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Subject: Master HOA Dues Question
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GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/20/2018 8:06 PM  
Hi again. Another Master/Sub question. Are monthly maintenance fees payable to Master Associations ever negotiable? In a nutshell, our subassociation (and a few others) were not included within newer main gated association, but share a very short Ungated entrance road (common area). Our monthly fees to the Master Association have gone up significantly every year, yet virtually all expenses are within the new larger gated area. Also, we have our own clubhouse and manager, yet contribute to shared facilities for several other subassociations (which we don’t use). The list goes on. Less than half of our HOA dues relate to anything associated with our condo development. We have our own Condo monthly dues which are quite high but very inclusive, negating need for any HOA services except for sharing short segment of entrance road. So question- Is there any way to negotiate lower HOA monthly dues for subassociations which are subsidizing newer larger developments which didn’t exist when the bylaws were drawn up. Bylaws state equal dues for all homeowners irrespective of whether a cheap condo, or $10 million dollar new home, and paying equal landscaping, management and road costs for all common areas, despite being outside main gated area and not entering it. Thanks. In advance- yes, I know it’s in the bylaws, yes, we knew we would pay separate master HOA and own Condo Association dues, etc. Just curious if any recourse for the unfairness.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:860


11/21/2018 11:17 AM  
Your payments to the master association are going to be prescribed in the documents forming your association. You and your neighbors agreed to them when you bought.

You can ASK (beg? grovel?) the master association to give you a break. That will mean other people will need to pay more. Good luck with that.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:159


11/21/2018 12:17 PM  
Gerry,
I am not going to be of much help because I have never been a part of a Master/Sub deal. It sounds way to complicated for the average board member on here to decipher. Sounds like lawyer stuff and expensive bills to follow.

My question revolves around the part where you said areas (which we don't use) You don't use or you don't have access or ability to use. I wonder if you could use this as leverage to get your dues lowered saying you want communal use of those areas. If they say no and they probably will then the next question is why are we paying for them?
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1278


11/21/2018 1:12 PM  
I'm with Fred in that the governing documents should define how the dues are determined. My guess would be that the sub association is responsible for some percentage of the master association dues, but there could be some other formula. Assuming this is codified in the CCRs or Covenants, the master association wouldn't really have the ability to cut a break. I think the main thing to verify would be that the master association is properly apportioning the dues based on the documents.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7865


11/21/2018 1:27 PM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 11/21/2018 12:17 PM
Gerry,
I am not going to be of much help because I have never been a part of a Master/Sub deal. It sounds way to complicated for the average board member on here to decipher. Sounds like lawyer stuff and expensive bills to follow.

My question revolves around the part where you said areas (which we don't use) You don't use or you don't have access or ability to use. I wonder if you could use this as leverage to get your dues lowered saying you want communal use of those areas. If they say no and they probably will then the next question is why are we paying for them?




In the Master Sub HOA I was familiar, with the Subs had access to all Master Amenities even if they did not use them. The same one had Master pools, tennis, etc, but some of the Subs had their own pool, tennis, etc.

Some of this reeks of well if I do not use an amenity why should I pay for it?
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/21/2018 3:38 PM  
Thanks all for the comments. Unfortunately sound similar to my conclusions. A few more facts and comments: 1. the bylaws were written in the 90s and never redone. They definitely state that master association fees will be split equally among all homeowners. Based on that, I think we’re “toast” in perpetuity. But a few more facts. 2. Around 12 years ago more than triple the number of new homes (versus our condos) started coming on board, beginning at what was a short dead end road we live on (common element). They decided to Gate the entire new community (many subassociations) while we are outside the gates. This was a decision made after the original bylaws/agreement. We all share this 200 yard road. There is no pool, clubhouse, or anything we would or could ever use within the gates. They are all private homes, most w own pools, a few private clubhouses within separate gated subdivisions. 3. We pay over $1000/month to our own subassociation which includes all amenities we need. 4. We now pay around $300/ month to the Master- for that all we get is the shared 200 yard entrance road (ungated), garbage and 200 yards common landscaping. A few other minor things. 5. We are subsidizing about a mile of gated roads, landscaping, master HOA separate office and manager, all of which we don’t use since as a condo we have all of these services. 6. With regard to amenities/common areas not used. I agree in theory we could, but 1: It would almost be a violation of their privacy to go into the gated area since there is nothing there except another way to leave the area in the event the main exit is blocked for some reason. 2. We have our own manager and management company. Many of the new gated subassociations are small and do not have manager or clubhouse, but use the Master manager for their business. We virtually never do. In conclusion, while we are dead with regard to a binding contract for equal payments, the playing field has evolved into a completely different situation than what we perceived when we bought in before all the new associations and roads beyond the gate. To me it is in the spectrum of an adhesion contract, we signed as a weak party not aware of the long term implications. Just my losing side opinion.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/21/2018 5:56 PM  
..... 4. We now pay around $300/ month to the Master- for that all we get is the shared 200 yard entrance road (ungated), garbage and 200 yards common landscaping. .....


$3,600 per year for:

600 feet of roadway

600 feet of landscaping

garbage collection



pricey, but, not unreasonable
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/21/2018 6:08 PM  
Well. There are 400 + homeowners all paying that. 1/5 of us don’t use the other mile of roads inside gated areas, and all the other services. I can see that would be ok if it was our own personal road for our condo association.
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/21/2018 6:18 PM  
Plus. We’re still paying our own $1000+/month for our own gate and roads, and all the usual condo things. We even have to pay the master association gate repairs even though we don’t use them, besides their roads, landscaping, water etc.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/22/2018 5:55 AM  
.....1/5 of us don’t use the other mile of roads inside gated areas, .....



? and the remaining 4/5 ?
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/22/2018 8:49 AM  
80% of the master association (all single family homes) must enter gated area and drive anywhere from 400 yards to a mile to get to house or another gated subassociation. 20% (condos) were built years before, are outside the gated area, but share a 200 yard connector road (common area) which is also used by some non residents, a few businesses, etc.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/22/2018 8:59 AM  
If y'all are permitted to access the amenities beyond the gate you have no issue.

If you are NOT:

You need legal council NOW.

There is a principle of 'equitable distribution' which 'may' be applicable.

or

Accept that 'life's a bit*h, then you die".




next time: CAVEAT EMPTOR
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/22/2018 9:14 AM  
Royal, I totally agree with you. Originally, condos were going to be within the gated area (right next to one entrance). But because of road logistics, and condos having their own gates, the main gate entrance was placed just past our condo entrance. While we were given gate cards, there is absolutely no reason to go there as it is all private single family homes, nothing else. And is wrong direction away from all destinations. A few times a year there is a road closure so we use the gated road to access public roads on the other side. Equitable distribution- 1/2 of the homes do not have their own association manager or a clubhouse, so use the Master Manager/office for all their business (other half virtually never use). Again, I agree with you, just hunting for alternative ideas (like secession).
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/22/2018 10:54 AM  
..... While we were given gate cards, there is absolutely no reason to go there as it is all private single family homes, nothing else. .....


You all are free to come and go through the gates which you all own.

I assume that the ones 'behind' the gate use the amenities up front !?

You all own the roads.

You all own the amenities.

You all pay for what you all own.

If the gate were at the road and you were behind it what would change ?


opinion:

the $1000 a month pays for the condo maintenance / insurance / lighting / pool / etc

the $300 a month pays for what is 'specific' to your sub association

? pricey ?

CAVEAT EMPTOR

RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/22/2018 10:59 AM  
..... and condos having their own gates .....




soooooo, you are ALSO gated

do the OTHERS have gate keys to your condo / amenities ?



If so, as per the bylaws, y'all are 'scr*w*d'.

If NOT, the matter of equity still applies.



Best of Luck

and

Happy Thanksgiving
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/22/2018 11:27 AM  
Royal, I agree with your comments and conclusions, including Caveat Emptor. I guess my argument is the evolution of monthly HOA fee increases is disproportionately due to 50-80% of single family homes within the gated area. From specific Budget analysis, we are paying $80/month for services we actually use and need. The other $220 subsidizes the remaining 80% - all single family homes. 30% of the homes utilize around $450/ month (benefit from HOA office/management, not used by others). Had we been located within the gates, then we could have gotten rid of our gates, and our roads would be covered by the HOA (like 30% within the gates who do not live in separate gated subs). We pay our own gate and road maintenance. The list goes on. If I were to drive in to the gated area and park, security would ask me why I’m there, as it is lined with houses with zero amenities. If we’re calling roads amenities, then we have amenities. Unfortunately they’re really just high maintenance deeded common areas, which theoretically we can access, but practically have no reason to. As in 1 mile long road common area, dead ending in ultra expensive enclave. With each home costing 10 times our condos. So we use 200 yards of road. They open a remote gate, drive a mile, open another private remote gate, and use office and manager we are contributing 20% to, which we never use since we are a condo with our own private manager and private amenities. Something not right.
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/22/2018 11:41 AM  
Yes, we are privately gated condo, responsible for everything within, and no one has access but us. If we didn’t have gate cards to the other area (worthless cards, as nothing is there but a road with homes), then I wouldn’t be posting, we already would have resolved this in our favor. Thanks for input and Happy Thanksgiving.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:203


11/22/2018 12:10 PM  
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:421


11/22/2018 3:53 PM  
Are your fees (assessments) to the master written in the deed restrictions, otherwise known as CCRs? They should not be in the bylaws alone without some basis in the CCRs.

CCRs in Florida expire in 30 years through MRTA. Have your CCRs been renewed or revitalized? If not, you may no longer be subject the CCRs, although your association, or the individual owners, would still be responsible for your portion of the common areas.
GerryW1
(Florida)

Posts:49


11/22/2018 4:50 PM  
Thanks Jeff. Yes, the 1990 CCRS describe that equal dues will be paid by all homeowners, and describes various non-exceptions. There were various amendments and supplements over the years, never restating or addressing the dues, just adding new subdivisions, how the voting worked, and what happened when the developer was done and phased out. Our condo was referenced several times, when built in late 90s, when all subdivisions were completed as part of voting and road obligations for entire association. Unfortunately recent versions say that all other aspects of CCRS are not affected that are not referenced, something to that effect. So basically a deed restriction in perpetuity to me.
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