I'm turning into our HOA Biotch...

  1. ...at least it seems that way!! :tdown:

    <Rant on>
    Along with my own personal drama of late, I'm very frustrated internally with our HOA board as well as with a landlord who rents out property adjacent to us. And while I know I have to do my part to be a good neighbor, keep our HOA rules enforced and enforce boundaries, I feel like I'm turning into an old bat. :crybaby:

    Deep breath, here goes:
    I live in a wonderful townhouse complex in a nice Seattle suburb. We are small in number, so we are a self-run group and do not use a property management company. We do our own books. We are pretty low key as we do not have a pool, gym or clubhouse to maintain; other than the basics of insurance, garbage pickup, keeping our reserves at proper levels, etc, we focus most of our common efforts into our landscaping in the front areas and side yards. Gotta admit, it looks good!

    I got elected to the Board about 6 months after I moved in here nearly 5 years ago. Most all of us in the complex, coincidentally, are single. The units are very spacious but the complex is not super kid-friendly...no huge backyards, for example. So, there are not of people to choose from when electing officers ;). I figured sure, I'm here, I need to do my part to help out.

    At the time, two of our board Officers were a married couple (one of the few couples who live here) and they are fantastic. They really cared about the complex, had lived here for years and were the real drivers in being proactive and looking out for things that needed repair or changing. They each really went above and beyond and our complex really benefited from that. The HOA would take a few bucks out of reserves every year so they could go out on the town and have a nice dinner as a 'thank you' from all of us. Pretty cool!

    Well, things change. The couple is in the process of building a home of their own and after 14-15 years of keeping things moving along here they understandably now have other priorities. We have a new board as a result (I'm still on it). Let's just say it is very different than it used to be and we're still trying to get legs under us. One officer is a good GF of mine, super sharp, and the other two are, how shall I say it, EXTREMELY passive men. :cursing: one of the men is our president, at least on paper. He has no sense of urgency about anything and is a poor communicator. I have to constantly follow up and remind him about things that we need to address. He doesn't freely share info about quotes he's gotten for repairs or anything. He just keeps quiet until another board member asks hey what's the status on those quotes? It's just a difficult style to work with.

    I have encouraged him to meet up with the couple who used to be on the board to get some of their 'tribal knowledge' passed on before they move out and it's too late. The other guy is our treasurer and while he may do a good job with the books I do not trust him. It's sad.

    We're dealing with two big issues right now, and not very well I might add. One is internal: one individual in the complex took it upon himself to install large satellite dishes (3!) on his front balcony which is a HOA violation not to mention an eyesore. Rather than be accountable for his actions and take them down (and get cable or remount his dishes out of line of sight as others have done), he's now trying to make this the HOA's problem by whining that the contract termination fees are too high.

    The other is external: next door to our property is a dump. OK, I'll rephrase: it's a rundown house which has been converted into multiple apartments. Thankfully we have a large row of trees which are a barrier so we don't have to look at it all day. The landlord is a slumlord. He doesn't provide garbage pickup service to his tenants. I'm sorry to sound snotty here but this is the SUBURBS, NOT CAMPING. It's deplorable. There are old boats and debris everywhere in their yard. You can imagine what the tenants are like. We have had problems down there with, among other things, them sneaking through and using our garbage dumpster and what have you (which means any overflow gets left behind on pickup day = big health hazard). I have had more nasty conversations with the landlord than I care to admit. I actually caught a woman red-handed sneaking through one day with her garbage while I was working from home. WTF?? :cursing: You can imagine how startled she was when I called her on it!

    We're likely getting a gate and padlock put on our garbage bin area as a result. It's sad but necessary.

    What's my point here? I guess I am feeling like I'm being a nag and having such a negative undercurrent in my life these days and having to point out things that should be obvious. I feel I have to be the one to remind, follow up to get things done and that no one else cares. Have I mentioned I am a GIT 'R' DUN type of girl? I'm just tired of the mediocrity and apathy of late.

    I don't want to be a nag or martyr here in wading through all this...am I just being whiney? :sweatdrop:

    <rant off>
  2. Sorry you are having these problems. When are your board elections? Maybe you can get the passive president replaced. Or it might be time to go to an outside management firm? Also, if there is a crime prevention council for your area of the city, you might be able to talk to them about the nuisance property next door.
  3. Take charge!!! YOU be the president :smile:
  4. LOL, thanks! My friend who is on the Board with me is equally as frustrated dealing with these two weenies...we both feel like we're co-presidenting and neither of us wants to be da Prez down the road. Frankly that's a crown of sh*t I don't want to wear.

    What's more is she is 8 months pregnant and so I am so happy for her and also knowing full well I'm soon going to be on my own dealing with these two guys.

    How do you put the FUN in dysfunctional?? :p
  5. have you called the city regarding the dump next door, they may be in violation of numerous codes. there is probably a neighborhood liason that you could speak with. i live in a large city, and was surprised by how easy it was to make a complaint...and have it followed up by an inspection.

    good luck, keep up with the HOA. it is worth it, it is your property value, and quality of life...don't let someone else ruin it.
  6. I was HOA president at our condo. Even smaller properties sometimes need a property manager. We had a good one if you're interested. I also know of an excellent attorney that handles HOA issues as well, he worked with us after we won our lawsuit against the condo builder back in 2000. Having legal muscle with the slumlord may be what you need right now. We had a similar problem with a commercial property that was adjacent to our condo complex. The owners were doing work there and tore down our fence and destroyed about $1000 worth of our landscaping and trespassed onto the property. A few "nasty grams" from the attorney and we were reimbursed for the damage. Your HOA may have to bite the bullet and consult with someone about this... I am also very familiar with HOA dynamics so if you need advice you know where to find me. ;)
  7. yep sounds like they need a new president....YOU
  8. you should be able to report the slumlord's failure to provide garbage service...you know, b/c everyone is losing out. the residents of the run down building next door don't have a service they SHOULD have and then your complex has to deal with sneaking neighbors!

    not everyone is aware that they can/should speak up about their rights and unfortunately, those who are less privileged usually fall into that category.

    don't be afraid to stand up and voice your concerns. the city should get involved if the place next door is breaking violations (just as your HOA president should get involved with that whiny satellite guy~!).
  9. Ugh. I feel for you. I could never live in a place with a HOA let alone be on the board. I have delt with issues with neighbors though and it's no fun.
  10. hey all, thanks for your encouragement and comments! Dang that was a long OP (oopsie).

    We've got some homework to do researching whether the slumlord next door is violating any codes not providing garbage pickup for his tenants. Here's the plot twist: although we are in a Seattle suburb we are literally just 1000' feet outside our city limits! So, we're technically in an unincorporated part of our County. I have a feeling the rules are not as strict up here. Time to research!

    Slumlord and I argued about the garbage problem. While he has owned up to the fact his tenants had been contributing to our problems he has made it crystal clear he won't give them garbage service. He doesn't live in the area and reminds us he can't police his tenants 24/7. Yet he has other properties here in the area where he does include garbage service! He had the gall to lecture US on how we should solve our garbage problems and I snapped right back and said look, you have no right to tell us what to do when it's YOUR tenants who are causing our problems. What an a$$! If he was smart he would sell the property to a developer and get it flattened. It's prime property in a great location and I'm sure is worth a ton.

    Anyway, we've got a Board meeting in a few days to go over this and the other stuff. Can you tell how much I'm looking forward to it, lol.

    Thanks for reading through all this, everyone!!
  11. When I first pointed out the violation to our President, he walked up to take a look at the satellite dishes, shrugged his shoulders and said "I think it's fine." I wanted to rip out his spine and show it to him, but then realized he doesn't have one to begin with. :cursing:
  12. You are not being whiney and I totally get your frustration. Sorry but you may HAVE TO get elected president. You don't want the title for sure but it seems as if it's the only way to GIT 'R' DUN, the job that is. Hang in there!