By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
WSMV Channel 4 recently broadcast a story about an unreasonable homeowners’ association rule. The video is making its rounds on social media.
This HOA horror story is particularly maddening, because this time, enforcing a “keeping uniform appearances” (KUA) rule perpetuates a safety hazard for children who live there.
An unnamed HOA in Tennessee is making a big stink about window coverings. You see, the builder installed blinds on windows of the townhouse community.
But a three-year-old girl nearly strangled herself on the cords. Her mother, Monica Meeker, was able to intervene just in time to save her daughter’s life. Understandably upset, and with an overabundance of caution, the Meekers removed the blinds from the child’s bedroom and hung cordless curtain panels instead. The family intended to replace all the window blinds with a safer alternative.
HOA standards vs. child safety
But then the builder that controls the HOA, Austin Daniel, informed the Meekers that curtains do not conform to the Association’s rules, which require identical blinds in all of the windows facing the street. The family is required to take down the curtains and reinstall the blinds.
According to Daniel:
We have to have certain standards in the community,” Daniel said.
Daniel said the association has a mechanism for changing the standards. Plantation shutters could be allowed if the Meekers received enough votes from other families in the subdivision.
Read full article and see video at: www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article93434422.html
So, according to the developer of this unidentified HOA, keeping strict aesthetic standards in this so-called community is more important than protecting the safety of children?
And instead of using common sense reducing the likelihood of a tragic injury or death, not to mention substantial legal liability for homeowners in the Association, Daniels is going to stick by his arbitrary window covering standards?
Folks, this is how far the housing industry has gone astray from common sense and decency.
The statement about taking an owner vote on allowing window covering alternatives is misleading. As long as the developer (Daniel) holds a controlling interest in the HOA, it is impossible for non-developer homeowners to outvote him.
Unless, of course, Daniel plans to abstain from casting his substantial voting interests on this issue.
Window Covering Safety Council