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NH women sued by condo board for maintaining flower garden

posted at 4:47 pm on March 24, 2012 by

“When you wanna say I love you/Say it with flowers,” an old song lyric advises. But a New Hampshire woman who tried to say it with flowers was told by her condo board to put a sock in it.

CBS Boston reports:

Kimberly Bois’ tiny front yard garden isn’t much to look at right now. But in a few weeks, it’ll be in full bloom, and every blossom will cost her dearly.

Even though she says her builder gave her permission to do a little planting, the current condo board now says she’s in violation.

They’re charging the Portsmouth, New Hampshire homeowner $50 a day for being so petal pushy. That fine has reached close to $6,000, plus the board’s legal fees [totaling $13,800].

According to Bois, the association’s bylaws don’t expressly prohibit planting flowers on your property, but board members have told her they want all the units to look the same. What’s a rugged nonconformist to do?

Bois claims that she has asked members of the condo board to sit down with her and see if they can hash out a mutually satisfactory solution, but her requests have fallen on deaf ears. Each month, the board officiously sends her a certified letter with the same demand: that she dig up her garden. Each successive letter also contains an updated running total of her fines.

But the level of hostility reached a new high last month when Bois—who is at the end of her tether—spoke to a realtor friend about the selling the property. It was then that she discovered the condo board had placed a lien on her townhouse to cover the cost of their fines.

The eyesore in Bois’ front yard is pictured here, in case you wondering about it.

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Since her landscaping looks fabulous and increases the value of her property, it seems to me that the other folks should be asking her help in doing a bit of landscaping for all the condos, so they can all reap the benefits of increased value. Simple!!!

I’ve seen a picture of her place in context of her neighbors and they all look really bad.

AdrienneS on March 24, 2012 at 5:26 PM

According to Bois, the association’s bylaws don’t expressly prohibit planting flowers on your property,

Then what right do they have to do this? She should sue their @sses off.

rbj on March 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM

I have to say, any person who is in a place where they are UNDER this sort of stuff, think about your rights might not be yours if you are in this place? You can’t have a flag, garden, flowers, etc. I guess some have to be in this gosh horrible mess to live someplace, but by golly this is not right? I hope this lady gets her flowers.
L

letget on March 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

The members of this condo board are blooming idiots.

Perhaps they feel threatened by Kimberly Bois’ flowers.

JohnFLob on March 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM

blooming idiots, its time to reseed peoples thinking re: condos and HOA setups.

dmacleo on March 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Most likely, the opposition to her flowers has to do with making the other condo owners look, shall we say, not as good. The result is that her condo value goes up with respect to her neighbors, or, if they happen to be glass-half-empty types, makes her neighbors values go down with respect to hers. That’s why the condo board insists that every unit look the same.

There’s an governmental/economic lesson in here somewhere…

Ace ODale on March 25, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Liens bother me, at least the way they work now.

They shouldn’t be something you just find out about when you try to sell your house. There should be some form of notice sent to the address, giving you the opportunity to fight it.

I know more than a couple people who had liens placed on their house on accident (they were supposed to be against someone with almost the same name.) Because of the way it works, they had to just pay the liens, because at that point it was cheaper than fighting them.

This is especially relevant in this instance, when the money is not truly owed to the condo board. A chance to fight the lien before it was placed might have resulted in this whole issue being resolved.

FlareCorran on March 25, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Haven’t the condo board members read the New Hampshire motto? Live Free or Die. It should be amended to Bloom Free or Die. What a bunch of jerks. I see more of this in the future.

Commonsense13 on March 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM