Condo Association Management Blog

How does Massachusetts Homestead Act protect HOA's and condo owners?

Posted on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

Tags: Rules, Condo Assessments, condo law, Rights, Rules and Enforcement, Liens, condo assocations, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Condo Association

Massachusetts condo association

Does the Massachusetts Homestead Act protect elderly condo owners from having liens placed on their property or having a foreclosure initiated from unpaid condo association fees. It looks like most liens and mortgage products are exempt from protection, but this is a new wrinkle I am dealing with?

How does each state regulate property managers differently?

Posted on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 @ 08:24 AM

Tags: Florida, New York, property managers, condo association property manager, Condo Management, condo law, South Carolina, HOA Board, condo board, HOA, New Jersey, Condo Docs, Taxes, Iowa, condo, Illinois, condo rules, condo assocations, California, HOA Questions, pennsylvania, condo boards, Minnesota, condo association terms, Ohio, HOA Management, Virginia, Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri, Maryland, North Carolina, Delaware, New Hampshire, Georgia, Connecticut, Washington, HOA property manager

HOA and condo management state regulations 062814 resized 600

I'm interested in finding how each state regulates the HOA /condo association property managers?

Is condo association or owner responsible for window replacement?

Posted on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 @ 08:18 AM

Tags: Repairs, Massachusetts

I own a condo in Massachusetts and the windows are leaking badly and have caused water damage to my walls and wood floors. The bylaws of our condo association specify the windows are part of the association’s responsibility to repair/replace. The management company will not replace the leaking broken windows or pay for the damage in our unit. The condo management property said we can replace the window at our own expense because they have no money in reserve or budget to do so and will not give a special assessment for windows for the condo building ( many people with same issue with windows they are very old). They will not give an assessment for windows for building because they said that they will get sued by the homeowners. What can I do to get the money back from the condo management property for the windows I not have to pay for to replace myself. We have had a hurricane and a bad ice storm that has made the problem increasingly worst in the past year. A little background info...the management property is owned by one person who lives in the condo building and is also the on site repair man and nothing gets fixed in the building. Legal advise/ or guidance as to what I can do?

Condo association treasurer collects fees, provides no documentation

Posted on Mon, Jul 4, 2011 @ 09:08 AM

Tags: Boards, Finance, Massachusetts

There are 12 units in our condo association. There are two owners here that have taken over collecting condo fees and running the condo association. One owner has been collecting condo fees for a little over three years. He has called one meeting in three years to say he didn't want to collect condo fees any longer and he was also looking for help in running the condo association. There were six owners out of 12 at this meeting and we voted on another owner taking over treasurer duties, this owner as president and a third owner as secretary. If papers needed to be signed, this owner would knock on the ‘new treasurers’ door to have papers signed. Two years later the same owner still collects condo fees, because he refused to turn any paper work over to the new treasurer and told him, 'I was just looking for someone to have the label and sign papers as treasurer, I wasn't looking for someone to take over the duties'. There were no minutes transcribed for this meeting and if th e current president/treasurer is asked about the meeting, he says, "it wasn't a legit meeting, there weren't enough owners to vote". This owner has added extra fees to condo fees, document preparation, administrative fees, taxes, extra water fees, extra insurance fees. He has stated in court that him and the secretary had a private meeting and voted to add these fees to condo fees. When he is asked to show bills for proof that these bills exist, he either says, "Sue me" or " I haven't kept track of anything I'm doing". He has also stated that the association checking account is linked to his personal account. I sent certified letters to both acting officers demanding audits. It took three certified letters before I finally got a handmade internet printout of supposed bills he pays. There was no beginning balance, no running balance, and no ending balance. If I pay my condo fee, which is 135.00 a month, it is applied to other fees he is charging me. My condo fees are paid in full, but he set up a site on the internet he enters the condo fee information into and on this site there is a balance of over $3,500.00 I owe in condo fees. Some of the other owners are paying whatever he charges, because he threatened to sue them and they don’t want to be pulled into court. We have been through the courts about this and he just changes the name on the fee and charges it anyway. Then new fees are added and I am taken to court for the new fees. The first two times in court, because I held my condo fees, the judgment was for what I owed in CURRENT fees. The third time in court my fees were paid in full and the association won, so I have to pay all these fees I am charged. Our bylaws say, ‘all actions taken by the directors must be by unanimous vote’. I am in the process of appealing the decision to go in front of a jury, but haven't had much luck with the court system. I am currently working about 7 hours a week and not making enough to pay my household bills, so I can't afford a lawyer. Is there anything that I haven’t done that I can do about this?

Massachusetts condo association has freeloading owners

Posted on Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 09:05 AM

Tags: Assessments, Massachusetts

I'm one of three trustees for a 6 unit condo building. Because of the small number of units, our condo fees tend to be higher than average, but our building is also somewhat unique so units tend to turn over quickly. Like most other places in the northeast, we went over budget with snow related expenses this past winter. In developing a budget for the current year we knew that we needed to make up that budget shortfall to keep our reserve build-up on schedule, but we also tried to be sensitive to owner concerns that our condo fees are already high enough to turn off some buyers. We presented a budget that minimized the fee increase by removing some items that we typically hire out, but with the condition that the owners would need to help out with the chores that were de-funded. In the budget package, we informed everyone that the trustees themselves would vote against the budget approval unless every unit agreed to participation in chores. The trustees are typically the only owners that donate time for chores chores, but we're unanimous in feeling that we will not be the sole providers of labor to provide everyone with a break on condo fees. (The combined ownership of the trustees is more than the simple majority needed to approve a budget.) By the time of our annual meeting and budget vote, we had only received a single, very minor offer to help with chores and only the trustees showed up for the annual meeting. The trustees followed through and rejected the budget proposal. Since then we've made good progress with 2 of the non-trustee owners and they've agreed to assume enough responsibility for the trustees to drop their objection to the original budget. The final unit is another story. While the owner of that unit has agreed in principle to participate, they've ignored all of our efforts to obtain a specific commitment. We had originally informed everyone that if we could not get 100% agreement on chores, that we'd submit a revised budget that included enough of an increase in fees to be able to hire and pay the individuals who have volunteered. The idea was that on a net basis, those who participate in chores would only see a fee increase similar to that in the original budget, but those who do not would see a much larger increase. Now we're wondering if Mass law would even allow for that kind of arrangement and if we're just stuck with the freeloaders getting off scott free. Can you think of any other way to handle this?

Where does new owner find condo association trust documents?

Posted on Sat, May 14, 2011 @ 08:49 AM

Tags: Massachusetts

I recently purchased a condo in a 6-unit building. My brother was the former condo association manager, and I bought the unit from him, so I am taking over as the manager. We went to the bank to change the owner of the association account and they said we needed condo trust documents or some documentation that I was taking over. They hadn't asked my brother for this when he took on the job, so we're not sure what to provide. Does anyone have a template or know what needs to be included? Can it be a simple letter? the association is pretty laid-back (i.e. lazy) about documenting these kinds of things. Thanks!

Condo owners still renting regardless of association bylaws

Posted on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 @ 08:20 AM

Tags: Bylaw, Renters, Massachusetts

I live in a 4 unit condo in Massachusetts. In our bylaws, it states that we are not allowed to have anyone move in with us; specifically, we can't rent a room. A few months back, we met to discuss a change in this to state that it was ok to rent a room with the approval of the renters by the other trustees. Our units are very close, so adding a few extra people makes a huge difference. We have not amended the bylaw yet, but one unit has ignored that and allowed 2 people to move in without approval of the other units. There was no notification of any sort. What can be done? The 3 units are not happy with this negligence and want the renters gone.

Do new condo association rules get recorded with registry of deeds?

Posted on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 @ 08:24 AM

Tags: Rules, Massachusetts

In Massachusetts does the elected Board of Managers have to record updated Rules and Regulations with the State of Massachusetts Registry of Deeds? In the Master Deed there is no direction to record changes just that "from time to time the Board may add, or delete, rules and regulations". In December 2003 our 32 unit condo building the Board of Managers added the regulation of the entire property being a non-smoking property after a survey vote of 30 units wanted the property to be designated as such. Should we record this at registry? Thank you for any advise.

Window water damage - how much should condo owner pay?

Posted on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 @ 02:05 PM

Tags: Repairs, Massachusetts

All the units (26) in my Massachusetts condo building are installing new windows. When the contractor inspected my five windows, it was discovered that there is major damage from water leakage resulting in advanced rot in both the interior and exterior frame plus non-visible damage to the plastering around the wall where the windows are located. The Condo Trustees expect me to cover the expense of the interior. I think they are incorrect. To make matters worse, I think the source of the damage should be found and then repaired. Two other units have the same damage, not as extreme. What should I expect?