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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11697
Experience:  I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
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We live in a sub division with a defunct association. The road

Customer Question

We live in a sub division with a defunct association. The road is in terrible shape and no one communicates with each other, there has even been issues with a farm that shouldnt be there - what can be done the easiest, least expensive - in the very least to get this road fixed and make everyone pay for it - there are 30 / 10 acre parcels with in the development.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provided you with Excellent Service,

 

I am sorry that you are faced with a problem road and a defunct homeowner's association. I would like to help, but need a bit more information, if you do not mind. I would also ask if you would accept an Answer that might not be as quick and easy to put into effect as you would want because it might be the only course you could take ?

 

1. What do the By-Laws say about the HOA if it becomes defunct ?

 

2. When was the last time the HOA had officers ?

 

3. Does anyone pay any assessment, either monthly or annually ?

 

4. How do the other homeowners feel about the road's disrepair ?

 

Thank you,

 

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1. What do the By-Laws say about the HOA if it becomes defunct ?



I do not have the papers in front of me but it says something about it automatically continuing every 10 years unless there is a vote by the majority to end all or any of them.


 


2. When was the last time the HOA had officers ?



No Idea, we were screwed by our title insu. company and were not told about the by laws, restrictions etc, we have already spoken to an atty re that and know the laws on that. We were told by property owners who were here before us that there was one meeting that they recall and then never again


 


3. Does anyone pay any assessment, either monthly or annually ?



No, no one and nothing


 


4. How do the other homeowners feel about the road's disrepair ?




The majority dont live here all the time, a few others who do would like to have it fixed but dont want to have to pay for all of it - some actually have helped destroy it.. there the local white trash neighbors.. dont we all sadly have those, they are the ones with the cows etc that shouldnt be there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

and yes, take your time with the answer.. would really like to figure this out, UPS wont even come down our road anymore, its actually becoming a hazard in some areas.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your additional information, and yes, I understand about having wonderful neighbors who keep cows and other livestock on their property, lol, :)

 

1. Before I started my private practice, I was Assisting Counsel, Underwriting and Claims for a major title company on the East Coast. My first suggestion is to file a claim with the title insurance company. Their title search should have picked up the fact that the property you were buying was subject to a Declaration (C,C&Rs) and By-Laws. They must compensate you for the loss in value to your property because of this.

 

However, that does not solve your problem of repairing the streets. The next two suggestions are the only ones available, but they entail reviving the HOA, even if it is only to dissolve it. So, you would either revive it and keep it as a functioning, on-going organization, reviving it just to take a vote to dissolve the HOA and the Declarations (C,C&Rs) which would automatically dissolve the By-Laws

 

2. You can revive the HOA by calling a Special Meeting. Anyone can call for a Special Meeting if certain rules are observed:

(a) A Notice of a Special Meeting must be given to all members, whether they live there or not, either by hand delivery or by mail;

(b) The Notice must state the purpose of the Special Meeting which in this case is "Election of Officers, reviving the HOA, levying an assessment on all owners for street repair;

(b-1) Or, if you want to dissolve the HOA, then that would be the stated purpose along with dissolving the Declaration (C,C&Rs);

(c) The Notice must state the date, time, and location of the Special Meeting;

(d) The Notice must include the Agenda for the Special Meeting which would be the same as (b), above, but they would still have to be listed again, but under "Agenda";

(e) The Notice should include the names of the people who are running for office,

 

If you cannot get anybody to run for any office, you can put your name down as running for president

 

3. The next alternative would be to take all the steps in Number 2, above, except that the "Purpose" and the "Agenda" would be to dedicate the streets in your community to the township, municipality, or whatever the governmental body is called. By dedicating the streets, the governmental body would then be responsible for their repair and maintenance. If this is voted on, then you would have to talk to the governmental body about accepting the dedication. This would have to be voted on by either the City Council, or other governmental agency responsible for accepting street dedications.

 

Once that is done, you can decide if you want to keep the HOA revived, or dissolved. It is really best to keep it alive because this is a community and it sounds like it really does need a lot of direction and that would be supplied by the Officers and if the By-Laws provide for a Board of Directors, then the Board would also participate in directing the affairs of the community.

 

I realize that none of these solutions gives you a "quick fix", but there are no quick solutions where HOAs are involved, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold HOA laws against me when rating my service to you. Rating my service is necessary for me to get credit for researching your question and furnishing you with Answers, otherwise I do not receive any credit for assisting you. The deposit you made is with JustAnswer and it will not cost you anything additional to give me arating, but it is necessary if I am to receive credit. Thank you for understanding,

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,

 

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

 

ANDREA

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How does resolving the hoa get the road fixed?


The county will not take it unless its up to code that would cost about 30 grand, who pays for that?


Basically we are screwed unless we spend a ton of money or a ton of time correct?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow up questions,

 

You asked,

 

1. "How does resolving the hoa get the road fixed?" and "Basically we are screwed unless we spend a ton of money or a ton of time correct ?"

 

Answer

I apologize if I did not make this clear in my Answer. Communities which have an HOA, whether defunct or alive, are governed by the elected officers and the Board of Directors of the HOA. Among the duties and responsibilities of this "governing body" is to take care of the maintenance, repair, and replacement of common areas in the community, and if the funds in the treasury are not enough to accomplish this, or something major comes up which must be addressed, they vote on a special assessment which is assessed against all property owners. It is necessary to have a viable Homeowners Association because it is they who vote in the officers and Directors. And then, it is the Officers and Directors who would get estimates on repairing the street and it would be they who would present a proposal to the municipality to accept dedication of the street. If the municipality did not want to accept the street dedication, then it would be up to the Officers and Directors of the Homeowners Association to argue before the City Counsel, or any other governing body in charge of accepting street dedications, that the members of the community pay taxes like the rest of the citizens, but are not reaping the benefits because they have to pay the costs of maintaining the streets within their community, whereas others who live outside this community have their street repairs paid by the municipality. They would, of course, present additional arguments, but I am just giving you this as an example, i.e., that everything starts with the HOA. Without the HOA, there would be no elections for Officers and Directors and without them, who would address problems of the common areas and other community based issues;

 

2. I do not think that you "are screwed". If there had been a viable HOA and if the HOA members voted for Officers and Directors, they could have assessed each of the 30 lot owners $300 per year which is only $25 per month, and each year, the HOA treasury would have $9,000 which it could have set aside for repairs and maintenance of common areas. These assessments would be paid by all owners, whether or not they lived in the community. HOA's have a great deal of authority, one power of which is to place a lien on properties which have not paid their assessment and thereafter those liens could be foreclosed, the HOA would take title to the properties and could sell them, thereby putting more money in the HOA treasury.

 

Of course, looking at the cost of repairs as one lump sum is a lot of money, but it is because there hasn't been an HOA to impose these annual assessments which are not much when they are broken down into monthly increments of $25.

 

If you revive the HOA and elect Officers and Directors, they could try to negotiate with the municipality to give the HOA a grant for part of the costs of repair and lend the HOA the balance at 1% interest. There are many ways to accumulate funds when there is a viable HOA and Officers and Directors speaking on behalf of all the members of the community. These ways, however, cannot be pursued where there is nobody to speak on behalf of all the owners.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,

 

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

 

ANDREA

 

Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11697
Experience: I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
Andrea, Esq. and 9 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Gotcha, so basically we get whatever people together we can that are interested and get the hoa back up jump thru all the legal hoops, dot our i, cross our t's - argue with the county/township etc if need be - pay fees attys etc etc, or fix it between us and not bother with all that hassle - because there are no laws on the books re. defunct. assoc. - to put it in the simplest way, is that correct and to the point?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Not quite, Maybe "defunct" was not the right word. Probably, "dormant" would have been a more accurate term to use. Since the HOA was never dissolved and it was merely inactive, you do not need to incur legal fees to have an attorney reinstate the HOA from a "defunct" state;

 

Neither would you incur legal fees, if all you will be doing is calling a Special Meeting to hold elections for Officers and Directors because I told you how to do that. Officers and Directors do not have to be lawyers and you do not need a lawyer to present the road situation to the municipality to ask for a grant and a loan.

 

Is it a hassle, yeah. But, it's worth it. It also would not be a hassle if the HOA had not been permitted to fall into a dormant state and had been collecting assessments. But, that being said, why dwell on what should have been done, but was not done? Get some owners together, and go to the municipality to ask for funds. After all, they receive funds from the State which, in turn receives these grants from the Federal

Government, so they would have a lot of explaining to do as to what they do with the funds they are given.

 

One last thought, if the municipality is not receptive to the idea of a partial grant and loan, you might want to contact your State Representative and your US Congressman and ask them for assistance or "guidance" on the most effective way to get funds for road repairs, and if it's an election year for either of them, you will be sure to receive the funds. I have done my best in finding solutions to your situation. Please be kind enough to rate my service to you so that I can receive credit for researching your question and giving you these alternatives. You will not be charged anything additional to rate me, otherwise I will not receive any credit or payment for assisting you. Thank you for understanding,

_____________________________________________________________

 

 



Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,

 

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

 

ANDREA

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for all that info. we have had a local rep out that told us we live in a lawless land, we were on our own.. yea, well anyways...


 


Thank you again, hopefully I can get some others interested too.


 


Lori Brandt

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Lori, Thank you for the "Excellent service" rating, I appreciate it greatly. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX success in getting the necessary funds to repair the roads. it would probably be a good idea to reactivate the HOA and vote on a nominal assessment for each owner so that you can insure that the present situation will not reoccur in the future and the community is left without funds again. No owner should object to this because assessments in these communities are always used for repair and maintenance of the common elements and not for any one particular property. If you need further clarification on anything or have questions in the future, please feel free to ask for me by typing my name at the beginning of your question, like this,

 

"For Andrea only .......... "

 

 

I wish you the best of Luck and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of assistance,

 

 

ANDREA

 

 

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