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Subject: Renters attending monthly HOA Meetings
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Author Messages
NoreenC
(Florida)

Posts:3


09/17/2007 6:56 PM  
A member of our HOA board insists that renters do not have the right to attend monthly HOA meetings. I am also a new member of this board and believe that renters are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the homeowner with the exception that they may not vote. I'm playing catch up with FL-720 being a transplant from another state. Any help would be appreciated.
DuaneW1
(Georgia)

Posts:34


09/17/2007 7:13 PM  
I'll be interested to see what others say to this post, but Noreen, I'm curious as to this comment:
'believe that renters are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the homeowner with the exception that they may not vote.'

Renters have not signed a covenant with the neighbors the way owners do, their 'contract' is with the landlord, which makes it much more difficult to get them to respond to HOA CCR's. While we have to keep getting in touch with the landlord, it is more time consuming since they invariably live out of town, and own the home as an investment property, not so much invested in the neighborhood as a whole.

I agree that you can't really keep tenants from attending meetings, I'm a little on the fence as to how much input they should have when they don't contribute either financially to the HOA nor does the fact that rentals exist add to the value of our neighborhoods.

But, they are our neighbors, and you sure don't want to foster hostility either. This has been an ongoing topic of conversation in our HOA too here in Atlanta. We have almost 30% rentals now, and it's discouraging to see how transitory the neighborhood is becoming.

How easy is it to talk about things like this in your meetings if the renters themselves are present and you're not really talking about the tenants as much as you are the rentals?

Just curious.
Judy
DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/17/2007 7:53 PM  
I am a renter in a 55plus community in California. My owners do not live nearby and travel extensively and therefore, cannot keep up with the issues of the HOA. I am one of those rare renters who takes care of the home as if I owned it. I have many friends here and I'm able to participate in most every activity offered at the Clubhouse. The CC & R's and Bylaws, decisions by the Board, corruption, etc. does affect me and my lifestyle as I pay the owner's mortgage payment and Association dues. If dues go up, so does my rent. I attend most of the Board and Townhall Meetings to stay apprised of issues within the community and then email them to my owner. I also typed up a Homeowners Proxy, had my owners sign it and submitted it to the Association. While I do not vote, my owners trust my judgment and vote for my selections. This has worked very well for us. There has only been one meeting in the last 3 years where "renters" were not allowed to attend.

With my legal background I have been able to advise and protect many Seniors that live here who were not aware of what the HOA can and can't do to them legally, i.e, threats, assessments, what they can and can't put in their front yards, recalls and the election processes.

Therefore, in my personal opinion, Renters (in good standing) should be allowed to attend all meetings, providing they have a Proxy from their owner.


DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/17/2007 7:55 PM  
I am a renter in a 55plus community in California. My owners do not live nearby and travel extensively and therefore, cannot keep up with the issues of the HOA. I am one of those rare renters who takes care of the home as if I owned it. I have many friends here and I'm able to participate in most every activity offered at the Clubhouse. The CC & R's and Bylaws, decisions by the Board, corruption, etc. does affect me and my lifestyle as I pay the owner's mortgage payment and Association dues. If dues go up, so does my rent. I attend most of the Board and Townhall Meetings to stay apprised of issues within the community and then email them to my owner. I also typed up a Homeowners Proxy, had my owners sign it and submitted it to the Association. While I do not vote, my owners trust my judgment and vote for my selections. This has worked very well for us. There has only been one meeting in the last 3 years where "renters" were not allowed to attend.

With my legal background I have been able to advise and protect many Seniors that live here who were not aware of what the HOA can and can't do to them legally, i.e, threats, assessments, what they can and can't put in their front yards, recalls and the election processes.

Therefore, in my personal opinion, Renters (in good standing) should be allowed to attend all meetings, providing they have a Proxy from their owner.


RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 2:44 AM  
In our condo,
When the owner rents his unit he is assigning all his rights to the tenent, automatically. He retains his right to vote. You and owner have a contract that does not include Regime. You would need more that a proxy to vote and a proxy can not be assigned to a non-owner. However, if desired, you and owner could agree that you could become listed as a co-owner, and the owner could assign you to vote with POA (limited). If that happens, you would be also be burdened with all the requirements of an owner, and responsible.

As a renter coming into a Association, you will have to draw a fine line about where your involvement ends. You can personally relate to your friends in any fashion you want, however you must not become involved in any business activities of the Regime. If you are allowed to attend meetings, which I support, your purpose there has to have a specific reason and I would suggest you clear that with the Board. Don't play both sides of the game, ignore some responsibilities because you are just a renter and demand action from the Board because you are a renter.

From your post, I would welcome you to our Regime. My experience with a similar situation was productive for the Regime and for the renter. This may not always be the case.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/18/2007 3:12 AM  
Fl 720 does not address renters, but most provisions speak of "members" or "lot or parcel owners". FL 720: "Member" means a member of an association, and may include, but is not limited to, a parcel owner or an association representing parcel owners or a combination thereof, and includes any person or entity obligated by the governing documents to pay an assessment or amenity fee.

In my community our HOA doc's speak of anyone who is not a member is not allowed at a BOD meeting. It is a private meeting with members only. Attorney's for the HOA may attend or others that are invited to attend by BOD members.

Check your doc's or the owner members doc's. If they specify a "member" is allowed to attend meetings, then you can not attend. The doc's may go to a proxy by the owner, member. If the member signs a proxy for you, you may attend.



DJ1
(Ontario)

Posts:798


09/18/2007 4:24 AM  
"a proxy cannot be assigned to a non-owner"

Is this correct? The reason I ask is that stock proxies can be assigned to whoever you want to represent your interests, you do not have to be an owner. I thought I have read on the BB that even managers of HOAs have collected them in the past and used them.

I have also seen comments about how difficult it is to get residents/members to attend or show interest so if a renter is doing that I would be impressed with the renter. They could also provide a different perspective that may help to address HOA issues that involve renters.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 4:57 AM  
My interpertation is: If the documents refer to and require a specific # of votes, 1 per unit, then an owner would have to assign his vote, and I would believe a POA would be necessary. If you live in a unit with multiple owners, only 1 person can vote and that person's name must be registered with regime. If the co-owners of that unit wanted to change designated voters, they could at any time by written notice. There is a difference between assigning a right to vote and a proxy. Proxys are used to assign your vote to another owner, not to just anyone. Proxies are usually assigned to the Board to obtain qurom. They can be used to assign vote for an election or to act on a specific item up before the Board, but again, you have to be a owner or a co-owner to vote. If a husband and wife own the property, they should have on file with the regime who can vote. That's proper according to our documents. In reality, no one would question who votes between husband and and wife, but they don't have two votes.

Votes can be assigned to non-owners, but I believe a power of attorney is required, whereas, an owner can and does automatically, assign his rights to his quest, friends, renters or anyone else occupying his unit, but he can not assign his vote, which means, he is responsibile for the actions of the folks in his unit, renting or otherwise.
JoeW1
(New York)

Posts:728


09/18/2007 5:18 AM  
NoreenC - Renters contribute to the stability of a community and their compliance to the by-laws and cc&r's are just as important as any other class of member. Typically renters are classified as associate members with the rights to the use of the common property. Only difference is they can not vote the same a member and Board member can unless of course your governing documents provide otherwise. In some situations, renters become buyers of homes and including them according to the provisions of the governing documents can benefit everyone. Since homeowner and condo associations have by nature apathetic owners as the norm, I would strongly suggest inclusion of renters on committees, or volunteer projects to the extent your community can permit.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/18/2007 5:33 AM  
Aproxy by FL 720 definition is: To be valid, a proxy must be dated, must state the date, time, and place of the meeting for which it was given, and must be signed by the authorized person who executed the proxy. A proxy is effective only for the specific meeting for which it was originally given, as the meeting may lawfully be adjourned and reconvened from time to time, and automatically expires 90 days after the date of the meeting for which it was originally given. A proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the person who executes it. If the proxy form expressly so provides, any proxy holder may appoint, in writing, a substitute to act in his or her place.

A renter can attend a BOD meeting or vote as long as he follows the recommended guideline for obtaining a proxy.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 5:39 AM  
JoeW,
I understand perfectly what you are saying and agree with the common sense/mutual benefits approach. I would not include any renter being on a committe having to do with spending money, enforcement, policy rules, voting procedures, handling money, or making regulations. Is their advice important, it could well be and their cooperation is a plus especially if they have some degree of experience with associations. Another owner make get the idea she/he is not going to regulate him, as an owner, and could easily have a court position. It is not a case of come on down to Sunny Acres and become a member of the association by renting, and I know you didn't imply or mean that Joe, but I suspect owners that rent would love it, if it would make their renters happy at no cost to them.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/18/2007 5:42 AM  
Posted By DJ1 on 09/18/2007 4:24 AM
"a proxy cannot be assigned to a non-owner"

Is this correct? The reason I ask is that stock proxies can be assigned to whoever you want to represent your interests, you do not have to be an owner. I thought I have read on the BB that even managers of HOAs have collected them in the past and used them.

I have also seen comments about how difficult it is to get residents/members to attend or show interest so if a renter is doing that I would be impressed with the renter. They could also provide a different perspective that may help to address HOA issues that involve renters.




I agree, if a renter shows interest as Diane or Noreen do, they should be allowed to attend meetings. I want Diane and Noreen to rent a home in my HOA. I believe, that to act as an agent of the homeowner the proxy is needed by the homeowner. The renter in some cases will not have the interest in the financial welfare of a HOA as the owner would. Meaning that if the HOA decides to increase the yearly fees or a special assessment that may affect the renter's rent to the owner, he may not vote in the best interest of the owner.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 5:54 AM  
NancyD12,
I believe your Fl 720 leaves a lot of wiggle room. Obviously by setting active dates you are restricting the proxy andd it specifies only for that meeting. By the owner being required to submit in writing an authorization for someone to use his vote suggests a POA. In fact a power of attorney could be worded that the right to use it can be broken anytime the owner wishes. So in a real sense this is not a Proxy but legal authorization.
The last sentence, if taken from Fl720, "a renter can attend or vote is saying they would have to do one or the other." And our documents are riddled with this kind of stuff.
RebeccaM1
(Florida)

Posts:43


09/18/2007 6:33 AM  
Florida HOA here:

Our bylaws specifically state that proxies must be given to owners for a specific meeting of the membership or adjournment thereof.

However, if we are talking about Board meetings at which an owner would be able to speak on a subject, but not vote, we also have provisions stating that an owner, or a representative, may speak on their behalf. I would interpret this to mean that a renter could speak on behalf of an owner at their discretion, but I would insist that they follow the same procedures in as far as signing up ahead of time and such.

I agree with some Robert and Joe that including renters in meetings as a means to encourage and develop cooperation would be hugely beneficial, but I would stop short of encouraging participation in voting or committee involvement.
DonH
(Florida)

Posts:9


09/18/2007 7:04 AM  
Posted By NoreenC on 09/17/2007 6:56 PM
A member of our HOA board insists that renters do not have the right to attend monthly HOA meetings. I am also a new member of this board and believe that renters are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the homeowner with the exception that they may not vote. I'm playing catch up with FL-720 being a transplant from another state. Any help would be appreciated.




True: Florida Statutes do not cover rules for renters.
Therefore you must review your Bylaws, Declarations and other governing documents as to what degree renters or "residents" are allowed to participate in the workings of the HOA. Many HOA's allow a certain number of non-owners to sit on the board and even hold officer positions. A POA is not required in Florida to vote on HOA issues, etc. Only a proxy - but as was also brought up - a proxy expires 90 days after assigned, and is only good for the issue designated in that single proxy. Post dating proxies could solve the expiration issues, yet is not covered or discussed in Florida Statutes or most HOA documents as to their validity. Remember-all HOA issues and State Statutes are under civil law only. Our National and State governments that created these powerful HOAs did not put in place criminal law to watchdog the ruling "boards". So if the board is doing improper things or selfish controlling etc. you have to sue them to stop what they are doing. Then they get to use your own money from fees you have to pay by law to pay the HOA attorney to fight your lawsuit.

As a Miami corporate attorney advised me about HOAs "Sell, get out and never buy in an HOA ruled community again."

RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4861


09/18/2007 7:50 AM  
Non members may be assigned as proxies except:
1) when the bylaws do not allow it
2) when a state statute does not allow it (AZ has been referenced)
3) when under 18 years of age (my belief, no reference)

DonH, the Miami attorney who advised you has the same credibility as any other homeowner; it depends on their personal bias
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4861


09/18/2007 8:29 AM  
Regarding renters, if a renter is appointed in writing by the owner as the representative of the owner, they may attend meetings and represent the owner with the same as rights as the owner. In other words, the renter would be the owner's attorney in fact.
DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/18/2007 8:50 AM  
In California we have the Davis-Stirling Act that is essentially "Laws" that supersede all CC & R's and Bylaws of a California based HOA's. The following is an extraction from the Davis-Stirling Act, and further defined by California Corporation Codes:

Corporations. A corporation is defined in the law as a "legal person" and has all the rights of a natural person in an association. As such, a corporation may appoint a representative to attend meetings, vote and run for office.
Proxies automatically expire after 11 months unless stated otherwise in the proxy. The maximum term of any proxy is 3 years from the date of execution. Corp. Code §7613(b)

Yes - a POA would be better if I were voting for my Owners. POA's are harder to get owners to sign because of the extent of the power it gives the renter. I chose to leave voting to the Owner in the event the Board decides to disallow Proxies or POA's or disputes the vote, thus insuring their vote would be valid. More importantly, aside from my choice of candidate, it gives the Owner the opportunity to ultimately decide for themselves (after evaluating all of the candidates qualifications) the candidate they might prefer over my choice. Fortunately, my owners trust that I am working in their best interest as well as my own.

My Proxy specifically stated "This Proxy shall remain valid until such time as the Owner submits a written request to revoke the Proxy." To date, no one has questioned this.

Note: Stay on top of your Association and Board Members! In reading through our CC & R's and subseqent hand-outs, I noticed that at one meeting the Board was going to discuss doing away with Proxies. Quoting and striking out an Article 4.4.4.1 in the CC&R's re Proxies assigned to Renters, or non-members. It is unknown if this Amendment or strike out was ever approved, I don't know how it could have been, because Article 4.4.4.1 NEVER EXISTED. Therefore, it was not a legal Amendment. And I doubt that any of the homeowners noticed the unethical effort to strike it.









RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 8:56 AM  
Roger,
If an owner assigned his Attorney to be his representative and does not sign a POA, do you think the lawyer would act and vote? He may do specific acts like collect rent or have oversight on the property, but I doubt very much if he would participate in a formal meeting, without POA.

The only reason I can think of to allow renters to particapte in meetings, aside from those mentioned, would be if upon the creation of the HOA, there may be some legal reason for some to exempt themselves. That could be because maybe the developer first started a development as a non-association structure and at some date changed his mind. I would believe those in the initial effort could elect to stay as is or become a member. They may have a legal standing, I don't know.

But all in all, I think it would be a huge mistake for any board to expend funds on the recommendation of a renter, or any other non-member.
DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/18/2007 9:07 AM  
Robert - Any Board that would "expend funds on the recommendation of a renter, or any non-member", without the overwhelming support of the community 'members' with a majority vote - should be fired.
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


09/18/2007 9:14 AM  
I would disagree that renters have the right to attend board meetings. Unless your bylaws or CC&R's speak to it renters don't have the rights that owners do with regards to the association.

With that said I do think renters should be encouraged to participate and allowed to attend meetings.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 9:31 AM  
DianeM1,
I would have no trouble working with you to resolve this issue if we were in the same association.

Our CC&R's state we shall have 65 votes, 65 members that can vote, they have to be assigned in writing by the co-ownersof that unit, if any. Single owners automatically have the right to vote. There is no mention of anyone else would be involved in the voting process, renter or otherwise. A POA would provide this from a legal standpoint. Therefore, renters don't enter into it at all. An owner could give his vote to Castro if he wanted by POA. Our documents say, I believe, that a qurom can be reached with a vote of 51% of the owners and their vote is an apportionment. I have no problem with sitting in a meeting with someone that has POA but I would not sit in a meeting if a renter was assigned a vote. I just would not attend the meeting. What's the difference? An outsider has no ax to grind other than the interest of the owner. A renter has the interest of the owner as well as the personal interest of a renter. An association is designed to govern the owners, not the renters. Whatever you require of an owner is automatically assumed by the renter and the owner is the one responsible for any actions of that renter. Advice from a renter; suggestions from a renter, fine, as long as those suggestions are considered to be coming from the owner. And when you look further, a renter is paying rent to the owner by some sort of lease or contract, I bet there is nothing in that contract that gives the renter the right to vote...period. So unless there is some kind of stipulation to the effect that the association would allow the owner to vote, they can't do it, and if they do, it is illegal because the lease can not be between the owner, the association and the renter, the lease is between the owner and the renter.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4861


09/18/2007 9:38 AM  
Robert and Diane,
Apparently you are not aware that many Boards consist of non-owners (Developer controlled). Such Boards control and expend funds all the time. Regarding renters, they are not attending as renters but as an attorney in fact representing the owner. Owners, who are represented by their authorized representative, have the same rights as other owners.
DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/18/2007 10:06 AM  
Roger - Thank you. I understood your last message several messages back. You are absolutely right and it may vary from state to state. As I stated before and will again, I don't vote, my Owners do. I attend the meetings, I take notes, I ask questions that pertain to every homeowner and share them and my opinions and observations with my Owner.

If Robert doesn't want to attend a meeting because a Renter is representing an Owner, or may have the privilege of voting for his Owner, then perhaps Robert isn't really interested in his HOA, but moreso, who is attending the meetings. If he refuses to attend with a Renter he is only hurting himself by missing out on the discussions and changes taking place during the meeting. He will then be uninformed.

An interested Renter can contribute a great deal to an HOA. Renters "live" in the home, IN the community, and have the same rights to the quality of life as if they were the Owner. There will always be rogue Renters and Owners with little or no interest in the daily operations of their HOA, or the condition of their rental home...UNTIL the dues are raised, they get a complaint from the HOA about their renters conduct, dog barking, an assessment for whatever the HOA decides to assess. Then they squawk and complain to the HOA for not being informed. Who's to blame for the uninformed homeowner?
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 10:18 AM  
Roger,
Never been involved in a condo Developer controlled board. But I do have a son that is still waiting for the developer to turn property to homeowners. I thought during this phase the developer had voting control and if their was any meeting held, there could be no action taken on a vote of the owners. They can sit around the table and posture but push comes to shove, until the project is turned over the owners have no real power. At that time they have the power to elect their board. His particular condo (duplexes) call for all lots to be sold. Bad news to me. But he is happy, he lives and works in Hong Kong.
What is your take on the renters paying the owners money and signing a lease which I bet do not allow for renter to speak for owner? Appears one lease or the agreement would be in violation if they did not include the leases or assignment. Our documents do not allow the Regime to enter into rental contracts.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 10:30 AM  
Diane,
You are taking too big a leap to go from my statement about refusing to vote at an owners meeting because a renter is allowed to vote and concluding, therefore, I have no interest in the community and will forever be uninformed. Bull.
I feel I am justified in not allowing renters to vote for the reasons I have stated throughout this thread. In my condo, we do not allow renters to vote. Only owners and no provisions are written to do other wise. I also stated that my association with long term renters we have had has been positive and we got along fine. Now, Diane, if you lived in an associations that allows rentals on an unlimited bases, would you feel that way? Most of our rentals are for a week, should those folks have the right to vote? How about a week-end and we are having a Board meeting, do they have the righjt to vote?
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/18/2007 10:55 AM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 09/18/2007 5:54 AM
NancyD12,
I believe your Fl 720 leaves a lot of wiggle room. Obviously by setting active dates you are restricting the proxy andd it specifies only for that meeting. By the owner being required to submit in writing an authorization for someone to use his vote suggests a POA. In fact a power of attorney could be worded that the right to use it can be broken anytime the owner wishes. So in a real sense this is not a Proxy but legal authorization.
The last sentence, if taken from Fl720, "a renter can attend or vote is saying they would have to do one or the other." And our documents are riddled with this kind of stuff.





The Fl statute does not specify a POA. The member or lot owner has to sign over the proxy to a renter. Even though this is common sense to you and I it was not spelled out when it came down to the actual legislative decision.

Fl 720 is riddled with a lot of quirky language. Intention and assumption are not supposed to be the HOA's business to decipher, but we have to when you see a law as it is written as this. We look at the language such as "a member can speak for 3 minutes on any item on the agenda" (this was another post on this forum),can the member speak on all items, for 3 minutes each, or on one item for 3 minutes. Our BOD deciphered this to mean one item for 3 minutes. A HO called the BOD on this and our attorney was consulted to get a written ruling. He agreed with the BOD. Any item not items.

If the states would only allow input from the Bod's and the communities instead of being political we would not have this problem.

I was involved in a project with FL a few years ago when a few changes were made to FL 720. In the changes we suggested the language was clear and concise even though most of us were attorney's. The way I see it, if all was clear and concise someone would be out of a job.


RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/18/2007 12:49 PM  
NancyD12,
I agree, especially "If the states would only allow, etc, etc.
I imagine you have read my post about how I tried to get the SC States Attorney General to address the question; "Under State Law is it legal to have a closed Regular Meeting in Condo and HOA?" Believe me, that was a trip and finally the AG office made a statement to me that I would have to hire an attorney. They refused to give me this answer in writing and said there was nothing more they could do for me, and not to contact the office about this any more. I am sure they have a reason for not answering but they wouldn't tell me what is was.

However, I am sure their are lots of folks that can see the slipshod way the Feds and the States and on down have handled the legislative part of this explosive demand for HOA Housing. They must realize what is coming down the road and they are going to be overwhelmed with all these voters that are going to be living in HOA's. They did not set the framework for this type of demographic changes. Right now, the Developers, the lawyers, the brokers, the mortgage companies, the banks and the cities and towns, along with some states that benefit from all these new folks paying taxes.
It is a mess now and it is going to get worse, but, it's coming down the road, and fast.

RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4861


09/18/2007 1:41 PM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 09/18/2007 12:49 PM

...They refused to give me this answer in writing and said there was nothing more they could do for me, and not to contact the office about this any more. I am sure they have a reason for not answering but they wouldn't tell me what is was. ....


Robert, it is obvious that the answer is CYA. No government agency nor posters on this Board should ever give an answer, verbally or in writting, which could be constured as a legal opinion. As it states at the bottom of this page "for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice".
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


09/20/2007 8:12 AM  
Dear Nancy: Stay in California they need people who split hairs. Leave the rest of us alone to fight our own battles. We have been operating quite well for 20 years without spending a mountain of money and in all those years we have only had 2 instances where we could not come to a fair and reasonable solutuion without involving LAWYERS> THEY ARE A PLAGUE ON THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS. There are more lawyers in Florida alone than all of China , Japan, and the rest of the ASAIAN Nations combined. And they all are looking to sue someone.
Example a lawyer becomes the Lt Gov of a southern state he has a run in with his hoa he wants to paint his home some wacky color in violation of the hoa docs. So instead of compling no he deguts all HOAs in Florida that no longer have half the power to keep there hoas looking livable. ( 14 Colors allowed in his hoa ) Yea thats exactly what we need more rigid rules by lawyers.

Did you ever stop to think that maybe what they were trying to do was for the benefit of the whole HOA. No your intention obviously is to go to meetings find something wrong and go hire a lawyer and sue yourself. Brilliant move.
Remember your BOD serves as human beings subject to making mistakes and trying to do right in a bad situation.
So instead of trying to find right try helping for a change. You will be amazed at how hard it is to get little things done because of the stupid govt rules.

By the way expert HOAs are created by the cities not the state or the federal govt get your facts straight.
LauraM1
(Florida)

Posts:2


09/20/2007 8:07 PM  
Look at the Docs. I think you will find that only Members or "their agents" usually meaning lawyers, can attend meetings. If your DOC allow 'agents' have the member sign a letter that the renter is the 'agent' and maybe the renter could attend??
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/21/2007 6:03 AM  
John,
I never found Nancy's post to be particularly self serving. Certainly not any more than most of us that post here.

You do raise a valid point though, or at least it came to mind when I read your post. As you know, we speak from experience and how the world has effected our lives and most folks posting here have only lived in maybe 2 or 3 HOA's, sso we have the accumulated knowledge of one person. Now the Board has the accumulated knowledge and experience of all the Board members. You also point out that most of the time your board acts in unison (concensus). It would not be unusual for the Board not to ddisclose votes on actions to the members. I real believe that Boards gain more knowledge than the average HO, but I don't see them acting in unison of in concert with other HOA's or Condo associations. I, personally, would like to see my boards become more knowledgeable about the legislative aspect of the association and certainly take more interest in communicating with local and state officals, to present the HOA's concerns. A large HOA's should be a political force, smaller HOA's could form ad hoc committees to be legislative contacts.
I am pleased that the HOA I live in has established an association of other HOA's in the area to discuss mutual problems. I believe it should be extended to be a political arm that contacts civic and political leaders. Our CAI credentialed Manager is active in several areas of the County Offices, such as zoning, development standards, property issues and county council issues, she runs a tight ship and it shows.

What are your thoughts on the BOD becoming more political and more knowledageable about state and county affairs?
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/21/2007 6:25 AM  
Laura,
Better yet, change the documents to exclude renters as voters. I wonder why that was ever inserted in CC&R's anyway. The only good reason I can think of is the developer at time of creation of HOA wanted to insure his renters would have the vote during the transition, I don't know.
I am not saying exclude them from regular meetings, they certainly should be treated with respect and given a chance to speak before the Board, and participate in Community Affairs, they already have the right to use facilities. If an owner is so disinterested that he would assign his vote to, in many cases, someone that has a relationship with his tenet is strictly monetary, I don't think that shows good intent of the owner.
I just don't like the idea, and can't fathom why it is put in documents.
Suppose a renter is an active member of his association and takes a real interest and has good knowledge (better than the owner), then let him tell the owners how to vote, and charge the owner (as agreed at purchase time) that he has responsibilities as an owner and one of them is to vote.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/21/2007 11:11 AM  
Posted By JohnM3 on 09/20/2007 8:12 AM
Dear Nancy: Stay in California they need people who split hairs. Leave the rest of us alone to fight our own battles. We have been operating quite well for 20 years without spending a mountain of money and in all those years we have only had 2 instances where we could not come to a fair and reasonable solutuion without involving LAWYERS> THEY ARE A PLAGUE ON THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS. There are more lawyers in Florida alone than all of China , Japan, and the rest of the ASAIAN Nations combined. And they all are looking to sue someone.
Example a lawyer becomes the Lt Gov of a southern state he has a run in with his hoa he wants to paint his home some wacky color in violation of the hoa docs. So instead of compling no he deguts all HOAs in Florida that no longer have half the power to keep there hoas looking livable. ( 14 Colors allowed in his hoa ) Yea thats exactly what we need more rigid rules by lawyers.

Did you ever stop to think that maybe what they were trying to do was for the benefit of the whole HOA. No your intention obviously is to go to meetings find something wrong and go hire a lawyer and sue yourself. Brilliant move.
Remember your BOD serves as human beings subject to making mistakes and trying to do right in a bad situation.
So instead of trying to find right try helping for a change. You will be amazed at how hard it is to get little things done because of the stupid govt rules.

By the way expert HOAs are created by the cities not the state or the federal govt get your facts straight.




Dear John,

I live in Florida. Where was I splitting hairs? Noreen, the original poster, asked why her HOA would not allow her to attend meetings. I told her about my HOA By-Laws and quoted the statute FL 720. I also said that as a non-homeowner, she showed such an interest in the HOA, I would love to have her live in mine. Every HOA would be better off if we had more people who were as interested and knowledgeable in their community as she is in hers.

Re-read my post. You did not read my post, because I never said to sue anyone. I know nothing about any Lt. Gov. of FL wanting to paint his home and the situation you described. But I do know that he had nothing to do with changing "all HOAs in Florida" or the laws that pertain to HOA's, that is done by the legislature.

I don't have any idea what you are saying in your next two paragraphs.

The FACT is that HOAs were first started by the Federal Housing Administration in 1935. HOA's are governed by federal law, state law, county or city laws and then the HOA covenants and documents. Where did the Fair Housing Act or the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development come from, your city. All of these federal organizations were instrumental in developing the primary laws that allow HOA's to be built.

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/21/2007 12:44 PM  
Nancy, John,
Not taking sides, just FYI

Copied from another site. Not my opinion nor my responsibility for anything written below.

We are seeing more and more often the true face of our property associations: A HUGE LIABILITY FOR THE OWNERS!

Potential buyers are often lured into buying homes in associations with the claim that these associations are protecting -- and are even increasing -- the property values.
Nothing further from the truth: Recent law suits have shown that they are actually a huge liability for the owners, not even counting the special assessments caused by hurricane damage to so-called common properties.
Association members have seen more than a fair share of stupid law suits being fought that have finally cost owners lots of money.
These law suits are often caused by blue-eyed board members with a personal agenda -- cheered on by their attorneys. But it gets real expensive when association boards start tangling with the FAIR HOUSING ACT.
The latest in a series of dangerous encounters with the Fair Housing Act is playing out in the Normandy Isles Homeowners' Association in Green Acres. After lots of harassment by the board -- and filed law suits -- the attorney for the disabled women filed a $10-MILLION counter suit. Please go here for more detailed info: http://www.ccfj.net/courtdecFLNIHOA2.html
We have seen some real devastating rulings and settlements that have cost owners huge amounts of money.
Just recently the KEY COLONY NO. 4 CONDOMINIUM ASS., INC. had to settle a FAIR HOUSING case, wasting more than $2 million in owners' money.
Please see some of the more outrageous examples here: http://www.ccfjedu.net/FairHousing.htm
WIN OR LOSE -- IT COST HOMEOWNERS A BUNDLE!
We really need serious legislative changes in association law that will finally stop the expensive -- but useless -- law suits, financial mismanagement, uncontrolled spending and even clear embezzlement!. Otherwise we see the initially good idea of associations turn into a serious nightmare for owners, especially in a time where the cost of living in Florida is already driving many of our neighbors out of the state.

DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/21/2007 4:39 PM  
I suggest anyone thinking of buying a home in an HOA to first read the book "Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living" by Vanitzian & Glassman.

It would bring to light a lot of issues that come up most in these blogs.

NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/22/2007 3:01 AM  
Diane,

I did read the book a few years ago. The book does point out the good and bad aspects of a restricted community, but it was very biased. The attorney's who wrote the book based most of their research on California deed restricted communities and their involvement in defending these communities. Each deed restricted community has it's own particulars.

Many new home buyers purchasing in a HOA do not read the documents, or they do not know the extent that a HOA will go to to protect it's state laws and covenant laws that pertain to the association they are buying into. They think that they are purchasing a nice home where the common areas are well kept, the homes look good and there are nice amenities.

I have participated in a few hundred closings in HOA developments. It never ceases to amaze me that a new purchaser will sign a document that they have read and understand the covenants and other doc's that the community has provided. When did they read them, in the hour they were in a closing? There are future purchasers that will ask to review the doc's before they buy, but very few. These people will make an informed decision if they buy.

When they move into their new home, they find out that they cannot paint the house the color the want or when they get an assessment to renovate the community pool they are surprised. Why? Because they have done their due diligence. Then they read all the restrictions and they complain.

If someone is disappointed in a community where that community follows their doc's, it goes to ignorance of the purchase.
DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/22/2007 8:40 AM  
Nancy - you're right about buyers who didn't read the covenants before signing on the "fateful" dotted line. Many say they were given the CC & R's either AT the signing, which of course would not allow time to sign, other say they just after the signing and never read them. In my particular HOA, the agents for the Builder (Ryland) told people, if you don't sign now, I have 20 other people who want your home and we won't hold it. There were other unethical tactics used to motivate people to buy homes here. For example, our community butted up to a golf course. The agents sold homes on the premise that they had access to the golf course as part of the package. This was not true, the course belonged to the HOA Community on the opposite side of the course. To join, it was a $350 per month membership. We were told that there would be no other developments going up around the perimeter of our community. Four years after completion of our tract, Van Daele Homes carved a swatch in the hillside directly behind us and 500 new "family" homes went in. We now have teens climbing our walls and vandalizing our community, graffitti, etc.

I would encourage anyone who is thinking of buying in an HOA, to get a copy of the CC&R's and Bylaws, even if you have to pay for them, and read them through. Even if you don't understand the 'legal lingo', you will understand most of the content. If you've purchased in an HOA, you are ahead of the game and should know what to ask or to avoid them altogether.
Jadedone4
(Virginia)

Posts:495


09/23/2007 10:21 AM  
Diane,

I am sure that it will occur... but you might not want to post up names of builders/developers in your posts, HOAtalk will probably remove in time. Keeps everyone honest and protects the folks who run the site.

As far as I can tell there hasn't been over fifty years of covenant restrictive properties/communities in the time-line. I think that most (myself included) purchased our homes (in HOA's etc) without having fully read the documents. My wife and I knew when we searched and finalized our personal decision to buy here, that it was HOA restrictive. There was no "push" on the sales staff to make the documents readily available - even though it was a skeleton at best (developer documents, for a new construction community). As the President of my 500 owner property, I am better versed in the documents than our M/C, the developer, and most owners. That is now... the day of closing I was as dumb as bricks and probably couldn't spell "H-O-A."

Going into future homes, thanks to experiences in this community and from advice from this site, I know better, and know better the appropriate questions and materials to request to review.

The original post was about renters attending meetings, and for the most part I do not take much issue with them doing so. IN MY COMMUNITY, most of the "renters" are retired folks, both from previous HOA boards, experiences, and from their jobs. So there is a wealth of resources that can be tapped, and I appreciate their experiences. Hell, one renting couple have been to more meetings than any other owners in this community. So long as they understand the limitations of their participation, I think that it would be appropriate.
DianeM1
(California)

Posts:9


09/23/2007 11:30 AM  
Jade:

Thank you for the advice re names. We opted to lease a home in this HOA before buying. The prices were phenomenally low but it was well worth it to us to first see how the HOA conducted itself. After move-in we met many buyers who were furious about the agents that handled their sale. Non-disclosure, CC & R and Bylaws issues were not monitored. Not only has our board not fully read or complied with the CC & R's and Bylaws, they have covertly added then "struck" Articles from the CC & R's that never existed. Expecially where Renters participation is addressed. I can't help but wonder how many other Articles have been tampered with.

We are a community at war with one another over new candidates and at war within the Board. We have 1158 homes with only 5 Board members. Four at the moment and it's two against two. Hard to believe these are "Adult - Seniors". Is that an oxymoron??? For exmaple at a Board meeting: "If Joe Blow gets on the Board, I'm quitting", "if Tom the Terrible doesn't step down, I'm stepping down", "If whiny Tiny's man wins, I'm going to kill him". It goes on and on. Thank God we didn't purchase in here. It doesn't even matter to us that there are numerous homes that are NOW selling for their original or lower prices. We would never buy here or in any other HOA.

Back to Renters attending meetings... We are embroiled in an election that immediately followed a failed recall. As a renter I showed interest and have been invited to numerous forums, and I constantly get cc'd in the email campaigning. My insight seems to threaten a couple of the candidates that I'm not campaigning for. So you see, a "Renter" can have an impact on a community.
I have been able to stave off legal threats to homeowners who were asking legitimate questions of Board members. This website and others,have proven to be a very valuable resource in addressing many HOA issues. I continue suggest to our homeowners with internet to join and participate in these blogs so that I can get some rest. It has become a full-time job answering questions via email.

Note: We don't vote for our owners, which seems to keep the other owners happy. We simply advise my owners of our preference and they make own their decision.

Your letter is well written with very good advice. Thanks again.

JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


11/14/2007 3:25 PM  
Sorry for taking so long in getting back but been busy in a war with our city.

To answer questions put forth on my post. I detest Lawyers big time. Every encounter I have been a party or partipant to has been we were taken to the cleaners on. Thank God he works in funny ways 1 of the lawyers who handled our lawsuit with the developer who buried
80,000 tires in we won the lawsuit in court with pictures but the lawyers screwed us on the money they handled us 308 seperate parties. The individual owners = 307 and the Assoc as 1 total 308. Well he eventually became Sheriff of our county and now going to jail for Income Tax Fraud...The balance of the law firm gets 1500 a month for 15 years from the major developer the biggest in the country.

In my opinion its not the HOA that is a horror but the city govt. Example we decided to build a clubhouse our cost start to finish $57,000 got it 57k right. Then the city stepped in after the city commision spoke so nicely about us bringing them a problem then a cure that cost them nothing. Then we got into the building dept. Then made us make over $80,000 in changes and modifications to the building. They made us submit 5 sets of pland at $500 per set. Then threw away 3 sets $1500 bye bye. Then the list goes on and on and on.We wrote email after email to them no answer no help. Finally I went to all the city meetings and got to find out who was the most conservative member and talked to him and helped get him re-elected. He put me in to a person in the city managers office and she opened vistas beyond my wildest dreams Bless Her Heart. The mayor no answer no help fromm the balance of them. They are lazy politicans looking for a pension period. There are 57 HOAs in this city 57 and the city has never had a meeting of them to discuss mutual problems that might make the owners of the property have a better place to live in. Instead its business as usual.

We are a starter community the houses sold originally for 84000 to 97000. We mow all lawns plus front back and sides of all homes. Furnish free sprinkler system to any members home that has at least 20 ft of common ground touching it.Or if the house borders on any of the 3 lakes we have. we are 307 homesites with 305 actual homes that were all finished 20 years ago. The average selling price is $275,000 for 2 story homes on the lake, 1 story homes are going for 250,000 and in our town home section they are going for 200,000 bucks. We have all 3 styles of houses.

Diane for your information I am speaking about the present Lt Gov of Florida. He personally put a bill in front of the house at 11pm AT NIGHT AND THEY GUTTED MOST OF THE AUTHORITY OF hoaS IN fLORIDA. oVER A PAINT SCHEME......

Our board consists of myself ( Been on the BOD since the very turnover from the developer ) plus 4 housewives. The men are too lazy to partipate. So our BOD is 5 people our docs say we can go to 7 but we choose not to. We handle problems different than most we have a web site and a property management company for 10 years. Prior to them we went thru 3 others all stunk.If people complain about the BOD we ask them to join we have at least 2 open seats all the time. 90Percent who join the BOD quit after 2 meetings. Its work pure and simple.We have our own roving security cause the local police are too lazy to get out of their cars. Plus they get to take the cars home free transportation at the taxpayers expense.

Would I move to another HOA sub-division? In a minute, in a NY minute. Why ? Simple local control. You get more bang for your buck with a HOA. Do they get quirky heck yes but have you ever noticed what our Congress is lik? I wonder when they are gonna enforce some of the Legslatrion that they pump out. If we as BODs pulled half the junk they did we would be lynched by our members. If thats not quirky what is. Remember before you assainate your BOD join it and witness for yourself how hard it is to get things done.......

DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


11/14/2007 3:36 PM  

THIS IS YOUR "DEAR JOHN "letter from many of us who highly respect and acknowledge NancyD1's responses. She has extremely accurate and great information and does this site a service that not everyone can get ahold of. Your sass was unnescessary . And please get your facts straight first. She is from Florida and had practiced law for many years so she is not just shooting from the hip. Thank You, Donna S.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


11/14/2007 5:34 PM  
Donna,
I am not sure how many folks will teke this an affront to Nancy personally. But people can read things differently. But put that aside for a moment and whatever you may conclude, you can not fail to recognize what Nancy, and you too Donna, has added to this site. It is comforting to know someone is there to step in if we miss the mark. I am sure we all have posted on sites that brews a constant squabble about anything. Nancy and all you guys make this site work. This is a great thing to have a resource like this, it is even better to be respected by the people that post here.

So if anyone comes on here taking pot shots at anyone, they will find they need us more than we need them. Joe recently posted an excellent example of working together and helping each other out and I am most thankful, he knows his stuff and so does Nancy and nearly everyone that sticks around long. It is a learning tree and we come here for the comfort.

Joke: I live in a Gated Community but the wife gets loose anyway.
NoreenC
(Florida)

Posts:3


11/14/2007 5:42 PM  
I agree Robert, I posted the original question and whenever I've had something I needed help with, most often I've gotten really sound, well thought out suggestions and information. I actually am the homeowner not a renter but I am very grateful for the information I get on this site. Venemous people have their own agenda I suppose. I much prefer the more informative responses and LOVED the gated community joke!
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


11/15/2007 6:01 AM  

Thank You Robert for reigning me in on my anger at the poster who has repeately stated how much he hates and dislikes lawyers. That is fine to feel that way but we get it in almost every post. I feel that ANY attack on what a poster has written is distasteful and should not occur. You have smoothed me over so again, THANKS!

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


11/15/2007 8:48 AM  
Thank you Donna. Now, to clarify your last,

It is fine for you to vent and have your say, we all do that.

It is not fine for people to think the solutions to their problems is some self destructive opinion on a group of folks they know nothing about. To get on a public site and make such a condemnation speaks volumes.

But I suspect he doesn't really feel that way, be awful hard to go around carrying that load.

AlexL1
(Florida)

Posts:305


11/18/2007 8:51 AM  
I have read all of this and I am still perplexed as to whether or not a owner can legally allow a tenant to attend HOA meetings on HIS behalf(this is in cases where the condo unit is in Colorado and the owner lives in New York). Do some states allow such proxy and some do not?
DonH
(Florida)

Posts:9


12/31/2007 10:50 AM  
QUOTE: Renters have not signed a covenant with the neighbors the way owners do, their 'contract' is with the landlord, which makes it much more difficult to get them to respond to HOA CCR's. While we have to keep getting in touch with the landlord, it is more time consuming since they invariably live out of town, and own the home as an investment property, not so much invested in the neighborhood as a whole.

In Florida renters are as responsible, culpable and "suit-able" as any owner. Florida Statute 720.305 Subsection (1)a-d outlines that mostly anyone present within the community is to be held responsible to the statutes and community's governing documents and can be prosecuted if in violation:
720.305 Obligations of members; remedies at law or in equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights; failure to fill sufficient number of vacancies on board of directors to constitute a quorum; appointment of receiver upon petition of any member.--
720.305(1) Each member and the member's tenants, guests, and invitees, and each association, are governed by, and must comply with, this chapter, the governing documents of the community, and the rules of the association. Actions at law or in equity, or both, to redress alleged failure or refusal to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by any member against:
(a) The association;
(b) A member;
(c) Any director or officer of an association who willfully and knowingly fails to comply with these provisions; and
(d) Any tenants, guests, or invitees occupying a parcel or using the common areas.

So the statement "renters have not signed a covenant" is incorrect - at least in Florida....and they can be made to follow recorded and published rules on an HOA to the point of eviction by the HOA from their rental for violations.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


12/31/2007 11:13 AM  
Don,
Our condo doc in SC say if the renter (defined as anyone other than the owner, paying or not) fails to correct a violation the Board has authority at some point to declare any lease or permission granted by the owner to be a breach of contract and they can evict the tenant.
Want to know how many times this has been done in 26 years..........none. No one has even been fined at our place, I don't care what you do. Our Board is all save one absentee owners, of five members, four rent. I can't tell you the times I called owners because of violations or had the manager do it. Problem with us, in addition, is we have all short term rentals (99%). By the time you go through the drill they are getting ready to leave so nothing much gets done. We are in great need of more full time owners. I have never experienced here full time owners runing the show, we only have 4 or five. It may get as many as eight but then it slips back down again for one reason or another. Wonderful place to live but all the Real Estate People can see is investment property, I know some of the 65 units have been sold over and over again since I have been here 17 years).
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Renters attending monthly HOA Meetings



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