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Subject: contractor won't inform owners of the price
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LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


09/21/2018 12:29 AM  
hi, .. There is a contractor that the hoa president hired for work that is not included in the common responsibilities.

The contractor is putting sheetrock on each of the condomiums perimeter walls.

Our declaration and bylaws clearly say that all wall coverings, including, drywall, wall paper , paint, etc.. inside of a unit, including perimeter walls are the responsibility of the individual owner.

The board president signed a contract with this contractor without getting any bids and without any board vote or discussion.


my question is,, owners finally were able to get a look at the contract a couple weeks ago..(although it was signed april 14).. there is no price breakdown of what is being charged for what.

We asked the contractors. and they said they didn't know. So our property manager contacted the main vp who entered this contract with the board president. The property manager asked for the price this company was charging us
1. per sq ft of drywall, taped, and floated (materials included)
2. Price per sq fit of insulation, installed.

the contractor has refused to give us any price breakdown. His email response to our property manager was. "ask danielle" (the board president)

is this in any way acceptable? The president of the board is the one who was keeping the contract from owners in the first place.. we have been asking her for months for the price breakdown and she refuses to answer. Yesterday was the monthly hoa meeting and she called an hour before and informed the office manager she wasn't coming . UNBELIEVABLE

so we had 40 homeowners and one board member(out of 9).... this board member was recently appointed, and literally could not recall if he had ever approved of any payments or contracts. He could not recall a single specific.!
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2282


09/21/2018 5:43 AM  
Since the board oversees the work of the property manager and also authorizes which contractor does what, this contractor was correct in referring you to the board president. So now the question is - where is the rest of your board on all this???? They should have put a stop to this because the president is one vote, not God, so decisions should be made as a group.

You were asking the board president for contract information for months? Why, pray is she still on this board? You and your neighbors are responsible for that - nothing the board does should ever be a surprise to homeowners, so if you have people who cannot or refuse to be transparent in their duties, it's on you to vote them out and replace them with people who are more responsible.

Time for all of you to go to a board meeting and demand answers. If you don't get them, check your documents to see how to go about holding a special meeting to recall this president - and probably the rest of the board for going along with this nonsense. Be sure you have other homeowners ready to step up (and as I usually say, YOU may have to be one of them).

While you're at it, you may want to have a serious chat with the property manager, who should know the protocol and shouldn't have let any money go to this contractor without official authorization from the entire board.

Usually, homeowners elect the board and then the board members select officers from among themselves, which is ok, but you should insist the board set or reset some rules regarding work paid by the association (e.g. 3 bids required for work costing over a certain amount, hire licensed and bonded contractors only, etc.)
ND
(PA)

Posts:206


09/21/2018 5:57 AM  
The whole situation is jacked up, but the contractor's response to you is correct. You are not their customer, the HOA Board is their customer. As such, they don't need to supply you with anything. Yes, the HOA Board represents the HOA which includes you as a member and sort of an indirect customer, but again, the Board is their direct customer.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


09/21/2018 6:14 AM  
I agree. The price is with the HOA board. They may also have the right to decide the scope of the project. Who says they aren't listening to a majority of the owners? We are only hearing about 1 that doesn't live on the 1st floor. It may be that a majority of the 1st floor people have been involved here.

I also think it's important to address the 1st floor issues above the others. It's the worst damage. It's more common area effected. Usually things flow down but in multi-units it flows up. So it's best to make sure the 1st floor is in good shape to support the other floors.

A few years ago there was a flood at a nearby Casino resort town. Most of the Casino hotels went under water. (The Casinos are on barges). I stayed in one about 2 years AFTER the flood. Was staying on the 4th floor. Let me tell you. It was effected. The lamps above the beds were pitted and so was the mirrors. Basically anything with metal had a corrosion layer to them. Could not sleep for the smell. Mind you this was NOT a cheap flea bag hotel either. Rather one of the nicer ones.

So having seen first hand what effect a flood can have on a building. Your board doing what it is doing with the common area is most likely needed. I for one would make sure there was a structural test. Even if you pass it. It's still worth the money to have one done.

Maybe I am the only seeing the issue from other members eyes here as well. I don't take just 1 side of the story. Especially from someone who hasn't been completely open to the other side as well.

Former HOA President
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1312


09/21/2018 11:09 AM  
I don't like the appearance of Cronyism and the lack of transparency on the scope of work and total price. However, I don't see any obligation to give residents a mathematical breakdown of the cost just because a homeowner demands.

The job is priced as a whole job.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:281


09/21/2018 11:35 AM  
Laska, you have to be provided access to the contract and the bid specifications under Chapters 82 or 84. Neither the Board nor the contractor has to create information for you which does not already exist in association records.

As an example, the association in which we reside is required to provide front yard maintenance. The bids received present a lump sum for the services provided and do not break down the costs for each element--mowing, trimming, blowing, mulching, etc. If the Board desires additional services, those are quoted separately. The landscape contractor undoubtedly has a chart which is used to aggregate the element costs to the final bid amount but that is in his possession not the Association's.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


10/04/2018 10:25 PM  
thank you all for everyone's answers... let me clarify.. the president of the board,, brought this contractor in without board authority..

the previous board had taken bids from about 6 contractors. the company,,lets call it K National.. was not even on the original bid list.

the contractor that was chosen was actually Z company.. then , several of the board members resigned(there was some indication that a board members had given all the other bids to her contractor)...

at this point.. there were only 3 members left on the board.. (it takes 5 to have a quorum)...

Unbeknownst to anyone else.. one of the remaining board members assumed the president position(the other two were basically place fillers)
this new president then called in an old friend who had a construction company ,, this is K national...

someone without a vote, without bids,, the new president gave k national the job, ,, it turns out.. the scope of work that k national was hired was about 50% less work than the original bidding contractors and winning contractor were required to bid on.

Ok. so we have a president, who has some personal relationship with the owner of this k national.... after she and k national on their own come up with a new scope of work/(which was not the same scope of work that the owners and previous board had agreed would be done)... she then appoints 6 new board members so that there would be 9.. then two days later, she tells them that k national was already chosen and there was not vote or discussion.

We have now signed the petition for special meeting,, the board is stonewalling and taking their time and still 2 weeks latger hasn't called the special meeting.

now the volunteers who are likely to be elected to the new board at the special meeting.. have been trying to piece together what exactly k national agreed to, what they are charging, etc etc.

the president will not give any price list.. because i honestly don't think she ever asked for one..

Yes, this could go down as the worst most inept board ever.. wait til you hear this...

the board has kept no minutes!.. despite owners asking time and time again, when these random decisions were being made.. the board would say,, "we're busy,, we'll get around to it"

anyway,, thanks bills,, i'll look up 82 and 84
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


10/04/2018 10:32 PM  
bill,, the board not kept any kind of association records ,, .. the owners have now signed the petitions , submitted them to the board and we are waiting for the special meeting announcement to vote off the president and other board members.

all of the association records and contracts are supposed to be made available to owners for review, if an owner makes a request,,

the problem is,, this board president has been running the hoa as if it's her own personal renovation project,, ignoring, the declaration and specifics that outline owner vs hoa responsiblity, she has been submitting the k national invoices for payment, without first presenting the invoice to the board and there was noone who knew what work was supposed to be done, what milestones ,, etc..

we are absolutely going to sue her personally,, we strongly believe several of the actions she took rise to the level of criminal fraud.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


10/05/2018 4:27 AM  
You are absolutely going to lose if you sue her personally. But hey you haven't listened to any advice so far. So why start now? Good luck in suing yourselves!

Former HOA President
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


10/05/2018 2:12 PM  
mellisa ,,, we are not sueing ourselves..


we are not going to sue the president for actions that were within her legal authority..

we are going to sue the president for self dealing,, during a 10 day period, when there was only 3 board members,(not a quorum) and she was the only one actually doing anything,, she brought in a contractor that was not on the approved vendor list,, she negotiated a sweetheart deal with this contractor and she then appointed board members to fill the other spots and told them the decision on contractor was already made, and they just needed to sign...


she also then ,, rented out her unit to one of the engineers. he built that cost into his contract price and paid her personally..

if you are saying those are criminal fraudulent acts.. worthy of being held accountable for.. i guess i don't know anything.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7772


10/05/2018 3:10 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/05/2018 4:27 AM
You are absolutely going to lose if you sue her personally. But hey you haven't listened to any advice so far. So why start now? Good luck in suing yourselves!




I agree. If you sue, I predict/expect you will lose.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


10/05/2018 3:25 PM  
, the good news is ,owners have signed the special petition to recall the president and the other board members. the board has had the signed petition for almost two weeks.

what if the board keeps hemming and hawing .. how long must owners give the board secretary or president, to notify the property manager to send out notice of special meeting...

i know once it's sent, the a minimum 10 day max 30 day notice requirement is needed..

The board now is saying that they can decide whether the special meeting will be called to remove just the board president or the board president and other board members.. as the special petition is written..


owners didn't specify which board members by name, it just said, all other board members.. there has been several resignations of people and at this point owners are demanding a recall vote..

can someone tell me, does the board of directors get to decide their interpretation of the scope of the special meeting ???

also,, if the board doesn't call the special meeting after another week.. .. what do we do?? again,, just like everyone says,, we don't want to get lawyers involved.. the board has already waisted unnecessary money on lawyers trying to find every loophole or crazy interpretation of the bylaws that will some how justify what they have done.. ugggg
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


10/05/2018 4:58 PM  
Again if you sue your HOA or even a specific board member, you are suing yourselves and every member. The Board member is covered personally by the Insurance. So guess what? It's going to get kicked out because they are doing what they doing in the name of the HOA whether you agree or don't. Plus if there was a claim on the insurance... Guess who pays? The HOA has to pay the higher rate or find new insurance altogether. That insurance is going to make your HOA pay the deductible and most likely cancel your policy.

A HOA is funded by it's members FOR it's members. So when you make the HOA pay for lawyers to fight your issues, your just taking more money out of the HOA budget. The very budget you are funding with your dues.

So please just get over it already and let the project just work out. It's done already. Your just adding more wasted time and money for the "HOA" to drag out. The cause of which is your own by forcing it to be dragged out by your own actions.

Former HOA President
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


10/05/2018 5:51 PM  
i don't think you read what I said,, the owners already have submitted the special petition to remove the board.

I know that sueing the board is sueing ourselves...

melissa, obviously, from your last comment, you've already formed some opinion, without all the facts,,

please don't respond anymore to my posts. there are so many helpful people here. people that say, get out of the way,, without knowing the facts are the same people that say, let's just keep on keeping on, since we're already keeping on..
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


10/05/2018 6:03 PM  
Okay keep going on... and on... and on... Wait for you to hear the words you want to hear rather than the REALITY... But hey you KNOW ALL the facts and better than any of us to repeat them to you...

Former HOA President
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:59


10/05/2018 10:30 PM  
mellisa i've gone back and read this post.

The project should have been done a long time ago.. it's been a year since harvey.. The board was acting outside of it's legal authority, trying to spend hoa funds on things that are clearly outlined in our declaration as homeowner responsiblity.

I'm sure every single downstairs owner would like to use hoa funds to do work inside their units. however, i'm also sure every single upstairs unit ower would object to having to pay for things that are not defined as common or limited common in our declaration.

The owners were told one thing and then something completely different was done. with no explanation. Luckily, homeowners got together and started following the city code and rebuilding their units from the drywall in.. as required and outlined our declaration.

the board was only responsible for insulation and repair replacement of any structural studs...

the hoa (board) is also responsible for the landscaping, exterior of the buildings etc.. as one would expect and as outlined in our declaration..

however, the board, inexplicably decided that they were going to spend the hoa reserve funds on things that are not and were never hoa responsiblity. at the same time, the board did noting to repair the actual common elements and things they are required per our bylaws to take care of.. .. the board members refused to listen to dozens of owners who objected to the lack of transparency or accountability for the work that was being done. now a year later. most of the money is gone.. noone was overseeing the contractors or checking the work,, the project manager was not in fact on site and supervising anything.. thus,, the contractors literally turned in bogus invoices....... then to add insult to injury,, the invoices were never presented to the board for approval.. the president just submitted the check request for the invoices, without any vote or approval by the board.. . i have been on the board before.. decisions and actions taken on behalf of the hoa are made by the board,, and a board vote,, not one board member....

anyway,, what's done is done.. the money is gone.. ,, i doubt we will every recover any o f the money from the contractors.. but before anything else is done, before any other decisions are made.. the homeowners have demanded and follwed the procedure to call a special meeting to recall the board...

we just want the board to follow our documents and the law .. and it seems now that some of the board realizes how bad they were asleep at the wheel they are scrambling to blame everyone but themselves.
JenniferG12
(Texas)

Posts:103


10/06/2018 2:33 AM  
The only thing I have to say on doing work on the interiors is like we discussed before. Whatever attorney you spoke to might have said that in his or her opinion the association is not liable to, their attorney may have said something different.

They may interpret the statute differently.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


10/06/2018 5:54 AM  
Our ex-president who was a con-man scumbag. Nicest thing have to say about him... He was a BIG influence on our HOA even out of office. One of the things he liked doing was manipulating people. He convinced people that we needed to do a "One-Time only" drainage project. It was one where we the HOA would fund fixing drainage issues and reimburse other people who already had done the work. Yes you can guess by now the idea was prompted because he had to do a drainage issue and wanted money back.

So even though I was 100% against the idea AND the HOA ONLY responsibility was for landscaping ONLY, we did the "one time" project. One that do not believe the HOA was responsible for paying for or being involved in. Let's not mention that he also wanted to do a few drainage jobs to be paid for... Something I did manage to draw the line on...

Did I agree with this project? No. Was it the HOA's responsibility? No. Did the board agree to do the project? Yes. Who was in charge of this project? Me and the board. Oh and even some of the board members were absolutely against it as well.

That is the thing about living in a HOA. It's NOT your decision. It's YOU and YOUR neighbor's decision. I was simply outvoted by the membership. Yes I did LISTEN to the membership on what they wanted. My job as President? If the neighborhood wants to paint the streets "Red", then I have to go buy the paint, hire the work, and get us "Red" streets. It is THEIR Money. NOT mine.

So I've been through this situation on the other end of the board's view. Projects take a life of their own. This very well could be the case here. The project just got so complicated it was just easier and better to just get it over with. The only difference is that using the HOA's money it's every member's money. Which makes it a bit more affordable by splitting the expenses. Something some people may appreciate once facing such a disaster.

Former HOA President
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