Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Reader Reports Back

Here is a letter I received from one of our readers:


The pen is mightier than the sword. I have seen it work on our association that was far less than noble.I took the advice of the association's attorney given to me several years back; and that was to embarrass the bad members of the board. I published several letters called the HOA Observer and only recorded the facts, and the facts where the board was not meeting the law.

Eventually the management company became more compliant in obeying the law and refused to do illegal activities as they once did with the board. My letters generated interest by other good people in the association that had no idea what the board was doing. I campaigned for them in my monthly letters and two were elected by the membership and the membership discarded the bad director(s).We now have a board that will walk "the straight and narrow", and will obey all of the state statutes, or CC&R's and the bylaws.

This victory was accomplished with only honesty and the good old fashioned way of American democracy. We did it without litigation or other legal enforcement; without intimidation, coercion or any corrupt or with legal council.We now will conduct all of the board's business at the board's regular meetings in an orderly manner, and the exceptions will be handled by legal means. We are living in a democracy; all we need to do is to use the democratic laws we already have; they actually work; they really do!We have never foreclosed on anyone's home and won't. The banks have foreclosed on homes but we have not.

We have only put liens on back monthly dies which is paid when the property is sold; to be fair to the rest on the membership.I do not see that our situation is unique and this would work with countless other associations with similar problems.I have attached the reserve irregularities report I made to the board and distributed to the membership along with the campaign newsletter.I have also included a chart of the regression analysis of the last eight years on our operating expenses. It shows that inflation is killing us. I excluded the earthquake premium which was canceled two years ago that would have skewed the data. The professional accountant and I will work on and make the least painful way to improve the reserve account funding.

The accountant has your book.I owe a lot to you and your book on "The Uncertain Future of Homeowners Association." That book may have saved us from an uncertain future.