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Old 03-07-2020, 03:45 PM   #1
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Default HOA Harassment in California

Hey guys wondering if anyone can offer me any advice on this. I have a 2006 Roadtrek 190 and my HOA has been on my back for 6 months plus regarding it. First they told me I could no longer park it in the neighborhood. I pushed back because there was nothing in the CCR's. They responded by making a new rule for me (no campers). I moved it to a storage lot to get them off my back. Now they are sending me letters saying I'm not allowed to even drive it inside the gates of the neighborhood because the CCR's says no campers (in the parking section, referencing long term parking) In the same section it also says no commercial vehicles. In my mind if that bylaw means they aren't allowed in the gates, then that means no trash trucks, no moving trucks, no Fed Ex trucks etc are allowed in here either. I am parking it in the 2 hour parking area and loading, unloading and cleaning it. Not parking it overnight. I know it all stems from one nosey neighborhor who is always snooping around when I have it here. Any advice appreciated. Thanks
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:32 PM   #2
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Take them to court over the poor wording of the new rule. If no commercial vehicles, then you can push on this and specify that your vehicle is just like any other van.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:49 PM   #3
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Rules vary by state regarding what HOAs can and cannot do. You need to consult a lawyer in your area. If they are out of bounds, a letter from your lawyer should get their attention.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:42 PM   #4
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the other issue is I'm renting and this nosy neighbor is bothering my landlord and I'm worried she won't renew my lease when it ends in 4 months. Housing is notoriously difficult to find here (San Francisco Bay area). Anyone have an idea of what sort of lawyer to look for? I did google search HOA lawyer California and one major one came up but after reading the review's seemed to be a scam lawyer that just milks clients and doesn't do a whole lot.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:44 PM   #5
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There is also a half dozen plus commercial vehicles parked here permanently by owners (Even Chevy Express 3500's like mine but covered in ladders and racks) and the HOA has no problem with them because they are owned by owners. Even though the CCR'S specify no commercial vehicles they ignore me when I bring that to their attention.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:58 PM   #6
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As a tenant rather than an owner, you have to be realistic about whether it's really worth the fight. I'm sure the HOA is counting on you being the one to blink.

If you decide to pursue this, you want a lawyer that specializes in real estate law. I would rely more on word-of-mouth- friends and coworkers- than random internet search results. You can still search reviews once you have recommendations.

Start by gathering documentation of other vehicles allowed to park in the neighborhood (photos, showing enough background to clearly identify the location). Write your own letter to the HOA- with the documentation- asking for clarification of the rule and copies of all records (minutes) pertaining to the rule change.

But consider the bright side... you're not locked into this property.
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by werdnash2002 View Post
the other issue is I'm renting and this nosy neighbor is bothering my landlord and I'm worried she won't renew my lease when it ends in 4 months. Housing is notoriously difficult to find here (San Francisco Bay area). Anyone have an idea of what sort of lawyer to look for? I did google search HOA lawyer California and one major one came up but after reading the review's seemed to be a scam lawyer that just milks clients and doesn't do a whole lot.


I would start looking for a new place. There is no win in this for you.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:42 PM   #8
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you could try to buy off the neighbor thats causing your headaches.

or- if they are not a lawyer

sue the neighbor for harassment. Most people have never been sued and go bonkers when named in any kind of lawsuit.

Maybe the threat of a lawsuit-which of course you won't win =probably.

However the other people you mentioned with the trucks might not want to have their uses looked at.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:45 PM   #9
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Thanks Jon, I will try that. Unfortunately before when they confronted me about parking it there permanently (Before I moved it to storage) The Management company refused to take my calls, read or answer my emails and told me all communication would be with the owner only.

Mike I wish it was that simple, I have 850+ credit and great income and I got turned down on 10 places here before I found this one. The real estate market here is out of control. For every rental they have 20, 30+ applicants. People start offering over asking on rentals! Most bottom of the barrel houses are $600k+ and selling for $150k over asking in many cases (In many cases your up against cash buyers who will close in a week). The problem is give up my current place and run the risk of not finding something else in time. I also don't want to be forced out of somewhere because of a few grumpy men on the HOA board you know.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:05 PM   #10
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If the HOA board say it's between you and the owner-sue the owner for discrimination.
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:52 AM   #11
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HOA's have a lot of power. What they are asking of you seems unreasonable, but it may be legal regardless. As others have suggested, if you want to stay you should consult an attorney and find out: 1) if you have any standing to challenge the HOA as a tenant and not an owner; and 2) if their wording is so ambiguous as to be impossible to enforce because of the entry of the commercial vehicles you mention.

Maybe I missed this point, but if you've already removed the offending Roadtrek to offsite storage, could you just comply by not driving it home to pack for a trip? This would be a real inconvenience to shuttle your belongings from the house to the storage lot, but then you really want to stay there.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:50 AM   #12
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I would guess that every HOA has different rules including rules that specify how changes to the covenant can be made. In our HOA it requires a vote of 2/3rds to add or change an existing provision. Board members can not simply add a provision on their own. But your covenant might allow that.

In our HOA it prohibits RVs, trailers, boats, etc from being there.....in public view. It says nothing about commercial vehicles and like you there is at least one contractor living in our area who parks his truck with supplies and ladders in the driveway. No one has complained to my knowledge about that and no one has complained about our RV being parked at our place for as much as 3 weeks (repairs!).

Have you ever contacted the owner that you rent from about this? That person might have some insight and would be in a better position to leverage the HOA than you.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:46 AM   #13
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I have contacted my landlord, unfortunately shes a first time landlord (I've owned for the last 15 years, this is my first time renting in a long time) She basically is scared of the association, shes on my side but shes basically like what can we do. If you get a lawyer you could spend a lot of money and still lose. It is a HUGE inconvenience for me to shuttle things and I also clean the van here which is there real reason for trying to stop me from bringing it in the neighborhood. The rules also say in regards to the Commercial Vehicles, Boats, Trailers, Campers and similar vehicles that they are not allowed to be stored etc unless temporarily. The landscapers bring their trailer in every week. So if the rule regarding campers is absolute that they are not even allowed to enter the neighborhood, this rule should apply to all types of vehicles mentioned in that paragraph. I took photos of all the commercial vehicles at night (so its clear they aren't just here during the day, they are also parked in reserved parking spots, not guest) I'm going to demand an explanation of why certain people are allowed to have commercial vehicles and threaten legal action against the nosy neighbor for harassment. I do have a co worker who went through a similar ordeal over a conversion van in an apartment place (Not HOA) and in their case they won a harassment case and were awarded something like 6 months free rent!
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:40 AM   #14
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There are only two ways to beat a HOA. You may win a battle but to win the war you must bankrupt them. That means you have more time and more money and more drive than they have. Alternatively, you must take them over.

You may win a battle. You may get a positive ruling today. Tomorrow the board will not run for office. A new board will show up. That board will start again to limit your ability to own your vehicle. You will again battle. You may again win. Again it will start over.

If you own a motorhome and are not part of your HOA, good luck to you. Take office. Run for president of the HOA. Find another motorhome in the development and lobby that person to run. As president of my HOA I dare you to suggest I canít park my motorhome out front. Go ahead. Try. I have a special hat I put on for just such an occasion.

In the early 80s my town decided to rally against RVs. I started walking the neighborhoods and realized one in three owned an RV. Getting massive support against them was trivial. Now that rally will be much harder.

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Old 03-08-2020, 01:29 PM   #15
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Who owns the streets in your development? That can make a big difference in many cases as it gets mighty hard to win a case that would keep you from driving, or parking within parking rules for time etc, on a public tax supported street. If the HOA doesn't own and maintain the streets, I don't think they can keep you off of them.


Can renters even vote or run for the HOA? I would think that would be the landlord's thing.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:13 PM   #16
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Hello, in Florida we have gated communities and some association (condo commandos) are doing the same thing for large trucks and RV's. I find a good lawyer can stop some of the BS but it will cost you. You could get a petition going, and show up to all the meetings if you have time. I am retired so love dogging city and association on BS they try to do. LOL Here in FL there are state laws and maybe a memo to the Attorney General or Consumer group would help if you and others are being harassed. Class B's are now widely accepted in most communities, and your type of community. The problem is the bad ruin it for the good. I agree that other commercial vehicles that come in for services fall under the same restrictions may ro may not be excempt. Good luck
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:39 PM   #17
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I am sorry for your problem. In my 1971 southern California HOA, only the owners have standing to communicate with the management company, run for board positions, and such. You can try to attend board meetings but as a private company, the public has no right to attend.
When the tenant is a problem, the management company hassles the owner.
The only exception is when they call the tow company, then any vehicle violating the rules is subject to towing. Donít think they can enter your back yard or garage but an open driveway seems to be fair game.

The tactic of getting support of other RV owners and possibly commercial trucks may be successful. Otherwise I donít see how you can win, it is the tyranny of the majority. The minority always looses.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:24 AM   #18
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Who owns the streets in your development? That can make a big difference in many cases as it gets mighty hard to win a case that would keep you from driving, or parking within parking rules for time etc, on a public tax supported street. If the HOA doesn't own and maintain the streets, I don't think they can keep you off of them.


Can renters even vote or run for the HOA? I would think that would be the landlord's thing.
It really doesn't matter who owns the streets. Many people buy a house where the CC&Rs prohibit parking on the street and they think their defense is that the city owns the street and therefore the HOA can't tell them to not to park there. When they lose their battle with the HOA it will not be because they parked on the street. It will be because they were in breach of contract.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:34 AM   #19
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It really doesn't matter who owns the streets. Many people buy a house where the CC&Rs prohibit parking on the street and they think their defense is that the city owns the street and therefore the HOA can't tell them to not to park there. When they lose their battle with the HOA it will not be because they parked on the street. It will be because they were in breach of contract.

Yes, I believe that is true, but I also think it has to be in the original or amended covenants setup when the development was built doesn't it? I think the city has control of those once setup as a lot of neighborhoods, like ours, have some covenants but no HOA. This is a traditional neighborhood, though, were it is a all individually owned.
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:35 PM   #20
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The do own the street unfortunately. It is gated and has signs saying private roads. This is the exact wording of the rule they are saying im in violation of.

"No Trailer, Camper, Mobile Home, Boat or similar equipment or commercial vehicle , truck other than a standard size pick up truck, or dilapidated, inoperable or abandoned vehicle shall be parked, kept, stored or permitted to remain upon any area within the development, OTHER THAN TEMPORARILY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES.

To me its very clear this rule means you cannot store these vehicles here but they are allowed to be here temporarily ie in 2 hour parkings, while someone is moving in and out, while you load unload, while someone is having work done etc. The law here is they have to give you a 72 hour notice to tow a vehicle. Good luck to them giving me a notice while I load, unload and wash. I'll be in an out in under an hour and anyone who tries to put a notice on my windshield might get soaked by a pressure washer
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