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Subject: Homeowner sending derivative demand letter to board via building-wide email group
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PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/27/2020 1:04 PM  
The HOA that I moved out of (and am trying to sell my place in) has a HOA-wide email system.

One owner sent a demand letter to the board, listing a bunch of illegal things that she believes that the president allegedly did, and demanding that the board take action to remove the president, with the threat of filing a derivative lawsuit against the president if the president does not resign. The owner used the building-wide email group to send the letter.

A few owners wrote back with questions about the allegations and the potential lawsuit.

The board has not responded.

How would your board respond to something like that? I've been in litigation before, and I generally prefer to keep things 1-on-1, to avoid defamation claims.

This is NOT my new HOA. My new HOA has a great website and posts are moderated before they show up, and the posts are then emailed to the HOA, but there's no instant email group.



MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9413


06/27/2020 1:09 PM  
This isn't procedure. Recalling the President or other board member has it's own process. Find out what it is and that has to be followed lawsuit or no lawsuit.

Former HOA President
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/27/2020 1:13 PM  
I'm not the one doing it. I'm just sitting on the sidelines, entertained.

The board can remove the president from the office of president, in its discretion, though. It can't remove a director, as a director.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9577


06/27/2020 2:06 PM  
Let the chips fall where they do. That said if my BOD received such a letter we would do two things. One ignore it. Two, hand it over to our attorney as FYI and advise him to take no action yet.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/27/2020 3:06 PM  
As John noted, there are proper procedures to be followed for all of this stuff, and missing any piece of it will invalidate the result.

We would not respond to the owner, but would forward the email to the attorney as a heads-up. Any further action would depend on whether our attorney believes that the owner's accusations had any merit.

One thing we always did if an owner started making noise about a lawsuit, regardless of the merit of their claims, was to go to all-snail-mail communication, with all board members and attorney copied on everything. Owners need to understand that when they place themselves in an adversarial position, they will be treated as adversaries. The burden of proof is always on the accuser, and the accused has no obligation to do the other party's job for them.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9577


06/27/2020 3:12 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/27/2020 3:06 PM
As John noted, there are proper procedures to be followed for all of this stuff, and missing any piece of it will invalidate the result.

We would not respond to the owner, but would forward the email to the attorney as a heads-up. Any further action would depend on whether our attorney believes that the owner's accusations had any merit.

One thing we always did if an owner started making noise about a lawsuit, regardless of the merit of their claims, was to go to all-snail-mail communication, with all board members and attorney copied on everything. Owners need to understand that when they place themselves in an adversarial position, they will be treated as adversaries. The burden of proof is always on the accuser, and the accused has no obligation to do the other party's job for them.





Well said. Let the accuser legally step forward or get lost.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:541


06/27/2020 3:35 PM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 06/27/2020 1:04 PM
T
One owner sent a demand letter to the board, listing a bunch of illegal things that she believes that the president allegedly did, and demanding that the board take action to remove the president, with the threat of filing a derivative lawsuit against the president if the president does not resign.



Were the illegal things crimes?

Does this rise to the level of blackmail under NY law?
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/27/2020 4:21 PM  
Posted By JeffT2 on 06/27/2020 3:35 PM
Posted By PaulJ6 on 06/27/2020 1:04 PM
T
One owner sent a demand letter to the board, listing a bunch of illegal things that she believes that the president allegedly did, and demanding that the board take action to remove the president, with the threat of filing a derivative lawsuit against the president if the president does not resign.



Were the illegal things crimes?

Does this rise to the level of blackmail under NY law?




The claims in the letter include (1) audio recording of people in the building, by the board president, and an allegation that audio recording is illegal (as there was no notice, and the letter included an email from the property manager admitting to the audio recording) and (2) insider dealings not being reported as required by NY law.
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/27/2020 10:59 PM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 06/27/2020 4:21 PM
The claims in the letter include (1) audio recording of people in the building, by the board president, and an allegation that audio recording is illegal (as there was no notice, and the letter included an email from the property manager admitting to the audio recording) and (2) insider dealings not being reported as required by NY law.
If I were on this board, I would vote for the board to have a meeting with the HOA attorney to discuss this; study the law as best I could in preparation for the meeting; and vote to have the manager inform the HOA insurer.

CathyA3 spoke of making sure members know they will be treated like an adversary, as if the accusers are always mistaken. I think this sets up an ego-driven us-they situation.

Accusers are often correct. I think boards should aim to be on the side of truth. If this board or the president is dong something unlawful, I would vote to rectify it. I would also vote to be transparent about any mistakes made.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/28/2020 5:43 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/27/2020 10:59 PM
....

CathyA3 spoke of making sure members know they will be treated like an adversary, as if the accusers are always mistaken. I think this sets up an ego-driven us-they situation. ...





No, they are adversaries whether the accusations are true or not. If you are hit with a lawsuit, you must respond via proper legal channels even if you believe the lawsuit is frivolous, which forces you to spend time and money dealing with the suit. (Getting a little far afield, see "patent trolling" and other nuisance lawsuits as money-making schemes.) A lawsuit against the HOA will force the association to spend money that is needed for other purposes, and this harms everyone. This is true regardless of the merits of the accusations.

Unless there is something unusual going on, such as big money interests controlling the board, then bad board members are always the fault of the homeowners who won't get their acts together and remove them. Suing the board to make them remove the president is stupid. Simply removing him from his officer position won't get him off the board, and I can tell you stories about how impossible it is to rein in someone who is determined to act as they please. If the homeowners are unwilling to do the hard work to properly hold a recall vote, then "the people have spoken".

In this case, then, a lawsuit is a way to force your will onto a board and a community that won't do things your way. Believing that your fellow homeowners are irresponsible fools doesn't change this - the laws are what they are, and that's what you signed on for when you bought into an HOA.

And all these lawsuit-happy folks need to consider what would happen should their HOA become uninsurable as a result of all the legal wrangling. Hint: they won't enjoy it. Responsible board members DO worry about things like loss of insurance, which is why they tend to "treat the witness as hostile" whenever a homeowner starts slinging threats to sue.

(For what it's worth, the few times we were threatened with lawsuits, the owners either didn't understand what they were looking at, believed that the board should do something that it was not legally able to do, or believed that the board should not do something it was legally obligated to do.)
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/28/2020 7:18 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 5:43 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/27/2020 10:59 PM
.... CathyA3 spoke of making sure members know they will be treated like an adversary, as if the accusers are always mistaken. I think this sets up an ego-driven us-they situation. ...


No, they are adversaries whether the accusations are true or not. If you are hit with a lawsuit, you must respond via proper legal channels even if you believe the lawsuit is frivolous, which forces you to spend time and money dealing with the suit.
The OP indicated only a demand letter has been submitted at this time. I agree even a demand letter deserves certain legal steps. But I believe one of these first steps is to identify: Is the board actually breaking the law?

I agree there are nuisance lawsuit threats, where a complainant is hoping for a quick payout from an insurer. But mostly I think this flavor of nuisance lawsuit threat comes from gold-digging HOA employees just sophisticated enough to get an attorney and send a demand letter, not members.

Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 5:43 AM
A lawsuit against the HOA will force the association to spend money that is needed for other purposes, and this harms everyone.
If a series of demand letters ultimately lead to the board fixing whatever illegal behavior may be present, everyone may be benefited.

[snip]
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 5:43 AM

If the homeowners are unwilling to do the hard work to properly hold a recall vote, then "the people have spoken". In this case, then, a lawsuit is a way to force your will onto a board and a community that won't do things your way.
Depending on the seriousness of the alleged violations; where the problem is only affecting one or a few owners; and with a membership that only cares about themselves, a lawsuit may then be appropriate.

Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 5:43 AM

(For what it's worth, the few times we were threatened with lawsuits, the owners either didn't understand what they were looking at, believed that the board should do something that it was not legally able to do, or believed that the board should not do something it was legally obligated to do.)
I think there are roughly three types of threats: Threats from owners who do not know the law and have not lawyered up. One can count on these nearly always being frivolous and based in ignorance. Then there are the threats from those who have lawyered up or have studied the law. These should be taken a little more seriously and considered in-depth for their merit. Then there is the attorney who just wants to make a few thousand dollars sending demand letters for claims that have no merit.

You seem to be coming from a place of automatic contempt for anyone, anywhere in a HOA who threatens suit. I suppose it's true that more often than not, members threatening suit do deserve contempt. But this forum also sees many boards that are way out of line. E.g. when sewage is backing up into a condo member's home; it is clearly the condo association's fault; the condo association refuses to act; and it's been years of sewage backups, I feel contempt for the board, not the member-victim.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3307


06/28/2020 7:34 AM  
You finally moved out, say you love, love love your new home and the HOA it's located in. Why, then, do you continue to post about this one??????

I wouldn't give two damns about what happened to this community once I moved out, especially if I had to sue it in order to get them to behave. I'm beginning to think you're a drama who really loves stirring things up. Or you still haven't figure how to evict the folks who've taken up too much of your brain matter.

If your former neighbors are at a loss on how to deal with this board, you could encourage them to post here and get some ideas - they're adults and probably know a lot more about the current shitstorm than you. In the meantime, enjoy your new home and forget about this.
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/28/2020 7:56 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 06/28/2020 7:34 AM
You finally moved out, say you love, love love your new home and the HOA it's located in. Why, then, do you continue to post about this one??????
The reason I am fine reading about the aftermath of Paul's lawsuit is to learn something (perhaps about human nature), for the short run and the long run. E.g. Do boards change after losing a lawsuit? Do members who were previously silent about harassment by boards sometimes face harassment themselves and so pick up the baton?

Why all the drama with the multiple question marks?
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/28/2020 7:57 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 06/28/2020 7:34 AM
You finally moved out, say you love, love love your new home and the HOA it's located in. Why, then, do you continue to post about this one??????

I wouldn't give two damns about what happened to this community once I moved out, especially if I had to sue it in order to get them to behave. I'm beginning to think you're a drama who really loves stirring things up. Or you still haven't figure how to evict the folks who've taken up too much of your brain matter.

If your former neighbors are at a loss on how to deal with this board, you could encourage them to post here and get some ideas - they're adults and probably know a lot more about the current shitstorm than you. In the meantime, enjoy your new home and forget about this.




SheilaH, if there's a way for you to block my posts, I would encourage you to do so. I find it interesting that others are finally waking up in the bad HOA.

I'm not the one who sent the demand letter. Nor am I involved. I just find it interesting and entertaining, in an odd way.

I do love my new HOA--it's WONDERFUL. I have nothing to post about it since it's fantastic, although I was intrigued by the remote-controlled elevators.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1514


06/28/2020 8:03 AM  
I've dealt with it.

I clearly articulated by "Reply All" that such emails are toxic and destructive to the greater commmunity (as my issue involved two HOA boards operating under the same community development) and that any more emails from this particular person will be deleted without being read or acknowledged. The board members who were involuntarily included in the email diatribe never replied. In terms of any email recipients engaging in passive-aggressive gossip, I couldn't care less but I care very much about carpet-bombing allegations.

Doing such a thing in an HOA-wide, email system isn't designed to get any results (it harms any correction that could be made); it's done to seek attention. Not every allegation is worth the HOA's attention and sometimes you just gotta tell them to sue you.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/28/2020 8:33 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/28/2020 7:18 AM


... snippage ...

You seem to be coming from a place of automatic contempt for anyone, anywhere in a HOA who threatens suit. I suppose it's true that more often than not, members threatening suit do deserve contempt. But this forum also sees many boards that are way out of line. E.g. when sewage is backing up into a condo member's home; it is clearly the condo association's fault; the condo association refuses to act; and it's been years of sewage backups, I feel contempt for the board, not the member-victim.





I do have contempt for those who use lawsuits as an end run around the processes laid out in our governing docs and state laws. Otherwise, it's exasperation with those whose response to any perceived "victimization" is a lawsuit (and I used those quotation marks deliberately).

I think I've been on record often enough with comments about incompetent and deliberately bad board members. And there are absolutely times when a lawsuit is the only option: nothing else will address what's going on (for example, a board member embezzled funds). In my opinion, the items cited by the OP probably don't meet that standard, mainly because the law already provides for other, less costly and impactful ways of days of dealing with the issues. If the other options have been tried and have failed *for reasons outside of the homeowners' control* then I may change my mind, although it depends on the nature of the alleged wrong.

My main objection to lawsuits in HOAs is that there is always unavoidable collateral damage. People who had nothing to do with the situation - who knew nothing about it, and who may even have been harmed themselves by whatever wrong the suit claims to address - will pay the cost for the lawsuit. In cases of embezzlement, clearly everyone was harmed pretty much equally and will benefit equally if the suit is successful. I'm fine with that. Where I have issues is with the lawsuit that will benefit only certain persons at the expense of everyone in the association. Or where the supposed benefit provided by the lawsuit does not outweigh the costs. Obviously this last one is a judgement call and different people will have different opinions.

As for the accusations summarized in the OP, my personal opinion is that - regardless of any privacy laws - I should assume that I'm under surveillance when I'm outside my home and should behave accordingly. (If I use/wear any "smart" devices, I should also assume I'm under surveillance when I'm *inside* my home as well, but that's a different discussion.) This says nothing at all about whether I think this is OK or illegal or the end of civilization as we know it - it just says that I recognize the facts as they currently are and act on this knowledge.

In my state, condo owners have no expectation of privacy when we're outside of our units - so something like a hidden audio recorder would not surprise or upset many of us. This will color our opinions of a potentially expensive lawsuit, whose costs we personally will bear, because no one warned us about some devices that we already assume may be there.

(By the by, I disagree about sewage backing up being the board's fault. It is definitely and always the board's responsibility. But it only becomes their fault if it results from negligence or something within the board's control. The few times we've had a sewage backups, it was because somebody was flushing things down low-flow toilets that didn't belong there and causing a clog. Unfortunately, the guilty parties' neighbors were the ones who ended up with sewage in their homes. That's one of the risks of living in multi-unit buildings, and no one's fault except for maybe those who peddle low-flow toilet systems.)





AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/28/2020 9:18 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 8:33 AM
I do have contempt for those who use lawsuits as an end run around the processes laid out in our governing docs and state laws.
"Me too." Before threatening suit, members should follow the process in the governing documents, or they will have my contempt for squandering volunteers' precious time, intellect and emotion, and for wasting HOA resources.

Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 8:33 AM
I think I've been on record often enough with comments about incompetent and deliberately bad board members.
I am aware you are on said record multiple times.

Posted By CathyA3 on 06/28/2020 8:33 AM
In my opinion, the items cited by the OP probably don't meet that standard, mainly because the law already provides for other, less costly and impactful ways of days of dealing with the issues.
.
.
.
As for the accusations summarized in the OP, my personal opinion is that - regardless of any privacy laws - I should assume that I'm under surveillance when I'm outside my home and should behave accordingly. (If I use/wear any "smart" devices, I should also assume I'm under surveillance when I'm *inside* my home as well, but that's a different discussion.) This says nothing at all about whether I think this is OK or illegal or the end of civilization as we know it - it just says that I recognize the facts as they currently are and act on this knowledge.

In my state, condo owners have no expectation of privacy when we're outside of our units - so something like a hidden audio recorder would not surprise or upset many of us. This will color our opinions of a potentially expensive lawsuit, whose costs we personally will bear, because no one warned us about some devices that we already assume may be there.


Posted By PaulJ6 on 06/27/2020 4:21 PM
The claims in the letter include (1) audio recording of people in the building, by the board president, and an allegation that audio recording is illegal (as there was no notice, and the letter included an email from the property manager admitting to the audio recording) and (2) insider dealings not being reported as required by NY law.


For audio recordings, the New York criminal code requires that at least one party in a conversation consent to recording. This is not happening with the system PaulJ6 requires. If CathyA3's board were in New York, I do not believe it would ever support the audio recording described.

As for the insider dealings, I gather this refers to business deals between the HOA and contractors where there is a conflict of interest. New York law says this is a big deal; the HOA has to disclose such conflicts of interest. I back New York law. As interested, the reader can learn more about this at https://officeoftheboard.com/ny-conflict-of-interest-law-requirements-apply-to-condos-and/

Posted By PaulJ6 on 06/27/2020 4:21 PM
(By the by, I disagree about sewage backing up being the board's fault. It is definitely and always the board's responsibility.
Likewise, by the by: Over a few years at a condo where I am, plumbers and an arborist documented extensively that the tree roots were invading the sewer lines; that the roots were from one or two specific trees (known for invading sewer lines) on the common area; and recommended, based on experience, that the trees be removed. The board said that the HOA would only address damage to sewer lines pursuant to the physical location where the covenants said the HOA took legal responsibility for said sewer lines. The board refused to remove the trees. This was inconsistent with state case law where I am. State case law says the tree roots are a trespass/encroachment. State case law where I am says if one's tree causes damage to another's sewer lines, and notice of said damage has been given, the tree owner pays for the repairs. I am talking about a half-inch or thereabouts of raw sewage in people's homes, occurring more than once.

I do not want to argue. I think there is wisdom in just up and moving from a cesspool like what PaulJ6 describes. I think there is value in also following up on the aftermath, if only to teach a person that these "battles/wars"are rarely winnable, and the cost in years of one's life is high indeed.


JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:337


06/28/2020 9:31 AM  
"My main objection to lawsuits in HOAs is that there is always unavoidable collateral damage. People who had nothing to do with the situation - who knew nothing about it, and who may even have been harmed themselves by whatever wrong the suit claims to address - will pay the cost for the lawsuit."

The section I quoted above really bothers me. Let me give you a real life example. There is a resident in our community that experienced flooding. It ruined all the floors on her first floor, all the base trim and sections of the drywall. The cause of the flooding was a drainage issue that the HOA was responsible for. The Board did not deny this but refused to repair the damage because they didn't have the money. (Fees had not been adjusted correctly for years and years.) The owner reluctantly accepted their answer and spent thousands of dollars making the repairs. Three years later the same thing happened and she was flooded again. Once again the existing Board openly admitted the HOA was responsible but said, "sorry, we don't have the money." By now she was really pissed but backed down again and paid for the repairs herself. Last year after I became president of the Board she was flooded for the third time. By now she was beyond pissed and made it clear that we either fix it or she would sue. I did not know about the history but was simply appalled by how she had been treated. We shifted money from different parts of the budget and fixed her problem.

This is a clear case where she should have sued the HOA previously. She pays her monthly fee every month and deserves to get the services and benefits that she is paying for. The fact that our HOA never budgeted properly and wouldn't raise assessments because they were afraid of being seen as the bad guy is not her problem. Had she sued the first time maybe the Board would have gotten their crap together which would have helped some of the problems that we are now left to clean up. You are correct that had she sued, all residents would have to pay for it. In this case that doesn't bother me one bit. Maybe if all the residents hadn't been so apathetic they would have gotten off their butts and done something about the incompetent Boards that had been running the place for years and years.

The worse thing is after being on the Board for 2 years and doing a lot of research and reading the posts on this forum I think I'm right when I say examples like I just gave are not all that rare.
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/28/2020 9:34 AM  
FYI the quote about sewage was not mine.

In this situation, I'm staying out of it but I ought to point out that there's no purpose of trying to have a recall election or whatever because the board in that HOA ignores governing documents, legal requirements, etc. If someone that the board didn't like had enough votes to get on the board, the board would just cancel the election, claim no quorum and destroy all ballots/proxies. So the owner is probably just frustrated.

Yes, moving was the best thing I've done in a long time. There are great HOAs out there.

I find upscale HOAs to have more involved owners and more professional board members. This is just my limited experience with a handful of HOAs, though. My new HOA is much higher-end than the old one. Maybe people with more education and more money are less tolerant of nonsense from bad boards; who knows.
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/28/2020 9:41 AM  
Nice anecdote, JohnT38. Quite interesting.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9577


06/28/2020 9:49 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 06/28/2020 7:34 AM
You finally moved out, say you love, love love your new home and the HOA it's located in. Why, then, do you continue to post about this one??????

I wouldn't give two damns about what happened to this community once I moved out, especially if I had to sue it in order to get them to behave. I'm beginning to think you're a drama who really loves stirring things up. Or you still haven't figure how to evict the folks who've taken up too much of your brain matter.

If your former neighbors are at a loss on how to deal with this board, you could encourage them to post here and get some ideas - they're adults and probably know a lot more about the current shitstorm than you. In the meantime, enjoy your new home and forget about this.




Well said. He is a drama Queen.
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/28/2020 9:55 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/28/2020 9:49 AM
Posted By SheliaH on 06/28/2020 7:34 AM
You finally moved out, say you love, love love your new home and the HOA it's located in. Why, then, do you continue to post about this one??????

I wouldn't give two damns about what happened to this community once I moved out, especially if I had to sue it in order to get them to behave. I'm beginning to think you're a drama who really loves stirring things up. Or you still haven't figure how to evict the folks who've taken up too much of your brain matter.

If your former neighbors are at a loss on how to deal with this board, you could encourage them to post here and get some ideas - they're adults and probably know a lot more about the current shitstorm than you. In the meantime, enjoy your new home and forget about this.




Well said. He is a drama Queen.




You may call me whatever you want. I don’t care.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/28/2020 10:32 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 06/28/2020 9:31 AM
"My main objection to lawsuits in HOAs is that there is always unavoidable collateral damage. People who had nothing to do with the situation - who knew nothing about it, and who may even have been harmed themselves by whatever wrong the suit claims to address - will pay the cost for the lawsuit."

The section I quoted above really bothers me. Let me give you a real life example. There is a resident in our community that experienced flooding. It ruined all the floors on her first floor, all the base trim and sections of the drywall. The cause of the flooding was a drainage issue that the HOA was responsible for. The Board did not deny this but refused to repair the damage because they didn't have the money. (Fees had not been adjusted correctly for years and years.) The owner reluctantly accepted their answer and spent thousands of dollars making the repairs. Three years later the same thing happened and she was flooded again. Once again the existing Board openly admitted the HOA was responsible but said, "sorry, we don't have the money." By now she was really pissed but backed down again and paid for the repairs herself. Last year after I became president of the Board she was flooded for the third time. By now she was beyond pissed and made it clear that we either fix it or she would sue. I did not know about the history but was simply appalled by how she had been treated. We shifted money from different parts of the budget and fixed her problem.

... snippage ...



I agree that this is one of those cases where the immediate issue could not have been solved a different way if the board had not budged, and I agree that the owner was treated terribly. The HOA was lucky she didn't end up with mold. The one difference I see from what I'd written previously is that the other homeowners were actually benefiting - at least in the short run - from assessments that were probably too low. It's maybe a minor benefit, but in my mind they are no longer completely innocent bystanders, so that can change my opinion.

If you were able to shift money from other areas of the budget, that suggests that the money was available if the board had known what they were doing.

The only justification I can see for the claim that there was no money is if the homeowners had to approve budgets and assessment increases and they kept voting them down. And simply replacing the board members, per the governing docs, would not solve that problem. (Which would also mean the homeowners had no claim to being innocent bystanders, even if they didn't realize all the implications of their choices.)

But that's not typical, and if it wasn't the case here, the past board's behavior was unconscionable.

I have general principles that I use to make decisions about this stuff, but I'm always willing to back off from hard and fast rules if actual facts suggest that some nuance is needed, as with your example above.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9577


06/28/2020 3:04 PM  
This confuses me. As I understand it, the owner should have filed a claim under her insurance and let her insurance company deal with the HOA. Why was she dealing with the HOA?
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:337


06/28/2020 3:31 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/28/2020 3:04 PM
This confuses me. As I understand it, the owner should have filed a claim under her insurance and let her insurance company deal with the HOA. Why was she dealing with the HOA?




Her insurance doesn't cover flooding caused by rain. Neither does mine unless I get flood insurance. It's a long story but the rain was flooding her unit because of some grading the HOA had done to install a new drainage system behind a row of condos. Our condos do not own the land. It was not done properly and the result was all the water was funneled behind her condo and came in through the sliding glass doors. (She is on a slab) When we fixed her unit we also had to pay to correct the drainage system.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3307


06/29/2020 9:49 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/28/2020 7:56 AM
Posted By SheliaH on 06/28/2020 7:34 AM
You finally moved out, say you love, love love your new home and the HOA it's located in. Why, then, do you continue to post about this one??????
The reason I am fine reading about the aftermath of Paul's lawsuit is to learn something (perhaps about human nature), for the short run and the long run. E.g. Do boards change after losing a lawsuit? Do members who were previously silent about harassment by boards sometimes face harassment themselves and so pick up the baton?

Why all the drama with the multiple question marks?





The multiple question marks was for emphasis - got your attention, didn't it?

Yes, humans are fascinating as hell and it's always interesting to see what prompts people to finally say enough (e.g. the current protests against police brutality). That said, I find it nearly impossible to swallow something I just spat out. If I fought the good fight and won, I move on because I need my energy to recover. If I lose, I still need my energy to review what worked and didn't so I can fight another day - or conclude I've done all I can, and perhaps its time to walk away and let time and history prove whether I was right, kinda right or flat out wrong. You cannot move on if you keep rehashing the same crap over and over and over again, and life's too short for all that.

In this case, I'm glad the homeowner has alerted other homeowners about her concerns, although I agree with Cathy it's more appropriate to call for a special meeting (or several) and hash all of this stuff out. If the president really is a maniac, hopefully it ends with his being tossed from the board. In fact I'd get rid of all of them because they've done nothing to reel him in. The only response to bad behavior I've heard about is Paul's previous conversation about the board member who secretly recorded the president calling certain people out of their names and then sharing it with "a few people" - because HE didn't have to guts to stand up and tell the guy to take a chill pill (or several).

What will it take for these people to finally say enough is enough? Where was this homeowner when Paul filed his lawsuit - the fact the association got its butt handed to them in court should have prompted someone to ask some serious questions as to why things got to this point and demanded answers from the board. That didn't happen and if a lawsuit and paying out association money doesn't convince everyone a change is necessary, I don't know what will.

In the meantime, if I'm out of the muck, I'm not jumping back in and I sure as hell don't find anything remotely entertaining about watching a trainwreck because real people get hurt. But Paul, if you think this is funny or whatever, do you.


PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/29/2020 10:38 AM  
SheilaH, as stated several times, I sued ANOTHER HOA. Not the one in this thread.

In the other HOA, once people found out about the lawsuit, they voted the president and majority of the board out of office.

On this board, I'm d*mned if I do and d*mned if I don't- I'm a "drama queen" or I lack guts.

I would have concerns for my physical safety if I tangled with this HOA. Only an idiot--or someone like the other owner--would do that.
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/29/2020 11:00 AM  
Also, there's no point in calling a special meeting; the board will just deny the validity of the proxies or something and refuse to hold it. That's what happened each time someone who the property manager didn't like had enough votes to get elected to the board: the board would just say that there wasn't a quorum and would destroy the proxies. The property manager runs the elections and meetings and picks the board.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3307


06/29/2020 2:19 PM  
Thanks for proving my point yet again - here's what YOU wrote to set this off:

"The HOA that I moved out of (and am trying to sell my place in) has a HOA-wide email system.

One owner sent a demand letter to the board, listing a bunch of illegal things that she believes that the president allegedly did, and demanding that the board take action to remove the president, with the threat of filing a derivative lawsuit against the president if the president does not resign. The owner used the building-wide email group to send the letter.

A few owners wrote back with questions about the allegations and the potential lawsuit.

The board has not responded.

How would your board respond to something like that? I've been in litigation before, and I generally prefer to keep things 1-on-1, to avoid defamation claims."

Note that first part - "the HOA I moved out of and am trying to sell my place in..."

And once again you say "no point in calling a special meeting because the board will deny the validity of the proxies, the property manager will pick the board members anyway, blah, blah, blah." You and I both know the only way this stops is if all these people are shown the door - and maybe it WILL take yet another lawsuit to do it.

Otherwise, I stand by what I said....if the number of homeowners FAR outnumber the number of board members plus the property manager, sheer numbers would suggest the homeowners have the upper hand - if only they'd use it. That doesn't mean it'll happen overnight, or it'll be easy, and no one should assume these people will simply say ok and walk away. It will take some doing, and it can't be done alone.

In any event, you may not be living there but technically you're still neck-deep in this because you haven't sold your unit yet. If you're still posting about this board because you know (or fear) a potential buyer will find out about all this and run far, far away from the sale, I understand why you're posting - but that's not what you said.
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/29/2020 2:37 PM  
SheilaH, if I posted two things that conflicted, please point it out clearly. Otherwise, I am not following your post.

In the HOA, most owners are apathetic. A lot of them keep places in the HOA as apartments that they rent out OR they just own apartments there as second homes.

Conversely, the property manager is owned by an owner that owns about 7% of the apartments in the HOA, and he employs people I view as thugs in the property manager's office.

Apathetic/busy owners vs. NYC thugs. Who would win that? Strength in numbers does no good because the property manager's thugs simply destroy records and scream at people if they come to an annual meeting and try to criticize anything.

So glad I finally live in a truly wonderful HOA, not the one described above.
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/29/2020 6:11 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 06/29/2020 9:49 AM
That said, I find it nearly impossible to swallow something I just spat out.
...
In the meantime, if I'm out of the muck, I'm not jumping back in [snip]


Yet here you are once again, jumping into PaulJ6's discussions of his former HOA, discussions you give every indication of resenting.
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/29/2020 8:03 PM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 06/29/2020 2:37 PM
So glad I finally live in a truly wonderful HOA, not the one described above.


Based on experience, that can change in the blink of an eye.
PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/30/2020 1:36 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/29/2020 6:11 PM
Posted By SheliaH on 06/29/2020 9:49 AM
That said, I find it nearly impossible to swallow something I just spat out.
...
In the meantime, if I'm out of the muck, I'm not jumping back in [snip]


Yet here you are once again, jumping into PaulJ6's discussions of his former HOA, discussions you give every indication of resenting.




AugustinD, thanks.

SheilaH, would you please explain: if you don't like what I post, why read my posts? Why not simply ignore them and do other things with your time?

MarkW18, very true!

Thanks.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Homeowner sending derivative demand letter to board via building-wide email group



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