We try to keep abreast of news related to homeowner and condominium associations so as to stay current with the topics and issues association board members like yourself should be aware of. In the course of our daily headline skimming, we’ve noticed a disheartening trend: almost all association-related articles are extraordinarily negative in tone.
Here are three HOA horror story-related articles that have been published in the last week alone:
Orange Park, FL
“It’s a dictatorship,” one resident of the Spencer’s Plantation neighborhood said of its HOA board, which stands accused of illegally ignoring a unanimous recall vote and leveling absurdly large fines up to four times the size of annual dues for minor infractions like having a leaning mailbox.
Litigation or binding arbitration seems inevitable, especially since one homeowner has already received a restraining order against a board member.
An HOA board was forced into damage control mode when the manager of a unit turned into a vacation rental kicked a family out after lying that a series of complaints had been lodged against them, thereby ruining their “once-in-a-lifetime summer vacation.” The HOA board felt compelled to reach out to a local news station once the station opened an investigation based on the family’s experiences to side with and apologize to the family.
Complaints from several surly residents of a gated community prompted its HOA board to shut down an 11-year-old boy’s lemonade stand. The pint-sized business, started with funds from the boy’s own pocket, only lasted two hours before being forcibly shuttered. “Sometimes I think they just go a little bit too far,” the boy’s father said of the HOA board. “I would hope that something as innocent as that could be overlooked at least for a day.”
The conclusion to draw from these horror stories is simple: managing an association is hard work, and there is plenty of room for conflicts to arise and abuses of power to occur. Even a competent and ethical association board member like yourself can be drawn into time-consuming and headache-inducing conflicts as a result of this fact.
This is one of the primary reasons approximately 75 percent of homeowner and condominium associations are managed by association management companies. The average professional association manager is an infinitely more talented conflict resolver, legal advisor and financial manager than the average elected association board member.
To avoid inadvertently inviting nasty articles to be written about your community – and, more simply, to save time and avoid stress – click the below button to get free quotes from local association management companies and learn what they can do for you.