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Subject: HOA and Military Member
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Author Messages
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/04/2021 8:01 PM  
I am the Military Member

I am away on military leave and the HOA wants to break into my place and leave it unsecured to install a water meter. Obviously, legal services on post are unhelpful meaning that there is a huge wait list. They basically want us to start paying for water. I return home two weeks after the planned date of install. I really do not want them to break into my home, have strangers there, and leave my place unsecured while I am away. In addition, to fining me everyday for them breaking into my place and having it unsecured.

No, this was not a long time coming, they voted in April and started the installing meter in May. I was gone at the time as well. What direction can I go. I do plan on writing a letter explaining I am away on active-duty orders and that I will be returning 15 days after the install date. I am trying to read up on the SCRA but I don’t think that applies to me.

As I am reading up on the CC&R’s this is what I have found:

5.32 Vacating Unit; Costs. [Civ. Code § 4775] The Association shall have the power to temporarily remove any Condominium resident for such periods and at such times as may be necessary in connection with any maintenance or repair work performed by the Association, including without limitation tenting for termites and utility repair and/or installation. The Owner shall provide the Association access as needed for maintenance or repair work by the Association. The costs of any temporary relocation, including loss of rental income and costs of temporary housing and living costs, during such maintenance or repair work shall be paid by the Condominium Owner affected unless another Owner is responsible for the damages. If another Owner is responsible for the damages, the responsible Owner shall pay the relocation costs. Except in case of emergency, the Association shall give notice of the need to temporarily vacate a Condominium to the Owners and occupants not less than fifteen (15) days or more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the temporary relocation. The notice shall state the reason for the relocation, the date and time of the beginning of work, the anticipated date and time of termination of work and that the occupants will be responsible for all necessary accommodations during the relocation.

6.5 Failure to Maintain. If an Owner fails to maintain the areas described herein pursuant to the standards set by the Board, the Board may notify the Owner of the work required and request that the same be done within thirty (30) days from the giving of such notice. If the Owner fails to complete maintenance within said time period, the Board may, following a Notice and Hearing, cause such work to be done and the cost thereof shall immediately be paid by such Owner to the Association and until paid shall bear interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum or the maximum rate authorized by Applicable Law. The Association shall have an easement over the Units and Exclusive Use Common Area for the purpose of performing the work described herein.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10247


06/04/2021 8:16 PM  
What does being in the military and the HOA installing a water meter that was approved? I am not sure why the HOA would need to enter your place to even to install it. Are you in a Condo? Plus they are NOT breaking in. It is called "Entering". Breaking in is illegal and involves damages.

So not sure why so paranoid over this. Just arrange to be there or have a friend/family there when it happens. Problem solved.

Former HOA President
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:712


06/04/2021 8:21 PM  
Tom, are you on Leave, which is more or less approved absence from duty for some period of time virtually identical to vacation in the civilian world or are you deployed or otherwise serving away from your permanent duty station under orders assigning you to another duty station for a temporary period which were known as TDY orders in my day in the military?

My military service was many years ago however, when on Leave I was free to travel where and when I wished (with some exceptions given the Vietnam War was in progress). That being the case, if you are on Leave, there is no reason why you cannot return to your home to oversee installation of the water meter.

If you are Deployed (using the present day term) or otherwise away from home on duty orders (not Leave, which may also be documented under orders in some circumstances) then I recommend you seek emergency advice from the JAG or whatever the legal officers are called in your branch of the military.

If you are on Leave, I suggest you consider contacting a local attorney or even a local branch of a veterans organization such as the American Legion or VFW for a referral or assistance.

Do you have a neighbor or friend who can oversee the water meter installation in your absence?

And, no, I agree with you, if you are on leave I do not believe the SRCA (FKA SSRA) applies in your case.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/04/2021 8:34 PM  
I am not sure why they would have to install it inside either. Currently or water is covered by our monthly dues. This past April they the board decided they want to sub-meter everyone so they have to install a meter for every condo. I cannot be there because I am away on orders and my family and friends can’t take off two days to wait for a plumber.

I am trying to work with the property management company. I don’t think 15 days is too long of a wait.

Leaving my home open is just asking for someone to rob you. In addition, they said they are not responsible for any damage they cause. So yes, I would like to be there.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/04/2021 8:40 PM  
Sorry, I am currently activated on military orders and away from my home. I am so used to saying military leave when the Army decides they want to ship me 3,000 miles away from home. I did leave a message with legal services. I hope they get back with me.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:712


06/04/2021 9:00 PM  
Well, Tom, I am having some difficulty with your use of military terminology; more than some difficulty actually.

Leave in the military has a very exact and precise meaning: one on leave is not on duty, one is more or less on vacation with no responsibility for one's assigned military duties, unless of course your commander or NCOIC calls and directs you to report for duty. When on Leave, one must conduct oneself as an active duty of the member of the military at all times.

If you are away from your permanently assigned duty station (not your home) on military orders for temporary military duty elsewhere than your permanently assigned duty station, then you are TDY or Deployed or whatever is the present day terminology is which is used.

Are you a member of the Army or Air National Guard who has been activated for your annual duty period? If so, your rights under the SRCA probably may not be affected but I do not know that. I suspect you are since you stated you are currently activated under military orders and are serving away from home.

You may wish to contact the Army or Air National Guard Bureau in your state for assistance if the duty station to which you are assigned is not able to assist you.

Have you discussed this with your unit commander or NCOIC?

BTW, I agree with other posters, your use of the terms 'breaking in' are not appropriate. I also do not understand why any entrance to your home is necessary to install a water meter. Perhaps that that is the question you should pose to the HOA or condominium association.



MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/04/2021 9:10 PM  
Having a sub-meter in place make the payment of water by unit owner more equitable. Under the current plan, a family of six will pay the same as a single person.

Water meters have to be placed on the outside so the meter is accessible and can be read. If any work must be done inside, it can wait until you return.

Because Melissa couldn't say it, THANK YOU FOR YOU SERVICE!
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:712


06/04/2021 9:25 PM  
Max, I thank him or her for military service as well, as one who has served.

I have a problem with the original post as he (or she) did not completely describe what is going on. I also have a problem with the terminology used. Especially the use of the word "Leave".

I wish to know the details of the activation for military service, how that affects the installation of a water meter in his or her HOA, and the reason why he or she used the term 'Leave' inaccurately.

I also wish to know how the installation of the water meter is related to the activated military service.

MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/04/2021 9:42 PM  
I would have made arrangements, because he serves my country, no ifs, ands or buts.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:712


06/04/2021 9:44 PM  
Max, what does that mean?
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/04/2021 9:45 PM  
Bill,

I apologize for the confusion, I work both on the civilian and uniform side of the government. As a civilian I am classified as being on military leave. That is how they put it on your SF-50 and account for pay and what leave you can use. There are 3 types of leave one can use, Sick, Annual, and Military leave. I am an Army reservist and been on orders for the past two months. I am 3,000 miles away from home. I am not annual training. I hope that clears up some of the confusion.

I just so happen to receive a threatening phone call today about my place being one of the nine units that have not had the meter installed yet. I have not reached out to my command yet and there is no one I can reach here at the schoolhouse. Taking leave is not authorized especially during the duty week. That would be cause for removal from the class.

I am not sure why they want or need to install it inside of my garage I am guessing they want to replace the shut off valve as well. They would still have the cut off the water from the main valve as well at that point they could just install it on the other side of the wall. There is no one above or below me, they are more like townhomes as in we share a wall. There are 4 units to my one building and there are many buildings on the property.
To enter my home they would have to cause damage. They would either have to force open the garage door or kick in the pedestrian door. The door is locked to the frame. Plus they would somehow have to move my cars.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/04/2021 9:51 PM  
Max,

Thank you for your support
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/05/2021 4:43 AM  
Of course you still need to see what California may say about this, but in general a condo association has the right to enter a unit when the owner is absent to perform necessary maintenance.

You can argue about whether or not this particular maintenance task is "necessary" or if it could wait. If the new sub-metering system won't work if one or more units is offline, then I think that may be considered necessary.

In addition, many condo associations have rules or even provisions in the CC&Rs stating that an owner who is absent for more than a few days needs to leave contact info of another person who would be able to provide access to the unit. It doesn't matter why the owner is absent. It is in the owner's best interest to do this - if there were a true emergency like a fire, the fire department will simply break down your door to get in and they won't pay for damages.

Condos, especially ones in large buildings with many units, are different from HOAs - and the owners have more responsibilities toward their neighbors than would be the case in a single family home community since what happens inside directly affects condo neighbors.

Find somebody you trust who can provide access when necessary. It's smart and it may even be required.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 7:52 AM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/04/2021 8:34 PM

Leaving my home open is just asking for someone to rob you. In addition, they said they are not responsible for any damage they cause. So yes, I would like to be there.
TomP11, respectfully, sub-metering condo units happens fairly often. Without sub-metering, residents do not have much incentive to conserve water, and the COA's water bills are ridiculously high and force the board to increase the COA assessment.

I realize you would like to be there, but the COA has serious needs as well, as others have pointed out.

Can you fed-ex the key to someone responsible and have this person stand by?

I am surprised the COA does not require all unit owners to provide a key, to their respective unit, to the manager's office.

Right now, I think you are the one who is being a bit difficult here, granted only because you maybe do not understand what the COA is up against when it comes to scheduling the water meter contractors.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 8:56 AM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/04/2021 8:01 PM
I am trying to read up on the SCRA but I don’t think that applies to me.
One reason it does not apply is because the SCRA only protects service members from being sued. You are not being sued.

From TomP11's COA's CC&Rs:
The Owner shall provide the Association access as needed for maintenance or repair work by the Association.
TomP11, do you understand that the above is part of a contract which is binding on each unit owner? Do you understand that, by refusing to give the Association access, you are violating the contract? Do you understand that military enlisted and officers still may be bound by a contract, with consequences the same as if you were a full-time civilian?

Posted By TomP11 on 06/04/2021 9:45 PM
I have not reached out to my command yet
And I hope you do not. Speaking as a former officer in the reserves, if I were the CO, I would be asking anyone in your shoes why he/she is trying to shirk off his/her personal, non-military related responsibilities on the taxpayer.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:712


06/05/2021 8:58 AM  
Tom

Thanks for the clarification.

Others have opined your Association may enter your premises under certain circumstances, I agree but I don't think a non-emergency installation of a water meter will pass the smell test.

I suggest you take a strong and hard position with the property manager and the Association on this, there is no reason the installation in your home cannot be delayed until your return. As I was reminded by someone else recently, the lack of planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on your part. To me, this is no different than if you were on vacation 3000 miles away and just learned of this.

The SCRA may provide you some air cover, I also recommend you plead emergency to the JAG office where you are presently and at the duty station where you normally perform your reserve duty.

AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 9:21 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 06/05/2021 8:58 AM

Others have opined your Association may enter your premises under certain circumstances, I agree but I don't think a non-emergency installation of a water meter will pass the smell test.
Maybe not your smell test, but it appears proper notice was given pursuant to the covenants.

I suggest you take a strong and hard position with the property manager and the Association on this, there is no reason the installation in your home cannot be delayed until your return.
I would like to hear what the COA says to this. Right now, I think the COA should take the strong and hard position.

I kind of doubt the COA will carry through with its threat to break in and leave the door open. I think this is a bluff to try to get cooperation.

I would support the COA billing soldier/sailor/officer TomP11 extra for any delays he causes but he refuses to agree he has a contractual obligation here.

As I was reminded by someone else recently, the lack of planning on their part
I do not see any lack of planning on the COA's part. I do see a lack of planning on TomP11's part. It was on TomP11 to provide an alternative means of access while he is away, pursuant to the covenants' requirement. It's foolish of him not to have done so, and I think you know this, BillH10.

AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 9:32 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 8:56 AM
One reason [the SCRA] does not apply is because the SCRA only protects service members from being sued. You are not being sued.
There's a bit more to the SCRA protections, but nothing I see that would help reservist soldier/sailor/officer TomP11 in this case. See https://www.justice.gov/servicemembers/servicemembers-civil-relief-act-scra and other sites.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 9:46 AM  
CathyA3,

Thank you for your response. It is an HOA and not a COA. We do not have a management office just a property management company that collects dues and sits in on HOA meetings to make sure they are following the rules.

There are no rules even provisions in the CC&Rs stating that an owner who is absent for more than a few days needs to leave contact info of another person who would be able to provide access to the unit. They do send out a contact information sheet that we are asked to fill out every year, but it is not required. We also have the address book on the website. I do inform the HOA when I am away on leave and provide them with a forwarding address.

It is frustrating getting a phone call from their contractor and not the HOA that they are going to kick in my door. Especially when I called them in May asking when they will start on my building and trying to arrange a time have someone there.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 9:58 AM  
Tom

I would not take anything Augustin says seriously. First, he has no experience in the management of HOA's let alone Condo. I've managed 110 condos/townhomes over the past 13 years and not one had sub metering. I have had a number of HOA, stand alone homes, that were sub metered right from the beginning, none after development. While it is helpful to pay for what you actually use, the cost to retrofit is prohibitive.

The sub meter is installed on the outside, where no internal access is needed and would not hinder the operation. Whatever is needed to be tweaked inside can be done at a later date with no disruption. This also in not an emergency where there is immediate danger and damage to another unit or common area. Having a contractor, not the HOA or MC make those threats is unacceptable.

None of the condos I manage do I have keys for, nor does the association. It might apply to some urban twin town high rise, but none that I have ever managed.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 10:30 AM  
AugustinD,

They will not start charging us until January due how the wording is on dues package they send us every year. It clearly says that it covers water, trash, and sewage.

We do not have a manager’s office. Our property management company is not located in our city. Before I moved in, I made sure that I did not have to provide a key and that the HOA cannot enter anytime they want to. That was one of the few things I requested when selecting a home.

I am not trying to be difficult. I actually called the property management company when I first heard about their plans in May. They gave me a phone number to the contactor so I can arrange a time so someone could be there. My response from the contractor was we don’t know. I am more frustrated that I got a phone call claiming that they are going to force their way in and fine me $25 a day because my door would no longer be secure.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 10:43 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 9:58 AM
[junk redacted]The sub meter is installed on the outside, where no internal access is needed and would not hinder the operation.
For some condos/townhomes/hoas yada, sub-meters can only be installed from inside a unit.

TomP11, your comments are noted.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10247


06/05/2021 10:54 AM  
So because you did NOT leave the COA a key they are being forced entry into your condo. That kind of makes sense. Sorry to sound "mean" but by not providing the key you set yourself up for this scenerio. Which by providing the key would have avoided. Plus is the reason they need to have a copy of a key for emergency or maintenance items such as this.

Thanks for serving our country but it really doesn't have any bearing on the HOA needing to enter your property or not. You did not provide a way of entry. This is the price.


Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/05/2021 11:05 AM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 9:46 AM
CathyA3,

Thank you for your response. It is an HOA and not a COA. We do not have a management office just a property management company that collects dues and sits in on HOA meetings to make sure they are following the rules.

... snip ...




You may be calling it an HOA, but it's pretty unusual for an HOA to have a shared water system - generally people in HOAs have separate plumbing systems that are separately metered and they have individual accounts with the local water utility. The HOA isn't involved at all.

In your original post you quoted from your CC&Rs:

"5.32 Vacating Unit; Costs. [Civ. Code § 4775] The Association shall have the power to temporarily remove any Condominium resident for such periods and at such times as may be necessary in connection with any maintenance or repair work performed by the Association, including without limitation tenting for termites and utility repair and/or installation. The Owner shall provide the Association access as needed for maintenance or repair work by the Association. The costs of any temporary relocation, including loss of rental income and costs of temporary housing and living costs, during such maintenance or repair work shall be paid by the Condominium Owner affected unless another Owner is responsible for the damages. If another Owner is responsible for the damages, the responsible Owner shall pay the relocation costs. Except in case of emergency, the Association shall give notice of the need to temporarily vacate a Condominium to the Owners and occupants not less than fifteen (15) days or more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the temporary relocation. The notice shall state the reason for the relocation, the date and time of the beginning of work, the anticipated date and time of termination of work and that the occupants will be responsible for all necessary accommodations during the relocation. "

Based on the words in bold, I'm confident you're living in a condominium. And as I and others have said, condo associations have added responsibilities due to the amount of common elements (eg. the plumbing system) that require more access to homes than would occur in a true HOA. Legally HOAs and condo associations are not the same thing. And if you expect your association to behave in exactly the same way, you'll be banging your head against a brick wall unnecessarily.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 11:07 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 10:43 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 9:58 AM
[junk redacted]The sub meter is installed on the outside, where no internal access is needed and would not hinder the operation.
For some condos/townhomes/hoas yada, sub-meters can only be installed from inside a unit.

TomP11, your comments are noted.



Actually in 2013, I owned a sub metering company, so your comment is false! You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/05/2021 11:16 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 10:43 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 9:58 AM
[junk redacted]The sub meter is installed on the outside, where no internal access is needed and would not hinder the operation.
For some condos/townhomes/hoas yada, sub-meters can only be installed from inside a unit.

TomP11, your comments are noted.



Actually in 2013, I owned a sub metering company, so your comment is false! You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.



Our local utilities have moved to remote reading. Using human meter readers is an extra expense for companies trying to wring every penny of profit from their operations.

AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 11:17 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
Actually in 2013, I owned a sub metering company, so your comment is false! You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.
Mr. MaxB4, many sub-metering companies today install sub-meters that use wireless technology to read meters. Indeed, even many cities today have installed wireless systems to read meters.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 11:21 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 11:17 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
Actually in 2013, I owned a sub metering company, so your comment is false! You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.
Mr. MaxB4, many sub-metering companies today install sub-meters that use wireless technology to read meters. Indeed, even many cities today have installed wireless systems to read meters.



WOW, what a revelation! You still have to have a way to do spot checks. My city reads the water meters electronically, but I can still verify their accuracy .... from the outside.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 11:26 AM  
MelissaP1,

I cannot leave a key for the HOA. They do not accept keys probably for liability issues and there is no management office. I did request a date where I could have someone there but they ignored that request.

AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 11:35 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:21 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 11:17 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
Actually in 2013, I owned a sub metering company, so your comment is false! You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.
Mr. MaxB4, many sub-metering companies today install sub-meters that use wireless technology to read meters. Indeed, even many cities today have installed wireless systems to read meters.

[signs of ignorant life/PUI-ing redacted] You still have to have a way to do spot checks. My city reads the water meters electronically, but I can still verify their accuracy .... from the outside.
Sir?

You posted:
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.


Thank you for agreeing that when sub-meters have to be located inside, they may be read remotely.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3973


06/05/2021 11:38 AM  
I appreciate your service, it since you're in the military, you had to know that a time may come when something in your home may need service that can't wait - what would you do in that situation? Same thing applies here.

Why not talk to the property manager again and see if they can work with your friend's schedule - there's more than one date on The calendar, you know. It's also possible your suggestion didn't work because the installers may have a scheduling conflict.

I know this is difficult being far away, but all of you will have to be flexible. Don't you have more than one friend or a relative who might be able to assist you?
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 11:40 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 11:35 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:21 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 11:17 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
Actually in 2013, I owned a sub metering company, so your comment is false! You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.
Mr. MaxB4, many sub-metering companies today install sub-meters that use wireless technology to read meters. Indeed, even many cities today have installed wireless systems to read meters.

[signs of ignorant life/PUI-ing redacted] You still have to have a way to do spot checks. My city reads the water meters electronically, but I can still verify their accuracy .... from the outside.
Sir?

You posted:
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 11:07 AM
You would have no way to read the meter if located inside.


Thank you for agreeing that when sub-meters have to be located inside, they may be read remotely.




You really that dumb?

If the sub meter goes inside, then it changes who is responsible for damages and when there occur. It would also mean that the association's insurance would have to be update to include the HOA as being the responsible party for leaks within the unit. BTW, sub meters, do break and cause water damage.

The other question for Tom, since this is a capital improvement, where did the HOA get the funding for the project?
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 11:51 AM  
[Angry old man stuff snipped] If the sub meter goes inside, then it changes who is responsible for damages and when there occur. [redundant stuff re insurance and reserve funding snipped]
Ya think?

And yet a fortune is typically saved in water bills.

Installing sub-metering is fairly big business, with design modifications typically required well documented. I lived in a COA/HOA where sub-metering was considered for many months, reviewing pitches and literature from many vendors. Plus ya know I am walking around with all this engineering professional licensing in my back pocket. Granted one does not have to be an engineer to hunker down, study, and then talk intelligently about the implications of sub-metering a COA/HOA.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 12:04 PM  
Where have I said sub metering wasn't good. I made nice money when I sold it and the people who have it now are doing quite nicely, thank you very much. I am calling BS on you for your ascertain that because they are read remotely, then they are installed indoor. BS.

No, you don't have to be an engineer, I'm not, but experience does matter, being the google whiz kid doesn't.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 12:04 PM  
CathyA3,

I don’t know if it is an HOA or COA. All the documents list it as a Homeowners Association. Sorry if I am confusing everyone. They had to go to court to change the CC&Rs back in 2020. We are responsible for things such as the roof, sidings, staircase and landings, painting, basically anything that isn’t a common area like the pool and landscaping.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 12:06 PM  
And yet a fortune is typically saved in water bills.

The same amount of water flows through the complex as before, and the water bill is exactly the same. What changes is the individual owners shares, some will pay more, some will pay less, and some will pay the same.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 12:17 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:06 PM
The same amount of water flows through the complex as before, and the water bill is exactly the same.
You and I disagree.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 12:21 PM  
MaxB4,

They took out another loan to pay for the sub-metering project. They are not going to start charging us until January just how the wording was when we get our monthly dues for the year. They did change the CC&Rs back in 2020 and had the responsibilities changed for things such as the roof, sidings, staircase and landings, painting, basically anything that isn’t a common area like the pool and landscaping from the HOA to the homeowners.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 12:22 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 12:04 PM
I don’t know if it is an HOA or COA. All the documents list it as a Homeowners Association.
-- Possible related aside: California's statute for common interest communities applies to both condos and non-condos.

-- Unfortunately (due to the confusion) many condominium communities use the phrase "homeowners' association" in their legal corporate name. Then their Articles of Inc and Declaration clarify whether the association is subject to the state's condo act or hoa act or whatever statute.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 12:33 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 12:17 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:06 PM
The same amount of water flows through the complex as before, and the water bill is exactly the same.
You and I disagree.



You disagree based on what?

I read and billed communities that had sub-metering. My own community and the one above, related to us, had sub-metering for water. The water bills didn't change as the same amount of water flowed through the communities, the different was who paid what share.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1244


06/05/2021 12:33 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:04 PM
Where have I said sub metering wasn't good. I made nice money when I sold it and the people who have it now are doing quite nicely, thank you very much. I am calling BS on you for your ascertain that because they are read remotely, then they are installed indoor. BS.

No, you don't have to be an engineer, I'm not, but experience does matter, being the google whiz kid doesn't.





For the OP, I am at a loss for words that your property manager needs inside the unit access to install this meter. Typically they are installed outside and require little to no maintenance. I would suggest one of two things, send the PM a letter certified mail with return receipt explicitly forbidding access to your unit and respectfully request that the installation be postponed until you return.
I find it highly unlikely that the contractor hired to complete this installation can complete this in a few days. Im going to guess it is going to take about two weeks at best. I believe this is a more than reasonable approach and such a reasonable request that any property manager with an ounce of decency should schedule your installation last.


BTW Max.
I lived in a Mobile home park that switched to remote read sub-meters. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread. After a few years of paying for my share of water and all the water wasters in the community, sub-meters saved me about $30.00 per month in lot rent, and that was after the cost of metered water was added back to my lot rent bill.

How are these meters powered? rechargeable battery? does the battery recharge when water passes through a tiny impeller attached to a dc motor that float charges the battery. Because in the three years I was there following the installation, I never seen any maintenance on them.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 12:39 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:33 PM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 12:17 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:06 PM
The same amount of water flows through the complex as before, and the water bill is exactly the same.
You and I disagree.
You disagree based on what?
I am sure it is obvious to those who post here and have smarts. I think this is all that counts.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 12:41 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/05/2021 12:22 PM
Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 12:04 PM
I don’t know if it is an HOA or COA. All the documents list it as a Homeowners Association.
-- Possible related aside: California's statute for common interest communities applies to both condos and non-condos.

-- Unfortunately (due to the confusion) many condominium communities use the phrase "homeowners' association" in their legal corporate name. Then their Articles of Inc and Declaration clarify whether the association is subject to the state's condo act or hoa act or whatever statute.



It really doesn't matter what you call yourselves, as one good California did was have just one set of rules for condos, pud's and HOA. Our legal description was condo, but we were single family detached homes sitting on one 81.7 acre lot. Instead of dividing us into individual lots, we were divided into units. Because of that, mortgage companies had fits because they were looking for a master policy covering each unit, which we didn't have.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 12:43 PM  
Posted By LetA on 06/05/2021 12:33 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:04 PM
Where have I said sub metering wasn't good. I made nice money when I sold it and the people who have it now are doing quite nicely, thank you very much. I am calling BS on you for your ascertain that because they are read remotely, then they are installed indoor. BS.

No, you don't have to be an engineer, I'm not, but experience does matter, being the google whiz kid doesn't.







BTW Max.
I lived in a Mobile home park that switched to remote read sub-meters. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread. After a few years of paying for my share of water and all the water wasters in the community, sub-meters saved me about $30.00 per month in lot rent, and that was after the cost of metered water was added back to my lot rent bill.


All that would mean is that a family of six had to pay more, or as they say, their fair share.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 12:44 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 12:21 PM
MaxB4,

They took out another loan to pay for the sub-metering project. They are not going to start charging us until January just how the wording was when we get our monthly dues for the year. They did change the CC&Rs back in 2020 and had the responsibilities changed for things such as the roof, sidings, staircase and landings, painting, basically anything that isn’t a common area like the pool and landscaping from the HOA to the homeowners.



You guys did vote to approve the loan, right?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/05/2021 12:51 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:06 PM
And yet a fortune is typically saved in water bills.

The same amount of water flows through the complex as before, and the water bill is exactly the same. What changes is the individual owners shares, some will pay more, some will pay less, and some will pay the same.



It can save water indirectly by making people more conscious of their own water usage. If it's all lumped together, families or others who use a lot have no incentive to save since their use is being subsidized by the folks living alone. And the folks living alone may feel like they're entitled to their "fair share" and use water freely - they're more likely to conserve if they personally benefit from doing so.

Aside from that, the big benefit is that it really isn't fair to make people living alone pay for others' water usage. My governing docs actually have language stating that rolling utility charges into assessments can provide an unfair advantage for some owners and an unfair disadvantage for others.

TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 12:55 PM  
SheliaH,

Thank you. They are not entering my living space; they are entering the garage. My HOA does not provide any maintenance service for inside the condo. We do not have a fire system and there is no one above or below my unit. I am trying to paint a picture, basically if you drive by you would think it is a two story condo that shares a wall. The two car garage in in front and connect one level up is the living space. There is nothing above the garage. If a pipe leaks that is my responsibility, the HOA would not come in and fix it. If the main water line was to leak, which it has, it is on me to fix it.

I did contact the property management company back in May when they sent the emails saying that they will start the project sometime during May and ending in June. The property management company gave me the contact information for the contractor. I contacted the contractor explaining the situation when they would get to my condo. They could not give me an answer because they didn’t know how long it was going to take or the order of buildings. What is upsetting is the phone call and email I received from the contractor saying that they are going to break into my garage and fine me for doing so. I contacted the property management company and they basically said oh well.

For me is more like I am paying to live here at $500 for HOA dues a month. You are a contractor and the property manager and that is how you are going to treat the owners of the place. I have a temporary code for the garage door and a camera in the garage.

More details. They want the sub-meter installed next to the hot water heater. Maybe so they do not have to search for it. Mine is located inside the garage probably for looks. I am on an end unit. The two neighbors two neighbors who are in between the end unites have their hot water heaters on the outside on their deck. The owners who live in the two story buildings have it behind their garage. I just don’t understand why can’t just install the meters on the other side of the garage where all the utilities enter the unit and where we have the A/C. If it is for looks.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 1:04 PM  
MaxB4,

No one voted for the loans. They had a closed meeting when the HOA voted to take out two loans.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/05/2021 1:08 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/05/2021 12:51 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 12:06 PM
And yet a fortune is typically saved in water bills.

The same amount of water flows through the complex as before, and the water bill is exactly the same. What changes is the individual owners shares, some will pay more, some will pay less, and some will pay the same.



It can save water indirectly by making people more conscious of their own water usage. If it's all lumped together, families or others who use a lot have no incentive to save since their use is being subsidized by the folks living alone. And the folks living alone may feel like they're entitled to their "fair share" and use water freely - they're more likely to conserve if they personally benefit from doing so.

Aside from that, the big benefit is that it really isn't fair to make people living alone pay for others' water usage. My governing docs actually have language stating that rolling utility charges into assessments can provide an unfair advantage for some owners and an unfair disadvantage for others.




A further thought... presumably the OP's association thinks installing sub-meters is money well spent, which suggests that they will save money in the long run. Reduced usage? Subsidies from the state to install them since California is in a drought? Subsidies from the companies doing the work? Some or all of these?

We actually looked into installing sub-meters in my community, and it was pretty pricey. However, if the cost of water hereabouts were to shoot up and installing sub-meters would allow us to move water out of our monthly assessments and directly to owners or at least reduce costs overall, we'd do it in a heartbeat.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 1:10 PM  
CathyA3,

They did talk about that for the reasoning of the project. How it is not fair that units use different amounts of water and it forces the owner to correct leaks. Which to me would be a great idea. I live alone and gone for 4 months out of the year. However, they are not lowering our dues.

They did change the CC&Rs just so they can start submetering.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 1:15 PM  
LetA,

They started two weeks ago and are 80% done according to the email. They plan on finishing on the 14th thru 15th. There are 150 units total and I don’t know how many building are in the community.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 1:31 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 1:10 PM
CathyA3,

They did talk about that for the reasoning of the project. How it is not fair that units use different amounts of water and it forces the owner to correct leaks. Which to me would be a great idea. I live alone and gone for 4 months out of the year. However, they are not lowering our dues.

They did change the CC&Rs just so they can start submetering.



There are tow serious issues, one, a capital improvement involving a loan requires a vote of the membership. Second, and just as serious, the membership is the ones who vote to amend the CCRs, not the board behind closed doors.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 1:37 PM  
Worth reading

https://pacificutilityaudit.com/water-sub-metering-not-good-idea-associations-part-one/
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 1:39 PM  
If you finish part one, here is part two

https://pacificutilityaudit.com/why-water-sub-metering-is-not-a-good-idea-for-associations-part-two/
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 2:01 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 1:31 PM
There are tow serious issues, one, a capital improvement involving a loan requires a vote of the membership.
If the membership voted to change the CC&Rs such that sub-metering is required et cetera, then the sub-metering is not necessarily a capital improvement. It's a lot more complicated than the statement above implies, as far as I am concerned.

Regarding loans, a lot depends on what the COA/HOA's governing documents say.

Either way, TomP11's concern is this contractor may be breaking into his garage and leaving it open. I doubt he cares about how the change to the water metering came about.

Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 12:55 PM
You are a contractor and the property manager and that is how you are going to treat the owners of the place.
As long as the membership keeps voting in a board that wants to maintain a contract with this property manager, then yes, this is how the manager will treat owners of the place.

I think mostly this thread is about educating someone new to HOAs/COAs about how these communities are run. They run on the basis of a contract between the membership and a non-profit corporation, overseen by amateurs elected by the membership. It's not like a dictator runs TomP11's HOA/COA. By contract, TomP11 and his fellow members have enormous say in how things are run, via electing the directors.

Folks new to HOAs/COAs often expect something like concierge treatment from the HOA/COA manager. Like the HOA/COA manager should behave like a five-star hotel manager. No, it does not work like this. Not at all.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 2:04 PM  
MaxB4,

They did the vote for the two loans behind closed doors because they knew the homeowners would say no. The homeowners voted not to change the CC&Rs but they did it without our wishes.

This is how they changed the CC&Rs:

“While the restated CC&Rs did not pass, the Board voted to authorize legal counsel to proceed with seeking court approval of the restated CC&R”
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/05/2021 2:59 PM  
Tom

Please disregard what Augustin has said. He's making things up as he goes. I own a management company in California and deal with the legalities for which you are now going through.

You have to have membership approval to obtain a loan and also a vote for the special assessment to fund the project. How are they repaying the loan? Hope it's not from promised saving of going sub-metering.

You don't go to the courts to get CCRs approved if the membership voted no. You can get court approval if you couldn't get 66 2/3 or higher to vote yes, IF you got at least a majority to vote yes. Also stating that the board voted to have legal proceed with taking it to the courts doesn't cut mustard.

Let them kick the door down and down what they intend, you'll own the place.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 4:11 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/05/2021 2:59 PM

You have to have membership approval to obtain a loan
If the OP's governing documents require membership approval for this sort of loan, then sure. But the OP has provided nothing indicating his HOA/COA's governing docs require membership aporoval to obtain a loan.

The interested California reader should see:

https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Authority-to-Borrow

https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Capital-Improvement

https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Bank-Loan-Checklist#axzz3hm0fTEMV


and also a vote for the special assessment to fund the project.
It's not clear whether a special assessment was made.

You don't go to the courts to get CCRs approved if the membership voted no.
This is far from accurate. California Civil Code 4275 and case law elaborate. For starters, more at https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Court-Petition-Re-CC-Rs

The facts are lacking here. Is the HOA/COA in a bad way when it comes to water bills and its budget? Exactly what did the old covenants say? Has the Court granted approval of the proposed restated CC&Rs? I think it's likely that this is the first time that TomP11 has seen a lot of the vocabulary here. Is he overwhelmed just trying to understand many of the questions being put to him, never mind answer them?

Mostly I think he just wants an employee of the sub meter company to call him and say, "Sure, we'll wait until such-and-such date to do your unit." Maybe this will happen.
TomP11
(California)

Posts:25


06/05/2021 4:26 PM  
MaxB4,

Yes, they do plan on repaying back the loan from the promised savings. They are not lowering dues. The judge did approve the new CC&R as of January 2021 giving to all of us. Thank you for your help. I am working hard trying to find someone to come over.

I have attached a photo of where they want to install the sub meter.

Attachment: 165265264771.pdf

AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 4:44 PM  
Posted By TomP11 on 06/05/2021 12:55 PM
They want the sub-meter installed next to the hot water heater. Maybe so they do not have to search for it.
Maybe each unit does not have its own main shut-off valve. Instead, each unit has a shut-off valve for the hot water heater, and that's it. Whence the salespeople at the sub-meter company convinced this COA to use a RUBS ("Ratio Utility Billing System," allowed in some but not all California cities). Under RUBS, a condo/townhome unit's overall water usage is estimated based on the new sub-meter's measurement of only the unit's hot water use. This sucks eggs, and this is why it is illegal in many cities.
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