Yikes! How can I say that having two brothers who are lawyers? And how can I say that after passing the LSAT and being offered a free ride through the University of Washington Law School?
I can say that as a forty-year journalist watching lawyers in court. Never trust a lawyer.
In the link below, a CAI lawyer has tried to simplify the ‘education’ process for prospective buyers. It’s a good step forward. But I like Nila Ridings idea of making all HOA home buyers sign an acknowledgement that each buyer isn’t really buying a home. He or she is buying shares of stock in a non-profit corporation where every single asset, every bank account, every stock account, every college education account is pledged as security to pay for each and every misdeed, miscalculation, embezzlement and lawsuit involving the HOA.
Run, people, run!
Run from that HOA purchase as fast as you can!
Tell your Realtor, “Don’t show me anything in an HOA!”
The president of our HOA has intimidated the others on the board so that there is not much contradiction to what the president wants. He runs board meetings often with his out of control emotions, threatening others. He fired the property management company and made himself and one other board member the “management company”. Recently, he hired a contractor to put up no parking and speed limit signs on the private property of some of the residents, one of them being mine. I removed the sign and returned it to the association and they first wanted to charge me over $550. because I removed the sign from my private property. They settled on a lesser charge, but this is also unacceptable, as they trespassed on my property. They did not ask permission to put this sign on my property. I am currently working with Senator Farnsworth of AZ on an initiative to write new laws to prevent rogue boards from disrupting the lives of peaceful homeowners. Last year I got signatures on a petition to remove this offensive man from our board, but he rejected the petition and the meeting where homeowners voted to remove him saying it is illegal. We could not afford an attorney to make him get off. I was guided by the, then, property management company, to make sure everything was done exactly right. He is still on the board as I believe he has other board members scared to go against him. I don’t know if you have any ideas as to how a person could get some help in removing this type of person from the board. I have sought many different avenues but have not been able to find anyone to help me.
I’ve been in your shoes!
Our board president held the position for 20 years. He ran the HOA like it was his personal business. The eight other board members were totally clueless. Some were so senile they didn’t hardly know their own names.
After doing petitions twice and having them rejected, I hired an attorney. By that time we had discovered we had no accounting on $10,000,000. Yes, that is ten million dollars. My petition included gaining access to the HOA records as well as forcing the board to call the special meeting so we could recall the board. Suddenly, the 20 year president dropped dead at 60 years old. The board opted to hire a CAI property manager. He claimed there were also $500K in unpaid bills. He used the dues to pay off the old debt and then convinced the board they should borrow $1M from a lender he located for them.
Mr. 20 year president was running for the board of an HOA in Carlsbad, CA at the time of his death. He had just purchased two places in that HOA. He owned three units in my HOA with two being rental properties. His brothers set the probate date before they buried him!
The HOA is now a run down mess with a million dollar loan, has over 20 lawsuits pending, has lost the HOA insurance 2 times in 3 years. In addition, there are over 15% rentals and countless foreclosures where people have simply gotten so fed up they just walked away and left them.
The only help I can offer you is to suggest you GET OUT ASAP. When a board member is fighting to keep the position and the other board members are silent there is something rotting, missing, or both. It very well could be your HOA dues. HOAs are hellholes. Life is too short to try and live in one.