At what point do you have to say that your HOA is out of control? I've heard arguments for and against HOAs and both arguments are good ones. The ones about keeping your yard neat and lawn mowed, no broken down cars all legit. But, sometimes an HOA can get out of control and what can you do to get them back in check if no one else wants to take the job.
One of my daughters friends lives in a condo complex that has over 500 units and over the past 5 years the HOA has managed to raise the HOA fees from $125 a month to over $450 and this last January had to put aspecial assessment on each unit for over $12,000 because of their mismanagement of the HOA.
The first thing they did is spent almost every dime the HOA had one little pet projects and didn't leave any type of reserve, well this last winter the siding and the roofs went bad and they had to raise the HOA fees to help build the reserve back up and then do the special assessment to fix the roof and siding.
By doing this, the prices of these units plummeted from $180,000 to a max price of $90,00 in less than six months time. They couldn't find a buyer because of all the problems with the HOA, who wants to buy a unit where the HOA fees are higher than your mortgage payments? Then the sellers had to come out of pocket for the special assessment before close. Really the only people who could sell where those that owned theirs free and clear or it was a short sale or a foreclosure and I can tell you, that you didn't want to see what those units looked like.
But, today was the final straw for our friends and they are organizing a group to get the HOA members out and put new people in, but they can't find anyone to step up that actually wants to take the job, because they have seen the hatred toward the last 5 years of members. Cars have been keyed, front doors toilet papered and garbage dumped outside the HOA members doors. (They don't want to take this on themselves)
What was the straw that broke the camels back? Two weeks ago we were invited over for a Halloween party and dinner. We would eat dinner and then go trick or treating in the complex. Can you think of a better place for a kid to trick or treat, you have a new door every 15 feet. I know when I was a kid, condos or apartment complexes were the places to go if you wanted to get lots of candy fast!
Today all 500 residences got a notice on their doors that trick or treating was not allowed in the in the complex under the new HOA rule that was voted in the night before. It was for the safety of the kids and that if they wanted to re-look at the rule they could vote on it again next year. I'm not sure what the penalty would be if you break this rule, but I'm guessing you would get a nice little ticket from the HOA. (Got to fund their pet projects some how)
Has anyone else ever heard of something like this? This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard of and I have to wonder why these people really are just trying to get families with kids to move out.
Todd Clark (Principal Broker)