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some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Yay HOA stuff!

Kidding. Iím on the board of our HOA (19 units, 3 are part of an affordable housing coalition), we have to take care of a 161,000 gallon storm water tank. Our HOA provides lawn service & snow removal (though not required in bylaws and covenants...)
Iím the SME/city liaison for the stormwater tank lol.

Being on the board is interesting and exasperating. When I bought this property, I had misgivings about being in an HOA. Now that Iíve been in the board for six years I can say with certainty, that my misgivings were correct.

Definitely do serve on your HOA, it is a worthwhile activity, albeit unappreciated & unpaid. watching the sausage get made has been enlightening, witnessing the speed and power of the HOA has been terrifying.

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some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

<sigh> crazy people. My HOA is involved in a dispute w/our non-HOA neighbor (CP).

This is the second legal issue with out HOA in the 10 years it has been extant.

I can't talk about this one yet, because there is litigation pending.

The first legal issue in our HOA was interesting though:
There are 3 units in our development that are owned in partnership with the homeowner and an affordable housing coalition. (AFHC keeps 3/4 of equity in house, there are income restrictions to who can get into the program.

So, one of the affordable housing unit owners, without paying any attention to covenants or informing HOA, digs up his side yard (tiny, specifically allocated to drainage, with cross sections and details of the rock fill etc) and fills it with top soil and sod, adds some sprinklers. (At the time, we on the HOA board did not fully comprehend the scope of covenants or the power of the HOA)
Probably this would have gone unnoticed, but...

So this owner, living in an affordable* housing unit, then decides that it will be a really neat idea to RENT out his house, and move out of state. (not at all allowed by housing coalition!, its affordable housing not affordable investment)
Probably, this would have gone unnoticed, but...

His tenants are smoking cannabis in the side yard, kids are kicking a soccerball into the wall of the house next door.
(The side yards are 10' wide)

So one day I get an email from aggrieved neighbor, (lives next this clown). She'd like to know if she can build a fence down the property line, has some issues with neighbors. I'm unaware of any of these issues, so I tell her that that's not allowed, but she should request an HOA meeting to discuss any issues she is having.

two days later we get a letter form her attorney, invoking the covenant clauses, (no disturbing neighbors, no changing irrigation/grade)

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Colostomy Bag posted:

Holy hell that is interesting and quite a mess.

Sounds like she is quite sharp, invoking the attorney to enforce covenant clauses. While tossing in "let me build a fence" to sort of bend your hand.

I hate to say it, but you have to be an rear end in a top hat when dealing with people. You give them an inch...

And how did the affordable housing get in? Was it before your time?

The affordable units were written into the HOA from the get go. Yes quite a mess!
Yeah it was a wild ride. The (stupid) people with the affordable unit got ratted out to the affordable housing coalition and were forced to sell. HOA put a lien on the house like the next business day after being notified of the complaint. There is no wiggle room at all, no discussions or negotiations, I was quite astonished at how quickly it all took place.

The problem owner of the affordable unit spent $4500 within 2 weeks to come back into compliance, we released the lien, he sold the property and we got a very reasonable rational new owner.


BUT...

This experience made the HOA board quite worried and we proceeded to have the developer come through and audit the properties to inspect them and see if other homeowners had modified their properties in exception of the covenants.

Turned out myself and another neighbor were found to have modified the grade/drainage and were forced to return our properties to compliance. No lien or anything. Humorous part is that the board had me write the demand letter to myself and the other owner.

Canít wait until the other problem finally gets settled, itís even much more stupid, at this point it is headed for jury trial. (Our insurance company is doing the litigating on behalf of the HOA).

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

FilthyImp posted:

That sucks, because now you have to spend Association Money to respond with the Association's Attorney and it won't come cheap.

Afaik you'd still need to discuss the changes in the meeting.

Out of curiosity what keeps y'all from building fences at the property lines? (That's something the Association should do and handle the maintenance on). Is there no allocated budget for fences and upkeep??

Yeah, it wasnít too bad cost wise, but still a hassle, required time from the board, aggravation. Lots o meetings.


The fences and property lines are all laid out on the master plan for the community and the covenants have language that specifies that the fences remain where they are. Since the houses are 10í apart, having a fence down the middle of the property line would really impact ďyourĒ side yard. Your south side yard is technically half your south side neighbors, but they donít have ready access.
just last month the question was asked about costs on replacing fences, turns out the covenant says itís 50/50 split between the adjacent property owners.

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Hey how much. Do your HOAs typically charge for transfer/doc fees etc when a property is sold/bought?
Trying to get my HOA to charge more because itís just dumb not to.

We charging $100, just increased to $150... this is on a $899,000 sale.

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Ours is actually loosey goosey regarding fees @ transfer. we can charge what we like, except copying is 15 cents a page.
When We get a request for transfer papers they always ask about
capital reserve fees, doc fees, rush fees, etc, so I figure these are frequently included on transactions w/hoas.
Just seemed like we were missing a chance at building up our reserve a tiny bit, with something that is almost completely inconsequential to a new owner.

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Thanks Colostomy. I got the board to approve an additional $100 documentation fee, and it did not rattle the new purchase r of the $920K property. 🤷🏿‍♂️

Re drainage issues, I found the ďUrban Drainage and Flood Control District Urban Storm Drainage Criteria Manual Volume 1ď and spent some time reading it, interesting to read that(at least in our state) municipalities and other operators of flood control structures are somewhat shielded from damages unless there is negligence (or some other very limited circumstance). Relieved me of a small bit of concern I had regarding the HOA responsibilities in this area.

Next issue: one the board members is not useful, going to try to put them to use or.

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Fooma posted:

Big thing now is HOAs wanting to open up pools and amenity centers now that the "peak" is over. Word is over 700 lawsuits have already been filed against businesses related to covid, some involving liability of the business/facilities in not taking steps to manage transmissability. Lots of people wanting to push for the HOA amenities to open, which could lead to lawsuits soon as someone is infected. Lawsuit liability is going to be crazy for years.

drat, Iím glad we donít do anything other than pay someone to mow the lawn/shovel snow...
Hmmm. Anyone think I can make an effective argument to discontinue these services due to possible liability concerns? (They are not specified in covenants, Iím not sure why we are doing them).

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Read your covenants and rules, they will have an explanation of how the board is set up and what mechanism s exist to have elections or recall the board or replace members
As far as the postal facilities on your property those are very likely the responsibilities of the HOA and again, will be spelled out in the covenants.
General appearances regarding landscaping standards, storage of items, signage etc are going to be spelled out in covenant as well. If they are not spelled out then probably difficult for HOA to do anything.
If you have a management company overseeing the community and they are not doing a good job, then itís up to the board to find another management company,, they are hired by the HOA board.

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

After rereading covenant, the board can only directly vote out the officers. Lol since the useless guy does not have an officer position, it would have to be a general membership vote, and would have to have quorum ( weíve never had a quorum present @ annual meeting ).
Iím thinking of asking for proxies, anyone have experience with that?

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

The biggest issue weíve had on our HOA is aaaaaaaaallllllllllmmmmmmooooossttt over.

So, so, close. Once the papers are signed Iíll talk about it, but, man am I so f glad this is almost through.

19 unit detached home HOA, v small lots, self managed, Iíve been on the board for 5 years.

In other news I took a training course that our HOA law firm puts on, it was very interesting especially the things we are probably not doing right. Highly recommend!

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

https://www.ochhoalaw.com/education/

some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh.

Now I think Iím in the position of questioning the rest of the boards willingness to conduct business according the covenants. (Someone built something, Iím certain they needed a permit, rest of board ďshrugĒ)

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some_admin
Oct 11, 2011



Grimey Drawer

Our Covenants say anything you build should be permitted if a permit is required. Homeowner put in a front patio with no notice, no plan submitted, and no permit. I got the board to ok asking our lawyers about it and they told us that itís not up to the board to police whether or not they got a permit. (Ok, fine, whatever)
They did tell us that we do have to enforce our 30 day notice before improvements covenant, and thereís a 1 year SOL before we canít act on it. Iíll be off the board before then yay.

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