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Subject: How to get "pioneers" past "The developer promised us..."?
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MicheleH4
(Washington)

Posts:1


12/11/2018 11:35 AM  
Our development is now about 5 years old. The last house in the neighborhood was just completed last fall.
We have "original owners" who brought from the developers and newcomers who have gone through real estate firms who are living here.
The developers handed off the management to the HOA about 3 years ago. We have standard CCRs and very clear rules about the traditional issues, such as parking on the street and commercial vehicles.
We have a number of original owners who don't like the CCRs and, in any meeting, they stand up and repeatedly tell the group that they were given promises and told not to worry about "all that stuff" when they bought from the developers

Newcomers, who are now the "second" owners of the homes receive the CCRs for review when they get serious about buying, and see the rules about all kinds of things - like parking and commercial vehicles - writ clear in black and white. The fact that the development has an HOA is clearly stated in any and every real estate listing. So not a surprise and this is now, not 5 years ago.

How do you move the original owners along to the present in which the CCRs are the rules? Is there a good and successful strategy to use in discussion and meetings? They mostly dig in their heels. Ideas?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8419


12/11/2018 12:11 PM  
Posted By MicheleH4 on 12/11/2018 11:35 AM
Our development is now about 5 years old. The last house in the neighborhood was just completed last fall.
We have "original owners" who brought from the developers and newcomers who have gone through real estate firms who are living here.
The developers handed off the management to the HOA about 3 years ago. We have standard CCRs and very clear rules about the traditional issues, such as parking on the street and commercial vehicles.
We have a number of original owners who don't like the CCRs and, in any meeting, they stand up and repeatedly tell the group that they were given promises and told not to worry about "all that stuff" when they bought from the developers

Newcomers, who are now the "second" owners of the homes receive the CCRs for review when they get serious about buying, and see the rules about all kinds of things - like parking and commercial vehicles - writ clear in black and white. The fact that the development has an HOA is clearly stated in any and every real estate listing. So not a surprise and this is now, not 5 years ago.

How do you move the original owners along to the present in which the CCRs are the rules? Is there a good and successful strategy to use in discussion and meetings? They mostly dig in their heels. Ideas?




Ask those claiming exemptions to the Covenants, show proof of such like a letter from the developer. If nothing, then shut up, sit down, and follow the Covenants like all others..
RoyalP


Posts:0


12/11/2018 12:14 PM  
Unequivocal and universal enforcement of the covenants is the ONLY solution.

Wishy-Washy 'feel good' niceties will NOT change anything.

As the old movie states (paraphrased):

"Let loose the enforcers!" eg, violation notices, fines and/or attorneys



{'Clash of the Titans' ~ "Let loose the Kraken!"}
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3040


12/11/2018 2:41 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 12/11/2018 12:11 PM
Ask those claiming exemptions to the Covenants, show proof of such like a letter from the developer. If nothing, then shut up, sit down, and follow the Covenants like all others..

Yep. The developer usually doesn't have the power to grant exemptions from the governing documents, no matter what false representations they made to buyers to entice sales. Tell the pioneers they're required to abide by the governing documents the same as everyone else. Get your fining procedures ready to go.

Also, welcome, Michele, to hoatalk.
CarlJ2
(Texas)

Posts:190


12/11/2018 3:19 PM  
HOAs are designed to enforce the rules regardless of any other circumstance. Weather they make sense is irrelevant. They are slaves to the CCRs.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16379


12/11/2018 3:46 PM  
Posted By MicheleH4 on 12/11/2018 11:35 AM

How do you move the original owners along to the present in which the CCRs are the rules?




You don't. All you can really do is explain that regardless of any promises that may have been made, the Association and all members must go by what is written. If someone is concerned about promises made, they should take the issue up with those that made the promises (Realtor or Developer).



Posted By MicheleH4 on 12/11/2018 11:35 AM

Is there a good and successful strategy to use in discussion and meetings? They mostly dig in their heels. Ideas?




Be respectful and understand that there are multiple viewpoints to every issue. The original owners may have the opinion that you are digging in your heels.

Keep in mind that if there is enough support the CC&Rs can be amended.
Suggest to those who want changes to propose language and the Board can bring the issue to a vote.
AugustinD


Posts:1750


12/11/2018 5:22 PM  
Posted By MicheleH4 on 12/11/2018 11:35 AM
We have a number of original owners who don't like the CCRs and, in any meeting, they stand up and repeatedly tell the group that they were given promises


I think the first problem is these folks are disrupting a meeting of I presume the Board. It is incumbent on the Board to get its business done. The Board consists of volunteers whose time is precious and who have demands that are pretty intense. Because of this, every meeting should have an agenda circulated in advance to board members and HOA members alike. Agendas are key to having a successful meeting, where either decisions are made or information is exchanged for use in future decision-making. Check your governing documents for whether your HOA must follow Robert's Rules of Order for meetings. If there is no such requirement, create a set of basic rules for meetings, the first being that members may attend board meetings but may not participate. After formal adjournment of the board meeting, explain that the board will take questions and comments from members. I think it's super important to let Members give input and sometimes, just vent. If anyone is too disrespectful and goes on and on, impose a time limit.

The HOA president normally presides at meetings. No one speaks unless the President recognizes him or her. The HOA president should be unflappable. Let the obstreperous members vent but then the President should say simply (for example), "Thank you for your input, Mr. Smith. Now we'll hear from Ms. Jones. Ms. Jones, you had your hand up?" It's okay if the Board wants to take action at a subsequent meeting on anything said.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:501


12/11/2018 8:22 PM  
The newcomers are buying in to the voices of the pioneers and agreeing that there are some rules (CCRs) that truly ought to be ignored or disobeyed.

So your job is to have meetings that will help build the case that the CCRs are important and for the betterment of the homeowners. Not for the HOA and not because of what the developer did or did not promise.

That means you really have to take an honest look at all the paperwork. If a lot of people disobey a rule or law, it’s time to take an honest look at it. Make sure the CCRs are relevant for today’s world.

Or get ready for a coup!

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


12/11/2018 8:50 PM  
Explain that the developer is no longer involved or owns the HOA. It's now you and your neighbors that own it. So that means you all under your own powers now.

Something that may help get everyone on the same page? Why not take the time now to modify the CC&R's, Articles of Incorporation, and by-laws? Read them to see what percentages it takes to make the changes. It also may require a special meeting. (Something may be able to avoid).


It's time to live under the rules your HOA wants to live under/with. Plus may need to update the documents to remove any developer references or 2 class voting system. (Usually exists when developer in charge giving them more votes than the average member). There may be areas like no satellite dishes that can be removed/updated. May want to put in about new technologies/green energy options. Just an overall update and review.


You all may want to get a "Fining schedule" together. The documents have to give your HOA the right to issue fines. However, most do not define the fine/amounts. A fining schedule does that. Example: Leaving a garbage can out after garbage pickup is $25 a day.


It's going to be pure torture to do this I will not lie. Will need a lawyer. (NOT a Real Estate one). They will need to assist in drafting and filing the documentation at the courthouse. Plus want to make sure the changes are legal.


The hardest change to make is a culture one. That is the one your HOA facing. Think changing your rules/documents to reflect what you all want/desire will help in that. It's just a very difficult and long process to get everyone to agree.

Former HOA President
ArtL1
(Florida)

Posts:134


12/14/2018 3:10 AM  
It looks like you're "in luck". The statute of limitations on civil contract enforcement in WA is 6 years.
Send out a letter to all the members letting them know the HOA intends to begin to enforce the covenants as written, and start sending violation letters to those who violate them.

Even if done in writing (which is highly unlikely to have happened), I seriously doubt the builder could legally offer exemptions to certain covenants to certain members of the HOA. That would end up being selective enforcement.
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