March 31, 2020
I have often heard that becoming an officer in a HOA brings out the worst in people, and this certainly offers proof. The article is here, https://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/hoa-to-people-trying-to-earn-a-living-during-the-lockdown-drop-dead/ and it's worth the read!
The always quotable H.L. Mencken once observed, "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." For some residents of one unnamed Tennessee neighborhood, that time is now.
A Reddit user went to the legal advice thread with a question about being evicted for working from his condo along with 24 other "offenders."
The HOA complaint -- which was verified as legit by thread moderators -- says, "It has come to our attention that you are in violation of Article VII, Section 8 of our Bylaws" which state that "Commercial business may not be maintained or transacted on any Lot or in any residential unit." As a result, "we will be invoking section II, Article 4 of the Bylaws, which allows the Board to foreclose on any property that is in violation." The HOA president demands, "You must vacate the premises by April 30, 2020."
The letter is dated March 30, 2020, and here's a screencap of it:— associatesmind (@associatesmind) March 31, 2020
With Tennessee under a statewide lockdown, it's unclear exactly how an eviction would work, or where the evictees would go. Also unclear is the legality of the threat, give that "the letter does not serve as a valid quit notice for TN as there is a lack of requisite language they left out," according to one Redditor. "For tenants," they explain, "it fails to give opportunity to cure; for homeowners, there's a whole host of additional issues."
What is clear is that the HOA president is the kind of organically useless martinet for whom lampposts were invented. Or as one Redditor put it, "Your board member is, simply put, bananas."
As a long time real estate agent I can assure you the HOA is on poor legal grounds. While I'm not familiar with Tennessee state law on the matter, I know they have to go through a grievance process, then file with the courts for eviction and foreclosure. None of that happened. They seem to have simply sent a letter to scare the residents with tough talk. It's ridiculous at this time when people have to work from home.
They don't say what business he's doing from home. Those bylaws exist to prevent a parade of people coming and going. I rather suspect he isn't seeing a lot of clients.
I would tell the HOA to stuff it. Let them find an open court to file with. If they try to illegally evict this guy he will wind up with a lawsuit that would destroy the entire HOA.
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