Tag Archives: HOA Hell

Increase Your Credibility By Always Documenting

guest blog by Nila Ridings

A townhouse complex in San Jose, California had a fire and two pets were killed.  As sad as that is, it could have been far worse.  Why? Two fire hydrants were non-functioning.

Residents claim they have reported these broken fire hydrants to the departments responsible for maintaining them.  Yet, the spokesperson is saying this was the first they heard of it.

Folks…we now live in a society where every contact you make MUST BE DOCUMENTED.  

When you make a call, write down the name of the person you are speaking with, the number you dialed, and their job title.  Make note of the date and time.  Ask for their employee ID, phone extension, location or call center where they are located.  If you are transferred to another person, repeat the process.  Make detailed notes of the message you are conveying.  And make detailed notes of what action they agreed to take and when.  Any future communication or documents to or from anyone on this topic must be added to the original.

Should something like non-working fire hydrants happen you can pull your spiral notebook out and say, “I reported that on date, time to Mr. Hydrant the Head Engineer at 555-5555 x 515.”  Nobody should argue with you when your documentation is detailed.

Better yet, make your communication in writing via email or a typed or handwritten letter. Keep a copy of it.  And keep a copy of any written responses.

These efforts will pay off when you win battles with people who claim no knowledge of ever hearing about a problem.  Had the folks making their claim for reporting these fire hydrants documented those calls somebody would now be sitting in a hot seat.

We know from previous condo fires the outcome is never positive for the owners.  Perhaps this one will be an exception but I doubt it.

Here We Go Again! More Embezzling!

Is there an HOA in the country that hasn’t experienced embezzling by executives? HOAs historically are money pots, few homeowners even know how to investigate. But the arrest and charging of suspected embezzlers seems like a daily event. Maybe even an hourly event.

Put a money pot out there, give a soccer mom or a football dad exclusive control over the account, and it’s going to be stolen. I guarantee it’s going to be stolen.

Maybe I shouldn’t report on HOA embezzlement, It’s too easy. Maybe, instead, I should try to look for an HOA which hasn’t been cheated. It’s one of those ‘man bites dog’ situations.

(link to embezzlement story in Tennessee)


Sneaky, Sneaky CAI! How do we fight these guys!

Years ago I wanted my attorney to attend an HOA board meeting just to listen to the crap that was going on. He said he could not. Really? He couldn’t represent my interests by attending in my place? Isn’t that a fixture in Constitutional law?


Now we see in black and white some really evil institutionalizing of this craziness in California law. And guess who supports it? All the California lawyers and legislators.

Dear Lord God? Jesus? Allah? Elohim? Yahweh? Alláh-u-Abhá?  El Shaddai? Jehovah? Whoever? Please teach me to avoid Homeowners Associations!

(link to blog urging legislators to ignore the Constitution


I Feel Like A Little Kid!

Retirement can be boring. That’s why I spend so much time on YouTube and other sites. Over a week ago I was researching HOA rules against any and all use of solar energy and came across an amazing device, so amazing I immediately bought one. It’s a solar oven that operates on a vacuum tube principle that concentrates the sun’s rays into a cooking tray.

Every meal I’ve had during the past week has been cooked in this oven. Every meal! It’s tiny, it’s portable, it can get over 500 degrees in the tube but is completely cool to the touch outside. I just started the NutriSystem diet a couple of weeks ago and the NutriSystem meals fit perfectly inside the tray; soup, pizza, veggies, omelettes, all the other good stuff. Yesterday I even made a couple batches of chocolate chip cookies. 26 minutes in the Colorado sunshine and the cookies have an amazing taste and texture. Ugh! Despite my diet, the cookies have mysteriously all vanished.

And despite the oven’s hot temperatures it traps moisture inside the tube. It’s a taste you can’t get in your regular oven. My regular stove and microwave haven’t been used even once! When the national power grid goes down, I’ll be the one down the road eating all the hot meals! And, yes, I’ll leave the door open for you!

I’m so glad my house is outside the ugliness of the two neighboring HOAs. They’d have me thrown in prison, for sure.

Ah yes, a link to the solar oven:

GoSun Stove

I have absolutely no connection to this company, but I love their product!

BTW, if you buy one let me know. I’ve discovered some unrelated products that work perfectly with this device.

The Letter From Dave Clouse

guest blog by Nila Ridings

It seems Dave Clouse had some things he needed to get off his chest about his condo so he wrote the editor of the Bradenton Herald.

Dave’s condo complex, Bridgewater Townhomes in Point Pleasant has a termite issue. Well, really it sounds more like a serious problem. And the termite problem is more serious because the HOA board refuses to allow proper treatment to wipe out the termites.

No tenting! That’s right when termites are severe enough the entire structure has to be “tented” and everybody has to leave the premise for an extended time period. What also happens is EVERYBODY sees this tent and wants to know what it is and why it’s needed. That is precisely why the HOA board does not want this type of negative attention drawn to Bridgewater Townhomes in Pleasant Point. Nope. It’s better to let the termites eat the building to the ground than to let the “outsiders” know the place is infested with termites! I’ve found that to be typical HOA board common sense.

Dave starts his letter with: “Buyer beware! Many people are attracted to the maintenance-free lifestyle that duplexes, condos and townhome owners enjoy. It is attractive to have the homeowners association be responsible for the outside maintenance of your building and property, especially if you only live here part time.”

I must say that is the propaganda that buyers are fed when they are looking to jump into the dark abyss of HOA ownership. He is correct in sounding the alarm of, “Buyer beware!”

The termite concern is just one of many that come with condos. Most people do not realize they will be needing approval for the interior changes they plan to make as well. Thinking of wood floors? Think again. Most condos allow wood floors on the ground floor only. From the second floor up those folks have cork floors. I visited a friend in a million dollar plus ocean front condo in Naples, Florida that had cork flooring. I didn’t like the look or feel of it. She didn’t like carpeting, but wood floors were out of the question. Tile floors? No, no, no, not having those either. Just more reasons to never buy a condo or in an HOA for that matter.

As for poor Dave Clouse, I hope he gets out before the termites digest his home!

(link to termite letter in Bradenton Herald)