I purchased investment/retirement property several years ago which falls in a Home Owners' Association (HOA) or Property Owners' Association. At the time of purchase I was advised that I did NOT have to maintain the "lot" until I cleared the woods from the lot. I was, however, responsible for the HOA annual dues eventhough I was not benefiting from the funds because I did not live in the neighborhood. I have made every payment for the HOA "dues" every year on time.
Recently, the HOA decided that they could no longer use money from the HOA fund to cut private property lots (area from woods on the lot to the street) and began to make property owners responsible for cutting the area from the street to the "wood line". The HOA advised that they would NOT issue individual notifications to property owners that this grass was too tall, but they would cut this area and charge the owner $50.00 each time they cut this area. The HOA claims that to leave this area with tall grass, rodents, snakes and other unwanted animals would live there. Doesn't make sense, because these same animals will live in the woods just beyond the area the HOA wants maintained.
Does the HOA have the power to come on my own property, cut the grass and charge me whatever they want without notifying me that the area needs cutting first? I've made arrangements for someone to cut this area, however, if it isn't cut by the time the HOA wants, the HOA cuts the area and expects me to fit the bill. Unfortunately I live over an hour away from this development and I am unable to maintain this area myself, nor do I have the resources. Is this even legal??