QUIRKY WEEKEND READ: Neighbors Complain About Frontyard Zombie

HOAs vs Property OwnersIt’s understandable to believe that you can do anything you want with your property; after all, it’s YOURS. However, neighbors can still get in the way of you enjoying creative freedom in your home, especially if you are doing something that they believe MAY affect the value of their home. Don’t believe me? Here’s the story of a Nashville, TN family whose quirky frontyard décor riled up the neighbors and caused a stir in the local HOA:

The Bayview Homeowners Association wrote a letter to the Grinstead family, asking them to remove their zombie sculpture named “Clawed” which was positioned like, um, a zombie clawing his way out of the ground. While the sculpture has been in the family’s property for the last five years, it only drew criticism when it was relocated beside the driveway after landscaping work displaced it from its original position by the front door. The Grinsteads insist that it’s purely fun and humor for them, but their HOA says otherwise.

The HOA believes that leaving the disturbing art piece on the front yard can devalue homes in the vicinity—much like painting your house Barney Purple, or parking trailer homes in your driveway for relatives to live in. The solution? Send a letter to the owners of the property demanding for Clawed to be removed immediately.

While the Grinsteads weren’t pleased with how they were approached by the HOA, they also dropped the idea of taking the matter to court, acknowledging that HOAs are not a force to be reckoned with. All the couple could say was things would have been better if they (HOA) had “some way of approaching people in a more neighborly fashion.”

Evan McKenzie, author of “Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government”, explains that homeowners can’t do much when it comes to having legal battles with their HOA. Because most homeowners sign an agreement to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the HOA when they first buy a home, their hands are tied.

HOAs exist to keep homeowners from doing things to their property that can affect the values of the surrounding homes in the area. If the homeowners insist on filing a case against the HOA, they have to be ready to shoulder the HOA’s legal fees as well. If you are hell-bent on bringing your HOA to court for a certain issue, you have to make sure you are right.

For the Grinsteads, adherence to their HOA’s request is a sure thing, but that doesn’t mean Clawed will no longer have a place in their home. Stay tuned for updates on Clawed’s new residence by checking out our blog.

For the complete article where this post was based, please click here.

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