Excellent. I have no answers but am hoping we get some good responses to this. Thanks for asking it.
Sad but true. Nothing will be done. These HOA's should be banned from forming.
I'm confused! But if these people are and their contractors are a problem why are they still in these positions. Check your declarations can't they be removed?
When there is a lawsuit it's standard procedure for there to not be any contact between the plaitiff(s) and the defendants(s).
What exactly has the board Pres, the mgmt co and PM and the assn attorney done to make you believe they've committed fraud? Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't accused the judge of being in on this conspiracy!
Please, we need more info before we can believe you. To just say they've committed fraud just doesnt cut it, at least not with me.
Sounds like you (and owners that share the same opinions) request by petition according to your association's governing docuemnts an owners meeting to discuss these serious matters. If this fails, seeking advice of a competent attorney specializing in community association law be engaged to further assist.
Have you downloaded a copy of the New Jersey Condominium Act?? You may find your answer therein
This writer did accuse the judge of being in on iy. "the judge allowed it anyway".
We are only hearing one side of the story. Where is the rest of the board in this? If it's as bad as you claim they must all be in n the fraud, too. An attorney will give them 15 or 20 minutes of free consultation. If there is truly something going on, which I doubt, report it to the police. Pardon me for saying, but you seem like a chronic complainer.
Unfortunately - our situation is pretty close and believe me, we are not chronic complainers. We just wanted the property kept up properly. When someone battles back so hard, you have to wonder what is being hidden.
Q: Who(m) do you report fraud to when the HOA president is committing fraud with the help of the PM, her management company and the condo lawyer? The HOA president is authorizing scare tactics to stop the condos owners involved from filing a lawsuit and has spent a lot of all condo owners' money on filing false summons against condo owners which are not warranted and done to scare them. The summons says that the condo owners cannot correspond in any way with the contractors the HOA hires especially the contractor that has done damage to our property when he replaced items in our condos. The attachments to this summons don't even meet the criteria for this summons to be issued yet the judge allowed it. The condo owners were sure it wouldn't be allowed by any ethical judge as the attachments had nothing to do with the condo owners and out of 17 attachments only 2 which were false and made up by 2 contractors that work for the management company ha s anything to do with harassing the contractors. Are our civil rights as USA citizens that easily taken away without anyone checking into whether or not the attachments are true? Is this the way our corrupt people get away with doing unethical things and yet some of them think nothing of wasting the condo owners' money on lawyer fees. Any insight to this will be greatly appreciated?
Tags: Boards, New Jersey
A: By my reading your message and the seven responses, I try to "quess" that the background of your initial message is as follow:
1, The management and contractors did a bad job in your condo.
2, You and some other owners filed a suit in court complaining collusion, corruption etc.
3, The judge, probably on request of the condo management and contractor, issued an order commanding "Silence" on matters that are pending in court and not to contact the parties to that case in court.
4, You write a comment in here just saying that the judge and the management are siding with the contractor.
5, We cannot do anything even if all of us agree with your comments.
4, What you can do is to first read the Massachusetts Condo Act to find relevant provisions that help you.
5. Secondly, if you cannot afford legal counsel, look up two items either in the Google.com or in findlaw.com, which are:
6. Motion for intervention: In order to seek to be admitted as a party in the case that is already in court, so that you can join in the argument and request defendants to show documents and answer your questions under oath.
7. Motion for Consolidation: That is to ask the court to consolidate your case with the case already in court earlier on the ground that the issues are mostly the same and the parties are mostly the same, and that the court will economize on time and will not risk inconsistent judgments if the two cases are combined. In the application, attach your complaint or refer to your case number in court.
8, Before you do the above, of course go to the legal aid and ask about how to go ahead without a lawyer, unless legal aid can help.
9, No need to hope that police will help be caused embezzlement inside the condo and conspiracy to make false statement and false pretense are not gun/knife/ arson and violence crimes. May be try writing to the state's AG based on federal law namely, Fair employment and housing Act on the ground that because of the traits of the victims such as age, sex, cultural ancestry, race, poverty, mental condition etc. your are denied of the facilities, services and privileged enjoyed by licensed or registered service and registered condo association. That is a discrimination on you and your friends.
Another alternative is to require the association's insurance agent or representative to give a copy of the association policy. You won't get it unless you demand it. Besides you are owed the time to explain the policy content for homeowners of association[s policy is co-insured in the policy for liability as homeowners. A shoddy construction can get you liable for result of shoddy construction, such as bad debt, injuring 3rd party visitors and law suits by creditors etc.
10, For protocol, please let us know what the grievance is about and not simply say who are bad people.
11, The last thing you want to do is to go simple on your own sorrow.That is analogous to complaining that you have belly ache instead of complaining that the result of the lab test is that you have 4th stage of cancer on the stomach. That latter complain is going to help the doctor to pressie treatment. We are almost the only doctor you can afford,sad as it is. America has good to offer also bad to offer such as 1/5 of the people live under lawless governments called condo boards at the time lawyers' fees is no one can afford except the boards have no legal right to use association's money to oppose shareholder's suit that demand performance of a duty (e.g. prohibited by California corporations code sec. 7141.a.4)
BETP - thanks for clarifying this and seeking the info that permits progressive suggestions.
Too often, I receive these inquiries from potential clients without the necessary facts to even respond.
If we are going to provide advise, we need to start with your questions clarifying the situation. Thanks.
In response to all the questions, I will try to make everything more understandable.
The HOA forced 4 condo owners who lived in the models to get a new roof and at our own expense replace our skylights. They told us we would pay $450 per skylight for $700 to $900 skylights. We loved our original 20 year old upscale skylights with every upgrade available and we didn't ever want to change them as they were as good as new. The roof that was replaced never leaked at the time of replacement and we couldn't believe the HOA was going to waste the money replacing a roof that was fine. We were being bullied into replacing items that didn't need replacement. The condo attorney wrote to the DCA on behalf of the HOA and referred to an expert that the HOA hired as an engineer. At that time, the DCA person helping us said he was not an engineer and couldn't compete with someone who had those credentials. I later found a website that told me that the person the condo attorney referred to as an expert and an engineer had a degree in Zoology and was not an engineer. This Zoology degree person recommended that we replace our skylights to protect the integrity of the new 50 year roof,yet, when the skylights were replaced, the PM authorized the roofer to buy skylights from an economy line that had a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years and retailed for $225; they would never last as long as the new roof which was the reason for replacement in the first place. The roof that was replaced had many leaks in three out of 4 of the model condos. One condo owner had a leak almost immediately and there were many contractors other than the roofer repairing his condo which we had to pay extra to have done. My roof and my neighbors roof leaked an awful lot but only the outside was fixed so it wouldn't leak any more. I need repairs in many room as does my neighbor from the leaky skylights and the leaky roof. The Mgm. Co. never came to see the damage to my furniture and my condo and when I asked them to put in a claim, the lawyer wrote to me and said I would be committing fraud. The HOA president wants to hire that same roofer again which makes absolutely no sense since 3 out of 4 roofs leaked and we paid others to fix his roof. I live in one of the condos that got this roof job and I am worried that this roof is not put on correctly either as swarms of flies and many other insects come in through the skylights and kitchen lights which never happened before the new roof. There is no way a decent HOA president would ever replace a roof and force people to lose their very expensive skylights which cost about $2000 to replace for any other reason than a conflict of interest. No one else is this mean to people three of which are ages 68 through 80. Our HOA fines people $500 without thinking twice. I complained and have many fake fines and now a lien for way more than the skylights are worth and they are not what we were promised and my 7 are defective. Mr. Palmer, was wondering if you complex fines the deceased for burned out light bulbs over their garage after they die and before their condo is sold. Our PM thought it was great and she went to the closing with a lien for the fines which she bragged about and that is how we found out. I bet you don't agree with that Mr. Jim. I put up with a lot until they did this awful thing that damaged our homes.
Hi, I’m a condo owner. Our board has not put in any contracts to bid in years, they also admit this in open community meetings saying : “We love these guys and they are doing an excellent job”. The Board are also good personal friends with many vendors including the Property Manager.
As a result, contracts are not put out to bid, vendors increase their fees every year. It takes its toll on the residents but the Board cares less…
It does not make sense why the Board agrees to this because this money is also (supposedly) coming out of their pockets as well. This leads me t 1 conclusion: the vendors must be providing some type of “personal” services to the board members or perhaps they’re even paying the board just to keep the contracts.
Obviously, I cannot make such accusations without proofs, this is just my intuition. How should I go about this?
The Board members have been on the board for almost 14 (!) years now - Is this legal at all?
Unless your gov. docs. require that services be put to bid each year, your board may not be doing anything wrong. It's not unusual to want to keep a landscaper and a prop. mgmt. co that is doing a good job. The only reason for changing is usually because another co. can do a better job at a better price. And it's also not unusual for these vendors to request an increase in fees each year or so. Because the board is content with the contractors does NOT mean they are being paid off or are receiving special services from these vendors.
Unless your bylaws state term limits for board members, there is nothing "illegal" with having board members who have served for 14 years. This usually means no one else in the community is willing to run for a board position. Or, if there are candidates running against them and they keep getting re-elected, that means the members are content with their service!
Thank you Mary.
The truth is that the prop. mgmt is doing a very bad job, we keep telling and complaining to the Board but they do not care.
Can the board be voted out? How is it done
It’s a 130 unit condominium and they increased the pro. mgm salary by 25K this year! YES, 25K! cited this as one-time "Supervision" fee for a 4 months project. How did they even come up with that number?Given the poor state of economy nowadays, it’s absolutely obnoxious! There must be somethnig else going on here between the board, prop. Mgmt and vendors. I can’t believe the
Board will also be paying this obnoxious fee out of pocket, they must be getting something in return..it absolutely makes no sense.
I have lived in the same condo for 15 years and know the difference between a great, a good, and the worse possible management company. If you live in a 130 condo, you can go around with a petition and get the board thrown off if you get enough people to sign it but you have to make sure you have people to take the place of the board members that are thrown off the board. . In our condo, you can only be in one position on the board for a certain number of years but what they do is change from position to position. We actually voted off our most horrible president who has to be the most corrupt one we ever had. He replaces good items that do not need to be replaced with the cheapest ones he can find without even feeling a little bit bad. He has run down the condos of the 4 people he did this to giving 3 a new different color roof that leaked and ruined the inside of their condos. Two of the condo owners still have the damage done from the leaky gray roof. Recently we voted that horrible president off the board and put a honest doctor in his place. Unfortunately, the horrible president's friend became president after he was voted off and that nasty man threw the honest doctor off the board and put his friend who got voted off by a landslide back on the board. Just taking that position from an honest doctor shows the character of our board president. He is the worse unethical person I know of and lacks the ability to feel guilty. Karma did play its part as that horrible president who authorized the replacement of the 4 roofs that didn't need replacing got fired from his job but he is still trying to replace 5 more roofs so possibly he wants karma to get him fired again and I hope it works out for him. I believe our HOA president, the PM, the mgm. company and the lawyer are all involved in replacing items that do not need to be replaced to profit off the job. No bylaws are followed at all. No bids are gotten and they pretend they are getting good prices as the roofer was charging $23,000 for the roof on 4 condos but we ended up paying him $40,000. The roof color was changed from brown to gray and the PM said the president picked out the different color. I think the gray roof was purchased cheap from someone in N.J. that went out of business or else it fell off the truck. What decent president would ever change the color if they were ordering the roof from GAF roofing? It is amazing what corrupt people will do to make an extra buck. They replaced a good brown roof that didn't have a leak with a new gray roof that leaked. We needed this president to do this to his neighbors. We have 2 new board members who are either very stupid or they have been hyptomized by a corrupt board because one new board member had the nerve to say he didn't want to get involved in what occurred before he became a board member. I hope karma bites him also. Our maintenance fee is $350 a month with almost a $1,000 assessment every year lately. You can believe that the HOA president and others on the board involved do not pay any maintenance fee or assessments as the mgm. co. is good at making up expenses that never happened. Our financial statements just puts down maintenance with a large fee and nothing is itemized so they can have these guys fix their homes and we pay for it under maintenance. The HOA president wasted so much money of ours on lawyers to protect himself and those involved blaming everything on the victims that are smart enough to know that illegal stuff is going on that may even be called criminal. Can any intelligent person out there imagine an ethical president hiring the same shoddy roofer who put roofs on 4 condos and 3 condo owners out of the 4 had multiple leaks in their condo. Well our president can't wait to have that same roofer do another job and replace 5 roofs and skylights. I just read in another blog that the police took the computer of the PM and are going over everything because there has been so many complaints and it is in my state and I keep on thinking it is our mgm. co. as I can't believe there can be another mgm. company this bad in the world. . Does anyone know anything about the case where the police in N.J. took the computer of the PM?
Chilly, sounds like we're living in the same condo...
Yes,the board can be voted out. Find members who are willing to run for a position on the board and campaign for their election. Here in AZ we have a specific state law stating the process to follow to recall a board member. If you want to go that route, check your state HOA laws to see if "recall" is addressed. There may also be an article in your bylaws or CCRs addressing recalls.
Was this $25,000 payment to the manager a one-time "bonus" or an annual increase to the management fee. Either way, I agree that it's outrageous. It's not unusual for the manager to get a 10% increase each year or so. Our manager didn't get a raise in her contract fee last year, but this year we approved a 10% increase which amounted to approx. $9,000 for the year. I see nothing wrong with granting an increase for a job well done. I would certainly being asking a lot of questions about this $25,000 payment. I hope your assessment haven't been raised!
This is what you get when you allow for "special laws" that permit governance by hoas and condos. None of them have any swift remedies, and cause undue financial hardship to prove fraud. All of these entities should be abolished, and allow these owners to have the same rights/remedies as single family homeowners.
Hoas, and condos should be abolished. The laws that govern them make it burdensome and costly to stop fraud.These owners should have the same rights as single family home owners, to report fraud to agencies that will investigate. You might want to look to see if there are any federal laws that can be of use to you.
I turned my HOA and its board president into the IRS for embezzlement (unreported "income"), tax evasion and tax fraud. Does your HOA have fraudulent foreclosures? Are they reporting the freebie fraudclosures as "income" - turn them into the IRS! With a little luck maybe they'll have a new home in the "Big House"!
I'm most curious to know what kind of proof you had. BTW, what is a fraudulent foreclosure?
I ould like to know that. Our Board didn't do anything about the delinquent for 5-6 years.the President collects rent from delinquent unit for owner in Canada in her name. And she has no real estate license.
Is there anywhere a disabled condo owner can go to when the board along with management company have set up a way to make money from the condo owners? If you are honest and think this is ridiculous, please understand that I would too if it didn't happen to me. The agreement is between a corrupt board allowing the managment company to bill whatever they want to for jobs done which is way over the amount they should bill us for. They even do unnecessary jobs & have depleted our money and then they ask for large assessments. I live in a condo that is lovely and purchased it for $200,000 years ago. We now have many wealthy people living here who could care less about the assessments of $1,000 that we pay twice a year. We just had work done and before it started I knew that we would need a large assessment to finish the job and sure enough it happened and I am positive the assessment is for the corrupt condo board and management company to profit off. Any advise on who should be contacted about this since these board members and management company are making tax free money off honest condo owners and this management company knows all the ropes of doing exactly what is needed to profit from the condo owners. I could write a book about the horrible things that were done as the condo owners didn't read the bylaws and fines of $500 were given to people who parked their car overnight when our bylaws say that small fines can be given only. Any help or advise? Thanks for reading..
Are you a member of the BOD? If not, how do you know the mgmt. co is being paid for doing these "jobs" and that they are being paid too much? You really shouldn't make accusations unless you have proof of your allegations.
All jobs should go out to bid and the BOD should decide who gets the contract. Normally the manager will oversee the work being done. When the work is completed the contractor gets paid, not the mgmt. co.
Any monies paid to the mgmt. co are reported on a 1099 at the end of the year which means they must report the income on their tax return. There is no "tax free" money being made unless you're saying the board and mgmt. co is being paid off by someone.
As for the fines, I agree that $500 is hardly a small fine. The BOD should have a fine policy that is made available to all the members. Perhaps the $500 wasn't the initial fine. If the member doesn't cure a violation within the time period allotted the fine can escalate. Our fine starts at $50 but can escalate to $400; it's up to the member to cure it before it gets to that point. In fact our first violation notice is a friendly reminder with no fine attached.
I got a case where through a claim filed for water damage, the management company wanted to repair the Condo as cheap as possible. The owners complained to the Insurance Company and the adjuster sent a new "preferred" Mitigation and Restoration firm. The mold is ingnored and downplayed.
The adjuster and Manager know each other as well as the Mitigation firm owner.
The HOA was informed of the mishandling of the remediation and the owner of the Condo is now referred back to Management to handle the claim.
Isn't this a conflict of interest?
The owner suspects that claims are filed without owners knowing of them and repairs to Condos are then not performed. Most of these units are rented and the owners in other States.
This was then confirmed when the owners contacted the unit owner that had potential flooding too as they were told that the other unit owner was contacted about it and a claim was filed too. When calling them, they found out that the other unit owner knew nothing at all.
Fraud going on or not? The key members of the HOA board are all on the other coast and proxies are controlled by the management. The same board members served as President, Vice President and Treasurer for years now.
Fishy or not?
Please contact FBI if you suspect your HOA board, management company and contractors are rigging bids and elections. There are no guarantees FBI will do anything and they usually don't, but doesn't hurt to file a complaint. Not legal advice. Good luck.
New York. Recently found out that my mother's condo has an assessment fee included in her maintenance that never ends. I was told by the condo management that the fee is actually a loan that is "open ended" much like a revolving line of credit or credit card but the funds are for a repair job that is in litigation right now and that is why the repair job has halted. Yet they still continue borrow from this loan account and pass the charges down to the owners for an indefinite period of time. So, where does the money go?. Go figure? In my opinion, I think that is setup and license to steal!!! I mean, c'mon.....
Would anyone in their right mind ever agree to a loan that has no maturity date whose principal can increase at any time without your knowledge for a repair that is not even being done ? Is this illegal? Is there any recourse I can take?
Either you aren't telling us the whole story or you don't know the whole story. This could be a line of credit whereas the assn. can obtain funds as needed.
Exactly how are the "charges" passed on to the owners? If there is a special assessment then the owners have agreed to it.
Frankly, I think you need more info on exactly what is going on, but, unless you have been designated, in writing, to act on behalf of your Mother you have no right to question the board on this matter and have no recourse.
To the residents who reside in the Condo with the badly constructed roof. In my research I saw a link posted by a Retired Investigator from the Economic Crimes Unit of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement it maybe of interest to you. The link is as follows: http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/condoblog/2012/09fraud-in-community-associations.html. Perhaps you are dealing with a kick back situation, which may be why business is continued to be given to that Contractor. In Florida, HOA Crimes can be reported to the Economic Crimes Unit of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
the president of Oakland forest condo association uses bully tactics to intimidate owners an renters. He waves rules at his discretion only to penalize indivisiuals. my personal expreince with him after a disagreement was he ordered security to place a parking violation sticker on my vehicle which stated: illegal tags, expired registration,no motorcycles on property. 3 months prior I had my registration renewed which made my vehicle legal in everyway also the bilaws state that motorcycles are to be parked in designated areas, mind you I'ved lived in my condo almost 10 yrs an have had the bike 4 yrs an they still towed it. Yesterday the condo president was arrested (sat 8 14) for assault & batt with a firearm on two realtors . He has gone to far. I personally had an order of protection against him for pulling his weapon out on me. somebody needs to do something about this man before some is mortally injured. His name is Harry Murphy and he is pres at Oakland forest park in Oakland park Florida 33309
Can I subscribe to your blog for free? If free, I'd like to start at once. Thanks
Is there any federal or local agency that can look into board members enriching their self?