Auburn, CA – A homeowner’s association has taken the “open doors” concept just a bit too far, in the opinion of its residents.
The Auburn Greens Unit 1 Homeowners Association (AGHOA) sent a notice out to homeowners telling them they have to leave their garage doors open all day or face administrative charges and fines from the AGHOA.
Residents received a notice, taped to their garage doors, which said the doors must be left open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
Homeowners were very frustrated with what many called an unreasonable policy.
"This will just be an open door policy and saying, 'Welcome, take what you want,'" said neighbor Shally Ia, who told KCRA she planned to keep her garage door closed.
"I have nothing to hide. I understand somebody had people living in the garage. I don’t. I am following the rules," Ia said. "All I am asking is a reasonable way to get around this. If you want to do a monthly, bi-monthly inspection of my garage, I have nothing to hide. If I have something that's being stored in there and you don’t like it I’ll remove it."
The property management company, Eugene Burger Management Corporation, which manages Auburn Greens had no comment, but a spokesman for the California Association of Homeowners Associations told KCRA that it's possible for an HOA to create this kind of rule.
He added that California civil code sets the laws for making rule changes, which typically require a vote of the owners, KCRA reported.
It has not been reported whether the rule change was done according to AGHOA rules, and nobody was available at the management office to answer questions for homeowners or reporters.
In the meantime, residents were doing what they could to protect the property they usually store in their secured garages.
Fred Waidtlow cleaned out his garage on Thursday, and moved things he didn’t want to risk having stolen to inside his home.
"If we have to have this open from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, anybody can help themselves and steal you blind. And they do it in this Auburn Greens complex," Waidtlow told KCRA, sounding frustrated.
Some residents didn’t plan to follow the policy and risk a burglary, regardless of the penalty.
"Fine, let me give you the $200 fine right now," Ia told KTXL.
Homeowners are preparing to share their opinion of the new garage door policy at the next HOA meeting, scheduled in two weeks. If they don’t get satisfaction then, homeowners would have to file a civil suit to change the policy.
Would you follow the HOA rule and risk the fine? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments below.