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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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My Townhome HOA is not a very realistic place to live. The

Customer Question

My Townhome HOA is not a very realistic place to live. The Former board tried very hard to get an increase by voting in a special assessment because there was not enough money. The homeowners vote, voted no each and every time. The Homeowners even voted no to a $5.00 increase. The streets and sidewalks are in horrible condition and are failing. The subdivision is 50 years old. The former board were able to institute an infrastructure assessment without a vote due to the dangerous conditions of the streets and sidewalks (using Illinois Common Community Act). They wanted to replace the streets, add new storm water drains and replace concrete sidewalks, which met under strong opposition by a faction of homeowners. The infrastructure assessment was $66 in addition to the regular assessment. To make a very long story short, the former board stepped down, because the members of the faction were awful. Personally, I also stopped going to the meetings, because the show and name calling was ridiculous. Many of us approved of what the board was doing because we knew the work needed to be done. Unfortunately, apathy and fear rules the day in my HOA. The faction was loud and screamed all of the time. It frighten a lot of us and some were afraid to speak up against them. Those that did were subject to being called names and other bad behavior. The faction filed a lawsuit contending that they're rights were violated because they didn't have an opportunity to vote (that is vote no). They took over the board. Fired the current attorney and settled the case. The settlement was to pay everyone back the money over a course two years. Why two year? There is not enough money! The previous board told those us that attended meetings the same thing.
That was why the extra money was needed. We paid the infrastructure assessment for one year before the crazy board stopped it. A member of the new board stated that the streets would never get done because there is not enough money. I wonder can the new board use our money like that? Since the money was charged for a specific reason, can the board borrow the money and use it for other projects or to pay bills? I want my money back because I don't trust them. Additionally, I think it is only fair for us to either get a credit right away or $66 increments.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
To answer directly, they are able to utilize the funds based on how the previous board set up the account. if the account was set up solely to pay for repairs, then that money is ONLY used for repairs or is returned. If they were not clear, it becomes 'discretionary' spending which, so long as it is spent for the benefit of the HOA, is deemed permissible. Obviously if they do not collect funds the streets won't be done, and in this case perhaps suing them for breach of fiduciary duty owed to the HOA as a whole may be a viable option to consider. But as far as a refund, check on how the prior board collected the funds, and that will tell you if the current board is free to keep them or if they must return them upon termination of this project.
Dimitry, Esq.