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Subject: Singles versus Family - Social Functions
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Author Messages
RyanS6
(North Carolina)

Posts:4


06/10/2021 6:29 AM  
Covid restrictions only made this worse. We have 1300 single family homes. No condos. Everyone pays the same rate to the master. We have some subs. As of late residents who have 1 or 2 people in their household have been arguing they are being discriminated against because they only get 1 of X and a house of 5 gets 5 of X. We are simply limiting X to residents and not guests. Thoughts on this? I can't find any legal stance on this. There is nothing in any of governing documents about it.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10247


06/10/2021 6:41 AM  
Bad math? Remind everyone it is one member per home. So the number who lives there has no relevance. It's the number of actual members. Which are whomever is on the deed. Each lot pays the same dues unless the rules say otherwise.

Former HOA President
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3973


06/10/2021 6:41 AM  
A little more explanation please - what do you mean by a household of 1 or 2 people get 1 of X - what is X?

With regards to COVID, I would think if someone's renting the flu house for something, social distancing may limit total capacity to X number of people. I don't see where the household size affects that. Likewise if you have a pool, every household should get the same number of passes for guests. I suppose the one or two households think the larger household would be able to have more peoples because those residents automatically get access to the pool because they live there.

If THAT'S the problem, you might limit access to residents only and skip guests altogether until the state or county lifts restrictions. That seems to be happening everywhere so you may want to limit events to homeowners and family members only until that happens. Otherwise, these people may need to make a better case explaining why this is unfair.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8123


06/10/2021 7:56 AM  
Examples of X, please!
RyanS6
(North Carolina)

Posts:4


06/10/2021 8:21 AM  
Sorry say one resident lives by themselves. And another has a family of five that all legally live in the house.

The social committee wants to put on a event at the ball park. And buy 1000 tickets to the game from HOA dues money.

The person of one is saying it’s not fair they only get one ticket and the house of five gets five tickets. Because we all pay the same amount of dues. There is an option to buy more at a discount rate we negotiated with the ball park.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10247


06/10/2021 8:25 AM  
Why using dues to find this in first place?

Former HOA President
RyanS6
(North Carolina)

Posts:4


06/10/2021 8:35 AM  
It’s a social committee function. We have budgeted events we do all the time for the community. This is pretty common in my neck of the woods
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2020


06/10/2021 8:36 AM  
It sounds like the singles are complaining that single people only have one pool pass and a family of five gets five passes, and similar things.

One one hand, I can see their point. Five people will make five times the mess and do five times the damage overall, so the single people are subsidizing the families.

As a single person myself, I say "Yeah. That's right. This is what you agreed to when you chose to live in a community with a large number of families and amenities."

The only way I can see to make things somewhat more fair is to charge usage fees to those who use the amenities, with the fee based on actual headcounts and not one-fee-per-household. It also addresses a similar complaint of "why should I pay for this when I don't use it?". But your governing docs need to allow this. If they don't, you probably won't be able to amend them because the families benefit from the status quo.

(If singles really want to get upset, they should try living in a first floor condo where water is paid for in the assessments and then listen to the family upstairs doing a dozen loads of laundry a week and not fixing their dripping toilets. Grrrrrr....)
RyanS6
(North Carolina)

Posts:4


06/10/2021 8:37 AM  
This is exactly it. Every household gets a punch card for 20 people. The people who are single are upset because households with five members get more “things”.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3973


06/10/2021 8:57 AM  
Once upon a time that five member family was a household of one or two, so that's life. I don't see discrimination in this - if the activity is for residents and their fami!ies, why would the board pay for the service note person to get, say, 5 tickets when it's likely those tickets would be shared with people who don't live there?

That said, I do give a bit of a side eye to association money being spent like this. it's one thing to sponsor a cookout at the clubhouse where the food is meant for the people living in the community and It's held on community property. If it's an event like a baseball game at a park outside the community, it would be better to buy tickets for residents only. That number should be enough to offer the opportunity for people to buy extra tickets at a discount. That way residents can get as many tickets as they can afford.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2020


06/10/2021 9:05 AM  
I agree with Sheila. I personally think social functions should be participant-supported as much as possible. Just because it's legal to tell people to get over it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Why cause resentments when you don't have to?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11059


06/10/2021 9:53 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/10/2021 9:05 AM
I agree with Sheila. I personally think social functions should be participant-supported as much as possible. Just because it's legal to tell people to get over it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Why cause resentments when you don't have to?



I agree. The HOA should not be paying for social functions.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1605


06/10/2021 10:00 AM  
Some developments are specifically marketed as having social functions and hopefully the CCRs are written to support that.

Ryan, what do your governing docs say about funding social activities?

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
ND
(PA)

Posts:600


06/10/2021 12:13 PM  
A couple of thoughts:
- I agree with others that things of this nature should not be paid for from HOA funds but rather funds contributed by those who choose to participate. Problem solved.
- If you choose to use HOA funds, then suggest every household that chooses to participate be given equal allotment of whatever the HOA is buying. In your example, each household should be given the same amount of tickets to the game . . . I suggest 2 tickets per household and then any others needed would have to be purchased. This eliminates the HOA having to track number of residents in each of your 1300 homes and then do some type of verification before issuing however many tickets the homeowner claims they are entitled to. If a person lives alone, then they have an extra ticket to bring a guest (so what).
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:108


06/10/2021 1:08 PM  
Posted By ND on 06/10/2021 12:13 PM
A couple of thoughts:
- I agree with others that things of this nature should not be paid for from HOA funds but rather funds contributed by those who choose to participate. Problem solved.
- If you choose to use HOA funds, then suggest every household that chooses to participate be given equal allotment of whatever the HOA is buying. In your example, each household should be given the same amount of tickets to the game . . . I suggest 2 tickets per household and then any others needed would have to be purchased. This eliminates the HOA having to track number of residents in each of your 1300 homes and then do some type of verification before issuing however many tickets the homeowner claims they are entitled to. If a person lives alone, then they have an extra ticket to bring a guest (so what).




Totally agree with the idea of issuing 2 tickets or so to each household and collecting payment for additional tickets.



Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:195


06/10/2021 4:22 PM  
Cathy, your thinking is the same as mine per topic. Our Association has a number of functions and the residents pay for any costs. We view socializing as a choice and there will always be some owners who do not want to participate in any function. should their assessments be reduced?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8123


06/10/2021 5:38 PM  
Issuing two tix per household, as ND suggests, seems good. Everyone has equal access that way.

All amenities are paid for equally in my HOA and, of course, some folks never use the pool, or the gym, or the Billiards table, or... or. Some lower level condo units rarely use the elevators. Upper floor units use more electricity and "elevator contract than 2nds floor units. Cars parked in the P-3 level put a lot more wear & tear on our ramps to the levels, etc., etc. But that's what everyone purchased. Every unit has equal access to every amenity and component in our HOA.

Though we have a handful of condos w/close to 3,000 sf, the vast majority are 1,100-1,400 sf. We do have a sq. ft variable with larger units paying more for gas, water and building insurance.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2020


06/11/2021 4:20 AM  
Posted By MichaelS56 on 06/10/2021 4:22 PM
Cathy, your thinking is the same as mine per topic. Our Association has a number of functions and the residents pay for any costs. We view socializing as a choice and there will always be some owners who do not want to participate in any function. should their assessments be reduced?



Assessments can't be reduced - they're set by the CC&Rs and can only be changed by amendment.

As far as amenities go, people know ahead of time that they're buying into a community with things such as a pool or clubhouse. Those who don't want to pay for these things can say "nope" and find communities that don't have them.

Social functions are different. I'm only aware of one community in my area where social activities are part of the community's stated purpose (it's a 55+ community for "active adults" and it employs a full-time social director to handle events and manage the amenities). Prospective buyers know what they're getting into, and the ones who do buy want these activities.

There are other communities that have amenities that would support large community events, and I guess that buyers would have to assume such things are a possibility. Other hints: the CC&Rs mention a social committee. But, like others here, I have an issue with using assessments to benefit a subset of owners without anything in the CC&Rs to support such a use - both because boards generally are limited in what they can do by the language in the CC&Rs and because without such language buyers have no way of really knowing what they're buying.

And it's so easy to come up with participant-supported activities. You get the social benefits and you avoid raising unnecessary issues: win-win.
AugustinD


Posts:600


06/11/2021 8:14 AM  
Posted By RyanS6 on 06/10/2021 8:35 AM
It’s a social committee function. We have budgeted events we do all the time for the community. This is pretty common in my neck of the woods
Please quote the covenant that authorizes spending money on social functions such as this outing to the ball park.

Your HOA is going to do what it wants. But it is reckless not to consider the liability that may result once someone figures out the HOA is spending quite a bit of money on things not named in the covenants.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:382


06/11/2021 8:47 AM  
Section 5.2 of my CCRs stated that the Purpose of Assessments

The assessments levied by the Association shall be used exclusively to promote the recreation, health, safety and welfare of the residents in the Property, for the improvement and maintenance of the Association Property and such other purposes as set forth in this Declaration and Bylaws.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:444


06/11/2021 8:55 AM  
The debate over whether an HOA should pay for social events is evergreen on this forum and I don't think anyone ever changes their position so I'm not going to rehash it yet again.


OP, I manage a similar size community and have some suggestions for ways you can offset social committee expenses and mitigate the complaints about bigger families getting "more of X'. Use the power of your large community, which is also a large, highly localized customer base.

Instead of the association providing food, bring in some food trucks to vend. I have been doing this with *huge* success. People who want food can get it, and you don't have to worry about buying, hauling, storing, handling or disposing of food.

I've also had success with letting scout troops, sports teams, cheerleaders etc run a concession stand at events (for their benefit).

Instead of paying for events, get local businesses to sponsor them in exchange for advertising. We had a huge spring carnival, each booth was sponsored by a different local business. Realtors, insurance agents, dentists, local restaurants... They had signage at the booth and in all the advertisements for the events, and if they supplied a volunteer to run the booth they could have their business cards at the booth as well. Even better if the businesses are owned by people who live in the neighborhood. I am lucky to have multiple residents who licensed catering businesses and one who owns a bounce house rental business, DJ's, a photobooth rental... we can put on a professional event just with residents. You probably have a lot of resources too, if you look.

And as others have said, offer group discounts for tickets, instead of buying tickets.

You can have more events, and a bigger variety of events, by self-funding. We used to have one or two events a year, now there's a food truck every Wednesday, four major annual events, and a variety of smaller outings.

Since most of the common areas in the community are drainage or utility easements, there wasn't much that could be built in the way of amenities. (We have two pools, two playgrounds, two parks and a fishing pond but that's not much compared to nearby communities). A robust calendar of social events fills that gap.

AugustinD


Posts:600


06/11/2021 10:05 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/11/2021 8:47 AM
Section 5.2 of my CCRs stated that the Purpose of Assessments

The assessments levied by the Association shall be used exclusively to promote the recreation, health, safety and welfare of the residents in the Property, for the improvement and maintenance of the Association Property and such other purposes as set forth in this Declaration and Bylaws.
Perhaps HOAs should buy health insurance for each resident.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2020


06/11/2021 10:11 AM  
For honks and giggles, I read through my CC&Rs and By-Laws, and they make it pretty clear that assessments are to be used to maintain the physical property of the condominium association, along with payment for things like utilities, insurance, taxes, and wages for employees needed to provide for these things.

Nowhere does it mention recreation or welfare of the residents. There is some vague language in the By-Laws giving the board the right to include "other expenses" but only ones that have been approved by the majority of the membership. Since my community has no amenities or areas suitable for recreation, we basically self-select for members who aren't interested in these things. It's unlikely that social events would receive the necessary votes.

So at least part of the disagreement over this topic arises from the fact that some CC&Rs allow spending for it and some pretty clearly do not. And as others have said, if your CC&Rs do not, then it's perfectly doable to host events without using association funds.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1244


06/11/2021 10:28 AM  
In this day and age I would stay away from hosting any familial status type parties, you don't want the participation trophy generation to get angry and file a complaint with all the alphabet agencies with you.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11059


06/11/2021 11:10 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/11/2021 10:05 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/11/2021 8:47 AM
Section 5.2 of my CCRs stated that the Purpose of Assessments

The assessments levied by the Association shall be used exclusively to promote the recreation, health, safety and welfare of the residents in the Property, for the improvement and maintenance of the Association Property and such other purposes as set forth in this Declaration and Bylaws.
Perhaps HOAs should buy health insurance for each resident.



Or breakfast in bed on Sundays.
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