Homeowners say HOA forcing them to make thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs

Owners say most homes don't need to be repainted

VISTA, Calif. - Homeowners in the North County contacted 10News after they say their homeowners association is forcing them to make thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs to their homes.

Thousands of San Diegans live in communities run by HOAs, but some homeowners say their HOA is out of control.

"What's fair about punishing all of us?" said homeowner Sue Hannibal.

More than 300 letters went out to homeowners at Heritage & Legends in Vista, telling them they had to repaint their homes.  

"As you can see, my house doesn't need to be painted," said Hannibal. "My house is in perfect condition."

However, the HOA says otherwise. The bill to paint each single-family detached home is running about $2,500.

"I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a house that doesn't need to be painted anyway," said Hannibal. "I'm already in compliance with the CC&Rs."

The homes are less than 15 years old. The stucco is said to last longer – from 30 to 40 years – but that is not the only problem.

"Stucco shouldn't be painted anyway," said Hannibal.

She says she went on Google and found at least eight pages of reasons why you should not paint stucco.

"Paint suffocates the stucco and dries out the cement, which causes it to pull away from the house, resulting in bulging," said Hannibal as she read a finding from her online search.

Notices went out to each homeowner saying they had to repaint. Now the big question is legally, can the HOA ask and make the homeowner paint their home?

"I find it very unusual that a board would determine that all the homes in the community have fallen below some standard," said HOA attorney Mary Deutsch, who is with Deutsch and Associates. She says in most cases, these types should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

"To determine which homes within the community have fallen below what they determine to be an appropriate standard of appearance," said Deutsch.

Hannibal and several of her neighbors say they will fight this all the way to the end.

"Our position is that trying to make someone repair and maintain something that doesn't need to be repaired or maintained is outside the scope and is therefore illegal," she said.

The Property Community Management released a statement to 10News, which read in part, "The duty of the board of directors is to protect the property values and they want to make sure the homeowners properly maintain their homes."

They say they plan to have further discussions with the homeowners.

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