Letter Re: Private Gated Communities May Not be Gated After All

Hi Jim,
Due to the real estate slump and the poor economy, my wife and I are trying to unravel our mess of real estate investments. One thing we did, was to abandoned our McMansion in a rural area near Seattle, Washington. It was a new four thousand square foot custom home in a gated community. All the other houses were as large and some significantly larger. We had abandoned the house about a year ago after failing to sell it for what we owed, and have not made any house payments since then. We also chose not to pay the home owners association dues which is there to maintain the landscaping and the automatic gates.

Last week we received a letter from the gate maintenance company. they repair and service the gates. They sent a contract to each of the houses behind our particular gate requesting us to pay them month service fees in order to have the gates that were owned by the neighborhood to be operational.

Apparently, the association had several people not pay the yearly fees and they have decided to keep the landscaping maintained, but not the gates.

My point is that these are a very false sense of security. I know for fact that if power is lost, the gates automatically open. and the power can be turned off usually by an unlocked power panel behind some bush nearby the gate. I thought this was interesting and wondered if any other people had this same experience. – Brad S.