Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: BEST ADVICE TO DATE
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
PestY
(South Carolina)

Posts:67


07/12/2019 6:55 AM  
..... The only way I found that I could completely separate myself from the possibility of all of that was to sell my home and move. I did have other reasons for selling and moving; however, removing myself from that HOA was one of my main factors. It was definitely the right decision for me. If you can deal with the stress and anxiety of a move, I would suggest you do that and not think one more second about your current HOA. Also, if possible move to a non-HOA location or make a smarter decision on which HOA to join since you don't want to repeat your current situation. Best wishes to you! .....
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:48


07/12/2019 7:11 AM  
Best to move to a non-HOA to avoid the Nazi's.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:338


07/12/2019 7:50 AM  
Even a well-managed HOA can go off the rails - it all depends on the owners and on those who volunteer to serve on the board, and sometimes also circumstances beyond owners' control. The legal structure of HOAs makes this possible. Anyone who chooses to own property in an HOA needs to be aware of this, and should at least stay alert for signs of impending trouble.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


07/12/2019 8:07 AM  
Personally I like the control an HOA has. Yes it can be abused as can anything. Yes a revolution might be periodically needed to keep it on course.

Picking a friend up recently and saw his neighbor's son had constructed a big old tent made of tarps beside the garage. It is a "space" for him to work on cars. My friend says the neighbors are pi$$ed but there is nothing they can do. This is a neighborhood of $300K homes.
PestY
(South Carolina)

Posts:67


07/12/2019 9:23 AM  
FREEDOM

(picture Mel Gibson)
TimM11


Posts:287


07/12/2019 12:39 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/12/2019 8:07 AM
Personally I like the control an HOA has. Yes it can be abused as can anything. Yes a revolution might be periodically needed to keep it on course.

Picking a friend up recently and saw his neighbor's son had constructed a big old tent made of tarps beside the garage. It is a "space" for him to work on cars. My friend says the neighbors are pi$$ed but there is nothing they can do. This is a neighborhood of $300K homes.




HOAs seem like they have more impact in areas where there are fewer local laws that govern these sorts of things and less services provided. Where I live, that tarp tent that you describe would be a code violation that the city would deal with; no HOA involvement necessary. As such, HOAs can be a bit redundant in my neck of the woods once you get beyond things like common area maintenance.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8396


07/12/2019 4:07 PM  
Moving into my HOA and running it was my 1st HOA experience. It was quite the experience. There were some benefits that did like about living in a HOA. None of them was "keeping my home value". It was a good way to be involved in your neighborhood and make good friends. You had a bit more "control" in your living conditions and control of others who weren't. I would consider moving to another HOA in the future but would know more what to look for. Would I be a board member again? Depends if it was something I could contribute.

Currently I don't live in a HOA. (My old one is next door). It's an older established neighborhood. Think only common area we would share would be the front entrance signs. Occasionally we get a few Renters/owners who make a mess. Had one that came off as a "hoarder" home. Always trash or items outside. A few people do work on cars or other professions. However, find most of them are not "eyesores" that would effect sales. The largest effect on sales is the age of the homes and need for updating. Which brings in plenty of "flippers".

Find it kind of funny that living without a HOA hasn't been much different than living in one. It's just more expensive. Where as living in a HOA expenses were split amongst a large group. Which my dues covered pool, clubhouse access, trash pickup, recycling, and lawncare. All of this now must pay individually. However, if I don't pay it, my house won't be lien/foreclosed. It could be fined by the City.

Former HOA President
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:184


07/14/2019 4:06 PM  
Advice I should have taken is to ignore EVERYTHING that the HOA does day to day.

If something can't be changed- and a HOA board can't be changed without a lot of effort- ignore it and focus on things that can be changed in one's life.

And HOAs should not exist in most cases, except if it's a multifamily building or community amenities that need to be kept up.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:338


07/15/2019 4:44 AM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 07/14/2019 4:06 PM
Advice I should have taken is to ignore EVERYTHING that the HOA does day to day.

If something can't be changed- and a HOA board can't be changed without a lot of effort- ignore it and focus on things that can be changed in one's life.

And HOAs should not exist in most cases, except if it's a multifamily building or community amenities that need to be kept up.




HOAs are popular with our elected officials because many governmental responsibilities, such as road maintenance and public recreation areas, can be offloaded onto the homeowners (often without a corresponding reduction in property taxes). Couple that with many people wanting taxes to be as low as possible, and you can see that the money is driving and supporting construction of new communities with HOAs.

I agree that having blinders on can save your sanity. On the other hand, if you go this route, you'll likely be unaware of signs of impending and expensive trouble.

I've spent years trying to weigh the pros vs. cons of living in an HOA. So far I found neither slam dunks nor deal breakers.


TimM11


Posts:287


07/15/2019 6:41 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 07/15/2019 4:44 AM
HOAs are popular with our elected officials because many governmental responsibilities, such as road maintenance and public recreation areas, can be offloaded onto the homeowners (often without a corresponding reduction in property taxes). Couple that with many people wanting taxes to be as low as possible, and you can see that the money is driving and supporting construction of new communities with HOAs.

I agree that having blinders on can save your sanity. On the other hand, if you go this route, you'll likely be unaware of signs of impending and expensive trouble.

I've spent years trying to weigh the pros vs. cons of living in an HOA. So far I found neither slam dunks nor deal breakers.




It makes me glad that I live in an area where local government provides a high level of service, and people generally are willing to support it. I don't understand the appeal of living in a low-tax area if it just means I have to pay more HOA dues and other expenses (like private schools, if I had kids), but that's getting off-topic, I guess.

I agree with Paul in that HOAs make sense for multifamily housing and shared amenities, but not in many other situations. There is a place for them, but they've grown far beyond what they were originally meant to do.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:202


07/15/2019 7:22 AM  
I think a lot of the hostility toward HOAs would be diminished if the industry were honest and if people better understood what they are, and what they are complaining about when they complain about "the HOA".

There is no evidence that an HOA "protects property values".

HOAs exist because municipalities require them when a development has common property. The city doesn't want to pay for the maintenance of that property. It's just a property management organization. A corporate shell so that one entity can be billed for the water or the mowing or the taxes, and one entity can be sued if someone trips and falls.

What people gripe about are the deed restrictions. The rules. Which can be changed if enough people want to change them and are willing to show up for 30 minutes at a meeting.

PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:184


07/15/2019 8:11 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 7:22 AM
I think a lot of the hostility toward HOAs would be diminished if the industry were honest and if people better understood what they are, and what they are complaining about when they complain about "the HOA".

There is no evidence that an HOA "protects property values".

HOAs exist because municipalities require them when a development has common property. The city doesn't want to pay for the maintenance of that property. It's just a property management organization. A corporate shell so that one entity can be billed for the water or the mowing or the taxes, and one entity can be sued if someone trips and falls.

What people gripe about are the deed restrictions. The rules. Which can be changed if enough people want to change them and are willing to show up for 30 minutes at a meeting.





Correct.

I also object to HOAs being less transparent and less transparent than even "normal" government. I prefer the private sector generally, although HOAs are often structured so that they can be run by "insiders", and bad behavior can be corrected in practice only by an individual owner filing a lawsuit or otherwise following up himself or herself, which imposes costs on the individual owner.

Thus I would prefer having more legal requirements for HOAs to be transparent and truly democratically elected, and perhaps, as much as I dislike saying it, a government ombudsman or something who could step in and make boards play by the rules if needed. It shouldn't be up to an individual owner to do battle with a HOA that is stacked in favor of a developer or other "insiders".
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:202


07/15/2019 10:31 AM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 07/15/2019 8:11 AM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 7:22 AM
I think a lot of the hostility toward HOAs would be diminished if the industry were honest and if people better understood what they are, and what they are complaining about when they complain about "the HOA".

There is no evidence that an HOA "protects property values".

HOAs exist because municipalities require them when a development has common property. The city doesn't want to pay for the maintenance of that property. It's just a property management organization. A corporate shell so that one entity can be billed for the water or the mowing or the taxes, and one entity can be sued if someone trips and falls.

What people gripe about are the deed restrictions. The rules. Which can be changed if enough people want to change them and are willing to show up for 30 minutes at a meeting.





Correct.

I also object to HOAs being less transparent and less transparent than even "normal" government. I prefer the private sector generally, although HOAs are often structured so that they can be run by "insiders", and bad behavior can be corrected in practice only by an individual owner filing a lawsuit or otherwise following up himself or herself, which imposes costs on the individual owner.

Thus I would prefer having more legal requirements for HOAs to be transparent and truly democratically elected, and perhaps, as much as I dislike saying it, a government ombudsman or something who could step in and make boards play by the rules if needed. It shouldn't be up to an individual owner to do battle with a HOA that is stacked in favor of a developer or other "insiders".




In my state, HOAs are required to be transparent. Owners must be noticed about board meetings, including all topics on the agenda. Owners are entitled to examine all the books and records of the association. Many HOAs publish financials, contracts, etc on a website so homeowner's don't even have to ask.

But people are lazy. Too lazy to download a financial report and read it. Much easier to post on Facebook that the dues are too high. Too lazy to come to a meeting, much easier to complain on NextDoor.

Why on earth should there be a government agency to oversee a private corporation because the members of that corporation just can't be bothered to do it themselves?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


07/15/2019 11:35 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 10:31 AM
Posted By PaulJ6 on 07/15/2019 8:11 AM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 7:22 AM
I think a lot of the hostility toward HOAs would be diminished if the industry were honest and if people better understood what they are, and what they are complaining about when they complain about "the HOA".

There is no evidence that an HOA "protects property values".

HOAs exist because municipalities require them when a development has common property. The city doesn't want to pay for the maintenance of that property. It's just a property management organization. A corporate shell so that one entity can be billed for the water or the mowing or the taxes, and one entity can be sued if someone trips and falls.

What people gripe about are the deed restrictions. The rules. Which can be changed if enough people want to change them and are willing to show up for 30 minutes at a meeting.





Correct.

I also object to HOAs being less transparent and less transparent than even "normal" government. I prefer the private sector generally, although HOAs are often structured so that they can be run by "insiders", and bad behavior can be corrected in practice only by an individual owner filing a lawsuit or otherwise following up himself or herself, which imposes costs on the individual owner.

Thus I would prefer having more legal requirements for HOAs to be transparent and truly democratically elected, and perhaps, as much as I dislike saying it, a government ombudsman or something who could step in and make boards play by the rules if needed. It shouldn't be up to an individual owner to do battle with a HOA that is stacked in favor of a developer or other "insiders".




In my state, HOAs are required to be transparent. Owners must be noticed about board meetings, including all topics on the agenda. Owners are entitled to examine all the books and records of the association. Many HOAs publish financials, contracts, etc on a website so homeowner's don't even have to ask.

But people are lazy. Too lazy to download a financial report and read it. Much easier to post on Facebook that the dues are too high. Too lazy to come to a meeting, much easier to complain on NextDoor.

Why on earth should there be a government agency to oversee a private corporation because the members of that corporation just can't be bothered to do it themselves?




Well said. Rather not have some bureaucrat stick their nose in.
TimM11


Posts:287


07/15/2019 1:27 PM  
Government bureaucrat or HOA bureaucrat; what's the difference, really?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


07/15/2019 1:52 PM  
Posted By TimM11 on 07/15/2019 1:27 PM
Government bureaucrat or HOA bureaucrat; what's the difference, really?




Hopefully the HOA Bureaucrat lives there so has a better understanding. Also the HOA Bureaucrat can be voted on and/or recalled. Big difference to me.
AugustinD


Posts:1886


07/15/2019 1:54 PM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 10:31 AM
Why on earth should there be a government agency to oversee a private corporation because the members of that corporation just can't be bothered to do it themselves?


Apathy is often said to be the number one problem at HOAs. But my read of "apathy" is that most HOA members and condo members are fine with the status quo (at least until they get bit by serious lawbreaking by a board).

At times I have thought the lack of accountability of HOA and condo boards is a leading problem of unhappiness with condos and HOAs, kind of like what PaulJ6 posted. But perhaps a bigger problem is the members who themselves do not read and understand the Declaration, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. They gripe when a legitimate covenant or rule is enforced. They burden boards with their arguments about why a covenant is ridiculous and they should not have to comply with it.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:202


07/15/2019 2:29 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/15/2019 1:54 PM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 10:31 AM
Why on earth should there be a government agency to oversee a private corporation because the members of that corporation just can't be bothered to do it themselves?


Apathy is often said to be the number one problem at HOAs. But my read of "apathy" is that most HOA members and condo members are fine with the status quo (at least until they get bit by serious lawbreaking by a board).

At times I have thought the lack of accountability of HOA and condo boards is a leading problem of unhappiness with condos and HOAs, kind of like what PaulJ6 posted. But perhaps a bigger problem is the members who themselves do not read and understand the Declaration, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. They gripe when a legitimate covenant or rule is enforced. They burden boards with their arguments about why a covenant is ridiculous and they should not have to comply with it.




The association I work for is in the process of trying to amend its docs. The meeting notice included the proposes amended language and the original language. For 99% of the homeowners who bothered to read the notice, it was the first time they'd read any of the governing documents, and they have been really upset...not about the amendment but what has been in the docs all along.

Of 875 homeowners, I have received 29 proxies in the last 30 days. It's entirely possible 800+ people are going to show up at the meeting, but since the annual meeting averages 60 people, I'm guessing that won't be the case.

People do not care. They just want to gripe.

I get complaints daily about the landscape company. The Board won't let me replace them for a bunch of reasons I won't go into here. But when homeowners complain, I encourage them to contact the board directly. None of them are willing to do that. They want me to do it for them. I'm not a member of the association. I'm not in a position to hold the board accountable. They are. They won't. Pure laziness. A couple of weeks ago I had a homeowner who wanted to appeal his collection letter and was outraged when I told him he had to do it himself. He thinks my job is to represent homeowners if they have a dispute with the board, and advocate for them. His exact words were "Why should I have to go to the trouble of sending a certified letter? You should do that for me." Later in the conversation he decided he'd sue the board, and wanted me to send him all the governing documents with the sections that I thought would help him in his lawsuit highlighted.

Yelling at me or posting complaints on the internet are the only things anyone has time for. Everything else - too busy, do it for me.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


07/15/2019 6:25 PM  
Barbara

It all depends on what is in your contract. We pay our MC to play the heavy concerning fines, unpaid dues, etc. That said, we have them tell owners to directly contact the BOD (via an Email address) with all and any complaints. They do not need to defend what they have done. We, the BOD, will.
ND
(PA)

Posts:330


07/16/2019 5:18 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 2:29 PM
Posted By AugustinD on 07/15/2019 1:54 PM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 07/15/2019 10:31 AM
Why on earth should there be a government agency to oversee a private corporation because the members of that corporation just can't be bothered to do it themselves?


Apathy is often said to be the number one problem at HOAs. But my read of "apathy" is that most HOA members and condo members are fine with the status quo (at least until they get bit by serious lawbreaking by a board).

At times I have thought the lack of accountability of HOA and condo boards is a leading problem of unhappiness with condos and HOAs, kind of like what PaulJ6 posted. But perhaps a bigger problem is the members who themselves do not read and understand the Declaration, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. They gripe when a legitimate covenant or rule is enforced. They burden boards with their arguments about why a covenant is ridiculous and they should not have to comply with it.



. . . I get complaints daily about the landscape company. The Board won't let me replace them for a bunch of reasons I won't go into here. But when homeowners complain, I encourage them to contact the board directly. None of them are willing to do that. They want me to do it for them. I'm not a member of the association. I'm not in a position to hold the board accountable. They are. They won't. Pure laziness. . . .




I'm sure you have reasons for encouraging homeowners to complain to the Board instead of you about the landscaping company . . . and as you've indicated the Board won't let you replace them for a bunch of reasons that you didn't want to get into. But without knowing more about your situation, I'd say that seems a little backward to me. In our particular instance, one of the main reasons we hired a Management Company was to act as a buffer between homeowner and Board. Management Company (who is paid for their time and effort) would receive, respond to (if they could), and compile any and all issues/complaints for a discussion and decision by the Board during a Board Meeting. As an unpaid volunteer Board Member, I don't need to be involved in every neighbors' complaint, gripe, criticism, and/or comment about the landscaping company. The Management Company needs to receive and filter through all of that, take care of issues they can resolve at their level, and bring anything significant to the Board. Management Co should not pit homeowners against Board . . . unless of course the Board is acting inappropriately or irrationally and this is the only possible solution . . . in which case as a Management Co, I would have to rethink staying involved with the Board if that sort of interaction was the norm.
TimM11


Posts:287


07/16/2019 6:08 AM  
Likewise, my HOA requires all communication to go through the MC. They will then contact the BOD as needed. I wouldn't serve on a board where owners could contact me directly, unless we were self-managed.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:202


07/16/2019 6:33 AM  
To clarify, I'm not talking about acting as a buffer, or having homeowners communicate with me instead of the board.

I'm talking about homeowners expecting me to represent them if they have a dispute with the board.

I cannot write a letter on behalf of a homeowner appealing their violation, or requesting a payment plan. I can forward a letter that they write.

I can pass on complaints about the landscape company. I cannot sue the board on behalf of a homeowner who feels the landscape contract was awarded contrary to the requirements of the state property code.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > BEST ADVICE TO DATE



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



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

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







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

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

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