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Subject: How to disband an hoa
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Author Messages
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


04/01/2006 2:45 PM  
How difficult is it to dusband a small HOA? What are the steps we need to take. We are contatcing the HOA attorney. She will say it is costly etc etc etc...anyone know what the correct steps/procedures are ?
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


04/01/2006 2:51 PM  
Sharon, it depends on what your Declaration says and if you have common area properties. Why are you considering it? You really need to read your Declaration, understand how difficult it will be, and realize how expensive it can be to every owner.
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2803


04/01/2006 7:26 PM  
your CC&R's should have directions on how you can disband your board. However, Roger is right, the disposition of common areas is the toughest part.

my association is trying to disband as well, and are caught in a catch 22: the city says we have an agreement to keep the common areas maintained "in perpetuity". However, the only reason we even exist is to get dues to pay for trimming weeds. We could disband, but we can't sell the common areas. However, if we disbanded, then the city would have an agreement with an entity that no longer existed, and thus, it is null and void. But who would own the common areas then, if there is no association?

good luck with your quest, and be sure to report back here with your findings!

HaroldS
(Arizona)

Posts:906


04/02/2006 10:33 AM  
Well Brian - Just quit paying the real estate taxes on your common area. That land has no value to anyone because it is probably deeded for storm retention.
This is where the cities get us by the short hairs. They demand that the developer install storm retention - which is usually the only common area for many HOAs, then demand he form an HOA to tax us to maintain it, all the while collecting taxes themselves from the same homeowners. Let the city take over the retention basin they required.
ScottN2
(California)

Posts:2


04/02/2006 6:52 PM  
Harold - you can't quit paying the RE taxes on the common area (at least we can't) as the taxes are prorated amongst the various homeowners. Our association (a non-profit) does not get taxed on the common area's.
I tried to get the county to take over our park (because we pay park fee's to them individually) but they wouldn't take it. Nor will they kick down any monies for maintenance.
It is a double fee situation but it is one we bought into.
HaroldS
(Arizona)

Posts:906


04/02/2006 7:51 PM  
That's unusual. We are a non profit also, but the association pays RE taxes directly. We almost lost our common area becasue a fired MC never forwarded the tax bills to us or the new MC. So I talk from experience. If each of your owners pays a pro-rated RE tax on your common area - do they have a pro-rated ownership of the common area? I don't think I would like that situation. I'm at a loss to understand how a county can pro rate a tax to someone who doesn't own the property. Is this recorded in the deed? Harold
ScottN2
(California)

Posts:2


04/02/2006 10:42 PM  
I was concerned about not having any tax info when we were making up our budget for this year. I sent an email to the assesors office and the man replied with this explanation.
Interesting thought on the prorated ownership. I'll have to look into that one. Thanks.
DanC
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/15/2006 4:00 PM  
In the case of my own HOA, we are required to exist. The fundamental legal responsibility of our HOA is the maintenance of the common areas. This is an agreement that the developer made with the city in that the city does not have to pay to maintain the drainage pond, mow the weeds, stain the fence that keeps the kids off of the RR tracks, etc. The HOA is required to take care of all of this in addition to the CCRs.

Contrast this with our neighbors to the North. They had a similar agreement with the city and an HOA. As time passed, no one wanted to serve on the HOA and many residents hated the HOA because their focus was on whining about garage doors being open, etc. - classic "bad HOA" stuff. Eventually the HOA folded. The city's response was to hire a property manager on behalf of the defunct HOA and that property manager now takes care of their drainage pond, weed mowing, etc. The cost of the property manager is paid by a special property tax assessment against the homeowners. This seems to work for them ... the assessment is less than the HOA was charging and they maintain compliance with the city by having a professional property manager. With this, the HOA isn't technically disbanded, they just exist enough to meet their legal obligations.
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2803


04/15/2006 6:04 PM  
My city claims a similar thing, that there is an agreement between the city and the HOA/Developer about maintaining our common areas in perpetuity. However, no one can show me said agreement. The city says they "have one", but we don't have anything in our paperwork about that, and the developer never gave us such an agreement.

Is it legal to enter into a contract, then pass that agreement onto others, without noting it? How could we have legally agreed to something that isn't written down anywhere?
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


04/15/2006 6:23 PM  
Brian, have you read your Declaration? Such requirements are usually recorded in it.
DanC
(Colorado)

Posts:6


04/15/2006 7:05 PM  
Precisely RogerB, and that's the rub. In the beginning stages of the development, the developer IS the HOA and they own all of the land and make negotiations of all sorts with the city, county, and state in exchange for the right to develop that land. When the developer leaves, they pass HOA control to the local HOA board of directors and the responsibility falls to them/us. Any homeowner buying a house in the development falls under the rules of the HOA and is therefore party to that same agreement. It really is quite a hell of thing; some of the things the developer and city agreed that I would do years later are troubling to say the least but are covered in the declarations and my realtor insists that I agreed to them when I bought my house :-).

My key point though is that disbanding an HOA is prohibitively expensive for most people even if everyone in the neighborhood agrees to it. If the HOA is not serving the community's needs, then whittling it down to a simple property manager as my distant neighbors have done is an attainable goal.
JulieS
(Georgia)

Posts:412


05/01/2006 11:59 AM  
The transfer of property from the developer to the association and related items should be recorded in the county deed book. Check the internet to see if your county has it posted.

Last spring during an 'uprising', someone in the neighborhood questioned that fact that the HOA owned small parcels of property in the neighborhood (dentention ponds, etc.). I checked our county's website and searched the developer, builder, association and individual homowners for the trail of property turn over and related items.
LuciusD


Posts:0


05/01/2006 6:31 PM  
This should be required reading for anyone even thinking about buying property in a common interest community.
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


05/09/2006 7:32 PM  
I found the property manager scenario to be very informing. It is something we could possibly suggest to our city officials when trying to work out the details of disbanding and returning the property.

Disbanding generally requires the following:
1) Approval of 2/3 members (or whatever the magic number is for your association)
2) Doing all the paperwork or hiring an attorney to help file (we had been quoted around $3000).

Considering most HOAs have a maintenance fund, the "cost" to disband is minimal and most likely absorbed by it, until you deal with the city who seems to like to threaten to charge us 10 times the cost of lawn maintenance, etc if we fail to keep the area maintained.

Again, I agree, if it is not listed on my property as belonging to me, why should I have to pay for it. I imagine a lawyer may be able to help homeowners squeeze through that crack. But with the property manager option, that may not be necessary.

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/12/2006 4:47 PM  
there is nothing in our declaration. The common areas are seven islands that go up the main street of the area. These islands consist of palm tress and oleanders. We pay "gardeners" to walk with rakes..they do not garden. The city took over our streets 29 years ago. We ahve no pools etc. Just these islands...Why is it expensive?
The board members have been told new reglations vcoming into effect are scarey (the past president quit but still runs our board. No one wants to take any of the positions so we have board memebers with no president, secretary or treasurer. There is no need for an HOA as we have nothing to maintain but sandy islands which maintain themselves
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/12/2006 4:48 PM  
our cc&r's say nothing. Common areas are center islands ging up the main street...sand, plam trees and oleanders: self maintaining. The city took over the street care 20 some years ago.
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/12/2006 4:48 PM  
our cc&r's say nothing. Common areas are center islands ging up the main street...sand, plam trees and oleanders: self maintaining. The city took over the street care 20 some years ago.
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/12/2006 4:53 PM  
this sounds like ours...we have only islands that are "maintained by usuless gardeners...for top dollar ...there is only sand, oleanders and plam trees all of which take care of themselves.
Most residents hate the HOA...they do not follow the rules: sue only people they don't like enforce the rules aginst those they don't like etc etc. We have no pools, parks etc...just sand and desert landscape.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


05/12/2006 8:33 PM  
Sharon why are you wasting money doing this?
...we have only islands that are "maintained by usuless gardeners...for top dollar ...there is only sand, oleanders and plam trees all of which take care of themselves.

And why are the residents allowing this?
...they do not follow the rules: sue only people they don't like enforce the rules aginst those they don't like etc etc.

Why not correct the problems and reap the benefits of a good HOA?
LuciusD


Posts:0


05/12/2006 9:02 PM  
Roger,
Since 1955, I have lived in 13 single family residences in 6 states. I’ve owned 6 of the 13 properties and owned 3 rentals in addition. Right now, I live in my first property in an HOA. I can’t recall any time in the past fifty years having a need or desire a “good HOA” would have satisfied. I bought my present property for the property itself, not for the HOA. What a mistake!
I think as HOA’s go, we have a pretty good one. But I would be willing to step up and contribute as much as ten years of assessments to be rid of it.
In my not so humble opinion, anyone who has a chance to get rid of an HOA should “go for it”. Many of us are not that fortunate.

RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


05/13/2006 11:15 AM  
Lou, my sister feels exactly like you. She has also had bad experiences with HOAs. However, I wonder, would you rather deal with a bad Board or have bad neighbors with no control. What if
the following develop next door? One adjacent neighbor lets their property become a trash dump, on the other side a noisy day care center suddenly starts operation, and tomorrow the house across the street is painted a vivid blue and/or orange (nutty Denver Broncos fans have actually done this).

A bad HOA Board can be controlled through the Declaration and other HOA documents. But what do you do if the above situations and there is no control? Move and suffer the discomforts of moving and take a financial loss on your home sale?
Obviously you know my answer and I think I know your feelings differ. I respect your feeling but respectfully disagree.
LuciusD


Posts:0


05/13/2006 12:28 PM  
Roger,
I have not had the "HOA-from-hell" experience. Not at all.
As I said, I simply have yet to experience anything that justifies the arbitrary imposition of an unnecessary layer of private, poorly regulated, and marginally-competent government upon owners of individual residential properties. (Condo’s are something else.) Competent zoning has always been more than adequate. Of course, I have always supported diversity over conformity.
I absolutely support the right of a group of fully informed owners to agree to almost any level of arbitrary restrictions. But that is not what happens. Restrictions are IMPOSED by the developer, not agreed to (explicitly) by the buyer.
I am convinced that in apathetic HOA’s the majority of owners were never fully informed and if they were, they would have never agreed to the CCR’s imposed by the developer. As a consequence they are in an adversary relationship with the CCR’s and anyone trying to enforce them. If the overwhelming majority were in favor, “enforcement” would not be the watch-word, “compliance” would be. It seems to me the enforcers are always a minority who depend upon the power of “the covenants” rather than the consent of the governed.
I should never have spoken up on this one. I’m in the process of trying to prepare for an annual meeting that is in total compliance with SB-100 or -089 (which ever is in effect just over a week from now). I’d better stay away for a while.
DanC
(Colorado)

Posts:6


05/13/2006 3:01 PM  
Sharon - Have you ever considered running for the board or even the president position? Your HOA sounds ripe for a coup. You could easily get the names and addresses of everyone in your neighborhood from the county records and draft a campaign from your word processor. I'm sure that the covenants must have a requirement for a president, so why not you?

You could state your concerns to everyone in the neighborhood and explain how you would solve them. This could include promising to reduce dues, fascism, and pointless rulemaking. Of course, you may want to attend a board meeting or two to make certain all of your allegations are accurate. If they are accurate, then it sounds like your HOA is like mine used to be - busybody housewives mad with power. SB100 helped a great deal with that and the entire board quit. The new board is much more well intentioned, but lacking in purpose. This is how HOA's fade away. As president you could guide the HOA to be productive and an asset to the community. It only takes a vote to be an HOA president; you don't need any qualifications or experience. If you can't make it productive, then you can help shut it down from the inside.
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/13/2006 6:28 PM  
according to the ex president and her girlfriend: the ex vice president: to use a property management company would cost each of us $300 a year. Current dues were doubled from $50 to $100....having attended these meetimgs and seen their purorted expenses...it is clear they double the dues to cover erroneous ecpenses: $1000 for office meetings(meetings are held at residents home and they provide beverages etc)...christmas decorations $200-$700 although they reuse the same ones....before this was done on a voluntary basis...
Why do you say it is exepensive to disband?
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/13/2006 6:41 PM  
I am on the board. When the time limit to elect president etc came and went...at the next meeting I asked what was being done as the board is still being run by the ex president and her girlfriend (who also quit)...none of the board members want to take on the positions as the ex-president has given them ideas the new laws will make governing very difficult.
This woman and her girlfriend have totally dominated the board for 8 years....
I said I would take over the job as president as no one else wanted it...and the ex vice president said I was NOT PROFESSIONAL enough!!! These two women were previous neighbors of mine and they routinely trespassed on my property...vandalized my lighting and landscaping....long story. My husband and I stood up to these two women when they used their power over the board to sue us for a noncompliant fence although the City unnanimously approved the permit for the wall in a special archectectural committee meeting ......be advised no one has ever been sue in 45 years although many have violated the CC&R's. We won the lawsuit. The dislike/hatred thye have for me keeps me from being the board president, or vice or treasurer.
Over the years I have repeatedly asked for copies of minutes, explantions of their costs, and their response is "priviledged info"
Fact is the City took over our streets years ago. All we have is 11 islands, self maintained with sand, palm trees and oleanders (although supposedly we spend $800 amonth to have these ares maintained...when I who lives by the islands told board ,members we are not getting the services we pay for...I was shut down and told I had no knowledge to report this!!!!
DorothyH
(Florida)

Posts:23


05/13/2006 6:48 PM  
Every HOA is unique in its own way. It will only be successful if ALL
the members become involved in its operation and management. I mean
serving on the Board, working on committees and obeying the rules and
regulations of the Association and working together to maintain the value of your home or property..

I am going to quote or say what a judge said to a deliquent association
member in court one day. It is up to you to know what you are buying
into before you sign on the dotted line.

A HOA or POA is only as good as the people running it and its members.

DorothyH
DanC
(Colorado)

Posts:6


05/13/2006 7:36 PM  
Agreed - It is up to you to know what you are buying
into before you sign on the dotted line. On the other hand, that has very little to do with HOA's. What you agreed to at purchase time may not be at all what life is like years later. The simple example of a HOA member not paying his dues was an open and shut case. He clearly agreed to pay and did not. That is quite different from the HOA woes I've had and what Sharon is describing that lead to Colorado's SB100 and other measures such as that HOA on the east coast being taken to court under the RICO statutes. RICO!

The typical HOA is not run by people with any legal or property management experience. They often rule through threats and intimidation and are motivated by pettiness and greed. When you buy into a community you may have an amicable HOA, but years later you may be in the "HOA from hell" situation. While not all HOA's are like this, the ones that survive depend on an apathy of the majority. Clearly an HOA with board members committing crimes is NOT going to "raise property values".

Sharon - you have my sincere sympathies. Your best bet is to move, but if you choose to stay and fight you will need the support of all of your neighbors that are HOA members and expect those that oppose you to get even nastier. This is where the "underground newsletter" comes in.
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


05/13/2006 9:22 PM  
Sharon,

1) How many homeowners/members are in your HOA?
2) How many board member positions in total?
3) Do certain members tend to be on the nominating committee?

I would suggest speaking to homeowners individually to get a feel for their opinion, if any on the quality of the HOA and it's board members.

If people are willing to express that to you, let them know you are plan to run for the next board and would like to address their concerns. Find other homeowners that may be sound-minded & competent enough to be on the board and urge them to consider running.

If you see the same people on the nominating committee and think they may be biased, try to appoint different homeowners.

If you have 4 or less board members, I could understand why the two board members seem to dominate decisions. However if you have 5, you may be able to convince the other 3 to vote along with your decision. Just make a strong case and keep them focused on what is best for the HOA & homeowners. Unless they are biased or puppets of the other 2, you should be able to sway them.

Keep in mind, homeowners just vote for who will be on the board. The members of the board then decide who will be in certain positions. Technically, all board members should carry the same weight, while functionally, they perform specific jobs that may entitle them to additional powers.

If you aren't willing to deal with any of this, then moving out or proposing the HOA be dissolved to the rest of the members may be your only recourse.

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


05/13/2006 9:36 PM  
Lucius,

I am still debating my own personal feelings about HOAs. I am on the board and have been for 2 years now. When I moved here a few years back I had never heard of HOAs, and learned quickly not to like them. As I learned more about them, I can see the potential good that COULD come out of them, but that seems to require overcoming basic human nature at it's worse, more often then not.

Part of me is hopeful that all the work we have put in to help make significant changes (our board just lowered our operating costs by $15K) will come back to us in a positive way, however we are still seeing a considerable amount of apathy and indifference from the members. We're lucky if we get 10% involvement. Granted, nothing changes overnight.

Unfortunately the other part of me wants to learn of new ways to propose the option to dissolve with a realistic solution on how to address the common areas. I have heard someone mention using a property manager. I'd like to know more about how this is proposed to the city.



If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


05/14/2006 9:16 PM  
There are 233 homeowners.
5 board members plus these two women who quit but still run the board.
The board members are to select the positions for president etc...PROBLEM: These members have been listening to the two women who dominated the board stating it is a cumbersome and very difficult job etc etc. They are scared to take on the jobs. Our HOA members are apathetic because "it's only $100 a year...." But fact is this board has doubled costs to cover who knows what and again no one looks into it as "its only....."
Your comment: However if you have 5, you may be able to convince the other 3 to vote along with your decision. Just make a strong case and keep them focused on what is best for the HOA & homeowners. Unless they are biased or puppets of the other 2, you should be able to sway them.
They are puppets and scared....
I have lived here for 20 years...this is a residential area not condos...we have no amentities. I have tried to disband the board for years as we have no amenities and the city took over the streets. This HOA consiists of a bunch of retired career women who have no life so they have expanded the dutieis of this HOA to make themselves important. And as we have apathetic homeowners they allowed this to happen.
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


05/15/2006 5:15 AM  
I guess I am confused how 2 non-board members are running/heavily influencing the current board.

1) If they want to control the board, they should run to be on the board. If not, they need to sit back and let the board handle the jobs they are entrusted with. Control-mongers generally maintain such control by limiting information. They are not out to share knowledge, they want to limit and control it, and thus control the HOA for whatever agenda they have in mind.

2) I think empowerment may be the solution here. The existing board needs to feel empowered to handle the functions of their jobs. I found myself empowered after going to speak with 2 lawyers (on my own dollar) about how to dissolve the HOA and other related concerns. I came back ready to steam roll through anyone that tried to withold information, as our management company (of one) appeared to be doing. We have since turned things around drastically for the better. We are on a much better path now.

3) Would you say you have less than 10% member participation? (about 23 homeowners) If you have more, than I would work on the homeowners before addressing the 2 control-mongers. Let the majority speak and find out what they want. Unfortunately, if the homeowners are extremely apathetic towards the HOA, it won't be easy and may even be futile, but you should at least try and say you gave it your best. HOAs can flourish if they have a strong sense of community among the homeowners. If it is full of individuals that want to be left alone and every attempt to stir their sense of community fails, then it may be a lost cause.


If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


06/07/2006 8:35 PM  
The two are running it because they have convinced the board of directors that due to all the upcoming changes ONLY THEY can run the boad. No onein the HOA ia aware they quit....The board members don't want the jobs but don't quite either.
Recently we had a special meeting where we were to discuss who was going to volenteer for treasurer...I said I would do it. At the meeting however, one of the board members brought in his neighbor, whom the board then voted he become a direcotr at large and then voted him for treasurer......We have maybe 40 members who feel the board is worth salvaging.....This board talks about community etc etc but it is a wasted group of people who get togther for free booze and snacks...seriously!
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


06/07/2006 8:37 PM  
This is bull***...All the controls are still with the city. HOA's cannot guarabtee good neighbors etc Our HOA discriminates who they go after...pople here have *** all over...when I complains as board member the expresident say: go to the city!!!!
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


06/07/2006 8:46 PM  
1 233
2 7
3 yes the two women who ran it (as a couple for 8 years) then quit but are still running it
Most everyone I spoke to says the same: get rid of the baord.....but no one is willing to do anything
SharonD
(California)

Posts:39


06/07/2006 8:49 PM  
because we have 3 women eho say everythig I am sharing is WRONG. I live on the block where the islands are and know for a fact they are not being maintained. If I say it is day: these women say it is night....The residents are stupid and "allow it" because they say: it's only $100 a year...this isn't a gated community...and dues have been doubled, People are weak and not interested in fighting
SwanB
(Washington)

Posts:199


06/08/2006 6:06 AM  
An HOA can also be disbanded by the Secretary of State of your particular state. You can go online to your Secretary of State's website and read through the rules for Associations or Nonprofits or however they are listed. In WA State the particular rules are titled the RCWs and then the section covering Associations falls under the number 24.
I ran a search and found the exact RCW covering the 'disbanding' of an HOA in WA: RCW 24.03.302 Administrative dissolution-Grounds-Notice-Reinstatement-Fee set by rule-Corporate name-Survival of actions.
There are stipulations for an administrative dissolution by the Secretary of State and it may not apply to your situation but it is a place to look.
hoatalk


Posts:563


06/08/2006 6:16 AM  
SharonD:

Your post above was edited to remove foul language, which is not allowed here. Please click the Posting Rules link at the top of this page and review it. An excerpt is below.

"This is a positive place for community association leaders to share ideas and learn....please keep it clean, positive and friendly."

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BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


06/08/2006 11:51 AM  
Sharon:

Sounds like you have three options:

1) move

2) disassociate yourself from the HOA and save yourself the grief.

3) Get together with your neighbors and get determined to make a difference. I am puzzled how two women who are not on the board can rule the HOA? Get together with the other board members and convince them to follow your lead. I would think if you want to be president you should be.

I would also check into the $100 for a meeting and $200-$700 for christmas decorations. Sounds like someone is doing something that isn't up to par. We spent nothing on meetings, it is a meeting not a social gathering.

Best of luck to you, but if you are strong and persistent and can get some people behind you, you can succeed.

BrianB
(California)

Posts:2803


06/08/2006 3:24 PM  
Swan B (and others): the instructions provide by the Secretary of State apply to the dissolution of an HOA as a business, commerce agency, or not for profit organization. They must indeed be followed to be successful.

However, they are not ALL the rules that need to be followed... the common areas must still be dealt with, and the Sec of State has no provisions for that, in most cases, except to mention it as a saleable asset. And many common areas are not saleable... the city has blocked that option in perpetuity.
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


04/02/2007 1:16 AM  
As stated by BrianB:

"the instructions provide by the Secretary of State apply to the dissolution of an HOA... However... the common areas must still be dealt with, and the Sec of State has no provisions for that... many common areas are not saleable... the city has blocked that option in perpetuity."

Yes, this is the primary reason we have not yet dissolved our HOA, however...
I heave heard there may still be an option that does NOT require the sale of the property.

In a nutshell, you establish a credible management company to handle all basic issues with this property and offer that to the city. The money to pay that company still comes from the homeowners, but generally is still less, since they would not have all the overhead related to HOA-specific functions.

I have heard others have successully used this method to then go ahead and dissolve the HOA entity, but would like more details of what to be careful of when doing something like this. My first thoughts are, exactly how is the mgmt company paid? Would it still be direct payments from homeowners? Or handled by the City via taxes on those homeowners for the equivalent amount?? Also: What if the mgmt company decides to inflate the cost without just cause (actual expenses haven't changed to match new amount taxed/charged)?

I am curious if anyone here has done this before and what kind of issues were dealt with in the process (during and after). Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,
Kevin

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
BradD2
(Florida)

Posts:418


04/02/2007 3:42 AM  
Sharon, what state?
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


04/02/2007 8:15 AM  
Kevin, as you said "the common areas must still be dealt with". That is the key question which must be resolved prior to dissolution of an association. The Secretary of State only gets involved when the association incorporates or terminates the corporation. Yes, a HOA can dissolve the corporation (if ever incorporated). But that does not dissolve the HOA nor the homeowners' responsibilities under the Declaration of CC&Rs. So until such time as the homeowners have no responsibility for common areas I think the HOA must remain intact.

KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


04/03/2007 8:36 PM  
That is my point however: How to ensure the common areas are dealt with after the HOA (corporation) is dissolved.

Since the common property will likely have little value to the city, they generally will not want to accept the responsibility of maintaining it. This means someone has to and since the homeowners were the ones responsible while the HOA existed, they remain responsible afterwards.

If the common property isn't tended to on a regular basis, the city would come in, have the property mowed, then assess a large fine (several times more than what we would have paid within the HOA) on each of the homeowners that were part of the former HOA for failure to maintain that common property. Not a good idea.

Again, my understanding, is that even with dissolving the HOA, it may be possible to assign a mgmt company that works directly with the city to maintain the property. That company gets paid by the either additional taxes on those specific homeowners or by direct payments to the company by each homeowner.

Yes, the CC&Rs still stand and could be addressed by the mgmt company (or any homeowner for that matter) provided they are willing to pay the initial legal fees and take the issue to JP court. I've discussed this with 2 lawyers on my own dime to try to understand the dynamics of this system.

From what I have seen and understand, if the homeowners are apathetic and the potential of an HOA cannot be achieved, dissolution should seriously be considered. Even with common areas, this may still be possible, but it's not as straightfoward and simple as we would all like.

At the moment, I am still working on trying to find the good within an HOA. However the apathy of the homeowners can wear your spirit down quickly.


If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


04/04/2007 7:49 AM  
Kevin, IMO the good of an HOA comes from better maintenance of properties AT LESS COST than the senerio you mentioned. Some HOA can dissolve but many can not because their CC&Rs are for pertetuity. What may be required is court action to place the association in receivership. The judge assigns a receiver and your assessments significantly increase. And what do you think will happen to the selling price
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4883


04/04/2007 7:50 AM  
Correction- pertetuity = perpetuity
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


04/04/2007 9:09 AM  
I am confused why you say maintenance at LESS COST than the scneario I discussed. How so?

The basic deed restrictions on homes will remain, but they generally do not prevent an association from disbanding.

I'm not sure why you say the assessments will significantly increase and the that the association may have to be placed in receivership.

The management of the HOA brings with it more overhead than the focus on JUST the management of the common areas.

The concept of an HOA is relatively new and does not exist everywhere. Many neighborhoods thrive without one. It boils down to the homeowners in that neighborhood and how much they care about the neighborhood. As stated, the deed restrictions remain intact and can be enforced by any homeowner(s) if they choose.

My aggravation with HOAs is more about the social mess they often create. I see little point to any association where the well being of the neighborhood is lost among all the politics and backstabbing of a few homeowners. In many aspects, they pull apart a community more than bring them together.

The average homeowner didn't create that fire, yet are held financially responsible for taming it. One possible method may be to remove the social mess and leave a mgmt company in place to focus on the management of the common areas (lawncare and utility bills essentially). Granted, ideally this should cost less. Reality may take a different spin on it however.

Ultimately, there is no easy answer, but there are options. Dissolution is one of them. It comes with good and bad, but may be the best answer for some neighborhoods. Yes, there is also the choice to change the HOA for the better. For some that can be an uphill battle. For others, it may be a challenege worth taking on. I'm in the latter stage at the moment. Dissolution is currently on standby.

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
PaulM
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:1347


04/04/2007 10:36 AM  
KevinH:
I appreciate your posts which contain 'clear thinking'; I am enjoying the read.
I, too, do not hold to the fact that maintenance of an HOA comes out to 'less cost' per homeowner. Not true in most instances. Because we are also paying for common area/s which we would not have otherwise. Plus, in our community we own nothing but the unit and only what it sits on. However, we are paying high price for maintenance of surrounding ground plus electricity, streets, etc.

I have posted this before, but it bears repeating. It is time for communities to come together and seek a type of overseer at gvt. level who will be our advocate against: 'double taxation', Board members w/personal agendas, power mongers, Attorneys looking to line their pockets, etc. HOA problems are the same everywhere, they are repeated constantly on this site, over and over again, in every state. We get nothing--and the municipality gets our tax dollars, gives nothing in return and the developer sells his homes in Bulk and leaves us with rules. When will things change for the buyers' benefit?
KevinH
(Texas)

Posts:53


04/04/2007 12:43 PM  
Thanks. I'm just trying to make sense of it all.

I think you may be hitting a good point. Perhaps we need to push for new legislation that protects homeowners in existing CAM-based communities and places a greater restriction on developers when designing new communities.

For example:
What if they were to PREVENT developers from incorporating common areas in their design that have little to no resale value of their own?

Any property established as a common area, should be adequate enough to be usable for other development, such as a park (city property) or even other homes (private property), etc. If the city looks at the common areas and says, hell no, we wouldn't even be able to do anything with that property, then they shouldn't authorize the zoning plans and property lines. They should be able to tell whether a piece of property will be of any value or use to someone, other than the proprietary plans of the developer. At least give the future home owners a chance to decide whether they want to keep the common areas or not. If the property has little to no resale value, then the homeowners have hardly any choice but to keep it. That seems unfair.

In our HOA, we have these 9 little taxable strips of land, that we cannot resell or bargain with the city on. We have no leverage whatsoever. Why did the developer lay it out this way? They could just have easily included parts of those strips in the property lines of adjacent neighbors from the start. The approval must have happened at the city level when the developer proposed his design plans. So in a way, the CITY allowed this happen and now we as homeowners must pay for the maintenance, property tax, utilities, and management of that property (of which my house is not adjacent to).

In addition, our developer had gone bankrupt just after the first phase of development (our phase). Phases 2 and 3 were supposed to be part of the HOA, but due to the bankruptcy, were never added. So instead of 200-300 homeowners helping to cover this expense, it is only 100 homes.

I realize why the city won't take it. Basically we are introducing a new cost that the city must somehow absorb. Responsibility for that property was long-removed from the city's budget over 20+ years ago and they're not just going to tack it back willingly. Fine. But in our case, no one would buy those small strips of property.

Perhaps we should advertise them on eBay and see what happens. Knowing our luck, we have all sorts of advertisement signs strewn up and down those strips of property because the people that bought it hoped to get low cost advertising space for it.

;-)

If you cannot see the forest for the trees, back up and get a better view. Don't start to clear a path while still blind.
GregL4
(Colorado)

Posts:1


09/23/2009 9:57 AM  
I have found this string of great value and have very much enjoyed reading through the posts. I am an ex-board member in a small community where personal agendas rule and there is a massive division within the community.

The WF HOA is only six years old since turned over from the developer and to this day has never been a successful entity. I believe that these issues arrise from personal agendas and apathy.

This HOA is in a rural area and has a piece of common land and several other large common areas that need to be maintained. Our assessments are minimal but cover these costs adequately but personal agendas and inflated egos ruin what could be a very good thing.

A small group of the community has banned together to make things happen where pontification and discussion has rendered the HOA useless in the past. This new endeavor is showing that positive actions speak louder than words. We are trying to remove the division in the community by our actions, communication and especially by not speaking badly about board members or other community members.

All this and our actions are an attempt at salvaging what is left of our HOA and community involvement.

Thanks again for all of the insight in this thread.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


09/23/2009 10:38 AM  

WAY TO GO GREG,

Working from the inside is the only successful way to get your community back from the non doing, non caring, self indulgent turds that have had a grip on it. It might be like starting from scratch but if you plan on being there and you love your home, then it is up to you and your good neighbors to take back the community.

I have such issues with those who have the idea that at the stroke of a pen and if we just say so, we can dissolve our HOA. NA AH, it isn't that easy because every HOA has at least some type of common area or property. Someone has to own it and to just say that you are walking away doesn't work.

Sharon!!, it is also your choice. Do something to fix the problems or sell and leave with a lesson learned.

HOATALK!!! Thanks for the language reminder to the O.P. It's that attitude that is counterproductive and may be part of her problem.

MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/23/2009 10:48 AM  
Posted By KevinH on 04/04/2007 12:43 PM

For example:
What if they were to PREVENT developers from incorporating common areas in their design that have little to no resale value of their own?


Don't know about your neck of the woods, but our Metro 2020 plan (a long-range development plan for our metropolitan area, that was drafted, I THINK, in 1990) does not allow any new development to not include a certain percentage of "green space" (often referred to as "common area") in the site plan. Trust me, the developers would much rather use all available acreage for land that will give them a return on their investment and on which they can build -- something -- that they can sell or that they can sell to someone else who wants to build -- something. . . That alone is one of the reason why the "common area" appears as such a chopped up, unusable plot of land. It was never intended to be used as anything except "green space."

In addition, the issue of the retention basin common area plays into probably about 90% of the developments, at least in this area. There is no way that the city is going to take ownership and management of the retention basins.

Just sayin' . . .
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/23/2009 10:59 AM  
Posted By SharonD on 06/07/2006 8:49 PM
because we have 3 women eho say everythig I am sharing is WRONG. I live on the block where the islands are and know for a fact they are not being maintained. If I say it is day: these women say it is night....The residents are stupid and "allow it" because they say: it's only $100 a year...this isn't a gated community...and dues have been doubled, People are weak and not interested in fighting




You know the old saying, I'm sure: A picture is worth a thousand words.

If your position is that the islands are not being maintained, and you live by them, it should be fairly easy to produce a pictorial timeline that shows the islands' state over that period of time.

With solid evidence in your hands, people can say "She's wrong" all they want, but they will have to explain why the pictures show the disarray and disrepair of the islands over the 30 days of the pictorial.

I think what I'm saying here, which brushes up against what some other posters complain about, too, is that apathy is a strong de-motivator.

Most people are not impacted by the daily ins-and-outs of the HOA in any way, shape or form. They have a million other priorities, and what happens to that $150 a year they pay (or whatever the amount is) to keep the HOA off their back and out of their mailbox is not one of them.

It's the same thing with people who don't live in covenant-restricted areas. If something doesn't impact them directly, and cause an inconvenience or an ill of some kind, they ignore it.

Our part of the county used to be a veritable dumping ground for certain types of businesses and developments (chemical factories and trailer parks). Many years ago, lots of interested neighbors (activists, for lack of a better word) changed all that. Now only stick-built homes and very light industrial are allowed near here.

People went back to sleep again. . . .

The people woke up one day when news that a steel mill was going to be a neighbor. Suddenly the cohesiveness and interest in every little detail of our community was overwhelming.

They managed to block the steel mill. Now, that includes residents in both HOA developments in the area and residents in NON-HOA developments in the area.

Sometimes it just takes some catalyst of some kind to spark the people into action and erase the apathy, even if it's only temporary.

You need to find that catalyst for your community.

If your pictures of "A Month In The Life of an XXXX Island" becomes the flashpoint for that catalyst, so be it!
MaryA1


Posts:0


09/23/2009 1:26 PM  
Michele,

Perhaps you didn't notice, but Sharon posted that message THREE years ago! I think this is the oldest post I've seen resurrected.
MaryA1


Posts:0


09/23/2009 1:27 PM  
Michele,

Perhaps you didn't notice, but Sharon posted that message THREE years ago! I think this is the oldest post I've seen resurrected.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/23/2009 2:05 PM  
Nope. I sure didn't!

Thanks for pointing it out!

Oppsy!
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


09/23/2009 5:46 PM  
Roger,

You need to read Sharon's post again. She said the residents hate the hoa so how, exactly, do you suggest they correct the problem and reap the benefits of a good HOA? It seems evident the residents don't give a crap and would contribute nothing to forming a "good" HOA.
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


09/23/2009 5:57 PM  
Roger,

I agree that hoas can keep up property values (MAYBE since they really have toothless covenants for an owner who wishes to ignore them). As far as a trash dump by an adjoining neighbor or a noisy day care center, this can usually be taken care of by contacting code enforcement or licensing for businesses (which may not be allowed in a residential area). Too many associations run to their attorney instead of exploring their options with city codes, etc. As to the color of the house I guess it's just different strokes for different folks. Anyone who does that will probably ignore any violation notices they get anyway and then it goes to an attorney and the huge costs that go with it. HOAS do not have the power many think they have.
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


09/23/2009 6:14 PM  
Kevin,

You are so right. The builders and developers are in bed with the City..plain and simple. None could care less what happens after all homes are sold. The buyer is provided with covenants which seem to indicate that property values will be kept up but in reality there is nothing the association can do but have volunteers who do not know which end is up to enforce them. The association can send violation notices which only good residents will adhere to and the ones who refuse to will continue to do their own thing and ignore any notices. What is an association to do? Yes, a lien can be placed if assessments are not paid..so what? The only recourse then is foreclosure and all the expenses that go with that.

We have had an ongoing problem (over 2 years) because an owner let her property get in such disrepair that the association had the repairs done, went to an attorney, got a final judgment for about $20,000 and then were told we could not foreclose since in the State of Florida we could only foreclose for lack of payment of assessments. We are now on our second attorney so we will see what happens. Oh the joy of living in an HOA.

There needs to be some sort of legislation that protects owners who buy into an HOA.
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