Is Your HOA Board Making Mistakes? Would You Like to Flog Them?

Owners who have complaints about their boards may have good reason, or not. Understanding rights, obligations, and legal remedies is critical.

The HOA model can be seen as flawed on the one hand because HOAs are run by volunteers, often without special training or expertise, who, if accused of wrongdoing, tend to get defensive, sometimes closed minded.  Often directors are serving – sometimes very long term- just because no one else will. This doesn’t make for a very good situation – especially when some owners find everything they do to be wrong, and even more especially if the complainers are never willing to serve on the “hot seat”.

On the other hand, some look at the model as great because HOAs can self-regulate to a degree, developing rules and policies within the authority and responsibility of the legal governing documents in a manner that serves the community well. Many communities hum along just fine.

If you read my other blog – California Condo & HOA blog, accessible on the main page of my website at www.californiacondoguru.com, you will see I posted concurrently with this a long blog on how volunteers tend to fall short when it comes to understanding contracts and vendor interactions.  There is a lot more to know, no matter which side of the table you sit on.

As an owner, if you have complaints about your board and want to flog them, or squeeze them to see if money pops out because you believe they have wrongly caused losses, you need to know what the association and board obligations are, and what your own rights and obligations are. Not all things are determined by what you think the board should be doing or not doing.  Educating yourself before making demands or threats or allegations can save you a lot of time, money, energy and “egg on face”.

There are lots of resources on my website – many free articles, FAQs, and FYIs, E-Newsletters and forms. And there are many affordable publications too, on many subjects of interests to boards and owners.  Plunging ahead like a bull in a china shop can backfire.  You could be responsible for all of the damage you cause in your attempt to get what you want.

If you can’t find what you want on the website, I also do one hour telephone consultations to help owners get their arms around their situation, and figure out their options.  And I am always working to develop new and helpful publications and articles. I take questions through email accessible on my website at www.californiacondoguru.com which, if generic enough to help others, will be answered in one of my two blogs, as time permits, which blog links are also found on the main page of my website.

And CAI and ECHO are available and offer seminar and educational opportunities. They are identified and locatable through the resource page accessible on the main page of my website.

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6 Responses to Is Your HOA Board Making Mistakes? Would You Like to Flog Them?
  1. Joe Delagdo
    July 8, 2013 | 9:05 pm

    As the Secretary of my Homeowner Association in Fort Collins, it’s sometimes a challenge trying to maintain work, family and my HOA duties . However, when I discovered Association Online all of that changed. No need to worry about piles of paperwork, their software is quite easy to use and all our HOA documents are stored and managed online. This allows our Board of Directors to operate in a more effective way. You should check them out at http://www.associationonline.com or call (970-226-1324). I highly recommend them for all Homeowner Association needs.

  2. Carolyne Swayze
    July 11, 2013 | 2:24 pm

    Is there any forum dealing with homeowners who have failed to make external maintenance repairs on home and now said home has caused a problem in the association. Every time board tried to force repairs, homeowner got an attorney and board backed off for fear of having to go to court. Now we have a slum property.

    • Beth Grimm
      August 10, 2017 | 3:24 pm

      Google HOA forums for finding forums. There are many, some helpful, some tangent oriented and some downright vitriolic. Because I would rather use my time to provide useful input in my blog and E- newsletter, I dont teally follow them anymore. Happy hunting!!

  3. Carolyne Swayze
    July 11, 2013 | 2:25 pm

    Reposting as I noticed an incorrect email for me.
    Is there any forum dealing with homeowners who have failed to make external maintenance repairs on home and now said home has caused a problem in the association. Every time board tried to force repairs, homeowner got an attorney and board backed off for fear of having to go to court. Now we have a slum property.

  4. kakuri Howard
    July 14, 2013 | 1:34 am

    I purchased a condo in 2007. Given the rise and full of the real estate market within the economy, the equity in the condo has gone under water from its purchase price of $371,000.00 to its now current assessment of $75,000.00. The Condominium park has since rented out 75 percent the remaining condos. I’ve tried to short sale, but the HOA has blocked its success three times now, by not providing, or refusing, to provide necessary documents to the bank – when buyers where standing there with cash in hands to purchase the condo, Their excuse has been that they were not obligated to expose and/or share their contractual agreements.My last attempt of a deed in lieu, failed because of communications and the bank’s untimely follow-ups and communications with this HOA, who has since then hired an assessment collection agency who has placed a lien on my condo to force me into foreclosure. The HOA has accessed a monthly amount of $350.00 dollars, since 2007. Since the property is poorly maintained, I’ve complained about the fairness of remaining condo owners (10 or/so to date) payments support the upkeep of a basically Apartment Complex. Aren’t fees based on property value? How can I be charged for HOA fees on the upkeep of condo complex that’s turned to an apartment complex; sharing the equivalent surface as the condo owners. How is it that three different HOA’s of my Condominium, still charge condo owner’s HOA fees?

    • Beth Grimm
      October 15, 2013 | 4:33 am

      An HOA or condo owner cannot get out of paying assessments without risking having the association send the account to collections and, if it cannot recover the delinquent assessments and collection costs through a lien or foreclosure, it can file a personal debt action. So deciding not to pay based on dissatisfaction with the maintenance in the association or rental percentage is not a solution. This is a complicated situation. There are $25 primers about assessment collections that go into more detail on my website and I do consultations; however I do hear from a lot of people who do not want to pay for legal services. I can understand. Some actually pay for consultations and better understand their options. Some just get more frustrated when they find there is not a cheap or easy way out of such a dilemma.