Can You Make a Difference In Your HOA If Things Are Going Downhill?

Here is the short part of a long email sent to me by someone who managed to get on their association board, educate herself and help educate some of the other board members who had let things go amuck under the “old guard” (some of the directors and the manager). Through her efforts considerable “waste” had been discovered and through the efforts of a  “new educated majority” armed with the power of knowledge, the association was turned around. Before things settled down she says: “For a while the Board meetings began to look like the Jerry Springer Show, because so many old-time owners were angry with the newcomers for trying to change the ancient system.”

This was the outcome of determination and persistence to overcome a board that really needs fixing:

“Through several miraculous events, things have turned around….we were able to gain control of the Board and secure a $1 million loan to restore the dilapidated property in the association with the help of an ethical condo restoration company.  We now have a decent management company; all checks require two board member signatures and we are able to reconcile the financials monthly and stay on budget.”

Imagine that!

I provide owner consultations in addition to my HOA process. In doing so, I do consult with board members who are the minority on the board and are trying to make a difference. I can usually help them chart some pragmatic, reasonable, responsible actions that improve the situation. Sometimes it takes a fairly long time (like two elections in a row). The patient and pragmatic generally can effect positive change.

Likewise, in a few cases, I have provided consultations for owners who really seem to just want to complain about the board and/or living in the association, but when I suggest ways to chart out a course, seek support of fellow members, to gather facts that may be compelling either to neighbors and help gather support, to push for records to which the owner is entitled, and indicate there is any form of “effort” on their part is involved, they go away less than satisfied.  In these cases, when they find an attorney can’t “fix” the myriad of problems in the association, they shut down and stop listening.


I like to hear the success stories, not the agony of defeat.


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What Are The Parameters for HOA Executive Sessions With Regard to Litigation?

A reader sent me this question recently. It relates to meeting in executive session to discuss litigation. California law says: (a) The board may adjourn to, or meet solely in, executive session to consider litigation…” This is very broad language. If in doubt, take a gander at a Merriam-Webster dictionary. “con·sid·er verb \kən-ˈsi-dər\ : to [...]

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Beth A. Grimm is an attorney who serves homeowner associations and homeowners alike. She is a frequent contributor to the Echo Journal and other similar publications in the State of California and on a national level. She provides several publications written in plain English to help people who need information about California law as it relates to homeowner and condominium associations.

Things to keep in mind about this site: Practical Nuts and Bolts Problems and Solutions are Discussed. Beth A. Grimm practices law in California ONLY! There is nothing in these blogs that is intended to constitute legal advice. You must consult with an attorney if you want legal advice!