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Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,126
Registered: ‎04-16-2010

Re: HOA RANT

[ Edited ]

@jellyBEAN   It's obvious from many of the posts here that most don't understand how an HOA board works or their purpose. Just because one THINKS it's supposed to do ABC does mean that it legally IS supposed to do ABC.

 

The board of directors (your HOA board) has a fiduciary responsibility NOT to the homeowners but to the corporation known as your community. Meaning, they are legally obligated to make the best financial choice for the "corporation". By doing that, they make sure it stays healthy and therefore, the homeowners stay "healthy". Rarely does a homeowner realize this is how it works. 

 

The board of directors is not supposed to handle daily problems or deal with issues of homeowners other than to vote on final decisions which have been brought to them by the management company OR by committees of the community. Again, most don't realize this. Under the Condo Association Act, (HOA's don't have a specific act, they follow the Condo Association Act with addition Sections or Parts which have been added on via addendums), the role of the board of directors has been clearly spelled out. Your President is correct, you don't contact him, you contact the management company OR the committee head (in this case, the Architectural Committee) regarding this issue. Sounds like you don't have a committee that handles maintenance so he had directed you to the management company.

 

A law was passed many years ago (I'd have to go through one of my books to find the exact one or you can google it) regarding the sueing of volunteers; you can't. Why? Because then no one would volunteer. Considering how many programs in this country are in place solely due to volunteers....it would be a disaster if people stopped helping due to the risk of being sued. You can sue the community via the entity known as the HOA but not the members. HUGE waste of money especially if they are following what the by-laws and declarations say.

 

I know you are frustrated and angry; I would be as well. You want your property put back to where it was before it was damaged (and it was damaged).  Should they deal with it ASAP? I think so. That said, work with them and see how it ends. They're telling you they are going to return and work on it. See what they do. Take pictures and document. Question? Do you or does the HOA own the driveway? From what you've posted it sounds as if they own the outside aspect of your property (since they maintain it). If so, you may have a very difficult time telling them how to maintain their property. If you own the driveway, it's a different situation.  Good luck with everything; I hope it works out for you.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,084
Registered: ‎06-17-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@jellyBEAN wrote:

I tell myself it's just a driveway.  In the grand scheme of things, does it REALLY matter?  The answer would be no.  However, this is a new home.  I've only lived here a little over 2 years and always park my car in the garage.  Since the house is so new the place should still look nice you know?  It made me feel proud my new little home looked so nice, and now....not so much.  Makes me sad like why bother with anything?  They'll always be someone to rain on your parade so to speak.  Do I really want the stress of finding an atty and dragging this on for god knows how long, fighting w/people and feeling angry?  I think it might just be easier to move out sometime in the next year or so.  Be done with it.


@jellyBEAN   I agree finding an attorney is not needed at this point.

 

Yet this is important-because your driveway doesn't look right and is not the way it was when you purchased your home.

 

It was damaged and you deserve to have it made right.

Do what you can with communication and give it a few more days.  I'd be upset, too, because the mess they made devalues the look of your home.

 

In your other post you mentioned that the company didn't even have signage on their truck which bothers me, too.  Are they insured?  Bonded?  This could be another problem down the road. 

 

Your board director sounds like a real charm.  Well boo-hoo.  He knows he isn't paid when he took the position so too bad for him.  He still has an obligation to support community members. 

 

And vote his sorry behind out next time.

 

I know what it is like to deal with board members; ours is made up of retired old biddies who couldn't run a bath let alone a community.  LOL

 

Try to relax; breathe, do your footwork and then let it be.  It will work out.

 

Good luck.

""Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,352
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@Shawnie wrote:

@NickNack wrote:

@esme wrote:

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

 

 


 

 

@esme   She said she lives in a townhouse and all outside maintenance is taken care of.


Sounds like the ownership is condo though.  Pretty unusual around here for townhouse HOA to be responsible for home building upkeep.  That would be a Condo Ownership.  I would contact the company and say Hey you missed me, when are you coming back? Heck, Knowing me i would have run out the door and said where are you going!!  As far as the chemicals and the concrete color on the driveway, do you have before pictures?  Otherwise you are kind of stuck.  Ask them nicely to try again.  Gotta say our sidewalks are not uniform either.  It just isn’t important.  Another thing, your home is two years old?  Power washing nice but maybe not needed?  Good Luck, 


I would think that pictures of other driveways - not damaged - in comparison would be sufficient to show what happened.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,352
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@SahmIam wrote:

@jellyBEAN   It's obvious from many of the posts here that most don't understand how an HOW board works or their purpose. Just because one THINKS it's supposed to do ABC does mean that it legally IS supposed to do ABC.

 

The board of directors (your HOA board) has a fiduciary responsibility NOT to the homeowners but to the corporation known as your community. Meaning, they are legally obligated to make the best financial choice for the "corporation". By doing that, they make sure it stays healthy and therefore, the homeowners stay "healthy". Rarely does a homeowner realize this is how it works. 

 

The board of directors is not supposed to handle daily problems or deal with issues of homeowners other than to vote on final decisions which have been brought to them by the management company OR by committees of the community. Again, most don't realize this. Under the Condo Association Act, (HOA's don't have a specific act, they follow the Condo Association Act with addition Sections or Parts which have been added on via addendums), the role of the board of directors has been clearly spelled out. Your President is correct, you don't contact him, you contact the management company OR the committee head (in this case, the Architectural Committee) regarding this issue. Sounds like you don't have a committee that handles maintenance so he had directed you to the management company.

 

A law was passed many years ago (I'd have to go through one of my books to find the exact one or you can google it) regarding the sueing of volunteers; you can't. Why? Because then no one would volunteer. Considering how many programs in this country are in place solely due to volunteers....it would be a disaster if people stopped helping due to the risk of being sued. You can sue the community via the entity known as the HOA but not the members. HUGE waste of money especially if they are following what the by-laws and declarations say.

 

I know you are frustrated and angry; I would be as well. You want your property put back to where it was before it was damaged (and it was damaged).  Should they deal with it ASAP? I think so. That said, work with them and see how it ends. They're telling you they are going to return and work on it. See what they do. Take pictures and document. Question? Do you or does the HOA own the driveway? From what you've posted it sounds as if they own the outside aspect of your property (since they maintain it). If so, you may have a very difficult time telling them how to maintain their property. If you own the driveway, it's a different situation.  Good luck with everything; I hope it works out for you.


Well suing volunteers was certainly allowed in VA - and other states -  when volunteer - unpaid - vestry members were personally sued when their churches - which voted as a whole congregation -  chose to leave the Episcopal church and retain their buildings.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,126
Registered: ‎04-16-2010

Re: HOA RANT

[ Edited ]

@Isobel Archer   When financial issues or real estate is involved, it's a different story (as well as dealing with religious groups). I know that the treasurer of an HOA in my county was sued for taking funds (stealing). So yes, when a criminal act occurs, that's a different story.  To sue a volunteer because they don't return your calls, tell them to contact someone else; that's a different story. Not to mention, I'm willing to bet the HOA president is following the advice of the attorney for the community. There are rules/laws in place and again, most are clueless about this.

 

I wish every homeowner had to spend a year on their HOA board or a committee; you would be shocked at what has to be done. BTW, the boohoo he chose it? If no one offers to take a position on the board, then the community goes into receivership. This means a judge orders an attorney to take over running the community. That means your reserve will be used to pay ALL fees and then, when that is drained, an assessment is placed on each house to pay the fees. Don't pay? You'll be taken to court.

 

Again, people don't understand (IMHO) how it REALLY works. I didn't until I joined. What an eye opener!

 

Yes, there are poorly run boards and the community will show this. Yes, you can vote them out but ONLY if someone offers to run in their place! I'm working on cleaning up issues that go back 25 years....because no one wants the job. So, those on the board did what they want and well....we're paying for it now. Why do I do it? Because I don't buy a house to lose money on it. Because I want my neighborhood to look nice. Because there are those who are now coming forward and helping because they see that the person in charge gives a ******. It is what it is.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,084
Registered: ‎06-17-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@lovesrecess wrote:
I would tell the HOA as well as the management company you are hiring another power washing company to do your home since the company they hired failed to do it...and you expect the HOA to pay for it. I would also continue to call and email until you get a response.
Another reason we backed out on purchasing a home we liked...nightmare stories about the HOA. Be careful posting slams on yelp; those can backfire and you could end up with more issues than you have now. I would deduct the cost of the power wash from your dues.

@lovesrecess   No, no, and NO!

 

She cannot "deduct from her dues".

She cannot expect the HOA to pay for a privately hired contractor; and her covenant may very well prohibit her from doing so anyway.

 

She has already "paid" for this through her dues.

 

Damage was done and needs to be rectified.  The HOA hired them; the HOA has to fix this for her.

 

She should, however, keep up the communication.

""Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,352
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@SahmIam wrote:

@Isobel Archer   When financial issues or real estate is involved, it's a different story (as well as dealing with religious groups). I know that the treasurer of an HOA in my county was sued for taking funds (stealing). So yes, when a criminal act occurs, that's a different story.  To sue a volunteer because they don't return your calls, tell them to contact someone else; that's a different story. Not to mention, I'm willing to bet the HOA president is following the advice of the attorney for the community. There are rules/laws in place and again, most are clueless about this.

 

I wish every homeowner had to spend a year on their HOA board or a committee; you would be shocked at what has to be done. BTW, the boohoo he chose it? If no one offers to take a position on the board, then the community goes into receivership. This means a judge orders an attorney to take over running the community. That means your reserve will be used to pay ALL fees and then, when that is drained, an assessment is placed on each house to pay the fees. Don't pay? You'll be taken to court.

 

Again, people don't understand (IMHO) how it REALLY works. I didn't until I joined. What an eye opener!


It would seem that financial - and real estate -  issues are involved here.  Her property was damaged.  Even if it turns out that the HOA owns the driveway - her ability to sell at the going price has been damaged by the state of driveway.

 

I am well aware of the aggravation HOA presidents get from homeowners.  My husband was president twice and we had a neighbor calling at 1:00 in the morning complaining about motorcycle noise from someone driving through the neighborhood - as just one example.

 

However there were also clearly issues that could have resulted in liability - such as tree maintenance in the common areas.  We have many old trees and if one was not taken down that should have been and had then fallen on a house, there would indeed, be liability.  The same would have been true if one of the vendors taking down a tree caused it to fall on someone's house - or car - or cause damage to their property.

 

I don't see the difference here.

 

 

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,126
Registered: ‎04-16-2010

Re: HOA RANT

@Isobel Archer  A tree falling on someone's house and possibly killing someone vs a driveway that is splotchy in color: different degrees of damages without a doubt.

 

I agree the driveway should be put back to the way it was. No argument there. What I asked was if the Association owned her driveway because it can make things more difficult if they do. Until they actually come out and do the work, she isn't going to know what to do next.

 

One step at a time.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 942
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Re: HOA RANT

You can, certainly, sue the HOA of a Condo, depending upon the state you live in.  The Board of Directors have insurance called Directors and Officer Liability which covers them for any decisions made as a Board.

 

This is a condo that she lives in, she "owns" the UNIT, only and is responsible for the interior.  The outside of the unit including the driveway, grass, backyard are common areas.

 

Your Property Manager has responded to your complaints and you, unfortunately, have to wait for it to be taken care of.  As much as you would like for it to be taken care of immediately, it was explained to you in writing when it would be taken care of.

 

It is never wise to withhold your maintenance check until it is fixed to your satisfaction.  It puts you and your unit into jeopardy and could result in an expense lawsuit that believe me , you want to avoid.

 

As a former President of the Board for 12 years, I am sorry that your president sent such a "snarky" letter.  He was correct in forwarding it to the property manager as they deal with the day to day operations of the Condo.

 

Most of the opinions are from people who are not familiar with Condo or Co-Op ownership.  It can be very frustrating when having to deal with a Board of Directors who make all the decisions for everyone living in the complex

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,352
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: HOA RANT


@SahmIam wrote:

@Isobel Archer  A tree falling on someone's house and possibly killing someone vs a driveway that is splotchy in color: different degrees of damages without a doubt.

 

I agree the driveway should be put back to the way it was. No argument there. What I asked was if the Association owned her driveway because it can make things more difficult if they do. Until they actually come out and do the work, she isn't going to know what to do next.

 

One step at a time.


Of course, but a tree could also damage a driveway - which would not be different from what happened here.

I was responding to the statement that volunteer HOA Board members have no liability or responsibility for preventable property damage.