Background

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Background

Sometimes all you want is some revenge. Even if it is years in the making. Especially if the revenge is because someone tried to take advantage of you or someone you care about. Slow and steady wins the race, right? "Randy" definitely beat the system when an HOA got greedy and went back on their promises. He showed them they are not all-powerful. So if you need to live vicariously through someone who got revenge on a deserving party, look no further. This revenge is complex and oh so worth it. Just like a roast cooking for 10 hours, revenge brewing over a decade tastes delicious.

Randy bought a piece of property, a former farm. It had been divided into separate properties and he bought a section “near the back entrance, joining into a dirt road that ran past.” He was hoping to farm the land but it wasn't in the cards for him and he ended up building a home once other owners of lands near him started a “municipal suburb.” They wanted to be able to live on the lands they bought without it being farming land. Randy supported this and they all “agreed to put in tarred roads, water and electricity if a certain percentage of the properties were developed.” There was a construction company one of the owners was familiar with who offered to build houses if there was a certain minimum who wanted them. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. One of the Organized Owners even wanted to buy a portion of Randy's land. He decided to sell the portion and use the money to build the dream house he wanted.

A few years went by and over the course of those years, Randy's mother moved in. He decided he would divide his property once more so he could give her some land to build a small house on. However, the paperwork went through, and then his mother passed. Although he didn’t build on the land, it was technically separate from his main property, but still in his name.

Randy decided to leave the land and rent out the house. Shortly before the big move, the Owner he had sold the property to began discussing the idea of starting an HOA. Randy was against the notion of an HOA and decided not to join. He was leaving anyway, so there was no reason to join when a person would be renting the property.

He never regretted this decision.

The Catalyst

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The Catalyst

It was about two years after Randy had moved out and began renting his property out when the other Owner, “Todd” called him again. They wanted to change the roads leading into the neighborhood to promote security. Since Randy’s property was along the road they wanted to make the main road, they were still pressuring him to become a part of the HOA. He declined, but they had other wishes as well. They wanted to post a guard at the entrance to the neighborhood, but the guard shed would have to be built on Randy's property. Randy was happy to let them do these things, but he would need to be compensated since they would be building on and using his land. They agreed the HOA would pay Randy a month due of $35 and also provide lawn maintenance since they were occupying the land. It was a great agreement and worked well for both parties. Until it didn't.

It was over a decade of this and mostly no issues. And then it all began to fall apart. Although they had contacted him numerous times about joining the HOA, there had been no reason for him to want to join. And he was adamant against it. He thought the current deal they had worked out was working great, and why ruin a good thing? However, a few years ago, there was an incident that set everything ablaze. Throughout all of these years, the same tenant had lived in the property. One month there was a series of shots fired outside the windows and the tenant's young child was frightened. This set of a series of extreme circumstances into action, leading to the downfall of the smug HOA.

The Dishonest Deeds

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The Dishonest Deeds

Both the HOA and the tenant asked Randy to join the HOA. They wanted there to be a privacy wall built around the whole HOA property and Randy’s land would be the missing piece. Because they knew it would be a tough sell to him, they offered no rules, stipulations, or dues if he would join so the wall could be built. He agreed.

“It took a little over a year to build the wall and get everything completed.” And it was only a month later when the tenant received a letter from the HOA. It was a warning about his dog barking. The tenant informed the HOA he was exempt from their rules as was formerly agreed. They “told him they had canceled the exemptions and he had 30 days to comply.”

When his tenant told him about this, Randy decided to open the letters the HOA had been sending him, but he did not think he would need to open them. He was shocked. Their demands were startling.

They were claiming he owed late fees and would need to pay back what they had paid to him for the guard station on his property because it was now HOA land and being used for the good of the community. They also stated he would need to pay them back for the lawn service they had provided. And he would need to pay the fines for any infractions done by his tenant.

It was time to get professionals involved. And Randy hired lawyers to assist in deliberating what to do.

Unfortunately, they said the HOA had the “right to revoke the exemptions, but they had to give [him] 30 days' notice.” Randy was frustrated enough, but his neighbor Todd was out to get him and loved to mock Randy for not joining the HOA at the start. He told Randy, “next time [you] should be sure to understand the documents [you] sign before signing them.”

This got Randy thinking. It was time to really read through the forms he signed. There had to be a way to fight against the HOA. Randy was determined to read the documents meticulously until he found every loophole. He didn’t even need to read past the first page before he realized what had been done.

The Malicious Compliance

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The Malicious Compliance

“While the street address of the property is used to identify it for all practical purposes, in the city records it has a unique property number used on legal records.” As we know, Randy had subdivided his property to build a house for his mother, but never went through with the building. However, the property had its own address and this was the address he gave to the HOA when they were building the guard station all those years ago. When they drafted the HOA paperwork, they used the same address and specific property number. He had caught them.

Todd drove over an hour to where Randy was living and delivered a 30-day notice until the exemptions would expire, and the easement would no longer be needed. This was basically telling him they wouldn't be paying him any longer because they had a right to his property.

Randy knew what he had to do. It was exactly 30 days, down to the hour (he wanted to make them sweat a little) when he knocked on Todd’s door. He just so happened to be the HOA leader. Randy offered Todd two documents to sign. The first was a detailed plan to build a house on the HOA property, and the second was a notice they would be given 30 days to remove all building and signage on his property. Without a word, Randy left as Todd was left stammering in shock.

It was the next morning when Randy received a call from the HOA lawyer to inform him the building and signage would be staying on Randy’s “unused” land. Randy explained he was planning to build a house and the land would definitely be being used.

The lawyer had a smirk in his voice when he told Randy, “building a second house to be spiteful would not be accepted by the courts.”

Randy showed his cards and told the lawyer, “the property in question did not have a house, and was, in fact, barely large enough for a house to be built and would not be large enough for any extraneous buildings.”

Randy told him to go look up the property and then call him back, knowing he had only subdivided enough property for a house to be legal.

They called him back in five days. The lawyer did everything he could to make Randy surrender. But Randy showed the proof of them stating the easement contract would expire, as per their request. They were stuck and knew it. Todd tried to reach out to offer a talk over lunch, but Randy was smarter than to accept a manipulative offer. Even the lawyers were trying to get him to agree to more exclusions from HOA rules so they could still use the property, but Randy was not giving in.

Less than 10 days before their warning period was over, a different lawyer, “Ron,” contacted Randy saying “he wanted to negotiate a surrender.” Randy was curious and was already prepared with conditions to any agreement would be made, so he went to the lawyer's office. He gave his new offer conditions to Ron, which stated a few monumental conditions.

The Revenge

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The Revenge

Randy expected the old contract to be intact but made additions to it. The HOA would be responsible for keeping the property up to the HOA standard. The property rent would now be $500 per month and would adjust with inflation. If the contract was canceled for some reason they would owe him a fee of $7500. “The contract automatically terminated 30 days after any disciplinary action was taken against the [Randy], [the] tenant, or the property, any complaints were levied by the HOA against the property, or any legal action was taken against the property by anyone in the HOA.” Only Ron was permitted to provide mediation. And lastly, the HOA would pay any legal fees if any legal action whatsoever was taken against Randy.

Randy knew these were extreme demands. He had purposefully left in outlandish demands to lessen the blow of the ones he cared about. He hoped the lawyers would look over the contract and throw out the ludicrous requests, but leave in the important things. They had eight days to get to an agreement.

They wasted no time at all, as he received a call in the evening. Todd was furious. He tried to whine and complain about the amount of money Randy was asking for and said they wouldn't sign. Randy assured Todd he wasn’t being forced to sign anything, but they both knew the outcome if it wasn't finalized.

It was the next morning when Randy got a call from Ron saying they were ready to sign a contract. It turned out Ron was actually a paralegal and not a lawyer. Randy took his time to read over every word but was startled when he realized not a thing was changed. They had left in every demand. And Todd and Ron had already signed.

Randy exclaimed, “Why did he sign this? It was stupid to sign it!"

Ron said, "I started telling him signing it would be a bad decision, but he told me I wasn't being paid to think or give legal advice, and to shut up. So I shut up."

Randy replied, “Do you understand what he's signed here?”

“I asked him if I should have one of the lawyers look at it before giving it to you, and he told me we had already billed enough for this and he'd sign it and sue me after their easement was safe," Ron responded.

“It took six months for the HOA to find out how [deep in] they were.”

It All Paid Off, Literally

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It All Paid Off, Literally

The HOA wanted to jump straight to suing Randy but they couldn’t because they would lose as they had signed the contract. The monstrous mistake they had made was agreeing to pay any legal fees if legal action was taken against Randy because it was not exclusive to just HOA legal action. It was vague enough to mean ANY legal action was taken against Randy. Although it was a long shot it would hold up in court if it wasn’t HOA-related, they would have to argue in court and they did not want to risk it.
Randy turned Todd’s words back on him saying “he should not sign documents unless he understands what he's signing. He didn't look pleased.”

And so the contract stayed, with only a few fixes to address the larger concerns. However, the HOA was still obligated to pay Randy every month. And they could not fight him on much lest they want to pay the legal fees associated with the action taken against him.

When the first mediation came along, since this was the only way anything could be discussed or agreed upon, Randy said it was “really quite funny.” The HOA had a problem with the “paddling pool” he had built on the property. He asked for a list of the fixes needing to be made. And when they got to the next meeting, they showed him an “extensive” list. “[He] asked them if there was any way to reduce costs on the work they needed to get it up to HOA standards, and they assured [him] there was not.” He then, “pulled out a copy of the agreement where they had agreed to ‘get the property to HOA standards’ (which was highlighted) and handed it to them with the list.” He let them know 30 days should be enough time to do what was required.

He had them in the palm of his hand and still does.

Following up on Todd the HOA leader. Well, he is now the former leader. He sold his property and is leaving the country. He had been sued by the HOA for “mismanagement as part of his vendetta” against Randy. Why had he been so bent on ruining Randy? He never found out.

Randy is content now and doesn’t do much to mess with the HOA since the only thing stopping them from canceling the contract is the massive financial loss if they do. But he is not above challenging them, more if they treat him or his tenant poorly again. In the end, Todd had been right the whole time: “You really shouldn't sign documents unless you understand what you are signing.”