Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Horror of the HOA

My Homeowner's Association bites the big one. I won't even talk about things in the not-too-distant past, because they really have been much better lately. But in the past month I have received:

A nastygram for leaving a garbage or recycling receptacle out after dusk or putting it out before dusk.
A notice saying they're going to turn my water off to perform repairs (twice).
A notice saying my community is going to be messy and noisy while they overhaul our landscaping.
A bill for $30 for a new gate opener after my antiquated gate card finally surrendered to the Arizona heat.
A gate opener (it doesn't work).
A whole newsletter full of fussy admonitions to clean up after our pets, not feed the pigeons, etc.

I'm waiting for a nastygram they're probably wording with a lawyer now--something about how my overgrown trumpet vine is taking on a life of its own and now leers hungrily at the neighbor's dog.

I've never gone to an HOA meeting, because I don't want to draw their ire. Better that their bitchy little edicts should continue to be about people like me generally rather than targeting me in particular. But when I leave, I'm going to ask for an accounting of what they've done with the princely sum I award them every month, just for being them. It's a lucrative gig.


J said...

Does the HOA publish a yearly budget? IF you went to a meeting and just sat and listened, you'd probably find the board members are just people like you, trying to do a thankless job. Can't hurt just to listen - you might come away with a very different opinion.

Katy said...

I'll grant you that their annual budget can probably explain why they charge me the equivalent of a car payment each month.

But will it tell me why dusk is so important to them? When I've worked late, the last thing I need is a note from my HOA saying that I failed to bring the garbage in before dusk. And my first instinct is definitely not to thank them.

I'm sure it is a thankless job, and I don't think they do that badly. But for what they charge, they can afford to do a good job...and to put up with a little bitching when we can't all abide by their rules. (I'd love to be home by dusk every garbage and recycling day. But sometimes it's not possible.)

And after two years of living here and paying them the car payment, I kind of think my gate opener should work (and be free).

Speaking of which, the sun is going down. I have to go bring in my recycling container.