it's not bothering me too much, but since it surprised both my friend, and myself, I would think this could happen to others, and hope this thread puts a bit more information out there (which wouldn't be hard considering how little there actually is).
Sue: When was the last time you sold a house in that area, if I'm reading this correctly, $19 is more than they're allowed to charge. Also, it seems to read that membership is voluntary.