Get 6 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Thursday, October 30, 2014
HOA Websites by Community123.com (National Community Website Provider)
We built HOATalk and we'll build your community website for free!  Click here for information on a free trial website.
Community Associations Network (National HOA Reference Library)
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: how much can a HOA raise the dues
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
HeideS
(South Carolina)

Posts:4


02/02/2009 1:30 PM  
Our HOA raised the dues within 5 years from $ 70 to $ 125.00
on top of it they collected for tree removal $ 400.00 per unit
we are 34 units, we have no amenities and have to pay for our
own upkeep on all Townhomes. It does not make any sense to me
and they always select the same people to the Board. I'm lost
with all ther doing.Can anyone advise me!
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


02/02/2009 2:49 PM  
Heide,

It's apparent you are not familiar with your covenants. Ours say that the assessment can be raised by 5% per year except for an increase in lawn care. Had you been involved you would have been forewarned about the tree assessment..was it because the trees presented a danger, were dying or whatever? I also live in a townhome association and we are responsible for our own upkeep; however, there are other expenses which the Board must address. Have you ever looked at a projected budget for the upcoming year and let your thoughts be known? You say "they" always select the same people to the Board. You are one of "they". Do you attend meetings or vote? In our hoa the Board wanted a special assessment of $15,000 for tree trimming or removal. I learned it was not necessay and that it would have been for the benefit of about 4 owners on the Board out of 101 owners, I passed out a flier door to door to let other owners know and it was voted down.

My advice to you is to get involved so that you won't be "lost with all their doing".
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/02/2009 2:58 PM  

Heide,
Believe it or not, there are amenities someplace, probably known as common area or property. Do you have an entrance area? Your Board needs to have D & O insurance and a liability policy for the association. To me. $55.00 raise in assessments in 5 years is a very minimal amount considering how things have escallated in 5 years. Oh, you answered my question when you said that the Board had trees removed. You DO have common area
MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/02/2009 5:28 PM  
Donna, thanks for the reply. Actually it has only been 4 years with all the raise and yes I'm involved
with the Board......I have been to every meeting and expressed my concerns.But when we just $ 13,000 for tree removal and right after that they raised the dues from $ 85 to $ 125 I was wondering what will they
do with the money. I also feel from $ 40 is to much of a raise.We only have the common grounds to maintain and the taxes and A & O insurance and they don't do a good job of that.I have been living
in that HOA for 4 years and prior to that I have rented it out.I had to go to court with them fighting
not to pay the double fee as they required of me....it cost me $ 12,000 in Attorney fees.My Attorney told me I can not sue back for my fee.So much for that incredible Board.Everyone who is on the Board
is on forever.The just play with the names, for instance the President was the one before the next one was his wife,now is the one who husband was the President before that,it is incredible. But my latest
concern was the raise of the assement when they collected money before that.I dont mind paying but I don't for see any improvement....and if they do we should have a vote on that.

HeideS
MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/02/2009 5:48 PM  
EllenS, thanks for the answer.I am very familiar with the C&R and our by.laws. That is not the problem, the problem is that it reads nowhere how much you can charge for a monthly fee for common area.There are no other expense, we have no gate, no pool, no nothing.Just trees and common ground.We are 34 units all
together.We are on the water but everybody has to maintain there own dock....so I can not see raising the fee $ 40 dollars when we have just raisec them to $ 85 in 2006, plus we just paid $ 13.000 before Christmas. I do believe in getting involved but I dont stand a chance in getting anywhere with that board.I even fought for the right of an owner who does not live there to be on the Board. They said he
does not can be on the Board when our covenants read it clearly all it takes to be on the board is a
property owner.He is a smart guy and would have been a great asset to the Board but with the way the run
it no way he will be ever on.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5163


02/02/2009 11:31 PM  
Heide/Marie if there are no limits in your documents then they can probably raise the assessments as much as they need. Some states limit the amount the assessment can be increased so you would have to check South Carolina's statutes. The reason for the increase may not be readily apparent but it could be something as simple as making up for a budget shortfall from some homeowners not paying their assessments to the BOD is starting a reserve fund in order to prevent the need for special assessments in the future. Have you asked the BOD politely why the need for the large increase? As an H/O you have a right to know.

As far as the same people being re-elected to the BOD, the majority of H/O's must feel they are doing an adequate job; a three or five member BOD is not a majority of 34 even by the fuzziest of math. If you feel you or someone else can do a better job, get them on the ballot and lobby for votes and/or proxies to get your candidate on the Board.

"Common sense is like deodorant--the people who need it most never use it."
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/03/2009 3:20 AM  
Maria,
First, I am also SC, check your State Web site for Business licenses and determine if you are registered and how you are registered. Then, look up SC statutes on Non-profit corporations. make sure you know where you stand. You say you are aware of all this stuff, been trying to get the Board to pay attention, etc, etc. Do you have open Board Meetings? Do you have Annual Meetings, what happens there. Where the world if your financial report? You say you spent 12K on lawyer and you don't know where money is going. Have you made a formal request to look at books, did your lawyer? There is a lot of basic information with holes in it in your posts.
I would suggest that you look your area over and talk to several like associations around you, see how they do things. You glossed over tree removal, but I suspect you got some kiond of report from the Board. Do you have a reserve? Have you ever had an audit or a accounting review. Boards do not normally operate like you present. What are they gaining by acting this way, why won't they answer you questions? Has to be answers to this. Is there ANYONE in your association that feels as you do, how many absentee owners? How many rentals? How many Board Members rent? Get information and draw a picture. There is new SC legisture in conference right now that could prove a help, check Link for SC Lawyer to left this screen, he has a nice little site with helpful information, check SC in search feature, this site.
I am on Coast near Beaufort, I understand help for HOA is minimal from the state, but you do have elected officials starting with city council, county council, state elected representative and you have the telephone, work the AG office, Comsumer affairs, BBB, legal aid, anytrhing you can think of to get information. Your covenants should read you can request files and records from you associations, and as I said check your area for like associations. Is the Board so entrenched and isolated that they have no contact with the owners? What do you all talk about at annual meetings? Anytime you hire a lawyer, make sure you know as much or more about your association than he does and tell him what you want to know. Are you and the Board just so out of touch with each other you can't sit down and talk............off the record, clear the air. No matter what you do or how you do it, it will end up with all sides sitting at a table talking, or standing in front of the Judge talking. Much more productive to talk at table than before the bench.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


02/03/2009 4:24 AM  
First, keep in mind that the budget should drive the dues and not the dues driving the budget. So to find out where the money is going look at the budget.

As to the issue of them collecting a special assessment and raising dues, hopefully part of the raise is to avoid a future special assessment. Big ticket expenses such as the tree removal should come from a reserve fund. As it happens, a reserve fund is becoming less and less optional.

You have every right to see where the money is being spent and saved. And your organization should be saving money so that they can avoid future special assessments.

You might also be a bit surprised at what the upkeep on the common grounds runs. To be honest, I found that a bit surprising. Last fall we rebid the thing and are saving money, but it still costs a lot more then I would have thought.
MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/03/2009 5:21 AM  
Thanks GlenL,our HOA was estabished in 1976 and it has all the documentation, CC&R and the by-laws.
The Covenants read that 4 members can be elected there also elected 6 other people and I don't know
what ther functions are.....and at this point it really does not matter since they all except for 2
have been on the Board for ever. So you can see the Board picks themself. Yes I get my voice but it
does not matter, and there are a few on my side but to break thru that wall it will be never. I have all
the minutes from all the meetings and if you would read the comments for my request you would roll
your eyes.This year, as all the previous years, the did not have enough votes there at the meeting so they made everybody wait to see if they are any in the mailbox....and guess what there where what they
neede...there so magical.I have all that in the minutes at my home. So you can see my frustation with all
of them.There where only 10 people to vote at the meeting.I have tried to pull a couple of people together and they will ignore them just like me.You got 10 people runing the show and the Guy who is the Treasure who is a Proffessor at Winthrop can not win the battle either.....it may be one day!











































































































MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/03/2009 5:46 AM  
Robert, thanks and I am glad to found some one in SC. Yes we are a official Board, I got that established
when they took me to court over the double regime fee for the Tenant. I did had an excellent Lawyer, at least I feel he done his best, because there was only me against 10 people from the Board and there
Lawyer. Our Covenants and Restrictions call for a vote of 75% from all owners to change that. The Board feelt they changed it under them with everybody present and plain old passed it. I requested to see the record several times and they would not produce or maybe could not produce it.To make a long story short I won that battle if you can even say there is a win......that all should have never gone to court.But that is what I am talking about the Board does how the see it fit and the guy who was President is still on that Board....so all I can do is just sit back and let that all happen.I always wondered why the guy who lived i my place has left...I do have the best spot from all of them but everybody had a chance of buying it. So now with the request for the fees I'm battling up the wrong tree again.We never had an audit done and I requested it 5 years ago and keep bringing it up once a year, we not even had a balanced budget and they do not vote on that budget...the Treasure reads it and that is it.It is incredible, I want to understand and see the best in all but with the facts pointing to all the illegal
procedure it is hard to take. I'm an sure that beeing a woman does not help me in that male dominant world.I could use my Attorney again but I don't have the funds to take them to court again. I guess I can
always sell....just like all the others.
MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/03/2009 6:09 AM  
Thanks Kirk, I understand the budget and I agree that needs to be a higher assessment so they can make the grounds look great.We are paying $ 1800 a month, plus what ever tree removal there will be. There was a storm in September and they paid over $ 6000 in tree removal and that left us in the blank.So then we voted on collecting $ 400.00 by Dec.1 2008 that is $ 13.600 for trimming and get it looking good.
All other fees like taxes, E&O incurance Bookkeeping and maybe some other Items should be more then
covered with a $ 125.00 per month due. Please keep in mind we have to pay for everything else Home Owners Insur. and outside maintance is all up to us the Owner.I agree with you that the grounds maintance is expensive but everything has its limits...and I do like things looking good.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/03/2009 6:12 AM  
MarieT,
Just so you know, the folks here have been through exactly the same thing you have, and so have I. I am coming up on twenty years of these issues, and even though the dike has been breached here and we are changing out our board in April, I still have fundamental differences with how they run the place. But, I have learned to chew slowly and keep at it, and will continue. Am I effective? God knows! It does not make a rats patootie whether I am or not, I can walk this complex and I can see stuff and I can point to it and I can say I had a hand in that........very satisfying. I have also learned as much as I disagree with the Board, at this point I can say I know their job and know how difficlt it is, and I can say with authority, you just do not step into the board and all of a sudden become Einstien, it's a learn as you go job. I also respect and know each member of any Board is an owner and my peer and I treat them that way. I will get into it with them and they may not like me much for it, but they can not question my motivation because I give more than I get. So treat all this as a learning experience....nothing more.......it sounds like you have a nice place to live, enjoy your life, work at it.......time will pass things will change. And at some point things will get better.....if you keep chewing. Enjoy the trip.
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


02/03/2009 9:36 AM  
Marie writes:

>>>I understand the budget and I agree that needs to be a higher assessment so they can make the grounds look great.We are paying $ 1800 a month, plus what ever tree removal there will be. There was a storm in September and they paid over $ 6000 in tree removal and that left us in the blank.So then we voted on collecting $ 400.00 by Dec.1 2008 that is $ 13.600 for trimming and get it looking good.<<<

If you understand the budget, and you agree higher assessments are needed, and you had a storm so needed tree removal/fixing (always an expensive propsition), and (I assume) you want your Common Areas to look nice...

How do you think this will occur w/o higher fees and a BOD willing to take on the job of getting things right?

And you spent $12K in hopes of not paying a few hundred bucks, and failed?

No offense meant, but maybe this is more about your personal gripes about the BOD rather than their actions?


MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/03/2009 10:57 AM  
Posted By JohnK3 on 02/03/2009 9:36 AM
Marie writes:

>>>I understand the budget and I agree that needs to be a higher assessment so they can make the grounds look great.We are paying $ 1800 a month, plus what ever tree removal there will be. There was a storm in September and they paid over $ 6000 in tree removal and that left us in the blank.So then we voted on collecting $ 400.00 by Dec.1 2008 that is $ 13.600 for trimming and get it looking good.<<<

If you understand the budget, and you agree higher assessments are needed, and you had a storm so needed tree removal/fixing (always an expensive propsition), and (I assume) you want your Common Areas to look nice...

How do you think this will occur w/o higher fees and a BOD willing to take on the job of getting things right?

And you spent $12K in hopes of not paying a few hundred bucks, and failed?

No offense meant, but maybe this is more about your personal gripes about the BOD rather than their actions?





I understand where you coming from and I agree with you.....but..there is a limit to what can be achieved in such a short period of time. Plus there is always the same Tree removal guy who has been taking care off and I gave them 2 different tree removal ## and they have never called them. I do have 2 more Properties and if I would run mine the same way they run this HOA I would be out of Money today. My thing is at least 3 quotes and then if you decide you go with that one I have no problems as long as he is close to everyone elses quote.
No, Iam not offended by your answer but you would have to know the whole stories about the click who run this place and the incredible paper work collected from every meeting. I'm not out there to get some one
and I only speak up when time is permitted to get my point across.My Attorney agrees with me and the way they
conduct themselfes but I am not spending my $. I did got my point across with the tenants and everybody else who had some tenants where excited since they don't have to pay that amount anymore.It was my first experience and I don't care if I ever see another court in my life time.
MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/03/2009 11:03 AM  
I did not spend $ 12 K for nothing they changed the by-lwas to double the fee for tenants and that would have been fine if they would have proceded by the book and voted with all the owners.But they thought it is up to them.
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


02/03/2009 11:07 AM  
Marie,

No-bid contract for $13K worth of work? Now that would get me crazy, too. Do your docs have any language requiring Membership approval for Specials reaching a certain amount?
HeideS
(South Carolina)

Posts:4


02/03/2009 11:35 AM  
Posted By JohnK3 on 02/03/2009 11:07 AM
Marie,

No-bid contract for $13K worth of work? Now that would get me crazy, too. Do your docs have any language requiring Membership approval for Specials reaching a certain amount?






That is the part it drives me crazy.....no bids put collecting our money, Our docs just call for a 75 % approval rating but they told us the by-laws allows for a 50% approval if they is a disaster....we had no disaster nobody. I am not sure what it is they trying to do...maybe we will get a water fountain...haha.
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


02/03/2009 12:13 PM  
Posted By JohnK3 on 02/03/2009 9:36 AM
Marie writes:

>>>I understand the budget and I agree that needs to be a higher assessment so they can make the grounds look great.We are paying $ 1800 a month, plus what ever tree removal there will be. There was a storm in September and they paid over $ 6000 in tree removal and that left us in the blank.So then we voted on collecting $ 400.00 by Dec.1 2008 that is $ 13.600 for trimming and get it looking good.<<<

If you understand the budget, and you agree higher assessments are needed, and you had a storm so needed tree removal/fixing (always an expensive propsition), and (I assume) you want your Common Areas to look nice...

How do you think this will occur w/o higher fees and a BOD willing to take on the job of getting things right?

And you spent $12K in hopes of not paying a few hundred bucks, and failed?

No offense meant, but maybe this is more about your personal gripes about the BOD rather than their actions?

John,

I agree this is all personal with Marie/Heide and all very confusing. She says she had a good attorney but is not able to examine records, etc. She says she spent $12,000 in legal fees to save a few hundred dollars. Does anything she says makes sense? I'm curious how many other owners feel as she does. Our hoa has no pool, etc but some of our expenses go to cluster mailboxes which need replacing (and no, it is not up to the postal service), entrance signs which need replacing, fencing, underground pipes needing repair that go to our sprinkler system, tree removal and more. I don't think this is a person looking for solutions but just someone looking to jerk our chains and get some online attention. And why using two names when posting?




DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/03/2009 12:20 PM  

Ellen,
Boy, you are paying great attention. I went back and read the O.P, as Heide and then she became Marie? No wonder we cannot get straight information and give back straight, solid opinions. Whew! What's with it Heide/Marie? We are here to help and we all understand frustrations that come with HOA living but we need more than just venting.
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


02/03/2009 1:25 PM  
Posted By DonnaS on 02/03/2009 12:20 PM

Ellen,
Boy, you are paying great attention. I went back and read the O.P, as Heide and then she became Marie? No wonder we cannot get straight information and give back straight, solid opinions. Whew! What's with it Heide/Marie? We are here to help and we all understand frustrations that come with HOA living but we need more than just venting.



Donna,

It seems like a split personality???? Venting is ok but this makes no sense at all.
HeideS
(South Carolina)

Posts:4


02/03/2009 1:47 PM  
I am sorry for the confusion with the name...I looked at this side many moons ago and I couldnot remember that I di had signed up her until I seen Marie.......well for all confused by it my name is Heidemarie so
Heide and Marie is my legal names.SO I hope for some of you getting all out of whack I do not play games.
I do get the feeling that this side is geared more for the help of the Board and not people with real concerns
and questions how to approach a system that has been handled by the same people for the last 15 years. I have bought my unit in Jan.2003 and have not seen anybody else on board except the Treasure he has been there for the last 1 1/2 and he has told me that the board had made up there mind before he gets there and another one who is one that board also agrees. It is unfortunately since I'm not born in the US so I speak with an accent
but I become a US citizen in 1997, and therefore I am not as good with your language. When I first refused to pay the double fee for tanants I had no clue this would go all out the way it had.....but it is sad to say that a board can not go by the rules. I agree the $ 12.000 spend that was insane, I could have done something for a charity and feel good about it.
MaryA1


Posts:0


02/03/2009 2:04 PM  
Posted By HeideS on 02/02/2009 1:30 PM
Our HOA raised the dues within 5 years from $ 70 to $ 125.00
on top of it they collected for tree removal $ 400.00 per unit
we are 34 units, we have no amenities and have to pay for our
own upkeep on all Townhomes. It does not make any sense to me
and they always select the same people to the Board. I'm lost
with all ther doing.Can anyone advise me!




Heide,

First of all, it appears your dues were raised approx 10% per year. If you lived in AZ, by state law the assn could raise your dues 20% per year unless your docs call for a smaller %. IMO, 10% is certainly not a high increase. I'm a little confused about the tree removal assessment. Generally, special assessments must be voted on by the membership. Do your docs say the board can do this this on their own?

When you say you have no amenities you are most likely talking about a swimming pool, tennis court, clubhouse, etc. My HOA has none of those to offer either. However, we have miles and miles of common area, street right-of-ways that are our resp. to landscape and maintain, entrace monuments to maintain, etc., etc. So, even though you may not have the amenities mentioned, the assn still has maint. expenses.

Now, about always selecting the same people to the board. How are the elections being handled? Are the names of all candidates who wish to run for a position placed on the ballot, or does the Nominating Committee choose who's name will be placed on the ballot? Are there more candidates on the ballot than positions open, or is it usually the incumbents being the only ones running?
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/03/2009 3:01 PM  
I think you all are being to hasty.

It is hard to discount that she spent 12K to get some of her fellow owners off the hook. Do you thinki she just fooled the judge? I do agree she seems to have some very personal agendas, but most of us do, we just learn how to control them.

What I do find suspect is that she would accuse this site of being pro Board. You know I would be the first to pick up on that, and much to my surprise, for a bunch of Board members, you guys are really standouts, so maybe she has been tainted by bad boards. I will say to her personally, that is not the tree you want to climb, you are plain old mistaken.
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


02/03/2009 3:08 PM  
Heide/Marie,

This has nothing to do with your name(s) or your use of language. Your posts are confusing and make no sense. Answer one question..how many other owners feel as you do? I think you are playing online games with us.
MarieT1
(South Carolina)

Posts:8


02/03/2009 4:29 PM  
I think I handled it all in a wrong way.......I should have stuck to my original concern raising the assessement and takig in $ 13.600. I did not mean to confuss everone.I'm not an internet pro and having
seen this hoa talk , I thought I could clarify wher I could undestand it better,all I can say I guess I talked up the wrong tree. Sorry to all!!

YES and all the people running are always the same ones......from wives to husband and then there friends.The other people don't ever go to the meetings....and that is only once a year,All meetings from the Board are closed to all of us residence.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


02/03/2009 4:33 PM  
Posted By MarieT1 on 02/03/2009 4:29 PM
I think I handled it all in a wrong way.......I should have stuck to my original concern raising the assessement and takig in $ 13.600. I did not mean to confuss everone.I'm not an internet pro and having
seen this hoa talk , I thought I could clarify wher I could undestand it better,all I can say I guess I talked up the wrong tree. Sorry to all!!

YES and all the people running are always the same ones......from wives to husband and then there friends.The other people don't ever go to the meetings....and that is only once a year,All meetings from the Board are closed to all of us residence.





To be honest, if the same people are always running then the residents apparently don't have any problem with their general leadership, or else enough of them would have banded together to "oust" them and replace them with leaders they do support.

The leaders can only maintain their positions if enough people keep voting them in.

It seems that if your goal is to get new and/or fresh leadership, then you need to be meeting with your neighbors and residents and coming up with a strategy and a slate of nominations that will replace the current ones.

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/03/2009 5:53 PM  
Hang in there MariaT!

But, for sure, read carefully the good stuff that is coming back to you. You will learn a lot of things around here, take the time to read a lot of posts and use search features. Have trouble navigating, let us know.
HeideS
(South Carolina)

Posts:4


02/04/2009 6:24 AM  
Thank you Robert.......you are very kind!
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > how much can a HOA raise the dues



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

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

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement