Society

HOA Approves Paint Color Then Changes Its Mind

| by Michael Doherty
A picture of Zarate's mother's home.A picture of Zarate's mother's home.

A Colorado man was shocked when the same homeowners' association that had approved his request to paint his house a particular shade of green suddenly demanded he stop painting immediately.

Emmanuel Zarate was in the process of painting his mother's house in Lakewood with a grass-green shade of paint, after having the color approved by his HOA, when the same association told him to stop painting halfway through, according to KMGH. The resulting situation left his mother at risk of losing her homeowners' insurance.

HOAs are groups of homeowners in an area that have agreed to govern a particular small community of homes. Participation in an HOA is generally mandatory, and by purchasing a property governed by an HOA, a homeowner agrees to follow the HOA's rules as well as paying dues, according to Lawyers.com.

Zarate said the HOA had approved his paint color, and showed KMGH documents to confirm the approval -- but said that the president of the HOA told him to stop painting after he had already started.

"The president ... while we were in the process of painting ... came and told me to halt what I was doing," Zarate said. "He told me to stop what I was doing because we were getting too many neighbor complaints."

The HOA president reportedly had changed his mind about the color after seeing what it looked like once it was on the house. Zarate said the president had promised him he would pay for new paint in a different color.

"Tuesday came ... never saw him ... Wednesday came ... never saw him," said Zarate. "There were too many things going on and too much slow rolling with them," said Zarate, who added that he then decided to take his story to a local news station.

Rich Harrison, the president of the HOA, arrived at Zarate's mother's home after reporters began investigating the story. Harrison said he had spent days trying to contact Zarate's mother to resolve the paint situation.

"If they want us to change this color that's fine ... I'll come back and I'll paint it on my off days," Zarate told reporters. "On my spare time I'll come back and paint it like they want us to ... but I'm not footing the bill this time."

Harrison is reported to have said he would find a solution for the problem that satisfied both sides, even if it meant he would have to pay for the new paint. Harrison and Zarate later met at a Home Depot, and Harrison paid for a different paint color, this time in a more traditional shade.

Zarate said that the issue with the HOA left him strapped for time. He said his mother has been given until the end of the month to paint her home, or else her homeowners' insurance could be canceled.

Sources: WMGH, Lawyers.com / Photo credit: WMGH

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