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Subject: HOA blocking speech between owners
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Author Messages
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/20/2021 3:32 PM  
As a retired carpenter I know a lot about construction and maintenance of buildings. Over the last 7 years I have helped my friends and neighbors with issues pertaining to this subject.
I just got a violation notice that says that I can not talk to contractors or other owners about work being done on and around our buildings.
The only contact I have had with a contractor was a couple of weeks ago when a paving contractor came out to try to fix a mistake they made in grading our new asphalt, leaving a large puddle of water on our drive that used to drain out to the main drive and then to the sewer. I had requested from our management company that someone be here to monitor what would be done, but no board member of rep from the management company was here.
I did not try to tell the workers what to do, only that what they did was not the right thing to do as I foresee winter with frozen puddles on the new asphalt, and there is still water sitting on the drive after rain.

As far as talking with other owners, of course we talk. I have become good friends with many of the owners and have helped others with advice or helped make repairs.

The sections of the Bylaws that the attorney quoted had nothing to do with talking to other owners.
One section simply says the affairs of the Association shall be vested in the board.
The other: Contracts. The board may authorize...........approve contracts, in the name of the Association.
I reviewed our Bylaws and the Declarations..... nothing I see is about owners not being able to talk to each other about HOA affairs.

Last sentence of letter: As a homeowner, you are not authorized to contact contractors or other homeowners regarding work being done on the community property.
It seems that if any violation has occurred, it is my right to free speech.

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4216


08/20/2021 3:53 PM  
Hi Brad
Lawyer's letters sometimes go too far. Put aside the nonsense that you can't talk to your neighbors. That's got no weight behind it and it's just meant to scare you.

Instead, put your attention on the portion of the letter about not talking to vendors. In your expert opinion, not about carpentry but about project management and control, do you think that the Board should have the right to tell you to stay out of their lane?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


08/20/2021 4:15 PM  
Well if the board paid the contractor and your not on the board, then you should not be talking to the contractor. You may know what your doing. However, it's NOT in your lane to do so. If you want to be involved, then get on your board or volunteer to help in this area. Otherwise this is in no way to be an offense, but your getting in the way.

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/20/2021 4:18 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 08/20/2021 4:15 PM
Well if the board paid the contractor and your not on the board, then you should not be talking to the contractor. You may know what your doing. However, it's NOT in your lane to do so. If you want to be involved, then get on your board or volunteer to help in this area. Otherwise this is in no way to be an offense, but your getting in the way.



Wow, seriously, it is that homeowners and other alike that pay the contractor. Whta's your BS line, a HOA is only funded by the HOA. That guy IS the HOA!
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/20/2021 5:07 PM  
BradT4, I am sorry your HOA has a bona fide, money grubbing fool for an attorney. Of course you have every legal right to speak to other owners about concerns you have. All the other owners and you have what is called a legal interest in the common area of the HOA. You have a legal right to elect whomever to the board.

I agree with others here that you should try to avoid speaking with vendors.

You can consider writing the board a short, polite note quoting the attorney's letter, stating you have every legal right to speak to other owners; the attorney is wrong to try to order you otherwise; and you regret that HOA funds were used on this letter.

Do not write the attorney directly.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


08/20/2021 5:17 PM  
No, no, no, Max. Once again, you know what Melissa meant, but are trying to be snarky for no good reason.

It's one thing to remind homeowners if they have questions or concerns about vendors to go to the board of property managet. Otherwise, you get people asking/demanding all sorts of stuff that's beyond the contract and costs the association more money, not to mention confusion as to who said what, who had the authority to change the contract and all that BS.

That said, I agree it was heavy handed to tell the OP not to talk to other homeowners about the work - that's just silly and unreasonable. I suspect someone got into his/her feelings too much. I'd probably write a strongly worded letter to the board about this and go to the next meeting and repeat it (yes, you can do it in a professional, but firm and calm manner).
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/20/2021 5:22 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 08/20/2021 5:17 PM
No, no, no, Max. Once again, you know what Melissa meant, but are trying to be snarky for no good reason.

It's one thing to remind homeowners if they have questions or concerns about vendors to go to the board of property managet. Otherwise, you get people asking/demanding all sorts of stuff that's beyond the contract and costs the association more money, not to mention confusion as to who said what, who had the authority to change the contract and all that BS.

That said, I agree it was heavy handed to tell the OP not to talk to other homeowners about the work - that's just silly and unreasonable. I suspect someone got into his/her feelings too much. I'd probably write a strongly worded letter to the board about this and go to the next meeting and repeat it (yes, you can do it in a professional, but firm and calm manner).



I know exactly what Melissa and I know what I said. I would tell the PM to stick it where the sun don't shine, this coming from the owner of a management company. IF, the vendor felt the homeowner crossed the line, I would heard about it and deal with accordiingly.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/20/2021 6:55 PM  
Brad, are you by any chance on a committee at your HOA or do you have some kind of authorization from the Board as a whole to interact with vendors? If not, I agree you should not. You'd take pics of the problem and send them to the Board via management expressing your concerns.

It might seem unreasonable, but Boards need to be aware of possible liability issues (an owner creating a hostile work environment by directly criticizing a vendor) or even of losing a good vendor due to owner interference. It's very possible the Vendor did complain to management about you.

In our HOA, all vendors are instructed to inform any resident who tries to tell them how to do their job, or complains, that the resident should present their views to management. So I can see the Board's concern. I do wonder why they jumped right into a letter from the attorney instead of a polite letter to you from the Board first.

The Board has no right to demand you not speak with other owners about ongoing work in your HOA. Sounds like the Board thinks you're "causing trouble" so are trying to quell your interactions on that topic.

MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/20/2021 8:03 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 08/20/2021 5:17 PM
No, no, no, Max. Once again, you know what Melissa meant, but are trying to be snarky for no good reason.

It's one thing to remind homeowners if they have questions or concerns about vendors to go to the board of property managet. Otherwise, you get people asking/demanding all sorts of stuff that's beyond the contract and costs the association more money, not to mention confusion as to who said what, who had the authority to change the contract and all that BS.

That said, I agree it was heavy handed to tell the OP not to talk to other homeowners about the work - that's just silly and unreasonable. I suspect someone got into his/her feelings too much. I'd probably write a strongly worded letter to the board about this and go to the next meeting and repeat it (yes, you can do it in a professional, but firm and calm manner).



You should diect your remarks to Brad, as he is the one who got the unfortumnate letter. If I were told to have this letter written, I would tell the Board to write it themselves. I have had homeowners interact with vendors all the time and in all these years have never had an issue, never. Now, I have gotten many letters from the attorney at my HOA always initiated by the PM, not the Board, costing in the neighborhood of $20K. So, yeah, kinda know what Brad feels like.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


08/21/2021 2:38 AM  
This is ridiculous.

You can talk to anyone you want.
You said it was a violation letter, did it have a fine attached?

The important thing you said.... you did not in any way tell the contractor what to do..
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/21/2021 12:46 PM  
Brad

Let me play the Devil's Advocate. Did vendors complain about your "nosing in" on work being done?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2600


08/21/2021 1:18 PM  
Reasons why associations want to limit homeowners talking directly to vendors:

* Homeowners will probably be missing some important info even if they sit through every board meeting.

* It confuses the vendors since they don't know whom they're supposed to talk to and they may receive contradictory information.

* It slows the vendors down and distracts them from their work. If the association is paying for their time, this wastes money. And everyone who has held a paying job knows how aggravating it is when you're interrupted while trying to get your work done.

* Vendors won't know anything beyond the specifics of their current job. Anything related to the HOA is out of their lane.

* If the association pays the PM to supervise contractors, it interferes with the PM's ability to do their job.

* Depending on how confrontational the homeowner is, a vendor may decide not to bid on future jobs for this association. (Yes, this happens.)

Homeowners who want to know something should direct their questions to the PM or to the board. Chances are that if one person wants to know something, then others may also want to know - and the PM and board can't answer people's questions if they don't know about them.

Of course homeowners can talk among themselves, but this is how misinformation gets spread and homeowners should understand the limits of that particular communication channel. It's why board members should provide the relevant information themselves (open board meetings, websites, newsletters, email blasts, etc.).
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/21/2021 2:06 PM  
I interviewed one contractor and one of the first things he asked me was this an HOA, and I said yes. He replied, I am sorry but I will not do work for an association. I asked him why. He said they are always nickel and diming on the price. They change their minds how/what in the middle of the job. Several people will tell me I am on the BOD and then proceed to give directions how I should do things. In the middle of the job the BOD changes and the new BOD wants to renegotiate the contract. They are slow payers. He said thanks, but no thanks.

Same as we have several owners who try and tell the landscaper how they want things done. Our landscaper tell his people to call him (Raymond), the owner when people bug them (we have 2-3 out of 112 that do it). Raymond then tells the owner to send an email to or call the BOD as he takes directions only from the BOD.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/21/2021 2:10 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 08/21/2021 2:06 PM
I interviewed one contractor and one of the first things he asked me was this an HOA, and I said yes. He replied, I am sorry but I will not do work for an association. I asked him why. He said they are always nickel and diming on the price. They change their minds how/what in the middle of the job. Several people will tell me I am on the BOD and then proceed to give directions how I should do things. In the middle of the job the BOD changes and the new BOD wants to renegotiate the contract. They are slow payers. He said thanks, but no thanks.


Sounds like there is an issue with th BOD, not the owners.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 2:17 PM  
Hello NpS and thanks for your input.
I am really not concerned about contacting vendors.....because I do not do that. Why they think that I have contacted contractors.......Read through and you may see a reason why they think that.
If the boards lane is to take care of our property and they or the PM are not doing that, then I think all home owners have a right to jump into the lane. Right or Wrong?

Presently, I am very concerned about what is now happening to some of our units and how a remedy to stop it has been ignored for years. We are in 2 story town homes, 4 connected in a row with 4 units across from our main drive.
Many of our building have experienced water leaks and now insects chewing away portions of the beams and framing beneath the wood siding. Most is probably the result of caulk that has been placed where it should never be including in the window weep holes. That is going to cost every owner, especially if we end up with interior damage as well.

I guess I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.
That in itself is too long of a story for what is happening now.

When the paving contractor arrived and started working on my drive to try to resolve the large puddle of water on my newly paved drive, I watched from inside my garage.
Frankly, I had no idea what they might try to do because I knew from old pictures that the asphalt at the end of my drive where it connects to the drive for 8 units, was raised more that 2 inches in elevation. That created back flow into my drive instead of water flowing into the main drive as before.
The contractor approached me to tell me what they were going to do. I only said "Okay, do what you think you need to. Personally, I thought right away that it was not a good idea. I also realize it is not my responsibility to tell them what to do.
I asked for, but no one from the board or Management company was here to supervise. After the workers left, I sent email to the board and PM stating my thoughts along with pictures.

I believe that a few board members are trying to scare me into keeping quiet about many of the other issues that are not being taken care of as far as maintenance. Undermining sidewalks and many that are sinking. Some over 2 inches. Leaks in many units that is caused by caulk not allowing water that gets behind siding to have a place to drain.
When I see something wrong, I do not just tell the board, I support it with documents so they can see for themselves. I was doing that when I was a board member. However, to me it felt like they did not want to know what the correct thing to do would be. Only how to put a band-aid on it and move on. I even suggested to find professional building inspectors, not contractors to see what issues need to be fixed and the right way to do it.

I got the violation letter the day after a board meeting this week. They are being conducted by phone at this time. I mention this because during that meeting, the issue that I was dealing with as a board member, has now come back to haunt our owners.
We have wood lap siding and there has been caulk put where it should never be. That caulk is trapping water behind the siding. I told the board in 2019 that caulk in this location will cause wood rot an leaking into the units. Nothing has been done about it.

Now my next door neighbor on the south end of our building has an insect infestation which is a result of the caulk,(The contract told the neighbor). Two large and very long trim boards have been removed. Windows may have to be removed if the framing structure is too compromised.

The board also said that they are now debating if it is the HOA or the home owner that is responsible to pay for the extermination of insects and cost to fix the damage.
During the meeting while discussing the issue, one of the board members said he might have the same issue.
Today a crew is out there on the south end of his unit, removing the same boards between stacks of windows that are in their 18 foot high living room area.

I have contacted a couple of attorneys to see what I might need to do. No response as of yet.
I guess I should send a letter to the board and contest the accusations that have no merit.


BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 2:37 PM  
Hello MelissaP
No offense is taken. I realize that not enough information was provided.

I guess I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.

The board does not pay the contractors. We, the owners pay the contractors.
So owners should get in the "Lane", but not with the contractors. They are hired to do a job. That's all I would know if it were I doing the job.
It is our lousy management company that is failing our board and the board refuses to see that.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 2:39 PM  
You got that right.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/21/2021 2:48 PM  
Brad

Time for you to step up again and get back on the BOD and work for like minded thinkers to get elected.

In one townhouse association (3 level townhomes, each with a garage, 4 townhomes per building, 40 buildings, 160 owners) we were having siding issues so bad it required replacing all siding with a different type as the original siding was no longer manufactured. They also did other things such as replace all garage doors and front stoops. It resulted in an assessment of $25K to $30K per unit. Association did a great job in explaining and arranging financing. Over 90% of all owners voted yes. The place looked awesome once everything was done.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1108


08/21/2021 3:10 PM  
As you can see from some of the responses, there are people in HOAs who think somehow they can control who you talk to. Obviously, the board runs the business of the HOA and you have no right to negotiate contracts or direct vendors and contractors but you, of course, have every right to talk to any person you choose to. Any suggestion that you do not is laughable.

By the same token, any owner or contractor has a right to refuse to talk to you. There is also a fine line between being helpful and harassing someone. I encourage every homeowner to stay involved with their association and the best way to do that is work with the HOA whenever possible.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 3:15 PM  
Hey Cathy, thanks for your input.
I guess I made a mistake in the way I presented my question.
I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.
All of your information has good points.

One large problem, Your point: If the association pays the PM to supervise contractors, it interferes with the PM's ability to do their job. We do pay for a management company who is supposed to "supervise the contractors". I never see anyone doing that supervising.

Here is a case when an owner, one who has knowledge of the work being done, should step in.
We had windows replaced in 2017. Partly because we wanted new low E glass but mostly because of severe leaking occurring around the window.
There were a number of issues that went wrong. The HOA was paying for part of the window replacement. The leaks had to be found before putting in new windows. No one from the management company was here to supervise the installation.

First, the windows that were delivered were not manufactured the way they were supposed to be by the contract. The installers were not looking for the leaks we were having. Siding was to be removed to find out where the water was getting in. That too was part of the contract and that portion was paid by the HOA. This I would blame on lack of communication by the window company with their workers.
I called the contractors office (not our PM) to speak with the management and have someone come out because those issues were not being done. The 6 hour job turned into a 2 day job.
All new trim had to be ordered because the windows were made the wrong size. Multiple issues with no supervision. If I had not known and watched what was being done, we would still have leaks and the window warranty may have been void.

BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 3:27 PM  
Hi BenA2
Thanks for your response. I did laugh,...........a little. But I was more in disbelief of what they said.

I guess I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.

When I was doing carpentry, I certainly would not have wanted someone hovering over me and telling me how to do my job.......unless it was my boss.

All my neighbors wish that I was still on the board, but I could not work with those who did not want my help. It was like a click that was in love with the PM.

Now I just need to know how to respond to the board, they are wasting money on attorney fees and I don't want to add to that.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 3:33 PM  
Thanks John for the words of encouragement.

Before I could run for the board again, I would have to know that we would replace at least the 3 that were not doing what they are elect to do.
It is really unfortunate that things that I pointed out years ago have been ignored and will now start costing all of us more money than it would have.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 3:47 PM  
I guess I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.

To answer your question: The worker that I had only about of a minutes conversation with, came to me. I did not bother them or ask more questions while they were here doing their work.
If the vendor complained, it would have been to the PM I guess.

Just very laughable that they tell me not to speak to other owners. We all have a right to know what is being done here. The latest development is insect infestation. Two units near mine has had the outside trim boards removed on two levels for extermination and possible framing replacement. This can be attributed to caulk that has been placed where it should never be.
I told the board about this a few years ago but nothing has been done to remove the caulk.
I can bet that there will be no notification in our newsletter of what to watch for to catch this problem early. The board wants to hide all of this.

Today, one board member has the same problem. Workers are taking out boards as I write.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 3:53 PM  
No fine was attached, but I wonder if I need to respond to the board to contest the accusations.
I have sat down and reread the Bylaws and Declarations. I can not find anything that talks about not talking to contractors or to owners.

I have reached out to two lawyers, but no response yet.
All of us owners talk to each other about the affairs of our HOA.
How else would a person run for the board and find issues that need to be solved?
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 4:04 PM  
Thanks for your reply August and your advice.

I guess I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.

The paving contractor worker approached me as I was watching them work in my drive. He told me what they were going to try to do to git rid of the standing water. All I said was "Okay, do what you need to do.
When they were done I did tell them that I did not think it was the right thing to do. When winter comes, the water will not be able to run off the drive on the sides because that will be frozen ground with piles of ice and snow. He then said he would discuss with his boss if there is another option.

I did reach out to two attorneys to see if there may be something I should do. But you are right, I should not talk to the HOA attorney or that could cause more problems.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/21/2021 4:13 PM  
I guess I could have written a much larger analogy of what has taken place as it seems many answering got the impression that I am contacting contractors or try to tell them what to do. That is not the case. I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.

I am not trying to cause trouble, only trying to protect mine and other owners interest in our property.
The mistakes that the paving contractor made needs to be addressed so it does not continue to happen to other owner during a three year re-paving project.

We have another issue that just popped up. That is something I pointed out to the board a few years ago and now is costing us all money to fix. So yeah, they know what I know and want to keep it a secret.
There fore they are probably looking at me like a trouble maker.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/21/2021 5:03 PM  
Posted By BradT4 on 08/21/2021 2:17 PM
If the boards lane is to take care of our property and they or the PM are not doing that,
You are correct that, per the CC&Rs and nonprofit corporation act, the board's lane is to maintain the property as the CC&Rs dictate.
then I think all home owners have a right to jump into the lane.
Please quote here the section of your CC&Rs that says individual owners have the lawful power to give directions to contractors/vendors. Please quote here the section of your CC&Rs that says an individual owner has the power to contract on behalf of the HOA and make changes to the contract.

There is a name for owners who violate the covenants; represent themselves as acting on behalf of the corporation when they do not have the power to do it: Ultra vires. Acting "ultra vires" (as though you are the corporation when you are not) typically violates not only the CC&Rs but also, state statutes.

If you want the vendor/contractors to do things differently, then send a letter to the board asking thusly. Even better, get elected to the board.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2600


08/22/2021 4:29 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/21/2021 5:03 PM
Posted By BradT4 on 08/21/2021 2:17 PM
If the boards lane is to take care of our property and they or the PM are not doing that,
You are correct that, per the CC&Rs and nonprofit corporation act, the board's lane is to maintain the property as the CC&Rs dictate.
then I think all home owners have a right to jump into the lane.
Please quote here the section of your CC&Rs that says individual owners have the lawful power to give directions to contractors/vendors. Please quote here the section of your CC&Rs that says an individual owner has the power to contract on behalf of the HOA and make changes to the contract.

There is a name for owners who violate the covenants; represent themselves as acting on behalf of the corporation when they do not have the power to do it: Ultra vires. Acting "ultra vires" (as though you are the corporation when you are not) typically violates not only the CC&Rs but also, state statutes.

If you want the vendor/contractors to do things differently, then send a letter to the board asking thusly. Even better, get elected to the board.



Adding to what Augustin said, I agree that if the board and PM are not doing their jobs, then the homeowners should step in.

The thing is, there are correct and legal ways to "step in" and there are... all the other ways that folks tend to choose because they're easier.

The correct way involves getting a like-minded majority on the board who know what they're doing and who will hire a skilled PM to manage the property. This is a lot of work, and involves a certain amount of listening to homeowners who are convinced that they know better and that the board and PM don't know squat. This happens regardless of which party knows squat, and to outside observers the behavior looks exactly the same no matter who the ignorant parties are.

If someone is not doing a good job, you either get the person's skills up to snuff or you replace the person if that's not possible. It is never correct to jump in and do the person's job for them. The latter is tempting and may even work in the short run, but in the long run it's counterproductive.

If homeowners want to talk among themselves and get organized to elect better-informed board members who will make good decisions, that's good. If that's not the end goal, then all the talk is just griping to no purpose.




KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/22/2021 9:26 AM  
Cathy wrote: "If homeowners want to talk among themselves and get organized to elect better-informed board members who will make good decisions, that's good. If that's not the end goal, then all the talk is just griping to no purpose." Yes!

Brad was a board member and, for some reason, is not now. If he's trying to find others to join him back on the Board, yes, that good.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4216


08/22/2021 11:20 AM  
Posted By BradT4 on 08/21/2021 2:17 PM
I have not contacted or spoken with any contractor since I was asked to do that in 2019 when I was a board member. Back then, I was butting heads with the PM who knew nothing about construction and was constantly telling people wrong things to do and many times it was not the correct person who was told to do something ridiculous. All the documents I sent seemed to go unheard.

The board also said that they are now debating if it is the HOA or the home owner that is responsible to pay for the extermination of insects and cost to fix the damage.
During the meeting while discussing the issue, one of the board members said he might have the same issue.
Today a crew is out there on the south end of his unit, removing the same boards between stacks of windows that are in their 18 foot high living room area.


So it appears that there were construction-related disagreement between you and others when you were on the Board.
Also, Board Members are taking care of their own on the HOA's dime, while they debate who should for the same work on other houses.

It might be helpful if you shared how long you were on the Board, whether you were able to accomplish any of your objectives, and why you are no longer on the Board.

It might also be helpful to know your Association's status re reserve studies. When was the last one? Were the items described here in the last reserve study? Were reserve studies discussed when you were on the Board?

Thanks.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/22/2021 2:15 PM  
Brad Thomson

2:52 PM (42 minutes ago)

Okay, I have to jump back a few years. I became aboard member in May 2018. I believed that with all my construction back ground I could help our board to make decisions with the best information I could provide to them. In September I was removed by the BOD given only that I was swamping them and the internet to the point that they could not do their work.
During my short 5 month stent as a board member, not only was I trying to do the treasurer job with no help from the exiting treasurer or the board, I was also trying to learn proper procedures. With not one board meeting during that time, and only email as means to communicate, I found it near impossible to get answers to items about finances. I could not find the correct billing for shared expenses with the neighboring Association for drive repairs. There were several emails between our PM and the other Association, but every time there where different amounts to the billing and the square footage changed and was not correct. I have survey tools that allowed me to quickly measure what was done.
I also became aware that the current board seemed to be in love with the PM, finding she could do no wrong. I was repeatedly finding her mistakes or that she was telling the wrong owner about issues they had to fix, or telling them to do things that they should not. Before becoming a board member, I myself had issues with her and heard many others tell me how badly they were treated by her. Now I was stuck working with her, so I had to bite my tongue about many other complaints about her.
As far as the Association's status reserve studies, I believe that is happening now at the end of our fiscal year. There were many documents that all owners were supposed to be getting and was one of my request. After I was removed, many of the issues that were lacking, began to happen. Many residents said it was because I was looking into those that they are now providing what our Bylaws call for.
Being removed from the board was actually a release for me as I was getting worried that there was too much not being done correctly. Even our Attorney General's office said they were missing documents that were supposed to be filed. Once removed, I did not pursue that issue.

Again, I think there is misunderstanding about what I am trying to say. By getting in the BOD's lane, I only mean to take action with the board or to make changes to the board.
The two items you want me to quote from the CC&R do not exist. Just as the two sections that were quoted to me that are supposed to say owners are forbidden to talk to contractors or other owners about HOA business do not exist.
I absolutely agree that it is not my place to tell any contractor what to do. And I will say it again, I have not done that at all. Even when I was on the board and was asked to look at an issue, it was not the contractor that I talked to, it was our PM. Then the PM would review and relay whatever needed to go to the contractor.
I have no desire to tell any contractor how to do their job. I also know that if I see something being done that is not correct and maybe even harmful to our buildings, I have to inform the PM.
That is exactly what I did with my driveway issue. I never told the workers what to do.
The PM takes out the contract and it is up to the PM to supervise that work. If I were the worker and an owner was trying to tell me how to do my job, I would tell that owner to get in touch with my boss and I would continue my job until told by my immediate supervisor to stop.

The biggest issue out of all this is being told that I am not authorized to talk with any of our home owners about what is being done here. I do not represent myself as a board member and all who know me, know that.
It has been the history or Method of Operation for the entire 7 years that I have been here, for the board or the PM to try to hide things that we all should have a right to know.
Example: 2017 all roofs were replaced including all the roof vents. Early 2018 I was having a problem with our dryer. The controls failed and had to be replaced. A few weeks later the same controls failed again. I then discovered that my roof vent for the dryer was completely blocked with lint. I fixed that myself and bought a dryer vent cleaning kit to clean the 30feet of line.
Next I found out that almost every roof vent for dryers in our HOA were blocked as well. With a board meeting in 2 days I knew I had to go to bring up this most dangerous fire hazard.
The board said thanks for bringing it up, we will look into it. I felt that a potential fire hazard was something that demanded immediate action, like knocking on doors or leaving a notice taped to the door. Of course I told my neighbors and friends so they were aware.
2 weeks went by before a newsletter was sent. In that there was no mention of the serious situation, only that each owner is responsible to have their dryer vents cleaned.
Through my research, I found out what type of vent was used and where they were purchased. Pictures I took of the roofs being replaced also had the boxes that they came in. Those boxes contain the warning: Not to be used for dryer venting. Basically, those vents are for bathrooms only. They are not big enough and not designed to prevent lint build up.
All this was reported to the board and the PM. Nothing was ever done except the screens were removed from all the roof vents, whether they were bath vents or not. I eventually found out that many other owners had problems with their dryer and in some cases, the vent line in their attack spaces blew apart. This again cost owners because of a mistake made by the roofing company and the lack of supervision by our PM.

The current issue that all owners should be told about is the potential for insect infestation, damage to structure and water leaks because caulk has been placed over flashing where the water is supposed to drain. Even the weep holes for windows have been caulked shut. I opened mine after learning from a neighbor it happened to them. I have not looked at all of our buildings, however, I do know that some have this caulk running the full length as mine does and some do not.
I obviously do not see everything that happens here, but right now two owners have this issue. The board is trying to say that it may be the windows that cause the leaks. That is obviously an attempt to put all costs on the individual owners. Now through word of mouth, the workers hired by the HOA PM told the owner that the caulk should have never been there and it does cause wood rot, insects and other damage. This is something I told the board and the PM about in 2019.
I truly only want to protect myself and other owners' interest in our properties. I would be a board member but I could not work with people who are trying to hide the truth and not protect the owners.
Because of the poor treatment many owners have had, most do not want to even bother going to board meetings or get involved by becoming a board member.


AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/22/2021 2:50 PM  
Posted By BradT4 on 08/22/2021 2:15 PM
Just as the two sections that were quoted to me that are supposed to say owners are forbidden to talk to contractors or other owners about HOA business do not exist.
This depends on what you mean by "talk."

But I dig that you are dug into your position that owners can interrupt vendors, tell them what to do and so on. Hopefully the vendors just ignore owners who are violating the covenants by trying to disrupt the vendors' work or by giving instructions that only the board or manager should give.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/22/2021 2:59 PM  
Really, is this what living in an HOA is supposed to be like, living in Nazi Germany o maybe Stalins USSR?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


08/22/2021 3:04 PM  
Whew, that's a lot, and its really sad. I don't know people are afraid of others who are actually willing to do the job. Then again, people love to talk about qualified people serving on the board when in fact they're intimidated by anyone who actually has a clue about what to do. It's really sad how do many people in this country are just fine with ineptitude.

Generally, homeowners, not the board can toss a HOA board member, either through recall or simply voting them out. You said You were tossed after five months, so either this board did one he'll of an end run around the documents and your neighbors, or there's a lot more to this story you're not telling us.

After the surfside condo collapse, I would hope many more people would begin taking a long look at their documents and what their board's are really doing, but your neighbors are acting like so many others in that come away wanting to know less about the problems. They think of they don't see it and it's not addressed, it doesn't exist, or it'll sort itself or disappear. Just like some people thought (and still think) about COVID.

I wish I had some answers for you, but the homeowners are going to have to fix this. You can't have a handful of people dominate a large community unless..people don't read the financials or back off of someone snaps at them for asking questions, don't attend meetings and all that.

These people really can't stop you from talking to your neighbors, so keep doing that. I said earlier it's one thing not to talk to the vendors directly, so your conversations should be about the board. The vendor thing is just a sample of other bad behavior they may be doing, but people will have to investigate and make up their own minds. That may be when you really start to see positive change. Until then stand your ground. Try not to make it personal but make THEM prove your asking questions about vendors is so bloody disruptive. Hopefully this doesn't turn into legal action, but if it dors, that doesn't mean they'll eon. It may be a judge will be the one to make them see the ight (and they won't like it.). In the meantime, you'll need to consider how far you want to go because this can get very uncomfortable very quickly. You may be the only one standing up for a whike, but people will be watching. Some still won't care, but a few might be persuaded to join you. That's where revolutions begin. Good luck in whatever you do.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/22/2021 3:17 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 08/22/2021 2:59 PM
Really, is this what living in an HOA is supposed to be like, living in Nazi Germany o maybe Stalins USSR?
I knew an owner who was constantly screaming at vendors. He packed a gun. Now and then he had his large dog with him. The HOA documented like crazy and easily won a restraining order against him.

Brad is concerned about safety issues. This sounds like his excuse for not following the covenants when it comes to communications. Obviously he did not always get what he wanted using his methods. One would hope this would make him think about the most effective ways to get action, including contracting appropriate regulatory agencies, and including winning over enough owners so that he and others who felt as he did could win a majority of the board seats. For whatever reason, he cannot do this. Maybe he should take stock of what it's worth to live there in some misery. You can't always get what you want.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4216


08/22/2021 3:29 PM  
Ok. So the BOD terminated you after 5 months. I will assume that you weren't elected by the membership, but instead you were selected by the BOD to fill an open position. You were given the Treasurer role.

It seems that nothing worked out. You expected more support on the Treasurer position and you expected quicker response on the construction problems you identified. Meanwhile, whether these things happened while you were on the BOD or not, you were also upset that the documents you wanted were not made available to you and your community, you didn't like how cozy the PM was with the BOD, you reached out to the AG's office to complain, and you raised concerns with some of your neighbors.

That's a tough spot you were in. But I can also see where the BOD could have thought that you put them in a hard spot.

Did they do stupid things? Yup. Did they cover for themselves? Yup.

That's not unusual for many HOAs. None of what you wrote seems out of the ordinary at many HOAs I am familiar with. I'm not saying it's right - I'm only saying it's commonplace. And I've never heard of anyone winning a lawsuit over the things you described.

I know they could have done things differently and more to your liking. But what about you?

If you had it to do again, could you have done more to work with the other BOD members? Or could you get people who think like you to run for the BOD?

It took years for many posters on this site to get on their BOD and be joined by like-minded owners. Only then were they able to make significant change.

Perhaps, you should think about the effort needed to make a significant transformation.

Do I think you'll get relief from the AGs office or your own lawyer on the stuff you want done? Probably not. Just my opinion tho.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/22/2021 3:43 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/22/2021 3:17 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 08/22/2021 2:59 PM
Really, is this what living in an HOA is supposed to be like, living in Nazi Germany o maybe Stalins USSR?
I knew an owner who was constantly screaming at vendors. He packed a gun. Now and then he had his large dog with him. The HOA documented like crazy and easily won a restraining order against him.

Brad is concerned about safety issues. This sounds like his excuse for not following the covenants when it comes to communications. Obviously he did not always get what he wanted using his methods. One would hope this would make him think about the most effective ways to get action, including contracting appropriate regulatory agencies, and including winning over enough owners so that he and others who felt as he did could win a majority of the board seats. For whatever reason, he cannot do this. Maybe he should take stock of what it's worth to live there in some misery. You can't always get what you want.



Please cite what covenant Brad has broken! There is substantial difference in quoting a covenant allowing you to talk with a vendor and citing a covenant that he violated. Being that you have read thousand and thousands of CCRs and case law, you should be able to cite a whole bunch of examples written into the CCRs.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


08/22/2021 4:17 PM  
Here's a twist for you. Yes I agree owners/ Residents have no business interfering with vendors. it it one thing to talk with them and ask equations about specific aspects about the work being performed. Once they cross that boundary from asking questions to making demands and interfering with the vendor, all bets are off. Recently I have had issues with two owners at a property I patrol. One resident told me to stop driving down their cup-de-sac because his kids are riding bicycles. Another resident was losing their milk complaining i, we don't drive past their home because they have motion sensors and their cameras don't go off. We'll i have GPS tacking that proves I drive past the home. Bummer I made incident reports out on both individuals that go directly to the HOA. One of these lovely people in kind called my boss to say that I speed and drive recklessly down the streets.

So, My feelings are If you are not on the board or on the committee, Stay the flock away and ZIP YOUR LIP.


AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/22/2021 4:33 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 08/22/2021 3:43 PM
Please cite what covenant Brad has broken!
Sure. Show me the money.

I do not think much of this HOA's attorney for telling BradT4 that he cannot talk to owners. Depending on this HOA attorney's exact wording, perhaps the HOA attorney deserves a letter to the state disciplinary board. No real punishment will result, as BradT4 is not the HOA attorney's client. But it will cost this attorney a fair amount of time and maybe cause this attorney to think twice before he orders someone without an attorney not to talk about HOA business with fellow owners. Plus this HOA attorney billed the HOA for his time issuing an order ('don't talk to owners about HOA vendors' et cetera) with negative legal merit and potentially either raising liability issues or certainly promoting more stupid exchanges costing everyone time and money. Is this HOA attorney among those HOA attorneys who know their bread, butter and heated swimming pools depend on how much dissent they can stir up among HOA owners?

BradT4 is also dismayed about insect intrusion. I would bet rightly so. But at this forum's members' requests, he's also sitting there relating to this forum how he has told the Board a number of times where the Board has taken incorrect steps. BradT4, do you know how many of us here have experienced this same situation? Do you know how many of us here have realized that the process of getting things done, and done the "right way", at a HOA/COA is, as the line goes, uglier than making sausage?

Brad posted:
Posted By BradT4 on 08/20/2021 3:32 PM
I did not try to tell the workers what to do, only that what they did was not the right thing to do as I foresee winter with frozen puddles on the new asphalt, and there is still water sitting on the drive after rain.
Brad implied that the Illinois attorney general should take action on some missing documents. BradT4 claims there is nothing in the covenants that says an owner should not be directing vendors. I wish BradT4 could see that these positions of his could be seen by others as not very compelling arguments to support him. Quite the opposite, IMO.

I am not perfect. Just saying.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1108


08/22/2021 4:49 PM  
Posted By LetA

So, My feelings are If you are not on the board or on the committee, Stay the flock away and ZIP YOUR LIP.





It would be great if every owner were more involved in their HOA but, regardless of the reason for not serving, each and every one of them have a right to voice their opinions and monitor what is going on. The owners are the HOA.

Obviously, interfering with contractors and vendors is not ok.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/22/2021 6:03 PM  
Aren't board meetings supposed to be open in IL, Brad. You somewhere suggested they aren't? I, too, wondered how the Board threw you off the Board and surmised they must have appointed you. Is that right?

I disagree with LetA,who is a director, that it's OK to ask vendors "questions" about their work while they're doing it. Leave them alone. When we had the exterior sof our twin towers painted a couple of years ago, with painters on every one of our 300+ balconies along with on swing stages outside our windows, ALL residents were instructed to NOT speak to them, ask them questions, etc. in a memo that was distributed a couple fo times. The painters were instructed to politely tell any resident to contact our PM or the project manager.

Meanwhile, Brad, as others a have advised, get a group together and work to change the composition of the board at the next election.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


08/22/2021 9:10 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 08/22/2021 4:49 PM
Posted By LetA

So, My feelings are If you are not on the board or on the committee, Stay the flock away and ZIP YOUR LIP.





It would be great if every owner were more involved in their HOA but, regardless of the reason for not serving, each and every one of them have a right to voice their opinions and monitor what is going on. The owners are the HOA.

Obviously, interfering with contractors and vendors is not ok.





That's my point Ben, being active in the HOA is one thing, actually interfering with the duties of an already hired contractor is another ballgame. If owners have a problem they need to take that up with HOA management, NOT the vendor.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/23/2021 3:10 AM  
I think you are misreading what I have said. I never have interrupted or have tried to tell any workers how to do their job. As a carpenter myself, I would politely tell any one trying to tell me how to do my job that they need to talk to my boss or management of the company, then go about my work.
So I completely understand the importance of not interrupting the workers and I have had no desire to do that.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/23/2021 3:31 AM  
Thanks to all that have taken time to respond to my post.
I have read a lot of helpful comments.
However, many have not understood my position and what has occurred.
I have posted many times and in my first post about this subject, that I do not contact the contractors or try to tell the workers what to do. As a carpenter myself, I was once in the workers place and would not like someone other than my boss telling me how to do my job.

The violation letter's accusations about me contacting contractors is false.
The real issue is that the letter tells me I am not authorized to have conversations with my neighbors, my friends and other home owners about the work being done here.
Everybody here talks with each other about concerns and problems they have with things such as water leaks or the lack of quick action by the Property Manager.

I intend to talk to an attorney to get a better understanding of how this should be handled and my rights as a homeowner.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


08/23/2021 4:11 AM  
You mean your rights as a "HOA member"... Being a homeowner makes you a member. Your answers are in your documents. Read them and then quote them in responses. The MC is not the HOA. You and your neighbors are. It may be time to point that out again as your board may be getting too comfortable with the MC. The MC being a bit too comfortable running the place too.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/23/2021 8:02 AM  
Posted By BradT4 on 08/23/2021 3:31 AM
I intend to talk to an attorney to get a better understanding of how this should be handled and my rights as a homeowner.
For the archives: When one is feeling beat up unfairly and has money to throw away, I think paying a competent HOA/COA specialized attorney a few hundred dollars to share some life wisdom, based in practical realities, could be a wise choice.

I figure the incompetent, money-hungry attorneys, hired for a consultation like BradT4 proposes, will offer to write a snarling letter to the HOA for a few hundred dollars or more. The letter will have no real effect. The letter will make the board happy that the owner has just thrown away money paying his or her own attorney. I think this is the goal of many boards: Force owners to pay money to an attorney, to wear the owners down. The instant the board sees an owner's attorney's letterhead, for situations like this, the board knows it has just scored a win.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2600


08/23/2021 8:50 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/23/2021 8:02 AM
Posted By BradT4 on 08/23/2021 3:31 AM
I intend to talk to an attorney to get a better understanding of how this should be handled and my rights as a homeowner.
For the archives: When one is feeling beat up unfairly and has money to throw away, I think paying a competent HOA/COA specialized attorney a few hundred dollars to share some life wisdom, based in practical realities, could be a wise choice.

I figure the incompetent, money-hungry attorneys, hired for a consultation like BradT4 proposes, will offer to write a snarling letter to the HOA for a few hundred dollars or more. The letter will have no real effect. The letter will make the board happy that the owner has just thrown away money paying his or her own attorney. I think this is the goal of many boards: Force owners to pay money to an attorney, to wear the owners down. The instant the board sees an owner's attorney's letterhead, for situations like this, the board knows it has just scored a win.



Speaking as a former board member, I didn't feel like that at all the one time we received such a letter. But in that particular case, the owner had been accusing a neighbor of something that apparently wasn't real - NOBODY was able to verify the complaint, and we tried. It appeared to be a mental issue, there wasn't anything the board could do about it, we certainly weren't going to send the neighbor a letter for a non-existent violation, and I felt sorry for the person who was wasting their money pursuing phantoms.

The OP's situation doesn't sound anything like that, and it may put his mind at rest to find out that the board has no grounds to send him a violation notice (and he may as well have an attorney waiting in case the board is unwise enough to pursue this further).

The solution to homeowners talking among themselves is transparency and providing accurate information, and letting them talk. If a few are trying to stir up trouble where none exists, they'll destroy their own credibility by spreading incorrect info - their neighbors will figure them out soon enough.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/23/2021 9:00 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 08/23/2021 4:11 AM
You mean your rights as a "HOA member"... Being a homeowner makes you a member. Your answers are in your documents. Read them and then quote them in responses. The MC is not the HOA. You and your neighbors are. It may be time to point that out again as your board may be getting too comfortable with the MC. The MC being a bit too comfortable running the place too.



??????????????????????
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/23/2021 11:14 AM  
BRAD

How did the BOD remove you from the BOD?
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/24/2021 10:52 AM  
As there were 2 open board positions, I don't think any ballots were counted. So I may have been appointed.
That I was never sure about. I think if I was elected, there would have to be a membership vote, but that did not happen.
Bylaws state that all it takes to remove a board member is 3/5 of the board. I did not contest the many things that I thought was done wrongly. One was they called for a board meeting for the purpose to remove a board member, but never stated my name in the letter that was sent to owners.
I was actually a little relieved because of all the things I thought the board was doing wrong and as the new Treasurer, I was afraid I may get into trouble.
Besides, if they did not want my expertise or knowledge of construction to help make correct decisions about those issues, there would be no reason for me to be on the board.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/24/2021 10:57 AM  
There is nothing to quote about our rights to speak with contractors or other owners about work being done on community property (in which we all have a vested interest).
I also want to make it clear, I have no desire to talk with workers or to tell them how to do their job. That is the PM's job.
I only want to make sure that I have every right to talk with other owners about any HOA matters.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


08/24/2021 11:07 AM  
Well, then, stop overthinking this. AS a practical matter, the board can't stop you from talking to any homeowner about anything, so stop worrying about that. The real issue is whether you've tried to talk to the vendors about work the Association hired them to do. You said you didn't and everyone, including you, agrees that would be inappropriate.

At this point, it seems to me you need to get to the bottom of how the board concluded that's what you did. Maybe you were having a casual conversation with another homeowner about the work and he/she got really confused and mentioned the conversation to a board member, who then assumed you were trying to tell the vendors what to do. It's also possible someone on the board really has a burr up his/her behind about you and cooked up all this stuff to make you look bad. I suspect all this can be settled by having a sit-down with the board and having THEM explain how this came about - including talking to the vendor (someone had to report this - what did he/she say and why did he/she conclude that's what you were trying to do?) If everyone realizes it was a huge misunderstanding, apologies should be issued to you and then everyone can move on.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/24/2021 11:23 AM  
Thanks for the reply Cathy.
I have not mentioned how much I hate attorneys, so mush of what Augustin says, I agree with. I truly don't want to waste money on that. And I certainly don't want to cost our HOA (all of us) more money on a battle that should not exist.
The only thing I really need to know is my legal right to talk to anyone in my HOA about our board, PM and work that is done poorly or not at all.
Unless the current board is trying to hide something or they are not doing what they are elected to do, they should not have any worries about homeowners talking about them or work being done.

During the time that I started this forum chat, Three homes have now become infested with ants or wood boring beetles behind the wood siding. This is a direct result of caulk on top of flashing that stops water from draining when it gets behind the siding. Wood siding is not water proof, that is why a building wrap or Tyvek is placed under siding.
One unit has had to have windows removed and framing replaced. Another is currently being opened up and my neighbor across from me just found the signs that insects are chewing up the wood above the windows.
All the information I sent to our board and the PM 2 years ago about this problem was basically ignored. Now we are having issues that will cost all of us a lot more money than if the caulk would have been removed.
Being that these units are all on the south side of our complex and cannot be seen from the street, most residents will not know it is happening. I would think that as a preventative measure, the board should have a newsletter tell everyone what to look for. The sooner found, the less damage there will be that needs to be repaired.
But who am I to help my neighbors and friends?
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/24/2021 12:09 PM  
I appreciate your on going dialog about all of this. Some of it makes a lot of sense.
But you have misquoted what I have said about being able to talk with vendors.
I have no desire and I know it would be wrong of me to try to tell someones workers how to do their job.
I was just pointing out that I could find no language about this issue in any of our documents.
The lawyers letter only quoted the following sections of the Bylaws as printed in the letter:

"5.01 In General: The affairs of the Association shall be vested in the Board of
Directors.
8.01 Contracts. The Board may authorize any officer or agent or agents of the
Association, in addition to the officers so authorized by these Bylaws, to enter into
any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf
of the Association and such authority may be general or confined to specific
instances."

Then concluded with:
"As a homeowner, you are not authorized to contact contractors or other homeowners
regarding work being done on the community property. Any and all concerns should be directed
to the Board or its Property Manager, Foster Premier. The Board looks forward to your
immediate compliance and cooperation."

I think I read that the Bylaws direct how the board is supposed to operate. If there would be something pertaining to the owners do's and don't s, it should be in the Declarations............Yes, or NO?

As far as the Attorney General subject, I had contacted them during the process of the board asking me to leave. Finding out about missing documentation was by accident, because at first the lady I spoke with could not find our HOA in her records. Then told me the HOA has not filed certain documents with another office. At that time I had no wish to pursue that.
I really didn't care about that if I was leaving the board.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/24/2021 12:21 PM  
I have no legal background, Brad, but feel confident in saying that the HOA Board has no power or authority to tell you that you are not permitted to speak with other owners. You have no need for an attorney to inform you of that. I do think you need to be careful to not defame the character of anyone on the the Board, the property manager or any vendors. It s could be that this is what the Association's attorney is trying to tell you in a clumsy way.

IL is required to have open board meetings. You've told us repeatedly about the defective caulking that lacks weeps or sufficient weeps that's causing insect infestation and ruining your common area siding. But we can do nothing about this. Neighbors standing around griping cannot solve this problem.

Speak up during open forum at board meetings, which I think IL requires, and ask the board when owners can expect repairs to be made.

Btw, if the poor caulking was done quite recently, your association may have a warranty claim against the vendor, or if out of warranty, a construction defect claim. don't when the statute of limitations might runout on that. It may be for years or it may be longer. Do you think the Board is aware of that? When was this caulking done?

Get a group of neighbors together to chip in to speak with an attorney about this apparent defect. Ask for advice.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/24/2021 12:46 PM  
Brad

In all my years of managing property, I have never been a fan of instructing owners who they can talk to and who they can't. That's 5th grade nonsense. If an issue arises, deal with it immediatedly. I had a similar situation yesterday with an owner telling the landscape employee how to do their job. I didn't run to a lawyer to write a stupid letter, the board doesn't know. I called the owner and told them politely I was the point of contact and to contact me if there is an issue. One and done. If a property manager can't figure this out without involving a lawyer, they probably should be looking for a new line of work.

You had mentioned you identified some issues and brought it to the attention of the Board and PM and nothing happened. Some reasons why maybe nothing happened, message never got to the board, board turned a blind eye, association is lacking funds, PM not equiped to research solutions. board can't identify areas of responsibilities.

What would I do? One, I would give the message to the board. While may have emergency repair powers, I don't have for larger projects. Some owners think this is an apartment complex where the manager can fix everything. If board continually ignore their responsibilities, I look for another client to replace them. How are they financially, can they the right budget in place to handle day to day maintenance. Do they have a handle on long term maintenance and replacememt of long term assets. You alos have to look at the size of the community for financial stability, the larger ones are generally more secure as they have more owners to share the burden. Condos require a different skill set than detached homes.

There are about 10-12 people that post some what regularly, a couple either own management companies or are managers. Some of the others either are on a board, had been on a board or never been on a board. To take the numbers to the extreme, there are almost 400,000 HOA's or Condos, with over 1.2M Board members with gawd how many management companies and managers.

There are some very well run HOA's. The best run, from research, are larger communities where they have a GM who is hired by the association and is an employee of the association. The ones who hire a PM leave everything for the PM to run. Their responsibility is to show up to the Board meeting, that's it. The old addage applies, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Trying to find like minded bodies to serve for a while is not easy. You could have a gteat board and a lousy management company, or a good management company and a lazy board. For the best result, both have to be good.
BradT4
(Illinois)

Posts:32


08/24/2021 1:41 PM  
Thanks for taking your time to make these comments.
Board meetings..........they are still doing them by phone and it was last week the day after the board meeting that I got the Violation letter.

Caulk issue:
I have been here for 7 years. The buildings have been painted twice and usually caulk is done before painting begins. However, I have no idea when or who did this caulking, and it is not like this on all of our buildings. That alone shows that someone knew caulk should not be placed in that area.
I can see by your comment about the caulk that you are not fully sure about what the caulk issue is. Most people have no idea when I talk about it with out drawing a picture.
It is not defective caulk. It is caulk that has been put where it should never be. There are places that caulk is needed, and yes it can become defective or crack and come lose. But it never goes in the gap at the top of flashing and the bottom of the siding. There should always be a gap of one quarter to 3/8 inch so the siding does not sit on the flashing and so any water that gets behind the siding will have a place to drain out. The flashing metal strip is designed to let water escape and drip over the top of siding or the foundation below. Weep holes are a part of windows designed to let water out that may get trapped inside the channels of the window.
If you wish to know more about this, use this link as pictures will be easier to understand. https://www.elegantpainting.com/caulking/

Anyway, perhaps if enough owners sent a message to the PM so that she knows we are aware of the situation, it won't just be pesky Brad complaining again.

While on the board, and having construction knowledge, I repeatedly found contractors submitting work proposals that were the incorrect thing to do. One was the removal and replacement of the caulk in question. The board rejected his proposal and then he came back with opening the siding to remove the flashing then replace and re caulk. So he went from new caulk to replacing something that may not be bad to begin with. There are many contractors who do things because they don't know or because they try to make more money doing what is not needed. I found that out in the many years working with a large General Contractor in the Chicago area.

One more thing to share. It may be our current board president that has a burr up his butt.
A few years ago I had an email argument about how his sump pump discharge is in violation of Naperville building codes. He said that there was a Naperville inspector there when it was done and he said nothing.
So he either lied about the inspector, or that inspector did not know the code either.
So I sent him the Naperville code and sketch of how this discharge is to be set up.
The PVC pipe coming out of any unit should not be placed inside the drain tube that takes the water to the sewer. There needs to be a 4 inch space between the two, or a devise that will allow water to escape. If for any reason the drain gets blocked and water should back up, it could then be siphoned back inside or the water could freeze and not allow his pump to empty his sump.
I have witnessed many other things which most people will not have a clue about. It wasn't until I wanted to find out other information about our sump pumps that I found out myself.
In today's age it is so easy to find out information about construction and proper methods to use, but it still requires weeding out the bad info.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/24/2021 5:20 PM  
Brad wrote: "Anyway, perhaps if enough owners sent a message to the PM so that she knows we are aware of the situation, it won't just be pesky Brad complaining again. " Yes, Brad, that's one thing AS A GROUP can help you all maintain & improve your premises.

BUT, doesn't your board have meetings that are open to owners as required in IL? why can't Owners, including you, bring up these serious issues at board meetings?
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/24/2021 7:02 PM  
Posted By BradT4 on 08/24/2021 10:52 AM
Bylaws state that all it takes to remove a board member is 3/5 of the board.
Please quote the bylaw that says what you claim above.

By my reading of the Illinois Nonprofit Corporation Act so far, only an owners' vote could remove an elected director.

I hear you that you have no idea whether you were elected or appointed. I really do not want to get into this, except I do hope you quote the Bylaw that I ask you to quote above. Because this may be a learning moment for you.
Posted By BradT4 on 08/24/2021 12:09 PM
"5.01 In General: The affairs of the Association shall be vested in the Board of
Directors.
8.01 Contracts. The Board may authorize any officer or agent or agents of the
Association, in addition to the officers so authorized by these Bylaws, to enter into
any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf
of the Association and such authority may be general or confined to specific
instances."

Then concluded with:
"As a homeowner, you are not authorized to contact contractors or other homeowners
regarding work being done on the community property. Any and all concerns should be directed
to the Board or its Property Manager, Foster Premier. The Board looks forward to your
immediate compliance and cooperation."

I think I read that the Bylaws direct how the board is supposed to operate. If there would be something pertaining to the owners do's and don't s, it should be in the Declarations............Yes, or NO?
Owner do's and don't's are in both. But one needs to understand the language of HOA law, statutes, bylaws and covenants. Resepctfully, I do not think you are qualified. You did not even think to consider the following from the Illinois Nonprofit Corporation statute:

Each corporation shall have a board of directors, and except as provided in articles of incorporation, the affairs of the corporation shall be managed by or under the direction of the board of directors.This means that, apart from voting for directors, you as an owner do not get to manage the affairs of the corporation.

The Illinois Condo Act may say similar.

I know you will continue to fight me and others on this. Go hire an attorney.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4216


08/24/2021 9:04 PM  
Brad
It still comes down to something you said early in this thread.
- You can't work with anyone who doesn't lives up to your standards (I'm paraphrasing here).
And for that attitude, you got bounced after 5 months.
- And in a more recent post, you seem mystified by how that bouncing actually happened, and you admit that you did nothing to save your seat.

And on and on it goes. You were right. You were right. You were right. They wronged you. They wronged you. They wronged you. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz





Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
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