There are a lot of reasons to rag on homeowner's associations. When they're not making you get rid of your World War II Sherman tank, they're forcing you to keep your garage doors open all day in a bizarre quest to root out illegal tenants. Ah, the peace and quiet of the suburbs.
Fox 40 reports that the residents of Auburn Greens in Placer County, California were shocked to find notices taped to their doors informing them that their garage doors must be kept open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, effective immediately. The punishment for violating the rule is a $200 fine and an administrative hearing.
The unwanted open door policy reportedly came about after the homeowner's association discovered a neighbor was letting tenants live in their garage. Obviously, many residents have security-related concerns about the new rule, which offers no alternative means of protecting their belongings during the day. Some are ignoring the edict in protest, while others are getting proroactive.
"Fine, let me give you the $200 fine right now," neighbor Shally Ia told Fox 40. "Give me a month so I can get my stuff out, and I might as well clear everything out and leave the garage door open permanently because there is no point of having a garage door then."
Resident Fred Waidtlow echoed those sentiments to KCRA 3, telling the station that he'd already moved all of his belongings inside because the rule essentially made his garage useless.
"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," he said.
KCRA 3 made numerous attempts to chase down the authors of the notice, but the Auburn Greens Unit 1 Homeowner's Association has so far refused to comment on the matter. A legal expert contacted by the station said that while the policy isn't illegal by the book, a judge would likely strike it down as unreasonable if residents were to challenge it in court.
That's not much comfort to people like nine-year-old Jason, who told Fox 40 he's "still a little worried" about his stuff getting stolen.
"I don’t think it’s a good idea because they are going to steal my bike," he said. "I’ve got an electric scooter, I've got an electric wheelchair, I’ve got all kinds of stuff. So, I just don’t think it’s very good to have it open."