Posted on Apr 22, 2014
SGT(P) Human Intelligence Collector
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I am going to be brief, but there is a lot of details for this one. I own a house outside Nashville, TN. However, I am in the National Guard and am currently in another state completing some training. My home is in a subdivision that is under an HOA. Normally, I never thought about it; I just paid my dues and minded my own business. However, I rent my house in order to pay my mortgage. The HOA has recently told me that if I continue to rent my house they will file legal action against my property manager and myself. The bi-laws state that only seven properties can be rented at a time, and, although my JAG officer and I have tried to explain the situation, they are unwilling to work with me. We have always been upfront with the HOA and have tried our best to not cause problems. We are even willing to pay the fine of $25/ month for breaking the rule. However, the HOA is unwilling to even allow us to do that. They are pushing through with legal action. We are faced with very few options. We can face legal action and just put someone in the house anyway. They cannot file civil action against me until I get back off orders. We can default on our mortgage- the SCRA protects us from getting foreclosed on. However, by defaulting my MOS could be affected because of clearance issues. Lastly, we could sell our home. I hate this option because we love our house and want to raise our kids there. However, we are left with very little choice at this juncture. The JAG officer just tells us they found a loophole and are exploiting it. There is nothing that protects a service member from the HOA. Please help. I have been told to contact my congressman and the media, but I would rather not bring that much more drama into the situation. Thanks for all your advice!
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SSG Officer Candidate
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You signed a contract, and now you want it to be voided for your convenience?<div><br></div><div>I would suspect the HOA has this rule in place to prevent the neighborhood from filling with renters, probably to maintain the quality of life that you saw as one of the reasons to buy there.</div><div><br></div><div>It would be nice if they would agree to let you break your contract and rent, but you are not entitled to that concession.</div><div><br></div><div>There is a reason I did not buy a house in an HOA community, and I think you need to put this in your rucksack as a lesson learned.</div>
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CPT All Source Intelligence
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You are right. If the world were black and white, this is how we should be. But consider why the HOA probably set up the rules...My neighborhood (no HOA) attracts a lot of flippers and rental property owners. That fact drives down home values. At any given time, the "owners" have no interest in being part of the community and pay little attention to the types of people they rent to - who wouldn't want to stop this in their neighborhood? The distinction between that and someone who needs to rent their house for 6-12 months and is planning to reoccupy it is pretty vast. Making an exception for short-term close-ended leases where the owner plans to reoccupy the home (military or not) makes sense. It frustrates common sense when people focus more on the words in a reg/rule than the actual intent.

At the same time, I am glad this topic came up because I don't think many people pay close attention to HOA rules, and as demonstrated here, they can be ruthless.
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PO2 Dave Vazquez
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Maybe you should also contact your local news station to bring attention to the fact that this HOA is not understanding of your duty to your country. If they are embarrassed by the attention they may drop the legal action. Also, your fellow neighbors may not know that this is going on in their own neighborhood and they may pressure them to drop it. In my experience being involved with HOA's there are usually a few individuals that want to control the entire neighborhood. Glad to hear your representative is going to bat for you.
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MAJ Steve Sheridan
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Don't know, but want to follow to here if you find a solution. Hope it works out for you and you can help others through your struggle.
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SGT(P) Human Intelligence Collector
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Sir, as of now, we have contacted our congressman and our state representative. The state representative has really taken an interest to the situation. Not only is he contacting the HOA and pleading with them, he is also going to present new legislation that allows service members to be allowed to rent their homes, regardless of any HOA bi-laws. To me, this would be the real victory because it would make a greater impact on the future for military members. I will keep this post updated as we work for a resolution.
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
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SPC David C. - Good work on getting your congressman to do the leg work. I had the help of Sen. Burr of NC to resolve some issues and it worked well as I am sure it will with you too. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers....
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