Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Wednesday, October 27, 2021











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: New condo owner-attended 1st meeting-big issues
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
DaleC6
(Oklahoma)

Posts:3


06/28/2021 11:41 AM  
I purchased my condo at the end of January 2021. Just attended my first owners meeting. Prior to purchase I carefully reviewed each disclosure including reading all 81 pages of the association bylaws, the long range maintenance plan as well as the last 3 years budgets / financial results. I knew going in it was an association in poor shape related to deferred maintenance for HVAC, Windows and building envelope concerns. There was also a plan that showed monthly dues rising for the next 5 years then decreasing to cover the deferred maintenance over time. I suspect the vast majority of people buying in this building don’t bother reading / informing themselves as getting this documentation was painful and took more than a month.

Fast forward to this months owners meeting. Of the 400 units only around 20 owners showed up. I have been told this is typical. We were told that residents would be responsible for replacing the windows on their own but the association would be negotiating a deal for us and they would instead be working on replacing carpets, HVAC, and parking garages upgrades. The estimate for replacing the windows is around 20k per unit. I was told that a majority of the owners that showed up for the last meeting before I purchased the condo approved this change.

The bylaws clearly show the exterior windows are common elements to be maintained from the association funds. The bylaws also state that to change a bylaw the association has to put it to a full vote of owners, not just whomever showed up at a meeting for owners. I don’t want to be a pain to the association but I am not up for dumping 20k into a condo I paid for less than 6 months ago when this has been a known issue for 10 years and there were plans to address it already.

Any suggestions on how to politely suggest the board read the bylaws and understand they are required to follow them? If they insist on not following the bylaws, what are my options?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/28/2021 11:54 AM  
Posted By DaleC6 on 06/28/2021 11:41 AM
I purchased my condo at the end of January 2021. Just attended my first owners meeting. Prior to purchase I carefully reviewed each disclosure including reading all 81 pages of the association bylaws, the long range maintenance plan as well as the last 3 years budgets / financial results. I knew going in it was an association in poor shape related to deferred maintenance for HVAC, Windows and building envelope concerns. There was also a plan that showed monthly dues rising for the next 5 years then decreasing to cover the deferred maintenance over time. I suspect the vast majority of people buying in this building don’t bother reading / informing themselves as getting this documentation was painful and took more than a month.

Fast forward to this months owners meeting. Of the 400 units only around 20 owners showed up. I have been told this is typical. We were told that residents would be responsible for replacing the windows on their own but the association would be negotiating a deal for us and they would instead be working on replacing carpets, HVAC, and parking garages upgrades. The estimate for replacing the windows is around 20k per unit. I was told that a majority of the owners that showed up for the last meeting before I purchased the condo approved this change.

The bylaws clearly show the exterior windows are common elements to be maintained from the association funds. The bylaws also state that to change a bylaw the association has to put it to a full vote of owners, not just whomever showed up at a meeting for owners. I don’t want to be a pain to the association but I am not up for dumping 20k into a condo I paid for less than 6 months ago when this has been a known issue for 10 years and there were plans to address it already.

Any suggestions on how to politely suggest the board read the bylaws and understand they are required to follow them? If they insist on not following the bylaws, what are my options?

Thanks in advance for your advice.




Your options are to sue them or mount a recall election to replace them.

But here's the deal - the association doesn't have a single penny that doesn't come from homeowners. You can buy your own window at $20,000 a pop, or pay a special assessment of $20,000 so the association can buy the windows. There is no other source of income other than homeowners.

Welcome to condo living. Every single one of them is underfunded and poorly maintained. Why? Because they have no savings. Because nobody wants to dump money into a condo they aren't going to live in ten years from now. So monthly dues stay low and special assessments are rare and a few years down the road everything is falling apart at once and there's no money to fix it.




JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:768


06/28/2021 12:03 PM  
Barbara, I respectfully disagree for two major reasons:

1.) Assuming that the OP is correct, the board is in blatant violation of the governing docs. If you ignore this then you are just encouraging them to do whatever the heck they want. I would fight this tooth and nail unless they took the time to do what's needed to legally change their docs.

2.) Assuming that the owner is responsible for the windows, I would not want to pay the $20K unless I had competitive bids that matched the exact same specs as the windows that the HOA uses.

I've seen first hand what happens when a board goes rogue and ain't pretty. There is much more on the line than just this issue.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1681


06/28/2021 12:05 PM  
Posted By DaleC6 on 06/28/2021 11:41 AM
I purchased my condo at the end of January 2021. Just attended my first owners meeting. Prior to purchase I carefully reviewed each disclosure including reading all 81 pages of the association bylaws, the long range maintenance plan as well as the last 3 years budgets / financial results. I knew going in it was an association in poor shape related to deferred maintenance for HVAC, Windows and building envelope concerns. There was also a plan that showed monthly dues rising for the next 5 years then decreasing to cover the deferred maintenance over time. I suspect the vast majority of people buying in this building don’t bother reading / informing themselves as getting this documentation was painful and took more than a month.

Fast forward to this months owners meeting. Of the 400 units only around 20 owners showed up. I have been told this is typical. We were told that residents would be responsible for replacing the windows on their own but the association would be negotiating a deal for us and they would instead be working on replacing carpets, HVAC, and parking garages upgrades. The estimate for replacing the windows is around 20k per unit. I was told that a majority of the owners that showed up for the last meeting before I purchased the condo approved this change.

The bylaws clearly show the exterior windows are common elements to be maintained from the association funds. The bylaws also state that to change a bylaw the association has to put it to a full vote of owners, not just whomever showed up at a meeting for owners. I don’t want to be a pain to the association but I am not up for dumping 20k into a condo I paid for less than 6 months ago when this has been a known issue for 10 years and there were plans to address it already.

Any suggestions on how to politely suggest the board read the bylaws and understand they are required to follow them? If they insist on not following the bylaws, what are my options?

Thanks in advance for your advice.



A few things:
Corporate bylaws are only one of several "governing documents" that associations typically have. The bylaws generally cover operation of the corporation, such as how meetings and elections are held. The CCRs (aka covenents, master deed, deed restrictions, etc. ) is the doc that that covers rights and responsibilities of the board and owners, architectural standards, how dues are collected and what they can be used on, etc. There are other such as articles of incorporation.

I would expect that the CCRs, not the bylaws would cover who is responsible for windows. The reason this is important is that each document has different requirements for modifying, with the CCRs usually having the most stringent ones. It often requires 2/3 or 3/4 of all voting interests (not just those attending a meeting) to change. Bylaws are usually easier to change, in some cases only requiring a board vote, but more likely something like 50% of votes at a meeting where a quorum is met.

That said, very few states have any kind of office that "polices" associations, so the main recourse to reining in board behavior would be the courts. Since that is usually expensive and with no assurance of outcome, people don't sue associations near as often as they threaten to.

Recall elections are another possibility, the procedure should be either in your governing docs or state law.

The most cost effective way to affect change is via the election process, but as you've noticed, apathy is common and many owners don't care how things are run as long as they don't have to do any of the work themselves. If there are a number of owners who share your concern, they they should find members willing to serve, and campaign to get them elected. This could include collecting proxies to both meet the quorum for the next meeting and elect the desired directors.

As far as the windows are concerned, they are going to be paid for by owners one way or another. Most associations have no income other than that collected as dues/assessments from owners, so whether the association pays collectively or the owners each pay, the owner out of pocket should be similar.

You'll have to decide what battles you want to fight, but you apparently bought in knowing the situation was a mess so no surprise there. Any improvement will most likely only happen if there are other owners that share your concern, so start talking to people to see if you can drum up support to do something.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


06/28/2021 12:06 PM  
First, kudos to you, Dale, for reading t so many materials before you pushed your condo!

Will you please cite exactly what your governing document says about windows? Is the doc called "Bylaws," or is is called something else like CC&Rs, which are Covenants Conditions & Restrictions (AKA the declaration, deed restrictions, covenants)?

Whatever the name of the governing document, since it says Owners must vote to change them, and it does not say simply owners who show up at a meeting, then owners must vote. Once we make sure your doc says the windows are the resolubility of the HOA, we can then suggest a letter to your Board.

What is wrong with the windows? How old is your condo building(s)?

I'm puzzled why the HOA would replace carpeting. The carpeting in the condo units? Or in some common areas?

How many units are there? Is there a retry manager?

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


06/28/2021 12:07 PM  
Sorry: "property manager."
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4239


06/28/2021 12:13 PM  
Hate to say it, but it's not like you didn't know the association's finances were jacked up - you SAID you reviewed the budgets, documents and board meeting minutes, correct? You also said there was a plan that would increase the assessments over the next five years to address the deferred maintenance. That was when you needed to take a deeper dive - what's going to be paid first and when? Would there be a special assessment, and if so, how much? But, that's not what happened - you bought it anyway, and so here you are.

You can attend the next meeting, bring up the point about windows being association responsibility and then ask why the homeowners are being expected to cough up $20K. You don't have to yell and cuss, but you can tell them in no uncertain terms this is NOT what you were were expecting when you moved in, and you want to see what they will do to protect your investment and everyone else's. If this is their way of saying a special assessment has to be levied, they should have said that from the start. And if there is a special assessment, you should probably take a closer look at your documents because I'm sure they say homeowners have to approve special assessments.

This brings up more questions - was that possibility ever discussed by the board? Were there special homeowner meetings where everyone had a Come to Jesus moment about all this (tell the truth about the finances, that is) and that they were in for increased costs, even in the best of circumstances. Is there a reserve fund (you should already know that if you read the financials)? When was the last reserve study (if over five years, it's time for another one). Has the board been following the study's funding recommendations?: If not, why not?

The board should be honest with you - I imagine you'll hear stuff like the maintenance issues were kicked down the road years ago and no one had the guts to deal with it until they ran out of road. Unfortunately, this IS going to cost homeowenrs more money - and frankly, you can forget about assessments increasing over the next five years and then decreasing. People say that when they ignore inflation - as the assessments increase, the costs of living also increases so the best you can expect is for the assessments to keep up with inflation so you won't have to worry about things like deferred maintenance and special assessments.

The low attendance rate at the meeting - unfortunately, for many HOAs that's typical. Usually everyone raises hell when the board starts talking about increasing assessments, and you're also correct that many of your neighbors probably DIDN'T read a thing. Maybe they figure they can sell for whatever price to someone like - you - and get out before the caca really hits the fan. While you were doing your reading (which a lot of people don't do, so good on you for that), it would have been helpful to talk to the now-former owner and get his/her take on life in that building. He/she/they probably wouldn't tell you everything because they wanted to sell quickly and get out. Sadly, the currnnt tragedy of the condo in Miami is a demonstration of how bad this stuff can get.

So what's next after that meeting? You might want to offer your assistance in doing research for the board in determining the best way to pay for this. You may have to come up with some ideas on payment plans because most people don't have $20K lying around for windows or anything else. take a walk around the building and meet some of the neighbors and see if there are others who agree with you that this is some BS and that could be the beginning of a kick butt advisory committee. You may even find you'd like to join the board itself (and then you may be shocked that the board members will fight among themselves to see who you will replace because they want to get the hell off.)

Brace yourself - I see a board membership in your future, which will be a whole new adventure. Keep coming back to this website for suggestions - there are plenty of old and new conversations about these things and you'll see how other communities worked it out or fell on their ass and are still trying to get up. Good luck!


BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/28/2021 12:34 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 06/28/2021 12:03 PM
Barbara, I respectfully disagree for two major reasons:

1.) Assuming that the OP is correct, the board is in blatant violation of the governing docs. If you ignore this then you are just encouraging them to do whatever the heck they want. I would fight this tooth and nail unless they took the time to do what's needed to legally change their docs.

2.) Assuming that the owner is responsible for the windows, I would not want to pay the $20K unless I had competitive bids that matched the exact same specs as the windows that the HOA uses.

I've seen first hand what happens when a board goes rogue and ain't pretty. There is much more on the line than just this issue.




I'm not suggesting he ignore the problems but recalling the board or going to court are the only two checks on an unruly board.

And the amount may not end up being $20k, but the principle is correct - the association has no income that doesn't come from owners so he is going to pay either way.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:843


06/28/2021 12:38 PM  
Dale,
As others have mentioned this seems like a wild ride you have signed up for. Here are my questions.

1) How many units in your HOA?
2) What are your current monthly dues?
3) What are projecting they will go up to in the next 5 years?
4) Did the Seller complete a Disclosure form on the property? Not sure about OKC laws.
5) 20K for windows seems crazy. How many windows are in your condo and is is a High Rise?

I am totally shocked by the estimate and I would go out and get a few bids for your personal window replacement. Many time the board and possibly the PM and PMC may not know how to handle the major issue and since they are spending other peoples money just do the bear minimum.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:768


06/28/2021 12:41 PM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/28/2021 12:34 PM
Posted By JohnT38 on 06/28/2021 12:03 PM
Barbara, I respectfully disagree for two major reasons:

1.) Assuming that the OP is correct, the board is in blatant violation of the governing docs. If you ignore this then you are just encouraging them to do whatever the heck they want. I would fight this tooth and nail unless they took the time to do what's needed to legally change their docs.

2.) Assuming that the owner is responsible for the windows, I would not want to pay the $20K unless I had competitive bids that matched the exact same specs as the windows that the HOA uses.

I've seen first hand what happens when a board goes rogue and ain't pretty. There is much more on the line than just this issue.




I'm not suggesting he ignore the problems but recalling the board or going to court are the only two checks on an unruly board.

And the amount may not end up being $20k, but the principle is correct - the association has no income that doesn't come from owners so he is going to pay either way.





I agree but first he needs to approach the board and point out that they are violating the docs and see how they respond. If it's a blatant as he has indicated the board may back down. Especially if they check with their lawyer first.
MaxB4


Posts:1394


06/28/2021 12:42 PM  
I commend Dale for trying to do their due diligence prior to buying into a HOA. I know what California requires in terms of documentation for a resale, not sure what Oklahoma owners are entitled to. I didn't see anywhere where the OP read the minutes, let along received them. Get a budget is different than reviewing the actual financials, point being, do you really know what you're getting into. In addition, I doubt the change in the governing documents about the windows or a pending special assessment was ever mentioned.

Based on experience, the document outlining the maintenance and replacement of window should be the CCRs and not the Bylaws. As Douglas pointed out, there are some associations, rare, that will allow the Board to make changes to the Bylaws, most will require a majority vote of all owners. On the other hand, changes to the CCRs are like making changes to the Bible. 11 people out of 400 units showing up at a meeting doesn't cut it. Being these are recorded documents, changes as described would be IMO tantamount to fraud by the Board.

A Board does what the OP claims they did and you want to put them in charge of a $8M project, $20K times 400 units. I'm currently handling ARC requests for owners replacing their windows in a town home community just outside Los Angeles and $20K per unit is nowhere in this universe. Are the windows in Oklahoma framed in 24K Gold?
DaleC6
(Oklahoma)

Posts:3


06/28/2021 1:02 PM  
Wow, thank you for all the suggestions and advice. To answer the questions posed.

I understand the 20k is paid by me either way. The real question is the timing. If we concentrate on core issues like HVAC there would be time later to build reserves as the current windows are not horrible. They could be reglazed as the high rise has aluminum frames and thick glass already. This approach would make any special assessments much less intrusive on the home owners.

It was mentioned that an assessment was discussed and was not popular with the owners in the past due to the currently high monthly dues already in place. There are just short of 400 units in the condo association in two high rise towers.

The document I referenced is the declaration of unit ownership and contains the bylaws as an amendment. The document includes a section that says that a quorum of owners is required to modify and can either be by in person or proxy vote. All special assessments require a majority approval of the owners. One of the amendments excludes the load bearing walls and exterior windows from unit ownership and further states that all maintenance of these items is the responsibility of the association and not resident.

I think I got them all. I do anticipate being on the board at some point, but not until I retire / move in permanently.



TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17785


06/28/2021 1:10 PM  
Dale,

Sorry to hear about your issue.

I agree that the board likely failed to follow proper procedure.
I suspect that, as you pointed out, the Association is underfunded and if the Association were to replace windows, they would likely defer the maintenance or do a special assessment. This was likely the option to the owners at the last meeting (replace on your own or special assessment).


As others have pointed out, your options are limited (because the bylaws are considered a contact and an issue between the parties involved vs. a third party intervention).

The options as I see them are:

a) Accept the situation but do due diligence at getting competitive pricing.
b) Talk with the board about procedures, why they did what they did and see what happens.
c) Ignore the issue, don't replace and use the failure to follow procedures as a defense if the Association takes legal action.
d) Gather support and recall the board so the new board can adhere to the governing docs.



Keep in mind that the bigger issue is the financial issues you discovered when you did your research. That needs to be corrected (i.e. increase in assessments) more then the window issue you discovered.



MaxB4


Posts:1394


06/28/2021 1:15 PM  
Posted By DaleC6 on 06/28/2021 1:02 PM
Wow, thank you for all the suggestions and advice. To answer the questions posed.

I understand the 20k is paid by me either way. The real question is the timing. If we concentrate on core issues like HVAC there would be time later to build reserves as the current windows are not horrible. They could be reglazed as the high rise has aluminum frames and thick glass already. This approach would make any special assessments much less intrusive on the home owners.

It was mentioned that an assessment was discussed and was not popular with the owners in the past due to the currently high monthly dues already in place. There are just short of 400 units in the condo association in two high rise towers.

The document I referenced is the declaration of unit ownership and contains the bylaws as an amendment. The document includes a section that says that a quorum of owners is required to modify and can either be by in person or proxy vote. All special assessments require a majority approval of the owners. One of the amendments excludes the load bearing walls and exterior windows from unit ownership and further states that all maintenance of these items is the responsibility of the association and not resident.

I think I got them all. I do anticipate being on the board at some point, but not until I retire / move in permanently.






The Declaration is a separate document from the Bylaws, it should not be shown as an amendment. There are two different qualifiers for changing. The CCRs will always be more difficult at 67% than Bylaws, which may be a majority of quorum.
DaleC6
(Oklahoma)

Posts:3


06/28/2021 1:23 PM  
Missed a question or two.

Dues are 750 per month and include utilities.

It’s a 20 story high rise

I made an informed decision to purchase the condo based on the long range plan, the budget and financials disclosed by the association. They are now changing that instead of dealing with the backlash of raising the monthly dues or funding the obligation with debt. As someone pointed out, I haven't read all the meeting notes but I doubt they took a vote to ignore the bylaws and dump the long range plan so not sure how reading them would have helped me make a better decision.

I don’t want to mount any type of legal attack on the board. We are just over 50% owner occupied, I can’t image the rentals will ever put that kind of money into the units. Most are already violating the rules by having rentals of less than 30 days. (Air BNB). I doubt the majority of owners can afford a 20k hit without equity financing or some other resource to lean on. That tells me that we will end up with a building with 1/2 the windows replaced or the association suing to get people to replace the windows if it somehow is determined this didn’t violate the association rules. The long range plan had the window replacement in the 2024 to 2027 range after the monthly increases had built enough reserves which made perfect sense to me.

The previous owner was in a nursing home and unable to answer many questions. I bought the unit from her living trust. I spoke with two former owners and read all the reviews available online. I am happy with my purchase but not the plan for fulfillment of the association responsibilities.

I am also aware of the underfunded nature of Condo’s across the country. I did my research up front but not sure how to proceed when the long range plan and governing documents are being disregarded.

thanks again for the info and advice and letting me be apart of the community.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


06/28/2021 1:46 PM  
Know you rec'd many replies, but I'll try again: Can you give the exact wording on the window replacement? How old are your towers? If the windows used to be the HOA's responsbiility are they listed on your reserve study?

My HOA also is twin towers--25 stories-- and the windows are the Owners' responsibility. Ours are double-paned in powder coated aluminum frames. They are replaced from the interior. They re 20 years old and are nowhere needing to be replaced even though they get lotsa sun and salt air. What is wrong with yours?

Still puzzled about carpeting. Is it common area carpeting? Then it makes sense.

Assume your HVAC cooling towers, etc. are on your roofs. Depending on your building's age, yes, they may need to be replaced. Do carefully read your reserve study.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/28/2021 2:58 PM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/28/2021 11:54 AM
Welcome to condo living. Every single one of them is underfunded and poorly maintained. Why? Because they have no savings. Because nobody wants to dump money into a condo they aren't going to live in ten years from now. So monthly dues stay low and special assessments are rare and a few years down the road everything is falling apart at once and there's no money to fix it.
I would not have thought to remark as BarbaraT1. But when I read the above, a lot fused together in my mind, and the bomb went off (like nuclear fusion yes sir/ma'am). I think BarbaraT1's statement is profound and true with only an exceedingly rare exception now and then (like KerryL1's condo?).
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/28/2021 3:42 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 06/28/2021 12:41 PM
I agree but first he needs to approach the board and point out that they are violating the docs and see how they respond. If it's a blatant as he has indicated the board may back down. Especially if they check with their lawyer first.
I agree with the above. Boards often do respond meaningfully when this approach is used. A polite, just-the-facts, emotionless, letter is absolutely worth a try.

Also, perhaps DaleC6 would like to read about this very similar situation at a California COA, also over who maintains the windows.

https://www.hoatalk.com/Forum/tabid/55/forumid/1/postid/305588/view/topic/Default.aspx

Judge Judy recently arbitrated the dispute. And I do mean binding arbitration. It's not just TV.

At this California COA, the covenants said the owners maintain the windows, but the Board insisted that the COA could maintain the windows, even though no amendment to the covenants had been made.

Judge Judy ruled in favor of the covenants.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/29/2021 8:17 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/28/2021 11:54 AM

Welcome to condo living. Every single one of them is underfunded and poorly maintained. Why? Because they have no savings. Because nobody wants to dump money into a condo they aren't going to live in ten years from now. So monthly dues stay low and special assessments are rare and a few years down the road everything is falling apart at once and there's no money to fix it.
Is the system set up in the federal government and individual state governments all that much better? E.g. folks do not want to pay for upgrade of the rather unique Texas grid until disaster strikes. (For that matter, the nation's entire, aged electrical grid is straining, especially under the added loads of climate change.) Isn't resistance to increased taxes (be they HOA/COA assessments or one's federal income tax) the norm?

Are HOA/COAs just a more accessible punching bag to the typical, financially-illiterate homeowner, compared to say the federal government or one's state government?
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/29/2021 9:36 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/29/2021 8:17 AM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/28/2021 11:54 AM

Welcome to condo living. Every single one of them is underfunded and poorly maintained. Why? Because they have no savings. Because nobody wants to dump money into a condo they aren't going to live in ten years from now. So monthly dues stay low and special assessments are rare and a few years down the road everything is falling apart at once and there's no money to fix it.
Is the system set up in the federal government and individual state governments all that much better? E.g. folks do not want to pay for upgrade of the rather unique Texas grid until disaster strikes. (For that matter, the nation's entire, aged electrical grid is straining, especially under the added loads of climate change.) Isn't resistance to increased taxes (be they HOA/COA assessments or one's federal income tax) the norm?

Are HOA/COAs just a more accessible punching bag to the typical, financially-illiterate homeowner, compared to say the federal government or one's state government?






It's better in the sense that if you have responsible politicians who believe in science and place the well being of the state/country above donors and the desire to stay in power they will raise taxes when revenue is needed, regardless of public opinion. That's a big if.

Boards are limited in what they can do to raise revenues without approval of the membership. Even if you have a board that recognizes the severity of the problem, they may not be able to raise enough money quickly enough to address it.



AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/29/2021 9:42 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/29/2021 9:36 AM

It's better in the sense that if you have responsible politicians who believe in science and place the well being of the state/country above donors and the desire to stay in power they will raise taxes when revenue is needed, regardless of public opinion. That's a big if.
Toss in that there is more transparency in municipal, state and federal government than in COAs/HOAs. More transparency = easier to hold muni, state and federal elected officials accountable.

Boards are limited in what they can do to raise revenues without approval of the membership.
I agree many Boards are thusly limited by covenants or statute, and this is an important distinction IMO.
Even if you have a board that recognizes the severity of the problem, they may not be able to raise enough money quickly enough to address it.
I agree. E.g. a large special assessment may result in many members having to pay in installments.

A loan to the HOA/COA corporation is possible, but I'd just hate yet another bank making money off me, a HOA/COA member because the prior boards and membership were irresponsible. As is often repeated here.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:843


06/29/2021 9:43 AM  
Barbara,
While I agree with almost all of your reply. I would say that the job of the board is to insure that the Reserves are funded properly so that emergencies are limited to Acts of God verses unplanned natural problems.

IF money is set aside as required in a current Reserve Study it creates a Forced savings account for the HOA.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/29/2021 10:00 AM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 06/29/2021 9:43 AM
Barbara,
While I agree with almost all of your reply. I would say that the job of the board is to insure that the Reserves are funded properly so that emergencies are limited to Acts of God verses unplanned natural problems.

IF money is set aside as required in a current Reserve Study it creates a Forced savings account for the HOA.




I don't think we disagree. Boards should ensure that reserves are funded, which includes raising assessments when needed to contribute adequately to the reserves. Most documents I've seen only allow a board to increase 10% over the prior year and sometimes that just isn't enough.

ND
(PA)

Posts:634


06/29/2021 10:39 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/29/2021 10:00 AM
Posted By MarkM19 on 06/29/2021 9:43 AM
Barbara,
While I agree with almost all of your reply. I would say that the job of the board is to insure that the Reserves are funded properly so that emergencies are limited to Acts of God verses unplanned natural problems.

IF money is set aside as required in a current Reserve Study it creates a Forced savings account for the HOA.




I don't think we disagree. Boards should ensure that reserves are funded, which includes raising assessments when needed to contribute adequately to the reserves. Most documents I've seen only allow a board to increase 10% over the prior year and sometimes that just isn't enough.




Unfortunately when the problem is lack of money/funds; the automatic solution by govt's and Boards is to raise taxes and assessments to make up for that shortfall.

In addition to that being potentially necessary, govt's and Boards need to scrutinize the money already coming in and being spent, and seek ways to minimize and/or eliminate expenses, get more bang for the buck, seek efficiencies, negotiate contracts for goods/services, and whatever else can be done to make sure that current funding is being spent in the best ways possible. Doing this will help to ensure that any raise in taxes/assessments can also be minimized to the lowest possible/needed.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


06/29/2021 11:00 AM  
Dale

My HOA is responsible for roof replacement on each home. We discussed this over and over. Choices ran from leaving it alone, which would have necessitated a dues increase, to each owner paying for their own roof and other methods in between. Anything other then leave it alone would have required a Covenant change which would have required 66% of all owners agreeing. We knew the HOA replacing the roofs was a major selling point so in the end, we left it as is and we had a dues increase with the increase target to a Roofing Fund Reserve.

I tell this story as it appears your BOD might have been having the same type discussions about window replacement. It appears what they did would probably require a Covenant change but they went a head with it anyway. Challenge them.
EricN3
(California)

Posts:16


07/04/2021 8:32 PM  
i read somewhere that 70 percent of HOA'S don't have the funds to cover major repairs...
AugustinD


Posts:1695


07/11/2021 7:47 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/28/2021 2:58 PM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/28/2021 11:54 AM
Welcome to condo living. Every single one of them is underfunded and poorly maintained. Why? Because they have no savings. Because nobody wants to dump money into a condo they aren't going to live in ten years from now. So monthly dues stay low and special assessments are rare and a few years down the road everything is falling apart at once and there's no money to fix it.
I would not have thought to remark as BarbaraT1. But when I read the above, a lot fused together in my mind, and the bomb went off (like nuclear fusion yes sir/ma'am). I think BarbaraT1's statement is profound and true with only an exceedingly rare exception now and then (like KerryL1's condo?).
Some support for the exchange above, from today's Washington Post:

There are about 160,000 condominium buildings in the U.S. Though industry officials can’t put a price tag on how much maintenance is needed nationwide, Robert Nordlund, the CEO of Association Reserves — which advises condominium and homeowners associations on setting aside money for repairs — said the figure is “staggering.”

Of Nordlund’s 30,000 clients, he estimates that 30 percent of properties are significantly behind in their reserve funding, meaning they hold 30 percent or less than the total funding they need for planned and unexpected future projects. Another 40 percent [of] properties are only in “fair” condition, holding just 30 to 70 percent of needed funding.

More at https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/condo-repair-funding-crisis/2021/07/10/712b62de-e0bd-11eb-ae31-6b7c5c34f0d6_story.html
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:254


07/11/2021 8:17 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/11/2021 7:47 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/28/2021 2:58 PM
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/28/2021 11:54 AM
Welcome to condo living. Every single one of them is underfunded and poorly maintained. Why? Because they have no savings. Because nobody wants to dump money into a condo they aren't going to live in ten years from now. So monthly dues stay low and special assessments are rare and a few years down the road everything is falling apart at once and there's no money to fix it.
I would not have thought to remark as BarbaraT1. But when I read the above, a lot fused together in my mind, and the bomb went off (like nuclear fusion yes sir/ma'am). I think BarbaraT1's statement is profound and true with only an exceedingly rare exception now and then (like KerryL1's condo?).
Some support for the exchange above, from today's Washington Post:

There are about 160,000 condominium buildings in the U.S. Though industry officials can’t put a price tag on how much maintenance is needed nationwide, Robert Nordlund, the CEO of Association Reserves — which advises condominium and homeowners associations on setting aside money for repairs — said the figure is “staggering.”

Of Nordlund’s 30,000 clients, he estimates that 30 percent of properties are significantly behind in their reserve funding, meaning they hold 30 percent or less than the total funding they need for planned and unexpected future projects. Another 40 percent [of] properties are only in “fair” condition, holding just 30 to 70 percent of needed funding.

More at https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/condo-repair-funding-crisis/2021/07/10/712b62de-e0bd-11eb-ae31-6b7c5c34f0d6_story.html





I feel that the person who thought that a bunch of volunteers, elected by popular vote, who may be voted on yearly, and has no idea of the responsibility of maintaining a 10 million $ community that's, in our case, now 40 years old, should be hung.


Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > New condo owner-attended 1st meeting-big issues



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement