"[DELAWARE] In an effort to get homeowners to attend an annual meeting, a
Long Neck condominium association has threatened to fine homeowners $100 if
they don't attend..."
"or at least return your proxy/ballot." That makes a big difference,
especially since one can vote a blank proxy, without checking off any
names. It doesn't say otherwise. So we're only talking about 5
minutes and a postage stamp.
I agree it sounds terrible, and it may well be illegal or
unconstitutional. But otoh, my own hoa has had a meeting where
nothing could be done for lack of a quorum, and it's a real
inconvenience to have to have another meeting, and that falls on the
few people that are willing to do some work for the HOA.
Now my HOA is led by a wicked liar and probable thief (she certainly
steals votes and probably embezzles money, up to 300 dollars, up to
300 dollars in one time and probably smaller amounts so far.) and much
of the time it is better if it does nothing, but many must be okay,
maybe even the one in the story.
The article refers to the members signing covenants. I never signed
anything. I wonder if they did, and how often people sign
covenenants. Anyone know?
In my county or central Maryland, or maybe all of Maryland, every new
development of more than x houses has to have an HOA, although not
every HOA has to collect fees or even meet. Mine has to because there
is some real estate we own in common, which has to be plowed or mowed.
I see this story is from Delaware. Do you think the Republicans will
blame this on Joe Biden?
Sounds like a bunch of people with absolutely nothing to do and are pissed-
off because others have something to do.
"Dear Homeowners Association:
Attending the meeting right up there in my priority list. In fact, it's #3.
#1 is taking a shit. #2 is waiting to take a shit. When I those two items
are no longer in my future I will attend the meeting."
All I will say is if you don't show up at the meetings, don't complain
about the stupid rules they come up with.
The world is controlled by those who show up.
Case in point, I went around knocking on doors and pitching my case to
ensure we had the votes to defeat renewing our deed restrictions. 20
minutes out of 44 people's Saturday morning and we were free of legal
blackmail forever. (or at least until someone tries to reinstate them
THAT is worth showing up for.
The amazing thing is we still can maintain a very good neighborhood
without the legal threats of fines and liens, just by talking to
people like adults.
I live in the largest city in the country (maybe the world) with no zoning
(HOA writ large). About every five years, HUD does a survey. They find that
our city's land use patterns differ not at all from cities with strict
zoning: Heavy industry is clustered around rail lines and the port,
commercial properties are centered around heavily traveled intersections,
multi-family dwellings are usually on main streets, single family residences
are off the main drags, etc. What we DON'T have is the graft, favoritism,
and corruption often associated with zoning variances.
Sometimes this lack of zoning does create a problem, but the problem is
I recall some years ago, on the most high-falutin' street in town (no
residence worth less than $5 million), Shell bought a corner lot and
announced they were going to erect a gas station! Nearby residents objected
to the sullying of their neighborhood and started counter-actions, ranging
from cutting up their Shell credit cards to threatening to buy Royal Dutch
Shell and skinning the knucklehead who came up with the idea. (The residents
included John Connalley, Jeffrey Skilling, Andrew Fastow, Bob Mossbacher,
etc.). Shell abandoned the plan and donated the lot to the city for a
In the less-affluent neighborhoods, residents often make use of the "But yer
honer, he NEEDED killin' " defense.
This is the time to look into the laws of your state. If the HOA is
incorporated, the very least it would be governed by the not-for- profit
I have been in a couple of HOAs in Florida.
My suggestion: Talk to other pissed off members and convince the to come to
the meeting. Constitute a quorum but don't vote for anything. Now that you
have the group assembled, start your own meeting and vote to oust the
current board and elect a few people whose IQ is greater than their age.
Those people are just stupid. To start with the deed restrictions are
title documents filed with the government. You can look at them for
any community in the country. Operational rules have to be presented
at the closing table and nobody says you have to actually close that
day. Take them home, read them, even take them to a lawyer if you are
concerned and come back later to sign if they are that complicated.
The seller will still be there, particularly these days.
In my case I figured out right away our deed restrictions were expired
before I bought and I made it a point to be at any meeting where they
planned to reinstate them. It took them 22 years to try and it took me
2 days to gather the votes to stop them. I also did some homework on
the neighborhood before I signed the first proposal. I knocked on the
door and met the people on both sides of the house I was looking at.
It is amazing how much you can learn that way, not only about the
neighbors but about the house. People love to gossip if you will let
I was clueless about condo's until I moved into one, and that was a rude
awakening. It is
unbelieveable how many people can be as complacent about how their
business is conducted.
We have 20% thugs and 80% who don't give a damn.
In FL, budgets have to be voted on and officers elected each year. Also
have to vote on
reserves. If the board can't conduct business, the condo can go into
receivership. It took
that threat to get ours minimally involved. Most owners seem to think
it is "not my job".
During the hottest time of the condo flipping seige around here, I
checked tax records on
one of the large, new condo developments. There were about 200 units,
and I checked the
tax records of about 20 --- I didn't find one with a local address for
tax bills. I was curious
because I noticed that, at night, there were never more than two or
three lights on in the whole
building. I would completely agree with fining owners who don't attend
or at least return a
proxy statement. Why should management and maintenance NOT be the
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