Rivian R1T Owner Targeted by HOA for Parking in Their Driveway
HOAs are all about rules, but one Florida pickup owner isn’t going down without a fight.
A Rivian R1T owner is receiving grief from their Homeowner Association (HOA) for the grave misdeed of parking a truck in front of their house.
As reported by Local10, Glenn Gordon is a homeowner in the Weston Hills Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Having waited over a year after ordering his R1T, he finally took delivery and began falling in love with his new EV pickup. However, the joy of receiving the vehicle was met with frustration less than two weeks later. The HOA notified Gordon that he was not allowed to park his truck in front of his home overnight.
Such rules are typical in many suburbs under HOA jurisdiction. Typical rules ban parking pickup trucks or other "commercial" or "work" vehicles from being parked outside, ostensibly due to negative visual impact. Other restrictions typically involve trailers, boats, caravans, RVs, and the like. Weston Hills has restrictions on parking all these types of vehicles in the open. Instead, owners are required to park them inside garages or otherwise store them out of view.
Gordon moved to Weston Hills 27 years ago, and talked with the HOA to attempt to resolve the matter. “He said we will wind up getting fines and penalties, and until we remove it, they can even lien our house,” with Gordon adding that he could potentially lose his house over the matter.
Gordon was unaware of the rule before purchasing his truck. Complicating the issue, he lacks room in his garage to park the vehicle. Ultimately, Gordon wants the rules changed to reflect modern times. The HOA's regulations were written in the 1980s, with Gordon notes that trucks have become mainstream vehicles for personal use since then. He points out that such restrictive rules could discourage people from buying houses in the community. This could depress house prices, he suggests, the opposite effect the rules are intended to have.
In a voicemail message to Local10, Weston Hills HOA President Jerry Engelhard was unmoved by any arguments. Engelhard indicated that there is no issue with owning a truck, as long as it is parked inside a garage and not "sitting outside the house all day long." The HOA President further indicated that Gordon may not have bought the truck if he had read the HOA's rules when he moved in.
The battle seems likely to head to court, with Gordon enlisting an attorney over the matter. The crux of the case will come down to whether a regular pickup truck can be counted as a "commercial vehicle" if it lacks any markings and is solely for personal use.
Such arguments have found success before. A homeowner in Florida's Villas of Bonaventure sued the HOA over a similar matter, and won. As a further sting to the HOA, it had to cover the homeowner's legal fees, on the order of $40,000. That case didn't set an ironclad legal precedent. Regardless, it showed that judges aren't always willing to entertain the labyrinthine rules so commonly enforced by HOAs.
Gordon is unwilling to give up his new electric pickup truck, and is ready to fight the matter with the HOA. Given the fussy and often spurious complaints filed by HOAs around the country, it's likely Gordon's cause will be cheered on by many from afar. Simultaneously, those that simply can't stand seeing a pickup truck parked across the road will be hoping his challenge to the rules is unsuccessful.
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