Where does my money go? Owners frustrated with unaccountable condo, HOA leaders

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

 

A collection of association-governed communities that don’t listen to members and fail to take care of the property the are supposed to maintain. 

Residents of Del Webb Community complain of mold

By deannerobertswcbd
Published: February 9, 2018, 7:08 pm

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley County homeowners in the Del Webb Community report that mold has been growing in their community’s clubhouse for over three years.

On Monday, February 5, homeowners says this was the first time the community’s owner, Pulte Homes and their HOA board members addressed the mold issue to the community.

“At the very end they said, oh by the way we have mold in the resort, we’re going to shut it down, meeting adjourned,” said Homeowner James Bond.

After the meeting, the board members shut down the clubhouse, also known as, The Resort. Homeowners are upset that they are still required to pay $256 a month in HOA fees although all of the amenities aren’t available.

Some residents say they think the HOA and Pulte Homes have known about this issue for years.

“They’ve hid it, it’s been a secret really except everybody knows it except the fact that they’re not doing anything about it, it’s terrible,” said Bond.

In fact, a few homeowners report that a previous clubhouse employee was sent to the hospital because she had an allergic reaction to mold. According to residents, this wasn’t the only issue.

Read more (Video):

Residents of Del Webb Community complain of mold

When the HOA board does not know how to resolve structural defects, or lacks the money to do anything about it, inaction is often the result. If the developer’s affiliates are still on the board, it may be impossible to convince the developer to fix problems and compensate the association for damages. Once mold develops, the problem can quickly spin out of control. No surprise that the board members have resigned.

 

Residents of Horry County neighborhood discuss new HOA

Thursday, February 8th 2018, 1:24 am EST
Thursday, February 8th 2018, 6:44 am EST
By Patrick Lloyd, Reporter

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Members of the Tuscany neighborhood in Horry County met in Myrtle Beach Wednesday night to discuss the transition of their home owners’ association.

Right now, residents say the HOA is made up of three members of DR Horton, the building company that owns Tuscany. Residents are looking to make a transition so the HOA is made up of people who live at Tuscany.

People who live at Tuscany say DR Horton hasn’t been answering their questions regarding HOA fees and other financial issues. They say they don’t know where their money is going.

Read more (Video):

http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/37455400/residents-of-horry-county-neighborhood-discuss-new-hoa

Transition of HOA control from a developer to the homeowners is often contentious. Suddenly, homeowners realize that the developer has not finished portions of the common areas, or there may be structural defects or “punch lists” of minor fixes that the developer has ignored. It can be difficult to obtain copies of all the official records, not only financial records, but also copies of the plats and minutes of board meetings. And in most cases, the homeowner controlled board is forced to raise assessments that have been kept artificially low for years during developer control, either to better fund reserves or to take care of deferred maintenance. 

 

LOWA rejects pool opposition petition (VA)

By Kerry W. Sipe Feb 8, 2018

Lake of the Woods property owners attempting to limit the spending power of their elected board of directors have failed to garner enough support to force consideration of the issue.

A petition presented by LOW residents opposed to a plan to replace a deteriorating 50-year-old swimming pool with a new pool and recreation area at a cost of $5.3 million was found to contain 765 valid signatures, short of the 800 required by the association’s by-laws. Organizers had repeatedly claimed that more than 1,000 property owners had signed the document.

Subsequently, by a 5-2 vote on Saturday morning, the board declared the petition ineffectual and refused to allow time to solicit additional signatures.

Read more:

http://www.dailyprogress.com/orangenews/news/lowa-rejects-pool-opposition-petition/article_92c4ce32-0d1f-11e8-a757-ebee449b9d2e.html

One of the most common complaints I hear is, “my HOA doesn’t listen to the homeowners, they just do whatever they want.” And, unfortunately, state laws grant a great deal of power to boards of association-governed communities, while making it difficult for homeowners to prevent the board from overspending. 

 

Privé developers win $26M jury verdict against Williams Island homeowners(FL)

Because of litigation, buyers were scared, brokers stayed away and developers could only secure “vulture funding,” according to developers’ attorney

By Francisco Alvarado | January 31, 2018 06:00PM

Score a court victory for the developers of Privé at Island Estates in Aventura. Builders Gary Cohen and BH3 are walking away with a $26 million jury verdict against the Williams Island Property Owners’ Association, which had sought to stop the luxury two-tower development since 2013.

On Tuesday, after a seven-day trial, a jury in Miami-Dade Circuit Court ruled that the association breached a 1982 agreement requiring it not to object or oppose future developments by Cohen on the 84-acre Williams Island. Jurors awarded Cohen and BH3 $26 million in damages according to the verdict form, and there is an additional $8 million in interest the association will also have to pay, said Glen Waldman, the developers’ attorney.

“My clients have been wrongfully attacked from all sides for so long,” Waldman said. “They feel very good that a jury listened to the evidence, got it right and ordered substantial damages against the people who caused harm to the project.”

Jeffrey T. Foreman, lead lawyer for Williams Island Property Owners’ Association, declined comment. Waldman said he expects the association to appeal.

Read more:

https://therealdeal.com/miami/2018/01/31/prive-developers-win-26m-jury-verdict-against-williams-island-homeowners/

Sometimes the board of directors decides to intiate a lawsuit, even when the chances of prevailing in court are very slim. And the more money the association has to work with, the more the board seems willing to spend. After all, it’s other peoples’ money. And when you consider a common interest community with a Master POA funded by several sub-associations that add to the collective HOA kitty, the litigation possibilities are endless. Incredibly, even after losing in court, to the tune of $26 million plus interest, Williams Island Property Owners’ Association is planning to appeal. 

UPDATE: final settlement reached

Aventura Condo Developer, Opponents Reach $21.6 Million Settlement
The settlement ends a five-year legal battle between the Prive at Island Estates developer and project opponents in the Williams Island Property Owners’ Association Inc.

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2018/03/13/aventura-condo-developer-opponents-reach-21-6-million-settlement/

 

Reform FLORIDA Condos Working Group

20180208 Highlight Clip 1 (ENGLISH)

 

And, last, but not least, you must see this video clip. Attorney Michael Ross, Esq., shares his personal experience with a condo board that used every trick in the book to prevent being recalled or replaced by election of new members. Activists of this “Orange Shirt” reform group call for their fellow condo owners and residents to get involved, and file complaints against their abusive board members and management agents. 

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3 Replies to “Where does my money go? Owners frustrated with unaccountable condo, HOA leaders”

  1. This latest list of outrageous HOA-versus-Owners legal fights makes me ask: What less outrageous techniques have presumably healthy HOA communities used to settle their HOA-related disputes? Addressing such a question might be informative to those readers who know the pain of HOA living but don’t know how to effectively relieve the pain.

    Like

    1. Glad you asked, Dan. Not long ago, I came up with a checklist of qualities present in the “ideal” HOA. https://independentamericancommunities.com/2017/06/23/how-to-make-your-hoa-work-for-its-members-a-daunting-challenge/

      But keep in mind that, because state laws favor developers and HOA corporations, and since states don’t do much to limit unfair provisions in governing documents, it can be extremely challenging or functionally impossible to improve living conditions and interpersonal relationships in some association-governed communities.

      Like

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