By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Here’s a guy who takes his volunteer position a little too seriously. The chairman of a homeowner’s association fine and hearing violations committee told a resident to leave a pier after hours by pointing a gun to her chest. Lighten up there, Francis.
While it’s rare that a self-appointed enforcer pulls a gun on homeowners, there is no shortage of home owner associations that take legal action against members of the community who are not abiding by the rules. It is estimated that 57 million Americans are subject to homeowner association rules, whether they live in condos or in single family dwellings. If you’re one of those millions, I’m SURE you read that 100 plus page book you got when you bought into the development.
No? Take a look now. It seems boring but you might be surprised about the rules, ranging from how many cats and dogs you may have to what color the inside of your drapes that are seen from the street can be. And by buying in, you’ve given the association the right to regulate that and even fine you for violations.
If you’ve already bought in, your rights are limited except to petition the board on rules you think are unfair. And if you are in the process of buying, read the rules to see what they allow some yahoo to regulate before you plunk down your money.