WEBSITE OF CONCERNED HOMEOWNERS
***HOAs should not be one of the 4 entities with the power of foreclosure.
Their liens should be treated like other creditors that have lien on a homestead.
***HOAs with current unfair laws can be breeding grounds for corruption.
***There should be an independent State agency to regulate HOAs , train and certify Board members.
***HOAs that hire a management company should not hire management company affiliated contractors. This in time can result in getting bids only from them at the exclusion of others. It can deny the homeowners the best possible price resulting from competitive bidding. Major jobs should be put out for bids from at least 5 different companies. These bids should be verifiable by interested homeowners.
***Just like other types of elections, in this quasi-government, where
60 million people live in, the elections should be allowed to be monitored completely
by interested homeowners .
Two Board members have been elected to the Board of Directors without being an owner of record and in direct violation of Article 3, section 3 of our bylaws.This happened in January 2008 elections.They were nominated and subsequently elected with the power of unverifiable proxies and Tina's full knowledge.
CH: Concerned Homeowners
Derae: Property manager
Tina: Ex Property manager
$20,000 is the amount that went to Tina's contractor in 2016 alone that your Board Of Directors did not even want to investigate to possibly save the homeowners. The money could have benefited all homeowners . Instead it benefited a few.
Sunday April 22, 2018
Construction company becomes the board
Happened in Vegas
A construction company was going around finding HOA boards that could potentially bring constructions defect cases meaning finding cooperative board members. They would then find straw buyers to use their names and credits to buy properties in those condo complexes according to court documents. They then provided the down payments and monthly payments on behalf of the straw purchasers, including HOA dues and mortgage payments, and various false and misleading statements were made to secure financing for the properties. The co-conspirators also made various false and misleading statements to secure financing for the properties. Further, to manage the properties, the construction company and others allegedly conspired to open at least five bank accounts through which they moved more than $8 million. Eventually, 36 of the 37 units went into foreclosure. They would transfer partial interests in the condos to other co-conspirators to make them appear to be homeowners who could stand for election to HOA boards of directors. The co-conspirators won some elections by submitting faked and forged ballots. The construction company owner and his cronies then directed the conspiring HOA board members to manipulate votes to select property managers, contractors, general counsel and attorneys to represent the HOAs — including the said construction company and the conspiring law firm. Their trial has been going on since 2011 and 36 of the 37 defendants have pleaded guilty and awaiting sentencing. They have to make $25M in restitution.
This is one instance of HOA fraud has been caught. How many more that are ongoing and ripping the honest hard working homeowners? Many just like this one have one contractor getting all the jobs. What does it take for State governments to realize that ordinary flawed people should not be left alone with large sums of money with nobody to watch how they spend it .
Sunday April 15, 2018
Condos for sale here-an update
A number of condos here are for sale and as we can see the 1-bedrooms
are approaching the amount we predicted. One condo for sale that is next to
the smallest size one bedroom is for sale at $97500. This actually can surpass
what we thought of a next bigger size 1-bedroom for $100,000 just a couple of
years ago. Another one the same smaller size is listed at $89,000. The 2 bedrooms
listed at $192K and $194K are presumably sold.
All this shows that many investors big and small are looking at our property and its valuable location. The smaller ones are buying here for living or investment purposes. The big investors could still plan to take over in a variety of ways. It would be hard to imagine with all the construction going around here, they are not looking at ours. May be 80% plan is shelved for now, at least according to the resolution passed last year but a developer has other options. A note to new buyers: even with new mortgage, your property could still be sold right under you and you might owe for the property you no longer own. Its best to be aware of the board or any other suspicious looking sales activity.
Tuesday April 3, 2018
A very familiar story
This is what was published in Monday’s paper. It was from a reader to an attorney that gives weekly advice.
Here it is :
” I think the current board of my homeowners’ association came to office by lies, falsehoods and fraudulent proxy votes. They use their office to send out propaganda letters at the association’s expense to promote themselves and denigrate anyone who speaks out against them. They even sued a former board member, but the lawsuit was dismissed. They have taken many other seemingly illegal actions. What recourse if any, does a homeowner have a, and what would you recommend”.
The lawyer recommended hiring a lawyer and taking legal action against
them and share the expense with other homeowners. As you can see mom and pop
gangsters are in many HOA boards and there are no applicable laws to help the
homeowners fight their corruption. Its a situation just like here. We had Tina
with her overstretched duties that included in many instances fraudulent proxies
and who went as far as calling homeowners and asking them to send her their
blank proxies, hiring her own contractors and share the kickbacks with some
board members , filing false insurance documents and much more. A State agency
is much more preferable with members who can hear the case and decide on taking
action against board members who break the laws, remove them from the board
and other actions including prison. Right now the only action available to homeowners
is a lawsuit.
Thursday March 29,2018
Repairs can be very expensive when done by HOAs
This happened in Charlotte,NC.Every homeowner knows roof repairs can
be expensive, but in this particular neighborhood people are worried that repairing
their roofs is just an excuse for their H.O.A. board to take their money.
"No answers from either the HOA or the Board. Zero," said one resident.
Now, a small group is organizing to fight what they call major issues with their H.O.A. board.
"A little over $438,000 just for roofing," a homeowner said.
That's $2,990.40 per homeowner and they weren't sure if they needed roof replacements.
"It's all hail damage or wind damage -- there's nothing wrong with the shingles or the installation," a homeowner said.
He said the roof is damaged, but it’s not the H.O.A.’s responsibility to fix it.
"There's five more years left on it so I would have to say it's not the homeowner's responsibility to pay but it would be the insurance company's responsibility,” the homeowner said.
Residents are wondering why the board tried to charge nearly half a million dollars for roofing when an expert says insurance should take care of the bill.
"It was, perhaps, a way for them to raise a lot of money very quickly," Davidson said.
Why would the H.O.A. board need to raise money? Well, records show they're tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
That’s only the beginning. In 2011, an insurance claim of $55,000 for minor roofing repairs was awarded but the board hasn't explained to residents exactly what happened with it.
Residents talking to TV station in Charlotte don’t recall any roof repairs being made.
"We're not getting any answers and we own the property,” one resident said
The biggest question is, of course, where's the money?
Residents don't know what to believe, but they do know, the current board tried to stick them with a half million dollar roofing bill for something, an expert says can be fixed with insurance.
Since TV station in Charlotte began investigating, the H.O.A. sent an email to one of the residents saying they deposited that $55,000 for minor roofing repairs into a bank account back in 2011.
As you can see from the story above they say they are not getting any
answers and they own the property. It is very true in many HOAs. The board members
who in a lot of cases are elected by a phone call, or wink and nod and then
make it official by proxies let the unearned membership get to their head. Its
just too much for them to answer inquiries from the homeowners. In many cases
like ours they have a favorite contractor introduced a lot of times by the manager
and start doing expensive and in a lot of cases unnecessary projects. When CH
introduced competitive bids and exposed the board and the manager we were told
we were injecting ourselves. They like to do things in the dark where nobody
can see or pay attention. They don’t like for everybody to see how they
are wasting our money and fattening their wallets at our expense with unnecessary
projects. Who could forget the inside fences job or how about this monstrous
$220,000 job ? We have to wait and see how the new manager is. Lets hope he
doesn’t have a favorite contractor and competitive bids will be introduced
and used to the favor of the homeowners. That is when we see the elections become
real and the current board members will see no more benefits in being a board
member and give up their seats and let qualified people take their place. CH
will continue to inform the homeowners as to how much extra the homeowners will
pay for each and every project and unnecessarily.
Friday March 23, 2018
The accountant left too
We just found out that the accountant who was in charge of our accounts is also gone. She was one of the few people who was very helpful to the homeowners and was very transparent. She had been there for over 20 years. Its interesting to see both Tina and the accountant leaving the management of our property pretty much at the same time. CH will continue to monitor checks written on our account as we have for the past 3 years. We still are not sure the effect of Tina's leaving on that monstrous project with parts of it done. Will Tina’s guy continue to be unchecked and get all the projects at 3 times the cost?
Saturday March 17,2018
Another common sense approach in Texas
Here is what a Property Owners Association came up with in South padre island Texas. We hope it can spread all over to all HOAs and POAs. This Board came up with the following. Pay special attention to # 3.
This is from their minutes:
Padre Island - On Saturday, March 10, 2018, a page was turned in the book of history for the Island. Three new 1st time Board Members were elected to represent the POA members. The voters spoke out demanding a new direction for their POA. I am honored and humbled to have been elected by the Board as President. Where do we go from here??
1. Inclusion-Members of the POA Community will be included in the decision-making process. The new direction of the POA, we will have opportunities for all to be heard and participate. There will be town halls, interactive informational meetings, committees, roundtables, and social events to mix and mingle.
2. Transparency- POA Board Meetings, committee meetings, and other official functions will be open to members unless prohibited by law. Financial information regarding the operation of the POA will be available to all unless prohibited by law.
3. Your Money- Competitive bidding, shopping, negotiation, and common sense will be the hallmark of protecting your money.
4. Restructuring-The business office practices and procedures will be studied, reviewed, and if need be improved to provide efficient and economical best business practices.
5. Communication-The communication with members will receive an immediate upgrade. The goal is to communicate any and all information to the point members may get tired of hearing from the POA.
6. Accountability-Members must hold their Board accountable. Your Board works for you! In six months, I will provide a report card to be graded on the 7 points mentioned here.
7. Civility & Respect- The election cycle is over. I ask islanders to be civil and respectful to one and all. How about we go to the beach, we go fishing, and we lay back in the no tie zone!
As you can see in number 3 above they mention “Competitive bidding”.
Many board members of HOAs and POAs that hookup with professional management
companies do not do that either because they know they can make extra money
with them or the property manager assigned to them introduces them (the ones
that can be compromised) to ways that they can work together under the table.
This as we all know here very well can include a one bid contractor introduced
by the property manager who manages elsewhere also and is very well versed in
the illegal and unethical world of kickbacks. Homeowners are no dummies. They
see this going on and don’t like it. They have the property manager, the
corrupt board members who conduct sham elections to keep the corrupt board members
in their position to continue with this corruption. Too many times CH has asked
for competitive bidding with a minimum of 5 bids. Too many times CH has also
offered extra bids only to have them ignored. Our board knows if they even look
at the extra bids they will not be able to ignore them. They know the only way
to make them go away is to hold them at inappropriate times like six months
after the bids are introduced and at noon. They know the bids should be taken
into consideration after a maximum of one month.
The POA in South Padre Island has realized that homeowners can’t be fooled. Its best to face people with honesty. Its good to get a real job and make money honestly not by kickbacks, doctoring insurance documents like done here and other corrupt HOAs. We don’t know how things with work out here now that Tina is no longer the PM here. Will the board keep working with her contractor? She seemed very diligent in her last fraudulent election just about a month ago. May be she still has her fangs deeply rooted here. Derae , the new PM without being asked, volunteered to inform CH and probably others that Tina has been promoted. We have no idea why he said that. We will know more in the coming weeks.
Sunday March 11,2018
Role of the management company
When a condo association becomes big enough to hire a management company
that is when the unfair HOA laws can come into play. The management company
assigns a property manager to the association and this is when problems can
start. The problems start from rising maintenance fees, special assessments,
doctoring insurance papers, creating false insurance claims, etc.
Why does this happen? An HOA can start by a well-meaning group of people and with input from the developer. Initially the project has not been fully sold and very manageable by that group which was our case also. Then it becomes populated and a management company is rightfully needed. The property manager has a certain salary paid by the management company but also manages the maintenance fees which can run into millions every year. A property manager being a regular person with regular bills and expenses sees a way to divert some of the funds into his/her account. There are different ways to do that. There are some that downright use fraudulent methods like creating false companies ,create false invoices and profit that way. There are other brazen criminal methods like depositing the money into their account and more. There is also a legal way to do it and get away with it of course at homeowners’ expense. In this way the property manager introduces a contractor who they know and can vouch for. For this method to work and assign all jobs to that contractor the manager needs somebody on the Board to play tag. It could be more than one or two, depending how many they need to divvy up the profits. The job is assigned to the contractor but at sometimes 3 times or more it costs elsewhere. The crooked members and the manager share the money. Then the maintenance fees go up to pay for that overcharged project.
They can also easily come up with various projects, assign the same contractor but this time assess special assessments with the promise that they would expire in a few months or one year. In truth they get used to the extra money and they rarely go away.
The HOA laws are unfair and inadequate. They treat these people that can become corrupt a as a government and when people complain they are just told by Attorney General and some supposedly consumer groups that they should elect some other people to the board of directors. May be they haven’t heard of our own ex manager‘s bag of proxies and fraudulent elections. What happened here could happen anywhere. Whatever ways they employ, homeowners need to organize and make sure they will stay together and always get competitive pricing for whatever the board tries to implement. It’s a sure way to let them know the homeowners are watching and they will not allow moneys spent that could be saved.
Tuesday February 27,2018
Tina is out as our manager
We just found out that Tina is out as the manager of our properties. Apparently she is still with the management company but another capacity. The Board probably still enjoys the fruits of her labor and may be even her continuing participation with her contractors. We will find out more in the coming days and weeks.
Sunday Febraury 25,2018
Tina and the election
When somebody buys a condo here they have to pay what is called a Resale
Certificate. This is a fee that the management company charges for bookkeeping
task related to the change of ownership. This transaction also introduces the
buyer to Tina who gets their contact information. The new homeowner then pays
maintenance fees, reports problems relating to common or non-common areas problems
to Tina and after a while she gets to know what kind of person the new homeowner
is. She figures out if the new homeowner can be a person to become a future
Board member. This process entails information about them that they could be
team players or just yes persons. She then taps them to become Board members
when there is a vacancy. They are perfect for her. They are new so they don’t
know the history of this place like redacted or doctored insurance documents,
fraudulent insurance filing, obvious kickbacks from Tina’s contractors
and much more. They can be naive and think that they are asked to join the Board
because nobody could perform that duty except them. They serve their time until
either a) they realize they have been used by Tina and the Board and quit out
of disgust and not wanting to be part of the kickback coalition anymore or b)
they realize there is an opportunity to make some money or c) they are just
happy to be a Board member and sign whatever is put in front of them.
What you see is a relationship between Tina and the Board’s team players to continue the opportunity to make money from contracts and projects that some are made for no useful purpose or immediate necessity. It is a swamp for people who want to keep the status quo. What you also see is the stretched out role of Tina. She is more than a property manager and in effect in control of the Board. The team players on the Board will let her appoint anybody she deems useful as a Board member. The new Board member will run for an election and without anybody knowing he or she exists can get 100 or more proxy votes. This is how the scheme works. It is also definitely against the interest of the homeowners who pay Tina’s salary.
Sunday February 18,2018
The Annual Meeting
One of the many reasons given by homeowners for not attending Annual
Homeowner meeting is that they can’t stand to be in the same room with
the Board members. They perceive them as little mom and pop gangsters who get
under the table funding, bribes, kickbacks, collusions and try to intimidate
homeowners into being silenced and be in fear of retaliation by the Board if
they protest. This was very true at the February 15 meeting. The numbers were
so low that Tina notified the Board that the quorum was not even established.
A homeowner volunteered to drag another homeowner to the meeting. Of course
we don’t believe that she has found religion all of a sudden and has become
a stickler for the rules in light of revelations that she was aware that 2 Board
members got on Board without proper credentials in 2008 . How could now she
all of a sudden becomes so conscious of the rules that lack of quorum gets her
to stand up and let everybody know? It was probably a ploy to let people who
didn’t do title search and were not sure these 2 illegals had gotten on
the Board, that she is a law abiding property manager.
The first thing on the agenda was for the illegal treasurer (one of the 2 that got on Board illegally) to explain why they signed with the same gas provider. In a very inaudible and nervous voice he uttered some numbers and put some nonsense together that nobody clearly understood and tried to explain the decision. He never talked about the 8 companies that their rates were submitted to the Board. He never explained that why when Tina falsely told CH that they signed with the same company after research but when asked to be given the phone number and names of people the research was done with, she couldn’t provide any. We believe it was yet another kickback. After all how could they explain that the company that was one floor above where she works keeps getting contracts with us every 2 years? They would also have to explain why her contractor keeps getting contracts when many lower bids are available.
There were 5 people running for the Board, 3 incumbents and 2 other homeowners which one of them was one of the original homeowners when this place was built. From the beginning g it was obvious that the incumbents would win. That was exactly what happened. The thing that never ceases to amaze us is the homeowners who run for the Board and campaign as if the election is real. These 2 homeowners were obviously very qualified and wanted to serve the homeowners. These two and the people before them don’t realize that Tina and the Board through collusion have got the election rigged and membership is by invitation only. They ask people who don’t ask questions, are new to the area and don’t know a lot of people and not aware of the history of this place to become board members (election guaranteed just like 3 nights ago). How can election have any meaning when people without deed and many other cases truly unremarkable people get on Board and people with all qualifications cannot get elected? Some of them sit home all day, or take a stroll and have no visible means of support or legitimate jobs.
The simple reason is money. Tina and the Board have got this election fixed so all contracts be given to Tina’s contractor(s) and they get a cut from the contracts. Why else they would not even look at other bids that are lower and not affiliated with Tina to may save homeowners money? The answer is they want to make money for themselves. Board membership for some is a means to make money. The result is that homeowners end up paying for this. The money in those T-bills discussed at the meeting were at least $20,000 less than what it should have been and may be up to $200,000. Instead of money in homeowners T-bill accounts, some of it is in the pockets of a few.
Saturday February 10,2018
Conflict of interest
We just saw another brazen example of Tina’s contractor/company buddy or whatever you want to call them, getting contracts over the interest of the homeowners. This contract was signed by the supposedly guardian of our interest : Board of Directors. They did not investigate alternative pricings for gas and just signed with a company that just recently was one floor about the management company i.e. Tina’s office. The fencing job was also given to Tina’s contractor when 4 other bids were available that were 1/3 Tina’s contractor’s price. A new $220,000 contract is being implemented without getting any other bids and they signed with Tina’s contractor. This overpay even though lately has not been translated to higher maintenance fees but it could have gone to a better place, which is the homeowner savings accounts to earn interest and be available for repairs which are increasingly becoming more and more necessary. This is a clear case of conflict of interest. Instead of our money coming to our accounts, is going to the pockets of the few. This has to be stopped. It is a clear case of filing complaint with the Texas Attorney General and for them to see why an HOA gives all jobs to a contractor affiliated with the property manager. The homeowners’ money is being drained for no good reason. Hopefully we can have the Attorney General take a look at this matter.
Sunday February 4, 2018
Tina and the Board lied
We tried asking the new owner of the management company. We asked him specifically to help us get that “research” on gas companies by Tina and the Board. He had no answer. We were right again. If there was no research it follows he had no answer either. The research was supposed to have been done by one of the board members (one of the illegal gang) and then passed on to Tina to pass to whoever interested in looking at that data. The homeowners are supposed to believe that there were 8 other companies that we got prices from, submitted that to the Board and the Board after “research” found that the one company which happened to be one floor above where Tina works beat their prices. When we ask them to reveal their research which in reality is homeowner’s money at play, they had none. For sure if they could prove that company was better they would have provided that research in detail to allay any concern about getting money under the table. They didn’t have anything to show.
It just goes to show that for some on the Board, the Board seats are
a hot money maker. Some of them don’t even have visible jobs other than
this Board job. They would rather spend your hard earned money, to make money
than to save you money.
Sunday January 28,2018
2 bedrooms here-an update
We just found out a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo here was put on sale
for $195K. This shows the values are coming right along what we predicted where
2 bedrooms should be. It has taken about 2 years for these values to catch up
to real values when a homeowner decided it was the right price for the condo.
These condos are at optimum location with great access to many highways and
also easy access to downtown. Lets not forget the low number of crimes and them
being walking distance to great supermarkets. How could they under perform for
so long? Many homeowners cited poor upkeep of the property by the Board and
mostly high maintenance were the main problems. That was why in conversations
with CH or what we heard around they didn’t think their condos were worth
no more than $110K-120Ks and in some extreme cases less than $100K. We still
believe in the next year or so the prices could go up even further to $250K
for the 2 bedrooms.
These values however may be of little help to the owners of the 3-bedrooms or 2 ½ bedrooms. These homeowners are stuck with an astounding $620s and above. Why would a new buyer invest in an old building with such a high maintenance? These owners can look at the Board for years of rising maintenance fees which we believe were resulting from one –bid contracts.
Thursday Janaury 25,2018
After a week of asking Tina for the new gas contract we got it. We
emailed her new boss and 4 hours later it was emailed to us. The contract was
signed on the 18th . Tina’s duties goes beyond getting contractors and
finding if the common areas are effected and other things. She not only sends
contractors to repair lucrative jobs but she makes sure they are hers. She has
other duties that we describe below.
After about 30 years of being a property manager here, she makes all the decisions and goes further than she is supposed to. She is used to besides counting votes and announcing the results of the election but also find yes people who are new or relatively new here and puts them on the board. People whose sole function is to sign documents and nothing else. If necessary she can call some homeowners and solicit their signed blank proxies or gets their consent and asks them to just send them in and she will take care of it. She is not used to people who ask for proof or question her integrity. Homeowners who pay her salary are not important enough for her to return their phone calls or worse send documents that she doesn’t like to provide.
She also knows when to shift responsibility and to revert back to her original document handler function. She wrote that after research they decided that those 8 companies still could not beat her one company. The company that used to be one floor above where she currently works , and moved out just a couple of years ago. When we asked her to send the name and phone numbers of people in those 8 companies that were contacted, she said that a board member did the research. This is her job . The board member happens to be one of the ones that got on board illegally in 2008. Yes lets not forget that she was there too and looked the other way, and breached her fiduciary duty and let 2 people who didn’t have proper credentials to become two of the 5 members of the Board of Directors.
She needed to call around and get us the best deal. If she is in charge of that very inside duty of holding elections but basically clerical one why not do other clerical duties like gathering data from other companies and submit them to the Board and let them make the decision? However just like fencing job that went to her contractor, other jobs go to her other contractors as well. The Board is totally ok with signing with her and only her contractors for the benefit of the very few and against the interest of the homeowners.
We are waiting for the list of people contacted for the gas contract. We think another push to her boss might be necessary to get that. This time the illegal board member is holding that information and needs to pass it on to the document handler, Tina. We don’t think such a list even exists.
Saturday January 20,2018
In what looks to be the narrative here, the gas contract went to what
we can refer to as Tina’s contractor. This is the company that until 2
years ago was one floor above Tina’s company. As you might recall we submitted
8 different companies all gas and some gas and electricity providers back in
September and 6 months prior to the expiration of the current contract in February.
After promising they would do a research of CH’s list of other providers, they decided to go with the same one. It was done after “research” Tina wrote. When we asked her to provide the name and phone numbers that the research was done through, she couldn’t provide any.
We will pursue that on Monday to see if any “research” was done and may be with the new owner of the company. It might not be a bad idea to see how he would treat concerned homeowners who are concerned about the condition of the property and these one-bid contracts. They should be stopped.They are usually 3 times more expensive and not cost effective for the homeowners.
THURSDAY January 11, 2018
As we guessed the next part of that monster deal is part 10. This part
alone is over $50,000.
They already have approval for the doors by Tina’s contractor and the rest to follow. May be just like the gas contract they don’t want any questions asked during the meeting and will approve the rest after that. One thing for sure they are not looking for other bids.
Monday January 1, 2018
Several homeowners have urged Concerned Homeowners to run for the board this year and prior years. Some even offered their proxy. While we appreciate their confidence in us, the election here is of third world variety. It is a banana republic. Unfortunately the management company is in charge of the election. Tina uses this to her advantage and working with some board members find the best Yes people to run. By YES people we mean people who just sign and don’t ask any questions. These are relatively new homeowners and in some case even owners for less than a year. After the results are announced, they get over 100 votes (nothing less than a 100) without talking to any homeowner, knocking on anybody’s door or even sending out letters. The reason is that they don’t need to. They are already in. Just the phone call to them and their acceptance of the invitation gets them elected. They know they don’t have to do anything else. They just show up to the meeting and get elected. In what is supposedly an election, the results are known beforehand. They of course are there just to sign papers so in case of some State or legal inquiry they would be covered. A lot of them over the years are not even participants in the financial gains. They are just happy to be a member or add that to their resume. In one instance when we were chasing the monthly meetings and we found out the location for that particular one was changed for that month only, a Yes man was also with us trying to find out where the new place was! They didn’t even bother telling him where it was. May be there was nothing to sign that month. Over the years we have seen many people who tout their resumes unbelievably thought they could win. Some even asked CH to endorse them. We had no problem doing that since we knew they were qualified but told them not to expect to win. It didn’t matter. They went on and gave speeches telling everybody what they have accomplished in their lives which have been impressive in many cases. You can counter that with couple of board members with no visible means of support who seem to be members for life. They are just known to be Board members, and appears to have no other jobs. After counting the votes we were proven right. We do not trust Tina or the Board. There should be a mechanism for full verification by interested homeowners. Over the years we have proposed voice or, email verification or any other type of acceptable verification to be used to make sure the proxies are not forged, altered, created or other fraudulent methods employed by Tina and/or the Board. All those possibilities and more are expected by them. We have to be there when all Annual Meetings notices are mailed, count them and check them against the homeowners list. We also have to be there in every single proxy received BEFORE opening the envelop. Please remember, an ordinary common man/woman who is corrupt and likes to make money while serving as a “volunteer” on the board with nobody watching can alter the votes to benefit them. Absence of that the best way to preserve the interest of the homeowners would be to get comparative and competitive bids, submit them to the Board. If they don’t interview the bidders or don’t show any interest in the obviously much lower bids or don’t employ any of them as oppose to Tina’s bidder, report that to the homeowners and let them decide how their money should be spent. We can only hope majority of the homeowners would call and pressure the Board to have free, verifiable elections and stop wasting our money. We proposed proxy changes to start with to the previous owner of the management company when he attended our meeting but he refused. Let’s hope the new owner would change that and bring respectability back to the election.
Friday December 29,2017
Annual Homeowner Meeting- January 16,2018 ,6:30 pm@Rice
The notices for the Annual Homeowner Meeting ( or as one misguided
ex-Board member categorized it the Annual Board Meeting which may have not have
been that far off an observation by her after all). It is set for a little over
2 weeks from today on January 16, 2018 at 6:30pm at Rice.
Homeowners can recall when these notices also accompanied mentioning their accomplishments, maintenance fee increase as a result of those accomplishments, a list of candidates for the new positions, etc.
More importantly it used to be mailed 2 months or so in advance. The proxy form used to list all candidates with a checkbox next to them. The changing of the venue shows the fraudulent elections they hold every year. Now it is mailed 2 weeks in advance with just a blank proxy. Over the years some homeowners have reported to CH the phone calls they have received from Tina and some board members asking them to just sign the proxy and mail it in. They would do the rest. Yes we bet they would. The elections have always been in reality , filling those positions with their own Yes men/women and get them on board. By now it should be very obvious to astute people that serving homeowners with the best possible people is not the objective. Serving the purposes of the Board members which is about giving jobs to Tina’s contractor, is the objective. They just need a signature from those yes men and women in case there is an inquiry to the legality of approving a job. As you can see the 2 newest board members are virtual unknowns. In fact they are relatively recent homeowners.
However until the lax laws on HOAs persist, and they actually think HOAs are capable of honestly governing themselves , CH does its job which is showing the homeowners how much money they are losing when the Board deals with Tina’s contractor . CH also shows homeowners that the Board purposefully does not interview or inquire about the bidders called at random that have much lower bids than Tina’s guy.
Its all up to the homeowners to take matters into their own hands and show up to the meeting and demand accountability. The maintenance fees not being raised till 2020 is a positive step. In this Board’s world of self-interest we also have to watch out for our property. Please remember the developers are still waiting for an opportune moment. The Board still could sell your property and not necessarily to the highest bidder by those elements on the Board.
The Board doesn’t want you to show up, as evidence with this late notice. Please make an effort to show up. There is also an expectation that the new owner of the management company shows up and introduces himself. Lets hope he does recognize that the elections must be verified independently. Tina’s bag of proxies could also affect your property in case of a sale.
Sunday December 24,2017
HOA and organized crime
HOAs and the way they are setup can be categorized as organized criminal
enterprises. The definition of organized crime is how there are networks and
groups that work with each other and commit criminal activities like bribes,
kickbacks, theft, etc.
HOAs in general can start as well-meaning group of people in a community who get together and start a board of directors of 3 to 5 or 6 people and try to manage the daily affairs of the community, like repairs, contracts, and other management duties. This is when somebody could suggest that things would be better run with a professional management company. This could be because that somebody knew a way to make money while managing the properties. That person(s) could be well aware of the ways of hiring their won contractors and make sure they are the ones that get the contracts. The numbers could run into millions of dollars, just like an organized criminal group. A property manager works with several HOAs and knows how to get his/her own contractor to get the contracts exclusively or other methods of fraudulent activities. Please remember for ordinary homeowners it would be very difficult to discover that. One way to get suspicious would be irregular maintenance fee increases. At the end, the homeowners always end up paying.
This happened in Florida. A property manager was found guilty of organized
fraud by diverting over $1.5M from several HOAs that she managed. She was arrested
on the charge of grand theft and could go to prison for 30 years. She used the
money to pay off debt and other personal expenses. A whistleblower discovered
the fraud and alerted the police.
This was caught by a whistleblower. How many don’t get caught? We presume many more.
Sunday December 10,2017
Board’s anti-homeowner games
As many of visitors to this site are aware, we have introduced 10 gas
companies to the Board for the current contract expiring soon. Two years ago,
in a purely self-interested and anti-homeowner move , the Board knowing CH was
getting extra bids, pre-empted us and agreed to sign with the same company.
If anybody has any doubts about the motivation of the Board, we hope it was
removed just by this move alone. Now two years later CH pre-empted the Board
and before they agreed to renew with the same company, an expected action. CH
is trying to do the Board’s job and save homeowners money. However, all
of a sudden the Board has decided to do what they should have done 2 years ago:
shop around. The current contract expires in February.
They are likely waiting for the Annual Meeting to be over so if asked they could say they are still shopping around. It would be hard to explain Tina's favorite gas company beat out 10 other ones. Two years ago they decided to renew without getting extra bids about 5 months in advance.
They didn’t get any extra bids for the $220,000 contract last year which apparently 2 of the 11 parts have already been completed. Remember , its our money being lost and for financial gain of a few.
Friday November 24,2017
4 more gas providers
The gas contract will be expiring soon. Over 3 months ago in anticipation
of Tina and the board playing games we submitted a list of 6 gas providers.
Tina thanked us for what we did which was essentially providing bids against
her preferred provider located one floor above her company. As you recall she
told us the time for renewal was one month prior to the expiration of the current
contract in 2015. This turned out not to be true and she told us two months
prior to expiration that the board had decided to renew with that same company.
When we inquired about the status of their negotiation with the 6 companies that we provided, she said they were still shopping around. We wanted to help them and us further and supplied 4 more this past week. This time there was no pretense or even sarcasm from her. She didn’t respond at all.
If they pick the same company, it means that company was better than 10 other companies that we picked from a list of providers. A company that was located one floor above her company.
Sunday November 19,2017
Under the table funding illustrated with an example
This happened in Florida. A property manager of a condo association
has been arrested on charges of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and
stealing cash from the building’s laundry machines. He was charged with
grand theft, fraud and use of a phone to plan a crime. He could face up to 5
years in jail.
He was dealing with an electric firm. He asked the owner to add $6,000 to the invoice and later pass him the money in exchange for a promise of future work. The owner submitted an invoice of $18,800 instead of $12,800 but he was cooperating with the condo’s board of directors who reported him to the police. He was found to have stolen $3000 from the laundry machines and trying to bribe an employee not to report that theft.
This incident was caught. How many others are unreported and the board
of directors are in bed with the property manager?
Thursday November 9, 2017
New condo sales here
Recently we found out the value for 2-bedroom condos here have gone
up. These are homeowners who for one reason or another like improving economy
have placed their 2-berdoom condos for sale by about 20% or more. Two condos
were recently put on sale for $150K and more. It is still below what it should
be in the near future and what CH believes which is $200K. The value should
be increasing more as economy improves while the area becomes more and more
valuable. At this point a 2-bedroom should not be too far off from the 2 bedroom
old townhomes down the road from us which don’t even include utilities
at $300K a piece. You have to remember the money you get from your condo should
enable you to live in a comparable place and nothing less. This should be your
goal. In the meanwhile, its best to attend the one meeting that could be full
of conspiracies and ways to get your property sold at wholesale prices: the
Annual Meeting being held on the 3rd Tuesday of January every year. Try not
to miss it.
Tuesday October 31, 2017
Here is a familiar story
Police said a property manager pocketed tens of thousands in rent,
fees and security deposits between May and September.
She is charged with grand theft. Police say she stole more than $45,000 from her employer.
The company called the _______ Police Department in late September. After an internal audit and police investigation lasting four weeks, authorities formally charged her. Authorities said she manipulated the company's computer system in an effort to hide the thefts.
Marriage turned herself in to the ________ County Detention Center on Tuesday. She was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
October 7, 2017
Even attorneys get into the act
When arguing with people who defend HOAs, the term “HOA industry”
is very offensive to many of them. It depicts fraud. Of course there is ample
reason to associate fraud with HOAs with one-sided laws giving these ordinary,
in many cases unremarkable people, the power to rule people’s lives and
interpret laws competently and objectively. There are insurance companies, insurance
adjustors, general contractors, management companies, law firms and others that
cater exclusively to HOAs. They know that with current laws any conceivable
fraud can be implemented through briberies and kickbacks given to board members.
We have posted many true examples on this site. One of these groups, law firms
even introduces themselves by sending advertisements letting board members know
they can handle elections, fines and handle homeowners who won’t put up
A law firm in Las Vegas was recently ordered to pay $3.1M in fines to the association. Of this amount $2.4M was for the judgment and the rest was interest. This law firm was in charge of the elections of the association and apparently had some favorite homeowners.
Some of the findings:
a) A young attorney wasn’t supervised and allowed ballot stuffing in a HOA election.
b) The FBI told the law firm it was investigating the attorney in connection with election irregularities, but no one at the firm informed the association.
c) The law firm represented both sides in suspicious HOA elections, a clear conflict of interest.
What the judge found was that a contractor packed the board of the
HOA and other associations with conspirators through rigged elections. He then
had those conspirators vote to initiate construction defect lawsuits against
home builders. The legal work and repairs were farmed out to the contractor
and his buddies. The contractor made $8.1M. The board members in this HOA were
suspicious and decided to hire a supposedly independent law firm to oversee
the elections. One of the partners in that law firm was chosen as an independent
law firm, unbeknownst to the board members. He hired a young attorney who testified
he thought the contractor and the association was one and the same and so he
let the contractor’s fixer on the board to access the ballots in the law
What caused the judgment against the law firm was that the law firm did not inform that the supposedly independent lawyer was one of their partners.
The contractor is serving time . This is one example of a HOA industry in action that was caught. It was done through costly legal expense. How many are out there and continue to profit illegally at the expense of the homeowners? When will an independent State agency be created that can oversee HOA complaints and enforce civil penalties?
September 10, 2017
Hurricane Harvey has come and gone. The flat roofs behaved as before. There were many homeowners on those rainy days did the only thing they could. It was to go up on the roof and see how they could stop the leaks resulted from the shoddy workmanship done by Tina’s bidder. There were many and apparently many phone calls were made to the management company during the weekend the rain fell . Of course it was an emergency number that they could just leave a message and describe where and when the leak occurred. This is what keeps happening every time there are consecutive days of rain. It would be a good advice to homeowners to check the weather forecast before leaving home for a few days. The roofs you paid with your maintenance fees cannot withstand even steady rain. Even if you just had the leak fixed, it can happen again maybe in a different place , may be in the same place. This is one of the results of people who are not knowledgeable in running an association and masquerade as board members.
Over the years many homeowners have reported problems with their roof
leaking. These happen mostly when there are consecutive days of rain and not
necessarily hard. Homeowners have reported leaks from rain that has damaged
their furniture with basically no fault of their own.
These roofs were installed about 10 years ago and it was the first time CH started competitive bidding. We introduced 8 bidders alongside Tina’s. It was to nobody’s surprise that not only they didn’t talk to them, they also didn’t appreciate anybody else presenting bids. Of course these 8 bidders were called from Yellow Pages. Tina’s bidder was selected. The result has been nothing short of disaster. Problems started the first year and have continued since. The problem show s up when its consecutive days of rain. One could imagine the homeowners wouldn’t have suffered financial loss if those 8 bidders were also consulted and let the best man win. If they have a trip out of town and the weather forecast predicts many days of rain it would be wise for them to cancel that trip. If not they might suffer huge financial loss. This is one bad result of one and same contractor bidding. It could be financial loss for homeowners and financial gain for the board members.
August 6, 2017
This could have happened to us here
This is what happened in Arizona but it might have happened in our
place last year.
A woman did what all of us homeowners did which is buying a condo to live in and invest. She bought it in October 2016. It was a 2-bedroom and she paid $93000 cash for it. She spent $15,000 remodeling. In less than a year she got a letter telling her the condo complex was being sold and she had 60 days to get out. She was going to be compensated $95,000 and had no recourse. This represented a $13,000 loss in less than a year which didn’t include moving and other expenses. The condo termination letter came from the investor himself which informed her that the association approved the sale of the entire complex.
She found out that Arizona law allows for a termination of a condo and the sale of the entire project for fair market value if at least 80% of the unit owners agree- just like in Texas.
She found out that she could not appeal the appraisal since it was a bulk sale appraisal. If it was a normal sale transaction she could appeal. The only way she could protest a bulk appraisal was for 50% of the owners to file appeals. The investor had bought 80% of the condos, so she was out of luck there.
She offered to sell hers at $120,000 just to put the whole mess behind her but the investor and his attorney did not return her phone calls and messages.
This could have easily described our situation. After the bogus voting with bogus proxies we would be left with a phone number to call with the calls never returned. The association dissolved in these situations there would be absolutely nobody to go to. It would be a huge collective loss and an investor who would kick us out and in a hurry to start demolishing. This still could happen here. You cannot trust your property to the board just because they put out a weak pathetic resolution that they would never convert to 80%. There is every reason to believe that they would hand over the property on a silver platter to an investor the moment the situation is right.
New money maker project for the board
The ongoing contract with Tina’s bidder is worth over $200,000.
It is made of 11 parts. According to Tina the board was not going to approve
the whole $200,000 contract. We believe she left something out.
They were not going to approve the whole contract because it wouldn’t look right. It would look downright like a kickback and in continuation of what has been discussed here and proved. The fact that the board in the past has overlooked contracts from other bidders and did not even want to discuss the savings they could have brought to homeowners. Now they put together a $200,000 proposal with one bidder only (Tina’s ). Right away they approve the most expensive parts (V and VI) and Tina claims they were not going to approve the whole $200,000 contract. What we believe she left out was other parts of the contract that most probably will be approved in the coming months. By approving 2 parts they get 2 out of 11 done and next we believe is part 10 , the next expensive part which could be ongoing as well to make it look like a done job , meaning no other bids needed.
This along with inside fences looks like another money making project by the board in cooperation with Tina.
April 30, 2017
Here we are trying to get to the bottom of this huge contract. It was thought of by the board and it is for over $220,000. The contract was posted a few days ago. It is not signed. We asked for the signed one. After all this could have been typed by anybody. However, according to Tina, there is no signed contract because the board was not going to do the whole contract. That was fine except that Tina’s contractor was already on the ground with welding equipment. We asked her about that and she responded that only parts V and VI are being done. We asked her about the signed contract for V and VI and she specifically said there was “no signed contract”. We of course told her that this was not understood how a company could work without a signed contract and she stopped responding. There are several possibilities:
1. She doesn’t want the homeowners to see because there is something her and the board don’t want interested homeowners to see, like the terms of the contract, prices, etc.
2. Its being done in bits and pieces because it wouldn’t look good all $220,000+ be given to Tina’s contractor again without getting any other bids.
3. She could be playing immature semantic games that she is known for.
4. Any or a combination of the above or something else. Remember with two illegal board members and her being a part of that , anything is possible.
We let her know that we would have to ask our attorney to get to the
bottom of this and she let us know in no uncertain terms “that we will
wait to hear from her”.
This is what we should have received either in detail as to why she could not send the signed contract to us, why it is unsigned to begin with and why the work has started without a signed contract.
We also let her know that we will ask the management company to reimburse us for the cost of recovering this document that we all pay for. It was referred to our attorney on Friday.
April 25, 2017
Working without a contract?
A proposal was submitted to the Board on 12/29/2016 by Tina’s
bidder which we posted here 2 days ago. At the Annual meeting the (illegal)
Board member was salivating over the size of it and how it would improve the
whole area by 2201 building and other areas. The area by 2201 was for concrete
repair which we got a bid $5,000 below Tina’s bidder and we were told
by Tina concrete was the extent of the job contrary to what the Board member
said at the meeting. Last week when other equipments for other type of works
showed up, reported by a homeowner, we asked Tina why other equipments were
there and she finally admitted there was a proposal which we posted in the last
posting here. She again denied that there would be more work done and we asked
for the signed proposal of what already is being done. She told us via email
that they are working without a contract and what we have was it!! So this is
Tina’s contractor who submitted a proposal, got the job and is now working
without a contract.
Exactly how much are we paying for this job? How about liability issues? How would that work with their accounting?
This is her and the Board last stand. Now that we are getting outside bids and exposing the extra money that we don’t have to spend, they are now hiding the contract(s). We say ‘they’ because sounds like they are working together to keep this out of homeowner eye and may be what looks like kickbacks. After all why a non-profit corporation is hiding anything let alone what looks like to be a sizeable contract?
We will continue to press for the truth. We will keep you posted.