Having a friends-with-benefits situation in your apartment building can be a great situation. No need for late-night Ubers; you can easily go home after, and the immediate convenience can be significant. Unfortunately, it can also become an unsuitable situation if things go wrong.
I had fooled around with a neighbor who happens to sit on the board of our building’s HOA. It wasn’t an issue until recently when I declined to fool around with him. I learned that he had been dating some girl, and as far as I can tell, she does not know that he has an (ex)-FWB (friends with benefits) in the building.
Feeling uncomfortable about the FWB arrangement, I politely told him my reasons for saying NO to a request for a 'quick beej.' I had to remind him very calmly and rationally that he cannot 'grandfather in' casual sex when he is in a relationship with someone else. Life does not work that way.
Well, I think he’s angry. I can’t prove it without many expensive legal fees that I don’t think are worth the squeeze. In short, he sits on the HOA board, and I am sure he is an influential voice on the architectural improvement committee. This is the committee that residents have to submit unit alteration applications to for approval (yes, even for something like wall-mounting TVs or putting a planter on the balcony).
One of the items that need pre-approval is outdoor furniture. When I saw this set I liked for an outdoor refresh, I placed the order because I thought it would be approved without problems. I imagined it was pretty pro-forma: fill out the application, ensure it is heavy enough that it won’t fly off the balcony and hurt someone on the street, and bam - approved. It was a limited sale and an excellent deal.
Then I got the rejection on Friday. To make matters worse, the furniture had already been delivered because it took the HOA forever to review the application. The committee said that the color of the sunbrella cushions was not 'consistent with the aesthetic of the common spaces,' so they couldn't approve it.
I immediately replied with a question: why did unit X get approved for their teal cushions, and mine got denied? They replied that it was an oversight; moving forward, they would not allow unapproved colors anymore.
I KNOW it was him. I can’t prove it without getting an attorney and alleging inconsistent application of HOA rules, deposing them, and finding out. But again, the juice is not worth the squeeze. I can get new neutral cushions, but I can’t return my fun cushions, and I’m out several hundred dollars because of it. This sucks so much.
The internet has thoughts on HOAs.
Disclaimer: current HOA board member who knows too much about our nonsense. So, first off, your HOA should have official records. Any decisions on the architectural control committee are part of those official records, including emails concerning those decisions. You, as a member, have access to those records, and they cannot refuse you access.
So, request to see the records of your refusal, and you’ll know immediately if he was involved. He should have recused himself after disclosing his conflict of interest - if he didn’t, tell the rest of the board of directors, and they’ll quickly fold to your request. Or even request his resignation, which seems like it would all be for the best.
All that aside, I should note that most states must respond to your request for a proposed architectural change within thirty days. If they didn’t respond quickly enough, you can move forward with the change, and they can go pound sand. Given your note they took forever to respond, they might have already effectively forfeited their right of refusal to your request.
Check your by-laws. There might be a time requirement for their approval/rejection. If they took too long, it might be automatic approval.
If you want to resolve your HOA approval issue quickly, send an email to the official email account asking if your recent refusal of approval was related to you refusing to give a BJ to a sitting member of the HOA board and CC a local attorney.
OP, you definitley shouldn't be punished for saying no! Maybe ask for records and contact an attorney to teach this guy to not sh*t where he eats.