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Subject: Please help I dont know where to turn
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TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 2:50 PM  
Hello I am really in need of some help, any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated I have spent hours looking up options online and I just not finding the answers that I'm looking for. We have a new HOA president, the only reason she is President is because she hired an attorney and forced out the previous president and then once in office used HOA funds to pay off that attorney in the amount of $25,000. We have had potholes on all of our streets for months she refuses to fix them. She has put up signs saying she will tow away our cars for expired registration or inspection. She is dating a tow truck driver and I literally saw the both of them driving around the neighborhood at 1 in the morning almost as if they are working together and have video to prove it. She is claiming to have spent $10,000 to fix our pool it has never never been fixed and every month takes out $900 to pay for a pool monitor when the pool has been closed for years. I walked over to her place to confront her about towing people's cars off of their private property (we all own our land) from their driveways for expired registration and she has the walkway to her front door completely blocked off. You cannot go and talk to her and she's never in the office. She has listed special accounts and lies about Renovations that did not take place that totals up to tens of thousands of dollars. And it's not just her, all of her friends are on the board as well and one of them the treasurer is driving a new car and so is her daughter. This is just extremely stressful and every attorney that I have spoken to wants a $20,000 retainer and I don't have that kind of money. She has also decided to cancel elections for this year so we aren't having one. Is there anything I can do about this? I don't even know who to report her to or how to go about having her removed. It's just made everything so stressful and frustrating. Any advice is greatly greatly appreciated, thank you
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/01/2019 3:21 PM  
Your going to get Devil's Advocate advice here. So don't expect advice on what you want to hear. First off, someone driving a new car or their daughter is irrelevant. You can't judge someone because you see them driving a new automobile. Example: I was unemployed. My laptop broke. I needed a new laptop. So used an emergency fund to purchase a new laptop. Now you see me with a "new" laptop. Your going to say I don't need a job because I can afford a new laptop?

Registration is unclear. Is it not registered with the HOA? Is it Tag registration with the state? If it's with the state then unregistered vehicles are not to be on the road. They can be towed. If the HOA has a registration policy that states you must register car with them or be towed, then there's that.

Was this person on the board prior to removal of the previous president? Was this a HOA decision to pursue removing the President? If it was agreed to by the board, then the HOA could pay the legal costs of the attorney. However, typically HOA officers are picked by the board members themselves upon their election to the board. If the previous board was removed and replaced, then that new board can decide who gets what position.

Your frustration sounds like your own issues. When your in a HOA, it has to your and majority of other members to make change. So far, it sounds like a majority of other owners were upset at the existing board and took over. Just like you and your "friends" will have to do too.

Former HOA President
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 3:31 PM  
Actually state law says ypu cannot tow a car off of someones private propertt unless its blocking traffic, forelane, etc.. Its interesting you mention nothing of the money for a pool that wasnt replaced or any mention of potholes. You sound a bit defensive right off the bat. There were a group of old ladies that got together and hired the attorney, coincidentally the same ones on the noardnow. They even pisted tacky signs saying "Court case won!" Until someone spray painted a profanity on it and rook it down. As dar as "my issues" that is a personal opinion and NOT HELPFUL
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/01/2019 3:37 PM  
Had to measure your response before can offer advice you may take... Don't know how I would sound defensive of an HOA I am not associated with. Just telling you how HOA's typically operate. It's not you it's you and your neighbors. So it sounds like a majority of your neighbors stepped up to rule.

Your post was long so could not cover every topic/issue you brought up. I don't know if your roads are public or private. The pool issue wasn't very clear. You one moment talking repairs and expense of the pool and then casually mention it's been closed for years. Well that opens up a whole other long list of questions and assumptions.

Again, your not necessarily going to get the answers you seek. Just Free opinions you can keep or reject.

Former HOA President
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 3:42 PM  
Lets just stop this before it gets out of hand. I came to this forum looking for help, not a fight. You've given your opinion and can move on now. I'm not interested in getting side tracked with someone who obviously has way too much time on their hands. Thanks for your input.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/01/2019 3:58 PM  
And now we know...

Former HOA President
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 4:04 PM  
Oh we absolutely do😉
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/01/2019 4:13 PM  
Traci,

I don’t always agree with Melissa, but we share having been on many boards, and having reviewed and researched thousands of situations.

Circumstance summaries like yours are many times a dead end for everyone involved. The lack of paragraphs, the defensiveness, the push to show people are criminal or corrupt without evidence, the lack of reference to state code, HOA bylaws, or CCRs all point to a lack of cold research and disciplined effort.

Please review your documents, state law, etc ... reformat your request for assistance into bites to which we can absorb and respond, and we’ll start working with you.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:334


04/01/2019 4:29 PM  
Traci, first please use paragraphs. Doing so makes your posts much easer to read and understand. You asked a lot of questions and describe several scenarios. Those reading your messages will need background information to be able to help you.

Keep in mind there are no HOA police in Texas nor is there a state HOA oversight office as in other states. Issues of the magnitude you describe may require the use of an attorney who specializes in HOA matters--not real estate law and not your cousin's ex-boyfriend's brother in law's sister who works downtown in a legal firm. Working through what you described is going to be a long slog. The cavalry will not ride in tomorrow and all will be merry by sundown, you are the cavalry.

I assume you are in an HOA. Are you in a gated community or are the streets public?

Secondly, as Melissa suggested, drop all the non-relevant information such as driving new cars, dating the tow truck driver, etc.

In Texas you have an absolute right to review the records of the Association. This includes the financial records, accounting system reports, meeting minutes, etc. Does your association have a records request process? You should ask, they should if they implemented the changes required by the 2011 Legislature.

Once you reach the point you can identify the records you wish to review you will have to use the records request process. If you ask for paper copies you will be charged an amount set by the Legislature. There may be charges for electronic copies if someone has to spend time to assemble them. Keep in mind you can only request records as they exist, the Association is not required to run reports or otherwise compile information. There may be issues when you make requests to review records, I and others will help you if necessary.

Your first assignment is to read through your Bylaws and Declaration, any amendments, and association rules so you are on firm ground and know what you are talking about.

Are you the only person with the frustrations you described? You may think from outward appearances the now President hired an attorney and used association funds to pay him or her but unless you were present at every meeting of the Board and know precisely what decisions were made and on what basis, you really do not know what took place or why. I would suggest you approach this from the standpoint of desiring to know how the association funds were spent, and why. Based on what you wrote, expenditures in excess of $45,000 have taken place, it is not inappropriate to ask why.

You may be right of course, you are talking about spending a great deal of money. How many homes are in your Association? Does the association have a management company?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/01/2019 4:33 PM  
Traci,

Welcome to the forum.

The best advice I can give you is to gather support to hold a special membership meeting for the purpose of removing individual or individuals from the Board (a recall election).

Your governing documents (likely the Bylaws) will tell you what percentage of owners need to agree with you to hold the meeting.

Note: You need to find others who are willing to serve if the recall is successful. If you don't have anyone willing to serve, you're best to simply not go through the effort as you will make a few enemies within the development.

Note 2: Don't try to persuade others with the innuendos you have done posted here. It's not relevant who someone is dating. It's not relevant who has a new car or not. Stick to direct facts that you have actual proof of (otherwise you could find yourself on the opposing side of a defamation court battle.

Hope this helps.

Tim
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/01/2019 4:36 PM  
Posted By TraciV on 04/01/2019 3:31 PM

Actually state law says ypu cannot tow a car off of someones private propertt unless its blocking traffic, forelane, etc..




If this is the case, bring legal action in small claims court against the tow truck company.
However, have proof that the vehicle in question was parked on private property (security cameras, witnesses, police reports, etc.).
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/01/2019 4:37 PM  
oops, hit post too soon.

Prior to doing that, make sure you read your covenants to see if you agreed to have all vehicles on your property properly registered.
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 4:44 PM  
Im not the only one frustrated.

She has a police officer at each meeting. Two people tried to bring up the issue of cancelling this years election and were escorted out. They werent hostile or causing disturbance.

She wont let us talk at meetings, she uses fear and intimidation.
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 4:47 PM  
We dont have any kind of rules for where we are parked other than blocking firelanes or emergency vehicle use from 10pm-6pm.

The registration is somethimg completely new and not a rule. This is something she added on her own.
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 4:47 PM  
10pm-6am I meant
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 5:12 PM  
I appreciate all of your feedback, alot of helpful suggestions, thank you.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2825


04/01/2019 5:44 PM  
Posted By TraciV on 04/01/2019 4:44 PM
Im not the only one frustrated.

She has a police officer at each meeting. Two people tried to bring up the issue of cancelling this years election and were escorted out. They werent hostile or causing disturbance.

She wont let us talk at meetings, she uses fear and intimidation.

The only way such a person can cause so much trouble is if the homeowners let it happen.
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 6:23 PM  
That is absolutely the most ridiculous staement Ive heard by far. Blame the home owner? Get fucking real. I'm disgusted to the point of cancelling this membership. Sorry I came to this for him. Thanks for a whole bunch of fucking nothing. Moron.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/01/2019 6:43 PM  
Very interesting summary.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/01/2019 6:49 PM  
Mmmm... Do I call them as I see them or what? Either LISTEN to advice and not give your own you want to hear... End of story.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/01/2019 6:51 PM  
Traci,

Often an Associations membership will simply pay their assessments and let those who want to run things, run things. They don't complain unless something affects them directly. This site calls that membership apathy. The members simply don't get involved (attend meetings, cast votes, ask questions, volunteer to serve, etc.) which allows those who want to volunteer and serve do so.

I believe that Geno was trying to point this out.

The membership, if they have the numbers and are willing to become involved, have the power to correct such things. This is typically done via recall elections.

On a side note, it appears that a majority of the board are allowing these things to occur (as they could put a stop to it by majority vote).


With all of that said, it should be pointed out that you are becoming involved, asking questions and trying to correct the issue. You need to be applauded for that. Change might not come overnight. However, change can occur if the members are willing to become involved. If the members are not willing to become involved, then (to be realistic) your only other options might be the courts, live with it or move.

Not exactly what you wanted to hear, but I hope it helps.

RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3424


04/01/2019 8:02 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/01/2019 6:49 PM
Mmmm... Do I call them as I see them or what? Either LISTEN to advice and not give your own you want to hear... End of story.



Great advise as always!
TraciV


Posts:0


04/01/2019 9:50 PM  
Oh wow. I got busy and forgot all about this..lol. Im not really interested in what anyone has to say. You can criticize and point the finger but not really offer and useful advice👍👏Im gonna go back to living my life now👋
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/02/2019 12:40 AM  
Traci,

I wish you luck.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/02/2019 1:40 AM  
Thought I would try to summarize this thread for the benefit of others.

Traci, the OP, specified:

1) An individual (member or Director is not known) brought legal action and succeeded in being appointed President of the Association.
It is not known what the legal action was about.
2) Per the OP, this individual (one would expect with Board approval) used HOA funds to pay their attorney.
Since the individual won the legal action, it's possible that they also won attorney fees.
3) The Board started towing unregistered vehicles from the community using a towing company that the individual may have a conflict of interest with.
4) The OP stated that there are pot holes on the roads that are not getting fixed by the HOA (gives an indication that the roads are private).
5) The OP stated that the Board would not hold elections this year (unknown why).
6) The Association has spent $10,000 to fix a community pool that has been closed for years and costs the Association $900 per month to operate. The OP does not see where the $10K was spent (claims the pool was not fixed).
7) In a later post it was learned that the Board has a local police officer on hand at board meetings to keep order and has escorted members out of the meetings when directed to by the President/Board.

The OP was asking where to turn as checking with an attorney the cost is simply too much for the OP to afford.

The suggestions offered were:

a) read and know the applicable statutes and governing documents.
b) ask to see financials and board resolutions regarding the issues in order to better understand what is happening.
c) gather support from within the membership to recall the board and replace with new individuals or simply not reelect at the next election.
d) it was noted that if there is no support from the membership that the only other options are the courts, live with it or move.


Unfortunately, opinions were also posted that the OP interpreted as criticism vs. helpfulness. Often, it's not what is posted but how it is posted that causes this.


The OP has stated that they are not longer interested in what anyone has to say.
Therefore, one might expect the OP has chosen to live with the situation.
Personally, I hope this expectation is wrong and the OP will take the time to learn why the board did what they did and gather support to replace (via recall or at election time) those individuals currently on the board with those who think as they do. Perhaps even tossing their own hat into the ring and be part of the decision making.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/02/2019 4:20 AM  
Tim I could not agree with you more. Your summation is what I also got from the OP. Unfortunately, it was their reaction to any advice or questions that has cause the OP to go on with their life...

My response was to bring out if this person was here for advice or commissary. We were being fed information as if the actions were of suspicious nature or things were being run crooked. I don't believe that to be the case. You can't tell me that everything posted did not have another side that needed looked at to get a fuller picture.

HOA members are VOLUNTEERS. They don't have access to HOA funds as readily as people ASSUME. A Treasurer having a new car? I am to suspect it's due to HOA money? 10K spent on a pool that is closed is suspicious? My neighbor has a pool and even though they don't use it, it's still a money pit. We don't know if the expense was for later re-opening or to fix a leak. You can't see a leak repair or other repairs that can be pricey. The monitor service for it not given enough information to know what that regards. (A person who makes sure pool is safe/secure? or water is good?).

As for pothole fixes, we never did get clear information if it is Public or Private roads. The President dating a tow truck driver? Now they ride around in a tow-truck together? Sounds more like what one does when they date someone who drives a tow-truck. They get in their vehicle together. Plus unregistered or unlicensed vehicles aren't to be on roads. The OP did not say if it was driveways just "Private property". We don't know what they define as "Private".


Overall, there was no need for the response for foul language against Geno. No wonder the police attend these meetings. Geno pointed out it's the reaction of the homeowner's causing the problems. I think we clearly seen an example of that. Good luck to the poster till they learn to take advice and listen to those who know a thing or two about HOA's. We may not have the "life" they have, but we did make our HOA life better....

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/02/2019 5:27 AM  
We’ve all seen and heard Tracis ... apparently, there are a lot of them out there.

They often to hurl nonsensical statements that are factually inaccurate - as a starting point - then, when presented with process requirements, become defensive and, in this Traci’s case, nasty and foul mouthed.

You can’t help everyone - especially if they are illogical and ill fit to the work required for governance.
TraciV


Posts:0


04/02/2019 5:38 AM  
Wow..oh my..are y'all really still talking about this? Okay then..well I have to get ready for work sooo..I guess have a good day?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3189


04/02/2019 5:53 AM  
At the end of the day, the homeowners out numder the people running the hoa. Want to change things? Knock on doors and start your own meeting of homeowners. Get organized, start a facebook page, etc.... and toss the current people out.

If other homeowners dont agree with you, its possible your incorrect about the current people running things.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:219


04/02/2019 6:03 AM  
I think this was an April Fool troll...
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1179


04/02/2019 6:26 AM  
It's OK - we're trying to help people, Traci isn't.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:334


04/02/2019 7:17 AM  
I agree with CathyA3 which is why I posted only one message. No questions/requests for information were addressed.
AugustinD


Posts:1498


04/02/2019 8:05 AM  
For what it is worth, I agree with the posts by BillH10, TimB4, GenoS and SteveM9, in tone and/or substance. For now, I suggest Traci focus on getting elections conducted. Traci, can you post your Bylaws here? If you do this, I can throw together what is called a "demand letter" (light version) that you can send to your HOA (cc its attorney), to get the ball rolling on forcing an election. Competent attorneys know they need to respond to avoid litigation. If elections are not being run, this is serious, as a matter of corporate law and possibly Texas statutes.

Traci, also consider calling the numbers here: https://www.caihouston.org/page/HOAHotline . Even if you're not in Houston, this hotline may be able to help you.

The detail is a bit too extensive for me to believe this was an April Fool's joke.
AugustinD


Posts:1498


04/02/2019 8:42 AM  
Posted By n/a on 04/01/2019 2:50 PM
She has also decided to cancel elections for this year so we aren't having one. Is there anything I can do about this?


Traci, chances are good that the following statute applies to your HOA: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.209.htm . To start the ball rolling, I would write a demand letter 'lite' like the following and send it to all board members and the HOA attorney:

Dear HOA Directors and HOA attorney,

Pursuant to the Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act sections 209.00593 and 209.014, please schedule a meeting of the HOA members and election as soon as possible. Pursuant to Section 209.0051, please inform all HOA members of when the next board meeting is, so they may attend.

Thank you,

Traci ______


Send this letter certified mail, return receipt requested, to the HOA manager and HOA attorney. Document their response. If no response, report back here.


RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3424


04/02/2019 8:49 AM  
That would scare me.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:578


04/02/2019 8:52 AM  
Woosie
AugustinD


Posts:1498


04/02/2019 8:56 AM  
Richard, this is exactly what judges expect attorneys and others to do before they go to court: Send demand letters over several months, with the legal tone escalating. Said letters will become a part of the court record. Attorneys know this.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3424


04/02/2019 9:33 AM  
If you say so.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:256


04/02/2019 11:14 AM  
Wow that got out of hand quickly. It sounds like Traci is very similar to the President she has an issue with. I have had a few tuff HOs to deal with over the years. I have never seen one lose it just that quick.

I hope it was a April fools prank.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:578


04/02/2019 11:32 AM  
? "April" fools ?

? As opposed to all the other fools ?


Easiest-April-Fools-Prank-reaction-alphamom
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3424


04/02/2019 11:48 AM  
I was in court last week, as an observer, on a case that was familiar with this forum. Similar to this post. Three board members resign and a vice president takes over without any discussion of vote. The remaining four essentially shuts down the HOA and the lawyer and MC take sides. So, two have the MC's attorney represent them while the other effectively would have to pay $20K for instance to represent them and the association against, well their own MC and lawyer.

So Traci mentions that the president uses $10K to fix a pool that isn't fixed and $900 a month to monitor a pool that is close. To me that might raise a red flag. To Melissa it is how dare you judge the book by its cover.

Some people got actually what they put into the conversion. Read Melissa's first two responses. I would't have been so nice.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/02/2019 4:29 PM  
I can't take book by it's cover... Statements were begging for a different look and more details. For me, the new President is one that seemed to have taken advice from us. Don't we tell people if you don't like your board/officers, to hire a lawyer and get support to vote them out? Replace those board members amongst those people (including yourself) who wanted the change? So when I saw that this seemed to be the case, how can you not give the same advice to the OP? Someone else in their HOA did it. May want to learn a lesson from that... Judge less you be judged yourself?

My question is: How can there be soo many unregistered vehicles for towing be beneficial or necessary? It's not a money making opportunity for the HOA. It's only a punitive action taken for violators. So whomever the towing company is, that's up to them how to handle their business or where they get it from.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16257


04/03/2019 3:59 AM  
Traci's post count has gone to zero, indicating they have resigned from the forum.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7990


04/03/2019 4:10 AM  
That is no surprise there. Think this post is a good example of the difference between asking for help and asking for help for what you want to hear. It was kind of obvious from the start this is someone out to poison the well than making their community well.

Thanks Tim for trying to speak some sense out of the senseless...

Former HOA President
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