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Subject: Fines.....how much can we make them
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BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/18/2018 8:03 PM  
Hi all,

We have one unit in our building that is a timeshare. We are trying to learn more about them (they are grand fathered which I know we can change), but before we go to court and spend lots of money, we'd like to get their governing documents and know their owners. They wont tell us and said hire a lawyer. Our CC&R's basically give the Board the right to know this info and they are ignoring our requests.

I thought the Board could make a house rule that say if the HOA asks for info that the CC&R's say to to provide, the first time it's ignored, the owner gets 30 days to cure the issue, the second time, it's a $500 fine, the third time it's $5,000 and then the forth time it's $50,0000.

The issue is 10 couples own the time share and $5000 divided 10 ways is not going to hurt them. They are are a bunch of Silicon Valley lawyers and executives from what we can figure out.

Is this crazy? I know the California law says that fines need to be reasonable. But, I think you can make the argument that $50,000 is reasonable on the forth warning if you want it to be preventive.

I know we need to talk to a lawyer, but I've been wondering about this all day and it's an interesting question, so I thought I'd post and see what people had to say.

Thanks

Beth
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7762


11/18/2018 11:02 PM  
You need to know this information why and do what with it when you get it? You can find out the owner through the tax records. One thing assured is Death and Taxes. The Tax assessor's office should have the information if you have the lot #. Plus it's the direct owner who is the member I don't believe the time shares they hold. It's the owner you hold the feet to.

As for how much fines are, you may want to consult the state laws on that. Plus make sure your HOA has the right to issue fines. That's something else to consider.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7865


11/19/2018 4:59 AM  
Beth

And why do you need to fine them?
BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 9:58 AM  
Well, they are a general partnership. We don't know who the owners are. They wont tell us who the owners are. They are coming in and out of our building. They wont tell us the rules of their partnership, etc.

We are entitled to this information under the CC&Rs and when we asked for it, they looked at us and said, we have deep pockets hire a lawyer. They are scared, but they do have deep pockets. I suspect, they don't care enough to spend the money in those deep pockets. This is my home, it's their vacation pad shared by 10 couples. Big difference.

Tax records wont help us because the property is owned by a general partnership.

I figure, screw hiring a lawyer, we will just fine them and then, they will give us the info instead of paying the fine. If they want to pay a 50k fine, so be it, we will paint the building and redo the garden and hire a lawyer.

My guess is with some fines, they will hand over the information. Easier than hiring a lawyer.

The real issue and they know this, is we want them out of the building, and we know this timeshare partnership is loosey goosey.

It's actually interesting the city of San Francisco thinks of a timeshare as a hotel and to have a hotel in our zoning district, you need a conditional use permit which they don't have nor will they be granted, so it's illegal what they are doing.

My current idea is to get their partnership agreement and then go to the planning board. But, I would like to know the partners who own the unit and have the partnership agreement before we do that.

They are just dug in (because they are scared) and we need to jiggle them loose a bit to share info.

It's just a fine has to be a big fine, to get their attention, so I'm trying to figure out how much we can get away with.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


11/19/2018 11:26 AM  
No matter what their ownership arrangement is, i.e., who or what is on their deed, they must follow the covenants (CC&Rs) and rules of you HOA. So, what rules are they violating?

You don't need, so far as I know, THEIR "governing docs," whatever that might mean in this context.

In CA, HOAs must have a schedule of fines and it's sent out annually with your annual budget. Fines must be "reasonable." To what address is the budget delivered? What return address is on the envelope of their assessments payments?

Sounds like you're a condo building? Don't you have a property mgr. to handle these matters??
BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 12:54 PM  
I know we can impose fines. And according to our CC&R's we get to know their ownership structure and we need to know that for a variety of reasons.

My question really was and is, what do people think "reasonable" in fines means. If you give owners a number of times to cure the problem, then, you think you can impose a big, huge fine? Like 50K. If they have 4 times to fix the problem and they don't. I don't want to go to court, I just rather fine them a lot.

That is really the issue. What is "reasonable".
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


11/19/2018 1:23 PM  
Someone and I asked: fine them for what?? What's "reasonable" for one violation might not be for others. You can make a policy that fines may double if repeated; that's how built up a $50 1st offense fine to $1,600 over time. Group of guys who had constant noise nuisances in our condo building. They finally moved.

We have a $1,000 fine for rentals under one month, but other nearby condo buildings have $5,000 fines, subject to doubling if repeated. In the context of the ability to rent a 2bd. furnished dodo for a weekend for $4-5,000 for certain events in our city, the fines are not unreasonable.

For most 1st time offenses, our property mgr. sends a "courtesy letter." The 2nd time is a call to a hearing. this all is guided by our own documents and CA civil code, which I assume you've looked up at Davis-stirling.com, right?

Do you want to fine them for not giving your HOA a mailing address??

BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 1:35 PM  
Thanks
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1278


11/19/2018 1:42 PM  
Since the law does not define "reasonable", unless CA has some authority that rules on such things, it would ultimately be up to a judge to decide when the association gets sued for unreasonable fines. Note that the costs of defending such a lawsuit could be high.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 2:35 PM  
Yep, I get "reasonable" I just rather have them give us the info as oppose to go to court. It's more of a leverage play than getting the fine. This way, we stay out of court.

This will be interesting.

We totally campaigned for the HOA board. I assume we will get a mandate. They wont be happy. They have been on the board for year and I think we will push them out. We have commitments from every home owner to vote for our slate.

I think they will come to the table after the election and stop screwing around.

My plan is to avoid court. They are in clear violation of SF zoning laws and the fee is $250 a day. I figure between the two fees, they will start acting like adults and members of a community as oppose to a bunch of cowboys.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


11/19/2018 4:01 PM  
How are they in violation of SF zoning laws??

Hnestly, Beth, your posts don't make much sense.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7762


11/19/2018 4:15 PM  
Just because they may be an LLC doesn't mean you can't take action. It's just a bit more complicated on how it is handled. Plus the HOA can't enforce the rules or even the fines onto the renters. The owners have to have it in their lease agreement that violating the HOA's CC&R's is grounds for eviction.

You can fine the owner(s) till the cows come home. Doesn't mean that they can not recognized "Tenant's rights" or the lease agreement they signed with the tenant(s). So the owner's can't just evict their tenants or even pass the fines onto the tenants. It's a process for eviction of which a tenant can "fight" for up to a year in some states.

Still don't understand exactly what your going to fine for. The most of the violation is that they are using the property as time share. Which may or not be a violation. It could fall under short term rentals. However, what is the fine amount for that violation?

Sounds like your trying to make a neighbor problem into a HOA one... It also sounds like you are scared to even address the elephant in the room just because it's large. No reason not to notify the owners even if they are a LLC. Doesn't make them above the law. Just means one of them has to pick a straw on who pays the fines or go to jail...

Former HOA President
BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 5:15 PM  
You know what this is complicated and I just really wanted to know what people thought "reasonable" is.

It's not a neighbors fight (and if that is how it's coming across), that is an issue and that the forest is getting lost in the trees.

I appreciate everyone's advice, but unless I spend pages writing down the whole situation, I don't think it's going to make a lot of sense to people.

Thanks all for your advice.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:26


11/19/2018 5:26 PM  
We can fine every day. So if you make the fine $1000 and they are being fined each day after 30 day they would be at $30,000. If you can give them a new fine everyday that is the way I would go. Are they breaking any other rules? If I had deep pockets and thought the Board was being jerks I would rent my unit section 8 just to annoy them. When you start playing games you have to be prepared to lose.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3123


11/19/2018 7:13 PM  

We have one unit in our building that is a timeshare. We are trying to learn more about them (they are grand fathered which I know we can change), but before we go to court and spend lots of money, we'd like to get their governing documents and know their owners. They wont tell us and said hire a lawyer. Our CC&R's basically give the Board the right to know this info and they are ignoring our requests.


Well, looks like your at a standstill. You could hire a lawyer, and they could too and you could fight it out for a couple years, then go to court and a judge could grant you that info, or deny it, even if its in your governing docs. Because your an HOA you will need a corporate lawyer at corporate rates. You could be easily looking at a 50k lawyer bill, and for what? Info on the owners?

Ego's aside, will it be worth it and a good use of HOA money?

If it were me, I'd simply request the info once a year, and ignore it if they didn't comply. At the end of the day, who cares?
BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 9:04 PM  
Guezz guys.

You don't know the situation and you all are assuming a lot that is not true.

Lets just shut this thread down and sorry I asked.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3130


11/19/2018 9:09 PM  
Posted By BethK8 on 11/19/2018 9:04 PM
Guezz guys.

You don't know the situation and you all are assuming a lot that is not true.

Lets just shut this thread down and sorry I asked.



Probably a very good idea. I have whoopers in my day, but this has to take the cake.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/20/2018 4:49 AM  
Geeeee ...... I thought we ENJOYED jabberwocky
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3123


11/20/2018 10:34 AM  
Well, I believe in individual property rights. So I dont agree with your direction. One should be able to do whatever they want with thier place (within reason).

Others feels the same and others do not. That is the beauty of talking to other people about any topic. If you only make decisions based only on people who agree with you, you will make bad decisions.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3123


11/20/2018 10:42 AM  
I know we need to talk to a lawyer,


TIP: Dont mention the guys your after are other lawyers. Lawyers dont like to go after other lawyers. Many will simply decline to work with you.
BethK8
(California)

Posts:15


11/20/2018 8:01 PM  
Wow,

No one knows the fact, and I asked for help on what people think is reasonable and I get all types of judgements. If you don't know the facts, how can you pass judgement?

Really?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!

What a bunch of jerks on this board.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7762


11/21/2018 4:27 AM  
Your the one who is taking it as judgement. Others here are giving you advise based on what information you provide. No one knows all the facts because your not posting them!

Sorry your not getting the answer you want to hear or manipulate it out of people. I don't take to bully tactics or insults. Seems the one with the communication issues isn't the people here but the ones trying to narrow the response.

Now if you want to know what is "reasonable" that's NOT going to happen. If you want to know what is "LEGAL" to charge you can find that in your STATE laws. Falls in the area of "loansharking".

My reasonable fine definition is ZERO. I don't think it's reasonable to issue fines. Our HOA never did it. What's reasonable to another HOA is what it decides till it get sued for doing so.

Former HOA President
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:530


11/21/2018 6:37 AM  
Posted By BethK8 on 11/18/2018 8:03 PM
Hi all,

We have one unit in our building that is a timeshare. We are trying to learn more about them (they are grand fathered which I know we can change), but before we go to court and spend lots of money, we'd like to get their governing documents and know their owners. They wont tell us and said hire a lawyer. Our CC&R's basically give the Board the right to know this info and they are ignoring our requests.

I thought the Board could make a house rule that say if the HOA asks for info that the CC&R's say to to provide, the first time it's ignored, the owner gets 30 days to cure the issue, the second time, it's a $500 fine, the third time it's $5,000 and then the forth time it's $50,0000.

The issue is 10 couples own the time share and $5000 divided 10 ways is not going to hurt them. They are are a bunch of Silicon Valley lawyers and executives from what we can figure out.

Is this crazy? I know the California law says that fines need to be reasonable. But, I think you can make the argument that $50,000 is reasonable on the forth warning if you want it to be preventive.

I know we need to talk to a lawyer, but I've been wondering about this all day and it's an interesting question, so I thought I'd post and see what people had to say.

Thanks

Beth




How can you take away what is grandfathered in?
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:530


11/21/2018 6:37 AM  
Posted By BethK8 on 11/20/2018 8:01 PM
Wow,

No one knows the fact, and I asked for help on what people think is reasonable and I get all types of judgements. If you don't know the facts, how can you pass judgement?

Really?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!

What a bunch of jerks on this board.




OK,but how are we supposed to help w/o the needed facts?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:796


11/21/2018 8:46 AM  
Beth,

You must realize this forum gets a lot of the same sort of questions ... with a couple of exceptions, responders to questions ar trying to obtain hard facts about each situation.

We know HOAs are an emotional topic - one of the main reasons to deal only in fact ...they are trying to corral you back to facts and exact circumstances - and, even then may disagree with both your position and your tone.

Please reconsider making broad statements like “...bunch of jerks...” To win at the game of HOA you need to be cold and factual - never go on the record with raw emotion.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/21/2018 10:00 AM  
Posted By BethK8 on 11/20/2018 8:01 PM
Wow,

No one knows the fact, and I asked for help on what people think is reasonable and I get all types of judgements. If you don't know the facts, how can you pass judgement?

Really?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!

What a bunch of jerks on this board.





We reply based upon what YOU tell us.

D'OH



however,

you may be correct


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