Checvk yopur bylaws. It is common that the bylaws require that assessments be assessed in accord with the percentage ownership of each owner. You may not therefore substitute volunteer work for the costs associated with maintaining your property.
My understanding is you would have to vote on any assessment and all units would need to be assessed equally or however your bylaws designate the percentage there of.
Most Associations face an inequity of effort in keeping things nice...it is up to those who really care to decide how much free labor they will give and when to draw the line and have an assessment where everyone pays. It is not up to those who do nothing to complain in my opinion. They can always vote to have it done with an assessment if it is that important to them and everyone else.
The issues that you face are issues faced by associations who go with self management. There are going to be a few owners who do everything, and eventually, there is a issue of inequality. This is the issue that people forget with management company, it is not a option for the <a href=” http://association-property-management.ashokalion.com/”> association management company to do work for free for your community, and this limits what they can do. You substituted money for sweat equity to keep things going, and this is the price of keep your cost down and attempting to do a lot of projects. Your cash flows are being achieved since you do not charge for your time, so it is a facade of actual cost to state your cash flows are going better. It is better because your team of 8 caring homeowners do not charge for any of their association related work.
Great to have willing helpers... but watch out for doing any work that crosses over into an area where a licensed / insured contractor is normally required as errors may leave you with some liability. In addition, if someone were to get hurt working in this capacity, it can be a nightmare for the HOA.
Not sure where you are but I'm in Florida.
I too live in a condo with an interesting mixture of owners. Our association has 280 units. We have been lucky in the past few years. We still have some cash left even though A few board members have taken our community money and services for their own use. We have a manager that has been cited by the state and county agencies regarding his judgement and honesty. Many owners think they are tenants and feel services are due to them even if they are not willing to pay for them. It isn't easy living in a community. There are always plenty of dim lazy owners and a few hard working owners trying to improve their community.
Sorry but you cannot penalize members who do not wish to volunteer their services! Also, you cannot compensate those who do by forgiving payment of assessments, whether special or regular. To volunteer means to give freely of your time. Those who volunteer should have no ill will toward those who don't. Who knows what the circumstances are that prevent some from not volunteering? The board should be happy they have some members who are willing to volunteer which saves the assn money they really don't have to spend on required services and just leave it at that. There are always going to be some who will never volunteer -- so just get used to it. Don't forget to thank those who do!!
Boy does this sound familiar! I was Secretary on a Board here in California. When I took office the people on the Board were diligent, frugal, honest, and followed rules religiously. They got out there and did the small stuff themselves, always fixing and planting. Licensed help was always used where called for. I even offered my services to putting out a newsletter every month. Our homeowner dues were the lowest around. The complex always looked well maintained and was. Our finances were in great shape. I was impressed and honored to work with this Board. The management company was very helpful, ethical and knew our CC&R's.
All of a sudden a homeowner who the Board had a lawsuit against because of pure negligence on his part, and which affected another homeowner, began rumors about the Board. He found out that his negligence was his very large bill not the Association's as he assumed, and was furious with the Board (as if it were our fault).
At the next meeting and meetings thereafter we were bombarded with 50 angry homeowners. We were not allowed by law to discuss the lawsuit or even that we had a lawsuit pending against this owner. We were forced to sit there meeting after meeting taking abusive attacks, some personal. They chose to believe gossip and attacked so mercilessly, some members resigned. It was shockingly ugly. Some of the biggest mouths against us are now serving as Board members. Repairs are being sadly neglected, and the complex shows it. Association fees have gone up a consistant 20% every year since. We never had to raise those fees a full 20% within a years time, sometimes not at all. It was truely a team effort.
I empathize with you and fully appreciate your efforts. These people treated us as if we were their hired help or politicans, and refused to see us as just homeowners like themselves looking out for their best interests. I was shocked at the response when at one meeting I mentioned that they should appreciate the efforts made by members of the Board to keep down costs... They mocked me, and accused the Board of every thing including sex discrimation. I could not believe the hate spewing from people we didn't even know. They were wrong and we were helpless to fight back. These people ruined a very good working Board and ruined it for all of the good owners.
I did not resign. I stayed until my term ended. My condo is up for sale, not because of all this. But I would never buy into an association ownership again. Not when my bill every month can be dominated so easily by irresponsible big mouths, and by people who choose so easily to believe bad instead of good. The bottom line is they appreciated none of our efforts.
Not sure why the 8 cannot be paid a management fee, and all owners can have a raise in their assessments to cover the fee.
People who volunteer then complain about it or want some special privilege for it, are irksome. There will always be slackers. Volunteers need to recognize that fact
If you don't have the money to do it, raise dues (according to your documents)
or don't do it.
Here in Florida, typically Board Members are permitted to be compensated.
You can, however, advise unit owners of the significant amount of money that the Board has saved them through their volunteer efforts and committment. You can also advise them of how much it would cost them individually to hire out much of the work the volunteer Board is doing.
By showing them what you've done and how they've benefited from it, you're more likely to get positive results.
However, should that fail and should the Board need to hire out professional contractors then you can have a special assessment which ALL units must pay into. You cannot have a selective special assessment only towards the complaining unit owners.
One other thing to consider though is the liabilty the Association may face from unit owners for work performed by the Board, or even workmans compensation for any injured work orders.
Just my two cents...
Do not mistake disabilitiy as a right. Or, do not claim that you have the right to omit your duties, because you do not get paid. That attitute eventually create law suits and insurance problem (High premium as a result).
If you live in California, look up Corporations Code for mutual benefit corporations regarding "Standard of conduct" of directors.
Sweat equity in my opinion is well intended but can lead to favoritism and corruption very easily. Keep it professional.
Abother consideration is the need for a state tradesman license. This determination is made by considering what effort is to be undertaken. Changing a dripping faucet is one thing but replacing a shut off valve under the sink is another.
Jackie....I can relate. I am trying to sell mine for similar reasons. It has really soured me on associations and the apathy of owners and corruption of board members.
This all sounds way too familiar.
We have a similar situation of a few who have served on the board for years due to lack of interest from others.
And the first thing we do when we say - if you don't like it you should volunteer to participate - they say it is "unprofessional" to complain about volunteering.
I am over it and now - as long as we are operating within the bylaws - I don't care what people want or what they say. If they want it so bad, they will vote us out - which would imply that enough people run to vote us out.
It is the American way in a lot of ways - More for less....
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