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So I just joined the board of my condo association...


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and am wondering what I'm getting myself into here, if anyone has prior experience. For background, it's not a large community, only 77 units total, but a total lack of involvement. They had mailed out notice of the annual meeting to take place yesterday evening, and I decided to go for the first time. I would have gone in years past but it always conflicted with my night classes.

Anyway, I show up...along with six other people, one of whom is the property manager and not an owner...so six owners out of 77. Apparently (I'm new to all this) you need 25% of all owners present to have an annual meeting, something which has never been achieved.

The meeting immediately canceled, they moved on to the board meeting, then asked anyone who showed up if they wanted to be on it. Apparently, there were only three board positions filled out of five. No treasurer, and I guess an at-large member position. I figure I should get invovled where I live to some degree, so I volunteered to be the treasurer, one of the other new folks took over as secretary, etc.

The board meeting was about as boring as you'd expect...budgets, delinquent accounts, complaints, etc. I guess I'm just curious as to what to expect going forward. I learned a fair amount last night, such as why our condo fees keep being raised. Apparently, every five years an engineer comes through and assesses what the 30 year cost to maintain the area would be, accounting for new roofs, concrete replacement, etc. That 30 year expense account is supposed to be in the bank, something we aren't even close to. I learned a bit about the requirements for FHA certification to make the development available to FHA loans.

That's about it really...I went to the meeting with only two things on my mind...to start a crusade against the many dog owners who don't clean up after their pets (mildly successful) and to find out if our popcorn ceiling has asbestos since the development was built in the mid-70's (unsuccessful, no one knows). Instead of being home by eight, I was home by ten, wound up being elected to a board position I had no idea was available, and have no idea what I'm getting into.

Not sure I came out ahead here :ols:

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If anything, you'll get all of the dirt on your community.

As a treasurer, I'd assume that you'll really only need to concern yourself with the financial aspect of the community. You won't have to be the little old lady who's retired and walks around with a clip board marking every home owner's violations. That part would suck. You'll be up to date on all the latest happenings in the community. Unfortunately, making sure that the budget is balanced might be a huge PITA on its own.

Good luck.

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You just shake your fist out the window and yell "You pesky kids!"

In that vein, I suppose I could be the guy who takes pictures of people letting their dogs crap in the common area, but I don't want to go that far with it.

congrats on becoming 'the man'

I despise you.

False, I already didn't like you, so you can't be a copycat. Your only choice is to like me. Smart off anymore and I'll jack your condo fees up.

If anything, you'll get all of the dirt on your community.

As a treasurer, I'd assume that you'll really only need to concern yourself with the financial aspect of the community. You won't have to be the little old lady who's retired and walks around with a clip board marking every home owner's violations. That part would suck. You'll be up to date on all the latest happenings in the community. Unfortunately, making sure that the budget is balanced might be a huge PITA on its own.

Good luck.

I'm not even sure I have to do that much...the property manager seems to handle most everything. They had a budget drawn up, they do a lot of contract negotiations (landscaping, snow, etc.) so it almost seems like being treasurer is a position in name only. I suppose I can get dirt on the community in the form of knowing who is behind on their accounts, and who is ****ing about what, but that's about it.

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I'm not even sure I have to do that much...the property manager seems to handle most everything. They had a budget drawn up, they do a lot of contract negotiations (landscaping, snow, etc.) so it almost seems like being treasurer is a position in name only. I suppose I can get dirt on the community in the form of knowing who is behind on their accounts, and who is ****ing about what, but that's about it.

Yeah, as far as I know, HOA meetings are pretty boring. Unless of course, somebody is there ****ing about something or another. That can be funny sometimes. The only real benefit I see of being on the board is the fact that you'll (likely) be on the good side of the people who more or less "run" your community. That means, if something negative ever happens to you, you'll be more likely to receive favorable treatment from them. I would say that alone is the real reason to join board.

I doubt they'll do anything about the dog poop though. The community I was in and the one I'm moving into now both have rules about dog poo. It doesn't stop anyone from not cleaning up after their pet though. It is illegal though and if you know who's pet is doing it, you could potentially call the cops and have them fined. Dog poo is a slippery slope.

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I am so glad I bought a house with no HOA involved :)

Until your next door neighbor starts flying confederate flags, builds a window that looks directly into your bedroom and decides to color the bricks to his house an alternating color of butterscotch and pixie dust.

---------- Post added October-28th-2011 at 10:05 AM ----------

We know the addresses of a couple of people who are doing it. I have no idea what the first step is...probably a strongly worded letter or something, for whatever good that does.

Are they pooping on your yard? A common area that you use?

I'd imagine that confronting them directly is the best first step. Not an angry confrontation, but a "Hey, that really isn't cool. I stepped on poop yesterday. Please clean up after them." type of confrontation.

I doubt that the HOA can really do anything at all. They don't fine owners do they? If they are renters, the owner of the property could evict them I suppose. Other than that, the police could give them a ticket. It really depends on how involved you'd want the authorities though.

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Are they pooping on your yard? A common area that you use?

I'd imagine that confronting them directly is the best first step. Not an angry confrontation, but a "Hey, that really isn't cool. I stepped on poop yesterday. Please clean up after them." type of confrontation.

I doubt that the HOA can really do anything at all. They don't fine owners do they? If they are renters, the owner of the property could evict them I suppose. Other than that, the police could give them a ticket. It really depends on how involved you'd want the authorities though.

This isn't a HOA, this is a condo association. We have a HOA as well for the general area, I have to pay that quarterly, but our specific development has a condo association with monthly dues, that has jurisdiction over the common area, exterior maintenance, towing from the neighborhoods, etc. And no, we're talking the common areas, anyone that has a backyard is fenced in, the front yards are all common area.

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False, I already didn't like you, so you can't be a copycat. Your only choice is to like me. Smart off anymore and I'll jack your condo fees up.

***** please, I'm going to get a group of hippies and occupy your next meeting....we will play songs about how awful the man (aka you) is on our bongos and acoustic guitars...let's see how well you can manage finances with the awesome sounds of our music (since i am a lyrical ****smith) clouding your thoughts.

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Another thing I thought of as it pertains to dog poop.

Our old neighborhood used to send of flyers "reminding" people that they need to clean up after their pets. Obviously it was because somebody complained about the poop. But they would come around once every 6 months or so. Leashes and clean up after pets has been an issue for a long time, but people still do it anyway.

I guess if your neighborhood sends out flyers, that would be the best first step. If it's happening around you, it's probably happening elsewhere in the community.

---------- Post added October-28th-2011 at 10:14 AM ----------

***** please, I'm going to get a group of hippies and occupy your next meeting....we will play songs about how awful the man (aka you) is on our bongos and acoustic guitars...let's see how well you can manage finances with the awesome sounds of our music (since i am a lyrical ****smith) clouding your thoughts.

Hahahaha!

A group of hippies for 6 people! Classic. :rotflmao:

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The board meeting was about as boring as you'd expect...budgets, delinquent accounts, complaints, etc. I guess I'm just curious as to what to expect going forward.:

Just run for Condo President like Kramer did at Del Boca Vista and change things up. :) Just make sure you win.

200px-Seinfeld_s9e15.jpg

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Roberts rules is a great book to guide a meeting.

Have a set of by-laws. And review them.

Roll Call. If people don't show make sure that is noted and notify the residents ahead of time about issues and the agenda of the upcoming meeting. That way when someone stops you in the parking lot b&m about the grass, just shake their hands and say see you at the next meeting. Have a complaint process, in writing with a date time, issue and who the complainant is. This will cut down on the number of complaints.

Don't argue, make points and move on staying on track with an agenda for each meeting. Long meetings accomplish little.

Make sure the Secretary is competent and is taking proper notes. Notes matter.

Set a time limit, this is your lives here. When dealing with fiscal matters because everyone wants to do everything know that fiscal constraints and long term maintenance comes first. You can fire the landscaper that has worked there for five years because someone else does it cheaper but that guy blows crap on residents cars or comes at different times and leaves the place without looking over the job. I found it is better to try and improve relationships with service providers than it is to just hire someone new.

Just a few thoughts.

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Having to deal with an incompetent HOA for the last 3.5 years... I have advice for the Treasurer position. If it is your job to issue statements to owners about delinquency as well as collecting fees, do the following... Issue warnings to all delinquent payers immediately that you are about to issue liens against all delinquent accounts that are 90 days or older. This was a huge issue with my HOA. They had to keep a certain amount in an account for FHA/legacy funds and there was usually very little left to budget for street lamps, parking lot repair, gardening, and snow removal among other misc items.

Get aggressive about it! Get the operating budget going good. If there's constant pressure on the wallet, you will see more people getting involved in the HOA.

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Seriously though. Condo boards get a really bad rep because they are typically run by egotistical agenda driven *******s.

I wouldnt trust anyone else on the board.

Who knows, I just met them last night, but my initial impressions weren't of that sort.

The president is a young guy, about my age. When it came time to ask some of us new folks if we wanted to join the board, he asked us if either of us wanted to take over. Not the mark of someone I'd call egotistical. While the board meeting was going on, he continuously asked for advice and recommendations of the property manager to make sure he was introducing issues legally, because he had no idea. The VP also tried to give her job away. The secretary was a nice younger woman who wears a hearing aid. Another person took over that job because she wasn't sure she was hearing all the little discussions. The treasurer position was vacant. I filled in there, as mentioned previously. I really, really, don't get a ego/agenda vibe.

Keep in mind, this is a smaller (77 unit) community that pays its bills but doesn't have nearly enough in it's reserve account. It doesn't seem like the kind of place to build a resume or reputation. I only joined to feel like I was giving back, and because I know there's not a lot of community involvement.

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