Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Love and Hate Relationship with Colorado: Part Deux

I really didn't know that my first post (which you can view hereabout why I both love and HATE Colorado would turn into a series.  I should have known better.  

My Ode to The Colorado Property Management Group:

Colorado has it's own love and hate affair with Home Owners Associations (HOA'S).  Just about every neighborhood has them in some sort of effort to maintain looks and property values.  Owners love this.  Until the HOA tells you that you can't, for instance, have a trampoline in your backyard because it's visible from the the street.  Or they limit the choice of trees you can plant in your yard to about 3 so that you're uniform with everyone else in the neighborhood (shout out to the Beckstead's).  

We don't live in a super nice neighborhood.  We're just renting until Paul has worked for two years here and then we'll buy a house.  ....somewhere else, lol.  So, it boggles my mind that our HOA is so strict.  When we were first moving in, we parked our moving ...van? front of our apartment so that we could easily unload all of our stuff.  Technically we weren't parked in an actual parking spot, but we weren't in anyone's way.  Promise.  When we were finally finished enough to rest, we went inside and ate/slept/etc.  In the morning we were headed to do some grocery shopping, put the rest of our things into a storage unit, and return the...van?...(IDK was a big  Imagine our surprise to find a note on our door saying, "I tried knocking earlier but nobody was home.  Please move your moving van before it gets dark.  The HOA."

Shall we say, LIE #1?  Paul and I stopped moving our things into out apartment WELL before dark.  There had been no note on our door. I KNOW that no one knocked on the door as well because we would have heard it. We never left the apartment, and we wouldn't have TV or Internet for another week.  Secondly, why didn't they just come up to us and mention in a friendly manner that, when we were done, would we park the van across the street so we wouldn't get a fine?  No big deal.  Thirdly, would it have killed them to let us park there for the night?  We had driven 13 hours with an 11 month old and were now doing manual labor.  CHILL.   

My next irritation came from an encounter that our handyman had with the HOA.  He's pretty experienced, so when it comes to HOA's, he knows his rights.  One afternoon while he was fixing our sink, his car was "tagged" with another HOA note.  Written on "DOTS" (that's right, the yummy candy you always eat at the movie theatre) stationary, it sternly told him to move his truck or be fined.  He had parked in the same "non-parking spot" that we had when we moved in.  He ran and caught the guy who had left the note, but the man wouldn't fess up.  NICE.  Way to stand up for your role in the HOA.  The funny part is that our handyman has the right to park wherever he wants when he's doing work on an apartment.  This had happened to him before.  Not only did he win his case with the HOA, they had to pay some major fees because of it.  

Ok, third issue:  We have a satellite dish.  Or rather...we HAD a satellite dish.  After spending FIVE HOURS trying to find a signal and location to put the dish, the installer settled on screwing it to the outside of the building.  Fine by me--it wasn't in anybody's way.  Apparently you're supposed to ask permission to do this--I had no idea or I would have.  The HOA was pretty angry with us and gave us a time frame to remove the dish.  This resulted in calling Dish Network to send out a technician.  Luckily he couldn't find a signal off of our balcony (where I can only assume would be an appropriate place to house our dish), so we cancelled our dish service, free of charge.  Had this cost money, I would be more angry.  

Last but not least:  Today I got three, count 'em THREE texts (as well as an email) from the realtor that manages our condo.  He said the HOA had contacted him because we had been "un-responsive".  They sent him a letter stating that if we didn't remove our dish and pallets from our patio, we would be fined.  They also said we had been notified about the pallets once and had failed to do anything.  My jaw literally dropped.  You know, I'm a good person. I'm not some sort of delinquent that stores months worth of trash on their patio.  Yes, we have TWO pallets on our patio.  We have a fireplace and burn pallets.  Where SHOULD I store my 1 year old's bedroom?  As long as they were not visible, I bet the HOA would be ok with that.  We removed our dish from the building, but apparently the patio, which was advertised as "additional storage area" is not an acceptable place to house it.  ARRRRRRGH!

LIE #2:  The HOA NEVER sent us a notice that our pallets were some sort of eyesore, nor did they notify us about the dish.  The went around  us and "told" on us to our manager threatening fines.  Seriously, all they had to do was knock on the door and talk to me.  Why are HOA's run by people who are too afraid  to talk to someone???  Luckily our manager is a pretty awesome guy and told me what was going on.  He didn't really believe it himself.  

So there you have it....more reasons why Colorado isn't sitting well with me right now.  Good thing the weather is nice here..........

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