How to stop an HOA from blowing a quater million bucks

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Got a letter today from the VP of the Management for our site condos today. Almost every year we have to patch about 1/2 mile or so of road from pot holes. The roads are not heavily travelled, and only used by our sub, and while the pot holes were a nuisance, the road is only 15 mph.
The letter states that the board had conferred with several asphalt contrators who have concluded that the road was "originally installed an an incorrect pitch with much of the base comprised of grey wet clay". The board had decided to tear out a good portion of the road, and the estimated cost was $225,000. Our dues are to go up from $75/month to almost $300 from jan to apr, then back down to $80 after that.
What can be done to stop this? I find it ridiculous that even if there is an underlying problem, the cost to repair the road this year was $5500. At that rate, we could repair the road for 41 years for the cost of replacement. This even assumes that the new road wouldn't even have to have repairs in that time, which is probably impossible.
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Larry Bud wrote:

Most likely the contractor is a close relative of a board member.
Check your association's by-laws. Maybe a petition, recall election, or other remedy for a rogue board is provided. You'll have to have at hand a copy of the by-laws when you visit your attorney anyway.
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"What can be done to stop this? "
Have you been to board meetings to voice your opinion? Have you talked to the board members and asked them why they believe this is necessary or how they can cost justify it? There could be more to it than you think, as boards usually aren't too quick to approve things that cause a special assessment, if they can help it. If there is a significant underlying problem, patching will only get you so far. The patched areas are not as strong as the original pavement and will not last as long as the original. At some point, you will have so many patchs that it will have to be addressed. You may be right that it is better to put it off for awhile, if it is in fact only costing $5500 a year to patch and it doesn't look like hell.
What do your neighbors think? First thing I would do is find out from a board member or property manager if a contract has already been signed. If it has, from a practical standpoint there isn't much you can probably do to stop it. Virtually every board has the power to undertake this kind of repair. And unless there is something underhanded going on, like self dealing, courts are unwilling to get involved in business decisions, even if a better decision could have been made. If they haven't signed a contract yet, then I'd get a hold of the board members, make your opposition known and get neighbors to the next meeting before a contract is signed.
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I have seen some of the regs for such a development which forbids legal action by its members : ( Hope yours is not like that.

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On Thu, 8 Dec 2005 17:54:07 -0600, "Mike Dobony"

I hope not also.
I actually sued my HOA to get an affirmative injunction to make them pay the dues on the swimming pool next door.
I couldn't afford an attorney, so I did it myself, based on my 2 years in law schoo, and the help of the clerks in the Country Clerk's office.
The other side had an attorney of course paid for by the HOA's directors and xxx insurance policy.
As badly as I did, you'll do worse without any law school. I did well in the first round but had major trouble in the second.
Also I had a clause in the bylaws that seemed toimply they had to pay the dues, and I had evidence they had intentionally miscounted the votes during the intervening election for board memebers.. You don't have that.
MY friends in NYC had 2 votes of 9 on their side, and when I left Sunday afternoon, they were expecting two more board members for dinner, at which they were going to try to convince htem to stop water-testing the wall. iirc. With 4 votes, they thought the president of the condo board was a reasonable guy and he would vote with them. I have to check what happend.
But I think invitign the board members to dinner, one or two at a time, would be a good idea. You don't have to advertise these invitations to other people, but don't hide or lie about them either. You will be found out.
We own our own streets and would like to give them to the county so that they would be responsible, but the county won't take them because there isn't a sufficientyly thick base, iiuc. I don't know if our periodic resurfacing (black top) is doing anything to increase the base, or we'll just own them forever. If it were your board they'd probably want to dig the whole thing up and start all over again. I can't remember what a total repave cost 10 years ago. It was either 10 thousand or a 100 thousand, Must have been 100. About 5 medium length blocks with parking on both sides.
Some paving companies just want to sell. Get another opinion from a reputable company or two.

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decision, you might be able to recall the board members and elect a new board. Board has a duty to maintain the property. A possible, but very doubtful, out is whether this could be considered a "material alteration" and require consent by a majority of owners and not just board members. Don't feel too bad .. our monthly assessment is $285 every month. No roads to pave :o) Read your state statute re: HOA. Florida has separate statutes for condos and for HOA's.
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wrote:

<Maryland too, although the HOA law is slim and regular corporation law applies when the HOA law is silent.
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I also think they are repaving it to help maintain bloated real estate values in the complex, and Id be OK with it. And this thread is useless without pics.
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Larry Bud wrote:

I agree, sounds like nepitism or similiar.
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wrote:

Audit the money trail..... consult the local state statues regarding your HOA, run for office or otherwise!. A columnist for our local paper writes about these issues, do you have one? If so contact them.
Normally, HOA dues go up with notice, not malfeasants - /\\0-0/\\
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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Other have said something like this. I will try to say it clearer.
You need to check your bylaws. What the board is suggesting comes under the term capital expenditures. In my HOA the board is authorized to contract for normal expenditures already approved and to raise the HOA fee IF necessary to cover those expenses.
Capital expenditures for new projects requires a 75% majority vote of the entire association or a simple majority where 60% of the members are attending the meeting. The easiest way to vote against a popular concept is to not attend. It is real hard for them to bet 60% of the owners in one place at one time. (BG)
Again it all comes down to what your bylaws say.
Colbyt
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special assessment. To make a material alteration, it take a majority of owners. The board can maintain or repair the pool on it's own vote. But if they want to put a pool where there is none, that is a material alteration. Board members in Florida can be held personally liable for failing to maintain. If your board is hearing complaints because autos are damaged from hitting pot holes, then the repave is likely justified.
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1-800-TonySoprano
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It may be that all of the properties in your association are devalued by the constant problem with potholes. That kind of thing runs off prospective buyers.
It may be that they would like to deal with the problem this one time and be done with it.
Anyway, I'd suggest talking with the management association and figuring out exactly why they want to spend this much of your money. Maybe you'll agree with their logic - those people are *usually* not out to screw the tenants. If you don't agree with their logic, maybe you can reason with them. Beyond that, maybe you have legal recourse. In my old association, you could vote the board out of office and the bylaws didn't allow a big increase such as you describe without a passing vote from a quorum of the association.
Good luck getting the right solution.
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wrote:

Sounds idiotic to me, but idiocy is a requirement for many HOAs. After the board is elected, they get rendition to a foreign country where special agents teach them to be stupid.
My friend's condo board in NYC tuck pointed a windowless wall, and then tested it by spraying water on the wall (instead of just waiting for tit to rain.) Now my friend has pealing paint and wet plaster in the bedroom that won't dry.
My HOA thinks it has to patch every crack, for legal reasons, even the ones that no one could actually trip on. But they hire cheap workman to do the patches.
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All the more reason not to live in a condo or HOA. I'd rather live in a tree or a cave.-Jitney
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On 9 Dec 2005 08:52:17 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

In Maryland, if the builder develops more than x number of caves, there has to be an HOA. It doesn't have to meet but there has to be one.
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Before you go ballistic on them, lawsuits etcetera, _ask_ them why they think they have to do the $225,000 version.
If the base is bad enough, without fixing is, your yearly repair costs could easily jump substantially each year as the road gets progressively worse. The breakeven point might be a _lot_ less than 41 years.
A poor base can get well beyond a mere $5500 worth of pothole repair per year. Washouts, road collapse, etc.
HOAs/condo boards have to pay dues too. They're not going to do something like that without a damn good reason - ie: engineers telling them that the whole road is sinking.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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The board members I know are penny-wise and pound-foolish. I know people who rely on any sales person as an expert, rather than researching issues. I have seen amazing waste with people who quibble over a bag of fertilizer.
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Ya they may pay dues but some just listen to the management companies.
I sat on a board for 6 months. When I came up with away to stop using $10k a month for water and a way to reduce the landscaping contract from $7500 a month to $2300 a month. You would have thought that I was raping their 15 year old daughter on TV. I solved the problem and moved.
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