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Americanrecr…, Home Buyer in 75007

How do I contest HOA assessments?

Asked by Americanrecruit, 75007 Wed Aug 25, 2010

Our HOA board members decided to increase our dues, twice in a short period of time.
The board members just explained that homeowners are not allowed to vote; only board members (about 5 board members) are allowed to decide for entire neighborhood.

By laws say we can contest the HOA assessments. How?

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BEST ANSWER
Hi A. I was walking my dog about 10 months ago with my buddy that lives in my neighborhood. He asked me the same exact question. I looked at him and said, "Throw the bums OUT!!! Everybody is cutting HOA fees and they're raising them? Throw out the incompetent idiots and take over as president, cut the expenses and waste, and you'll be doing a HUGE mitzvah (good deed). He did and here's what happened:

http://www.trulia.com/blog/scott_miller/2009/10/secrets_on_h…

GOOD LUCK!! It takes time and effort and help from other disgruntled owners, but it's done all the time!

Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
You'll need at least 3 documents:
Articles of Incorporation of the HOA
By-Laws of the HOA
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions

The CCRs are usually the most restrictive and most important of these. The vast majority of CCRs provide for how assessments are calculated and when they're due. Some contain provisions for the maximum rate at which assessments can change, but also provide for special assessments to meet extraordinary expenses.

It is possible that the board has the sole power to set assessments and without limits, but also they may be subject to annual limits. Also, your board is elected by the membership (homeowners) - so if you don't like what they're doing, dump them and run yourself.

If they're empowered to set assessments, which they usually are, appeal probably does not exist. However, if you and your neighbors show up en masse at the next meeting, they may get the message that you're unhappy.

HOAs have far too much unfettered power and the legal route to stop abuses is expensive because it requires going to county court with a lawyer. You can't even go down to JP court and get relief for a $200 fine. Small claims (which are handled by JP) now can be as high as $10,000, but take your HOA complaint somewhere else, because JP court won't listen to your case. They law needs to change.
Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
#1 Review your HOA docs.
#2 Get on the board.
#3 Go volunteer with the board.....get involved. Maybe their costs have gone up and they don't have the time or resources to investigate more. Can you bid out services to lower your prices. Can homeowners do some sweat equity to lower the costs of repairs.
#4 Be a resource to them, not a problem. Somethings may be out of their control. You need insurance, you need to have the landscaping taken care of, you need good reserves for replacement. You may have anticipated expenses coming down the line.

Go find out what is going on before you protest.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
How do the by-laws say you can contest the assessments?

Governing an HOA isn't easy, partially because HOAs don't generally have the ability to operate in the red. One problem that HOAs are facing is the number of owners who are delinquent in their dues, the HOAs only recourse is to raise the dues on the remaining homeowners.

But as to your specific situation, you really need to rely on your governing documents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
Talk to an HOA Board Member re the purpose of the increases. If you have delinquent owners, short sales and foreclosures, that means funds are running low for your HOA. In most states HOA's are required to have reserves on hand. In addition, the HOA Management Company may have increased. Look at the documents referenced the other answers for your ability to contest the increases. See if some of your neighbors are upset. Perhaps they will contest with you. In the end, you may need to retain an attorney who handles residential real estate matters, including condominium law.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
You should certainly be due an explanation of the assessments - so I would start there. I would think that your by laws would specify voting procedure so check there. Plus there should be meetings that are documented with minutes that are shared with the homeowners and I would hope that a discussion of HOA fee increases/assessments would be a topic discussion. Ususally the meetings are open to homeowners.

The Board is elected by the owners, so educate yourself on the timing of elections so that if you are unhappy with the representation and process, you have a chance to voice your opinion and achieve change. As a homeowner, you do want to be sure the HOA is run well and the finances are in good order. If the increases/assessments are appropriate and necessary, then contesting them may be tough. But as a homeower, you do want to understand them.

Good luck,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
All HOA vary you need confer with by laws in HOA

Or confer with an attorney

Lynn911.com
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 25, 2010
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