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Subject: Unable to directly contact our BOD members
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Author Messages
DennisG7
(Georgia)

Posts:123


07/31/2021 4:54 AM  
Our community of single dwelling homes is rather small, only 189 homes. Last year a new MC was hired. It appears that they handle ALL HOA issues, complaints, correspondence, notifications, etc. for the HOA members. During the past several months a large number of HOA members have openly complained about the direction of the Management Company. Attempts to directly contact the 3 BOD members/HOA officers have been thwarted by the MC "agent". Since several BOD members have resigned recently we are unsure who is on the BOD. A request to the MC to identify the current members of the BOD/ HOA officers are has been rebuffed. They are unwilling, at this point, to provide the names of BOD mebers saying if we had any issues or concerns they will address them. I had requested to see a copy of the contract signed between the BOD and the MC. They have refused saying it is propritory information. Previously a copy of the contract used to be posted on the HOA website which has since been taken down by the MC. There has not been an regular HOA member meeting since Feb 2020. From available records it appears there has been no BOD meeting since early Sep 2020. My impression is that the BOD has "Checked out" and is allowing the MC to run everything. Our next election is in Dec and I suspect the BOD will be replaced but in the meantime a large number of HOA members are asking "How can we speak directly to the BOD?"
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Dennisg7
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/31/2021 4:59 AM  
You know what? The MC is hired by the HOA to assist them in daily operations. They don't own the HOA. You do and your neighbors. (Unless still developer owned). So I would simply post to have a special meeting per the requirements in your documents to recall the board. Let me tell you. Nothing would get the board's attention than to hear people want them ousted...

No one has to go through with it but it should send a message of what the issues are. Should create a dialog of changes. That is what sounds like needs to take place. Change.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/31/2021 6:17 AM  
Posted By DennisG7 on 07/31/2021 4:54 AM
"How can we speak directly to the BOD?"
The directors are volunteers. That the Board appears to have directed the management company to handle all queries from owners is perfectly lawful and does not surprise. Your recourse is to either recall the directors or wait until the next annual election and replace them. If you feel other rights you have under Georgia statute or the covenants are being violated, then explain here what you think these rights are and what covenant or statute indicates your rights are being violated. Folks here will have suggestions to help you understand whether in fact your rights are being violated. Then plan on seeing an attorney.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/31/2021 7:40 AM  
I think many here agree that best practices involve a general HOA/board email address that auto-forwards to the board members' individual email addresses. Board members should keep their personal email addresses private, both to separate HOA business from personal business and to avoid being harassed by homeowners (which unfortunately happens).

On one hand, the names of board members should not be a secret. On the other hand, it can happen that one or more homeowners is engaged in a campaign to harass the board, in which case the community manager may run interference as part of their job. And in my experience, many of the issues that homeowners want to send to the board may actually be the manager's responsibility or things that can't be answered until the board has time to meet/discuss/vote.

If I were in the OP's position, I'd look online to see if I can find the name/snail mail address of the HOA's registered agent as well as the manager's snail mail address. Then write a physical letter to the board, address it to one or both addresses (legal stuff to the registered agent, other stuff to the manager), and you're done. In practice you're more likely to get attention from the manager, but it depends on the content of the letter.

I'd send records requests to both and send them certified, return receipt requested since you're apparently being denied something you're entitled to see. In some states a clock starts ticking when the request is made, which is why you want proof that the request was received. I agree with Augustin that a lawyer may be necessary, but this can be expensive so make sure you have your ducks in a row (for example, the law frowns on "fishing expeditions").




KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/31/2021 9:09 AM  
Follow Cathy's advice to get a copy of the contract wbetween your HOA & the Management company (MC). I don't know GA statutes or your governing documents, but generally owners are allowed to view executed contracts.

Does your Board hold open board meetings --may not be required in GA? If so, owners certainly can pose questions, etc. at these meetings.

Just curious: what questions/issues do owners have that cannot be handled by the property manager?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/31/2021 11:44 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 07/31/2021 7:40 AM
I think many here agree that best practices involve a general HOA/board email address that auto-forwards to the board members' individual email addresses. Board members should keep their personal email addresses private, both to separate HOA business from personal business and to avoid being harassed by homeowners (which unfortunately happens).

On one hand, the names of board members should not be a secret. On the other hand, it can happen that one or more homeowners is engaged in a campaign to harass the board, in which case the community manager may run interference as part of their job. And in my experience, many of the issues that homeowners want to send to the board may actually be the manager's responsibility or things that can't be answered until the board has time to meet/discuss/vote.

If I were in the OP's position, I'd look online to see if I can find the name/snail mail address of the HOA's registered agent as well as the manager's snail mail address. Then write a physical letter to the board, address it to one or both addresses (legal stuff to the registered agent, other stuff to the manager), and you're done. In practice you're more likely to get attention from the manager, but it depends on the content of the letter.

I'd send records requests to both and send them certified, return receipt requested since you're apparently being denied something you're entitled to see. In some states a clock starts ticking when the request is made, which is why you want proof that the request was received. I agree with Augustin that a lawyer may be necessary, but this can be expensive so make sure you have your ducks in a row (for example, the law frowns on "fishing expeditions").








Sound advice. My HOA has an MC but we also have a Gmail address where and Email sent is automatically distributed to all BOD Member.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1108


08/01/2021 6:30 AM  
The management company needs to go. Their job is not to run interference for the board and if they think their contract has proprietary information on it, they should have had that corrected before they signed it. What they are doing is unethical, at best and it sounds like they do not know what they are doing.

I agree that you should request a special meeting if your governing documents allow it. Otherwise, research the laws in your state. You are probably entitled to the names and addresses of board members and the contract. If that is true, I would write a letter to the management company advising that you will take all appropriate legal action if they do not comply. Even better, have an attorney do that.
LisaB21
(Texas)

Posts:9


08/01/2021 10:17 AM  
Our HOA (1057 single family homes) contracts a Property Management company on a full time basis and our Community Manager and Assistant Manager field most of the the calls and questions, but we also have an HOA email that goes directly to the Board if a homeowner does not want to go through the PM and feels they want to contact Board members directly. Our names are also listed on the website and the offices we hold. The email address to contact us is prominently displayed on each webpage and our Facebook page.
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