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Subject: Gift Cards
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Author Messages
ChrisW13
(Georgia)

Posts:2


11/24/2019 6:43 AM  
Hello. Can a HOA give away gift cards purchased with hoa dues for a contest of yard of the month?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/24/2019 6:56 AM  
Yes.
ChrisW13
(Georgia)

Posts:2


11/24/2019 7:04 AM  
Is there any limits to dollar amount or frequency?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/24/2019 7:30 AM  
You have voted for certain people to run your HOA and decide FOR YOU how to spend your money. It is up to them. If you dont like it, you can vote someone else in or do it yourself.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/24/2019 7:50 AM  
Check with your CCRs, since a lot of them only permit funds be used for common area expenses. This giveaway is akin to donating money from HOA funds to a charity in remembrance of a deceased owner. In my opinion, it is illegal.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/24/2019 8:26 AM  
It depends. My HOA this would be a HUGE No-No. That is because the HOA money is EVERY member's money. The Board is just the elected stewards to manage it. A Gift card or buying dinner etc... isn't a budgetary item that needs to be paid for out of the HOA operating budget. It isn't an operational expense.

Now does this exclude a HOA from doing so? Not exactly but not recommended unless membership is on board with the HOA spending such money.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/24/2019 9:36 AM  
1. Doesn’t sound like much money.

2. If Board has approved, then, unless seriously outside of your docs or statutes, then it’s probably not worth addressing ... unless you and many others have a problem then you can change out the Board. Does most of the community agree with you?

3. Or, you and many others can take the Board to court - lotsa money.

If 1., above is true, to do anything other than 2., above, is pretty silly.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/24/2019 10:01 AM  
George "Not a lot of money" means different things to different HOA's. Considering you are to collect as much as you need to spend out a $20 gift certificate can add up. My HOA we couldn't afford to buy a gift card especially for something your supposed to be doing already. Keeping your yard nice is a sense of pride not a monetary award.

Our budget we had 107 homeowners. $50 a month. It covered garbage pickup, recycling, pool/clubhouse maintenance, insurance, and lawncare. Not all 107 homeowners paid on time or at all. So could only depend on 90 of the 107 monthly to pay on time. Our expenses were 5K. If you did the math, we could depend on 4.5K. It costs money to pursue those who didn't pay or late.

So a $20 gift card or buying coffee for a clubhouse meeting? No way. It was an extra expense that wasn't necessary.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/24/2019 10:49 AM  
That’s my point ... pick 2 and move out.

Or moan about such a small issue (Using your example ... $20 x 12 = $240 ... or attorney?)
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/24/2019 11:18 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/24/2019 8:26 AM
It depends. My HOA this would be a HUGE No-No. That is because the HOA money is EVERY member's money. The Board is just the elected stewards to manage it.




I totally agree its a no-no. Really dumb idea.

But the question was.... can they do it. Answer is yes.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/24/2019 11:30 AM  
The HOA I once lived in made $40K each year on our investments with our reserve accounts. We spend at least $10K annually on social events. If your only concerns are raising one dollar for every dollar of expense, then your not going to be able to do a lot. I don't know anywhere that says you can't do it.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/24/2019 11:37 AM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/24/2019 11:30 AM
The HOA I once lived in made $40K each year on our investments with our reserve accounts.


When I hear stuff like this I think Bernie Maddoff. Sure, could be true. But then again...... might not be.

People are good about making fake bank statements and profit sheets.
https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/management-firm-owner-admits-stealing-over-25-million-client-homeowner-and-condo
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/24/2019 11:51 AM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/24/2019 11:30 AM
The HOA I once lived in made $40K each year on our investments with our reserve accounts.

Mine made $60k. But only for a few years. It was the result of a $1.2 million insurance settlement that was left in the bank earning $5k a month in interest for a couple of years. This was after the hurricanes of 2004 and before the Great Financial Collapse of 2008.

We spend nothing out of our budget for social activities.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/24/2019 11:55 AM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 11/24/2019 11:37 AM
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/24/2019 11:30 AM
The HOA I once lived in made $40K each year on our investments with our reserve accounts.


When I hear stuff like this I think Bernie Maddoff. Sure, could be true. But then again...... might not be.

People are good about making fake bank statements and profit sheets.
https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/management-firm-owner-admits-stealing-over-25-million-client-homeowner-and-condo



First, I was called damaged goods, now I'm called a liar.

Let you do the math. $1.5M in reserve funds earning on average 4.5% annually in interest.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/24/2019 1:28 PM  

First, I was called damaged goods, now I'm called a liar.


Never called you a liar. Were Bernie Maddoff's victims liars?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2761


11/24/2019 2:06 PM  
Take a look at your association budget - does it have some sort of line item for community building activities like a block party or contest? If so it's probably ok. I'd also check board meeting minutes to see if there was a discussion about the contest and a motion approving X amount would be spent on a number of cards worth a specific amount of money.

If none of that happened, I would attend the next board meeting and ask them -did you do that already? If so, what was the response?
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:195


11/24/2019 2:34 PM  
If your documents are silent on it Board can do it. I think if they give any one person over $600 they would have to 1099 them.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/24/2019 7:28 PM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 11/24/2019 1:28 PM
Were Bernie Maddoff's victims liars?

Some of them were. See Fred Wilpon.

"In fact, we turned down the Madoff Funds more than six years ago and told many of our investors including the Wilpon and Katz families our concerns. Notwithstanding our concerns, the Wilpon and Katz families continued to invest with Madoff Securities."
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