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Georgia Homeowners Association Clause

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Cacique500, Feb 19, 2006.

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  1. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Member

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    We're going to be moving to Georgia shortly and there's a clause in the HOA covenants that has me concerned. The paragraph is:

    (e) Firearms & Fireworks. The display or discharge of firearms or fireworks on any lot is prohibited; provided however that the display of lawful firearms is permitted by law enforcement officers. The term firearm includes BB guns, pellet guns, and any other firearms of all types, regardless of size.

    I can understand the discharge part, but the display? Georgia is an open carry state...

    Anyway, if any of you out there are legal eagles please let me know what I can do about this. I haven't moved in yet so I haven't signed the HOA - can I strike the words "display or" from the above before I sign it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. rms/pa

    rms/pa Member

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    an HOA is a CONTRACT. get written clarification of the definition of DISPLAY.

    this has been interpreted carring from house to car and vice versa.

    rms/pa
     
  3. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Find another place to live ;)
     
  4. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Member

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    Not an option at this point in the game.
     
  5. BigRobT

    BigRobT Member

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    Like rms/pa said, get their legal version of "display". They can't ban gun ownership because that would be contrary to federal and state law. As long as you're not out totin a gun around or brandishing, you should be ok. I'd probably opt to CCW if you have that permit. I don't see how they can be contrary to State laws. I got several things in our covenants overturned because they were contrary to Federal law. Many of these HOAs "wing" it until they get caught and challenged. I wound up becoming President of my last HOA because I did the research and knocked thm down a peg or two.
     
  6. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Contact the Association's property manager or their law firm for clarification. Generally covenants and rules are binding once you've signed agreement. Which leads me to ask, why did you not see this BEFORE you signed on?
     
  7. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    FYI: Georgia is not an open carry state, unless you are licensed. However the State exempts you from this is you are carry on your own property.

    I would be wary of the homeowner's association. If they decide they don't like you, they will take a very harsh interpretation of the bylaws, despite what they might tell you if you ask before purchasing.
     
  8. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Stay away from HOAs if you can manage it. Using contract law to attack fundamental rights of property and liberty is one of the biggest threats we have right now.
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    if you want a deed to your house, you'll have to sign the agreement. sorry bout your luck, man. read before you buy.
     
  10. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    +1 on avoiding HOAs.

    If you can't avoid it for whatever reason, I advise STEALTH.

    Attracting unwanted attention is the last thing you need.
     
  11. pyrguy

    pyrguy Member

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    It's a contract.

    They and you can ask for the world. It is limited to what you both agree on. The sky's the limit...

    That being said, The HOA is only as good as the lawyer that drew up the papers. Most of the time the developer and/or builders that started the subdivision had them written up (or used boilerplate) to protect THEM and not the future homeowners.

    Enforcement is usually a CIVIL issue and how it is handled is written into the contract; court, binding arbitration, whatever.
     
  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I doubt it's going to get any better.
     
  13. Hardware

    Hardware Member

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    My development does have a deed restriction. However, due to a small snafu when the builder sold the last unit about 15 years back the maintenance corporation was never handed over to the owners. So, for fifteen years the deed restrictions were not enforced.

    The interesting wrinkle is that since all deed restrictions were not enforced in each and every case then none of the deed restrictions can be enforced. To do so would be discrimination and the courts take a dim view of that.

    YMMV, get legal advise in Georgia. And even if this applies, you had better be able to document the unenforced event thoroughly to be able to stand up in court.
     
  14. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Well if the lease is non-negotiable take-it-or-leave it, then it is what is referred to as a contract of adhesion. These are subject to different rules than regular contracts.

    If a contract of adhesion stipulates terms that :
    a) were outside of the reasonable expectations of the person who did not write the contract
    b) and the parties were contracting on an unequal basis,
    then it will not be enforceable.

    Regarding reasonable expectations:
    There are so many reasons why a resident of Georgia would not think twice about keeping and bearing arms that I will not bother to enumerate them. Needless to say, for a non-felon to be denied this right would be very unusual.

    Regarding unequal bargaining position:
    You are already committed to buying the house and you cant buy it without signing the contract. Sounds pretty restraining and unequal to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2006
  15. joab

    joab Member

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    Meaning if it's legal if it's not prohibited by federal or state law or local ordinance. What's the big deal?
    You just signed a paper that said you would not show off your stolen guns or unlicensed machine guns or shoot at the moon.
     
  16. Optical Serenity

    Optical Serenity Member

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    Concerning GA Law, you have to have a Georgia Firearm's Permit to carry outside your property. If you print out OCGA 16-11-127 and the surrounding code sections, you should find enough ammo to go to them to remove that clause.

    That said, I abhor my HOA.
     
  17. joab

    joab Member

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    Why bother?

    You would just alert them HOA officers that you have enough guns to make an issue of a poorly worded clause that is basically unenforceable due to the poor wording.

    How long do you think it would take for word to get out that you have enough guns to make your house a worthy break in target?
     
  18. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    More likely, it is a poorly-worded way of trying to say that no guns are allowed except those worn by LEOs who come into the neighborhood.
     
  19. joab

    joab Member

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    Yes but their poor wording makes anything that would be accepted by LEOs acceptable under their policy.

    If it is permitted by LEO then it must not be illegal because a LEO would not permit an illegal act.
    The only thing that LEO would not permit would be illegal acts

    Therefore if it is legal and therefore permitted by LEO standards then it is legal and permissible by HOA standards

    Nowhere does it state that you must have expressed written permission from LEO, Cleo, or BIL the Cop
     
  20. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Thanks, I needed a good laugh to end the day. :)
     
  21. pete f

    pete f Member

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    Actually HOA are horrible things designed to remove builders from liability after a certain date. They can and do remove from you rights and privilges under the Constitution and state and federal law. It is contract law. What ever you agree to give up by signing and buying is the new law. They can and do tell you what color you can paint your house. what color drapes you can have, what kind of car you can have. what schools your kids may go to. I have heard of them regulating how many kids you can have living in the house with you. How many other adults. some have the power of foreclosure, meaning they can take your house for failing the follow to follow the rules.

    In many places they have become the home and breeding ground of the socail nazi. about the only defense is trying to get elected onto the board.

    Even then, trying that may antagonise those who are on the board and make your time a living hell. I have to deal with them on a regular basis and in some i find good people, but it is rare that tthere is not a hidden agenda going on somewhere.
     
  22. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    The clause as you've quoted it does not define "display." That word is not a synonym for "own" or "possess."
     
  23. farscott

    farscott Member

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    Just curious: Is the HOA under discussion in Peachtree City? If so, you should give serious thought to not closing.
     
  24. Wiley

    Wiley Member

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    Check here for Georgia firearms laws, etc.: http://www.georgiapacking.org/

    As was stated before Georgia is NOT an open carry state. Possion in and on ones' property is relitivly un-restricted.

    There are many nice areas in Georgia and Atlanta that do not have HOA's. Most are older, established s/d's. Ya just have to look for 'em.
     
  25. Optical Serenity

    Optical Serenity Member

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    My HOA is a pretty restrictive one in many ways. The covenants don't say anything about firearms, but they do say a lot about house paint, lawn care, etc.

    In fact, If I go more than two weeks without mowing my lawn during summer, I get a letter from them threatening to put a lien on my house if I do not take care of it.

    Back two years ago, I got a letter for my house paint. I was given 30 days to paint my house because it now looked "dull and old." Mind you, my house is not yet 10 years old! :scrutiny:

    And building a fence was a royal PITA! I had to submit the plans to the ARC (architectural review committee) and they had to approve it. The kicker was, they kept kicking it back because they needed to have the actual TYPE OF WOOD in the request! SO, I went to Home Depot and bought one picket, then made my submission. So...I put up my fence (all by myself too! I was proud...) and sure as hell, I get a letter from them! "YOU HAVE 30 DAYS TO REMOVE YOUR FENCE AND REBUILD DUE TO USING MATERIALS NOT APPROVED"

    So I think ***!?!! and I called them. First off, "NO PHONE CALLS ALLOWED REGARDING LETTERS SENT" Argh! So I wrote a letter.. I get a letter back, (5 days goes by, I'm down to 25 days left before ninjas come with a lien) and they say "Your pickets are the approved wood type, but your 2x4s are not" Argh! So I had to get a written statement from Home Depot saying the 2x4s do not come in the same type. And they wrote me back saying "We will waive it this time." :rolleyes:

    the real screwed up part is we pay about $550 / year to the HOA. There are about 320 parcels in the neighborhood, and yes, we have a nice tennis court and pool and playground..but $550 is wild. I went to the meeting, and found out the reason is cause they pay $35,000 / year to this outside company that manages the HOA! Now what the heck!? Well, they said "It is very strenuous work, they send on average 25 letters per week to homeowners" Hahaha! Ah well..

    So long story short, I hate my HOA. They drive me up the wall, and no one ever told me when I was looking at homes in this neighborhood. Its so bad that when I told a fellow LEO in this city that I bought a house here, he said "Oh heck, you must love HOAs, that neighborhood is crazy!"
     
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