Well - if your Association can afford to have a management company take over, I would suggest that you turn it over to one. This would take you and the other unit owners out of the mix - except one would still work with the management company.
This would relieve a lot of headaches going forward. The association I belong to contains 16 units and we have 4 units not paying their condo fees, another 2 units think the Trustees have "it out for them" - Several units do not want to abide by the by-laws - but the by-laws are set by the State of MA, not us. A lot of headaches. We cannot afford to turn over to a management company as none of the units want to have an increase in their condo fees to cover the management cost. The Trustees are not compensated for their work and spend A LOT of hours making sure financial updates are provided and chasing those that are not paying, including calculating late fees.
How do you calculate the late fees?
I was told back 7 years ago when I purchased my unit that the late fee was $5 per day, per month for none payment beginning the 11th day of the month.
Bottom line is that she will not stop being uncooperative it is a matter of how much the unit owners want to deal with her. I would make sure to put everything in the minutes that every unit was requested to get quotes and then the next set of minutes can state that none were received from her.
Those that purchase condo units, need to realize that they are purchasing within a community and that there are rules and everyone needs to abide by them. Condo fees are not an option.
Hope some of this helps, I look forward to hearing back from you about the late fees.
Our monthly assessments are due on the first of each month. Non-payment after the 7th of the month is considered late. Our late fee is a flat $10 per month for the month in which it is late.
Our Condo is in Florida, so I guess our laws maybe different.
I would at the next board meeting raise the late fees to $50.00 dollars after the 10th of the month and turn over to a collection attorney on the 30th day of being past due. In our state any cost of collection by a attorney is payable by the person who is late plus interest. After 60 days have your attoney file a lien on her property.
We also charge 50.00 per infraction of any rules or bylaws.
Only other choice is call in Tony Saprano from N.J.
I recommend you speak to your attorney (I know, more money) and research your documents. You may be able to collect the full year's fees up front because the person is a chronic delinquent.
I also recommend that if you are the other two owners are happy with the services, that you meet with the service provider and basically tell him to ignore this person.
It appears you've done a lot to appease this owner and it hasn't worked, so I recommend you stop trying and just use every process and tool you can to enforce your documents and collection.
It won't be easy, but at least you all know you've tried, been reasonable and in my opinion, went above and beyond. Just make sure you keep documenting everything.
Our late fees are 6% over Wall Street Journal Prime Rate at 30 days past due- all was listed in the bylaws. We would be better off changing the bylaws to the $50 at 10 days, collection at 30 and then lien at 60-
For bylaw infractions, we charge $5/day which is in the bylaws. The notice needs to be processed according to MA law, notice at 30 that will be charging at 60 and cannot lien until 60.
Good Morning, you have a problem on your hands. To be frank, it sound like you've been more accomodatting to her than I ever would have been. Sometimes, when someone wants a fight, you give it to them (that's my personal opinion only).
The best suggestion I can think of is to modify your rules regarding late payments, rule violations, and assessment collections. In most states, the board has the authority to do that in an open meeting. Then, hire an aggresive attorney or collection agent to go recover your money. Hire someone who is going to bang on her regularly. I would start with getting a judgment and attaching her wages. One technique my association used on parking enforcement was to start towing cars. After we towed two of them, it was rather amazing how compliant everyone became with the parking rules. Sure, we caught flak from those who had their cars towed, but we haven't had a problem with them since. Be creative and find ways to make it uncomfortable for her. She'll eventually get tired of fighting the attorney and the association and she'll become more compliant.
HOA Receivables Management
Currently, we have one unit owner that is 6 months behind. We put a notice on their door each month. Our Treasurer left one phone message about being late. We did one letter stating that in two weeks we would be filing in Small Claims Court for the 5 months due then. The Wednesday before filing 6 days later at 10:30am I handed her a letter to her at her door. She had NOT PLACED ONE PHONE call to our Treasurer in 5 months to say when she would pay. So we file at 10:30am Tuesday. By noon we get a message left on the Treasurer 's phone that she can pay half on Friday and half sometime in December. Treasurer left her a message (since she would not answer her phone) that yes that would work and add an $80 filing fee. She left another message saying she would counter sue and not pay the filing fee for Small Claims Court. We are in South Carolina. What do you think our chances are in Small Claims Court? Should we hire an attorney? Our association has not been ran properly in the past and I just took over in June. I did see an attorney and he suggested we start with smaller items - yard clean up exterior maintenace. As ou dues $60 does not cover exterior maintenance upkeep. We take care of our own units (townhomes). This unit owner by looking at past records has not paid on time since they purchased eight yrs ago. My understanding is when you go to court, you owe - you pay. I don't know if we will get the late fees of $10 each month plus the $80 filing fee. They are attorneys and very poor ones (if you know what I mean).
I am a trustee of a 12-unit condo building in Boston. Check with your attorney, but it is my understanding that as a trustee, you do not need prior consent (as in, a vote) from the unit owners to make the decision to allow a management company to oversee your association. You were voted to a trustee position to make decisions on behalf of the other unit owners. Running a condo is not a democracy. This is a lesson we learned from our attorneys. Many unit owners feel that they need to vote on every budget item - but that would be counterproductive, and in your condo building it is clearly a disruptive tactic this particular unit owner is trying to use in order to manipulate and control the situation to her advantage. Remove yourself from the equation by hiring a managment company immediately - since you already have the support of the other unit owners anyway. If the disruptive unit owner threatens you personally with a lawsuit, remind her that you are protected by indemnity clauses that should be in your condo bylaws. Again, check with your attorney, because all of this is my understanding of how this all works in MA. Good luck!
Good Morning Judith:
This also applies to the original poster as well. One of the things to remember is that the board has the right to implement policies and procedures to enforce the governing documents. So, in associations that have these problems, I always, always, always recommend a solid collections policy. You will have to send it out to the community but once it's in effect, you can start to hammer away at them.
For example, I have a sample collections policy that I provide to association we collect for. My personal association uses it to great effect. It allows that the association can charge a late of $25, interest, collections charges, and any other expenses, AND add those charges to the homeowner's account to be repaid by the debtor. The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) says essentially that to fairly collect a debt, the debtor has to know about it. So, if you advise them that you are going to add all of these charges, you can, and it will hold up in court.
The bottom line is that most people who are cantankerous like this in an association are little more than older bullies that we had to deal with in school. You call their bluff and they will eventually play ball with you. Sure, you may have to legally thump them a little, but use the law to your advantage to entice compliance.
HOA Receivables Management
Most states have Lien laws and enforce them. Delinquent owners can have lien placed against them and foreclosed upon.
This will put a complete stop to non-payment or result, subject to a mortgage, in the Association owning the problem property and either selling it or renting it out until back fees are collected and then sell. Check with your Association attorney, they know the routine.