HOA Vows Steep Fines To Homeowners Who Don't Keep Garage Doors Open

Homeowners were angry about a new policy that required them to leave their garage doors open.

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.

Board member Norma Brewer told KCRA that the policy was put in place back in October of 2017 after the HOA found out that somebody was letting people live in their garage.

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.

Ia told KTXL that there’s no point in having a home with a garage if she’s prohibited from closing the doors.

"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.

Comments (23)
No. 1-23
libbie
libbie

I think HOA

libbie
libbie

'

Patricia
Patricia

Not only would I follow the HOA rule, I would encourage my neighbors to join me in the installation of tiny, inexpensive video cameras to watch all activity on the block from 8 am to 4 pm until there is enough evidence of attempted burglaries to demand a change in the rule. Wouldn't it be ironic if a board member or somebody in their family were caught burglarizing their own neighborhood?

libbie
libbie

I think HOA" is Socialism. People should be able to do things to their homes the way they want to.

searchgal
searchgal

I have a couple friends who own a few rentals in this complex. They didn't know anything of this new rule until I let them know after it was already in place. From what I understand (and have seen in photos and a posted lease agreement) is the garage units are allowed one working vehicle in their garage and all loose items must be stored inside the locked storage. Garage units have a wall of lockable cabinets. This new rule essentially turns them into carports with locked storage during the daytime hours. I suppose they'll have to keep bicycles and child riding toys inside the house. It's a higher crime neighborhood (burglaries, weapons etc) with afforable rents but has made great improvements over the years from what I've seen. It's next to the hospital and near the shelter where there is alot of foot traffic. I have seen multiple transients coming and going through this complex all day and night. If I "had to" live there, and paying for a garage unit, I'd want to keep my door down for extra protection, but on the other side, I would be very uncomfortable with my neighbors housing transients in their garage.