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By CondoAssociation.com • April 17, 2019

Frustrated, Confused, Angry Condo owner in North Dakota

I owned the same home for 16 years, it was 5 bedroom, big yard and driveway.  I work out of town 2 to 3 nights a week and coming home to lawn needing mowed and driveway needing shoveled before I could even pull into my driveway. I thought buying a condo was a great idea, I sold my house the 1st day, full price offer.  I maintained my home, did many upgrades and always take care of things I own.

I've looking for assistance and have tried every thing I can think of and am about out of ideas in regards to what started to discover 5 months ago when I pulled out my condo bylaws, CCR's looking for info on parking policy.

I've been in the condo for 2 1/2 years.  LAW FIRMS OR ARBITRATION lawyers in North Dakota don't seem interested or want anything to do with HOA's.  I found one law firm willing to take on my case and quoted $3,500 retainer and told me with litigation $15k just to get association board to provide info on roof history.  Repairs  cost to association get explanation on hall cleaning expense and get the board to follow by laws and CRR's? The same ones owners are supposed to follow and can can be fined, liens put on condos for not following.

HOA boards have ALL THE POWER, unless I have 2/3 of other owners behind me.

9 building-36 units-24 owners, 2 off site owners own 12 units, 4 units to a building, 3 buildings, other off site owners as well who also rent units out.

My request for member- owners contact info denied by board president TWICE before last annual meeting and election. Some off site owners give the president proxies for elections etc. The president controls all info to owners.and is the only one who has a relationship with them.  ALL IS GREAT.

I listed my condo for sale, dropped asking price $5k and just want to sell my condo and move on. Now boat dock rights and usage are a big issue for me, my selling agent wasn't able to answer questions a potential buyer had for over 3 weeks and buyer moved on, than association  ruled on limited common element not listed anywhere in by laws, CCR's, nowhere and stated they had no control of 3 weeks earlier.

Please don't be overwhelmed about the number of issues I list.  I wanted to explain why I gave up and listed my condo for sale after 2 1/2 years and am willing to pay 6% commission to real estate agent, pay closing- moving expenses.

I've had been waiting for answers in regards to boat dock policy and usage for a month in order for my listing agent to answer questions from a potential buyer, my association board referred me to the association that controls the dock sizes allowed for each building on the water, my agent contacted that association with no replies. I called the association that controls size etc after 3 weeks or so with no answers and they said they only control what each lot is allowed as far as size of dock and number of docks.

Water governing association said they do not control usage etc.   My board first said they don't control and referred me to water assn. board,,my assn. made decision on boat dock usage one day after I told my assn. what the water association said after saying they had no control.

My board stated that the one new owner(friend if association officer's) has the right to own a two capacity dock and has right to prevent other 3 unit owners) 2 units in my build were rentals.

Nothing is listed or noted anywhere in my association bylaw, declaration of covenants anywhere about Limited common elements or boat docks, not mentioned anywhere.

ND Condo law starts with definitions .common elements.limited common elements.

How can my assn. make decisions when nothing is in place to support their decision on boat docks?

I researched North Dakota laws and North Dakota condo law, both addresses portion of limited elements, reporting filing real property information. If not listed as " real property" all 4 units have ownership? I did see a section that says talks about if all owners entitled cant agree, no limited element allowed or 1 person that wants all control of limited common element a referee is involved and determines cost that other owners would get to keep things even.

My lower unit- ground floor is valued at $10k more than a upstairs.  I read in North Dakota real property law about equalizing clause?

All 9 buildings are 4 plexuses .  One new owner bought a upstairs unit in my building. The previous owner purchased a 2 boat capacity boat dock, asked if I was interested at that time and I said no.

Previous owner of boat dock sold to a new owner who doesn't want to split the dock.

I purchased a water front condo 2 1/2 years in Lakewood Mandan.

The board has refused to answer any questions and concerns I submitted in writing starting over 5 months ago and asked at an association meeting where the agenda of meeting says "discussion of by-laws and questions".

Association by laws and declaration of restrictive covenants.concerns violations

-Board President .hired himself for lawn and hallway cleaning. Not allowed. 2 clauses permitting not met. Violation of by laws, ND non profit organization guidelines ( many HOA's register as non profits) ND corporation laws, ND condo laws.

From annual reports I got from another owner payments to president the last 3 years about $38k.

-hallway cleaning and vacuuming of 8 buildings built in 2014.  President pays his wife $50 per hour, who is not insured $4,800 a year.

Prior hallway cleaning costs before I addressed my concerns at end of Nov of 2018. 2016 cost was about $6700, 2017 was $5700.( I'm writing this letter from memory, I have all information in writing at home) I asked for explanation by board about costs in 2016 and was told "they weren't talking about 2016 at a meeting set up for discussions, questions. I asked for a bid from a cleaning business( licensed, insured) sec of association knows him and family said " good people" Imperial cleaning quote $250 a month.  We pay the President $400 a month.

-Board refused to seek bids and check for better rates. VP of association said " happy with services".

-Developer/ builder put up a empty lot for sale in our development, I along with other owners were told it was supposed to be a park etc. Asking price $30K. Lot purchase was presented to me and others as a way to get complete separation from the builder. I assumed board would look at lot information. Was Part of a project, all buildings same size, design etc. Recently I was told a officer on association board stated builder- developer could sell lot to another builder and the builder.owner could form own association, by laws etc. Association owns, maintains and pays taxes the private drive "loop" that goes thru association and is only way to get to empty lot?

After I heard comments officer on board( friend of builder, officer had his unit for sale at the time and since sold.

I discussed with Mandan Planning and zoning, was told he highly doubted developer could sell that lot? Was told that only a twin home (maybe) could fit on the empty lot, parking still would be a concern.All other 9 buildings are 4-plex. Told by condo insurance agent our association got sold " horse-pucky" association members voted and passed purchase of lot for 25k, association took a $40k loan for 25k lot and 15k for building repairs, loan was only disclosed to association members at lot vote meeting, very few association members attend meetings, some like me gave proxy to VP or President and other owner etc..  I asked why loan wasn't disclosed in letter from association discussing purchase of lot was told we "all knew".   I asked for documentation I and all other owners who didn't attend lot vote meeting might have missed. No reply from board.

-Shingles started falling off roofs, board took no action.

1 owner (building was 2nd built) hired 3 state roof inspectors to inspect her building only, when 1 inspector was on site a owner in another buildings that was one of the last to be built reports came back the same.shingles improperly installed voided shingle warranty. In written communication between owners' attorney and builders attorney in the end resulted in builder redoing 3 roofs, no idea how 3rd building came into play.

The board did not hire a inspector after findings to inspect the other 6 roofs.

Association has been replacing (2) roofs every summer it seems since than.

Last week I received a email from another owner saying shingles coming off a building that the association stated had been redone. 5k? Roof was just redone last summer 2018.

-Due income from 36 units x monthly dues was short about 7k in 2018, President or somebody let 2 owners that own 12 units.3 buildings provide own building property insurance and reduced their dues.  The association, I believe has paid for roof replacement? And $2100 for plumbing improvements to the 3 buildings?

Association Insurance premiums 2016 $6500, 2018 about 14k, were told no claims were filed?

I was told by owner of roofing company who redid 2 roofs 2 summers ago that he billed and received payment from builders ( premier homes) insurance company.  Last summer association paid $10k for 2 roofs to be redone? I asked for roof history's, all costs association has spent in replacing roofs, I was told my building was done, 2 weeks ago I discovered my build.roof hasn't been touched because no shingles have fallen off, improper nail placement could also mean, nails are exposed on my roof, not covered by adjoining shingles. I asked how many roofs builder replaced at no cost ( I come up with 5) my build.not done is 6? )

I'm concerned with this boat dock issue first and foremost.

ALL RIGHTS AND LAWS APPEAR TO BENEFIT HOA boards, not members.

Frustrated, Confused, Angry Condo owner in North Dakota

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Please note that blog comments and postings are not legal advice, rather only the opinions of our readers.
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