Monthly Archives: September 2012

Recent HOA News


By: Michael Miller | WJBF-TV
Published: September 24, 2012

The Millshaven Property Owners Association is suing Becky Rogers-Peck over the pink playhouse in her yard built for her granddaughter. The Association says the color of the playhouse violates the covenant that Rogers-Peck signed. She has until October 5th to respond.

And, of course, this is not the first time a local homeowners association (HOA) has made national headlines. Last summer the Knob Hill subdivision in Evans battled with the group Homes for Our Troops over their plans to build a house for a paralyzed Iraq war veteran. The home ended up being built in Appling.

Also last year, in Richmond County, the Summerville Neighborhood Association lost its fight to keep Woodlawn United Methodist Church from opening a day care. Opponents said it was a business operating in a residential district. That case made it all the way to court which sided with the day care. All of which has some asking… are homeowners associations a good thing… or a bad thing?

It’s a question homebuyers need to ask themselves before they start hunting for a house. Should you live in a covenant community or not? A covenant neighborhood may be good for some, but for others, it may place too many restrictions on what you can and can’t do to your home.

As Jimmy J. Jennings walks his dogs through his neighborhood, he says he doesn’t have much to gripe about.

“One of the requirements was that we wanted to live in a neighborhood with covenants because we’ve always believe that covenants keep the value of your property up,” he says.

Jennings has lived in his home in the Springlakes subdivision for 25 years. Springlakes has a homeowners association which has several covenant restrictions.

Jennings says, “and when you drive through the neighborhood, I mean, one of the first things you see is how clean the streets are, the lawns, the driveways. And I think that’s a big plus for potential buyers that want to come in here.”

When a homeowner purchases a house in a covenant community, they have to abide by those rules and guidelines, if they don’t, they could be taken to court by the homeowner’s association. Jennings says some of his covenants include restrictions on tree-cutting, fence installation, and even where you can store a boat.

“The boat cannot be parked in a position on your lot that, as the covenants will say, is generally visible from the street,” he says.

Less than 2 miles away from Jennings, Lee Bailey lives in a neighborhood without covenants — and he gets to keep his boat right in his front yard. He says he use to live in a neighborhood that had a homeowner’s association.

“It has its good things and its bad things. What I don’t like about it is the nosiness,” Bailey says.

Bailey says although he doesn’t like the policing of the covenants, he does understand why they are in place.

“When you have a house that is this value, you don’t want it brought down by the neighbor who has his junkyard in, ya know, it will bring it down,” he says.

Jimmy J. Jennings says that sometimes homeowners associations can request that a homeowner must pay for the court costs of both parties. Which means, it could cost you a lot of money to fight a covenant restriction.


A list of Do’s and Dont’s for HOA Management:


Community Associations

  • Customer service. Answer your calls and emails within 24 hours of receipt. Even if you don’t have an answer, let your client/homeowner know that you are working on it.
  • Know your community. Set your goals to be proactive, not reactive.
  • Be respectful. Treat that nasty, arrogant man or woman with respect; they may be your next Board President.
  • Maintain your cool. If a homeowner is calling you names and yelling, don’t take it personally. Nine times out of ten, they are just having a bad day and you have been chosen to take it out on. Surprisingly, after they have vented, they will often call you back to apologize.
  • Support staff. Acknowledge and appreciate those that are there to support you. It only takes a second to add a line to your email after they have gathered information for you to say, Hey, I appreciate all you do for me.
  • Never, ever lie. If you have forgotten or not completed a task given you by the Board, tell them I am sorry. I overlooked that directive but I will follow up immediately. The Board will understand that sometimes unforeseen things happen. If you are straight forward and provided you don’t make a habit of overlooking your assignments, they will understand.
  • Rumblings of dissatisfaction. Working for a management company means client retention. If you feel, hear or suspect any dissatisfaction, then you need to address this issue with your supervisors. What begins as a tempest in a teakettle ultimately could lead to a hurricane. Less clients for your company can mean cuts backs in the work force.
  • Ask questions. No one has all the answers all of the time. Ignorance is not bliss if you have read the documents wrong or given your Board misinformation. Better to say, I don’t have an answer at this time, but I will research the issue and report back promptly.
  • Stay focused. On the days that every call you get is from a cranky homeowner, every email seems full of hate, you feel sure that your supervisor appears to be looking at you with thoughts of terminating your employment, and you are ready to just give up. . . you might be surprised that the next call is from a homeowner or Board member telling you how much they appreciate you, the next email is one giving you a glowing reference on a job well done, or you are paged to come to the reception desk and find a floral delivery from a grateful Board/Homeowner, and you see your supervisor in the hallway and well, three out of four ain’t bad.

Riverside Property Management in Kennesaw works with homeowner and condo associations providing a variety of management, code enforcement, consulting and educational services, reserve studies, budgeting assistance and maintenance planning expertise.


How to Overcome a Stagnant Board of Directors in Your Homeowners Association









A stagnant board of directors slows down the business initiatives of an Association and may cause the Community to lag behind comparable neighborhoods. Overcoming stagnation at an HOA requires establishing more open lines of communication with board members and seeking to identify key problems. Solving those same problems may also require the removal of board members in favor of more progressive executive minds.

Present Accurate Information

An obstinate board of directors may be unreceptive to vague concepts and generalized initiatives in the absence of hard facts and current comparisons. Arming yourself with thorough research into your proposal and/or requests compels board members to connect with your idea in a way that’s relevant to the geographic area. For example, presenting a proposal for tennis court lighting could use marketing research to indicate a residents (and guests-ALTA) need for features your new lighting will serve.

Listen to the Board

Candid conversation between you as a homeowner or investor and a Homeowners’ Association board of directors may reveal issues within the board that are causing the stagnation among its members. Opening up these issues and finding workable solutions to problems can make board members more receptive to new ideas because you’re seeking to address existing concerns even while moving the Community ahead. This builds a climate of trust between you and board members and lays the groundwork for more open communication in the future.

Gain Voting Rights

When reason and a well-crafted proposal fail, reaching a stagnant board of directors may involve accumulating enough power to remove certain members in favor of new voices. Homeowners have the right to elect and remove board members because they have equal ownership of the common areas. If you have the neighborhood backing, accumulating enough interest to call a vote for the removal of board members is a matter of lobbying. The Governing Documents (Covenants and By-Laws) or articles of incorporation contain the rules detailing the exact amount of votes required to gain this power. Ousting key dissenting board members may be sufficient to convince the remaining board members to listen more closely to new initiatives.

Riverside Property Management, Inc. is a leading provider of Homeowner Association management services in the North Atlanta area.  Including, but not limited to:  all accounting procedures, vendor/contract management, covenant enforcement and management consulting services.  Call today for a free quote on management of your HOA, POA or Condo Association at 678-866-1436 or go to