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Subject: window replacement - board not answering
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Author Messages
KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


05/12/2020 1:10 PM  
I've been trying to have my old aluminum windows replaced since January and I've been going through so much trouble with the board members.
Beginning of January I contacted the management company about guidelines to replace windows. the only answer I got was: "There is no specific model, but the new windows should match all of the other existing windows in the building."
After requesting several quotes and deciding which ones I want, I submitted all required documents to the board members for approval, and my project was denied because the board has approved a different brand and model (I don't have any documents saying that).
I contacted my contractor to change the quote and it turns out there are two problems:
1- the approved brand doesn't do one slider window with the necessary width. it will have to be a 3-part window (fixed in the middle and sliders on both sides)
2- the specific approved model is discontinued!
I told that to the board and provided them emails from contractors saying that. they ignored it and said I should request a board hearing if I want something different then what is approved.
I've been trying to schedule a meeting with them (more recently a call or video conference) for 3 months, but they keep ignoring emails.
any suggestions on how to deal with that?
is there rules saying that board members have a certain time to answer such request?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3460


05/12/2020 1:48 PM  
You'll have to check your documents to see if they address how soon the board has to respond to your exterior change request, although I agree you should at least receive an acknowledgment that your letters were received

On the other hand, you said your request was denied because the board approved a different brand and model, but don't have any documents saying that? Then how do you find out?

This pandemic has turned some things upside down, so your correspondence may be caught up in that (although the board should have told homeowners if there would be delays). Did you send your emails to individual board members or a group email? Has that email been changed? Did you ask the management company if they have any current contact information - perhaps you can try sending your information to them.

If you know where the board members live, you could try to visit one (the president or secretary) and talk to him or her. If that works, remember you can't get an answer based on what one person says - you'll have to wait until the entire board has a chance to review your correspondence - and as usual, insist on getting any approvals in writing.

KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


05/12/2020 3:32 PM  
yes, it sounds like the board approved another brand before I moved in

I sent all my emails via the management company. they are not providing the management company any proper answer on which alternative brand/model I could use and when you could meet/talk
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3114


05/12/2020 3:57 PM  
K,

I would spend letters outlining the situation to the MC and every member of the board.

Be concise, have a timeline showing the entire chronology ... everything you did, when, etc.

Be clear that you expect an answer, and you would be glad to discuss with the Board, ARC, MC, etc ... but, again, be clear - that you will not let this drop.

Augustin will probably come on a provide a letter that will provide the right legalese.
AugustinD


Posts:3900


05/13/2020 8:51 AM  
Posted By KristelL on 05/12/2020 1:10 PM
[slightly edited] I've been trying to have my old aluminum windows replaced since January and I've been going through so much trouble with the board members. Beginning of January I contacted the management company about guidelines to replace windows. the only answer I got was: "There is no specific model, but the new windows should match all of the other existing windows in the building." After requesting several quotes and deciding which ones I want, I submitted all required documents to the board members for approval, and my project was denied because the board has approved a different brand and model (I don't have any documents saying that). I contacted my contractor to change the quote and it turns out there are two problems: (1) the approved brand doesn't do one slider window with the necessary width. it will have to be a 3-part window (fixed in the middle and sliders on both sides); and (2) the specific approved model is discontinued! I told that to the board and provided them emails from contractors saying that. they ignored it and said I should request a board hearing if I want something different then what is approved. I've been trying to schedule a meeting with them (more recently a call or video conference) for 3 months, but they keep ignoring emails. any suggestions on how to deal with that? Is there rules saying that board members have a certain time to answer such request?
First, California law (statute) requires that HOAs/condos provide a "prompt deadline" for review by the Association. See https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Architectural-Process. Second, and like Shelia inquired, does your HOA/condo have such a deadline? Third, if the HOA appears to be violating either its own Covenants/Rules or California HOA statutes, then per California statute, the next step here would be to request Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR). You will want to dot every i and cross every t. See https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Internal-Dispute-Resolution.

If you answer the questions above, this forum can likely provide you with specific steps to take next.
KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


05/13/2020 9:57 AM  
Thanks for your answer.
in the CCRs it says that the architectural committee has 30 days to review a project. but there is nothing regarding appeal.
they said no to my project within a week, and suggested I should request an hearing to discuss alternatives.
I did what they suggested but I haven't got any answer to my request for hearing.
I've been in touch with the management company and he said that he's been trying to plan a meeting with them... for the past 3 months!

is there any regulation in CA that requires board members to respond to hearing request? and to do so within a certain time?
AugustinD


Posts:3900


05/13/2020 10:18 AM  
Posted By KristelL on 05/13/2020 9:57 AM
in the CCRs it says that the architectural committee has 30 days to review a project. but there is nothing regarding appeal. they said no to my project within a week, and suggested I should request an hearing to discuss alternatives. I did what they suggested but I haven't got any answer to my request for hearing. I've been in touch with the management company and he said that he's been trying to plan a meeting with them... for the past 3 months! is there any regulation in CA that requires board members to respond to hearing request? and to do so within a certain time?
Thank you for the detail. The next step is to see whether your HOA has a printed procedure for resolving disputes between the HOA and a member. Does it? If the HOA does have a procedure, please reproduce it here.

This web site's software permits the user to attach pdf files less than 200 kilobytes. Please redact any information that would identify the HOA from any such PDF file.

If your HOA has no written-down policy for resolving disputes, then I will post how to request Internal Dispute Resolution and a quick overview of how to respond if the HOA does not respond within say 30 days.
KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


05/13/2020 1:53 PM  
There is no procedure for resolving disputes between the HOA ad a member in the CCR.
AugustinD


Posts:3900


05/13/2020 2:02 PM  
Posted By KristelL on 05/13/2020 1:53 PM
There is no procedure for resolving disputes between the HOA ad a member in the CCR.
Did the HOA ever publish a policy, separate from the CC&R, for resolving disputes between the HOA and a member? You may want to ask the manager this question. (If the HOA did publish such a policy, then the HOA is supposed to distribute this once a year.) See:

https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Statutes/Civil-Code-5920
and
https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Statutes/Civil-Code-5310#axzz2CgHrcBrn
KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


05/14/2020 9:48 AM  
I never got any document about resolving disputes between the HOA and a member. I will contact the management company about it

as for my issue, I had the management company on the phone yesterday and he asked me to write a new email asking for a hearing that he will forward to the board members. (I already did that 3 months ago..)
I hope this time it will help move things forward
KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


07/21/2020 5:39 PM  
here I am again, struggling to get answers from the board and having to deal with more nonsense...

since my last post, the board members approved a brand and line of windows that I thought I couldn't use due to width limitation.
after telling them that, I figured out that there was a misunderstanding with my contractor and I can use what was approved.
I told that to the management company and send all documents for the board to approve the project.
two weeks after, the management company sent me an updated guidelines that are different that what I submitted!!
now, I have to put Bronze vinyl windows (which is almost black)

some condos in the building have replaced windows all of them are white!
also, the board always said white vinyl white until now (that I was finally able to get my project approved)

I asked them to confirm that they want black windows and haven't got any response

I have few questions:
1- can the board decide to approved windows that are different to all other ones in the building?
per the CCRs, the project needs to " not be detrimental to the wholesomeness and attractiveness of the building...".

2- how can I argue with that?

3- I shared that information with all homeowners and I got a complaint from the management company about it. Should this decision (and all new ones) be shared with the community?

MarkW18


Posts:1290


07/21/2020 6:55 PM  
FYI..Providing a summary of dispute resolutions must be provided to California homeowners living within an HOA on an annual basis. Along with about 30 pages of other documents including the Annual Budget, it must be sent 30 days prior to the close of the association's fiscal year. Most will just follow the information provided in the link below.

https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Internal-Dispute-Resolution

Someone needs to keep a book on ARC guidelines that is updated and kept current. Most HOA's don't have a separate ARC committee although they are supposed to, as it is generally the only standing committee listed in the CCRs. Sorry to be the bearing of bad news, but boards generally have no clue to what they are doing. Changing from a white frame to a black frame...really??? Should the community know...YES and then tell them again..and again.
KristelL
(California)

Posts:18


07/22/2020 8:40 AM  
thanks
I never got those documents and didn't get them when I recently asked the management company.

I'll keep telling all neighbors about the color, but how can I make that decision changed?
I can't imagine putting black windows when others condos have white ones...
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3460


07/22/2020 9:12 AM  
You'll have to continue with the appeal - and this time, see if you can meet with them in person (or via Zoom or another videoconferencing app to ensure social distancing). Show the board a photo of what you propose to do vs. what the other buildings have and then ask why they would want you to install something that's totally different. You may find this is the thought process of one board member who may need to see how odd this really looks (or he/she simply isn't paying attention, or is just daft). Telling the neighbors is also helpful (show them the pictures so they can also see this for themselves) - it may lead to everyone attending the next board meeting and asking the board to explain their logic.

While you're at it, tell the board about your issues with getting documents. The management company works under the board's direction so if the manager isn't doing something, you need to take it up with the board. You should continue to tell the management company about it - in fact, see if the property manager for your community answers to someone and send a letter to that person summarizing your concerns (with a copy to the board).
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