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Perception vs HOA Rules: Greensboro Woman Racks Up $7,000 in HOA Fines

Joyce Pennix didn't think her yard looked that bad but her HOA felt otherwise. Several notices were sent out but Pennix says she never saw them until a collection notice came in the mail.

The trees in neighborhoods all over the Triad are finally starting to turn green. Leaves are coming in and flowers are starting to bloom. It’s a time of year Joyce Pennix looks forward to, “I love to spend time outside gardening,” said Pennix.

Like many homeowners Pennix will spend the next few laying mulch and planting new flowers. This is also the time of year dead plants and shrubs need pulling up. The unusually wet winter combined with a record breaking snow storm in December did a number on many yards. 

The problem with some of these yards is that they have looked bad and messy for several months. The winter only masking a problem that goes back to the Summer or last Spring. One of those yards, according to her HOA belongs to Pennix, “I don’t have junk cars in the driveway, to me it’s an average yard,” said Pennix.

The HOA in her Greensboro community disagrees and actually sent a notice to Pennix toward the end of last. A second notice went out a month later and eventually a hearing notice was sent, “I never got a (hearing) notice,” said Pennix. The HOA says it sent several notices in hopes of getting Pennix to clean up the yard.

What Pennix did get was a letter from a collection agency earlier this year notifying her she owed more than $7,000 in fines and fees, “I don’t think I should have to pay $7,000,” said Pennix.

After not showing up for the hearing and not addressing the issues with her yard the HOA started fining Pennix $100 a day, “I think the insanity of it all is the amount of money, I cant wrap my head around $100 a day,” said Pennix.

The company that manages the HOA for the community agreed to meet out at Pennix’s house and show us the issues. The biggest problem is a fence that is in need of repairs and stabilizing. The fence is also without a gate on both ends, “The gates are the biggest area of need,” said Kay Thornton.

Thornton helps manage the community and works with residents to make sure every home looks nice. Along with the fence and gate Thornton pointed out a patch of dead plants, weeds in flower beds along the driveway and mold growing on one side of the house, “We will be sending out notices to a number of neighbors,” said Thornton.

Pennix reached out to News 2 in hopes we could help her work with the HOA and get the fines reduced. The case was already on hold but after talking with us Thornton confirmed that if Pennix gets the yard looking good she will recommend the HOA boards remove all or most of the fines, “We fine people to get their attention in hopes they will clean up the property,” said Thornton.

Pennix was given 60 days to fix the fence, install gates and clean up the yard to avoid further infractions, “Thank you so much (News 2), I really appreciate you helping me,” said Pennix.

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