Welcome to Bad Neighbor.org
As suggested by the its name, this website has been inspired by bad neighbors - such as Greg and Ellen Stryletz - who have demonstrated lack of consideration for families living on adjoining properties or in their community in general.
One would think that if two or more neighbors complain about the same problem – that should give people a hint that they may want to reconsider their interactions with their neighbors. However, some just don't care - hence “badneighbor.org” was born.
Based on the surprising interest in this topic, we are expanding this website to include other neighborhood problems.
Feel free to send us your photos and information pertaining to your own "bad neighbor" for us to review and potentially publish. The above e-mail link only works for Outlook e-mail agents. For web mail, please use the following e-mail address: email@example.com
RVs / Boats / Campers
Recreational vehicles don't necessarily NEED to negatively impact communities as long as their residents keep their "toys" in concealed areas.
However, inconsiderate neighbors don't think twice about interfering with their neighbors quiet enjoyment of their properties by replacing their nice views with those of recreational vehicles. Even worse for unfortunate neighbors – this causes a drastic drop in their property value.
Impact of RVs on Communities
Nobody (except, perhaps, Special Interests) disputes the fact that RVs in plain sight will impact home values. If residents can't sell their houses due to their neighbors' oversized "toys" dominating the views from their windows and backyards, they will be forced to lower their prices in order to sell. This WILL make an impact on property values in this community as these reduced home sales will be reflected in neighborhood “Real Estate Comps”
Appraisers and Real Estate Agents typically research the values of properties that are currently on the market and others that have sold in the past in order to come up with an appropriate value for your home.
A little research in HOA affairs / dealings in general and consultations with attorneys was helpful in establishing some legal guidelines / procedures (to be taken or to be expected).
The primary focus of community bylaws are ...
- To preserve and enhance the community character;
- To protect and enhance the value of real property.
Another concern is when Board Members fail to enforce the RV rules (maybe amongst other issues) against themselves. If they ignore their own violations of rules, and then try to enforce rules (of any kind) against owners, those Residents would have a selective enforcement defense.
RV Owners at least don't have to worry about Bylaws as far as their RVs are concerned, but they are still likely to have to adhere to Municipal / County / Zoning restrictions (varies by community / county).
Deed-restricted Communities generally have very strict rules governing the parking and storage of RVs. Please consult your By-Laws.
However, "Deed-Restriction" doesn't necessarily protect those wishing to preserve the view from their home. In some communities, the Board won't enforce the rules; and in other communities, the rules have not been thought out property and/or have been poorly written.
As far as the rules and regulations in our Community - as far as RVs are concerned - fail to protect residents. In fact, here it is a "free to all" for RV owners. Even Board Members park their "toys" on the side and/or in front of the residences - which is actually in conflict with current regulations. So there is no motivation on their part to do anything.
We consulted our attorney, and his input was:
"Many HOA documents contain covenants that prohibit the parking of RV's, commercial trucks, boats and recreational vehicles outside of a garage. I am surprised your HOA documents do not contain such prohibitions, unless the community was planned to be a RV community from the beginning. "
Definition and Purpose of the Board of Directors:
Board of Directors are fiduciaries for the HOA’s members. Hence, they are placed in a position of trust and, therefore, are required to act for and on behalf of the HOA members.
The Board of Directors themselves are required to follow all provisions of the HOA’s Declaration, Bylaws, other governing documents and the Act and other members of the HOA – just the same as the HOA members.
Possible Actions by ..
Residents have the right to go to court to force compliance and recover damages. In most cases, persistent written communication from attorneys will alert Board Members to the failure of other Residents (including Board Members themselves) to follow the governing documents and/or motivate them to force compliance. If they fail to do so, Residents do have the right to force compliance and recover damages.
Residents that are aware of and concerned about violations to a point where they wish to do something about it, could proceed as follows:
- Prepare a list of specific violations that have been ignored or are being simply “overlooked.” Photos are usually helpful.
- For each violation, the applicable provision from the Bylaws, CCRs and Regulations should be carefully recorded and provided to the Board.
- Records should be kept on file should one decide to take this matter further.
- Get other residents involved, potentially distributing a petition.
Should the Board continue to refuse enforcements (including by their own Board Members), Residents can call a Special Meeting of the Members to remove some or all of the Directors from office.
The next step would be to file a lawsuit against the HOA and the board members for breach of fiduciary duty.
Once that point is reached, Residents can ask the Court to remove the Board Members or Board from office, or seek an injunction (also known as “court order”) forcing them to adhere to the governing documents requiring them to enforcing their provisions. Under Florida law, in particular, it is easier to recall a Board than getting the agreement of a majority of owners.
Many HOA documents contain provisions allowing the HOA to fine the homeowners for violations and the documents typically provide that unpaid fines can become a lien against your property. The fines normally carry interest if unpaid and may also include legal fees.
If the HOA files an IMPROVER lien then Residents have the right to sue them in court to have the lien removed. In such a case, they may or may not be able to recover your legal fees. Some HOA documents also provide the HOA with equitable remedies to enforce the HOA provisions. This means that the HOA may be able to get a court order directing the Residents to comply (an injunction).
Over time, we will add more topics for discussion and provide other victims a venue for venting, sharing and, hopefully, finding solutions.