Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Abuse of Authority Malfeasance
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/12/2018 9:13 AM  
Home Owners Association:

Good Day: I am certainly not new to Associations, Boards, Committees and their related problems as I am 70 years old and have been on a County Board for years and various committees. In addition to that I have been in the Real Estate and Development Business, owning our own company for years. In this time period I have been the Declarant of numerous HOA's prior to transition.
This surely doesn't make me an expert but in 45 years I thought I saw everything.

As I have a small Hobby Farm in Wisconsin and this Association is in southern Alabama you can imagine the logistical problems.

My wife and I bought a piece of property in this "Subdivision" on the river. As we were one of the first buyers and no HOA was in place, I notice the BY Laws and Covenants and one Amendment was over kill for a basically recreational community

I went to the Declarant and expressed my thoughts and as two men having had extensive experience , I explained the potential problems that as they were a National Developer, used a.BOILER PLATE set of rules for ALL their developments. I explained these By Laws were more suited to an exclusive golf course community. He admitted as much but as his job was to sell out the project he assured me that it would all work itself out. He and I knew that problems would arise and as he was the soe DECLARANT prior to any formation of a HOA he had the authority to grant me an exclusion or exemption to a certain part of the up coming By Laws.
He asked what I needed, which was because of the 1,200 mile one way distance and the fact I had bought an acreage RECREATIONAL Lot, not a WATERFRONT lot I would be able to use my RV 120 days a year on a Calendar Year basis. I told him I would like to build a storage building to store the RV in when not in use
He agreed to this but asked for some sort of rendition of the building. I explained to a neighbor that I was going to meet with the Declarant on this issue, she too had this concern and asked if she could be there. It just so happened that the Declarant was inspecting the property on an ATV and we stopped him on the road. I showed him the exact building I would like to build as well as it's intended usage. He drew in a couple of suggested changes and initialed it and said OK. The neighbor was a witness as well as my wife.

This worked great for over 6 years. We came down in December and left in April storing our RV until next year. I put $22,000 in improvements, septic, well, electric, well etc. This survived 3 board changes including the present board.

The Board is non compliant in their formation and as the only authority is the Chairman who is absent a minimum of 6 months of the year and has not designated a co chairman so the meeting is called , opened and Chaired by the Treasurer who also doubles as secretary as the secretary is a token woman.

The Chairman had use of my land up until this year that I found he was abusing this privilege and and asked him to no longer trespass my property. This angered him and he fancies himself a real bully, He waited until myself and one of the board members parked my RV for the year and "UPDATED THE BY LAWS" , a term I have never heard in 45 years.

He attempted to not acknowledge my exemption and include me in the HOA and put restrictions that caused me to remove my RV and now sell my property.

Attempting to find an Southern attorney for a person from Wisconsin proved to be a daunting task. I retained an attorney here and the attorney they hired down there is very aware that a Wisconsin attorney can ask for information but told her I was wasting her time and my money.

They were to have a board meeting in October and we were told by the Treasurer that meetings of those minutes would be distributed in January when he payed the bills. The Chairman was in Wyoming and do not see how a meeting was held but told this was common practice. I asked that a letter be read regarding my exemption and include in the minutes of the meeting. I wanted to do this for years but each board Chairman and board assured me that my building and usage was in place way before an HOA was formed and no need.

I have the drawing, the time frame, an signed, notarized affidavit am getting nowhere.

I am a combat decorated Veteran with Disabled Citizen Classification. This an a dollar gets me a cup of coffee at the gas station..
Any suggestions???

Thanks, Lee Rigby
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:707


12/12/2018 9:22 AM  
Contact the Bar Association in Alabama and request a referral to a requisite attorney.

Have your attorney in Wisconsin 'collaborate' with the local Alabama attorney.

or

Sell the 'anchor' and live long and prosper in peace.



ps. the gas station gives me a 5 cent discount


E PLURIBUS UNUM
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1393


12/12/2018 11:19 AM  
Bylaws and other governing documents can be amended, the process for that should be in those docs, and possibly governed by state law too. In some cases the docs allow the bylaws to be amended by the board, but more common would be something like a majority of voting interests at an annual meeting with a quorum in attendance. The CCRs/Covenants/Deed restrictions typically have a more difficult path to amendment, often 2/3 or 3/4 of all voting interests.

The bylaws generally govern the operation of of the association corporation, things like when meetings are held and what officer duties are. Use restrictions would need to be in the covenants, so unless they have gone through the proper procedure to amend, they would not have changed, so the chairman's rants are just that, empty rants. Most covenants provide an approval process for changes/variations, and since the developer was acting as the approving authority (typically ARC), you appear to have a valid approval. It's also possible that any statutes of limitations to either challenge a variance or a violation of the covenants has passed.

It appears to be bluster so far, one option would be to wait and see if they actually try to fine or pursue legal action. The other that you appear to be following is to proactively have a lawyer review the case and probably send a letter to the association stating the opinion that the association has no authority to stop you from parking the RV and to stop harassing you.


Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


12/12/2018 2:52 PM  
Lee,

Perhaps you are mixing Bylaws and CC&Rs up ...please review both and then determine where the RTV building restrictions are located.

Updating (amending) Bylaws is common - dictated by what the last legal Bylaws say about being updated.

Has the developer turned over the subdivision to the HOA?

Have you attended the Board meetings? Can you run for a Board position?

BTW - 70 is pretty darn young to be talking about being 70 :-)

And, as an aside ... anyone who says, "token woman," automatically loses the argument. I'm not a woman, and even I find it offensive.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


12/12/2018 2:54 PM  
Shoot - forgot ... what you are calling this situation is waaaay more than it is ... IMO this is simply another HOA finding its way toward self governance. With enough work, volunteer spirit and personal involvement on the Board of Directors, you will work it out.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:491


12/13/2018 5:12 AM  
Lee
Do you have this storage barn AND a home on this lot?
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/13/2018 7:45 AM  
Thanks, Douglas. There are clear definitions as to how. the board is to be set up with the use of 4 entities. Board od Directors, Board Members,elected officials and ARC. They have only a Board.

Yes you are correct, if I were to stay down there, I would wait it out and wait for them to seek remedy by court order of which no judge would rule in their favor.

I was just trying to speed it up and get it defined so it would not cloud the sell of my property. It really makes no difference as they have the property value so depressed I will lose money anyway so why throw more money down the drain. Thanks again. Lee
AugustinD


Posts:1583


12/13/2018 8:11 AM  
LeeR2, a judge may very well rule for you but it is not guaranteed, especially if the Declarant is still in control. More importantly, and as I think you know, the costs of going to court, especially long distance, are prohibitive. Just the amount of time it will take is daunting. Plus there is no guarantee you will win an award of attorney's fees while also winning the suit.

You can send a demand letter, threatening that the HOA fix this, or you will take it to court. But I am not optimistic. Selling and moving unfortunately do seem to be your best options. Try not to sweat the imperfect Bylaws and how they put restrictions on your property. I would be boiling, too. But at this point, I think finding a well-run HOA may be quixotic. I hope to avoid them in the future.

Good luck.
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/13/2018 8:40 AM  
Thanks, George. No I have been through all documents and even the amendment. The board has never been formed correctly and takes bits and pieces from the original without cross checking the amendment for starters.

I could easily just wait this out until they would need to sek remedy which is a court issued injunction. There is no judge that would not find in my behalf. This was created well in advance of the HOA and they have never created an ARC anyway.
I just wanted to get this out of the way so no cloud nung over the issue as I am selling the property.

We are waiting for the minutes of a meeting that was to have my letter and facts entered into the minutes which would secure my position but the meeting was in October and they do not plan to send out minutes until January.. Screwed up for sure. Thanks, Lee. Reference to "token woman" is their mentality not mine. My wife has been my business partner for over 40 years and my wife for 27. Other than certain combat situations I think woman demonstrate a superior business asset.
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/13/2018 8:49 AM  
Sue,thank you for your reply. Yes when I saw the restrictive By Laws would be a potential problem I approached the Developer prior forming of an HOA and asked for permission to buikd a storage barn for my RV, use it for my 120 days and then store until next year. This had no problems in 6 years and 3 board changes. I could stay there long enough to see if they would still deem this a violation and not except it and their sole remedy is court injunction of which no judge would rule on their behalf. I planned to sell and this is what brought this unwanted harassment.I wanted to clarify this before listing as to not shadow any property values.
We will try to get my exemption entered into the minutes of a meeting as this will secure it's position.Thanks again.
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/13/2018 8:56 AM  
Augustine, very well stated even if it it does present an oxymoron!!! The Declarant was the one who issued me the permission prior to turning over the HOA so it is not even in their jurisdiction to question, you as well as I know the in this situation, Cream does not float to the top. However the "Peter Principle" becomes very evident. Thanks, Lee
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/13/2018 9:00 AM  
Sue, if I did not clarify regarding a statement that a gentleman made regarding , a "token woman" that was their wording not mine. My wife has been my business partner for over 40+ years and my wife for 27. I find except in certain combat situations women to be superior to men in mst business situations....
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:707


12/13/2018 9:19 AM  
..... This was created well in advance of the HOA and they have never created an ARC anyway. .....


But, NOT created in advance of the Covenants and Restrictions

Said restrictions may very well STILL apply to your property.




IMO: sell ..... move along ..... next time: CAVEAT EMPTOR
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


12/13/2018 10:39 AM  
"...I think finding a well-run HOA may be quixotic. I hope to avoid them in the future."

I disagree with Augustin re the difficulty of finding well run HOAs ... there are tens of thousands of them that are well run and serve a positive function for their communities.

Augustin - if you hope to avoid them, why would you be on a site that is supposed to help and be positive regarding HOAs?


AugustinD


Posts:1583


12/13/2018 10:53 AM  
Hi George, I know it is entirely possible that the sample of posts here is heavily biased towards those HOAs that are the worst run. You may be correct that the overwhelming majority are well run. I post here to help people and occasionally learn something new. I am not sure this forum is intended to be "positive" at every moment.
LeeR2
(Wisconsin)

Posts:7


12/13/2018 11:14 AM  
AugustinD, I believe you are correct in your assumption of why this post is in existence. Most people turn to a forum as a last result or possibly their first step in the due diligence stage. If everything was running great why would you need answers.

I belong to a cannabis investing forum about one particular company. It has so much potential but is not meeting deadlines, performing as anticipated and people enter to try to understand. It has grown so much that they had to create 3 separate chat rooms. The original chat room, the whiners chat room and the quality post room which you need to verify you are an actual shareholder to comment. It is effective as it addresses most areas.
I guess it is kind like a restaurant, get a good meal and 5 people hear about it , get a bad meal and 25 hear about it. Nature of a chat room designed to help people with problem areas. I also belong to gun chat rooms that are positive mostly as they are reviewing a new weapon or commenting positively??? Yes there may be some negative and the other members try to help figure out what the problem may be. Each blog serves a purpose..
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Abuse of Authority Malfeasance



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement