They got him! A couple of days ago a longtime HOA manager in San Mateo, California was arrested and accused of stealing 2.8 million dollars from the Woodlake Homeowners Association. Now they’ve arrested her partner, a man who allegedly wrote fake invoices for construction work that was never done. It sure sounds like a copycat of the decade-long swindle of homeowners in Las Vegas.
And it sounds a lot like the multi-million dollar organized crime racketeering swindle of Homeowners Associations in Colorado.
And Homeowners Associations in Florida.
And every other state.
Still, you keep hearing from Realtors, and Congressmen, lawyers, city officials and state representatives that this kind of swindle is extremely rare. What are these guys smoking, anyway?
When buyers buy a house, they use licensed agents, lenders, appraisers, inspectors…but after they close, they turn over their HOA money to an unlicensed unregulated HOA management company. Most agents are not aware that the HOA mgmt companies are not licensed/regulated; there is a lack of good HOA education for agents, and once these agents hear the truth, all that I’ve spoken to agree that they should be licensed and regulated. Who are these agents that you are referring to?
I’m so tired of seeing the owners being screwed by the existing HOA industry.
Jill, community managers and/or the companies they work for are licensed in 9 states plus the District of Columbia
The other 41 states have no licensing at this time. Licensing requirements vary considerably by state.
Florida has licensed managers, but that hasn’t stopped illegal activity and it certainly hasn’t raised the overall level of competence in the profession. The one advantage to licensing is that, if convicted or sanctioned by the state regulatory agency, a manager can temporarily or permanently lose his/her license. That can prevent a rogue manager or company from inflicting damage on other HOAs.
The entire HOA industry is in need of oversight that reins in excessive power and special privileges granted to corporate and special interests.
Ward, we have to start asking HOA Industry cheerleaders two very simple questions when they claim these kinds of problems are “rare.”
“What level of HOA fraud, theft, and embezzlement do you find acceptable?
What level of HOA abuse of power and violation of residents’ rights do you find acceptable?”
Whether these adverse conditions affect one percent, five percent, ten percent of residents, or higher, NO level of criminal or abusive behavior is acceptable.