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Subject: How do you jumpstart a new board?
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RachelS
(Florida)

Posts:6


04/28/2006 5:13 AM  
Hello all,

Lots of good info! We have an HOA here in Florida with about 400 homes in a fairly new subdivision (it was built in phases). We have about 3 or 4 boardmembers and the property management firm rep who are "in charge". We have had tons of violations of the HOA rules, ie sheds in backyards, complete dead lawns, etc...many folks have gotten 2-3 notices, are at maximum fines..the board says the next step is for an attorney to write letters...but they are dragging their feet...says it's expensive...so now we have an HOA board with "no teeth". What are the rest of us to do now? These members sit on the board for another year and the property management folks defer to the board to make decisions...I thought the first person should've been made an example of by following thru with fining and then enforcing by attorney letter and then court or lien? Any advice for us?

thanks in advance,
Rachel
SwanB
(Washington)

Posts:199


04/28/2006 8:50 AM  
Why an attorney to write the letters? As past Violations Director, I wrote our letters and our members paid their fines. When a conflict arose and the Board felt it necessary to seek legal counsel, we then brought in our attorney...but only after careful deliberation, assessing the cost and going through all our avenues first.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


04/28/2006 8:53 AM  
Rachel, most of the time violations will not occur if you educate the owners in advance. And when violations do occur they can be usually be corrected without the use of an attorney. (apply the 7Ps and the golden rule)

Here is a sequence of some of the things you can do. Your management company's job is to monitor for violations and assist the Board in establishing procedures. It is the responsibility of the Board to establish procedures and to enforce compliance. An effective Board will seldom need an attorney. The "teeth" comes from your CC&Rs and competence of your Board and Managing Agent. When they fail to do their job, they should be replaced.

1) Establish Rules and Regulations starting with a) Delinquent Assessments; and b) Enforcement of Covenants and Rules.
2) Distribute these to all owners.
3) Periodically remind owners on Covenant compliance.
4) Provide proper notice on any confirmed violation. (my example R&R on Enforcement of Covenants and Rules has the elements which need to be included in the notice)
5) Have a proper Hearing on each violation not corrected by a reasonable deadline.
6) After a Hearing where the owner is found to be in violation a fine is assessed.
7) After an established number of notices and esculating fines, if the violation is still not corrected get a court order to correct the violation. (At this point I use an attorney)
8) Have a contractor effect repairs with the police accompanying when they enter the property.
9) Assess the owner for all costs involved.
10) Owners with delinquent have a lien placed on their property in accordance with the R&R on Delinquent Assessments. (examples have been provided on this board)
11) If not paid within the timeframe established by the R&R on Delinquent Assessments foreclosure is initiated. (This is the second time I would use an attorney)

Hope this will help,
RogerB
SwanB
(Washington)

Posts:199


04/28/2006 8:55 AM  
I understand my first reply wasn't very helpful to your actual question. Sorry about that.
Some ideas on jump-starting a board is to get on it and be pro-
active as opposed to passive and not doing things.
When we had some problems in an organization, I found talking with individual Board members was helpful. I was coming into the fray with a whole different perspective and from their point-of-view my comments and direction was making them feel a bit overwhelmed in their meetings and unhelpful. Once we met one-on-one, we both were able to offer our views in a more relaxed arena and some progress towards a workable solution was made.
Sometimes a Board meeting isn't the best time to catch your Board members since they have full plates for the meeting.
RachelS
(Florida)

Posts:6


04/29/2006 1:05 PM  
Oh boy...thanks for all your feedback. We don't even have a fines committee, just an architechtural committee, and I think members just get notices for fines....I do not know about any hearings...need to get more info, but it seems we are not totally with it here on procedure and just plain initiative.
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