Jase Robertson, a star of the hit show Duck Dynasty, got a bit sideways with his HOA for burning leaves and keeping chickens in his yard. As you might expect, Jase was sent covenant violation letters and seems to have been fined for these violations.
In an attempt to “flush these rules down the commode” and get "creative,” Jace and members of his family (armed with a casserole) attended a meeting of their HOA Board to discuss the issue. When his time came to speak, Jase stated that: “We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Chickens make me happy. They get insects. They fertilize your yard and if anything goes wrong, you can put them in a pot!”
The Board President calmly and professionally informed Jase that when he bought his home he signed a document stating that they are not allowed to burn leaves in their yard or keep chickens. Jase, understanding the governing documents of his association covered these issues, stated: “They got me. I signed the contract. I didn’t know that was in there.”
While the YouTube video showing highlights from the meeting is a bit of a hoot, there are great lessons to be learned from this example:
1. When buying a home in an HOA, make sure to first read the governing documents to determine whether you can live with the use restrictions and rules. If you can’t live with the restrictions, do not purchase the home! I promise you that those granite countertops and cherry cabinets you loved will not amount to a hill of beans if you are constantly in a battle with your HOA over covenant violations.
2. When you have an issue or concern in your HOA, communicate with the management or board about your concerns. In this case, Jase appropriately attended a meeting and made his thoughts and concerns known in a pleasant (and slightly eccentric) manner. He didn’t yell or engage in personal attacks. Likewise, the Board President responded in a professional (and slightly uptight) manner and didn’t personalize the criticism. Both of these men were appropriate and respectful in their communications.
Oh, and by the way, what kind of casserole do you think they brought to the meeting? Do you think it was chicken casserole? Hmmm . . .