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Subject: What goes in your Welcome Package?
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GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


10/28/2019 7:06 AM  
300 single family properties with relatively strong CCRs, R&Rs, and solid documentation. Reasonably well run by a property manager with increasingly involved board oversight.

Board just voted to establish as hoc Welcome Committee funded at a couple hundred bucks a year for administrative materials like folders, printing cost, etc. Basic point was to meet everyone, try and establish a social context in the community, remind newcomers of responsibilities, provide contact points, etc.

Turnover is pretty low in the community ... 10-15 properties per year, with occasional departures over the years from this range. Demographics vary, but usually working families and retirees/near retirees.

So, our thoughts included the following in the package:
- letter from the Welcome Committee with broad background which includes process and links to website where all information is stored, how to reach the property manager, reminder of responsibilities wrt CCRs and R&Rs
- copy of the CCRs
- copy of the Architectural Guidelines
- copy of the R&Rs
- copy of last couple of communications from the Prez to get them up to date
- copy of the Bylaws

Looking for recommendations and thoughts on what works and what doesn’t.

As always, thanks!
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


10/28/2019 7:26 AM  
Forgot, also including letter from the Neighborhood Watch lead.
ND
(PA)

Posts:366


10/28/2019 7:33 AM  
We never had a welcome package, but I always liked the idea. In theory, buyers should already have most of what you're planning to put in there document-wise, but I suppose duplication can't hurt if you have the budget to print those things. I might question spending HOA money on printing all that stuff (since most HOAs are trying to pinch all pennies), but it could be worthwhile.

- For people not familiar with your area, maybe a listing, perhaps with a map reference of nearby stores and other points of interest: restaurants, grocery stores, Walmart/target, electronics stores, malls, drug stores, convenience stores, sight-seeing locations, theme parks, etc.

- Any forms needed for architectural improvements or other established processes.

- Maybe some local stores want to be a part of your welcome package and would provide special coupons, samples, or other freebies to include.

- Contact info for local utility and service providers (electric, water, cable, internet, trash, etc.).

To help bring them up to speed on latest HOA activity:

- Copy of some prior years' budgets.

- Copy of more recent meeting minutes.

- Copy of several prior newsletters (if you have one).


MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/28/2019 8:05 AM  
The only time, IMHO, that you distribute the kind of information printed and in a binder is when the home is first sold by the developer. Put all the information on a website. It is cheap and informative and easy to maintain. Couple of hundred of dollars annually to maintain. Put everything out in the open, governing docs, architectural guidelines, financials, minutes. Be completely transparent, you're not protecting trade secrets or national security.

When a person or persons buy a house in an established community, most of the documents they would get before closing.

So here is what I have seen. Some of the documents are provided when there might be a change of management.

1. Management Welcome Letter
2. Management Change by Board of Directors
3. Important Assessment Payment Changes
4. Caliber Web Portal
5. Architectural Application Form
6. Automatic Withdrawal Form
7. Homeowner Information Form
8. Content to Electronic Delivery
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16542


10/28/2019 3:33 PM  
Realistically, they may read the first page of a welcome package.

On our first page we point out the following:

Trash/Recycling collection days
Times cans can be placed on curb.
The fact that exterior changes require Association approval.
Assessment amount for the year and where to send payment
Contact for more info.

The package also contains copies of the governing documents, etc.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/28/2019 3:54 PM  
Although I am a for the HOA for providing the documents, also realize it is NOT the HOA's responsibility to do so. Outside of the By-laws and ACC (if exists) the other documents are PUBLIC. It also may cost money to reproduce and make copies. So it may be something the HOA may need to charge for.

I just made a brochure that hit the highlights of the HOA responsibilities. We'd mentioned where you can access copies of the documents. Per request we could charge a small amount for copies of documents/financials. Just to cover the costs of reproduction.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


10/28/2019 4:57 PM  
Even with 15 sales a year, at maybe 30 pages from and back docs, we can afford it.

Our website has everything, as well. Our ACB works via an online tool called SmartWebs.

Letter from Welcome Committee has lots of info on it that tracks with everyone’s recommendations.

Will likely be using a white glossy folder with a glossy sticker on the front with community logo.

We’re also looking to actually meet and greet and welcome ... feel it’s important to start off right.

SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3395


10/28/2019 5:02 PM  
What goes in your Welcome Package?


A bill.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8827


10/29/2019 1:44 PM  
Our welcome package is a letter that says:

Pay Your Dues on Time or Die!
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/29/2019 6:50 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 10/29/2019 1:44 PM
Our welcome package is a letter that says:

Pay Your Dues on Time or Die!



A comedian in the house.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/29/2019 9:00 PM  
Again there is a fine line here with "Welcome packages". I think they are great things and can be helpful. Over the years they can stop being consistent or upkept. It's also hard for some HOA's to know when property changes hands. We didn't always know.

My biggest concern is conveying that the HOA is responsible for providing certain documents. It could bite them in the end for doing so. That it is why I suggest referencing them in a brochure/letter or charging for a copy.

Former HOA President
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/29/2019 11:21 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/29/2019 9:00 PM
Again there is a fine line here with "Welcome packages". I think they are great things and can be helpful. Over the years they can stop being consistent or upkept. It's also hard for some HOA's to know when property changes hands. We didn't always know.

My biggest concern is conveying that the HOA is responsible for providing certain documents. It could bite them in the end for doing so. That it is why I suggest referencing them in a brochure/letter or charging for a copy.



Are you implying a corporation is not responsible for their own documents.

Absolutely, UNBELIEVABLE.
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/29/2019 11:24 PM  
I have to agree with you on this one.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/30/2019 4:11 AM  
Yes the law says it is that way. CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are considered PUBLIC information. Hence they are NOT the responsibility of anyone to provide. The By-laws and ACC Documents are the only documents that are NOT necessarily PUBLIC. They are corporate internal documents. Which By-laws are often filed with the CC&R's but not all states make it a requirement.

Yeah shocker. The HOA, lawyers, mortgage companies, Realtors, Title companies, and Sellers (Not in every state) are legally required to provide you this documentation. Some states the Seller IS responsible in some states to provide them at closing. The documents are viewed as YOUR responsibility as a buyer to be informed. Which means YOU as a buyer are responsible for getting a copy. Which may be going to the courthouse or by asking the other resources (Realtor/lawyer/HOA etc...) for a copy. However, keep in mind they are not legally bound to provide them but MAYBE the seller.

Hence why I warn against the HOA setting a precedent of providing PUBLIC documents as it may come across as their responsibility. It is NOT.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16542


10/30/2019 6:58 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/30/2019 4:11 AM
Yes the law says it is that way. CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are considered PUBLIC information. Hence they are NOT the responsibility of anyone to provide.




This is NOT a valid statement in ALL STATES.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/30/2019 8:21 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/30/2019 4:11 AM
Yes the law says it is that way. CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are considered PUBLIC information. Hence they are NOT the responsibility of anyone to provide. The By-laws and ACC Documents are the only documents that are NOT necessarily PUBLIC. They are corporate internal documents. Which By-laws are often filed with the CC&R's but not all states make it a requirement.

Yeah shocker. The HOA, lawyers, mortgage companies, Realtors, Title companies, and Sellers (Not in every state) are legally required to provide you this documentation. Some states the Seller IS responsible in some states to provide them at closing. The documents are viewed as YOUR responsibility as a buyer to be informed. Which means YOU as a buyer are responsible for getting a copy. Which may be going to the courthouse or by asking the other resources (Realtor/lawyer/HOA etc...) for a copy. However, keep in mind they are not legally bound to provide them but MAYBE the seller.

Hence why I warn against the HOA setting a precedent of providing PUBLIC documents as it may come across as their responsibility. It is NOT.



Is this how you ran your business, the HOA. God help us all!
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3865


10/30/2019 9:18 AM  
DEAREST Melissa

PUBLIC records are for the benefit of the GENERAL public.

BUT the GENERAL public does NOT automatically include SPECIFIC individuals who are a PARTY to a transaction or KNOWN to have a certain type of relationship.

In all areas of the LAW, there are SPECIFIC individuals who MUST MUST MUST be notified directly, or by some form of publication OTHER than a recorder of deeds office or a corporate registration office.

The decision to provide information that is NOT required does not create a LEGAL obligation to provide that information. The practice of providing NON-REQUIRED information can be altered at ANY time - because it is NOT REQUIRED. Can there be pushback for changing the way things were done in the past? Sure. But that's true of ANY CHANGE.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/30/2019 10:33 AM  
1. Is that a state specific list of documents that any homeowner, buying into an HOA, should know they need to be aware of and ask for prior to closing on a house?
2. How would someone know the exact name of the association that Articles of Incorporation were filed under. What if the association legally changed its name over time?
3. What rules would a buyer know they follow under, such as Florida having one set of rules for condos and one set for HOA's. Does everyone know how a condo is defined? or an
HOA?
4. How does one get the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations, which in most instances are not public and aren't recorded.
5. How does one know if the unit is in collections, or has an outstanding unpaid balance, any violations against the unit, not filed proper Architectural applications? Where do
you find all this information?
6. How does one get minutes or financials or do they have to wait until its too late?

And as Tim pointed out, it is required by state statues to provide certain ideas.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/30/2019 4:10 PM  
Tim I did mention that in many states these documents are to be provided by the Seller at closing. Doesn't mean they aren't less public available at another resource. There isn't always a "seller" so to speak in every sales scenario. So there has to be another way to get them.

Keep in mind this is NOT how I would run a HOA at all. My OPINION would be the HOA would be responsible for providing these documents. It would be top of my list to do so. However, I am just pointing out that is NOT how the "system" works in many states/HOA's. Instead it's made to be the "Buyer's responsibility to be informed". Which means YOU need to do your research. Which may include asking others like Realtors etc... to assist. Just doesn't make it their responsibility to get sued for not doing it.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16542


10/30/2019 5:49 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/30/2019 4:10 PM
Tim I did mention that in many states these documents are to be provided by the Seller at closing. Doesn't mean they aren't less public available at another resource. There isn't always a "seller" so to speak in every sales scenario. So there has to be another way to get them.




Melissa,

The comment I made was to your posting of "Hence they are NOT the responsibility of anyone to provide."

Granted, you somewhat retracted that statement later in your posting.
In my opinion, that statement should not have been made (as not everyone reads the entire posting).
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6703


10/30/2019 5:58 PM  
And in some States, CA for certain, sellers MUST provide the governing docs PRIOR to (not "at") the close of escrow/transfer of title.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16542


10/30/2019 6:02 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 10/30/2019 5:58 PM
And in some States, CA for certain, sellers MUST provide the governing docs PRIOR to (not "at") the close of escrow/transfer of title.





Which Melissa did state.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/30/2019 8:21 PM  
My point is that the HOA should not make it a perception it is their responsibility to provide certain documents. We all know that someone is going to want to sue because they didn't get them. There has to be someone responsible so why not the HOA? The Realtor? The mortgage company? The title company? The lawyer? The former owner/seller? They wouldn't have been in violation/fined if they had them etc...

Some states are a bit more forward thinking by making it the Seller's responsibility during the sales transaction. Which the timing of how long before or "at" closing is a bit debatable. Don't think there is a 3 day or 3 minute time set. Which that to may depend on state to state.

Keep in mind NOT all HOA sales are the same. A foreclosure be it bank or tax related don't necessarily means documents handed over. If you are not familiar with how all this works, then you won't know. If you are familiar, then while at the courthouse you will do the research at the records office.

Overall ignorance is NOT an excuse to not pay dues or comply with the rules. There is a point where YOU have to take on personal responsibility to be informed. Don't blame other if the information is available PUBLICLY.

Former HOA President
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/30/2019 9:40 PM  
To think this person was once an HOA president is truly amazing.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16542


10/31/2019 3:33 AM  
Posted By JamesS38 on 10/30/2019 9:40 PM
To think this person was once an HOA president is truly amazing.




Keep in mind that laws change, sometimes yearly.
Court cases have impact as well.

Individuals provide advise and opinions based on what information has been provided, personal experience and any research they may have done.
It really wasn't that long ago that there were no requirements to provide a copy of governing documents. Therefore, one may have had a different experience when they served.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 4:07 AM  
Yes laws change and every state/HOA is different. I make no apologies for saying that HOA is NOT responsible for providing certain documents like CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation. Once you are a member they should provide the By-law and financials.

Keep in mind I do NOT agree with the system as it exists. I just live within it. So having the CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation as PUBLIC documents eliminates situations such as no "seller" or HOA's that no longer are organized. You have seen here many posts of people interested in revilatizing their HOA. Well how would they do that without copies of their documents available at a PUBLIC resource. Considering it's a legal requirement to be kept on file.

We gave people copies upon request but we did not go seek anyone out to provide a copy. That just wasn't our responsibility or duty. It was a COURTESY and good idea.

Former HOA President
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/31/2019 8:42 AM  
My opinion is based solely on her comments of how she ran her HOA. Furthermore, IMHO, she doesn't have the first clue of the process.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/31/2019 8:55 AM  
I would rather have a person that is informed about the community in which they are considering buying into. Putting up and maintaining either a website or wordpress is simple and expensive, compared to the potential headaches you may encounter down the road.

Are you saying Melissa, that buyers doesn't know what is going on with YOUR community, such as the rules, operations or financial health until AFTER they sign on the dotted line?
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/31/2019 9:16 AM  
A HOA can take the process into their own hands. There are a number of online document companies that specialize in HOA closings. If they have a management company, they may be doing the work and getting paid for it and paid handsomely. This COULD be revenue going into the HOA instead, if they were more forward thinking.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3328


10/31/2019 12:50 PM  
We have a few owners who bought homes in the subdivision without a single clue that there was an HOA here. One of them started violating the CC&Rs and the Rules & Regulations almost immediately. When confronted, their response was, "We didn't know! No one told us about any of that."

Instead of fining them or pointing out where they could obtain copies of the governing documents (or just giving them a set), people went crazy over the fact that homeowners were moving in unaware of any restrictions in the community. The Welcome Wagon Committee (yes, we have a committee for that) decided to start including copies of the governing docs and rules in their Welcome Packet. OK, fine. The following year the new Welcome Wagon Committee decided to make new owners sign an acknowledgement that they had received copies of the documents. The idea was to counter anyone who might plead ignorance of the rules. My argument was there's nothing in the HOA's CC&Rs or state statutes that require any such signed acknowledgment and that ignorance is no defense when state law obliges homeowners to be aware of the rules and to obey them.

Then it got worse when a new homeowner moved in and refused to sign anything. The next board meeting was 2.5 hours long with a full 45 minutes devoted to the issue. It was a nightmare and it still hasn't been completely dealt with. My point of view now is that the Welcome Wagon shouldn't even hand out copies of the documents, never mind ask anyone to sign for them. I'd rather the WW hand out a summary sheet with instructions on how to go about getting copies either from the county website or, for a nominal fee, a copy from the HOA.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3865


10/31/2019 1:55 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 10/31/2019 12:50 PM
We have a few owners who bought homes in the subdivision without a single clue that there was an HOA here. One of them started violating the CC&Rs and the Rules & Regulations almost immediately. When confronted, their response was, "We didn't know! No one told us about any of that."

Instead of fining them or pointing out where they could obtain copies of the governing documents (or just giving them a set), people went crazy over the fact that homeowners were moving in unaware of any restrictions in the community. The Welcome Wagon Committee (yes, we have a committee for that) decided to start including copies of the governing docs and rules in their Welcome Packet. OK, fine. The following year the new Welcome Wagon Committee decided to make new owners sign an acknowledgement that they had received copies of the documents. The idea was to counter anyone who might plead ignorance of the rules. My argument was there's nothing in the HOA's CC&Rs or state statutes that require any such signed acknowledgment and that ignorance is no defense when state law obliges homeowners to be aware of the rules and to obey them.

Then it got worse when a new homeowner moved in and refused to sign anything. The next board meeting was 2.5 hours long with a full 45 minutes devoted to the issue. It was a nightmare and it still hasn't been completely dealt with. My point of view now is that the Welcome Wagon shouldn't even hand out copies of the documents, never mind ask anyone to sign for them. I'd rather the WW hand out a summary sheet with instructions on how to go about getting copies either from the county website or, for a nominal fee, a copy from the HOA.


I can see where asking someone who just showed up to sign something can put people off.

Beyond that, should make no difference whether it's a summary or a full set of docs. Whatever you set as standard practice, if you stick to it, would serve as sufficient proof of delivery under traditional legal recognition of "course of conduct" behavior.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
TimM11


Posts:314


10/31/2019 2:13 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 10/31/2019 12:50 PM
We have a few owners who bought homes in the subdivision without a single clue that there was an HOA here. One of them started violating the CC&Rs and the Rules & Regulations almost immediately. When confronted, their response was, "We didn't know! No one told us about any of that."




I'm glad I live in a state where sellers are legally required to provide this information, and associations are also explicitly required to provide a resale disclosure certificate that addresses the HOA's financial obligations.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/31/2019 2:16 PM  
Posted By TimM11 on 10/31/2019 2:13 PM
Posted By GenoS on 10/31/2019 12:50 PM
We have a few owners who bought homes in the subdivision without a single clue that there was an HOA here. One of them started violating the CC&Rs and the Rules & Regulations almost immediately. When confronted, their response was, "We didn't know! No one told us about any of that."




I'm glad I live in a state where sellers are legally required to provide this information, and associations are also explicitly required to provide a resale disclosure certificate that addresses the HOA's financial obligations.



And what state would that be?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


10/31/2019 2:18 PM  
Wow.

I appreciate the feedback on what some of you put in your welcome package; however, I didn't mean to prepare a battlefield :-)

So, our Welcome Committee decided to welcome the first family today - they moved in about 2 weeks ago. Enough time to get settled in.

The package is a white glossy folder with pockets, with 3"x6" label with our logo:

Right pocket - letter from Welcome Committee, letter from the Neighborhood Watch folks, single sheet with about 30 websites by name and URL (including the ones for the management company, our docs, local utilities, first responders, school district maps and links, etc, etc.

Left pocket - copy of CCRs, copy of Rules and Regulations, copy of last two president notes (one an introduction with goals from the new president and one with a discussion of the importance of grinding sidewalk lips for safety of pedestrians)

One of the members of the new committee insisted on baking a cake ... :-). We'll see how long this lasts ...

To me, there are several reasons for doing this:

1. Welcome your new neighbors!
2. Start a social context dialogue
3. Provide reminders of the new owners' responsibilities
4. Collect email addresses (saves money on mailings of things like president notes on goings on

The cost - folder, professionally printed label, printed copies of the various components - about $2.00/per.
The time - an hour setting up the printing stuff, an hour finding the folders and getting the labels printed
The effect - potentially quite good!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 3:42 PM  
Genos we are on the SAME page on this... We didn't go so far as making anyone sign anything but did send notices they do live in a HOA and to contact the board. However, will say it was kind of obvious you lived in a HOA in our neighborhood. You couldn't get passed the front entrance without a huge mailbox complex and bulletin board to greet you. Plus a box that said "Pay dues here" in a lock box. It wasn't always in MLS listings or other resources online.

Mark the HOA's ONLY revenue is to be Dues ONLY. Many HOA's are also self-managed. Management companies cost money. They aren't making any money for the HOA other than assisting in managing it. Plus they are not responsible for providing HOA documents. They are just the source to provide financial information to view.

People are still going to want to blame someone for their ignorance of HOA's. They are going to threaten to sue over it as well. The HOA providing information not legally required to do doesn't necessarily do it any favors.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8827


10/31/2019 3:59 PM  
There has been more than one case where a Welcome Package "outlined" a few things that ended up contradicting the actual Covenants. Be careful.
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/31/2019 4:31 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/31/2019 3:42 PM
Genos we are on the SAME page on this... We didn't go so far as making anyone sign anything but did send notices they do live in a HOA and to contact the board. However, will say it was kind of obvious you lived in a HOA in our neighborhood. You couldn't get passed the front entrance without a huge mailbox complex and bulletin board to greet you. Plus a box that said "Pay dues here" in a lock box. It wasn't always in MLS listings or other resources online.

Mark the HOA's ONLY revenue is to be Dues ONLY. Many HOA's are also self-managed. Management companies cost money. They aren't making any money for the HOA other than assisting in managing it. Plus they are not responsible for providing HOA documents. They are just the source to provide financial information to view.

People are still going to want to blame someone for their ignorance of HOA's. They are going to threaten to sue over it as well. The HOA providing information not legally required to do doesn't necessarily do it any favors.



WOW, YOU ARE REALLY IGNORANT!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 4:42 PM  
Can you say that any louder? Please point out the ignorance. We can then DISCUSS things. Otherwise it's just blowing air.

Former HOA President
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/31/2019 6:00 PM  
Exactly where does it say that the only revenue is from dues. There are a number involved in golf courses and food service.

You're right Melissa, management companies cost money. So does water and snow removal and trash pickup, but there are the cost of doing business for many businesses including HOA's.

You're ignorant in how management companies actually operate. They do provide the documents when needed to process a resale in HOA's. In generally in their contracts that they provide such services. In the case of making money providing documents to new buyers, you offset the revenue with the expenses of providing the docs. In case you missed it, that's the way businesses operate.

There are generally more cooperation in communities that are completely transparent to their homeowners than ones that liken themselves to dictators and do what is minimally required to operate.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 8:08 PM  
A HOA is a NON-Profit Corporation. Which means it is to collect as much as it spends on it's operational/capital expenses. That does not mean it's a charitable corporation or it can't charge for reimbursement of their expenses. Let's say it costs $5 to produce documents. That means they can charge $5 to someone to cover that expense. This isn't a profit.

Not every and all HOA's use or need a management company to operate. They also all work independently and contractually. Each state is different on their laws and requirements. So you can't make a cover all statement and then call people names for doing so.

So Richard... oops... Didn't mean to call you that... LOL! Stop screaming fire in a crowded room without bringing the water...

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 8:10 PM  
BTW: Forgot to include that there are For-Profit HOA's that do have golf courses or other type entities. They are allowed to make a profit from other things outside of collection of dues. They do work differently than the regular HOA's that most of us here deal with. Most are simply non-profit to cover their expenses. Those HOA's the collection of money is done by raise of dues or special assessments.

Former HOA President
JamesS38
(Alabama)

Posts:11


10/31/2019 8:26 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 10/31/2019 8:08 PM
A HOA is a NON-Profit Corporation. Which means it is to collect as much as it spends on it's operational/capital expenses. That does not mean it's a charitable corporation or it can't charge for reimbursement of their expenses. Let's say it costs $5 to produce documents. That means they can charge $5 to someone to cover that expense. This isn't a profit.

Not every and all HOA's use or need a management company to operate. They also all work independently and contractually. Each state is different on their laws and requirements. So you can't make a cover all statement and then call people names for doing so.

So Richard... oops... Didn't mean to call you that... LOL! Stop screaming fire in a crowded room without bringing the water...



And any profit they may would pay tax on.

You need to stop commenting on topics in which you have no clue on.

And you really were a HOA president, WOW! Hard to believe
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 8:50 PM  
Yep I was a very successful President of a HOA at that as well. Generally try not to make all over statements that must apply to everyone for every situation or otherwise your dumb kind of person. It's kind of comes along with the EXPERIENCE and not perception of those who have never volunteered...

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/31/2019 9:45 PM  
May I add my experience is of running a 100+ non profit HOA. It was self managed and had no MC. We did have an accounting firm that did assist in some areas. So no I can not advise on a for profit golf club owning HOA. Does that make me or others here bad board members or officers? No. A HOA is what YOU and your neighbors make it. My HOA was good and happily run amongst ourselves. I call that success.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1990


11/01/2019 11:05 AM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 10/28/2019 4:57 PM
We’re also looking to actually meet and greet and welcome ... feel it’s important to start off right.


Posted By GeorgeS21 on 10/31/2019 2:18 PM
[O]ur Welcome Committee decided to welcome the first family today - they moved in about 2 weeks ago. Enough time to get settled in.

The package is a white glossy folder with pockets, with 3"x6" label with our logo:

Right pocket - letter from Welcome Committee, letter from the Neighborhood Watch folks, single sheet with about 30 websites by name and URL (including the ones for the management company, our docs, local utilities, first responders, school district maps and links, etc, etc.

Left pocket - copy of CCRs, copy of Rules and Regulations, copy of last two president notes (one an introduction with goals from the new president and one with a discussion of the importance of grinding sidewalk lips for safety of pedestrians)

One of the members of the new committee insisted on baking a cake ... :-). We'll see how long this lasts ...

To me, there are several reasons for doing this:

1. Welcome your new neighbors!
2. Start a social context dialogue
3. Provide reminders of the new owners' responsibilities
4. Collect email addresses (saves money on mailings of things like president notes on goings on

The cost - folder, professionally printed label, printed copies of the various components - about $2.00/per.
The time - an hour setting up the printing stuff, an hour finding the folders and getting the labels printed
The effect - potentially quite good!



I agree a package like the above, with multiple neighbors evidently willing to support the package and respectfully welcome new owners, can make a meaningful positive difference in how a HOA feels to people.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


11/01/2019 1:00 PM  
Hi All,

The first delivery and meet and greet went well - perhaps bolstered by the cake? :-)

The new folks thought it was a great thing to do and were apparently very appreciative.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


11/01/2019 1:35 PM  
I understand the cost of doing this was mentioned on another post ...

Wanted to make sure it was clear - we have a fully operational website which provides access to all public (governing docs) in the open, and minutes, financials, etc, behind an owner only firewall. This is built into the contract with the management company.

The total non-labor (which is free) cost of the welcome package is about $2.00.
AugustinD


Posts:1990


11/01/2019 1:48 PM  
I think the small cost ought to be seen as an investment. Said investment may very well save money.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


11/01/2019 2:57 PM  
I think some people may have the wrong perception when a HOA charges money for certain things. They may take it as the HOA making a "Profit". Do not think they understand that it being a corporation does not make it a "business". The charges the HOA may charge are to cover their own expenses that came out of their budget.

Let's say that it cost $5 to produce copies of HOA's documents. It may take someone an hour to do. Plus other administrative costs like stamps/envelopes/Disc/posting on website etc... The end cost being like $20. The HOA can charge that $20 to the person who made the request.

This is NOT a "Profit" making but filling in a hole. I see other expenses like this the HOA incurs during home closings. Some seem to view paying a certain fee to a HOA is in part making the HOA a "profit". Transfer fees or signing the HUD documents etc... is not unusual to pass on after incurred by the HOA itself.

So when I mention the welcome package not necessarily being a "free" it could be a very absorbable cost for some HOA's. Another HOA this expense could be a strain. Believe me, I've worked with many people who would demand money for providing such a package to new owners. I don't personally agree with it. However, they are also not wrong in their request for reimbursement.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1990


11/01/2019 4:06 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/01/2019 2:57 PM
they are also not wrong in their request for reimbursement.


Oh yes they are. The welcome package could be justified in any number of ways under the covenants and under the duties of the board.

Any members requesting reimbursement for this expense would be wrong. Instead, the appropriate recourse is to seek election to the board.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


11/01/2019 5:01 PM  
Hmmmm ...

I’m not sure a $2.00 folder and paper and ink would make a difference to any HOA/POA/COA.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


11/01/2019 5:03 PM  
I am not talking just "Welcome Packages". There are also those expenses like signing the HUD form at someone's closing. It was something I did as President but never asked for a dime. Figured it was part of my job. However, I've seen people post here that they would charge for their time and gas if they were to do it. Welcome packages they would want their costs back for making copies be it electronically or paper. Also seen Management companies want to charge for "account transfer fees" to change over accounts to new owner's name.

These "charges" would be asked to be paid for by the HOA instead of just the price of volunteering. MC's would want reimbursed for the time/efforts for various expenses like copies/stamps etc...

My personal opinion is that just isn't in my DNA or radar to ask the HOA to pay me back for these things. Yes, I agree the HOA should budget for these things. However, it's still a charge a volunteer or MC is going to ask for.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


11/01/2019 5:09 PM  
Sorry, Melissa, this thread is not about that.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3328


11/01/2019 6:20 PM  
Posted By TimM11 on 10/31/2019 2:13 PM
Posted By GenoS on 10/31/2019 12:50 PM
We have a few owners who bought homes in the subdivision without a single clue that there was an HOA here. One of them started violating the CC&Rs and the Rules & Regulations almost immediately. When confronted, their response was, "We didn't know! No one told us about any of that."




I'm glad I live in a state where sellers are legally required to provide this information, and associations are also explicitly required to provide a resale disclosure certificate that addresses the HOA's financial obligations.

It's funny that in Florida that IS the law for a condominium sale.
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