NSBrad

Dealing with HOA

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Has anyone ever had to deal with an HOA over a noise complaint?  Looking for any tips on how to handle them.  I got an HOA violation letter that a neighbor complained about noise from a saw running all weekend every weekend.  To start off, the claim isn't even true.  I've been using a saw very little, it's been mostly my orbital sander and my router.  It's also only been about 1-4 pm.  I never do anything before lunch and I've had to be someplace at about 5 for the last month.  So they're exaggerating a bit.  

What's really causing the situation is that I've been working out on my back patio since the weather in Arizona got nice.  I have a large covered patio that's been nice to be out on.  The problem is that my neighbor has a TV out on his patio and him and his wife live out on it.  If they're home, they're outside.  I can hear the TV or them talking constantly out there.  So they're, mainly the wife, is being a pain.  She's been acting immature the last few weekends with it by yelling stupid junk over the fence, blasting music, firing an airhorn, etc. with never once coming over and actually talking like an adult.  

So I'm trying to figure out how best to respond, if I even should, now.  I'm probably going to set-up shop in my garage now.  I have a 2 bay and only park one car inside.  I just want to make sure it doesn't become a continuing headache.   Then I'll get my revenge once things die down. ;) 

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Does your HOA have noise rules? If so what are they? Are you in compliance to those rules?

If your HOA does not have any rules, what are the local city/or county rules? If you a are in compliance with those rules I would do nothing. You are not in the wrong. 

If she continues to do what you are say, make sure you record it so you have evidence.

Most place only restrict noise to certain times of the day. If you are working with in the rules you should have nothing to worry about.

 

 

 

 

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Noise complaints are tricky!  Usually, LE shows up and asks you to hold the noise down and leaves..  The issue is that anyone can lodge a noise complaint at any time of the day and for any reason.  This would also include mowing the lawn which is also a pretty normal occurrence.  You'd have to check your HOA rules and your local ordinances but, this is how it was at my home in Washington.  Yes, I had a noise complaint for mowing the lawn at 10am.

I'd suggest talking to them first.  If they're not reasonable, just file the same complaint on them for their TV.  I'm guessing the HOA will lay out some guidelines for you both to follow.

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13 minutes ago, rainjer said:

Does your HOA have noise rules? If so what are they? Are you in compliance to those rules?

If your HOA does not have any rules, what are the local city/or county rules? If you a are in compliance with those rules I would do nothing. You are not in the wrong. 

If she continues to do what you are say, make sure you record it so you have evidence.

Most place only restrict noise to certain times of the day. If you are working with in the rules you should have nothing to worry about.

I need to get a copy of the latest HOA rules to see what the rule is.  The letter had it listed under a general bothering your neighbors wording.  

The city rules are fairly lax with noise restrictions but do have concrete rules for construction that limit what hours it can be done at.  They vary depending on time of year but the earliest end time is either 5 or 5:30 pm.  I know I'm always done before then because my patio has poor lighting so dusk is my time limit.  

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9 minutes ago, VizslaDad said:

Two words: potato gun.

 

I've been thinking other nefarious stuff too that can be launched over.  Or I have a 24" sub and I'm finishing the build on the boxes for four 15" subs.  I can pull all of them outside and hit them with ULF sound patterns.  They'll feel it but won't be able to hear it or prove where it comes from. :D

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4 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Noisiest leaf blower you can find, run full blast during their favorite shows.  Explain to the HOA that you MUST keep your yard in shape per the HOA rules and yard equipment is noisy.  You feel really bad and conflicted about it but, if you have to disappoint the neighbors or the HOA, the HOA comes first ;-)

I was going to say, I think I finally know what can be done with bags of sawdust...just add leafblower!

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I’ve watched Judge Judy enough to know to document everything they do to you, times, dates, video if you can and also document when you are making noise working, time, dates you will need this info if it ever comes to court hopefully I won’t come to that but be prepared to stand up for you rights 

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2 hours ago, NSBrad said:

I can hear the TV or them talking constantly out there.  So they're, mainly the wife, is being a pain.  She's been acting immature the last few weekends with it by yelling stupid junk over the fence, blasting music, firing an airhorn, etc. with never once coming over and actually talking like an adult.  

Well as far as how to respond, I would talk to the HOA.  If they yell over the fence, blast music, and especially fire an airhorn... now you have a complaint against them.

Don't do anything to make it worse... no childish stunts and what not.

 

But frankly using power tools in the afternoon on a weekend is a perfectly legitimate 

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Have the complainer record the sound. They can download an app- EZ Voice Recorder. It will even readout the time duration. I use it for interviews. Sorry but I would hesitate to live in a place ruled by a HOA.

Daniel Boone is said to have remarked- It's time to move when I can see the smoke from my neighbor's chimney.

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I have had a couple lousy run in's with a HOA.  It became apparent if your not "tight" with those folks, the cards are stacked against you. Selective enforcement of vague rules. My advice is to not lose your temper, thats likely to make it worse . I wish you luck. 

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HOA’s can be interesting when we lived in CO the lot lines were 5’ on both sides of the house and the driveway was only 20’ long so basically if you farted the entire neighborhood heard it. We never had issues until we sold the house, I painted the trim the exact same color as what was there they fined me $125 for not getting permission to change the color. I showed them in the shade that I had not changed the color that most of it was just faded bad they would have none of it ;)

That fine is still sitting unpaid....

on a humorous note I could always tell when my neighbor was home by getting a whiff of his marijuana lol

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2 hours ago, pkinneb said:

on a humorous note I could always tell when my neighbor was home by getting a whiff of his marijuana lol

That's how I can tell when the boss is away from the bay next door at work.

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3 hours ago, pkinneb said:

HOA’s can be interesting when we lived in CO the lot lines were 5’ on both sides of the house and the driveway was only 20’ long so basically if you farted the entire neighborhood heard it. We never had issues until we sold the house, I painted the trim the exact same color as what was there they fined me $125 for not getting permission to change the color. I showed them in the shade that I had not changed the color that most of it was just faded bad they would have none of it ;)

That fine is still sitting unpaid....

on a humorous note I could always tell when my neighbor was home by getting a whiff of his marijuana lol

 

HOA's have become pretty common with housing development... I'd say most new homes end up as part of an HOA.   The cities encourage it because if the developer submits a PUD(planned urban development) they can get by zoning restrictions like setback from the road, distance between homes, etc. etc.   Usually a PUD ends up with an HOA to enforce the new rules.

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10 minutes ago, Minnesota Steve said:

 

HOA's have become pretty common with housing development... I'd say most new homes end up as part of an HOA.   The cities encourage it because if the developer submits a PUD(planned urban development) they can get by zoning restrictions like setback from the road, distance between homes, etc. etc.   Usually a PUD ends up with an HOA to enforce the new rules.

Around here from my experience it's quite the opposite most developers don't want to set up HOA's because of the legal costs associated. It might be more common in more ritzy neighborhoods in the inner ring but it's not the case outside the beltway. At least of the 10-15 developments I've worked on in the last 6 months zero have been HOAs. 4-5 were PUDs.

I use it as a way to motivate developers to follow the standards. They don't want an HOA so i tell them if they don't meet the citiy/town road standards the city/town won't accept and take ownership of the road which would force them to start an HOA to cover maintenance costs.

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Thanks everyone!

19 hours ago, Chestnut said:

If the lady is that immature I'd bet the HOA doesn't much like getting endless complaints from her. I'd talk to them explain the situation and see how you and the HOA can work it out. I'd ignore your neighbor. If anything laugh because it's pretty entertaining all things considered, It's not like you live next door to a meth house.

If all else fails run for a position on the HOA and change the rules. It might take a while but it's cheaper than selling and moving.Bake a bunch of cookies make a bunch of cuttings boards for people and BAM you can do what ever you want. Reindeer go over really well around Christmas time. When all else fails bribe the people with the power or become that person.

That's what I was thinking of doing.  I have until the 5th to respond.  So I was going to take a couple days to not rant at the HOA rep and gather up any other ideas.  

I had been ignoring everything with my neighbor.  I was getting amused by it.  Like we weekend before last I went out side to sand for maybe 5 minutes.  It was only to sand off one of the coats of black dye that I was doing on some curly maple strips.  It was 2 strips of 1.5"x1.5"x46", so you can guess how long that too.  In that time she put some really bad pop music blasting to try to "fight" me.  It was almost loud enough to hear over the random orbit.  But I couldn't hear it, so it wasn't bugging me.  I did my thing and then slipped out of the house to go meet a friend.  She still had it blasting as I drove off.  Hopefully she annoyed other neighbors with it but I wasn't home to hear.  :D

 

17 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

I'd just move. Can't abide NICE neighbors that close, much less rude ones.

Or maybe take a vacation and rent your house to a AC/DC tribute band for the week.

:ph34r:

I'm thinking of it.  I'm renting the place I'm in.  I sold my house about a year ago and have been holding off buying.  Phoenix is in a huge bubble again and prices are ridiculous right now.  I was going to renew for another year in January but I might just commit for 3 or 6 months and start looking around for a new place.  

 

1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

Around here from my experience it's quite the opposite most developers don't want to set up HOA's because of the legal costs associated. It might be more common in more ritzy neighborhoods in the inner ring but it's not the case outside the beltway. At least of the 10-15 developments I've worked on in the last 6 months zero have been HOAs. 4-5 were PUDs.

I use it as a way to motivate developers to follow the standards. They don't want an HOA so i tell them if they don't meet the citiy/town road standards the city/town won't accept and take ownership of the road which would force them to start an HOA to cover maintenance costs.

I wish that's what it was like here.  Almost all new development in like the list 20-30 years has been HOA.  You have to hit an older neighborhoods to not have one.  It's something I'm definitely going to look for again in my next place though.  The last house I bought was purposely not in one.  I didn't worry about it when renting because I was thinking it was going to be short term but the market has been so crazy.  The bubble has to burst again before long here.  Like my house has a zestimate of $500k and I would pay maybe $300k for it with the build quality, fit and finish, and lot side that it has.  2 houses down sold for $510 in September.  They did maybe a $50k remodel on it looking at the pictures (it'll all flipper lipstick on a pig) and just relisted it for $715k.  I need to talk to them about who their drug deal is because they're getting the really good stuff.  ;)

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3 hours ago, NSBrad said:

In that time she put some really bad pop music blasting to try to "fight" me.  It was almost loud enough to hear over the random orbit.  But I couldn't hear it, so it wasn't bugging me.  I did my thing and then slipped out of the house to go meet a friend.  She still had it blasting as I drove off.

Document that.  And everything.  This way when you (calmly) ask for the HOA for what is and is not 'bothersome', you can use those actions as examples to set the bar as to what's acceptable.  

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I would seriously have to watch for when they're watching their favorite program to mow the lawn!  I think I'd mow the lawn 7 days a week...lol. Hell, I'd mow it if snow was on the ground..

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1 minute ago, K Cooper said:

Find a local nudist group and throw a wild and crazy bash for them in your backyard. 

I’m in :)

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