OT cutting off water for landlord/tenant

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This is OT, but you guys seem to know a lot.
I went to a Home Owners meeting tonight. The HOA plans to disconnect the water of people who are delinquent on their fees, and the management company rep says that it is *illegal* to tell the tenant what is about to happen to him. That they can't tell him this without the consent of the landlord. She says she has verified this with a the HOA's lawyer, recently, but she knew it before that.
Could this be true?
Our HOA doesn't have many responsibilities, and the fees are only about 110 dollars a quarter.
Despite that, owners of 7 of the 110 townhouses are 500 dollars or more behind, and at 550 a year, they are from 1 to 4 years delinquent.
Several of the houses are owned by someone, usually someone who used to live here, and rented to someone else. Most landlords pay their fees on time, but one of the 7 who owes 500 dollars is a landlord.
The HOA has checked with a lawyer and since the HOA pays the water bill for everyone, it is apparently legal for the HOA to turn off the water to someone who owes money.
And they voted to do that tonight (They voted to do that last October also, but didn't.)
BUT HERE IS THE KICKER. The management company rep says that it is *illegal* to tell the tenant what is about to happen to him. That they can't tell him this without the consent of the landlord. She says she has verified this with a rental type lawyer, the HOA's lawyer, recently, but she knew it before that.
Have you ever heard of this? I don't believe it.
This is Baltimore County, Md., but I'd be interested in any state's laws.
I'm also annoyed because of the 12 or so people at the meeting, only 4 of us had any objection to this. Of the 4, one didn't say anything until privately after the meeting, one said something a year ago but doesn't seem to care anymore, and the other guy and I voted against the water turnoff although there are other reasons he might have voted against it. There may be some other quiet ones, but some were vocal and imo they and anyone who agreed with them are very cold-blooded wrt the tenant.
Background, not necessary for my question: In sort-of defense of the Board, they have written to the owners over and over, offerred a payment plan and arranged a payment plan with a couple others who owed a lot of money, made appointments with some of the owners on the current list only to have the owners not even show up for the appointments, even though they agreed to them. The owners are terrible, I agree.
But this one tenant, and other perhaps in the future, has paid everything he owes afawk and he's the one who's going to lose his water. If the landlord doesn't pay before the cutoff date, I'd bet it will take at least 4 days before the tenant figures out** what the problem is and gets his landlord to budge, or the tenant gives up and pays the bill himself. If they disconnect him on a Thursday or Friday, he'll be without water on the weekend too. One could of course pay our treasurer, who lives in the n'hood, but they're so cold-blooded, I'll bet they won't allow that or will take the money but not turn the water on until Monday when a plumber can come.
OTOH, if they told the tenant a month in advance, he would have a better chance of convincing the ll to pay, or maybe even withhold some of his rent and make his own payment plan with the HOA. (Risky in Md. for anyonne. Not risky in NYC for someone who knows a bit.)
**For one thing, he'll get home at 5:30, say Monday, to find he has no water and he won't be able to reach the ll until the next day. When they finally get a check, it will take them another day to send someone out (even though we could probably buy a wrench and do it ourselves. (The valve cases are locked with bolts with 5-sided heads, but they must sell those somewhere.)
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This is weird. Seems to me that the HOA is opting to punish the tenant rather than the owner. If this is going to be done, I would think it ought to be done just before the end of the month, and then the tenant could pay the water bill and deduct it from the rent due the landlord.
In the alternative, the HOA could just file a lien and threaten to foreclose on the property and not worry about the silly water issue.
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On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 23:16:33 -0700, "Roger Shoaf"

Most of them don't seem to care who they hurt. If the vocal ones, 2 or 3 of them, had even said, "It's a shame that the tenant will suffer, but we have to go this way" that would have upgraded my opinion of their souls, if not their common sense.

I used to know 60 of the 110 neighbors, but a lot of people stay for a few years and move to bigger homes. I guess others can't pay the bills and move to smaller homes. Unrelated to my current problem, there is one family whose son was on the honor roll and the varsity football team, went to a good college, got a job at a Fortune 500 company, and he is making a good living, and both his parents have real jobs that pay decent salaries also. And the parents are often on the delinquent list. I think he told me once he didn't pay on principle -- he was mad at them -- but it's hard to believe that's still the reason 14 years later. Oops. For 90+ days, now he only owes 24 cents.

Good point. I'll check on this.
I think they have to get a judgement before they can file a lien, but all these costs are passed on to the homeowner, and they *were* doing this. I think we had a lawyer who we paid for other legal services, but who would do all this "liening" with no money from us. Oh, yeah, iirc the real hard cases he would stop trying on. Maybe he threatened to foreclose and they called his bluff, but I don't know why he didn't foreclose.
OTOH, nobody owes more than 2500 dollars, which is 4 1/2 years worth, but we've had this problem, at least with one or two people, for the whole 24 years I've been here. I think 2 people somehow got away without paying, but afaik that means that everyone else paid up as of 4 years ago, and only three other people owe from between 2 and 4 years ago. So as long as we're getting the money eventually, and I suppose we get some interest too, I don't know why they're so upset. They seem to take it as a personal insult.
I suppose a portion of these delinquents are intentional deadbeats, meaning they have the money but still don't want to pay, but I'm glad to say that I don't care. I have enough things that annoy me and I'm glad this one doesn't. I certainly don't take it personally.
I was on the board for several years, then off for several years. FWIW, we used to have monthly meetings, and now we have quarterly meetings and I've been going again since last July and have been on the board again since January.
When I used to go, they regularly did the lien thing, and were supposed to threaten to foreclose, and I either can't remember what happened, or it happened after I stopped going to the meetings.
I also stopped meeting or at least remembering neighbors and I know a lot of my favorite people moved away. But I found tonight that one of the nicest people, who I get along with enough to call her a friend, was on the board most of the time I wasn't. I'm going to ask her about this.
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clipped

Monthly meetings in a HOA of that size are likely a waste of time, unless the board members like pissing contests over rules violations or adding amenities. If you don't go to meetings and/or take your turn at being a board member, you are part of the problem :o)
The best solution is to acquaint yourself with owners who might be willing to be on the board and recognize the function as a business operation, not an opportunity to control everyone and everything. In Fl., board members can be PERSONALLY liable for ignoring their fiduciary DUTY as board member! If you have years and years of delinquent water bills, the board has been negligent...it is their duty to collect funds owed to the association.
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wrote:

I guess so, but under the current system, I think the president is too unchecked. Of course she was unchecked under the monthly system too, but we found out about it sooner. :(

I don't think that people have a duty to either go to meetings or be on the board. Those who do serve on the board have a duty to do their jobs right, if it doesnt' require excessive time. Most chores require about the amount of time one would expect.

We have never stopped trying. We have a lawyer, who is admitted to the bar and empowered to go after them. So the Board has not been negligent. If anything, I think they are too invested in getting the money back. Maybe a couple have pressing financial needs, but I think it is more their personalities.
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mm wrote:

Why don't you call the city and ask them?
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in message
| mm wrote: | > This is OT, but you guys seem to know a lot. | > | > I went to a Home Owners meeting tonight. The HOA plans to disconnect | > the water of people who are delinquent on their fees, and the | > management company rep says that it is *illegal* to tell the tenant | > what is about to happen to him. That they can't tell him this without | > the consent of the landlord. She says she has verified this with a the | > HOA's lawyer, recently, but she knew it before that. | > | > Could this be true? | | | Why don't you call the city and ask them? | | | | -- | Mortimer Schnerd, RN | mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com | |
most towns give the tenant the right to pay utility bills directly and deduct it from the next months rent, especially if they have children. most towns even send a notice to the tenant before shutting off utilities. giving them the option to pay the balance due.
it's just another slum lord story. funny how the people with money..............never pay!
I guess that's why they have money?
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On Fri, 27 Apr 2007 05:09:47 -0400, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:>mm wrote:

I don't think I could find someone who could answer the question.
If they meant it was a violation of a criminal law, I could call the prosecutor I guess, but they probably mean it's a civil wrong, and no one at the city is going to want to answer such a question.
A judge might know the answer, but he'll want to hear both sides of the case in a hearing with witnesses. But I don't think he would talk to me at all. His secretary will tell me to consult a lawyer.
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mm wrote:

I think the customary way to learn how to run a HOA or condo assn. is in learning from mistakes! Typical board members are those who want to control every detail to conform to their own idea of what is "right", and go overboard in rules enforcement...generally are poor planners and make issues "personal".
I would NEVER approach an owner to ask about overdue fees or assessments, no matter what .. that makes it personal. Your management company can send a letter, certified mail, whenever there is a delinquency or rules violation. The cost can (or should) be added onto the amount due. That matter should be in your bylaws. A HOA is not a club, it is a business. In Fl., condo associations are "corporations not for profit" (usually) and are governed by rules pretty close to those for corporate boards in business.
If your units have water meters, why is the HOA collecting the fees? If they don't have meters, why not get them? Then the city can collect and shut off the water if not paid. Too many other things to piss about than to go for years with unpaid bills :o)
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wrote:

But I did post to misc.legal.moderated, and I'm reviewing the one answer I got so far. It's moderated so it takes at least two days to et an answer.

We have two like that, at this time counting the management company rep. The reaosn one is not defeated is that she is also willing to do work that really does have to be done, year after year after year. I certainly have other things to do, like read and write to Usenet.

That's how we do it.

That's how we do it.

There is very little HOA law in Md. Last I looked maybe 8 pages, and that included the annotations (case decisions). The rest of it is standard corporate law.**

They don't.

A lot of money to install them after the fact. Digging up, cutting into plumbing. Residents don't want to be without water. Putting in new grass and maybe repairing sidewalks because many valves are under plates in the sidewalk. None of this applies when the houses are under construction.
In addition, and probably most important in fact, the agreement 29 years ago was that every unit pays the same. That includes the apartment building, where no one has a yard to water and fewer people on average per unit than the average house. So less water used for everything.
Even though I don't water my lawn, and I live alone, I only pay 11.66 a month for water. I gather that is very cheap. If I had a meter, I would pay more, plus all the wasted effort reading about 400 meters of all the units involved. (The water bill is going up this summer, because Baltimore City is going to charge Baltimore County 15 or 20% more for water. It was in the paper.)
It's like when there was a draft, the army couldn't force you to have surgery so you wouldn't be 4F anymore. But if you chose to have the surgery and ended up 1A, you might be drafted. A lot of people postponed their surgery until they were over 26.

I was sleepy today, but this week I hope to check on why placing a lien and foreclosing hasn't collected all t he money owed.
It's not because the Board is nice to people. I think they are usually verging on heartless, so I'm getting more and more curious why they never afaik foreclosed. Generally just starting to is enough to get the money. Or telling them about the one house that was foreclosed on.
Not even because some people don't know they need to move to someplace cheaper, and aren't willing to sell their house, but because there are thousands of dollars of extra charges when the court does it.
**(The HOA once had a lawyer who once gave me an answer based on condo or coop law, but he called an hour later to say he'd made a mistake. No harm done. I had called him on the phone, so he was not in our HOA mode. It's not like he was at one of our meetings and forgot we were an HOA. Next time I call someone, if I ever do, I will remind him that we are an HOA, but this time I had just called to remind him when our big annual meeting was, and meant only to talk to the secretary, but I got him instead and he asked me something and I ended up asking him a legal question. That's was the basis on which the other board member accuse me of "illegally going to their lawyer" This is probably libel, and accusilng someone of a crime, in NYS at leaset if not in Md, iirc entitles one to damages even if he can't show actual damages. But I didn't sue anyone. I didn't even bother to tell him what he had done wrong. I only asked him if he was accusing me of a crime.
When I had called the lawyer's office, it's true that I identified myself as a board member, but that was accurate. I didn't say the board had asked me to call. I wanted to know a detail about the proper format for an election proxy (if it had to name the candidates to be voted for if it could be blank and the proxyholder decided who to vote for at the last minute.) I think it is not out of bounds to ask that question of the HOA lawyer, but that isn't why I called him. I called him to remind him to come to the meeting, which he himself had insisted on doing, but it turned out he had the wrong date. I wanted him there to make the election run right, but I only intended to talk to his secretary.
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

So leave an anonymous note on the affected tenants' doors.
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IANAL. I think it is somewhat questionable to shut off water as a means of collecting a HOA fee but won't make any other comment on that. However, I don't see how it can be "illegal" to tell the tenant or anyone else anything.
--
Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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On Apr 27, 5:54�am, snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote:

PERHAPS some members of the board dont like the tenants who are about to lose their water? might be a effort to punish them somehow.
I am a loudmouth when someone is doing something to hurt others. I would warn the effected individuals.
Look fr practical purposes their water will get turned back on at some point.
but for SAFETY SAKE it should never be shut off.
A minor fire, a mere nothing could spread and damage not just the unit with no water, but the adjacent ones too.
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On Fri, 27 Apr 2007 09:54:51 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote:

I agree with you that it at least questionable. But that decision has been made already, when I wasn't on the board, and I can't turn back the tide. In fact, even if the decision hadn't been made, I would only be one vote out of nine, and I've learned that I'm not very convincing, at least with every set of board members I've served with**. And they have a point, especially for the 5 or 6 who live in the house they own, that we have been trying to collect the money for years, and that they either refused to come in and talk about it, or they made appointments to come in and then didn't show up. After the October meeting, on that one night I think 3 people were scheduled to come in and either one or none did.
**I would probably not have been good in elective office, which I thought about for a few years. That was the major reason I went to law school (and then dropped out) and I don't feel so bad about not finishing since I later learned that I don't remember names or faces, don't like asking friends for favors or strangers for money, and could not have gotten elected to anything, or done well had I been.

Related story at the bottom***.
As I thought about it more, I realized where they are coming from, but that doesn't mean I think they are right.
Ironically, I was involved in the first chapter of this. Because of a dispute 20 years ago, I decided to enlist and get elected to the board a slate of 6 candidates, and I got the other five, and gave each of them an area near their house to solicit proxies from. But I didn't want them to waste their time on people who were more than 3 months late on their dues because the bylaws didn't permit them to vote anyhow.
I was already on the board and was allowed to know who was delinquent, and what I should have done is take all those people for myself and then ignored them. Instead I put an asterisk or something on the list next to their names and explained verbally to the 5 other candidates that they were 3 months delinquent and couldn't vote.
I never did find out what exact rule I violated, but boy the stink when more people found out about this. I may have truly embarrassed one of the delinquent homeowners, or maybe it was my political opponent in the HOA making as much hay as possible out of it.
Anyhow, for years after this, they didn't even show the board members the names of people who owed money. We would discuss their cases based on how much money they owed but not their names and I guess not their addresses.
So the problem now would be that to tell the tenant would be telling someone not on the board about a homeowner who owes money.
I don't know what rule I violated in the first place, but if there is a rule, I'm pretty sure there is an exception for telling his tenant, especially when the person is about to lose his water.

***One of my stupid neighbors, although he had a good job, once told me I "illegally went to the HOA's lawyer." He said this in a meeting and I asked him if he was accusing me of a crime. He didn't answer, but I think even in the words he used he had libelled me, and iirc, at least in NYS, don't know about Md., you don't have to show actual damages to recover something if you are falsely accused of committing a crime. But I wasn't going to sue him, only taunt him at most.
I didn't even do that. I tried instead to make up with him, and left him a conciliatory note which I dropped off just before I went away for 5 days. When I got home, there were three messages from him on my machine. The first was nice, in response to my note. The second was a complaint that I hadn't called him back, and the third was really angry and offended that I hadn't called him back. I told him I had been away, but he was back to not liking me and my words meant nothing.
On another occasion, it came out that a private manager of group homes for mentally retarded or mentally ill people, I forget which, including 4 or 5 patients with one staff person looking over them, had quietly rented one of the townhouses, and then a second one, and a neighbor called a meeting to "solve the problem". One of them had been only 10 townhouses from me for 4 months or more and I'd not noticed anything special about it, and the other was across the big parking lot from the first one for about 2 months, and I had also not noticed it. So I didn't have any complaints. The guy in the previous paragraph was at the meeting and so was his wife.
The wife began to speak. She said with an almost emotional voice. "My brother was retarded, and I had to watch him every day" and I was sure that her love for her brother would influence her feelings about these people, and she continued, "and I had to watch him stuggle every day, and I don't want to see that anymore." And she wanted the group homes gone. And this couple lived on the next block and would never have seen any of them anyhow. They were married more than 20 years, and made for each other, both of them jerks.
The group homes stayed for a few more months and then left, but not because of anything we did, since afaik we didn't do anything. In all that time, I only noticed them once for 3 to 5 minutes. There was a medium sized school bus that would pick them up to take them for training somewhere, and once when the bus returned in the afternoon, one of the girls, maybe between 15 and 20 didn't want to get off the bus. And she yelled a little, and the staff person in the house came outside and got her, and that was the end of it. I don't think the 4 families who lived next door had any complaints either. This was during the first period when I was on the board.
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Turning off the water is a goofy solution. It is taking action against a renter for actions of the owner. I believe it would be illegal where I live, as rental units are required to have water, sewage and electricity. IMO, it would be better to take owner to small claims, and/or file a lien on his unit(s). If it is a chronic issue, the board could vote for a special assessment to cover legal costs - recoverable, at worst, when he sells the unit.
I've put up with pretty awful behavior by board members and owners in our condo, and it is owner's complacency that causes a lot of trouble..they don't want to be bothered to make sure the association is run properly. It is a business! $3,500/year in a HOA of 110 units is small change; if the board votes for penalties (if allowed by law), it would have a better effect that taking action that harms someone other than the owner and likely gets the HOA sued!
Have to be careful about handling financial deficiencies or rules violations - in Fl., I believe it is illegal in condos to refer to the owner or violator by name in meetings - supposed to address them only by unit number.
You referred to owners who only voiced their opposition after a meeting..typical! It is politics, and a right course of action should be pressed before meetings so meetings don't turn into open warfare, and owners understand that the vote will have a positive effect for them.
We have a small association, and at one point three owners could block any action, including votes for needed maintenance. One of them was owner of three units, chronically delinquent in monthly assessment, but owner of $1,000,000 sailboat and second home in Bahamas! A real parasite whose behavior forced other owners to do work themselves if they wanted the place taken care of.
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wrote:

Only one of the seven involves a tenant at this time, but they have this crackpot notion that what they do in one situation they have to do in all others. So even if they were otherwise willing, which they're not, they wouldn't believe that they can have a different rule for the rented one from the others. This attitude of theirs shows in a lot of situations. I would guess it is an effort to simplify a complicated world.

I hadn't thought of that. That duty might only pertain to the landlord, but the reasons would be just as valid wrt anyone.
I hadn't though of that, but I did urge them to start small, with only a smaller number, so that if they were making a mistake, they wouldn't make it too many times. So that they could refine their methods and do a better job the next time. Mostly it's the president and the comparitively new management company rep. They both have the desire to be in control, and I think to push people around. In most cases, much of the board is like sheep, and in this case they are even more supportive because they want the money.

We've taken a substantial number to court in the past, and gotten liens. The lawyer will do it for free iirc getting all hs money and ours when the bill is paid. I wasn't at the meetings for a few years, and didn't read the newsletters for that matter (if they said anything) but I'm going to try to find out why this method isn't sufficient. Specifically I'm going to try to find out if there were any houses for which we didn't get our money, and what went wrong in those cases.

I don't think much in the way of penalties are allowed by laws.
The quarterly bill per house is about 115 dollars, of which 80 dollars goes to the HOA and 35 goes to the water company. A few months ago I mentioned the strange circumstances that makes our water bill so low.
The 80 dollars should be raised, but it's hard to get enough votes to do that. STill, it's almost enough because these are not condos and the homeowner is responsible for his entire house and his yard. The HOA is only repsonisible for repairing the sidewalkes that don't go to the doors of the house and repairing the road and parking lot occasionally, and lawnmowing and bushes and flowers of the commmon areas which are pretty small.

The lawyer says we're safe, but I forgot to mention that I don't trust the lawyer's competence.
It's the same lawyer who says we can't tell the tenant who also says we can turn off the water.

That's the kind of rule they're referring to. I gues that sort of answers, or at least relates to, Larry's and my question.
Are you allowed to refer to them by name outside of meetings? Like in the chit chat afterwards.
I have a friend who visits his mother who lives in a condo in Fl. He visits for 3 or 4 months every winter. I'll ask him how florida works.

It was only tonight that I found out that the tenant wasn't going to be notified. That one guy who raised the issue last fall did so before I had even thought of it. I heard about it for the first time at that same meeting last fall. I told him what a good idea he had. Yet tonight, he was the one who made the motion to cut off the water, saying nothing about sending a notice to the tenant.
The woman who didn't say anthying until after the meeting was under the impression that no landlords were delinquent, and it's true that most ll's pay on time and there is only one in this group.
I've gone days without water and it barely bothers me at all, so it's surprising in a way that I'm so concerned about this family. I think what really bothers me is to again see how callous, self-centered, and compassionless are so many of my neighbors. And this makes me think that maybe I have overestimated the whole country and the whole world. And that is really depressing. Screwing over your neighbor is only one step from screwing over your neighbor when you are looking at him, and that's only one step from screwing over a friend, which is only one step from screwing over a family member. (Sometimes it's even worse.)
And I think a bunch of them, maybe even the two worst, the pres and the property management rep make a moderate display at times of being religious and, one would think that meant, attempting to be compassionate. They don't answer the phone "God bless you" or anything quite so overt, and I've never been to the rep's home, but I think I've seen religious things of some sort on the walls or refrigerator of the others.

Wow. I haven't met any of these deadbeats or any of the ones from previous years, afaik.
This just in: Dean of Admissions of MIT had often cautioned people not to pad their resume. After 30 years, she has resigned for having padded hers. Claimed degrees she didn't have. May not have even graduated college anywhere.
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While I agree with your final para, I don't think the HOA has a dog in the illegal not to have utilities hunt. That is the responsibility of the landlord doing the renting not some third party. WHen utilities are cut, then the landlord would be the one responsible. As an aside, it might be interesting to see if there are any criminal penalties for the landlord who allows utilities to be cut because of non-payment. If so, one more letter to the landlord saying he has so much time to pay up and if he misses a payment the water will be cut and he will be ratted out to whoever needs to know. I would also slap a lien IMMEDIATELY so that he can't just sell and sneak off.
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...

...
So you then walk down the row and read the name off the mailbox???
I can see such laws being passed, but they make little or no sense.
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I would be VERY cautious doing this. Here is MA it is illeagal for water or electricity to be shut off if there are children, elderly, terminal or special needs people in the homes or properties. If any of these apply to any of the tennants the HOA could be in for a whole world of hurt. Was it a written vote? If not, I would demand a written vote just to simply cover your own bacon. I highly doubt that the HOA would have the authority to turn off a tennants service regardless what the lawyer says. Their purpose is to "make the community a better place" not act as a jail keeper. Why not contact the local water company, building department etc and ask them? Once they flip the valve without the proper due-dilagance ramifications could be huge.
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I should have asked about this last night. Certainly no assurances were made that no one was in this situation. Kurt, they are sending one more letter, certified and regular, to the 7 and maybe even to people who only owe as little 115 or 230 for more than 3 months. (and they must be still applying the liens or you're right, people who stand to get away without paying a thousand dollars or two would just do without water for a couple weeks until they can sell the house and skip.)
(They don't want to be a paper tiger anymore, so I said they should send different letters to people who owe a lot and those who owe a little, because surely they won't disconnect people who only owe 115 dollars, but maybe that's what they plan to do.)
Even when it's not explicitly illegal, I think people and an HOA can be liable. One of the things I've found surprising about tort law is that it's not quite covered by the Constitution's exclusion of ex post facto laws (which is [mostly or entrirely] about criminal law anyhow). That is, there is a law that people, are responsible for their negligence, but courts decide after the fact what is negligence and what isn't. Because there is an endless number of ways to be negligent and no one could list them all in advance. Even though normal people can disagree about what is negligence and what isn't, a respondent is stuck with what the jury or judge decides.

That's a good idea. It wasn't a hand vote, but the secretary is very diligent about writing down who voted nay. She won't even eat during the meetings because she'll miss something. I'm positive she has the count, and pretty positive she has my name, but I will call her and make sure my no vote, and the other guy's are specified.

I think that's a good idea in that it would be a lot easier to get an answer than from the water company than a judge. Because, they'd probably disagree with me but i think the water company must have fewer issues and fewer legal issues.
Well, I called the water company, and even though I started with the Baltimore County number, I got referred to another number and midway in the conversation I found out she was giving me Baltimore City rules and didn't know about Baltimore County (which doesn't overlap the city at all.) so she gave me to her supervisor, who said they could not disconnect an individual house. They only disconnect where there is a meter, and we all share one meter. Even though there are individual valves. So she didn't know anything really about this. She did say that multiple homes sharing one meter is not unusual at all, and sometimes they arrange to bill based on the number of people living in each house. I would save a little if they did that, but then we would have to have a PPHMC, a Person Per House Monitoring Commission, and that would be bad.

The board has XX and YY insurance (Negligence and Malfeasance? No, something that sounds nicer than that), which they called upon 20 years ago when I sued the HOA. I was pro se against a real lawyer but did pretty well anyhow.
But in an extreme situation, the damages might exceed their insurance.
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