If you want to be master of your domain, do NOT live in a neighborhood governed by a homeowners association. If you choose to do so, just remember that things like this could happen to you. As reported by wsmv.com (Nashville, Tennessee):
A Brentwood homeowners association is threatening to sue a family if they don’t take down a wheelchair ramp in the next week.
After Michael Broadnax suffered a stroke late last summer, his wife became the head of the household.
Charlotte Broadnax retrofitted her house with a small ramp so her husband could come home for rehabilitation. Now, the homeowners association for the Woodlands of Copperstone is threatening to sue …
She received a letter in the mail dated June 1 from Alvin Harris, an attorney representing the homeowners association.
“The association demands that within 14 days of the date of this letter, you remove the wheelchair ramp and restore the exterior of your home,” Charlotte Broadnax said, reading from the letter.
The letter went on to list the consequences the homeowner would face if she didn’t meet the demands.
” [The Declaration] authorizes the association to come onto your property and remove the ramp and charge you with the work,” Charlotte Broadnax read.
The letter then reads, “If you force the association to sue you, it will seek a court order” and charge the Broadnax’s for attorney’s fees.
And just so you know how heartless the HOA is …
Michael Broadnax, a well-known pastor, is currently in the hospital recovering from another brain surgery.
“Within 14 days I have to try to get that ramp down? Within 14 days bring him home?” Charlotte Broadnax said. “When he comes home from the hospital, how am I going to get him in the house?”
The family found out a few days before Thanksgiving that Michael Broadnax could have therapy at his home.
“The nursing home said they were sending my husband home and I needed a ramp put up,” Charlotte Broadnax said. She says she promptly hired a legal contractor and had the ramp installed before the nursing home inspection. “I didn’t do this to deface my home,” she said. “My priority was taking care of my husband.”
What does the HOA have to say now?
“The board did not know the ramp was for the homeowner, Mr. Broadnax. The association would like to work with the owners on a compromise regarding the appearance and location of the ramp and compliance with any applicable codes.”
How about knocking on their door before sending the letter? You’re all “neighbors,” or at least you live close to each other, because this sure isn’t neighborly behavior. You’ll find the source, and a video news story, here.