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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,347
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@Somertime wrote:

@Isobel Archer   A lawyer is a costly expense and the cost to fix her driveway is more than likely to be under $200.00.

 

The Board of Directors must allow her to repair the unit, she cannot do it without Board Approval and she could be subject to fines as well.

 

There are rules and regulations and since the HOA is responsible for all outside maintenance and NOT the owner of the unit, she must get approval to do her own repair, thus the Board allowing her to do so.  The Board is stating as well that this is a pre-existing condition. The Board will not replace the concrete based on their statement to her.

 

Small Claims Court will get her what she wants which is having her driveway repaired more than likely deciding in her favor to use the gentlemen she wishes to use and the decision could include the cost being paid for by the Board.  It is a swift, quick, easy way to a resolution of her problem without having to go through the cost of a lawyer and then having to go to court as well.

 

Having been a former President of Board of Directors and having dealings of this nature is the reason I recommended Small Claims Court.  She will be able to get her driveway fixed to her satisfaction and eliminate the ongoing argument with a Board who is absolving themselves of all responsibility.


Maybe I haven't been clear.  I don't think she should HAVE to do her own repair - AT ALL.  I think it is the responsibility of whoever made the decision to hire the folks who ruined her driveway to restore it.

 

Yes, I get that as a Board President, you don't think it would actually be your responsibility - or that of the Board.  They MIGHT agree to help a little, but most of all you  think she should ask them nicely to allow her to fix it herself and stop bothering them.

 

I get that.

 

The Board is denying responsibility.  The company is denying responsibility.  The second company she contacted said they can't guarantee that they CAN fix it to her satisfaction.  I think it may be the case that the only way to restore it to its original condition would be to replace the concrete.  Clearly the  Board does not want to do that.  

 

Of course there are rules and regulations.  There is also accountability for damaging someone's ability to resell their condo at a fair price.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,347
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: HOA RANT

I wonder if pictures of other driveways that have not been powerwashed and are still in their original condition would suffice.  It would show the clear difference between before and after.

 

It is interesting that on the one hand the Board won't tell you the name of the company, but then they don't want to help you either.  And now you're being gaslighted by being told that the "Board members" say the damage wasn't caused by the powerwashing.  Wow.

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

Re: HOA RANT

@Isobel Archer  I agree but as you read, the Board is stonewalling her.  She will get no satisfaction from them at all which is why I recommended what I did.  They are being arrogant, stupid and punishing her for complaining and are now stating it was a pre-existing condition.  They want no one to test their power or their judgement.  This is now a vindictive action by the Board.

 

Your suggestion of having pictures of others driveway might be helpful to prove the Board would not allow a damaged driveway without repair but it is still someone else's driveway but it could not hurt her case.

 

Small Claims Court is the easiest way to settle the matter.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,230
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: HOA RANT

Deny, deny, deny, and they (HOA) all start to believe it

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

Re: HOA RANT

@jellyBEAN   One final suggestion regarding pictures of you driveway prior.  Type your full address into the internet search.  It might bring up the old real estate listing showing picures including your driveway.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,194
Registered: ‎04-03-2010

Re: HOA RANT

Thank you for your replies.  It is looking like I'll be going to small claims court in the future.  Judge Judy I'll be thinking of you.  I have a feeling they will not provide me with the info I seek, because the guy who won this contract is more like a jack of all trades, does a little of this, a little of that, and nothing of quality.  I mean he had a team of 1 guy doing this community.  The fellow who gave me his opinion, said he would have had a team of 8 working and could have finished all this in a day.  He noticed all the cleaning solutions were left puddling in the stormwater drainage basins by each driveway, they didn't rinse it away and the place looked so sloppy.  And judging by what I'm seeing and in looking around the neighborhood, some others have bad drives too, but they are older units.  That's the thing here, a lot of the units were all built at different times. 

 

I'm not saying my driveway was 100% perfect.  I had darkness near a downspout but it was just a small area, not my entire drive.  Vendor is now changing his story that this downspout is the cause of all my ills, and created this darkness.  I don't know if I mentioned this also but he insinuated I was a liar and that my home had been power-washed because he saw the residue from the cleaning solution.  I said that's not cleaning solution because they never washed the house, ITS DIRT.  He took his finger and rubbed it against the siding and his finger was dirty and then he agreed it was indeed dirt.  I feel like I'm dealing with a bunch of undependable  morons.  You can't fix stupid!

Flowers are nature's way of laughing
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,194
Registered: ‎04-03-2010

Re: HOA RANT


@Somertime wrote:

@jellyBEAN   One final suggestion regarding pictures of you driveway prior.  Type your full address into the internet search.  It might bring up the old real estate listing showing picures including your driveway.


Yeah, I did that.  All that comes up are the current homes for sale in the community.  I was hoping a photo of my home would pop up, but no luck.

Flowers are nature's way of laughing
Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,101
Registered: ‎04-16-2010

Re: HOA RANT

@jellyBEAN I would be so angry if I were you; for many reasons.

 

Understand that what I say to you is useful only in the general sense as I don't know what state you live in, I don't know what your actual situation is regarding your documents and the laws in your state. I can only state the specifics of where I live.

 

All that said, I would tread carefully regarding a lawyer and suing. I asked you before what your by-laws and declarations state; again, read them VERY carefully. It may be spelled out regarding whether you are required to go to Arbitration in situations like this. If you're going to do the route of suing, look for a lawyer that is experienced in HOA/Condo laws; many are not and that can cost you. This happened in my community a month ago:

 

A homeowner had an issue with her sump pump. It drained constantly into the parking area of our community. I mean, it drained 24/7. There was water flowing all the time; it looked like someone was washing their car. Every home has an outlet to the parking lot for this purpose. However, the sump pumps, when working properly, drain once every few days, if that. We don't need them; the builder put them due to building code in my county in the 70's. This house is a rental. The woman does the minimum to maintain it. She lives out of state. 

 

During this winter, her sump pump water issue caused the entire parking lot to freeze with 7 inches plus of ice. Tires were frozen to the road. The calls started early Saturday morning. Didn't help that an ice storm moved in. I contacted our management company. They contacted our snow and ice people. Pictures and video don't lie. It took a team of 5 over 6 hours to cut through the ice and make it safe and drivable. It was a mess for 72 hours. ALL because of her sump pump spewing water nonstop. The cost was $6500 paid by the HOA aka ALL the homeowners who live there (because we pay into the pot).

 

We found out that her renter had been complaining of water issues in the lower level. Neighbors had called plumbers to see if their houses were causing the flooding. We had receipts and signed letters. The board decided to bill the homeowner for the cost of the repairs. Yes she had been notified prior about her water issue; she ignored it.

 

Long story short, we had to take her to court as she refused to accept responsibility (she did repair her sump pump; cost her $4500 to do so). Her lawyer argued that other neighbors feed into the street, they should all share the cost, it's community property. the HOA is being cheap, etc. Her lawyer was NOT familiar with our by-laws, our covenants or our county/state laws (she lived out of state and got a lawyer from out of state). The judge was angry because she felt this case was a waste of her time. We have everything spelled out, our rules and regulations were clear and in the end, it was obvious: the homeowner was responsible. In addition, she had to pay interest on the amount and lawyer fees...to the tune of almost $10,000. All she said was "it isn't fair. it isn't fair. Their stealing my money".

 

No. YOU signed a legally binding contract when you purchased the home in the community. It is presumed you read ALL the documents before you signed. If not, that's on you. YOU chose to not pay the bill and therefore, you left the HOA no choice but to sue you for amount owed for damage YOUR property caused to community property. YOU chose to hire an attorney you, admitted in court, did not normally  engage in HOA/Condo law. The judge said all this and more.

 

@jellyBEAN  Don't rush into anything. Take your time and move carefully. The board may not want to set "precedent" meaning: if they repair your driveway then others will demand the same thing. Their responsibility is to the community's financial well being first, homeowners second. That said, their attitude STINKS.There is right and wrong way to handle things and boy, IMHO, this is the WRONG way.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 29,049
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: HOA RANT


@jellyBEAN wrote:

Thank you for your replies.  It is looking like I'll be going to small claims court in the future.  Judge Judy I'll be thinking of you.  I have a feeling they will not provide me with the info I seek, because the guy who won this contract is more like a jack of all trades, does a little of this, a little of that, and nothing of quality.  I mean he had a team of 1 guy doing this community.  The fellow who gave me his opinion, said he would have had a team of 8 working and could have finished all this in a day.  He noticed all the cleaning solutions were left puddling in the stormwater drainage basins by each driveway, they didn't rinse it away and the place looked so sloppy.  And judging by what I'm seeing and in looking around the neighborhood, some others have bad drives too, but they are older units.  That's the thing here, a lot of the units were all built at different times. 

 

I'm not saying my driveway was 100% perfect.  I had darkness near a downspout but it was just a small area, not my entire drive.  Vendor is now changing his story that this downspout is the cause of all my ills, and created this darkness.  I don't know if I mentioned this also but he insinuated I was a liar and that my home had been power-washed because he saw the residue from the cleaning solution.  I said that's not cleaning solution because they never washed the house, ITS DIRT.  He took his finger and rubbed it against the siding and his finger was dirty and then he agreed it was indeed dirt.  I feel like I'm dealing with a bunch of undependable  morons.  You can't fix stupid!


 

 

@jellyBEAN   Take pictures of other driveways and the puddles, etc., your own also, sure you have done your driveway.  The HOA is also liable for this damage in my opinion as they hired an incompetent company,  It is difficult to attain justice, but if you have lots of proof, you should certainly win your suit.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,194
Registered: ‎04-03-2010

Re: HOA RANT

Well I know you all have better things to do and I truly appreciate all your responses.  I do have the Covenant agreement but I found the other documents mentioned online at the community website.  Of course I am very low on paper - figures - so I have to go out and get some, but I will print out all the documents and read them very carefully. 

 

I might even get another 3rd opinion and ask him to write an estimate.  And I will call back my other guy and ask him for an estimate as well.  Yes, this will take time, unfortunately I'm like a dog on a bone when something is irking me.  But thank you, I don't feel so alone, even though I know we are all strangers here.  Woman Happy

Flowers are nature's way of laughing