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Subject: Removing HOA owned tennis courts
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Author Messages
BeckyH2
(North Carolina)

Posts:5


05/30/2012 12:18 PM  
Hello - does anyone know if we as the (volunteer) board of directors can present to the homeowners a vote to remove rather than resurface the old tennis courts if our C&R's state "no changes to them until end of 2014"? We are getting some resistance to the cost of "resurfacing the double courts and repainting surrounding fence" and a handful are suggesting we remove them. (Please note it is only a $100 dollar addition to the annual budget per lot to accomplish this.) I am concerned that legally we do not have the freedom to make this change, and before retaining a lawyer to review and provide consultation, I wanted to ask here first. Does anyone have advice, these courts are conveyed with the park and 5 acres of land that the HOA owns.Thank you.
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


05/30/2012 2:59 PM  
State laws and situations vary but GENERALLY speaking....

Possibly, but only if ALL (100%) unit owners approve the removal at a properly noticed meeting.

Having said that, an association has a duty to maintain, repair, and replace existing common elements, which would of course include a tennis court(s) because it was there at inception and maintenance/replacement costs should have been properly budgeted (typically called a reserve account). To simply remove it, IMO, would be in violation of the maintain, repair, or replace rule (if such exists in your docs or state laws).

Similarly you can't summarily remove a swimming pool if it's 20 years old and doesn't meet safety codes. The board's obligation would be to maintain, repair, or replace the pool with a similar kind and quality that meets code standards.

You're in essence taking away an amenity that has been furnished to unit owners. While not popular there's an obligation to pass a special assessment. If a special assessment isn't approved, you'd have to section off the use of the courts until an operating budget could be approved to include it.

I have read in the past about similar cases where after successful passing of the vote to remove each membership stake had to be reimbursed their share of the eliminated ammenity's value too.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3127


05/30/2012 6:17 PM  
So vote to remove em, but wait until 2014 to act. You can stop maintaining them now.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8049


05/30/2012 7:20 PM  
Becky

Are you a committee or the Board of Directors?

I expect there is a way for an association to remove a common area/element. It might well take 100% of the owners agreeing to it, but I believe it could be done.

I doubt 100% would agree to anything and as you already have an obligation to maintain it, I expect the answer is fix it.

I expect the root of the problem is probably not the tennis courts, but bad Capital Reserve plannning.








JonD1


Posts:0


05/30/2012 7:50 PM  
Becky:

It would seem to me changing the CCRs and removing tennis courts would be two different things. Just what exactly is the COMPLETE wording as far as no changes till 2014?

If the property does not have the funds to maintain this element just what options do they have other than closing the courts?

Are the courts used?

Many properties had amenities added to attract buyers while taking no consideration into the long term costs. In todya's wrold with the financial difficulties many properties face cutting expnses should and must be on the table.

I know of two properties that no longer maintain their tennis courts. One closed them and the other is planning to remove them completly.

Your documents and state law will determine if possilbe and what steps are required.


All to often unit owners have the opinion the property must somehow cover any and all costs under any conditions but in reality 2+2 still equals 4 in most places. With dropping property values, non-payment of CCs, increased operating costs and perhaps poor financial planning you can't get blood out of a rock.

Good luck. Someone has to be the adult in the room sometimes................

BeckyH2
(North Carolina)

Posts:5


05/31/2012 9:23 AM  
Thank you all for the responses.I have finally found the answer within our By-Laws; we would need to have permission from all lienholders & mortgagees to remove the tennis courts from the HOA common area, and agreement to do so would need to be 75% or more. We have the reserves funds to repair, money is not really the issue. As it is our responibility to maintain, we will continue to do so! I appreciate your comments, and time. Thanks
JamesT14
(Alabama)

Posts:4


06/22/2018 2:55 PM  
If not in the Documents then the BOD of directors can remove a Tennis Court or change it into something else. On a side note some have had to under EPA laws because of water issues related to the surface of the court and it was required to be turned back into grass. I guess you could have grass Tennis courts but not cheap to maintain. States vary in their laws but most allow the BOD to decide what to do with Common area depending on expense involved. Many simply can no longer afford the upkeep on them without a Special Assessment or waiting until they get more important things done before fixing the Tennis Courts which is the situation we are in. We do not want a Special Assesment and do to the fact we are one of the few that provides AC and Heat both repair and replacement our dues are high enough and this was a huge problem when the Federal Government changed the SEER rating and we had to basically change out 85 Air Conditioners some which were pretty new because they did not have the new SEER rating so if we changed the Heating system we had to change the AC System. It more then doubled the expected price and we simply decided to do it all at once and worked out a Deal with Trane to lease them for 7 years and then at the end of the period buy them for one dollar. We got by with 3 or 4 years of 10 dollar a month fee increase and no special assessment. We did not go up on dues for five or six years because we knew we would be getting back this money for the Reserves. We did get back about half for the Reserves and now they are all paid off. However it caused us to be very careful on how we spent money. The Tennis courts were not used by more than one owner so we decided it could wait and the one who used it was on the Board so she was in agreement. Now we are thinking of changing it and have two or three ideas in the works because it is not helping property values as a Tennis Court since they are not really in fashion anymore. We may use it for 3 different projects. It is not in our Documents we have to provide a Tennis Court or even the Pool but we want the pool it is used although it causes problems with renters who invite to many guests. There is no way we would use a special assessment ever unless a dire emergency as many of our owners are retired and on a fixed income and could not come up with a couple thousand dollars. We will do it as our budget permits but we have the money in the Reserves to change it as it would be as cheap to do so as to have it resurfaced with and approved EPA Surface. Hope this helps but as I said all states are different but the main thing is the Governing Documents. If it is something we need to amend we can do so with 2/3 of the owners approval in our state and by our Governing Documents. This is not something we need to amend the BOD has the power to change it although we will ask for suggestions at our annual meeting and take them into account. Thanks
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7859


06/22/2018 3:41 PM  
This is an old thread. We try not to renew them. If you have a new question, start a new thread. Always look for the date of the post on top before posting. This one was from 2012. Thank you.

Former HOA President
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Removing HOA owned tennis courts



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