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Sunday, April 22, 2018
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Subject: HOA land owners rights
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Author Messages
LawrenceB4
(New Mexico)

Posts:3


04/13/2018 6:30 PM  
I am a new member here and I want to thank everyone responsible for this site for the opportunity for me to ask a few HOA questions. What is the general procedure of most HOA to take action against a member in good standing that they claim is violating the covenants. I would expect that first, they would call a special session of the board, notify the member that there will be a hearing, and then make a decision.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5090


04/13/2018 7:09 PM  
Welcome, Lawrence. There are differences among HOAs and among states about the procedures to handle alleged violations. You'll find them maybe in your Covenants or rules & regs. have you checked them yet? are you on the board?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7170


04/13/2018 7:15 PM  
It all depends on what your documents say. I would read those first to find out. The CC&R's should be referenced on actions the HOA can take. Fines are a bit tricky. The HOA may or may not be able to issue them. There are many variables. If they do, then they should have what is called a "Fining Schedule" detailing the violation and it's fine. The basically work like speeding tickets for the HOA.

The HOA doesn't have to call a special meeting necessarily. Ours we did not. I would write the violation and reference the violation. If they had an issue, then they could come to the open board meeting.

Our HOA we did not issue fines. Instead if you were in violation, we could first tell you to fix it. If you did not, the HOA could fix it and send the owner the bill. If the owner did not pay that bill, then we could lien for that amount. That is not how most HOA's do but in ours it is how it worked in our rules.

A HOA can't evict someone unless for unpaid dues. So a convenant violation would not be grounds. Something more to this story has to be going on. Need more details on that.

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5090


04/13/2018 8:07 PM  
As noted in my above--states vary. In CA, for instance, hearings can be held in closed session. The agenda category is Owner Discipline. I think that's typical. Certain number of days' notice is required to the alleged offender before the hearing is held. We almost always send a courtesy letter with the first offense unless there's common area damage, then it's an immediate call to hearing.

Apparently, AL is very different, but I don't know if their laws have changed since Melissa was on a board.
LawrenceB4
(New Mexico)

Posts:3


04/13/2018 9:10 PM  
Of course, I have read the covenants and the by-laws and I find them rather strange in that they do not have a meeting protocol included or guidelines for disciplinary action. They do have guide lines for foreclosing on property for non payment of dues, which they pursue rigorously. The board is so off the hook that they do not even publish a agenda before the scheduled meetings. I have requested an agenda for the April 21 meeting, but have they just ignored me. Have you ever seen a covenants that states that the covenants can’t be amended?
I was on the parliamentary procedure debating team in high school, so I know Robert’s Rules of Order by heart. I have tabulated 4 violations of the New Mexico Open Meeting law that they are oblivious of, and yes, I will be filling a complaint with the state attorney generals office.
I live in a rural and rather unique HOA where there are about 900 absentee dues paying landowners and about 50 full time residence. I am the only builder this year of a single family residence in the HOA which is a requirement to stay on the 5 acres of land in my motorhome. You would think that the HOA would be delighted that I was building, but that is not the case. The residence with the Board of Directors have formed into a clique where they enjoy the $120,000 yearly dues from the absentee owners and in actuality, they do not want any new residence, they like it the way it is. It is a very hostile and unfriendly environment. These people are so ignorant and backward that the president and directors think that a title company makes loans on titles. Ha. Ha. Ha. How can they have a quorum of 1/3 of the membership for a legal meeting when there is only 20 to 30 members show up? This is getting to long, I can go on and on.
AugustinD


Posts:792


04/13/2018 9:18 PM  
LawrenceB4, like many states with sunshine laws, the New Mexico Open Meeting Act does not apply to homeowners' associations. The state attorney general has no authority over HOAs. Your best bet is to speak with an attorney specialized in HOAs. As for disciplinary action, case law is clear that Members of HOAs must be given basic due process rights. When this does not happen, and if the Member takes the HOA to court, generally the HOA loses.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15577


04/14/2018 3:25 AM  
Posted By LawrenceB4 on 04/13/2018 6:30 PM

I would expect that first, they would call a special session of the board, notify the member that there will be a hearing, and then make a decision.




That would be a logical expectation.

Serving on our Board and having served on our enforcement committee, I would expect owners who are informed of violations to respond to the notice either saying they disagree, will comply or don't understand the issue. Unfortunately, too often there is zero return communication.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3904


04/16/2018 8:36 PM  
Posted By LawrenceB4 on 04/13/2018 6:30 PM
I am a new member here and I want to thank everyone responsible for this site for the opportunity for me to ask a few HOA questions. What is the general procedure of most HOA to take action against a member in good standing that they claim is violating the covenants. I would expect that first, they would call a special session of the board, notify the member that there will be a hearing, and then make a decision.


Initially they usually send a letter notifying any owner regarding any potential violations. If the Owner disagree’s with the letter sent they respond to the HOA BOD with why the claim is potentially false or incorrect.

Then, the BOD usually will set up a meeting with the owner to discuss and hear their side of the story. (There is generally the owner who complains and then the other side of the story.) For example Homeowner A claims Homeowner B’s dog took a dump in their yard in violation of the CCR’s ... Then Homeowner B has the right to defend against Homeowner A’s claims.

The BOD after hearing both sides and reviewing any potential evidence then makes a final determination. Said determination is given in writing to both the owners regarding the situation.


JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3904


04/16/2018 9:17 PM  
Posted By LawrenceB4 on 04/13/2018 9:10 PM
Of course, I have read the covenants and the by-laws and I find them rather strange in that they do not have a meeting protocol included or guidelines for disciplinary action. They do have guide lines for foreclosing on property for non payment of dues, which they pursue rigorously. The board is so off the hook that they do not even publish a agenda before the scheduled meetings. I have requested an agenda for the April 21 meeting, but have they just ignored me. Have you ever seen a covenants that states that the covenants can’t be amended?
I was on the parliamentary procedure debating team in high school, so I know Robert’s Rules of Order by heart. I have tabulated 4 violations of the New Mexico Open Meeting law that they are oblivious of, and yes, I will be filling a complaint with the state attorney generals office.
I live in a rural and rather unique HOA where there are about 900 absentee dues paying landowners and about 50 full time residence. I am the only builder this year of a single family residence in the HOA which is a requirement to stay on the 5 acres of land in my motorhome. You would think that the HOA would be delighted that I was building, but that is not the case. The residence with the Board of Directors have formed into a clique where they enjoy the $120,000 yearly dues from the absentee owners and in actuality, they do not want any new residence, they like it the way it is. It is a very hostile and unfriendly environment. These people are so ignorant and backward that the president and directors think that a title company makes loans on titles. Ha. Ha. Ha. How can they have a quorum of 1/3 of the membership for a legal meeting when there is only 20 to 30 members show up? This is getting to long, I can go on and on.


Each State varies on it’s laws. Some are similar because they will base their HOA State laws on UCIOA (Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act). I personally like UCIOA based statutes because I feel it does a great job of equally protecting owners, developers, and secured creditors. New Mexico statutes are not based on UCIOA and primarily will rely upon what is contained in your Governing Documents and the few State Statutes such as: https://law.justia.com/codes/new-mexico/2017/chapter-47/article-16/

When you state: “Have you ever seen a covenants that states that the covenants can’t be amended?“ ... YEP seen them and I personally really like them and others which are difficult to amend. WHY ... because you have the choice BEFORE you purchase whether or not you like what you see ... and if not like you then have the Freedom to Choose NOT to purchase. It really peeves me when people will purchase in an HOA and then make huge waves wanting to make a lot of changes after they purchased. Why did they purchase in an HOA that they potentially did not like what was stated in the CCR’s??? Again ... If anybody does not like what they see ... do not buy!!!



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