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HOA threatens lawsuit over homeowner’s wheelchair ramp

The pros and cons of HOAs

A Brentwood, Tennessee homeowner’s association is threatening to sue a family if they don't take down a wheelchair ramp in the next week. Per KPHO:

Charlotte Broadnax retrofitted her house with a small ramp after her husband Michael Broadnax suffered a stroke late last summer.

As a result, the homeowners association for the Woodlands of Copperstone is threatening to sue.

"The association demands that within 14 days of the date of this letter, you remove the wheelchair ramp and restore the exterior of your home," Charlotte Broadnax said, reading from the letter.

" [The Declaration] authorizes the association to come onto your property and remove the ramp and charge you with the work," Charlotte Broadnax read.
The letter then reads, "If you force the association to sue you, it will seek a court order" and charge the Broadnax's for attorney's fees

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a homeowner has experienced issues with an HOA. 

HOA super liens are an issue as of late. The court recently upheld a law that allows homeowners associations to foreclose on homes ahead of first-mortgage providers, giving HOA assessments “super-lien” status that extinguishes first deeds of trust.

There is a constant debate over the true pros and cons of living in a HOA. While some buyers view HOA rules negatively, others say the regulations protect home values and the community for everyone, an article from Bankrate said.

At least for the Broadnax family, the situation appears to be looking up.

Kathleen Sutherland, director of training and technical services at Ghertner and Company,which manages the homeowners association, sent the following statement to Channel 4.  

"The governing documents for this community require that all exterior improvements receive prior approval. A letter was sent to the owner regarding the ramp as no application for approval had been received.

"The board did not know the ramp was for the homeowner, Mr. Broadnax. The association would like to work with the owners on a compromise regarding the appearance and location of the ramp and compliance with any applicable codes."

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