Various others have various degrees of sound advice -- mine is similar
but if I were on the Board and concerned (which I would be), the items
of concern and actions I'd take include--
1. Someone else mentioned checking on all covenants of the board and
its charter to ensure _you_ know what they say, not what somebody else
says they say. This, fundamentally, is the best advice given and the
other is that depending on state law where you are, it is quite
possible you may be liable individually for any breach of rules/law as
well as the board in general. The HOA _DOES_ have Directors'
Liability policy, I hope? I wouldn't even consider serving on such a
board if it does not.
2. If the laws/regulations are as being quoted, the attorney should
be able to provide chapter and verse of which law(s) are being quoted
and you should be able to ascertain whether it appears they really are
or not. A second opinion here from either another attorney or simply
the State AG's office or ombudsman if they have one wouldn't be bad
idea. The idea of contacting a national association for HOA's is also
an excellent one.
3. I would be _very_ surprised if there aren't rules against cutting
off utilities to individual apartments even if the renter isn't the
responsible party w/o notification. I understand the legal contract
w/ the HOA is w/ the landlord, not the renter, but still I would be
leery in taken unilateral action w/o notification.
4. In that regard, do the HOA rules prevent the notification to the
other members of the Association of a total list of dues/fees
outstanding? Is this not part of an annual report at least as part of
the accounting of the Board to its members? If so, simply posting
that notice would have the desired effect.
5. I also agree in principle that it seems the Board has been
derelict in not collecting owed fees in a timely fashion and in taking
a more proactive stance previously. I understand they're now
attempting to do this, but figure this is the wrong way to go at it --
primarily, as you point out, for the most part it isn't the offending
party that whose ox is being gored but a bystander. The question of
whether the renter would choose to pay simply to retain service is an
interesting one -- I don't see that the HOA would have much leg to
stand on if the water assessment were paid even if the total wasn't...
Non Scriptum, non est. Any time someone tells you somthing
about the law that doesn't make sense, make them show you the
law in question.
In this case, my suspicion is that it's not legal for you
to be going after the tennant (who has no contractual
relationship with you) for monies owed by the landlord.
But I'd be surprised if a simple notification that the
water will be shut off in (say) 10 days was against the law.
IOW, I suspect that you can warn them, but not threaten them.
" What is the Maryland Homeowners Association Act?
The Maryland Legislature has adopted laws requiring disclosures to
purchasers that a lot is located within a homeowners association for
which fees must be paid; sets forth warranties; rules regarding
meetings of the association; family day care activities and other
aspects of homeowners associations. The Maryland Homeowners
Association Act is codified and can be found in the Annotated Code of
Maryland as part of the Real Property Article, Title 11B. The Act is
refined by amendments from year to year. "
In NV the legislature has been getting involved in HOA abuse. Some HOA
issued fines for parking on the street. The streets are public
property and cannot be controlled by the HOA. One HOA that happens to
be "gated community" has a friggin radar gun out to catch speeders.
Because it is gated they are able to do this, because "the members
HOA's went through this about Sat TV dishes, Rolladen shutters, etc..
The owners won and the CC&R were amended.
"I don't have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who
really loves it."
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