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Subject: Owners angry with board - switch to managment co?
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BethS1


Posts:0


06/02/2007 3:51 PM  
We have a small board, we have several issues with owners that continually ignore our bylaws etc..
We have warned of fines if things do not improve. A couple of these owners are board members
who either didn't get their way about something or they just don't bother to stay involved unless
it is of benefit to them. One finally resigned for personal issues, the other hasn't been seen
since she was told about her lack of involvement.

We are now getting ready to feel the heat of reality that people will be fined unless they
read and adhere to they bylaws, rules & regulations. We are actually pretty open to alot of
things. But that has run into problems getting bigger and bigger and we are tired of trying to
please everyone and it's affecting the upkeep of the place when everyone is doing whatever they want.

We are starting to wonder is we should hire a management company so that the people can
see how harsh they can be compared to what we have asked for. A few of us will be moving
probably in a few years and it is a worry that we will lose property value or go bankrupt if this
continues. Our fees are some of the highest in this area so to raise them anymore would be unrealistic.

We don't know how to get these owners to understand that we have to run it as a business
and that we all have to live closely and the rules help with that.

Has anybody switched to a management company with better results?
AnnaD2
(Florida)

Posts:948


06/02/2007 4:27 PM  
Beth, Couple of Questions: What State are you in? Also, how many members are there? Also, are you a homeowners or condominium association?
HaroldS1
(Arizona)

Posts:314


06/02/2007 4:43 PM  
Beth - how do you get the idea an MC will be tougher? They are an employee, and should do only what the board wants. Sounds like you really mean you want a third person to do the dirty work your board isn't capable of doing.
I'm curious too, how without the expense of an MC, you have the highest fees in your area. What are your members getting for those high fees? If you hire an MC, the fees will have to go even higher unless there are areas you can eliminate that you are now spending on. Harold
BethS1


Posts:0


06/03/2007 9:36 AM  
We are a HOA. AND YES we are thinking we want a management company to handle their complaints and their screaming
and yelling. You call it dirty job, we call it having better things to do with our time (like the absentee owners seem to do). We all have full time jobs and this has become another one if not more! Their/our money goes to upkeep, our budget is so tight and will be even tighter with a Mgmt company. Our fees pay most of the utilites, trash, landscaping and building issues. We have some major building issues that need done as these are older condos. And perhaps if at least a few owners would ever come to meetings they would know this. They could ask for a financal record, ask for backup, find out what it takes to get workers in here at a fair price.

Maybe if some would take the initiave to learn about running the place, But it's easier to blame someone than to understand or admit their error. We have actually a coupl board members that only show up to gripe about something that affects only themselves, then we don't see them for months. We are even having to spend more and more time on common sense issues, or sending repetitive reminders about maintenance issues to where you would think we were dealing with little kids. So we are looking into a management company to deal with them directly. Or they can join in the meetings (better yet, join the board)and get a better understanding and help out. Thinking we are here to be yelled at is going to stop and we are not willing to put the HOURS in anymore. So we don't feel bad about it, if that happens.
BethS1


Posts:0


06/03/2007 9:56 AM  
By the way Harold we are MORE than capable of doing it, we are thinking of choosing NOT TO
anymore.

If it wasn't for us, NO ONE else would step up and do it and personally we are all for
employing someone to give us a break for a while. If there isn't money to do something
because of this, well then I guess there isn't.


MichelleL
(Florida)

Posts:16


06/03/2007 3:34 PM  
Beth, I sympathize totally with you. I am President of a 170 home community. My fellow Board members do not have the time nor ability to do what has to be done.

They have let a three year old community have some very poor looking houses. We have made standards for landscaping but they are not being enforced. The only violations that get handled are those that other homeowners report. The main concern for the Board is for the violators. I have been doing 90% of the work of the community. I tried to implement a Neighborhood Review Committee. We actually had volunteers willing to walk through the community and report violations. After 6 months, we don't even have ground rules or procedure for the Committee. I was on the Complaint Committee, the Design Review Board, the Welcome Committee, I folded the newsletters and hand delivered and mailed them and I wasn't even on that Committee, and I set up all meetings. I told the Board I am no longer going to be doing all of it. I CHOSE not to do it anymore!!! With 7 people on the Board it should be more evenly divided. They love to dictate what should be done but are not willing to do it. Armchair generals!!!

No one in the community wants to volunteer either. Each newsletter asks for volunteers. Never do we get a reply. There are many homeowners too lazy to maintain their property. No water, no weed killing and no mulch. They leave garbage pails, coolers, fishing poles, hockey goals, bikes, toys all over the front yard. It's not attractive in any way!

I am calling a meeting in July to switch to a managment company. I'm tired of being the only one who puts in the time and effort to enforce the deed restrictions. We need professional and experienced people to take on this task.

Best of luck to you!.



MichelleL
(Florida)

Posts:16


06/03/2007 3:34 PM  
Beth, I sympathize totally with you. I am President of a 170 home community. My fellow Board members do not have the time nor ability to do what has to be done.

They have let a three year old community have some very poor looking houses. We have made standards for landscaping but they are not being enforced. The only violations that get handled are those that other homeowners report. The main concern for the Board is for the violators. I have been doing 90% of the work of the community. I tried to implement a Neighborhood Review Committee. We actually had volunteers willing to walk through the community and report violations. After 6 months, we don't even have ground rules or procedure for the Committee. I was on the Complaint Committee, the Design Review Board, the Welcome Committee, I folded the newsletters and hand delivered and mailed them and I wasn't even on that Committee, and I set up all meetings. I told the Board I am no longer going to be doing all of it. I CHOSE not to do it anymore!!! With 7 people on the Board it should be more evenly divided. They love to dictate what should be done but are not willing to do it. Armchair generals!!!

No one in the community wants to volunteer either. Each newsletter asks for volunteers. Never do we get a reply. There are many homeowners too lazy to maintain their property. No water, no weed killing and no mulch. They leave garbage pails, coolers, fishing poles, hockey goals, bikes, toys all over the front yard. It's not attractive in any way!

I am calling a meeting in July to switch to a managment company. I'm tired of being the only one who puts in the time and effort to enforce the deed restrictions. We need professional and experienced people to take on this task.

Best of luck to you!.



AngelaH1
(Virginia)

Posts:3


06/03/2007 4:55 PM  
BethS-
I understand your frustration... having been on the receiving end of personal threats and tantrums of owners in violation of rules because I was the Chair or our Architechtural Control Committee, which was responsible for enforcing the community standards. We had a Management Co. at that time, but they were always more than happy to refer the angry owner to the Committee Chair or the Board. The Board finally switched to a new company and adopted a written policy that removed the Chairs from that front line. That decision placed the Management Co on the frontline. The Board held a special meeting to explain the issue and decision to everyone who came and then sent out a notice with clearly articulated policy for enforcement and imposing charges, as well as procedures for appealing any notice of violation.
At the beginning, the new MC's primary concern was that they would be backed by the Board whenever someone reacted negatively to a complaint or enforcement action. With that clear understanding and demonstrated commitment, things have really improved. Owner's can't bend the rules with a tantrum and the word is out. That doesn't mean that there is ridgid and strict enforcement of everything. Several owners with unique circumstances used the appeal process to get accomodations in terms of the time to come into compliance and for the charges imposed.
You will never be able to force people to get involved or to understand how hard it is - until they have to do it. I would guess that the biggest violators will not get involved in any case. If the only way to preserve the value of your shared asset is to hire someone to help oversee compliance with the legal Governing documents of the community, than it is worth the cost - even if the fees have to increase.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


06/03/2007 7:23 PM  
Pehaps you would like to search and read the thread "Self management vs professional management". Following is one post.

RogerB
Posts:2375

01/02/2006 10:20 AM Quote Reply
The following comments are based on my experience serving on self-managed boards in three states and serving many associations in Colorado as their professional manager. I would really like to hear from those of you who have other opinions.

Thanks,
RogerB


1. Which do you prefer and why?
When possible I prefer a good professional managing Agent who will protect the investment in my home and the quality of life in my community. Of course, for voluntary HOAs the owners can not be forced to pay an assessment so the association has no guaranteed funds to commit to a managing agent.

2. What do you see as the pros and cons of each?
Self-management
Pro - A greater sense of control by some board members and the belief that the assessment will be lower when not paying for professional management.

Con - When the board of directors is not knowledgeable and conscientious there can be many problems, including doing a poor job and having the potential for significantly greater expenses. Do you realize the potential financial liability to such board members?

Professional management
Pro - a good managing agent can provide guidance which can result in better board decisions and handling of problems; reduce potential for major legal expenses; save the association money through reduced costs for contractors and other services; provide more effective enforcement of restrictions; better accounting; and more.

Con - Management companies that are too expensive, have inexperienced Agents, and/or function independently rather than as part of the HOA team under guidelines established by the board.

3. What is your major complaint on management of your association?
From my experience the most common complaints are, respectively:
a) poor board of directors, especially the President.
b) poor managing Agent.
c) failure to have realistic architectural modification guidelines.

4. How do you evaluate management of your association?
a) the quality of life maintained in the community.
b) the maintenance of homes and associated increase of property values with time.
c) any law suits.
d) communications provided.

5. Where do you think self management is more effective?
Knowing what I now know, I would not live in a self managed HOA again.

6. Where do you think professional management is more effective?
Always more effective assuming a good managing Agent is used. Preferably one who’s cost is more than offset by reducing total expenses
BrendaW
(Florida)

Posts:3


06/03/2007 10:52 PM  
Amen, sister! Our little community has only 23 homes, 4 are rentals. I am the Secretary AND the "Interum" Treasurer. I am looking into a management company too. The President does NOTHING. I am the only one doing ANYTHING. I'm still trying to collect dues from 5 homeowners. I work a full-time job AND we have our own business. You are SOOOOOO right. It's like dealing with a bunch of kids. I just sent out a letter out to everyone asking them to do their part and step up to the plate. I also included the addresses of the people who have not paid their dues. From what I understand, the management companies charge per household. I have NO idea what it would cost to manage our HOA but I am checking into it. Just wanted you to know, I feel your pain!!!....BW
BrendaW
(Florida)

Posts:3


06/03/2007 11:04 PM  
How do I go about finding a HOA Management Company? Can anyone recommend?...BW
BradD2
(Florida)

Posts:418


06/04/2007 4:33 AM  
Brenda, don't send the Address (or any other identifier) out about people who have not paid. The dues are a debt owed to the Association and fall under the Fair Debt Collections Act. As such you are in violation of that act if you notify a third party about a debt and can be sued in court for doing so.
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