Can a HOA set fees and fines so high that they can take ownership of my property?

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Can a HOA set fees and fines so high that they can take ownership of my property?

The gated community I live in have sued us for to much rubbish in our yard. We own the property and home and missed our court date. Not notified. Now they delivered a letter saying that we had 30 days to get all cleaned to their requirements or they can send in a crew to do so at our expense. Also, they have put fines up in the 3-4 thousand dollars. Can should I appeal? How much will that cost? What do I do? We are on fixed income, have almost completed clean-up but will it be good enough? Where from here?

Asked on February 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The fines can be whatever the documents/agreements governing the HOA and community authorize them to be. The HOA is not required to take your personal financial situation into account (i.e. that you are on a fixed income) and fine you less than they otherwise would have. Having completed the clean-up *may* cause them to agree to lesser fines, but they don't have to reduce them (it would be voluntary to do so): you committed the offense in the first place, and when you violate the rules (or ordinances, etc.), you can be punished for that violation regardless of later efforts to correct the situation or make amends.


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