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Subject: Inactive New Board
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Author Messages
AmandaC4
(Indiana)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 10:11 PM  
We went through a builder Turnover in September and a small resident board of three was elected. We consist of about 110 homes in this section. Residents have dealt with the worst HOA management company in seven states for years and have been steadily moving out because of them. One of the first things we all wanted done after this event was to vote them out. However, not only are they not working on neighbors behalf but when you contact the HOA to get contact info for the board members, we get this response:

The Board is allowing (blank) to answer all questions or address any needs. (Blank) will share with the Board your request, or complaints.

Please send me the reason for wanting to speak with the Board, I will be glad to contact them with your information.

They are not personally taking complaints nor wishes, that is why Omni has been retained to handle any questions or problems.

(Blank) Neighborhood Watchdog (with camera)

YEAH! WE WANT TO VOTE YOU OUT!

I think this board is made up of up of a small click of neighbors and they plan to just sit and do nothing. We have another section that is in worst shape. Two of three are non-residents and one is a politician. One poor guy is trying to do it all because his efforts to meet with the others are being thwarted. I think maybe some think this might look good on a resume. I don't know but it's serious business to me and others. Residents have been treated like sheep and harassed for years. They want a new management company and want some restrictions relaxed and are perfectly capable of policing ourselves. A woman doesn't need to be retained and paid to mostly harass people. We moved in in June and dealt with four stressful months of warranty work. A hole was in our driveway for five weeks while concrete workers were on strike. We got a violation citation for making improvements to our property without paying $25 and asking permission. I'm serious. Residents are dealt tons of frivolous citations and the management company pockets the money.

What do we residents do? I'm so angry, I'm tempted to have flyers with ballots made and have some teenagers walk the neighborhood, forcing them to do something. Do we hire a lawyer? What? Before you ask, I'm disabled and was so stressed at the time of the meeting, I couldn't even attend. That's why I'm not on the board but I consider myself a volunteer. We have options for a new management company and all most people want to change is the fencing restrictions, they want sheds, and to freely landscape their own properties.

My close neighbors are grumbling but what the heck do we do now?

AmandaC4
(Indiana)

Posts:15


11/19/2018 10:15 PM  
I'm so sorry. I copied and pasted. Can you please edit that name out?
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1278


11/20/2018 6:16 AM  
The easiest thing would be to vote in better board members at the next election. If you have enough people willing to be involved, you could pursue a recall election before that, see your governing docs and/or state law for more details.

I think generally replacing the board is better than suing.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
AmandaC4
(Indiana)

Posts:15


11/20/2018 10:23 AM  
Great advice. Thank you. I have one board members address. I think I'm going to drop a letter by with the management company's response and ask if they are IN FACT speaking on the board's behalf. If they are, I'm advising that I'll be sending out flyers in the form of ballots with the HOAs response in 30 days to all residents. They will NOT just sit the board. They will do what they were elected to do. We'll push them out and re-elect if we have to. The resident's number one WISH is a new management company.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1278


11/20/2018 11:04 AM  
Do your governing documents (CCRs, Deed restrictions, covenants, bylaws, etc.) define a procedure for a recall? If not, check your state laws (actually do this in any case). Sending out flyers in the form of ballots might not mean anything legally. More often than not a recall election takes the form of a members meeting. Typically a certain % of members need to petition for the recall election, which then must be held within a certain time frame. Hopefully others here who are more familiar than I regarding recalls will chime in.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:76


11/21/2018 5:39 AM  
Some random thoughts:

* If you have just gone through a builder turnover, then you have an inexperienced board learning the ropes and getting things started from scratch. It will take them some time to get their feet under them, and getting angry at them won't speed up the process.

* Many homeowners are also fairly clueless about what it actually means to be a member of an HOA. Many of the complaints I've seen from homeowners come from those who want the board to do things that aren't their responsibility, aren't legal, aren't affordable, favor some homeowners over others, aren't in the best interest of the HOA, etc. etc. In short, the biggest source of complaints is unreasonable or uninformed expectations.

* Having the community manager coordinate communication with the board is not unusual - our very competent manager does exactly that. There are two reasons for it: first, most communication involves things that are actually the manager's responsibility, not the board's. Second, many board members are volunteers with full time jobs and other responsibilities, and you don't want to waste their limited time wading through extraneous stuff.

* Most things HOA take longer than anyone would like. Just because you aren't seeing things happen doesn't mean things aren't happening.

* It can't be stated too often: board members are *volunteers*. They are not professionals. If you had professionals in charge (eg., receivership), the homeowners would be paying through the nose for services that the board provides for free. (Hereabouts receivers can be paid more per hour than attorneys.)

* Yes, some board members are truly incompetent and should be replaced. In such case, homeowners need to step up and serve on the board themselves. This means educating themselves about the correct procedures for doing so. Read the CC&Rs thoroughly. Understand the statutes that govern HOAs in your state (these will always take precedence over the CC&Rs. although in a new development the CC&Rs should be compliant).

* If you're intending to replace the community manager, you should have researched management companies in your area and have a pretty good idea of which company you'd like to hire *before* you're elected to the board. Talk to people in other communities and see what they think. After you're elected, read the current management contract because there should be language about the proper way to terminate the contract. Don't take shortcuts, or you may find yourselves in a lawsuit.
AmandaC4
(Indiana)

Posts:15


11/21/2018 7:37 AM  
Thank you for the responses. I know all of this. Right before we moved when I was trying to get info about the HOA, I found out about the Turnover. I knew what it meant because I had a bad experience with a bad management company and board with a condo years ago. So I had flyers printed and my family hoofed them to over 200 homes to let them know what it meant to the neighborhoods and to do their own research. One question was, "Do you want a new board?" The answers were unanimous.

When the board was elected my husband was present and he gave them a copy of everything I had voluntarily done on my own and at our expense. There was a list of local management company's, lawyers, accountant/auditors, exactly what they had to do to vote the current management company out and the percentage of votes it would take to change deed restrictions. I also gave them resources like this site to help them. I know a person on the other board connected to us and they are waiting until the first of the year to have a meeting and make any changes. I'm going to find out what this board is doing.

My gut tells me they have no plans because a resident friend of theirs called me once and told me a stranger was not going to come into the neighborhood and take over. That screamed clique to me and if they don't have the time, they shouldn't have taken the positions. They pushed out one retired man that wanted to serve and another woman to just get three elected. Good thing I know where one member lives. I realize they may not be aware that the management company is doing this. But...they are going to be informed and they knew ALL residents wanted a new management company going into this.

They are going to do the jobs they were elected to do and get dirty or get replaced. And again, let me mention that I'm disabled and can only do what I can from my computer. Plus, my house was demoed twice, my driveway was torn up twice and my yard destroyed over four months. Five months later and we're still not moved in and don't even know if we want to be. So please, don't even judge me for not taking a place on the board.

With that said, I do appreciate every post and all the advice.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:796


11/21/2018 8:39 AM  
Amanda,

It does sound like you are stirring the pot - and perhaps a bit early. If you immediately started doing what you described, I can see how you may have generated antibodies. This isn’t a statement of support for the current board, since I have no ground truth regarding what they are or are not doing.

The only part that doesn’t make a lot of sense is the lack of knowledge about who the board members are - or, did I read this incorrectly?

Do you have copies of all minutes and financials from the past few years?
AmandaC4
(Indiana)

Posts:15


11/21/2018 9:35 AM  
I volunteered information because I'd been through a bad situation before that cost residents money out of their pockets. We'd closed before we knew how bad the situation was here. How can you stir a pot that's already foul? I know the member's names, we just don't have all the contact information and according to the board member I know on the other side, the management company is releasing information as slowly as they want to and what they want to so they can maintain control. How can we get minutes? We don't even know who the secretary is. We don't know who the president is or even if they've decided.

My friend is calling the management company weekly and said he gave no such authorization for them to speak on his behalf and will be contacting them. (The two boards are linked in the by-laws and original contract.) The HOA management company will only give SIMPLE residents tiny bits of information. When I say we have a bad situation here, I mean B.A.D. So stop attacking me and judging me when I'm trying to seek help. Not many people would have done what my husband and I have already done. Most residents wouldn't have known what a Turnover was and we were only given two weeks notice by the HOA went it went down for a meeting and to elect a board. I found out from a builder that they had and held this information two months after he notified them and collected his bond. I've explained that I'm going to attempt to find out exactly what they are doing and what they plan before taking any action. The new board has the benefit of the doubt. Give me that. As I said, I have strong reason for doubts about this elected board. I definitely don't trust this management company. They are as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

I just want to know what we do if I'm right. Believe me, I hate the things I've been right about for the last six months.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:796


11/21/2018 10:55 AM  
Good luck.
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