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Subject: New President breaking nearly all the rules
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NancyR9
(North Carolina)

Posts:12


06/26/2018 12:28 PM  
We are a small (10 unit) condominium built in the '81. Our Declaration of Unit Ownership states:
1) that in no event shall more than 4 persons, including children, simultaneously reside within a unit;
2) no unit owner shall obstruct the walkways or stairwells of the building;
3) small household pets up to 20 lbs. are allowed so long as the animal doesn't cause any other unit owner any hazard, nuisance, annoyance, or inconvenience;
4) each unit owner is to prevent the development of any unclean, unsightly, or unkempt condition of the property which shall tend to decrease the beauty of the building;
5) no unit owner shall cause anything to be hung, displayed, or placed on the exterior walls, doors, or other exterior parts of the building; and
6) the building was to be used for residential purposes only.

Our new President has a spouse and 3 children (2 girls and a boy) living in a 2 bedroom unit. The son graduated high school this year and will be attending a local community college. The condos only have 1 assigned parking sport per unit yet this family has between 3-5 vehicles parked at any given time. When they bought the unit the other owner's were of the understanding this was to be the couple's retirement home. Since the sale of their home all 3 children are now living in the unit. The couple also have 3 dogs. The owner/President installed a gate blocking off the common walkway to keep the dogs from running off and has a propane grill on the walkway. This complex has only 3 out of 10 owner/residents. This is the 1st time the complex has had an owner with any children as the complex was originally meant to be an adult complex with no children under the age of sixteen. The President operates his business out to the unit. Recently the President has placed a ping pong table in the community room and now has allowed another unit's tenant to place a pool table in the club room and that tenant has had 3 parties in the club room in the last month. This tenant and the President are best bud's and the tenant was given the contract for lawn maintenance. The first month over $100 in mulch was placed around and only at the tenant's unit and charged to the association. The President was to purchase a picnic table for around $90 but ended up spending $190+ for the table the tenant wanted. The tenant has 2 large gas grills on the patio area where the table is and stores his trash can on the common area.

The problem seems obvious, the community room has been turned into the personal game room for the use of young tenants and the children of the President. There had been a grouping of wicker furniture for conversation which they broke up and rearranged around the tables. How do we regain control? Can we charge a fee for the use of the room to cover the added utility costs and can they be required to give prior notice when they are going to be using the common facilities for personal use? The President obviously isn't going to obey the rules or practice any common sense. He has stated he knew the gate was wrong but was going to leave it up until someone said something. ANY ADVISE would be greatly appreciated.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:349


06/26/2018 1:07 PM  
Do you have a Board of Directors? If so, they should be involved. Are you the only member who has issues with the new President and what he is doing?

Option
1. Have you attended a Board meeting to bring this to their attention? Have you written a formal letter to the Board about the various violations?
2. Your CC&Rs and/or Bylaws should have provisions to remove/recall a Board member.
3. As a member, you probably have legal standing to sue, but this is hard and would have to site specifics ... last, last resort

Since you have such a small number of members, I would contact each of them and ask for their input. See if you have a supportive group.

I would write a letter to the Board noting my concerns and especially the violations of the CC&Rs - spending whatever time is required to make the letter tell the whole story, quoting from the CCRs and Bylaws as necessary.

I would attend the next Board meeting, with as many of the other members as possible, and express those same sentiments and specifics. See what happens.
NancyR9
(North Carolina)

Posts:12


06/27/2018 1:45 AM  
Thank you George for you input.

Yes we have a Board and I am a member. Unfortunately it is a 3 member Board and as President he serves as the Chairman. I don't believe I'm the only one who has a problem with him but I will try and test the waters.

Response to Options:
1. I have attended the only Board meeting that has been called, in fact I requested the meeting. I haven't written a formal letter but I did broach the subject of the gate and he did correct it. Correcting landscaping and removing an unapproved pool table would be a lot more difficult.
2. We do have provisions for removing an officer and/or board member.
3. I would in effect be suing myself. I own 2 out of the 10 units, 3 units are owner occupied, 2 or vacant and have been for years and 3 have tenants.

I guess I'll request another board meeting and see how it goes.

Any other input would be appreciated. I am particularly interested in how other associations have handled use of the common areas. I have pointed out that we need committees for Rules and Regulations Enforcement and Building Maintenance and Grounds. According to our governing documents the appointment of committees is one of the few actual powers he has, as President his powers are general, and all the powers of the association are vested in the Board.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7477


06/27/2018 5:09 AM  
Am I the only one that wants to hang out with this new President??? A ping pong table? A pool Table? I mean maybe the guy can get rid of a kid or 2 to make the cut-off.

Seriously, have to say the "rules" are a bit much for any human to live under if they were to have a life...

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:349


06/27/2018 7:39 AM  
And, again I disagree with Melissa.

The very basis of any organization is the rules by which everyone agrees to live.

Whether those that break the rules are fun is waaaaay beside the point.
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/27/2018 8:42 AM  
Hi Nancy,

1.
Can you confirm that the President is also a director? Some HOAs permit non-director presidents.

2.
Your condo has 10 units, and a three-director board. What does the other director (that is, the non-president one) say about all this?

3.
With only 10 units, I would lobby to remove the current president or oust him in the next election, citing rule violations. Lobbying only nine other owners with email, snail mail, and phone conversations is not difficult. Many here at hoatalk.com have to try to communicate with hundreds of owners during election season.

4.
I cannot tell if there is a parking violation. Please confirm.

5.
The biggest problem may be that the 7 of the 10 unit owners are landlord-owners. Increasingly I think that a high {landlord-owner to resident-owner} ratio is the biggest problem for condominiums. The manager of such condos ends up behaving like an apartment manager, disrespecting the residents' needs. But a slippery, hostile manager like the latter is what the landlord-owners want. It yields less tenant complaints to the landlords?

6.
I would want to check what Fair Housing law says about limiting the number of children at your condo. For an introduction, see http://www.fhcsp.com/Providers/occupancy.html and maybe google on {"Keating memo" and "Fair Housing"}

NancyR9
(North Carolina)

Posts:12


06/28/2018 1:29 PM  
Hi Augustin.
1. The President is a director.

2. The other director is the person who told me about most of the violations. She's 90 yrs. old and lives right below him. She just doesn't want to
rock the boat. She thinks I should give him a big thank you for paying twice the going rate for a plumber and then give him a list of tradesmen.

3. I know I have at least 4 votes and think there would be no problem getting a couple more but no one wants to hold office. 5 of the units are owned by people who live out of state (at least half the year). Apathy is my biggest obstacle.

4. Yes, there are multiple parking violations daily.

5. Our problem has turned out to be just the opposite. We have an owner/resident who is treating the whole complex just like it is his personal residence where he can park wherever he wants, spend whatever he wants and do whatever he wants. With most of the owners not living there he doesn't seem to care. He doesn't ask advice or permission for anything.

6. I've checked the Fair Housing laws and I don't think we would be in violation by limiting it to 4 people. There are 5 people in a small two bedroom unit and they are also using it as a business. There are 3 kids, 1 a male out of high school sharing a bedroom with 2 females.

Thanks for the information!
AugustinD


Posts:1045


06/28/2018 2:19 PM  
Nancy, thank you for the elaboration. Unfortunately it sounds like the other director would vote with the fool on many issues. This would be in the name of 'not rocking the boat.' Worse, it appears the 90-year-old and you both know it is unlikely anyone else would step up to serve on the board. I bet the 90-year-old would not even vote with you to remove this guy as the President, correct?

None of the options are good. Here is all I have to offer right now, based on a couple decades experience with HOAs and condominiums:

1.
You could resign from the board and then threaten legal action to enforce the covenants. (I would not try this while serving on the board.) You may quickly find yourself condemned as even more notorious than your HOA's president. Also few can do this without an attorney. Estimated cost: $10,000 to get to the point where the attorney files a lawsuit in court.

2.
You could resign from the board and wait until you have enough people who are fed up to remove the director-president from the board and his officer position. This could take a long time. I think the greatest government leaders though often waited until enough constituents were fed up and then made their big moves, as called for by their constituents.

3.
You could resign from the board; try to remove yourself from the inner and outer conflict of dealing with this jerk; and just live your life.

4.
Moving is something to consider.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2228


06/28/2018 2:27 PM  
Posted By NancyR9 on 06/27/2018 1:45 AM
Unfortunately it is a 3 member Board and as President he serves as the Chairman.

So what extra powers does the "Chairman of the Board" have? Power-hungry directors and officers often make stuff up. We had a president who also claimed to be the "Chairman of the Board" a couple of years ago in an attempt to lay claim to power she did not have. Our Bylaws say the board of directors shall act as a whole, and no individual director has any extra power or authority. The duties of the president as an executive officer are plainly stated. There's no other power authorized or granted.

The other 2 directors should be able to pick another president among them, depending on your govening documents.
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