Showdown: Me & the Homeowners’ Association
ORIGINALLY POSTED 3/24/10–I managed to smile coming back to school on Monday. I guess it’s sort of cheesy but I think each new day holds such promise that I can’t help but anticipate the various legal doctrines waiting for me in these classrooms. Spring Break was a success because I went in with a plan and stuck to it. My outlines are current for all four of my classes and the memory of the hours I spent outlining is still fresh in my head, so I’ve been diligent to continue all week. After all that work I did take a few days off to relax; the road trip with my mom and aunt was a blast.
This weekend I got a registered letter from my home owner’s association. This is never good—it’s either a bill or a complaint. Apparently “someone” has complained that my yard needs attention. Immediately my law student hackles are ruffled because while I’m accused of a “violation” I am denied the due process of knowing my accuser’s identity. Yes, I know I’m not accused of anything criminal, but still, there’s something un-American about that.
Moreover, to me my yard looks fine considering we’ve had one of the wettest winters ever. There have been times, admittedly, when it was shameful, but this is not one of those times. In my reply to the complaint I pointed out that I would happily mow, edge and weed my lawn but for the fact that it is still dormant. Thus, I presently have no lawn. Seeing as the first day of spring was Saturday (and it was rainy and cold) I argued that the state of my yard is consistent with what one would expect at this time in the season. I also suggested that the Association was either 1) camped out in front of my house stalking me, or 2) my newest neighbor has no life and is looking for non-issues to gripe about. The point being, there is a lot of gray area between a manicured and an overgrown, unkempt lawn and that’s where I fall; therefore, this is not a violation. Let’s see how far that gets me!