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Subject: President of BOD trying to attached restricted area to separate interest
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PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 8:22 AM  
I live in a Condo HOA/CID in San Diego, Ca. Back in Oct 2016, it was discovered by one Member that the President of the BOD was operating an Airbnb out of an unapproved, unpermitted room addition to his separate interest. He was originally applied for and approved to be a storage room while he was the President of the BOD. He was summarily recalled from the Board. He was later(Jan 2017) required to sign an Indemnity Agreement drawn up by the Association Lawyer that the room will only be allowed as originally approved by the Board-i.e. a storage room. Violations of the Indemnity agreement could result in the removal of the room at the Owner's expense. This was signed by the Board and the offending Member and filed with the County.
As we sit here today, the room has now been permitted by the offending Member as a 1 bdrm 1 ba. room addition. I am on the BOD. The BOD, against my suggestions, has issued two NOVs-one for the permitting and one for the returning of the structure wall to its original condition. The Member punched a hole in the structure wall so he could get his storage room permitted as a room addition. I insisted that NOVs, which were issued Jan 2018 and SDept 2018 have been largely ignored by the Member and that the BOD should proceed with hiring a company to remove the room. I have been outvoted every time. This is a clear violation of the IA and the Governing Documents of the HOA. This former Member has violated every agreement he has signed with no repercussions. I have insisted on getting the HOA Lawyer involved but that has been ignored as well.
Any legal and logical suggestions are welcomed. This story belongs on American Greed as other violations by this Member have been uncovered as well with no action by the Board.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8267


03/09/2019 8:42 AM  
Paul

The owner was given permission for the room albeit a storage room thus entitled to the room. His AirBnB usage of the room is a different issue. Go after improper usage. not room removal.

You are looking to "punish" him.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/09/2019 9:07 AM  
Paul,

This is pretty entangled with legal system already - to untangle it you are going to need an attorney - if the Board won't do it, then find an attorney will to dual path this - sue the offending owner, and the BoD for not addressing it per your docs.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 10:00 AM  
The member applied for a secure storage room on a piece of a restricted area that has a drainage system and lateral lines. He was President of the Board at the time and even though it violated the CCRs to modify the drainage area, his "buddies" on the Board approved it. They did not approve punching a hole in the structure wall, they did not approve the bathroom, and they did not allow it to be built with the proper permits. He also had a glass door and two windows as part of the secure storage area. He never planned on building a storage room, he always planned to build a room addition. He also violated the CCRs by running an Airbnb out of it. There are numerous other violations this person has arrogantly committed. He has never been fined for any of them. He has violated all agreements he willfully entered into and agreed to all the Terms and Conditions. He is the only one who is punishing himself.
All illegal actions have consequences, if they did not society would be a lot worse off then it is today. This is a classic case of sociopathic behavior. There is really only one effective way of dealing with sociopaths and that is to levy the penalties that go along with the behavior. To date, my BOD has not and he continues to violate the CCRs. Penalties or"punishment" as you call it is a part of a Democratic and law-abiding society.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/09/2019 12:23 PM  
Paul,

You’ve expanded and restated.

Now, it’s time to act - get an attorney and start the process.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 2:29 PM  
Hey George, yes I have been told that before. The issue is it costs money just to talk to an attorney let alone use them to sue an HOA. The HOA's attorney firm will inflate their costs if they win and reduce them if they lose. They are on the side of the HOA. This what is protects corrupt HOAs, the cost to sue. If I want to file a complaint against the Property Management company with the organization who certifies them, I have to pay them $2000 just to file the complaint. Crazy, huh? This is the system that has been set up by the corrupt politicians in our State Legislature.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/09/2019 2:41 PM  
Paul,

Simply because you disagree with the process and/or cost, doesn't make anyone "corrupt."

If you can't afford and attorney and you have exhausted working with the others in your HOA, you probably are gonna be happier moving.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 5:32 PM  
I am not leaving my house just because there are some corrupt people on the Board, People of principle do not run away. It is not that I disagree with the process, my point is the process is one-sided and many people agree with me than not. Again, running away is not a very learned idea.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/09/2019 8:02 PM  
Paul,

You will lose any effort to combat what you feel is wrongheadedness on the part of the board members if you keep using terms like “corrupt” ...if I were on your board, and I caught you saying I was corrupt, I would consider legal action.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


03/09/2019 8:07 PM  
Say, Paul, I wrote a nice long helpful (I thought!) reply to you and lost it! So, I only have time now to suggest you get the other Owners who don't like this obvious violation to speak out at open forum at your monthly board meetings. They need to hold the board's feet to the fire and insist that they enforce the governing documents.

Meantime, what is the "restricted area" in your subject line. I'e learned a lot a bout CA HOAs and also served 12 years on my high rise condo board and never ran into that phrase.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 8:23 PM  
You would consider legal action? I would suggest giving your money to charity, it would be a better use. Actions speak louder than words. Frankly, the whole idea of suing someone for words they say is a childish act because that person has no other way to defend themselves.'
When you abuse the authority and responsibility you are granted and use them to serve your own self-interests that is the true definition of corruption. Board Directors primary fiduciary duty is to enforce the governing documents and the CCRs. Too many people run for the Board to change the Community based on their own values. That person needs to stay home.
I did not realize there was some one in the world who had not heard the words corruption and politcian in the same sentence.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


03/09/2019 8:35 PM  
George often is a nice, helpful person, but he does sometimes gets very judgmental. And it's in a way that done's at all help the poster with her/his issues.

Meantime, Paul check the really valuable davis-stirling.com website for possible menus items that relate your issue.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 9:04 PM  
Hi Kerry, thanks for the advice. Yes, I am very familiar with the Davis Stirling website and have sent in many documents from that website that were included in the Board packet. Members have attended Meetings and inquired as to the status of the issue. To add to the frustration, the Board stated it is a disciplinary matter and they were not allowed to discuss it.
My HOA Board is truly a case study of what an inept, good old boy club an HOA Board can deteriorate to. "Restrict use" is the same as "exclusive use" common area. It is part of the Common area that the Governing documents allow Members to use and are responsible for maintaining. These areas are typically right next to the Members units. But all Common area belongs to the Association and cannot be subdivided or taken by a Member and transferred to their separate interest.
There were many Members at the first meeting back in Oct 2016 when all these corrupt actions were discovered. By now, Members have become apathetic so I am the only one holding the Board accountable for their actions. So even as a Director, I see the Board play these games and frankly have a cult-like loyalty to this offending, self-centered sociopath. I may have to sue but first I am going to try to contact the insurance company and the HOA lawyer.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/09/2019 9:06 PM  
George may be a nice guy but he has a different philosophy of life than I do. I believe there are more people like me in the world who will fight for the right thing and not give up. It is our only hope.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/10/2019 7:50 AM  
Paul,

You have misunderstood my point .... the world is full of people who, when they don’t get their way start calling others names ... and, accusing everyone of “corruption” simply because they have not gotten their way.

These folks are unhappy all the time ...btw, I’ve served on several boards, been an officer on all of them, and, ensured they all restricted their activities to what was legal.

Have heard the “corrupt” word thrown around quite a bit over these many years - never for corruption, and always by folks who simply don’t agree with the way others are governing their HOAs.

Maybe you aren’t like these folks. My intent is to not be offensive, but to be clear about how I would respond if, after working for free to do the right things as I see them and as they are regulated, someone called me corrupt.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 8:45 AM  
It now appears that you are misinterpreting what I am stating. Board Directors who do not follow their fiduciary duty to enforce the CCRs and governing documents because a friend of theirs is violating the CCRs are corrupt. Directors who intentionally stop the enforcement of the HOA's legal documents because it is a friend of theirs are corrupt. Directors who serve on the Board with the intention of personally financially gaining the system are corrupt. Maybe a definition will change your thinking? Again, you are choosing to insult me by saying I calling them corrupt because I cannot get my way, yet you ignore the actions of the others, Why?
If you truly have served on Boards, then you know the rules, correct? Any Director who acts out of bias, self serving greed or is plainly dishonest is corrupt. If you have the facts,argue the facts, If you have the rules, argue the rules, If you have neither, then your argument is self serving or baised lies. One definition of ignorance is clinging to your beliefs inspite of all the facts to the contrary.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:88


03/10/2019 8:59 AM  
If you are not willing to spend the money on an attorney than the only thing you can do is change the make up of the Board and get the new Board to make the changes you want made. It seems the majority of the Board doesn't care or isn't willing to take on the fight. Not saying it is right but you are the Board member who is not going along with the majority.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 9:03 AM  
This may help you understand why the word corrupt is applied to people who undertake certain actions.

Corrupt-
Having or showing a willingness to act dishoenstly in return for money or personal gain
synonyms-dishoenst, amoral, dishoorable, unscrupulous, unprincipled
anytonyms-hoenst law abiding

From the Oxford Dictionary
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 9:10 AM  
Hi Sam, it is not an unwillingness to take on the fight as the legal agreement has already been signed by the offending Member. It is an unwillingness to uphold the HOA's legal documents and CCRs. There have been legal cases where Board Directors have been sued singularly for acting in bad faith. These acts are not covered by the D&I insurance policy. What these Directors are doing is sending a message to the Membership that they disrespect the legal documents of the HOA. So now all Members can violate the CCRs without fear of penalties.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


03/10/2019 9:41 AM  
I entirely agree with your position, Paul (if not your choice of words). You sit on a board that refuses to enforce your governing documents. I personally don't care about their motives or your assessment of their characters as individuals. You must focus on trying to gain compliance.

I and other owners in my HOA will meet with our & the HOA's attorney in an internal dispute resolution (IDR) to try to get the board majority to enforce our gov. docs. Despite 12 years on the board until late `18, I know nothing but this procedure--never had to be involved with it. We rallied many owners to support us but are very concerned they'll lost interest if we keep giving them informational materials so we're laying low for a while.

If you request an IDR, my understanding is the board cannot refuse.

Our election isn't till Oct., but we'll present a slate of honorable owners to gain a board majority, which means we'd need to win 2 of the 3 director slots. I didn't seek reelection last Oct. due to the board majority's increasing secrecy and their drive to ignore our docs and to spend 1 /4 of our reserves while they're at it.

As a high rise, we too have exclusive use common areas--our appurtenant balconies, decks & patios. Our CC&Rs and other documents allow nothing to be built on them. No wall, floor or ceiling penetration may occur at all.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:88


03/10/2019 9:48 AM  
I understand but your options are limited. How about some type of civil disobedience? You said the structure is on common property. Can you and the neighbor that want the rules enforced start using the property since it is common and force the Board's hand or he can you break a different rule trying to force the Board. As I see it you have 3 options courts, changing the Board, or maybe civil disobedience. The only other thing I could think of is if your state provides some kind of oversight that you can get involved. This will probably be a long fight for you and may not be worth the struggle. Based on what you said I believe you are right but don't know if it is worth fighting.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 10:08 AM  
Hi Kerry, thanks for the feedback. I have tried the IDR but was told this does not involve you and "it involves a disciplinary matter of any Member which they are prohibited from discussing"(according to them). I have tried to engage the HOA Attorney but, apparently, that has to be a Board action and they have not agreed to do that. Trying to get "honorable" Members to become involved was easy at first but now everyone is "well, what can we do"? They are disgusted with the Board and, by the way, the Property Management Company who also has a vindictive attitude towards me.
What would you do if the President decided to build something on the balconies on your building and had friends on the Board that would not take any action against it?
This offe=nding Member and hsi wife are con artists. They conive and manipulate by doing odd handy man jobs for the Members in their area of the Community. Truly a cult like environment in the area they live.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 10:14 AM  
Hi Sam, this is actually an exclusive use area so the offending Member has the right to use it. But, they do not have the right to attach it to the separate interest. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what he has done. They are numerous other violations which had not been properly addressed by this Board. I do not even want to start the story of what happened to the Member who reported his illegal Airbnb. She eventually had to sell her home and move out. Incredibly disturbing and I was the only Member who spoke for her at meetings. The whole story would make honest people sick as Iha ve told it to numerous friends who are on Boards and lawyers.
This is why I say HOAs are designed by politicians in their own corrupt image. This is what is wrong with HOAs today. All the power and money and very little accountability. Ripe for corruption and greed.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/10/2019 11:53 AM  
Paul,

Your last paragraph ... wow ...

I would recommend a far different approach - to win.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 1:35 PM  
George, you may want to involve yourself in life and understand that what I am saying is happening right in your State, City and probably Community. Those who are not part of the solution are part of the problem. Don't hide your head in the sand. Or maybe you are a politician?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/10/2019 1:36 PM  
Paul,

I can now see how and why this happens to you.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/10/2019 1:40 PM  
George, it would not surprise me if you are this violating member or a close friend of his. Nothing you say makes any sense because it is not based on any facts and is insulting rather than insightful.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/10/2019 8:34 PM  
Ha, yeah, that fits, as well.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8267


03/11/2019 8:05 AM  
Paul

You seem to want a pound of flesh by asking the room be removed as it was misused. He did have permission for a storage room so I say make him revert it back to such.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/14/2019 5:05 PM  
You do not seem to have read my posts. This former disgraced president has been given two+ years to adhere to the legal agreements he signed. He lied when he served on the Board, he misused his position to personally enrich himself, he even ran to replace himself in the recall election. He signed word is worthless, he does not have the capacity to follow thru on his signed agreement. he has violated CCRs, zoning code and building permits. Do you really think the Board has not warned him to adhere to the agreement he signed?
He is a self-absorbed, sociopath that will only change his behavior when he is severely punished by his agreed-upon penalties. People who defend this type of behavior and want to give this type of behavior a pass, are probably corrupt themselves. Again, this "person" had been given every opportunity to redeem himself and he has refused to do so.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/14/2019 8:49 PM  
This is a piece for the history of this website.
PaulM27
(California)

Posts:16


03/15/2019 10:02 AM  
This is a teaching lesson for all Members of HOAs- you should be involved with your communities' Boards, monitor their actions, ask detailed questions and demand that they enforce the CCRs fairly and consistently across the Community or get rid of them. Do not trust your Property management company as they are hired by and are an advocate for the Board not the Member. They are unregulated and typically people who are looking to make extra money in retirement. HOA Boards are granted a significant amount of authority by the State but they also have a fiduciary duty to serve the Community honestly, fairly and without personal bias and gain.
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