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New York commercial litigator Yulia Vangorodska, Esq - logo

HOA rules ban ‘For Sale’ signs

When Denise Hicks decided to sell her Lebanon home, she put a for sale sign in the front yard.A few days later she got a letter from the Home Owners Association warning her to take it down or risk being fined.

According to the Spence Creek HOA, for sale and rent signs are prohibited. So are advertising flyers and posters and billboards of any kind.

Hicks contracted with long time real estate agent Faye Watson to sell her home.Watson put her Coldwell Banker signs in the front windows of the home. They are very hard to see, and both women say the HOA rule makes marketing a home in Spence Creek difficult.

While Hicks cannot post a sign on her front yard, her entire neighborhood is filled with CENTEX signs. Some say sold, others say available.

Hicks says if she can’t post a for sale sign, the builder shouldn’t be allowed to either.

Both Hicks and Watson say the home builder doesn’t want any competition for the remaining available homes.But a VP with Centex tells me that it has nothing to do with competition for home sales.

David Webster says it is about maintaining an orderly streetscape which will ultimately help maintain the value of the homes.

The Centex official says when the builder leaves the community, the HOA and the residents can vote to do away with this provision if they choose to do so.

Hicks says she realizes she signed this document, but she still thinks it is not fair.

Kathy Sutherland is the VP of the Community Association Division for the Ghertner Co. that runs the SPENCE CREEK HOA.

Sutherland says:

“I don’t know if it is a question of fairness. It is a community Association, (HOA). The HOA is created by an entity, called the Declarant.”

Sutherland will go on to tell me that Centex is the Declarant which establishes the community’s boundaries and other basics in the subdivision.

According to Sutherland, “Anyone who purchases there, by virtue of their purchase, bys into that and will submit to what it says, even if they have not read it. One of the issues is signs. It says it can be placed in the windows. The Declaring has a lot of latitude to put up their own signs, because they want to sell the lots. Centex can keep commercial vehicles on site or put up signs in early stages that will not be permitted by home owners.”

Sutherland tells me that the Architectural Standards could be amended by the governing board, once Centex leaves the community.

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