***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 .
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.
They were nominated and subsequently elected with the power of unverifiable
proxies and Tina's full knowledge.
For petition to remove Tina & Co.
and the 2 illegal Board members please
Shocking but expected- $2.8M embezzlement
by property manager
This happened in an HOA in California. She was charged with 2 counts
of felonies for stealing from the account of a 990-unit HOA from 2007-13.
This is what is happening pretty much all over the country. The shocking
part is the amount. It is amazing that one person was given so much control,
to allegedly steal close to $3M for so long while being a property manager.
It just depends upon the value of the property, location, number of units,
etc .The expected part is pretty much is the definition of insanity. It
is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Until there is no independent agency with enforcement powers starts looking
over HOAs , these would be the result we would be getting for the foreseeable
future. Who is looking when the manager or a Board member with access to
bank accounts starts embezzling? When a homeowner starts investigating on
his/her own they could get stonewalled. They could get denied been shown
documents. They could get documents but heavily redacted so they could be
rendered useless. They could get threatened with frivolous lawsuits just
to shut them up. They could have to conduct expensive forensic accounting
to get to the truth. These are steps that are normally out of the reach
of an average homeowner. As you can see a state agency with enforcement
powers is the only solution for this problem called HOAs run by ordinary
people. Ordinary people can have money problems like bills to pay, sickness
in the family , being behind in car loans, etc. The lure of easy money can
be very strong for some ordinary people with weak morals. The property manager’s
job would be to help the Board solidify their powers. This many times unsavory
duo can work against the average homeowner, in the form of hiring the same
contractor, getting under the table funding which could make the homeowners
pay with higher maintenance fees at the end; since the contractor would
simply jack up their price to make up for the bribe. The list of unsavory
acts can go on and on. A state agency would solve this problem. They could
look at rigged elections, access to records without delay or redactions,
making sure the Board members are qualified to handle the huge power of
foreclosure which can result from imposing fees and fines for sometimes
simple matters like not liking a homeowner’s door paint and getting
into a mutual disagreement and escalation of the matter. Let’s not
forget many foreclosures held at first Tuesday of the month Family law Center
downtown, result from HOA fees arising from fines and attorney’s fees
that could become too much for an average homeowner. This could result in
them losing their homes to sometimes a few hundred dollars. Only voicing
your complaint to your congressman can help things out. They are after all
worried about being re-elected ant that could be more powerful than any
lobbying on the part of HOA industry.
In this case the manager was pairing with a guy who had a faked company.
She created invoices, paid him and then the two split the money. They face
aggravated white-collar crime and could face 6 years in prison. We have
to re-iterate: Not all HOAs are corrupt.
Senility on the Board?
A few days ago a Board of Director member was observed at the 2101
building looking for coke machines. He was asking some homeowners as to
where they are on this property. One of them told him that there have never
been any here. The Board member responded that there used to be here 30
years ago! Guess it took him 30 years to get curious about their absence.
Interestingly enough he was standing right underneath where the mutilated
animals have been discovered. Looking disheveled he headed back in the direction
of his condo.
May be its time to replace the old timer. Notice we said “replace”
not “elect”. In this sham of an election where 2 Board members
are still there illegally, we don’t expect an open and honest election.
The elections here cannot be monitored independently.
This Board member was one of the members sitting across the table
from homeowners in January 2008 Annual meeting, when the 2 illegal members
got elected. Tine admitted that she knew about their illegality and illegibility
and we have no reason this Board member didn’t know. For sure he has
known it since August 2014 and ignored our request in writing to remove
them. Tina, him and the rest of the Board are in breach of fiduciary duty
at least since August 2014.
September 22, 2015
HOA and SPCA
On July 23rd there was a mutilated mouse on the home of Concerned Homeowner
activist. As posted here with the picture of the mouse, the police was called
and a police report was filed. On August 14, a mutilated bird was put on
the same spot. Again on September 10 another mutilated bird was put there.
It is apparent that somebody’s interests are in danger. Concerned
Homeowners has been very vocal in its opposition to one-contract (same contractor)
bidding, non-verifiable elections, redacted documents, etc. This is the
kind of stuff we can expect from HOAs with a common man in charge following
his/her self-interest with the power to fine his fellow homeowner and most
importantly in charge of interpreting laws sometimes with nothing more than
a high school diploma.
Due to the nature of these intimidation tactics and ghoulish acts, we contacted
SPCA and let them know about this cruelty to animals. They were very concerned
and told us when identified in addition to local charges; they could bring
additional federal charges which could range from misdemeanor to felony.
We have a good idea who that person is.
As we are making every effort to positively identify this person,
we ask anybody who knows about the identity of this night prowler who harms
helpless animals to deliver a message, to contact Concerned Homeowners at
832-685-8770. We are also looking for people who are possibly aiding him.
The third bid on fences
We received the 3rd bid for the fencing project. It was emailed
to Tina and we got a confirmation email that the bid was right. As you recall,
after receiving the bids, the Board all of a sudden suspended the fencing
project for 2121 and postponed it till next year. The 2101 project has been
completed without any other bids except Tina’s two bids. We later
confirmed with Tina, that the Board had asked her to get 2 bids! So she
went ahead and got her two contractors to bid against each other and they
picked the lower one. The contractor that got it usually gets the smaller
Here are the amount of the bids that we got:
First contractor: $7984.52
Second contractor: $8075.00
Third contractor: $9350.00
All these three were picked form Homeadvisor.com at random.
Tina/Board contractor: $20,800
So as you can see theirs is more than twice ours even the highest
one we got. If the Board instead of asking Tina, had asked interested homeowners
to help out and get extra bids, they, meaning us, could have saved $12-13000
on each of the building or a total of $25-26,000. We have already lost $12-13000
on the 2101 building. Now the Board facing this unforeseen, unwelcome and
unexpected new bids wants in our opinion to muddy the waters. They want
to meet in January with all contractors, ours and theirs. They want to repeat
the scenario that we posted on September 13 about roofing 8 years ago. They
want to muddy the issue so ours just go away, just like they made the roofers
we brought in and again at random, from the Yellow pages go away. We don’t
think they care about saving money. If they did they would have asked us
to help them get bids as we have constantly told them we could. We will
go to the meeting. We will follow up with our contractors afterwards and
we will see if as they say its “apples to apples” or apples
to oranges. Please keep in mind that we copied and pasted the specifications
given to the Board contractors and sent them to the contractors that we
called. Then they want to charge us 3% increase in maintenance fees because
of the fencing! Just watch how they will try to discredit our bidders or
show they are not the same or something to that effect. We will try to get
4 or 5 more bidders. Let the Board try to do away with 7 or 8 contractors.
Our records will be open and so what Tina sent us as specifications given
to their contractor.
We will attend the meeting
At the Annual meeting about 8 months ago the illegal treasurer (
the guy who is not an owner of record and violating our bylaws everyday)
brought up the subject of redoing the fences for both 2121 and 2101 buildings.
This was first announced at a staggering $56,000 for a few pieces of wood.
The “treasurer” also announced a 3% increase in our maintenance
fees as a result of what we believe a totally unnecessary repair, and certainly
at the expense of the increase. Apparently as we were discussing this with
Tina , the work had already been contracted for the 2101 building at the
price of about $21,000. Before long the trucks and the workers were there
and finished the job in no time. We asked Tina how many bids were involved
and she responded 2. We asked her who asked you to get only 2 bids and she
responded, the Board. So Tina went and got her usual 2 contractors and one
of them, the one that we see usually gets the lower priced jobs got the
job. Please remember the company did not even have a website until recently.
He only had an answering machine. We started getting bids for the 2121 building
to save homeowners money. We thought he price was too much and we could
save with the other building, the 2121 building. We got 2 bids. Both bids
were submitted to Tina and she, through an email was ok with them. We also
got a third bid which came up about $2000 more than our two bidders but
about $10,000 less than the Board bidder. We need to clarify that bid and
resubmit it. It shows all our 3 bidders if the Board selects one could save
homeowners over $12,500. So now the work has stopped. The project that was
supposed to be finished in fall, is now postponed till winter. They want
to hold a meeting with all contractors, theirs and the ones we found. Why
didn’t the Board get more than 2 bids for the other building? It appears
the Board is not interested in saving us money so we don’t pay 3%
increase in our maintenance fees. Now apparently they want to hold a meeting
to see if their contractors and the contractors we found agree on the same
specifications. Keep in mind that we copied and pasted the specifications
given to us by Tina and our bidders submitted bids according to that, so
they knew exactly what they were talking about. A fact that was further
confirmed by Tina that the bids submitted by us was ok. Our contractors
were found at random and through homeoadvisor.com. We don’t think
this meeting is real.
A similar meeting was held more than 8 years ago. That one was about a roofing
project. Concerned Homeowners invited 10 roofers to submit bids found through
Yellow Pages. A time was specified ( by our insistence) for all bidders
to attend. They all attended. The Board and Tina did not call back some
of the roofers we introduced to them and found faults with the other ones.
They ended up getting a predetermined roofer they had in mind all along.
We suspect they are trying to do the same thing. They want to invite the
bidders found by us and through some vague questioning and process show
they are different, or find some fault with their bidding and disqualify
them and go with their predetermined contractor. We don’t think it
matters to them if it costs the homeowners money and a 3% increase in their
maintenance fees. We don’t believe they are interested in saving us
money. If they did, they would have got more bids for the 2101 building.
We plan to get more bids and will attend the meeting that they plan to hold
in January only 4 months from now. We will also keep in touch with them
after the meeting to make sure their bids have been given consideration
in a fair and objective way. We will let the homeowners know if they decide
to go with their own bidder even if its twice as expensive and would also
cost us a 3% irreversible increase in our maintenance fees. At least this
is what we believe they plan to do. Lets see if they are serious and are
really interested in saving us money.
September 6, 2015
condo manager caught
This is a story that we posted here on July 5. It was about a property
manager in Florida who allegedly stole $228,000 form the HOA and then fled
across the state. She had a grand theft warrant against her.
If your browser does not support a link, just copy and paste it to your
for the Board to shirk responsibility
There have been many complaints by the homeowners against the cable
company. They have been filed with the cable company itself and in many
cases with the Board. Lets all recall they were introduced to us as the
next great service provider just last year and many of us had to pay $98
or more for the new boxes, making the old boxes that we had paid for before
worthless. We didn’t even get any rebates or any type of refunds for
those. Homeowners who didn’t want to pay more for more mainstream
albeit more expensive service paid the $98 minimum and subscribed to this
new company. Some paid more than $200 for the DVR boxes. The Board apparently
is planning to cancel their contract because of all the complaints and make
homeowners get their own service, provider. Instead of asking them to be
more efficient, repair faster, be more user friendly or negotiate a commercial
rate with another cable company, they just want us to negotiate ourselves
with a provider when we don’t have to and pay even more. In other
words they are declaring what they did last year was a failure. A commercial
rate is the preferred and economical solution for homeowners. It gives everybody
a lower rate. It is the job and responsibility of the Board to serve the
homeowners. Let’s not forget a few years ago, the Board wanted to
get rid of commercial rate electricity and let us deal with individual electric
companies. They ditched that idea real quick after outrage and concern from
the homeowners. This is the same idea and opportunity to shirk responsibility.
This is something the Board loves to do which is doing less . We need to
stop this drastic and irresponsible action by calling Tina and letting the
Board know that we want nothing but a provider for the whole complex. Besides
the higher rate the logistics are hard to fathom. Can you imagine different
trucks from different companies coming here at all times for repair and
park in our small driveways as oppose to one truck repairing a mostly common
problem? How about different satellite dishes having pretty much the same
problems the current company has when it rains, except having many dishes
from different companies occupying the roof and bringing their trucks with
them while doing the repair? How about different cables from different cable
companies to be traced for repair? Besides the logistics how would the average
homeowner be expected to shell out another $100 -$200 when they just paid
that last year and now having to pay more for Board’s failure.
We need one provider for all. If some homeowners want to choose a different
one other than the main provider, they are free to do so as they can now.
In an earlier posting we reported that there was an investor that
was planning to use the Florida 80% law to take over some condos. The law
meant that if 80% of the owners agreed to sell the rest would have to sell
too. This law was supposed to get investors to help rebuild some damaged
condos and houses but instead its being used to evict senior citizens like
in this case or people with fixed income who were planning to live where
they are for the rest of their lives. The investor had sent a letter to
the homeowners in this retirement community( many senior citizens) saying
“ I am in the process of taking steps to dissolve the association,
whereby all the apartments that I do not own would be forced to sell to
me at the County appraised value. We don’t have such a misguided and
probably unconstitutional law in Texas, but HOAs can make up their own rules.
It would then take an expensive litigation to overturn it once it becomes
law. We have to make sure our 100% rights will never be put to a vote with
the closed and fraudulent elections in our own HOA.
Apparently the issue got media attention ( watch the video) and the investor
has backed off. There are no guarantees he will back off forever though.
May be when the heat is off he might try again under different circumstances.
If your browser does not support the link below, just copy and
paste it to your address box.
More on the deceased homeowner
We talked to the homeowner living below the homeowner who had passed
away recently. According to her she had passed away sometime in June and
not July. The body was so badly decomposed that she was identified at the
coroner’s office by her dental records. There was pretty much nothing
left of her body. The homeowner below had to move out because of the foul
odor and fly infestation in her condo. She has been living at a hotel paid
by her insurance which is running out. The next of kin who apparently is
the deceased brother, and lives in Houston has been taking charge but Tina
has refused to reveal his identity to her. When this elderly lady asked
her what could she do, Tina told her “sell your condo”!!!
This lady was very upset. According to her she and the other homeowner had
notified Tina in June and she was thinking if a relative or somebody in
the family was notified then, here life could have been saved. It takes
somebody special to hear their concern and use accounting records as a sign
that things were ok with her, which we found later on, were not. She works
pretty much every day a block from where the homeowner lived and she did
not even care to take a drive or call her relatives. In fact nobody that
we have talked to, can remember the last time Tina , the property manager
was spotted on our property.
to appear in court
Another day another HOA embezzlement case. This happened in California.
A former treasurer of an HOA is charged with two felony counts of embezzlement.
She is scheduled to appear in court on August 25. She is charged with embezzling
about $129,000 from the HOA between 2013 and 2014. She is charged with one
count of grand theft by embezzlement and a count of embezzlement by a public
or private officer.
How she came to the point of being charged is unknown. Somebody
at the Board level could have seen abnormalities in accounting and pursued
it further. In many cases the Board members are in involved too. Many homeowners
see things that aren’t right and the only way to check further would
be to conduct expensive forensic accounting, or bring expensive lawsuits
. Either way they would face the wrath of the people involved in it , more
likely the Board members. This in another example of the necessity of a
government agency with enforcement powers to oversee HOAs. This would also
mean certifying the Board members and training them in legal matters. Many
Board members who get elected don’t even have college degrees and
are left alone to interpret the regulations and bylaws that are created
by the developer vague on purpose and subject to any type of interpretation.
A homeowner commented on the deceased homeowner whose body was
found a week ago in her condo. According to her, she had a similar incident
in 2101 a few years ago. In that one she hadn’t heard from her neighbor
for over a month. When she asked Tina, she told her she did not know and
it did not raise any alarms in her head. According to the homeowner, she
discovered the homeowner had passed away someplace else and Tina either
didn’t know or didn’t care to tell her to help her out with
her concerns for her neighbor. Who knows may be the homeowner was current
on his dues or had automated pay . In both cases you can detect a level
of detachment and indifference by Tina that is not shared by many. Rather
than calling authorities or next of kin, she called the accounting department
or like this one just didn’t care.
August 7, 2015
Here is another one those all too familiar stories : HOA and embezzlement
This happened in Florida. The treasurer of an HOA there was arrested by
the sheriff at her home and charged with larceny. The theft was discovered
by an audit . The HOA had a periodic audit to provide documentation to the
Board. She did not attend the meeting and other meetings arranged by the
Board. She resigned later. After her resignation they did a special audit
and found out there was about $29,000 missing from the HOA account. Apparently
she had written checks to restaurants and other businesses, family members,
ATM withdrawals using HOA account. She had served as the treasurer for the
HOA from 2002 to August 2014.
Many of these positions are pretty much appointed by the current
Board members and become self-electing. Lets not get caught in the rhetoric
that “ well the homeowners elected them ”. In most cases there
is a sham election conducted by secret ballots, proxies and most importantly
unverifiable elections. Many proxies are filled in by Board members themselves
if they are sure the homeowner will never check. If they do, they will destroy
it claiming it was lost. Remember in our case we did not know that the two
Board members were not owners of record only the other members knew they
were perpetarating a fraud upon homeowners.The elections cannot be monitored
independently from top to bottom. In many cases somebody that is pretty
much an unknown to the homeowners gets elected. Do not be under the illusion
that the rest of the Board members were innocent in this or other embezzlement
cases. Some may and others probably were complicit in it. It happens in
most HOA embezzlements. Until a state agency regulates the HOAs , the homeowners
will be footing the bill for relationship between Board members and some
favored contractors, vendors, and open to embezzlement and illegal schemes
which at the end homeowners will end up paying for. In many HOAs we are
dealing with legalized organized crime.
and the dead homeowner
We found out that yesterday an elderly long time homeowner was
found dead in her condo. The neighbors had reported a foul odor and called
the police. The police after knocking on the door and not getting a response
kicked the door in and saw her decomposing body. Upon opening the door fumes
got out. There were several witnesses who saw the whole thing including
medical examiners taking pictures with flashes at night and taking the body
out. One homeowner commented that about a month ago he had alerted Tina
and told her that she has not been seen checking her mail and not answering
her door. He asked her to notify the next of kin. According to him, she
just dismissed that notion right out of hand. Another homeowner had told
Tina also about a month ago that she was not answering her door and she
thought something was wrong. Tina’s answer: well she is current on
her maintenance fees so she must be ok. According to this homeowner she
had auto-pay, where money was being deducted from her social security check
every month to pay her maintenance fees. The neighbors finally after getting
flies in their condos and unbearable odor of a decomposing body, called
the police. Tina could have at least have the curiosity or care to see what
was going on in that condo, like something more than her being current on
her dues. After all she works one block away from the condo. What happened
to the concept of a property manager actually managing the place and walking
the place once in a while? By her inaction she put the health of the neighbors
at risk. She also put the health of the police at risk due to the decomposition.
This was also about the time when she was busy putting together the 2101
overpriced fencing project. She probably didn’t have time for the
concerns of the homeowners. As a side note to the fencing project, if the
Board goes along with Tina’s usual contractor and ignore the bids
from different companies ( 2 so far) that we are submitting, we the homeowners
could lose another $12,500, making it about $25,000 loss to the homeowners
which could have easily been avoided hiring contractors other than Tina’s
We are continuing to get bids for fencing project for the 2121
building. The fencing project for 2101 was finished last week for about
$21,000. This was done with getting 2 bids both from companies that follow
Tina to other properties, in other words the companies she has the Board
hire time and time again. For 2121 which is about the same size as 2101
we got an outside bid for about $8000 for exactly the same work. We got
another bid for it last week and this one came out for about $8100. That
means the homeowners according to at least these outside bids paid $12,500
to $13,000 extra for the 2101 building. When we asked Tina why she only
got 2 bids for 2101, she answered because the Board asked her to. So she
gets on the phone and gets her two usual contractors (m one with a one-page
website and no external links and the other that until recently had only
an answering machine and no website) and gets us a winning bid that looks
way overpriced. Surely the numbers can’t be that far off. Of course
the outside contractors have insurance that satisfies the requirement. We
asked Tina if she has even called them to ask questions if any and she responded
that the Board needs to get more bids!!
So to put this in perspective, for 2101 they only got two inside bidders
involved. For 2101 when Concerned Homeowners got involved and got extra
bids that were substantially lower and met the requirements, all of a sudden
they need more bids. Why weren’t there more bids necessary for 2101?
This is apparently what is costing us 3% increase in our maintenance fees.
A project that could be signed by a president who is not even authorized
to sign, and developed by the treasurer that is not even an owner of record!
Stan “The Man” and the Transfer fee
This is from Ward Lucas an author, an investigative journalist
and television news anchor. He has written a book “Neighbors at war”.
He talks about HOAs racist origins and its transformation into a lucrative
money machine for the legal industry. It’s a must read for homeowners
who plan on living in an HOA.
He has reported on a man in Colorado , Stan Hrincevich (www.coloradohoaforum),
who is fighting the HOA transfer fees. The HOA Managing licensing rules
are very weak for home owners and purposely left out specifics and justifications
regarding fees imposed by management companies on home owners. The HOA fee
is rarely if ever disclosed as a legal obligation.
Stan has been trying to educate the legislators about this scam. They probably
refer to photocopying costs which should not be more than ten bucks but
can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars for each purchase and sale. The
Colorado Legislature created an HOA Ombudsman office to muzzle Stan. However
like other weak laws trying to protect the home owners, the office has no
budget and no power. Texas and other states are pretty much in the same
situation. Stan is on the list of CAI’s worst enemies. Stan is a hero
to home owners.
Ward Lucas is another rare person trying to get justice for homeowners and
bring checks and balances to the HOAs. It is amazing that HOAs who so many
people live in them , have virtually no place for homeowners to file a simple
complain. The only available option for the usually ordinary , middle class
homeowner is an expensive lawsuit, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Ward
Lucas is another hero. You can order his book “Neighbors at war”
from Amazon. It is highly recommended.
mouse on the mat
This is what we found on July 23 on our doorstep. It is a mutilated
mouse with blood on its belly. Police was called and a report was filed.
We had our usual suspects which we told the police. This time however we
added the contractor whose next job at 2121 might be jeopardized by competitive
bid. He is after all, right now very close to our doorstep. This is all
speculation but can’t be too careful. This is a job that according
to the (illegal) treasurer might cost the homeowners 3% increase on their
maintenance fees. We will not sit back and let non-bidding by Tina or anybody
else at the Board to cost us this unjustified fee increase. We were planning
to go to each Board member’s house and interview them to see if they
knew anything about the mouse, but the timing wouldn’t allow it. We
will follow this with the advice of our council.
& documented-thief continues to work for an HOA
Here is another incident of embezzlement in an HOA. This man had
worked for an HOA for 15 years. The details are not revealed yet, but he
could have created fake companies and presented fake invoices or just had
direct access to HOAS account like a property manager in some cases or in
some other capacity. One thing for sure, he must have been very close to
the HOA Board. This was his second time. The first time he stole $160,000
and was convicted on that charge. This was his second time and this time
he stole $100,000. The sentencing had been delayed for the first case but
apparently somebody at the HOA let him continue working there and against
the best interest of the homeowners. It just makes people wonder about some
of these darn “non-profit” corporations that their board members
supposedly work for free!
as suspected Tina’s jubilation about having extra bids was not real.
The newly submitted bid which beat the Board’s bid by over $12,500
now should sit and wait till Fall for other bids. Let’s recall the
2101 bid was obtained without any outside bids and just the two usual contractors.
The Board was satisfied with the bid for $20,800 for 2101 (which is about
the same size as 2121) with the usual 2 bidders and when CH submitted the
new bid now they want to wait till Fall for more bids. In other words, they
were happy with the higher bid until a much lower bid came around. Let’s
add to the fact that they did not even ask us for more bids. We will provide
more anyway just to prove to the homeowners these contractors that follow
Tina to other properties, are the Board’s favorites at the expense
of the homeowners who pay for these. As one homeowner emailed us: The fences
don’t need to be repaired at all.
As you are aware, there is a plan to increase our maintenance fees
by 3% for the year 2016.
We think this is very unjust especially with the highest reserves we have
had in many years. At least the job should be done with no increase in maintenance
fees. At the same time we have a fencing project that initially was estimated
to be $56,000. There are only 2 buildings 2101 and 2121 that have their
fences replaced and this sounded as a very high number for a few pieces
of wood. We got the bids last month and for 2101 it was a done deal. One
of the usual bidders, you know the one that until recently didn’t
even have a website and only a voicemail won the bid. The price was $20,800.
This sounds very expensive for one building and reminds us all of that infamous
$300,000 carport deal that they got when most people thought it was not
even worth $100,000. The same carports that leak, and in general are of
For 2121 however we tried to stop this irresponsible spending behavior and
shop around as promised in previous postings. The two buildings are about
the same in size and number of fences and footage. We received a bid for
about $8,000 from an outside contractor. This is over $12,500 difference
that we could save from what we would presumably get from the winning bidder.
Concerned Homeowners was told there was no deadline and we even provided
the Board the required insurance that the company gave us. We sent that
to Tina. She seemed elated and thanked us. Let’s see if the new contractor
will actually get the job. We will keep you posted. If that happens there
should be no need for an increase especially with highest reserves and the
new savings. Why they use the same 2 contractors with one seemingly winning
the bigger bids is only left to homeowner speculation. This habit has also
caused homeowners to lose money and get stuck with interest to pay as in
the case of the carports.
True & documented- embezzlement-Property
manager as a fugitive-Video
The stories about property managers stealing money have become
all too familiar ( see different examples in earlier postings here). This
property manager in Florida is accused of stealing more than $225,000 over
a 2 year period by creating a bank account under a name similar to the HOA’s
insurance company. She would write checks and deposit them in that account
making it sound like the insurance bills were getting paid. The police have
been trying to find her and she is now a fugitive from justice.
Watch the video:
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your address box
One homeowner asked the Board for flags for the 4th of July celebrations.
She was told by Tina that the Board is saving every penny for driveway repair!
To our knowledge ,the subject of driveway repair has not even been discussed
and for sure not to the point of budgeting for it. And how much do flags
cost? $100 or so? What happened to having the highest reserves in 20 years?
When they also do the fences that are NOT in need of emergency repair to
the tune of $56,000 and then given to the usual contractor, designating
$100 or so for a patriotic celeberation is not much at all.
We see this as a nature of many HOAs all over the country where
they tell veterans to take down their flags and even threaten them with
This is what happened in Florida. It happened in a 2-story condo
community made up of elderly residents. This is the exact wording in a letter
sent by the investor to the residents:
“I am in the process of taking steps to dissolve the Association
of ___________ whereby all of the apartments that I do not own would be
forced to sell to me at the _____________ County Appraisers value,”
The investor is using the Florida 80% law, which it says if 80%
of the condos belong to one owner, the rest would have to sell at the county
Fortunately we don’t have this law in Texas where it could be embedded
in real estate property code. The 80% law can only help an investor, because
clearly anybody who wants to sell can sell theirs at any time. The condos
in Florida were sold 10 years ago for $35,000. The County appraised value
is a little over $13,000 , clearly reflecting homestead values. An investor
can easily take advantage of this law and save millions of dollars at the
expense of the homeowner who thought they had a place to live for life.
That is not all the problem. This talk of taking properties by force could
also scare away potential customers and drive down property values.
Texas fortunately being such a pro homestead state that it does
not have this 80% law and the Bylaws are written at 100% homeowner approval.
However, we do have this homeowner in our condo association who is also
trying to introduce this nasty 80% law to us that can only benefit an investor.
Lets not forget the Board has let her have the floor 2 years in a row in
the Annual Homeowner meeting. Losing control of your vote can only bring
disastrous results for you,the homeowner. Some homeowners have just bought
their place recently with twice the county appraised value.
As posted earlier here, there has been nobody that submitted their
name to the Nominating Committee that has been elected to the Board in the
past 10 years or so. It is a known fact here that the elections are fixed.
They are fixed because the vote tabulation cannot be independently verified.
Every year Tina brings a bag of proxies that contains signatures. We also
know they redacted the insurance files, they broke our bylaws by having
non-owners of record serving on the Board (and they still do about a year
after we discovered their 7 year old fraud), they use one-bid contracts,
etc. The new phenomenon and the latest to be concerned about, as we all
know is this homeowner who talks about how selling our property could be
so painless if we just relinquish control over our own vote and let 80%
decide the fate of the rest.
Let’s examine this scenario which could become very real. For example
an investor who comes along and talks to the Board expressing interest in
our property. His main objective is that only 80% need to be ok with it
and the rest would then have to sell. He doesn’t want to convince
everyone to sell and ask the Board to make his job easier. Presently this
cannot happen here and all us would need to sign our deeds individually.
The Board would then make things up and say many people have expressed interest
in this proposal and let’s put this to a vote. Of course not everybody
could be present and some would submit their proxies. Remember these could
be the proxies that could not be independently verified. After getting all
the votes, there could be a special meeting where all homeowners would be
invited to show how the voting went. We would all have to trust that bag
of proxies again. The votes would be tabulated (of course in front of us
to convince the gullible ones who trust the Board explicitly that they have
nothing to hide). The same way that the elections have been fixed year after
year, this one could be fixed too. After all, how would we know that the
owners signatures have not been forged? How do we know the No votes have
not been thrown out? If they send blank proxies like some owners do, how
do we know they have not been treated as blank and not a reflection of the
Board and this homeowner’s view and subsequently converted to Yes?
We could all lose our property with another sham election and getting just
half of what they are worth. Lets just say from the estimated market value
and averaging out for 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms here , the price for all 270 units
could be $27M. By playing this scenario the investor could save $13-15M
which is a lot of money for any size investor. This scenario might never
happen, but with this Board and Tina you can’t be too careful . Don’t
forget next year’s Annual Meeting.
Your biggest investment could be at risk.
Some homeowners could not find the HOA helpline we discussed before.
The number is
832-251-1874. We have to let you know, however, this number is really CAI
or the Community Associate Institute. In their article and announcement
in the Houston Chronicle, they talked about how they could help homeowners
deal with their HOAs. One of the areas they specifically mentioned was ,
legality of changing the positions of Board members without going through
an election. This is what this Board does pretty much every year , after
about ten years ago we gathered a petition and successfully removed the
then president. They decided to rotate the position so there would be no
more presidents be a target of a removal petition.
This is a question which clearly deals with the Articles and Bylaws. We
called them but they could not help us with our current problem, another
area of Articles and Bylaws, which is the obvious violation of Article 3,
section 3. This states the Board members have to be owners of record. Two
members of this Board were not when they were “elected” in 2008.
We also could not find anything in our bylaws that authorizes the rotating
of our Board member positions. What would that matter to this Board when
2 its members are not even legally elected?
In other words, don’t get your hopes high when calling that number.
We believe in the wave of current laws enacted against the runaway HOAs
in all states, CAI pre-empted the legislation and angry homeowners ,and
started this helpline to show there is help available for homeowners. It
clearly was not for us.
The best hope for homeowners would be to call Congressman Jim Murphy at
713-465-8800 and ask for more transparency laws for HOAs.
Each year the Board mails out a notice for Annual Meeting being
held in January. The notice before 2005 was sent every year about 2 months
prior to the meeting. The candidate(s) names appeared on the proxy slip
with a blank space next to their names for homeowners to vote for them or
leave blank. It was democratic, just like many other types of elections
at many levels, like city, state, etc. It was democratic because there was
no danger from anybody they didn’t approve, to get on the Board.
This was the case prior to 2005 when that nasty 25% maintenance fee increase
was imposed on the homeowners and made them angry and many had to sell.
That was when Concerned Homeowners started running for the Board and all
of a sudden the proxies had no mention of candidate(s) names. Also they
were so afraid of homeowners reactions that instead of sending the Annual
Meeting notice 2 months prior to the meeting they started sending it a week
before. As a property manager, Tina deals with many HOAs. For her and the
corresponding Boards, each HOA needs its own fix of problems ( theirs).
Their main problem according to this Board and by relationship Tina was
and has been Concerned Homeowners. We have long suspected that Tina was
the main culprit in the plan to take out all names from the proxy slip.
We still believe that to be true. Of course there is a possibility that
the Board had some hand in it, but we think she had the most participation.
As homeowners who have been to the meetings are aware, she does come up
with solutions. That’s her job. Lets also not forget that according
to her own admission , she was aware that the 2 “Board members “
were not owners of record and were in violation of our bylaws Article 3
, section 3, in 2008. She was also aware that in 2013 the new candidate
that lost was also not an owner of record, but was allowed to participate
by her. To think that she came up with the plan to take out candidates names
off proxies, in 2005, and only give the Annual Meeting notice a week before
the Annual Meeting is not much of a stretch. She has no respect for our
bylaws. That’s why we think the laws are so heavily stacked against
the homeowners. There hardly is any recourse for the homeowners as far as
the laws are concerned. There must be an independent state agency with enforcement
powers monitoring HOAs. The priority for us is to start fresh with another
property manager and management company.
As mentioned in the May 31 posting , we got 2 bids from the same
companies that bid over and over again and win small or larger contracts
every time. This time the company that only had a voicemail and no website
until a few months ago but had done many jobs over the past few years, got
the lower bid and presumably will do the job. The bid for 2101 comes to
about $20,800. Since 2121 is the about the same size as 2101 , we thought
together could be about $42,000. As homeowners who were in the Annual Meeting
recall, the Board member ( who happened to be one of the 2 illegal members
, meaning he is in direct violation of our bylaws, and is the treasurer)
told everybody the job will be about $56,000. When we asked Tina about this
apparent $14,000 difference, she said she didn’t know why.
In continuation of our pursuit to stop the maintenance fee increase,
we decided to introduce some fence companies. According to Tina, 2101 has
already been approved; no need for new fences for 2201 and only 2121 would
need new fences. We asked Tina how we could bring new bidders. She responded
that new bidders are welcome with “correct insurance”. We asked
a current copy of the “correct insurance” of the 2 which will
bid and of course are the only 2 that were considered for 2101 so we could
ask the new companies if they carried the same. The answer from Tina was
to wait till next week. We don’t find her to be particularly eager
for new bids. Let’s remember the other 2 bids for 2101 took 9 days
to be ready for pickup.
Same old cast of characters
We picked up the so-called bids from the management
company. As expected it was the same old “bidders”. The one
that always seems to be getting the smaller jobs and the one that always
seems to be getting the major jobs. No other bidders were solicited. This
is what is basically going on in many HOAs. Lack of competitive bidding.
This is why we believe the primary reason we are paying 3% increase in our
maintenance fees. We are pretty sure this is final, but we will pursue this
in the coming days.
Let’s summarize: the repair is not urgent
,however it will be done, the reserves are at the highest level in many
years, and the maintenance fees will be raised.
As the readers of this site are aware, we are facing
a 3% increase in our maintenance fees. Let’s remind everybody, we
have had the highest reserves in many years and we are doing a minor repair:
internal fences. The price tag is $56,000, provided by a Board consultant,
which seems high to begin with for a relatively few pieces of wood. The
Board as we have mentioned numerous times, seems to have gotten stuck on
one vendor. This vendor has a website with no external, link but seems to
be getting all the major repair jobs. He also follows Tina to other properties
she manages. We had also asked the Board many times both in Annual Meetings
and through emails with Tina, to get more competitive bids, and basically
shop around. Last week, in the ever pursuit of transparency we asked Tina,
the property manager and the Board spokesperson to see if there were any
bids. She said there were but there were more expensive than the above mentioned
vendor. So we asked for copies of those extra bids. She let us know they
would be ready next Friday, in other words fully 9 days to get some recent
documents for us. This was a recent bidding process. We asked her why it
would take this long when she should have at least a copy on her computer.
Why does it really take 9 days to give us a copy of the extra bids?
May be the new HOA helpline could be of any help. Seems like dues paying
homeowners have no recourse.
posted here repeatedly, we are facing a 3% increase in our maintenance fees
which we feel is fully unjustified. We have an energy company that has a
3-year contract with us . The contract is coming to an end in February 2016.
The energy company is located one floor above the offices of our management
company.We thought we provide some competition and find a lower bid and
save us some money so we don’t have the increase. We found a company
and gave the number to Tina 4 days ago. According to her she called the
next day and found we have to wait till December to get a quote because
of changing prices. She even gave us the contact as we had requested. We
called to verify. They had never heard of her or talked to her!!
we told her that she had no answer.
We will wait till December for that, but the fence
job is another area that we could provide Tina some competition . Lets hope
we can find a lower price. We will provide the numbers, will ask Tina to
call and get a quote. We will then call the company to verify. If we save
some money, and with the highest reserve they have had in 20 years , there
should be no need for increase. Lets hope when we call these they have heard
form her prior .
Community Associate Institute
Community Associate Institute (CAI) is an organization that works
Management companies and HOAs and provide education, help, etc.
In 2008 and as you know with Tina’s full knowledge and other Board
members full knowledge, two non-owners of records were elected to our Board
of Directors. This was a direct violation of our bylaws Article 3, section
3 and have put us in legal danger . There have been 2 attorneys legal opinion
that Tina and the Board were in breach of fiduciary duty. After 6 ½
years that we found out (with the efforts of one alert homeowner), and let
Tina and the Board know, that we have caught on to their game. Of course
as we all know , in HOA matters unless there is an outside agency with enforcement
powers that can affect things, these common people (Board members and property
managers) with extraordinary power given to them, can do anything they want
which included breaking rules and regulations with total impunity. The only
remedy for the homeowners would be through the courts, meaning having to
go outside the HOA laws. The laws are woefully inadequate and do not protect
homeowners, case in point.
We brought the matter to the attention of CAI and asked them to call Tina
and see why she did that. Let us remind you that according to Tina the owner
of the management company has also been aware of it at least since August
They did make the call and Tina’s answer as the Board spokesperson
was that , one has been corrected. She referred to our illegal president
and that after probate proceedings in 2013 (meaning 5 years after she got
elected) she is now an owner of record. This is patently false. She would
have needed to resign from the Board first and then run in her first legitimate
election. She has not done so yet. We contend, any documents signed by her
as president ( and there have been many even before she became president
and as the secretary) can be legally challenged. The other one , CAI was
told, has been addressed by the Board. This is the same Board who has known
about the illegalities of these 2 since 2008. In other words nothing will
change and the HOA games continue.
CAI has recently setup a helpline for homeowners which you can get from
their website and can answer some questions. There was no help available
in this matter as expected.
& energy bids
As readers of this website are aware, we will be facing a 3% increase
in our maintenance fees when our reserves according to the Board are at
their highest in many years. If we consider the age of the building, the
magnitude of the job which is very small and an expected one-bid contract,
the suggested amount of $56,000 seems very high.
We want to stop this unjust increase. To repair the fences would be ok if
the costs are absorbed, but barring that, the interest of the homeowners
should come to the forefront.
We asked Tina, considering the energy company's contract being up in 7 months,
if the Board has started getting bids. The answer was no. When we asked
why, she responded because they want to keep the low price. We asked how
she knows this particular company which happens to be one floor above the
management company, is the cheapest, she stopped answering. We will not
stop pursuing this matter. Also the fence contract should have more bidders
than the usual one-page website with no external links guy. Homeowners should
be outraged and demand that the Board get more bids, so we don’t have
the unjustified 3% increase in our maintenance fees. The management company
after all is a hired hand. Is Tina making all the decisions for them?
As posted here before and many homeowners are aware of, our energy
company which is basically a broker of energy, is located one floor above
our management company. There were no other bids in hiring that company.
The contract is up for renewal next February. When we asked the management
company about any plans to get extra bids this time to find a company with
lower rate, the answer was basically no. Let’s remember we are facing
a 3% increase in our maintenance fees and we thought it would be a good
idea to negate that by getting lower energy prices. Why would anybody be
against that? Shouldn’t keeping the maintenance fees steady an important
objective of our Board who seems hell bent on pleasing the management company?
We say that because the contractor (the one with a one-page website and
no external links) also seems to follow the management company at the exclusion
of other bids and the Board has no objection to it.
This is only the result of one-sided HOA laws giving the power to the common
man with no independent agency to supervise him and expecting fair results.
Homeowners will end up paying for in this non-competitive bidding environment.
True & documented-Questions
about management company mishandling money-video
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As visitors to this site are aware, the homeowner in the Annual
Meeting had talked about changing our bylaws. She had “taken the lead”
to change our bylaws so that if 80% of the homeowners wanted to sell the
rest 20% would have to sell also. Currently its 100% meaning everybody would
have to agree to sell. As how commonplace and presumably good this was she
brought an example of a condo about 3 miles from us. We got some information
of 3 of the former residents who had lived in that complex. They said that
they were basically robbed and were very resentful of the fact that they
did not have any say in the matter. They believed they could have got a
lot more for their property but were forced to sell. They had maintained
their property for years , just to see it taken away from them with no input
from them, the owner. All this comes as a result of , in our opinion, not
getting involved. The one thing that developers, and people who have interest
in changing the bylaws regarding sale of the property as a whole, prefer,
is a lack of homeowner participation. The less information about the process
and its consequences the better and faster the process would work for them.
They’d rather the bylaws be changed with no problem and of course
legally ( to withstand a possible fight in court),with minimum homeowner
participation and without light shining on the process. Just have the homeowners
look at the finished process and abide by it.
As far as we know most people here would rather the property not be sold
at all. This is a great place to live with properties appreciating more
and more everyday. If there is a sale, it would be the responsibility and
decision of its owner and nobody else. This right should stay with the homeowner
throughout his/her ownership. Anything less than that , like losing your
rights to sell or hold as you please is Un-American and not to mention costly
to the owner.
As posted a few months ago here, the Chevron station at the corner
was demolished. It is rumored a bank will be put in its place. As we see
another multi-million dollar project being built within walking distance
from us, it also shows the loaded 80% project. We refer to the efforts of
this homeowner who keeps attacking our property values at the Annual meetings
with the blessing of the Board. Every day there is construction going on
around us and this homeowner wants to reduce the requirement of selling
our property as a whole from 100% approval to 80%. We ask again, what is
her motivation? Why does the Board sits in silence ,letting her lecturing
us? She wants to show us how we can get rid of our prime property by agreeing
that with only 80% approval of homeowners , the rest would have to sell.
This sounds ridiculous at the least and questions(several types) at the
We just had another Annual Meeting with some concerning news. The illegal
president gave her address. The equally illegal treasurer talked about a
new project. Let’s recall neither one of the 2 were homeowners , or
more specifically owners of record as stated to be a requirement to be a
Board member in Article 3, section 3 of our bylaws when they joined the
Board in 2008. The public records are for everybody to check at County Clerk
downtown. We also witnessed another illegal act. The president switched
his position with the secretary. So the secretary who was illegal to begin
with, was promoted to president. There is nothing in the bylaws that would
suggest this is legal. Of course when they get on the Board without deed,
you don’t expect them to follow anything else in the bylaws. For them
it’s all play is ok at whenever and whatever. They hire one company
and give all the major jobs to him, who still has a one-page website with
no external links, and get on the board violating our bylaws , switch jobs
with each other, redact documents from Hurricane IKE. This is the level
of respect they have for homeowners. The former president according to himself
was intrigued by the job of the secretary so they switched positions! Just
like that. We of course did not have any increase in our maintenance fees
for this year. This makes it a 2% increase for the past 6 years. However,
things are changing. The illegal Board member leading this renovation talked
about the fences. According to him they are in need of repair. He has gotten
a proposal for $56,000. We found out it was from a consultant to the Board.
The bidding hasn’t started and we believe there will be none. There
will be the usual contractor with the familiar trucks that seems to be getting
the major jobs every time. For primarily this he wants to raise our maintenance
fees by 3% for next year. There are no major jobs left here, except to point
to some obscure repair and make us spend $56,000 on it. Why that is all
their bids are on the high side? It wasn’t long ago when we spent
an outrageous amount of $300,000 (plus interest) on our carports that by
many homeowners’ estimates were not worth more than $100,000. In one
sentence they mentioned, we have the highest reserve in many years and then
in the next sentence they say we need to raise the maintenance fees. There
is no need for repairing the fences and subsequent increase of our maintenance
fees. According to them we have the reserve to cover new ones, let alone
a relatively minor repair. The cost should be totally adsorbed with no need
for maintenance fee increase. You can call the Board and let them know you
don’t want your maintenance fees increased.
The most disturbing news from this Annual Meeting was from a homeowner who
single-handedly has decided to wholesale our property. This started 2 years
ago at the January 2013 Annual Homeowner meeting when somebody raised the
issue of selling our property as a whole and in response one homeowner (
a former Board member) declared that if 51% of the homeowners want to sell
, the rest would have to sell. Tina added that she thought it was 75%. Both
of these people should have been very familiar with our bylaws and such
nonsense should have never been introduced. If you recall we consulted our
attorney and found out that our complex is 100% ownership. That means every
one of us individually needs to sign our deed for the whole complex to be
sold. We sent a letter to the homeowners notifying them of this fact. The
next year in January 2014 meeting, the Board who was silent up until then,
was forced to admit that we really are a 100% membership complex. However
a homeowner got up, was given the floor even though she wasn’t running
for any position and told us that she had talked to a developer about buying
our property as a whole. Of course, by her action she was in effect lowering
our property values. By talking to a multi-millionaire (or probably a billionaire)
developer, she was introducing a sense of desperation to the developer.
She is free to sell hers but not make a decision on ours. This homeowner
cited, for example, a run-down complex located near the ____________, who
like ours had a 100% ownership and they changed it to 80% and were able
to sell it! She didn’t even say when this happened. The fact is, we
are still in a seller’s market. Our property is in a prime position
to get the highest value for it. Our property is where at least half a billion
dollars or more worth of construction is going around it right now, with
more to come at our doorsteps. It is located in a prime area of Galleria.
By changing from 100% to 80% as inherently suggested in the meeting, we
could lose 100% control. Why should we do that? Why is she concerned about
the rest of the homeowners? Why can’t the homeowner who wants to sell
her property sell hers and leave the rest of alone to determine our own
price? One would question, what is her motivation for doing this? Why does
the Board let her ramble on about the subject of wholesaling our property
with unlimited time to speak when everybody else has only a minute or so
to speak or ask a question? We don’t need to lose control over our
own property. In the coming months, we could receive a letter from the Board
or some other source telling us some “good news” about an “interested
developer”. This letter could suggest that we could “all make
money” or “we can all easily sell ours with one signature”
by agreeing to change the bylaws and go from 100% to 80%. Nothing can be
further from the truth. Only the owner of the condo can get the highest
value for his/her property. Only the owner knows how much money was put
into it and sells it whenever and for what amount they deem proper. Check
our website, concernedhomeowners.com of a developer who bought a complex
on the West Loop, not far from us with 10% over the appraised value and
not too long ago.
In our case, in our condos for example a 2 bedroom homesteaded condo was
appraised by County Appraisal District at about $67,000 , could be bought
by a developer for $75,000 if we lose 100% control of our condos. Where
in Galleria or any place decent you could move to at that price? Let’s
compare that to the new apartments that are currently built only few feet
away from ours that the starting asking rental price could be $2,000 or
more. Our place could be torn down with brand new modern-looking apartments
built in its place where we could sell ours for half or less of what we
could get for. This is a very special occasion that has come upon us. In
a very short distance between ________ and __________we have seen half a
billion dollars of construction or more being built right in front of our
eyes. There is more planned with 2640, 2650 and even 2411 which are rumored
to be torn down and luxury apartments built in their places. So in essence
we could be looking at a billion dollars’ worth of construction walking
distance to us with ours being the oldest and only multi-owned building
in the neighborhood, but located in a prime location and ripe for new construction.
We could be asking for the highest price for ours but instead what this
homeowner wants could end up being a gift to a developer. It could mean
that you could lose your property for half of what it’s worth. Nobody
can predict the future, but one thing for sure: losing 100% control of the
price of your property can never bring you the full price you deserve for
your condo at this prime location. We don’t need this homeowner’s
input as to how to sell our property, at what price and when. We are all
adult homeowners and we can analyze the market ourselves and determine the
price we could be asking for our condos. Any control less than 100% control
by us, could mean 0% control by us. We think a price of $150,000 for a two
bedroom and $100,000 price for a one bedroom is very reasonable. Some have
even suggested a price of $200,000 for the ones located on ______________.
These figures could go even higher as the new buildings get completed. Please
make sure you come to the next Annual meeting and ask this homeowner to
stop representing you in the sale of your condo .You will not be a winner
if you let a stranger take control of your property and let you lose your
say in this very important matter which is the sale of your own property.
Homeowner participation in the next Annual Meeting is very crucial and in
the meantime you can call the Board and let them know that you and only
you should decide about the sale of your property and no other homeowner.
As this property is coming to end of its natural life, please remember,
that you cannot put your trust in a group of people who redact documents
and disregard our bylaws. This cannot come to a happy and prosperous ending
if you don’t have total control of your own property.
Homeowners who in the past few years running for the Board, have
been familiar with this Committee. This is the “committee” where
homeowners who want to run for the Board first submit their names and then
start campaigning. This is a committee and is supposed to be a group of
people but it was just one person running it for the past few years. One
homeowner told us that by definition this committee was illegal since it
was only one person in it. Before Concerned Homeowners started questioning
the finances and getting into the details of the operations, anybody who
submitted their name and had the “approval” of the Board, won.
After that however, homeowners who submitted their names to this committee
batted zero. It was a sham and in the larger context it was part of what
we saw like, redaction of documents, non-homeowners serve as Board members
(which continues to today), one-bid contracts and so on. Even the person
who was running it , was aware of it but wanted to be there anyway. Her
reasoning was that she was trying to affect positive change. She was trying
to improve maintenance on the ground which she complained to Tina often
with little or no results.
She finally gave up and sold her property last week. It’s a shame
that good hearted people like her have to give up on their own property
because of lack of good upkeep by the management company which is their
main responsibility. She wasn’t trying to make a killing on her property
with all the construction going on around her place. She was just disgusted
and left. Lets vote to get Tina and Company out of here and have a better
management company here. It can only improve our place and bring the values
up even higher. It will be very interesting who the new committee member
will be . It would have to be a person(s) who thinks these are legitimate
committees and that one person can define a committee.
the exit gate
who reside on the property and others might have noticed the repair that
is being done at the exit gate. It happened about 10 days ago when about
2:30AM there was a noise outside and a homeowner got out to see what had
happened. Apparently a tow truck had run over our exit gate trying to get
in. The company was identified by this alert homeowner and even some pictures
taken. It was reported to the management company and because of this homeowner’s
efforts the tow truck’s insurance company is paying for the damages.
The repairs started the next day and most probably without any bids considering
the lapsed time between the incident and the start of the job . The company
that is doing it and probably for about $10,000 or more, is the same company
that has been doing all the work and without any substantial competition.
The same one that has a website without any external links and only a business
card on its only page.
Recently another terrific homeowner did some research on the internet
and sent us some results regarding our management company which included
all , as he put it, “ sorry reviews”. There was not one good
one there. What stood out the most was that the same company was doing other
jobs in other properties , again probably with no other viable competition.
We know that there are some plans to repair the fences and we believe the
same company will get the job for $56,000. This lack of competitive bidding
could bring us another 3% increase in our maintenance fees. We would be
paying the price of what we already should have the money for ( highest
reserve in many years). Please take the time and call the Board and let
them know all cost for this unnecessary repair should be absorbed by the
reserves. We should not have an increase in the maintenance fees in 2016.
True & documented- Video
This happened in Florida. Homeowners accuse condo board
of cashing in on their positions
Apparently the fences that are under consideration for replacement were
not redone after Hurricane Ike. They are the ones in the middle of the buildings.
Not all of them need to be repaired and to do a total redo at this late
stage is just another example of homeowners footing the bill for something
not necessary. Let’s remember the carports that were done for $300,000
when many homeowners and even 1 or 2 professionals commented they were not
worth more than $100,000. What makes it even more outrageous is that this
is the main culprit that is causing the maintenance fee to be increased
by 3%. Please take the time and let the Board know that you do not want
your maintenance fee increased. The reserves that according to them is about
half a million dollars and the highest in many years should cover that.
By the way, why do the Board’s numbers almost always come on the high
True & documented
This happened in Tennessee. There were several unauthorized withdrawals
were made from an HOA account totaling about $28,000 . The HOA filed a complaint
with the police. The person who was allowed to use the account for authorized
purposes is suspected.
You might be aware that 2640 and 2650 Fountainview are set to be demolished
(we don't know when).
We just heard that across the street at 2411 Fountainview ( same side as
our building) is also being bought ( or bought already) and will be demolished.
This shows the continuation of construction that we will see in the next
Many homeowners , both visitors to this site and others who receive our
letters are familiar with problems we have had over the years with the Board.
They have ranged from increases in maintenance fees, to lack of care , but
most importantly lack of transparency. They are using what amounts to be
laws biased towards the Board that helps preserve the power of developers
over the homeowners. It creates a Board of “yes” people to help
the developer implement what it wants and whenever it wants it. It has created
sham elections with a total control over everything. In reality it is a
Our developer is long gone , but this quasi government remains and so are
There is not one good argument that can be made for a non-profit corporation
redacting documents, not letting homeowners monitor elections and having
executive sessions . Not one good argument can be made for a management
company ( a hired hand) getting those redacted documents ahead of a homeowner,
examine it first and then hand it over to the homeowner, after making sure
it is ok. Matters regarding homeowners behind in their maintenance fees
can be referred to our attorney for possible legal action. An executive
session as far as we know, has no written minutes . Anything can be discussed
in private. Due to lack of an independent agency to voice complaints, this
Board and others like it have done what they wanted to do over the years.
Lets not forget our 2 illegal Board members who were not homeowners when
they joined the Board in 2008 with the blessing of our management company.
One of them still isn't and plans to order a fence job for us and raise
our maintenance fees by 3%. Many frustrated homeowners have done the most
effective thing they could do in response. They have called their State
Representative and registered their complaints against their HOA. For all
the money donated by rich lobbyists, at the end of the day a representative
would be most concerned with a vote against him/her in an election and losing
their seat. Our representative is Mr. Jim Murphy and can be reached at 713-465-8800.
We found his office to be very receptive to our complaints specially for
lack of transparency. They were very attentive and caring and wrote down
every one of our concerns. We urge homeowners to call Mr. Murphy’s
office and voice your complaints. The legislation is in session now and
because of so many complaints from all over Texas over the years, they are
changing more laws to the benefit of the homeowners and are bringing accountability
to HOAs and people who are running it. Lets not forget that we would need
transparency specially now that we see a homeowner is attacking our property
values and the Board giving her the floor for the second year in a row.
Lets help ourselves in these uncertain times by calling Mr. Murphy's office
and ask for more transparency for HOAs. Transparency can only help us ordinary
Update on Florida condo
As visitors to this website might be aware, we had mentioned the Florida
80% law in our earlier postings. This law states that if 80% of units in
a complex want to sell, the rest should sell. It’s a rarely used law
created in 2007 but no doubt pushed to become law by investors and developers
. As you might recall, this did happen in Florida and our postings about
that started April 6,2014. We don’t have such a law in Texas , but
a subdivision can change its bylaws. The Florida homeowners who were going
to lose joined together and filed a lawsuit to stop it, and just last week
, they lost. How could they win? It was already the law. Its hard for an
average homeowner to overturn the law. You can see some similarities with
1. The homeowners in Florida bought their condos recently for over $300K
and now have to sell for $75K (investor offering) . We have many new homeowners
at our place who bought theirs recently for $100K and more. If an investor
offers to buy ours as we said they could go about 10% over and buy our 2-bedrooms
for $75K. This is a huge loss for a new homeowner.
2. We don’t have an 80% law but this homeowner (we believe with the
cooperation of the Board ) is trying to bring this nasty and totally unnecessary
law to us.
3. Just like the ones in Florida, ours is located in a very desirable part
of town and very attractive to investors. Of course we don’t need
for this homeowner to talk on our behalf. If she wants to sell hers, she
can do that at any time. She should mind her own business and stop being
a broker for the rest of the homeowners.
We have between half a billion dollars and probably $ 1billion dollars
being built right near our doorstep from Westheimer to San Felipe. There
is no reason to file sale our property. She needs to stop interfering in
As you know we have warned homeowners about some activities regarding the
sale of our property. One busybody homeowner who according to herself is
“taking the lead” on this, at our Annual Meeting , told us that
an apartment complex located about 2 miles from us had a 100% homeowner
approval needed in case they wanted to sell the whole complex. No developer
wanted that presumably because they had to get the deed from each individual
owner . They had a change of bylaws and were able to change the requirement
to 80% and the property was sold just like that! This self-appointed broker
of our property compares our prime location in the heart of Galleria and
on a major street to a side street with a much smaller area.
We did some digging into our bylaws and found out a change in our bylaws
can also be done very easily. Just look at Article IX under Section4. Amending
the bylaws can be done at a regular meeting of the members, by a vote of
2/3rd of the members present , in person or and here are the key words “by
proxy”. As we know with fraudulent election that cannot be monitored
; and nobody in the past 10 years who has submitted their names to the Nominating
Committee has been elected to the office and with Tina’s bag of proxies,
a 2/3 vote can easily be achieved. Then the bylaws can be changed to 80%
owner approval and our property can be sold by probably 10% over the HCAD
appraised price. This could mean you can lose your property of lets say
HCAD-appraised of $67,000 for $75,000 which is half of what you can get
for if you want to wait (probably even more like $200,000 for the ones located
on the main street).
Homeowners need to be warned of this homeowner’s activity which apparently
had the Board’s approval too, because she got the floor for the second
year in a row and was not even running for a position. They just sat there
in silence and let her give her full presentation. We don’t know what
hers and their motivation is , but at the end we cannot fare well with losing
our 100% control.
We received some inquiries about the 3% increase and the issue of the fences.
The 3% increase is being planned for next year. We have no increase for
this year. The increase comes for that little pet project of that illegal
Board member (a person that with the blessing of the Board has been on the
Board for 7 years without a deed under his name) has cooked up. He wants
to repair the fences that along with other repairs that were done after
hurricane Ike. This comes at the cost of $56,000 , all to be paid by the
homeowners. Why does that need to be repaired at all? There is nothing wrong
with the fences. We asked Tina and she responded it was just a figure given
by some consultant and not any company per se. We got the person’s
name. Homeowners need to be very vigilant on this issue. Before we know
it, all the so-called bids would boil down to one company that has been
doing all our work to the exclusion of any other bids. This is he same company
that as of today’s post still has a one-page website with no links
or explanation as to who they are, how they were founded or any relevant
information about them. This also reminds us of that infamous carport project
that was done for $300,000 and without consulting the homeowners. We paid
interest on top of that. Lets not this bad history repeat itself at the
tune of $56,000 and 3% irreversible maintenance fee increase. Please take
the time and let the Board know you oppose this project if the cost is not
absorbed. You can call Tina to reach the Board and express your opinion.
Meeting last night-3% increase and conspiracy against homeowners
As expected the incumbents won last night. Some homeowners including the
ones that ran last night and pretty much never campaigned or knocked on
people’s doors, still believed the election was about qualification.
Nothing can be further from the truth. They touted their experience in running
other associations or their experience in real estate and lost to a bunch
of proxies brought over by Tina which they had no way of validating them
independently. Of course as we know one of the incumbents won re-election
without a deed!! Please recall that 2 weeks ago we asked Tina a rhetorical
question , that if we could inspect his deed. She said no ( there is no
deed to inspect). The manegement comany committed another breach of fiduciary
duty by holding this election. We will continue to follow that with appropriate
authorities and we will let you know. It is too dangerous a liability to
have at our expense for their friendship When people hide things , they
naturally can only trust the ones that know what the truth is. Nobody else,
as long as they could help it (like defeating them in election) should be
able to be in on it. Lets also mention that the illegal president gave the
address. A funny tidbit was when homeowners asked the previous president
why there was a change and he is the new secretary. He responded he wanted
to see the challenges involved with that position!! He didn’t mention
what was so intriguing for him to give up his position and commence what
amounts to clerical duties. Of course in an earlier posting we let you know
that there is nothing legal that could be found in our rules and bylaws
authorizing that. What we believe the reason is, was the removal of the
previous president with petition after he had become a target. They learned
their lessons and now they play musical chairs with the position so not
one person becomes a target.
This also showed that people who submit their names to the Nominating Committee
have yet to win an election ever since Concerned Homeowners started running
for the Board 10 years ago. It just shows a sham of an election that we
have. We asked the very well-meaning and well-intentioned lady who is on
that committee to give up this ceremonial post that has never yielded a
winner. It’s the Board way. It’s the common man/woman’s
way who has figured out how to hide things by redaction, one-bids, etc.
They ask people who have good names and really care for the property, to
take over this role and legitimize this election.
We found out that the letter all homeowners received regarding the management
company increasing its prices was actually not right. The true budget was
handed out last night.
More importantly, the illegal incumbent who won last night introduced us
to his pet project about fences. Apparently with the price of water and
sewer going up by the city( we will verify that), there is an urgent need
for $56K repair. After saying this is the highest the reserves have been
since many years, now they would need to increase our dues by 3%. We attribute
that solely to the fences. If the dues can be kept steady, and the fences
don’t look like they are in dire need of repair, why go through an
expensive $56K repair. This reminds us of the $300K carport a few years
ago that we were told was worth only about $100K. We had to get a loan for
that. With enough bidding the cost can be absorbed and no need for dues
Most importantly last night, was a talk about developers buying our place.
There has been no such talk or intentions as far as we know outside this
annual meeting. There has been one homeowner who keeps insisting on that
and she even mentioned she is a taking a lead on that. For the record nobody
that we know has asked her to do that. As we let you know in advance a year
and a half ago that it would need 100% of homeowners to sign on their deeds
individually. This homeowner however brought an example of a condo nearby
who had a 100% in their constitution and they changed it to 80% and were
able to sell it!! That condo is not nearly well-positioned as ours ,it is
much smaller than ours and moreover we don’t need to sell ours without
a developer coming to us first. The action of this homeowner, talking to
investors as if we are all desperate to sell is the height of irresponsibility.
It was very soon picked up by some members of the Board and even some homeowners
who rather sell at whatever price they think would be best for everybody.
This is a conspiracy against all homeowners who can and should command a
price of $100K for one bedroom and $1450K for a 2 bedroom, nothing less.
This is our estimate for now and it could even go higher depending on more
and more construction coming here like 2640 and 2650 FV. We also have heard
from some credible sources that the ones across the street from these 2
buildings are also being sold for new development. This is nothing short
of a conspiracy to get our valuable property with loose , inexperienced
and dangerous talk. We demand that homeowners who have this plan to stop
talking about the whole place as if they own it and talk about theirs only
and leave the other homeowners alone. As you can see more homeowner participation
and concern will let anybody ( developer or agenda-driven homeowners) that
we will not let our constitution change for this. We will sign our own deed
when the time comes and only when we feel we get the right price for our
As you might be aware, the management company will be charging us an additional
2%. There is nothing extra added, nor any new services . There have been
several calls and emails to Tina regarding the condition of the property.
There were concerns about filthy stairwell, driveways , trash in many places.
Those calls did not do anything, and usually answered with one word “yes”,”No”,
“Ok”, etc. in her emails. Nobody can remember the last time
anybody has spotted her walking the property. The Board in cooperation with
the management company and against homeowner interests has devised this
budget. Why are we paying an additional 2% with the Board approval with
no positive changes? It states the last increase was in 2013, as if now
its ok for them to charge us another 2%. Then again what do you expect from
a Board that in its membership has individuals who got on it without any
deed in their names.
If you remember seeing Tina on the property for any reason ( we hope it
would be inspection) please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org with
the date and time.
Its time for the management company to go.
HOA-wrongful profit- click on the link below to see the video:
We just found out that there are 2 people who are running for the 2 positions
available on the Board. Apparently they haven’t been to the Board
“elections” or simply don’t know that this all a sham.
As more evidence of this being a sham, the illegal and current Board “member”
is running for re-election. He is campaigning and asking for your votes!!
Lets remind you this individual should not even be allowed to be in the
room on the 20th.
By the way, don’t these 2 candidates knock on doors and ask for votes?
Do they think qualification is good enough to get on this Board? May be
they should look at the 2 illegal Board “members” who are on
the Board including the president.
Lets all remember the president who will be giving the address on January
20th is NOT legal. All Board members are required to participate in an election
(with overwhelming number of proxies or not) as a homeowner. She never did.
This is not like rotating presidencies and musical chair that they play
every year or so. They have to be legally elected. It doesn’t matter
that they don’t care about the bylaws they are supposed to uphold.
We are fighting this unjust and illegal Board “membership”.
Lets also not forget, that the other illegal Board “member”
is running for re-election.
True and documented
This happened in Connecticut . A lawsuit was filed against a management
company that managed 8 associations . It said that $1M was missing from
the bank accounts of these HOAs. The comptroller for the company was sentenced
a few days ago to 10 months in prison and 3 years supervised release. On
a federal charge he was found guilty of embezzling $108,000. He was employed
as the vice president and comptroller for 25 years.
For the record
Concerned Homeowners emailed Tina last week and what we got was a rhetorical
Q. Can homeowners come and inspect (the incumbent’s) deed.
Q. Why can’t we come and inspect the deed?
We are still waiting for the answer from 8 days ago.
It just shows this fraudulent election. We have notified some private organizations
and the latest news , they have not returned their calls either.
HEB & Chevron
For those homeowners who do not know yet, current HEB will cease to exist
on February 17th, and the new HEB will start operations on February 18th,
the next day which is about a month and half from today. Across the street
and at the corner apparently Chevron will change to a bank.