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Subject: Is the HOA required to repair common areas?
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WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:2


04/03/2019 8:43 AM  
I live in a neighborhood with hundreds of homes. I've lived here 5 years and have witnessed a steep decline in the look of the common areas.

Here's some examples of what's in disrepair

• Weeds, broke pavers, vandalized water drains, paint coming off of metal fencing, etc. by the pool area.
• Entrance fountain leaking and now drained and not functioning for almost a year.
• Huge potholes in ornamental concrete at entrance (city will only patch, not repair) for a year
• Overgrown weeds up tp 26 inches tall in common grassy areas

My question is, can the HOA decide to not repair things, or are they required to do so?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3237


04/03/2019 9:27 AM  
My question is, can the HOA decide to not repair things, or are they required to do so?




Find out why........

Sure you can request they fix everything and up your dues $100 month. Or other reasons......

But you wont know until you start examining paperwork that shows why its not being done.
WilliamL16
(Florida)

Posts:2


04/03/2019 9:46 AM  
Thanks for the quick reply.

I have asked why they haven't fixed it yet and they just give me the runaround.

They say the typical, "We're talking about it," We're getting bids," We're going to vote on it." which all means, we're not fixing it yet.

Like I said, some of this stuff has been in disrepair for a year. It's insane.

Also, I have put in a request to see the last 7 years financials (legally required in Florida) and will be going to the management company to see them soon.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:170


04/03/2019 9:57 AM  
Maintenance of the common areas is why the HOA exists. Yes, they should be taking care of these things. The question is why aren't they? Is there no money? Do you have board members unwilling to spend any money? Next time you talk to the board, remind them that they've "been working on it" for X amount of time and press for real answers.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:170


04/03/2019 9:57 AM  
You could also contact your city's code compliance - at least about the landscaping.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:694


04/03/2019 11:13 AM  
Posted By WilliamL16 on 04/03/2019 9:46 AM
Thanks for the quick reply.

I have asked why they haven't fixed it yet and they just give me the runaround.

They say the typical, "We're talking about it," We're getting bids," We're going to vote on it." which all means, we're not fixing it yet.

Like I said, some of this stuff has been in disrepair for a year. It's insane.

Also, I have put in a request to see the last 7 years financials (legally required in Florida) and will be going to the management company to see them soon.



Call their bluff, request for copies of the bids.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2959


04/03/2019 11:20 AM  
Posted By LetA on 04/03/2019 11:13 AM
Call their bluff, request for copies of the bids.

Yes. I like this suggestion.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1227


04/03/2019 2:20 PM  
William,

Your job as a homeowner is to know the rules - i.e. the CCRs and Bylaws. I'm assuming you have copies of these. If not, you need to get a copy of each, study it and know it. This will prepare you to discuss the issue with your board.

Your board may be giving you the reasons - you stated several - clearly, all cannot be the reason.

Do you attend board meetings? If not, this is where you should start ... there should be an open time for members to speak. Have you questions written down so you can be crisp and concise - don't generalize - and, don't blame. The reason you don't is that they are doing something that you aren't doing - being on the board.

Your community may have a board problem - you won't know until you start digging.

Have you talked to your neighbors? Do they have some information you don't?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16355


04/03/2019 3:07 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 04/03/2019 11:20 AM
Posted By LetA on 04/03/2019 11:13 AM
Call their bluff, request for copies of the bids.

Yes. I like this suggestion.




Typically, an Association doesn't have to show bids, only approved contracts.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16355


04/03/2019 3:38 PM  
If your Association is self managed (no management company), it's often all a small board can do to complete the day to day tasks. Writing requests for proposals, meeting with contractors, obtaining bids, have meetings, do family activities, go to work, etc. all takes time.

Instead of asking to see the bids, you might try asking how you can help to make sure something gets done.

Pick an issue and offer to do the research and obtain bids for the board if that will help.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8180


04/03/2019 4:03 PM  
Do NOT call the city for code violation if it's common area!!! Can NOT say DO NOT strong enough!!!! You know what happens? The city issues fines. You know who PAYS for those fines??? The HOA!!! Oh and those fines are NOT cheap. Do you want your HOA to be using their money for paying fines to the city or money on cleaning up the problem?

Our HOA had a neighborhood next door call in a complaint about an area our lawncare and ex-president was using for discarded landscaping debris. It had piled up badly over the years. We got hit with a 10 THOUSAND dollar fine if we did not clean up in 10 days! Got an extension but had only a week to get it picked up by Volunteers. That is because we could not afford more than the dumpster rental of $500.

Your HOA can only do what people are willing to do. So if things are not being done, then step up yourself to take part in doing something. Looking at records and complaining isn't the way to do that. It's finding out the steps one has to take to get the work done. Is it more money? Hiring license/insured contractors? Having a volunteer team?

Keep in mind the # of meetings your HOA has to make decisions. For us, it was 1 time a month. If someone came to us 1st meeting to report a burnt out bulb, it would be the NEXT meeting (month later) for us to make a decision on what to do. It may be the 3rd meeting before we can execute any plans. That is 3 months for a burnt out bulb. Otherwise, someone is going to complain we (the board) made a decision outside the meeting without telling the owners we were replacing a bulb....

Former HOA President
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2959


04/03/2019 4:59 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/03/2019 3:07 PM
Typically, an Association doesn't have to show bids, only approved contracts.

That wouldn't be true in Florida. Bids have to be kept for 1 year and are official records of the association open to owner inspection. If an owner wants to see them I don't see how that owner needs to volunteer to do anything that he or she isn't familiar doing. The law says the owner gets to see the bids. Or face a $50 a day penalty. In this instance I think the idea is that there are, in actuality, no bids. Hence "call their bluff".
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3237


04/03/2019 5:40 PM  
We got hit with a 10 THOUSAND dollar fine if we did not clean up in 10 days!


The HOA money is your money. Want to change things? Get involved.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2959


04/03/2019 7:12 PM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 04/03/2019 5:40 PM
The HOA money is your money. Want to change things? Get involved.

Only indirectly. If you can't put your hands on it and spend it however you want, it's not your money. It CAME from you and the other owners but it belongs to the HOA. You can influence what it gets spent on, perhaps.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8180


04/03/2019 11:48 PM  
HOA money is yours and your neighbors money. A HOA budget works much like a "Kitty" pot in Poker. Everyone puts in the pot, best hand wins.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16355


04/04/2019 1:04 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 04/03/2019 4:59 PM
Posted By TimB4 on 04/03/2019 3:07 PM
Typically, an Association doesn't have to show bids, only approved contracts.

That wouldn't be true in Florida. Bids have to be kept for 1 year and are official records of the association open to owner inspection. If an owner wants to see them I don't see how that owner needs to volunteer to do anything that he or she isn't familiar doing. The law says the owner gets to see the bids. Or face a $50 a day penalty. In this instance I think the idea is that there are, in actuality, no bids. Hence "call their bluff".




Good to know.

However, what is the end goal?

To catch the Board lying (if they are) about the bids or getting the repairs done?

If it's getting the repairs done, offering to do what you can to accomplish that task is (I think) a step in the right direction.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


04/04/2019 8:17 AM  
I agree with both Tim's last post & Geno & LetA. Do both, but perhaps ask for bids on just one or two items that are in particularly bad shape that don't seem to be too costly.

And follow George's advice too.
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