Local 10 News in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently ran a story about a proud owner of a new Rivian R1T electric truck. Everything seemed to be going fine with the truck, and neighbors regularly stopped by to tell him how much they liked it. However, HOA managers, being the Super Karens they often are, can usually find a way to turn good things into nightmares.
A Florida man is being harassed by his HOA for owning a beautiful Rivian R1T pic.twitter.com/Q3rLL3QP9M
— ChargeGo (@ChargeGoGroup) December 18, 2022
The trouble started when Glenn Gordon, a resident of Weston, Florida, got a letter in the mail from his HOA manager. The problem? An obscure section in the HOA rules prohibits pickup trucks in front of homes. While decades ago pickup trucks used to be primarily for work, and commercial vehicles can be unsightly in neighborhoods, things have changed a lot since the HOA rules were made. Today, pickup trucks are extremely common, and generally aren’t seen as unsightly.
When he called property management (probably thinking they had made a mistake), they threatened him with fines and other court actions if he didn’t stash the truck somewhere else at night.
10 News reached out to the property management company to get their side of the story, and got basically the same thing the property owner said. Manager Jerry Engelhard asserts that the homeowner should have read the documents more carefully before buying a vehicle instead of complaining after buying.
One of the big reasons people give to justify the existence of HOAs is that they theoretically protect property values by forcing homeowners to keep up the appearance of their homes. But, in this case, the property owner points out that even more wild trucks like the Tesla Cybertruck are going to be coming out soon. If people aren’t allowed to own popular vehicles in the neighborhood, this could be what actually drops home values in the long run.
The good news both for homeowners in Florida HOAs and people who want to own an electric truck is that the HOA rules probably wouldn’t stand up in court. Attorney Andrew Ben says that in past court cases, rules against pickup trucks were found to be unlawful by at least one judge, who said that personal-use pickup trucks don’t carry the same negative connotations as commercial vehicles, and don’t negatively affect neighborhoods and home values.
In fact, 10 News and the lawyer were able to point to a case where an HOA not only lost the court case, but ended up owing $40,000 in attorney’s fees.
Some Common Sense Is Badly Needed
While there are many examples of idiotic and even criminal HOA management out there, this appears to be a case of someone just lacking common sense. While the plain text of the HOA rules may say that pickup trucks are prohibited, the rules are practically ancient in automotive terms. Anybody doing any thinking knows that a pickup truck is a very common vehicle in 2022, and has been for decades.
Acting like it’s still 1975 because someone in the 1990s copied-and-pasted HOA rules leads to HOA rules that make less sense than the average internet copypasta at times. Instead of being a turd, the HOA managers need to focus on things that actually cause problems in their neighborhoods instead of tilting at windmills.
Featured image by Rivian.
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