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Subject: questions about hoa responsibilities
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Author Messages
NoelleB
(Texas)

Posts:1


04/09/2018 8:59 PM  
From what I see here the majority of you are employed by an HOA.
The issue I'm having is when we bought our home it was very clearly advertised with no HOA. When we went to see the house it was in a subdivision, which hoa's are expected. The agent told me the builder went bankrupt. Since there were only 50 homes and zero amenities I bought her bs. She also said since it had potential for growth that put us in a good position for helping bring an HOA in.
Fast forward to closing, we are told our HOA fees are $450 a year. I said no we were told no HOA currently existed, the realtor wasn't present, actually never saw her after the initial showing. We nearly walked out. The closing people show us a promise for amenities in the future. Including a splash pad. Being that we and another family, the sellers had been at this for months we signed.

Move in. Get a letter a week later about the lawn not being mowed. Mind you we hadn't even moved in yet. Mow the lawn. Two weeks later we have mold. I had no idea what they were talking about scrubbed an area I saw had mold. Get another warning about mold. Locate this tiny spot and take care of it, all the houses get it.

Settle in. Start talking to the neighbors about the coming amenities. They all share their struggles and warn me if I fight the HOA they will attack me. So I bring it up on the community board. The idea of forming our own HOA, even have an attorney willing to do this and elections to be held annually and be completely volunteer. I got the majority to agree, I also found out they manage the adjacent neighborhood. Got those people on board. An emergency meeting was announced and the rep manipulated us by promising a park be built in June of 2016. Still no park. No nothing. We pay $450 a year and the fence is broken, the palm trees are down, they dump trash next to our homes and leave it. When we have neighborhood conflicts they say not our problem. The expense breakdown is lawn care and postage. Anyone who complains gets attacked with letters.

From what I've read they are in violation of their contract and our HOA exist for job creation. They don't even mow the lawn they mow around it, which causes bugs and snakes to come onto our property. What can I do? I'm tired of being stolen from so are all my neighbors
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15999


04/09/2018 9:20 PM  
employed means receiving pay and benefits.
I do not get paid and have zero benefits from the HOA.
I suspect most on here are the same.

Volunteers work without pay and benefits.
I am a volunteer.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


04/10/2018 5:15 AM  
We are ALL volunteers in a HOA. You also are a member of the HOA. It sounds more like your having issues with the Management company than the HOA. The HOA is you and all your neighbors. So if the board who represents you and your neighbors isn't doing their job (volunteer) or have hired a Management company, time to think of removal.

Read your CC&R's and By-laws. Plus the Articles of Incorporation. It's time to get educated on what a HOA is and your role in it.

Former HOA President
CarolF
(Florida)

Posts:406


04/10/2018 6:26 AM  
I served on our HOA Board for 8 years. No one on the Board gets paid (it is prohibited in FL by state law). I'm not sure who the group you refer to as "They" are. There is obviously some management going on - who is doing it?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15999


04/10/2018 6:41 AM  
Noelle,

Is your development still being built out?
KimberlyW2
(Tennessee)

Posts:26


04/10/2018 7:04 AM  
Who is THEY?

YOU are the HOA.

I also agree you need to read your CC&R's and By-Laws from front to back and it would be a great idea to research exactly what an HOA is and how things should operate. Should be the key word.

If you are receiving violation notices- clearly there is an operating board of directors in place- or a management company working on behalf of the developer.

Seems there are many unknown layers to this.

Hope you can find some answers. And, btw when and if you do decide to take part as a volunteer for your HOA ( in whatever capacity ) you are never, ever a paid employee- but, be prepared it is a thankless "job". Just a heads up!

Good luck!
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


04/10/2018 7:57 AM  
NoelleB,
Your post suggests the Developer may still be in control in order to protect their investment. If that is the case it may be difficult unless the Developer is willing to work with the homeowners.

What you can do is to learn from your mistakes. There is a saying "Buyer be ware". You obviously did not do adequate research before buying. Before taking any further action I suggest you begin by becoming educated about your community's Governing Documents, i.e.:
The Declaration of CC&Rs which set up the community and controls the Property;
The Bylaws which control the organization (HOA) which enforces the CC&Rs; and
The Rules and Regulations which further define restrictions in the CC&Rs.

BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:95


04/10/2018 11:12 AM  
Noelle,

Texas actually has quite a few statutes in place regarding the conduct of mandatory Associations.

It sounds like your community is still in the development stage, which means the Board of Directors is controlled by the declarant or developer. You cannot form "your own" HOA under these circumstances. Read your governing documents, and learn when the community will transition to homeowner control (look for "termination of the Class B ownership period" or "transition".

Even if you are not ready for full transition, if 75% or more of the lots in your community are owned by homeowners, 1/3 of the Board must be comprised of homeowners.

Owners are required to have access to all the books and records of the Association, upon request. Ask your management company to provide you with a copy of the annual budget, and monthly balance sheet and income statements. If maintenance is not being done, ask why. Be polite and nonconfrontational - don't give them any excuse not to work with you. If the manager doesn't respond, send a certified letter - state statute requires them to respond within a certain time period of receiving a certified letter. If your manager doesn't respond, ask to speak to their director, and so on up the chain.

If your community is that small, the high assessments aren't surprising. The assessment is just the budget divided by the number of lots. The budget should include at minimum insurance, property tax, and landscaping.

It's not uncommon for Realtors to know nothing about the HOA and to give incorrect information. It's also not uncommon, unfortunately, for developers to promise amenities and walk away.

Good luck!

BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:281


04/10/2018 2:07 PM  
Noelle

Texas has very stringent and mandatory requirements regarding disclosure of an HOA from the very beginning of the sales process, in fact the agent who took you to the development may have violated TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) and other requirements by not doing so. I am very surprised you were not informed within a few days of the contract being transmitted to the title company. It sounds like the title company informed you at or near closing but, again under Texas law, you should have had a 10 day period early in the process to examine the association documents and cancel the sale with no penalty if you wished.

As an aside, if you are looking at a home in a new or fairly new multi-home development in the metro/urban/suburban areas of Texas, it is highly likely there is an HOA. It is even more likely if there are common areas and amenities.

I recall signing documents early in the process when the association documents were given to me for review, you should have had to follow a similar process.

Several have asked, is your 'association' still under developer control? The developer is bound by the governing document requirements but may put their own spin on aspects of managing the association. Another person who posted commented you may request to see the books and records of the association, that disclosure requirement is applicable to developer as well as owner controlled associations and is absolutely mandatory in this state.

Several have recommended you request copies of all the association documents for review. I agree with the others, obtain the documents and review them closely.
ChristineK5
(Florida)

Posts:1


04/18/2018 7:12 AM  
I live in a development called Sugarmill Woods in Homosassa,Florida which is in Citrus County. I have had a board member come to my house twice regarding trees in the green belt that are hanging over my house. According to the bylaws, the POA is responsible for maintaining the green belt and no body is allowed to cut any trees that are in the green belt. Not only was I treated in a very patronizing and condescending manner,I was told that tree cutting is not in their budget anymore and that I would have to do it myself. What am I paying POA fees for?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15999


04/18/2018 8:13 AM  
Christine,

Welcome to the forum.

Please read the posting rules. Mentioning of full names or the name of the Association is not allowed.

You may want to start a new thread (click on the words "add new topic").

Tim
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:669


04/22/2018 5:39 AM  
Noelle,

Please let us know your status.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
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