Preparing For HOA Annual Meeting

By Stan Riddle
Over the next few months, a number of homeowner associations will be holding their annual meetings. Of all of the HOA meetings held during the year, this one probably has the most members in attendance due to a number of important issues that are likely on the agenda, such as election of officers.

In an effort to assist HOAs in making this meeting run both effectively and efficiently, the Green Valley Council offers a few suggestions:

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Round Rock TX HOA Confuses

By John Salazar
Construction on the Patton family’s backyard shed began in August 2010. At that time, Brian Patton said he was given the green light from his neighborhood’s Homeowners Association. “They came out and did the first inspection. That’s a line inspection (he said pointing to the outline of where their shed would go) where they set out ropes and they check the lines to make sure we are not on easements. They passed it,” Patton said.

The storage building was nearly completed when the postman delivered a letter of bad news. “The letter says we were not in compliance with HOA rules,” he said.

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Texas Homeowner Association Disagreements

By Christin Coyne
Located in far east Parker County off of White Settlement Road, Remuda Ranch Estates is where rural Parker County allows residents to escape the Fort Worth area. When a home burned down several months ago, many neighbors left their homes to support the family. But the neighborhood isn’t as peaceful as it appears.

After years of feuding, some neighbors don’t speak to each other any more. Ten lawsuits have been filed in Justice of the Peace Court or District Court during the last three years involving the Remuda Ranch homeowners association, those on the board of directors, and Colina Court resident Jack Cavenah. At least two heated issues between neighbors have gone to county commissioners court for decisions. And tens of thousands of dollars go to attorneys as the neighbors duke it out in the legal system.

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New Texas Laws Change HOA Powers

By Natalie Solis
Nearly 5 million Texans live in neighborhoods with homeowner associations. Compared to other states, HOAs wield a lot of power. But that’s starting to change. For many North Texans, home owners associations are the norm and not the exception

Angel Long is well versed in the rules. “Just those little things… the arbor on the back that had to be approved, and all the regulations,” she said of her Frisco home. “It wasn’t ever a hard process, but just something that had to be followed.”

Rules are one thing, but taking away someone’s house is another. “Lawyers from other states can’t believe how easy it is to take away someone’s property down here,” said attorney Clint David. “They think it’s like the Old West. They really do.”

Now Texas lawmakers are pulling the reins on HOAs with new laws. Some took effect last year, and others began January 1, 2012. Most of the new laws affect single-family homes, not condos or townhomes.

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