Perhaps you as an owner have found this – you have a beef with or question about something the board is doing. What do you do? Certainly, research on the web might help. I have a lot of information on my site and there are others that do too, only one I think that has even more information that is for the most part lots of very good information although Adrian Adams of Davis-Stirling.com and I do not agree on everything.
There are sites that love complainers too, that encourage discourse but do not offer any viable resolution to existing problems. Most owners who have the disagreements or questions want solutions.
I get a lot of emails because I do offer consultations for owners. I do it at a reduced rate but it is still hefty enough to scare some owners off. I know that trusting attorneys whom one has never met is risky and scary. I have people call me who are referred from the HOA’s attorney. Sometimes people want “free” consultations or to “meet and chat with me” before hiring me to help them. But the program I have set up is streamlined to save owners money – I don’t take paper documents, I don’t offer administrative support and I don’t review documents before a consultation call unless an owner wants to pay for it. I do take electronic documents (with some limitations as to number) so that I can have them available to review while consulting with an owner on the telephone.
I charge more for office or face-to-face visits. They require more of my time than the 1 hour consultation.
I have been successful in helping many many owners who come back to me periodically for more help. I don’t do litigation and can’t get around the state to get involved in face to face meetings but find that an attorney demand or “educational” letter can help in many situations.
This is what one satisfied owner had to say:
“You gave me some great advice as to how to deal with my HOA board. They basically sent a lawyer about a year and a half ago after me and you gave me some great points and they went away. I have a new minor problem and want to be proactive. Can you help me with this [problem is outlined in the email]. M.R. - Los Angeles ”
I don’t like to say “no” to people but I do sometimes because they (1) fail to comprehend or adhere to the “boundaries” that I set which allow me to offer these services, or (2) don’t allow efficiency.
I get inquiries from all of the the state and country asking for an attorney “just like me ” in their area who does the consultations or provides as much free public-accessible information for homeowners (as is available on my website at www.californiacondoguru.com) . I don’t know of any attorney that is as well versed in homeowners association law in California or any other state that has set up a program to provide these reasonably cost consulations for owners.
I advise associations and owners (though of course not involved in a dispute in the same association).
Periodically I like to put this information out there - it helps quell some of the calls that want the information but have not yet had the time or patience to review the consultation form on the website.
In any event, I appreciate that owners have problems too. Sometimes they simply lack the understanding of how the HOAs and Condos work legally and sometimes they are dealing with boards that are blatantly ignoring the law and sometimes the parties involved just need some help in figuring out the solutions and an owner’s presentation of suggestions can resolve the problem.