Retired Homeowner Spends $11,000 On Lawsuit With HOA

MT. JULIET, Tenn. - A retired Mount Juliet man spent nearly $11,000 in a legal battle with his homeowners association and won. 

However, after the ruling, he said his neighbors refused to speak to him.

Oakley said, "Literally I'll walk past neighbors and they will not even knowledge or turn their back. I have some that will utter profanities at me. I have some that drive by and give me vulgar hand signs. I have some that come up screaming at me why don't I move?"

The court ruled that the HOA in the Seven Springs Estates neighborhood has to enforce their rules and covenants. 

Oakley said, "They are the sheriff. They don't make up the speed limit. They have the right to enforce it."

He said residents were parking commercial vehicles, RV's, and trailers in places they weren't supposed to. 

"If I wanted to live in campground of America I would have moved to campground of America," said Oakley.

Yet, for Oakley, the boats and parked RVs weren't his main cause of frustration. He felt his rights as a homeowner were being violated.

"I had no choice but to file suit. I have spent out of my pocket right at, $11,000 dollars to secure for myself and 65 other homeowners our legal property rights," said Oakley.

Since he thought he probably wouldn't get that money back, he didn't want to spend more time and effort in court. 

"I won the war but lost a battle," he said.

Some of his neighbors will be slapped with fines ranging from $25 to $75 per month if they don't abide by the covenants.

Oakley said he thought this would be their retirement home, but since his wife said she felt alienated in their neighborhood.

Oakley said, "It's regrettable. It's made my wife's life here miserable."

He hoped people who move to neighborhoods with HOA's will understand there are rules that they will need to follow.

Oakley said, "Property values do go up if there's no wrecked cars, no commercial vans, people not behaving the way they agree to, it's actually going to have a silver lining to it on a win win."

Shawn Worlow, the HOA president released the following statement:

According to Murlow the judge said Tennessee law does not require an HOA to enforce the covenants. They do not feel they have a legal obligation to enforce the covenants. 

NewsChannel 5 approached nearly half a dozen neighbors for comment, but none wanted to go on camera. 

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