Spiraling Out Of Control-The Nightmare Party

Since I sat down to do some blogs today, I did a couple that stem from a recent vacation with my children and grandchildren. In this case, between the discussions on HOA living and parking issues (see other blog) and the outdoor games activities with my children on vacation, the swirling thoughts in my mind led to quite a nightmare.  I woke up in a sweat.


Here is the scenario:


There are 15 of us. We are staying at a timeshare vacation club somewhere. There is a big open park with a volleyball court, a pool, and a clubhouse. We start a volleyball game. Others come to join us. We have snacks and some beer and chairs and are drawing quite a crowd. Some of the crowd is filtering into the clubhouse. Everyone is having fun and it turns into a pretty good party. However, all good things must come to an end, I guess, and when the game is over the party moves into the clubhouse and there are persons there over whom I have no control acting very irrsponsibly. Being an HOA attorney I, of course, am trying to gather up my flock and go back to our units- but frustratingly to no avail.  Everyone else is having a good time. Pretty soon, along comes some person who is it either a monitor, manager, or a board director, I’m not sure. I see him approach my daughter and ask what unit she’s staying in. She answers him, of course. Then he approaches my daughter-in-law and asked her, and she looks at me. The person asks me and I tell him. He says that drinking is not allowed in the clubhouse or in the common area and that there are several people in attendance who will not identify themselves or the unit they are staying in.


He makes a call, and pretty soon there are a few other people there who clear out the clubhouse and send everyone on their way. He tells me that my family and I will be responsible for the cleanup costs and any damage. Apparently we are the only people who identified themselves. My mind starts racing, anticipating already what defenses we might have to paying cleanup and damage costs for many people we don’t know. We are the kind of people that pick up after ourselves and refrain from acting like idiots (most of the time anyway, ha ha), but from the looks of the clubhouse as we exit the premises, we may be alone in that. Of course, if I am to get a big bill, and the vacation club does have my credit card number since I am footing the bill for the vacation, I am already churning up defenses since it appears that there were many others present who didn’t give names or unit numbers. Maybe I’m a sucker in this picture I’m thinking … and then I wake up in a sweat.


Thank God it was only a dream I say to myself.


If you find yourself in in a similar situation, there are some things you might do to protect yourself. First and foremost, if a party seems to be getting out of control, you could try to diffuse the situation. But if that seems NOT to be a good idea, it would make sense to exit yourselves from the premises and remove to better location where you have some control over the situation. While it might seem to some to characterize you as a “rat”, it would also be good to contact management so they can diffuse the out of control party which apparently, it seems that someone may have done in this situation. It was just a dream, however, so some things are a bit foggy. What I remember is a bunch of blurry faces except for those of my family.

So, take heed. It’s summer, people are out for fun, and some are more responsible than others. You probably don’t want to expose yourselves to whatever mayhem may erupt from “died in the wool partygoers” that lack a sense of responsibility.


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3 Responses to Spiraling Out Of Control-The Nightmare Party
  1. Jamie Henderson
    July 28, 2015 | 1:16 am


    My husband and I own a condo in Oakland, CA and I have a question regarding the relationship between the building management and the HOA. Our building management company is incompetent. They are extremely unresponsive, antagonistic and frankly we are fed up. Several homeowners are ready for a change but some of the current HOA board members are friends with the building management company and are either blind or intimidated and have made no effort to fix the situation.. We have asked to see the contract made between the building management and the HOA and were told that only board members are allowed to see the contract. Is this legal? A few of us are planning on running for the board but would like to get ahead of things so that we can get the building management out as soon as possible. I’ve looked online but I haven’t found anything relevant. If you could point me in the direction of some info re: what the HOA board/building management is required to share with homeowners in California it would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you,

    • Beth Grimm
      August 17, 2015 | 9:26 pm

      HOAs in California is obliged to allow owners to inspect the manager’s contract. There might be some exceptions, I would want to know more before advising a board or owner in a particular situation. Some boards only allow inspection. Some copy and provide a copy to owners who request it.

      The law doesn’t address whether owners should or should not copy and circulate any contract they get to other members. I wouldn’t off of the top of my head suggest it is right to widely circulate it because I would question purpose first, and right to reasonable confidentiality as well. Certainly, providing it to any other manager as a basis to solicit a bid or feedback from the other company to try and get the board to change course could lead serious ramifications re misuse of it. Contacting the manager directly to call them on some aspect of the contract would be the board’s job, not that of an owner.

      Running for the Board is the best way to get a leg up on choosing management. Other efforts are often thwarted and cause a board to get even more entrenched or too contrary to listen to reason.

    • Beth Grimm
      September 14, 2015 | 3:29 am

      Associations must allow owners to see contracts unless they are confidential for some reason. Management contracts are not subject to confidentiality. Go to the state website http://www.ca.gov and look up Civil Code Section ARTICLE 5. Record Inspection [5200 – 5240] 5200. ASSOCIATION RECORDS AND ENHANCED RECORDS – RIGHTS TO INSPECT.

      I also sell a book on my website (californiacondoguru.com) called THE DAVIS STIRLING ACT IN PLAIN ENGLISH if you want a better resource that has all of the Act in one place along with Plain English explanations about the law.

      If you are going to run for the board it would be good to also review the elections law in California for HOAs found at Civil Code Sections 5100 and following. These sections too appear in my book.

      Hope this helps.