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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118808
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Issues with Association Board.
, Bottoms, On

Customer Question

Customer: Issues with Association Board.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: James Bottoms, On questioning the board on expenses there have been items done to Make a point not to challenge them. Threatened to tow my Housekeeper vehicle with a later apology when I provided their own rules that allowed such parking. She had parked in the same spot for 3 years prior, and no issue till I challenged them. Then upon spending half a million in landscaping, they allowed the bushes across from my unit to die. Have a lot of pics. Upon repeated inquiry, they tore them out and put in grass.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Real Estate Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Most recently on a visit, as I own 4 units, I stayed with a Friend who also rents a unit from me. They brought me up in the board meeting as a perceived Freeloader.
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Signing off for today. I will check email tomorrow to continue. Best wishes, Jay
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi James,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Is this a condominium board, a common interest community, or another type of homeowner's association board?

What state are you located in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are in FL. We have 2 associations, a Master and a Sub for each of 5 different communities. This is dealing with the Masters, even though there is overlap.These deal with the Masters.
Exposure of Items the Board did not want publicly known may be the reason:The Masters has worked to fix the vote, for example Proxy Hoarding, sending out a proxy which allows the current Secretary and up for election current member of the board cash votes for any proxies. FL code may not allow a proxy except for quorum. The board this year also change the cable provider and received a $240,000 rebate to do so. They forgot to mention this to the community, the rebate until exposed. They gave $50K plus to a consultant, and after being discovered put the remainder in a board controlled slush fund. There are other episodes, which have been tactfully exposed by a few owners, each of us targeted by the board via management on Petty items. I have had enough of this and I looking for a legal way to address these issues. I will discuss the last 2 attacks. There were others, with apologies from management, but only with push back. The last enjoyed no apology, just a suggestion it was "Meritless".Actions to SEND A MESSAGE:I have attached 20150118_RitaHouseKeepingAgreement. No issue on that. The issue is that after 3 years, she walked into the Clubhouse and was told they were going to tow her 2015 Jeep for parking illegally. That was found not to be illegal, and in fact the parking area for my building since 2006 when my building was built. There were no others who live in my building and park in the same area ever threatened that I am aware of. I have attached a series of emails which resulted in a reversal of the decision. We ended our agreement with Rita due to this. Rita had also helped at dozens of activities at the Clubhouse for free. We did not move Rita, but terminated our agreement with her. We own multiple homes, and thus we are not in FL but about half the time. For our mail, housekeeping, security, and other reasons we opted to have Rita involved rather than a 3rd party company employed to check our unit. For the record, one board member who was negative on Rita owns such a maintenance company, and happens to also be the In-laws of the President of the Board who took this action. There was no economical loss beyond the level of convenience of having Rita help. There are others who have house assistance in our Community. None of those were ever pursued on any accord. Please note the attachment 20130830 Parking Question was on the same lot that they warned Rita they would tow.The last is Covered in the attached KieranVisit.pdf. I have not talked to any of my tenants, and do not think such is wise. If they were to leave, then I could be considered contributory to their decision. I found out through many other Residents asking me questions, or making other comments. At this time no lease has been lost. I have not seen it in print, but it appears the Board Member who made the comments Resigned. The issue is he resigned from the Masters, and he is still the President of the Sub Association in which I live. (Not going to detail, but such things as leaving the dead bushes across from a unit I own for 2 years, sending a letter about a six inch clay pot out of place, putting a tow notice on a visitor to a Tenant of mine when they arrived late early the next morning when they were called prior, stopping access of a tenant on a renewal of a lease due to one word who had been there for over 6 years, and calling out tenants in a discriminatory way in meetings. Apologies on all from management when addressed, but the damage on all was done. The Message was sent loud and clear. A waste of scores of hours of my time. Great insult to my tenants, 2 of whom are 30 plus year Secret Service, NCIS, Navy, and Marine background, serving for 3 and 5 presidential guards in their time at the SS. I am assuming they are targeting me, but I do not know.I am looking for anyway to pursue this in a legal matter. I own 4 units in the community, which creates some jealousy I assume. These are 250K to 300K each. As they are on the board they ask for a huge amount of info on owners. Thus they know all were bought for Cash. They are rented to individuals as I mention prior, but there are a few board members who HATE renters, and those who own rental units.The Management and I have an ongoing issue of providing them Tenant Social Security numbers when they have no privacy policies. This is a different item, and separate, but again an area where any push back is dealt with on nuisance
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry, but I'm not available to answer questions this evening. I'm going to opt out so you won't have to wait until morning for an answer. Good luck with this.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR and I spend considerable time reading everything you have posted.
This is something that is not uncommon with these HOA where you get one or two board members who are jerks and create havoc in the association and harass members. However, if they fixed the parking issue with Rita and now understand she was legally parking, that is nothing you can sue over any longer.
An association is liable to you to follow the bylaws and enforce them. If the association or board members are acting towards you outside of those bylaws, then you can sue them for doing so if you can prove any harm caused by their actions. You could also sue for a declaratory judgment if they refuse to adhere to their bylaws and get a court to order them to follow the bylaws.
However, just for one member being a jerk, if he is personally harassing you or your tenants, then you sue him individually for his improper conduct and seek a judgment against that one person for damages, including if they force your tenants out of the property interfering with your lease with the tenants.
You will need to hire a local attorney to pursue any actions against the association or board member, but those are your options from everything I read above.