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Subject: HOA is completely ignoring me. What should I do?
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AdamC7
(Georgia)

Posts:3


09/27/2018 2:50 PM  
Hi all!

I'm hoping some folks can help me decide my next move here. I'll try to make this brief. Here's the situation:

I moved into my town home in March. The HOA administrators (members?) (3 of them, to my knowledge) do not live in the complex. Each month they send an electronic HOA dues reminder. According to the official Association covenants, dues cover trash, water, landscaping, gates, parking lots, and exterior paint, among other things. Here's the problem. They will not acknowledge the things that have to be done/resolved around the complex. They ignored a very detailed email (posted below) I sent to the HOA 'accountant' four weeks ago. I did not receive a response. Of course, today I received my HOA payment due email. Based off of the information in the email I sent below, what would be the appropriate action(s) to take? Do I hire an attorney? Do I contact the Georgia HUD? What do I do if I suspect fraud/embezzlement? Do I withhold payment? I want to join the board ASAP but I'm being kept in the dark by the people who collect $9,000+/month for 60 units and these issues are not being resolved - even acknowledged. I can provide pictures or any additional information you might like to know. Any help/suggestions would truly be appreciated.


Email sent to HOA on August 30th:

---

Hi April,

I am concerned with how the association funds are being appropriated. I do not know of any action being taken to address the necessary fixes/improvements to the townhouse area. I have not been notified of a single HOA meeting.

Please respond with a timetable when the below issues will be addressed. Watching the new unit construction move along without delay and having current tenants perpetually deal with the maintenance shortcomings of the Association gives me little reassurance the Association's funds are being used in an appropriate manner.


Article IX. Maintenance Responsibilities.

"The association is responsible for all entry features to the property ... including all streets ... parking areas ... any perimeter fencing around the boundaries of the Property ..." "... all exterior portions of the units including but not limited to external materials, painting ... "

- Potholes and piles of gravel and dirt (especially in front of mailboxes) throughout the street/parking lot.

- The automatic gate has not worked for years. It is dangerous to allow non-residents to enter our parking lot at night and have vehicle access to our personal property (cars/units/items on patios/stoops).

- The early phase units are more than ten years old. To my knowledge, they have never been repainted. The unit soffits have exposed wood which will lead to wood rot if not taken care of immediately. The units need fresh paint to avoid further depreciation.

- The Association has added units/residents but has not added additional garbage facilities/services to accommodate the increase in trash. This is unsanitary and embarrassing. We have a disgusting overflow of trash multiple times per month. The garbage situation is absurd.

- What are the Association's current reserves to address the above issues? 60 X $150 = $9000/month. What are the average garbage, water, landscaping, admin costs per month and what is being done with the remaining balance? Again, these are issues that should be discussed while including owners of the properties via Association meetings.

Please see attached example images. I appreciate your time and anticipate your prompt response.

---

(I found out after I sent this email the HOA is paying a junk company to come out 4 days after weekly-scheduled garbage pick up to pick up the nasty overflow garbage. They are aware of the problems as many other owners try to contact them.)

Thanks again for your time!

-Adam
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3140


09/27/2018 4:07 PM  
My suggestion, if you want something done and you feel it is not being done by VOLUNTEER members of the community, then it is time to step up and be part of the solution.
JenniferG12
(Texas)

Posts:103


09/27/2018 7:40 PM  
Do not fail to pay your dues. Someone from GA will come along to help you further.
AdamC7
(Georgia)

Posts:3


09/28/2018 4:52 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 09/27/2018 4:07 PM
My suggestion, if you want something done and you feel it is not being done by VOLUNTEER members of the community, then it is time to step up and be part of the solution.




I'm not sure I'm following you, Richard. They are silent. They are invisible. "Volunteer" does not apply to this situation. Do you care to extrapolate on your advice? Thank you for your reply.
AdamC7
(Georgia)

Posts:3


09/28/2018 4:54 PM  
Posted By JenniferG12 on 09/27/2018 7:40 PM
Do not fail to pay your dues. Someone from GA will come along to help you further.




Thanks for the input, Jennifer. I will not fail to pay the dues. If I may ask, what exactly do you mean by "Someone from GA will come along to help you further."? Someone on this website? I am new to HOAs and new to this site. Thank you for your time!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5961


09/28/2018 6:12 PM  
Someone form GA actually might not come along. So you might have to figure GA laws and statutes about HOAs or whatever they're called in GA, if any.

How often should your Board meet? this is in your bylaws. How many members must be on the board. Do your bylaws call them "administrators?" Must their meetings be open to owners ("members") or can they meet privately?

What do your bylaws say about membership meetings? The main example of these are elections of directors that happen annually, usually. All Owners may vote for directors.

If your own bylaws are silent on these topics and your HOA is incorporated--most are--you need to read GA corporation laws about how many directors, tier meetings, officers. etc. Sometimes a kind poster here will look these up for you, but most of us are too busy with our Own HOAs.

Your HOA has some kind of legal address to send requests, assessments, etc. to. Send you requests for compliance with your governing documents return receipt requested. If your HOA has a property manager, send the same requests to them.

by the way, is it possible your HOA is still under developer control?
KimberlyW2
(Tennessee)

Posts:27


09/29/2018 7:57 AM  
If you have a board solely consisting of officers/directors that do not live in your community you probably have a very non-active, apathetic HOA. Sadly, this *might* have been avoided if you had done some thorough investigating BEFORE you bought. Either by yourself or your realtor.

If you noticed these areas of disrepair BEFORE you signed your contract did it not raise warning bells? Didn't it occur to you that something was amiss?

Does your HOA have a property management company? How many owners are in arrears? ( which is likely your largest problem! ) and what is being done about the owners in arrears? Do you have the funds to cover legal action against these owners? Your financial reports may be an eye opener.

Somewhere along the way your HOA and board stopped being proactive and it seems no one cares. Unfortunately, that is very common. Too common. Welcome to my life.

I will also tell you this: The monthly costs for an HOA to run a 60 townhome complex will ASTOUND you. $9000 is a measly number and that is assuming all owners are actually paying and I highly doubt that is the case. You have a right to view financials and be given the number and percentage of owners in arrears...you can also attend any meetings being held by the board. But, I also don't expect that to be happening on a regular basis. You are expecting embezzlement- but, that is probably not what is happening here. Apathy and delinquency are your culprits. Welcome to life with an uninterested, uninvolved HOA!

I wish you the very best of luck, friend. I do. However, I wish you would have done your homework before you bought. I give that advice to anyone looking to buy into your situation. And I give it often. I wish someone had given it to me.

I also hope you are able to join the board at some point, but beware of catching that proverbial tiger by the tail. Just be sure you know what you are taking on. It's a little like the Godfather- once you are in- you cannot get out!

And, on a closing note- I would not bother with suing - the old saying around here is " you are suing yourself " and it's true and may cost you a bundle and not get you very far. Or it could completely deplete what little your HOA has in reserves- defeating your whole purpose. No money. No repairs. You can't get blood from that ole' turnip. It will also make you enemy #1 with the small group that is volunteering now. Don't expect to get much support from your on site neighbors. If they cared, they would have stepped up long before you moved in in March.

I hope you report back in several months when and if you are able to make change. I feel for you in this situation.

K.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7767


09/29/2018 9:48 AM  
The HOA isn't ignoring YOU. They are ignoring every member of the HOA. These "requests" you have made take time and money to address. NOT to mention manpower. Plus it's a GROUP decision not an individual. It may be that no one is interested in the same things. If they are, then you all should get together to volunteer to make the changes.

Former HOA President
SharonW3
(North Carolina)

Posts:20


09/30/2018 9:34 AM  
IF they are still building wouldn't it stand to reason that the community hasn't been 100% turned over and the developer is in control. I'd call the management company and find out who approves requests for maintenance/repairs, then go directly to that entity.
JimJ7
(Florida)

Posts:9


09/30/2018 9:40 AM  
I am having the exact same problems. They want us to pay thousands of dollars to fix what,is totally their responsibility Sending us threatening letters to comply yet they won't address the problem even in our HOA meetings telling us to hire a lawyer adding the comment and when you lose you will be required to payimg our lawyer and court costs as well as saying we never lose.

So we did just that taking them to Mediation which was in our favor as they walked out. Still ignoring us and the problem we send a letter advising we are now taking them to Arbitration which now goes before a judge for a ruling. They never responded to that request, and still won't address the problem telling any homeowner who calls in its tied up in court.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7872


09/30/2018 4:37 PM  
Adam

The question was asked. Is your association under owner or developer control?
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