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My home business in an "association" community

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I run my business out of my home. I am legal and licensed as well as insured. I live in a town home community that has an association that is a pain in my butt. When I first got licensed I even got a zoning permit (home based occupancy permit) through my local boro. I never even thought to check with the association. I have been doing this for a year now and I recently got a letter from the association to cease all business out of my home as I am not allowed to have a business under the association law. They even went as far to write a letter to the dept. of Agriculture telling them that the association does not allow home business. The lady at the dept. of ag called me and said that this isn't her jurisdiction and as far as they are concerned this isn't their concern-I am legal in their eyes. There is no way I can cease all operations...I have many wedding cake orders booked through the next year. I am a successful small business. This just makes me so mad! I am not sure what to do. I am in no way ready to get a commercial shop for many reasons...no money saved, no equipment, etc. Just not sure where to go from here!
Proud mommy to my three girls...
Julianna-7
Isabella-5
Emmaleea-4
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Proud mommy to my three girls...
Julianna-7
Isabella-5
Emmaleea-4
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post #2 of 40
we are military and my husband is due to retire next year. we are planning on retiring in the san antonio area and i plan on having a home-based business...but, you know what?...there is no way on this earth that i am going to be associated with the HOA!!! my husband had always wanting something with a lot of land and not so close to neighbors. i was the one that wanted the "community thing" but, you know what...if i want to have my own home business, it can't be in an HOA community. when i read your post i couldn't believe that you were even allowed to do it. well, i hope your neighbors will mind there business and let you tend to yours. as for me...i am emailing my real estate agent and telling him that we do not want anything to do with the HOA! there may be some benefits to being a part of that, but for people who want to start a home business, that's not the way to go...at least for me it isn't!
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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post #3 of 40
How did they even know you were working from home? Do you having someone watching you as you walk out to your car with cakes boxes or something?

No one flame me for saying this but......

Do you know anyone that owns a restaurant that would write your association a letter saying that you bake there and then just keep your license the way it is just to get them off your back?
Oh, Bother!
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Oh, Bother!
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post #4 of 40
Take a look at your HOA rules and regs. to see if it IS excluded.
If it is then I'd lease some time at a church kitchen or hall or restaurant.

Sorry to hear of your problems....
post #5 of 40
Maybe the association doesn't want the extra "traffic" of pick-ups. Is it possible to deliver everything or meet down the street? I have heard another person here on CC that meets at the end of her road because of this problem. I would not live anywhere where some stupid neighbors made the rules for what I can and cannot do in my home or yard. thumbsdown.gif I hope you are able to get the issue resolved.
Sometimes I wish my hubby were a cookie. Then when he ticked me off I could just bite off his head.
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Sometimes I wish my hubby were a cookie. Then when he ticked me off I could just bite off his head.
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post #6 of 40
Hi Sbcakes, I live in a subdivision that has a HOA...I hate it and they arent even abiding by their own bylaws...According to the bylaws that all homes that come into the subdivision are suppost to be under one bylaw...well they arent..they are separate from us...they have it in phases and each phase according to their own judgement has their own bylaw...wrong...it is suppost to go by the first one...

Anyway, I had a business out of my home that I was selling Avon...I put up a sign in my yard that was under the codes stated in the bylaws...they tried to make me take it down but i refused and i left it there...They couldnt do anything to me because it was under the limits...They also said that I couldnt have a business and I did and they still couldnt/wouldnt do anything...HOA are very iffy...Does your HOA pay taxes on the dues collected? There are alot of HOA laws that you can check into...I refuse to pay my HOA dues because they arent even abiding by their own laws...They tried to put a lein on my house after my husband had filed bankruptcy...i didnt find out about the lein until 5 months after they had supposedly filed it...We spoke w/the treasurer the other day because she had called us and we told her we were not going to pay until all of the phases are together in this...My husband talked to her for a long time and she is now backing out of the board because she could get held liable for anything that comes down...we have a shady HOA...

Hope everything works out for you.
Religion is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions
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Religion is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions
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post #7 of 40
Hubby and I moved into a new (to us) home last May. We looked and looked and loookedddd...

One of the things we told our realtor was there was NO way we'd live where we'd be goverend by a HOA. If I'm going to pay for the house, upkeep, taxes and insurance, by golly I'm going to have a clothesline in the corner of my back yard I can hang my sheets on!

We live in a lovely home on a corner lot in an awesome little town. When I walked into our home for the first time with the realtor I knew I was HOME!
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck
~~~
If God is for us, who can be against us?
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When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck
~~~
If God is for us, who can be against us?
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post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by diane

we are military and my husband is due to retire next year. we are planning on retiring in the san antonio area and i plan on having a home-based business...but, you know what?...there is no way on this earth that i am going to be associated with the HOA!!! my husband had always wanting something with a lot of land and not so close to neighbors. i was the one that wanted the "community thing" but, you know what...if i want to have my own home business, it can't be in an HOA community. when i read your post i couldn't believe that you were even allowed to do it. well, i hope your neighbors will mind there business and let you tend to yours. as for me...i am emailing my real estate agent and telling him that we do not want anything to do with the HOA! there may be some benefits to being a part of that, but for people who want to start a home business, that's not the way to go...at least for me it isn't!



I saw your post the other day about moving to Texas - just so you know. You cannot have a home bakery ANYWHERE in Texas and do it legally. It is illegal PERIOD. Go through the archives... no home bakers are licensed and it seems Texas is one of the strictest states in enforcing these laws too.
Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
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Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 40
I kind of have the same problem. my husband and i just moved to the country into our neighbors childhood home. I just found out that I can't put a shop on our property because of the contract he signed with the neighbor. I can work out of my kitchen (they don't care about that) I just can't put like a trailer or anyother building with the purpose of making a shop because we bought the house and property to be a single family home. There is no zoning out here and it really cheeses me that my elderly neighbors can dictate what I do with my property. I hope you find a way to stick it to the man and they leave you alone.
Best of luck.
Erin


"I don't roll on Shabbos."
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Erin


"I don't roll on Shabbos."
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post #10 of 40
sbcakes thats a shame.I can not believe you are so legal and this association is messing with you,seems a bit twisted to me.I myself would have never thought to check with them as well.I agree that it might be a trafficing issue,but have you ever had any neighbors complain?and how do you supose the association found out about you?Maybe you could overwhelm them by presenting them with a petition to keep your buissness afloat.Good luck let us know what happens.
Happy Baking
you've got to have a PASSION to relieve the stress..mine is cake!!!
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you've got to have a PASSION to relieve the stress..mine is cake!!!
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post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgdqueen

Maybe the association doesn't want the extra "traffic" of pick-ups. Is it possible to deliver everything or meet down the street? I have heard another person here on CC that meets at the end of her road because of this problem. I would not live anywhere where some stupid neighbors made the rules for what I can and cannot do in my home or yard. thumbsdown.gif I hope you are able to get the issue resolved.



I live in a town home association too. (Too expensive to buy a single home here - gotta pay over $600,000 for that... this was expensive enough at $400,00).. Anyway, we have rules too about businesses - no traffic rules. So, I deliver my cakes with the occasional pick-up (like once every 6 months so far!). It's easier for me anyway actually. I can be more sure the cake arrives undamaged and I don't have to have all the cake mess cleaned up for visitors. I can clean later when the toddler goes down for a nap instead of rushing around all morning.

Melissa
Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
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Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
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post #12 of 40
First, look at your HOA's restrictive covanents to find out exactly what the rules say and what the penalty is for breaking the rules. Then, contact the president of your HOA and invite him/her (and spouse if it's a guy) over for coffee (and cake) to discuss the situation. Most HOA's have a provision in the bylaws for exceptions to rules, it typically needs to be voted on by the membership. Ask the president about the process for an exemption & what you need to do. Be prepared to explain how your business does not negatively affect the community, and if it does be ready with ways that you can change your business practices to accomodate the HOA (for example, if you have lots of customers parking on the street while they pick up cakes, perhaps you could arrange to deliver instead). Try to stay calm & remember that you agreed to follow the HOA covanent when you purchased your home (even if you didn't realize that rule existed). The best you can do is try to work with the HOA and hopefully end up with a good solution.

Good luck - I really hope it all works out for you. Sounds like you have an awesome business!

Bec
Two peanuts were in the park the other day. One of them was a salted.
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Two peanuts were in the park the other day. One of them was a salted.
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post #13 of 40
We've heard of many HOA's rules that are being overturned .... HOA's cannot make a "rule" that supercedes a "law". I believe one example we heard about was TV antennae's .... HOA said no antennae's which means the people HAD to buy cable .... courts said the HOA could not dictate what services the homeowners could or had to buy.

I question the rule that says "no signs" except for-sale signs. This means you can't put political signs in your yard, which prohibits your participation in the political process, i.e. "political freedom of speech".

I also often wonder about the "excess traffic" rules .... how do they impose this? Let's say I babysit my grandchildren every day .... for no money, so it's not a busines. My daughter arrives twice a day to drop off and pick up the kids. Will my neighbors say my daughter can't "visit" me every day because that's too much traffic? What is too much? What if I have a big family? I am the oldest of 6 kids .... is there a limit on how many of my siblings can drive to my door every week?

Some "rules" sound good, but how enforceable are they?

Good lord, Seinfeld did a number of episodes on the ridiculousness of Association rules!
post #14 of 40
Well to play devils' advocate....you do enjoy the benefits of an hoa as well...you do not get to choose which rules you like and don't unfortunately. An HOA protects you from people with mile high grass, refrigerators on the porch and keeps the common areas clean. HOA's add to the value of your home by keeping the neighborhood community you live in a presentable fashion.

When you moved in you undoubtably signed the HOA form saying you read and agreed to abide by the rules. You probably won't be able to get out of it now. Your best bet is to call them and see how to work around their issues. Maybe it is jsut the traffic thing. As far as trying to sneak around them (i might consider that myself icon_evil.gif ) they are probably going to be watching you like a hawk.

Best wishes. Julia
post #15 of 40
If they want to complain about you working from home, that means they can't allow ANYONE to work from home - including telecommuters. As long as you aren't turning your home into a storefront, I don't see how they have a leg to stand on.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
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