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Valued Contributor
Posts: 935
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Re: HOA RANT

@jellyBEAN   Good for you!  You've got this and you will be very well prepared better than any lawyer!  You should be very proud of yourself!

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,986
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: HOA RANT

[ Edited ]

@esme wrote:

Never heard of an HOA being involved with the cleaning of neighborhood houses. Common areas yes, but not privately owned. 

 

When I was looking at over 55 communities around here - I found not all HOA services provided are created equal. I chose to move here bc in addition to the fact that I loved the models, our HOA fee covers the normal stuff like care of common grounds, clubhouse, pool, etc, and if it snows 4" or more the HOA shovels each individual driveway and sidewalk.

 

During the summer we have the option of paying an additional fee to the HOA and the community landscapers will do individual homeowner's lawn care.  They mow, fertilize, weed, aerate, etc.  These services have helped me a lot when I used to travel bc I never had to worry about anything bc it was the HOA's responsibility.  

 

ETA:  any issues with covered services, we are to send all issues to the onsite HOA manager and he sees it gets done.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,784
Registered: ‎04-20-2013

Re: HOA RANT

@jellyBEAN - Your complex has an attorney.   Send the communications to him/her.  Their job is to avoid lawsuits which are costly to the Association.  His/her job is not to protect the Board.   Save yourself legal fees, ask for arbitration if one is in place. Our attorney has been helpful to residents as well as the Directors.  He also attends open meetings & residents bring up issues with him openly.  Use all the means dictated in your governing documents before suing or small claims.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,197
Registered: ‎04-03-2010

Re: HOA RANT


@Stray wrote:

@jellyBEAN - Your complex has an attorney.   Send the communications to him/her.  Their job is to avoid lawsuits which are costly to the Association.  His/her job is not to protect the Board.   Save yourself legal fees, ask for arbitration if one is in place. Our attorney has been helpful to residents as well as the Directors.  He also attends open meetings & residents bring up issues with him openly.  Use all the means dictated in your governing documents before suing or small claims.  


Yes I was reading thru my papers and it says the first step is mediation.  2nd step would be arbitration.  If neither of those 2 provide satisfaction then it goes to a civil suit.  I'll have to read again to see if it even mentions who the attorney is.  I'm in a rather small town and there are not too many atty's. here. 

 

Thanks for your help everyone. 

Flowers are nature's way of laughing
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,784
Registered: ‎04-20-2013

Re: HOA RANT


@jellyBEAN wrote:

@Stray wrote:

@jellyBEAN - Your complex has an attorney.   Send the communications to him/her.  Their job is to avoid lawsuits which are costly to the Association.  His/her job is not to protect the Board.   Save yourself legal fees, ask for arbitration if one is in place. Our attorney has been helpful to residents as well as the Directors.  He also attends open meetings & residents bring up issues with him openly.  Use all the means dictated in your governing documents before suing or small claims.  


Yes I was reading thru my papers and it says the first step is mediation.  2nd step would be arbitration.  If neither of those 2 provide satisfaction then it goes to a civil suit.  I'll have to read again to see if it even mentions who the attorney is.  I'm in a rather small town and there are not too many atty's. here. 

 

Thanks for your help everyone. 


@jellyBEAN - all H0As have one and you are also permitted to look at contracts and other documents you requested; we sign releases.  From my prospective, they took the lowest bid and that's ok but they should have references & done a sample of work prior to approval for the work.  So the Board represents YOU and works for all resident interests.  You pay for the work done & have a right to see why they were chosen & work done to your satisfaction.  Up here in NJ, highrises are very common & most condo so attorneys are quite savvy in condo law.  A lack of or nasty response by the Board is not acceptable nor is lack of action.   Your process should be outlined for grievances in your bylaws  & I would forward all copies of communications to the attorney.   He/she works with the Board but represents all residents in good standing.   He/she does not want litigation. 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,197
Registered: ‎04-03-2010

Re: HOA RANT

Wow, I was just reading the rules about mediation re: HOA etc.. in my state and it costs several hundreds of $$$ just to mediate -  $$$ to apply and $$$ for the mediators, in which the declarant party is responsible for the others expenses.  Jeeez - I thought it would be a more local sort of discussion about the issue and ideas raised to remedy the situation.  It doesn't seem to be worth it unless you've suffered a large loss dollar wise.  That is discouraging.   

Flowers are nature's way of laughing
Valued Contributor
Posts: 935
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Re: HOA RANT

@jellyBEAN  I'm happy to see you did research on your own for mediation and arbitration and found it to be cost prohibitive for your situation.  That was the reason I recommended small claims court.  The damage done to your driveway and the cost to repair is not sufficient for you to engage in a legal dispute involving Corporate attorney, mediation and an arbitrator.

 

Most of the counsel you have received, here, do not understand that you do not have an open Board, they have taken the position that it is a pre-existing condition and have refused to correct it.  Regarding the Corporate attorney and based on your Board's attitude, you will not receive any relief from him.  The Corporate attorney represents the HOA but is directed by the Board of Directors and I would guarantee the attorney will represent the position of the Board. 

 

There is no reason to be discouraged.  File a claim with small claims court, you do not need an attorney, you do not need the name of the company that did the work.  Bring all your correspondence from the Board and the Project Manager, the estimates to correct the driveway which will include the costs and pictures of the existing driveway and pictures of the other driveways.  It is a very simple process.  Do not be intimated if the Corporate attorney shows up, it is meant to make you worry and to intimidate you.  The outcome of the small claims court will be your driveway being fixed which is what you want.  You have a Board that feels their power is absolute!  Any dealings with them other than small claims court will only be to stonewall you and slap you down and make you feel as though you have no voice.

 

I have had to deal with this type of Board even while being a Board member which was the reason I advised you to go to small claims court.  It is the best remedy for a repair to a drive way that will be approx. $ 200.00 to correct.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,784
Registered: ‎04-20-2013

Re: HOA RANT

@esme What you own is determined by the governing documents. In our condo, you have a balcony which is not owned by you.  We as owners own inside of the outside door to your unit to the balcony door.  The balcony is “common shared element”.  The Association owns & maintains the balcony but it is for sole use by the resident attached by unit.  Meaning only you may use your balcony.  In Florida, my BIL owns the house in his community but not the driveway or surround.  Your maintenance goes to the Capital account for maintenance of the building and common areas including a gym, pool garage etc.  we own our parking spaces and considered “real estate” and we pay taxes on them but the Association is responsible for the garage.  

 

Condos, co-ops, gated communities have different guidelines & it’s important to read the Master Deed & governing documents prior to your purchase.  Most people don’t & have buyers remorse but I love Condo living after caring for a home for many years. Each State has their own guidelines.  In Florida, I believe there are hurricane Regs.  The Condominium Act in NJ outlines rights of owners, The Association and legal guidelines 

 

Some owners have mortgages & some include maintenance fees in terms of their mortgage. Some owners sublet & rent out apartments.  Renters just pay rent.  The owner pays the maintenance fee. 

 

The Association is the unit owners who elect a Board to administrate the management of the building, collection of maintenance fees, resolve disputes  & care for common areas.