From your backyard you are tired of seeing your neighbor’s property slowly deteriorating. Shingles are falling off the roof, gutters are failing, water damage apparent, rotten wood and failing paint, yet your neighbor does nothing. Even worse, why is the HOA not doing something? I should not have to do their job!
We all forget as owners we are the HOA, each of us responsible to each other through a covenant. We promise to take care of our property and not be a nuisance to each other. A letter is sent hoping the neighbor acts, but unfortunately the only way to compel an owner is through a court order. Like all civil lawsuits, this takes time, money, and witnesses.
To file a lawsuit, we must have evidence and credible witnesses. If the picture above is evidence: When was the picture taken? Who took the picture? Who is the witness of this neglect? Are the witnesses credible? What is the address of the picture? Is this picture evidence of neglect? Who is the owner? A jury of our peers or a judge requires the facts prior saying “guilty of neglect” and force an owner to fix it.
Without your help as a credible witness, this process takes much longer. Whether the witness is the management company, an Area Director, another board member or a neighbor, the complaint must be perfected and filed with the court. This process goes much faster when several neighbors are the witnesses, the evidence collected and certified.
The reality of an owner losing a lawsuit is the Texas Property Code allows recovery of legal expenses and may award punitive damages. This is money better spent investing in the neglected property versus fighting in court. The laws concerning neglect are stacked against those who are negligent. Several judgements have already been awarded and many more cases scheduled in 2023. This is serious business as one owner may be sentence to jail for contempt of court by not making the necessary court ordered repairs.
It is up to you whether or not you want to participate or not. If you care about our community, please make every effort to know your Area Director or visit our Property Manager at the Community Center. You may be the one who makes the difference in our community.