For petition to remove the current property management
We got a hold of the contract.
After going through it we found out that there is no mention of that $98 fee. In
other words, the $98 fee is outside the contract and is probably an afterthought.
The Board who has the contract knew this and did nothing. Moreover , we have to
pay for extra signals coming through extra TVs. This is not what we have now. Many
if us have extra TVs with boxes that we get signal from , at no additional cost.
This is a contract that was signed in July and there would have been plenty of time
to send us the details. They didn’t. They sent us an undated letter about 2 weeks
ago to sign up for the TV contract by October 20th. The Board and the management company sat
idly by and let them send this to us with little or no information. There could
be more ugly details coming out after the installation that we don’t know about.
Lets not forget that the illegal
president signed on this contract.
Looks like once again homeowners
are last on the Board’s mind. Many homeowners have called , emailed us and talked
to us complaining about the new TV deal. They are upset about having to buy another
set of boxes that not too long ago , they paid handsomely for the ones they have.
There have been no offers of rebates, discounts or anything else , even though it’s
the same company that has become one with the dish company. Why didn’t the Board
negotiate a deal so the homeowners don’t have to pay $98 for a box that just receives
signal? The answer probably lies somewhere in the area of not caring and incompetence.
Remember this is the same Board that to this date has not unredacted the documents
we asked for months ago.
Who put their signature on it?
The president who just became legit 5 months ago, after being illegally on the Board
for six and a half years. The Board probably thinks now that the Board “member”
has a deed, everything is ok. As one attorney told us, all decisions retroactively
can be challenged because of the situation this Board has put us in and continues
to do so.
2008 Annual meeting
We put the question to Tina directly:
Did you know the 2 Board member candidates were not owners of record when they joined
the Board in the 2008 Annual Meeting? Her answer: yes
This shows a cooperation between
the board members and the management company to what our attorney and another attorney
called a breach of fiduciary duty. This has put us in a very dangerous position
as homeowners , to challenge our rulings issued by this illegal board. This includes
loans they signed, maintenance fee increases, foreclosures (if any), liens, etc.
By the way, their going to the
attorney, instead of accepting they have been caught red handed and correct it,
cost us $265, plus nothing was solved and the problem still exists.
As you have been
following these most disturbing news about the Board, our attorney also responded
to their letter. According to our attorney and another legal consultant , both the
Board and the management company are in breach of fiduciary duty. The rules are
clear. Any outsider including attorneys, title companies , etc., should be able
to conduct an independent title search , and be able to find if the people presiding
over the Board are actual homeowners or not. In our case in 2008 ,when these two
individuals joined the Board, both the Board members at the time and the management
company , had the fiduciary duty to make sure they were homeowners. They have not
only left us at the risk of great liability, but in legal opinions , they are in
breach of fiduciary duty. According to the latest news, they have not been removed.
Seems like the Board cares more about protecting itself by spending our money and
going to an attorney , rather than protecting us for free.
Board went to the attorney
As you have been
following with the previous posts, we had sent a demand letter asking the proven
non-homeowner members to be removed. The Board has been caught red handed. On September
the 4th , the Board had a meeting and had a chance to correct this wrong.
They didn’t. Instead of that, they decided to defend the indefensible and went to
the attorney. Instead of money that was supposed to go towards improvements , they
decided to spend our money on legal fees to demonstrate and not to prove , that
these two are in fact homeowners. We received the instruments that we had researched
weeks ago from
Clerk. Homeownership is not up to debate, speculation , or description of events that
could result in ownership. They should have a deed before running for the Board.
The two individuals had no deed under their name before joining the Board in January
2008 . To prove homeownership, all a person has to do is to conduct
a title search at Harris County Clerk Office . If these two units were being sold in 2008,
the two 2 Board members would not be the ones signing the deed to transfer title
to these two units. Not only we found that out , but we also had a professional
abstracter do a title search. These two individuals were not homeowners when they joined the
Board in January 2008. The continued service by these two individuals can
only expose all of us to further liabilities. We are asking the Board to remove
these two individuals without further delay. We have instructed our attorney to
send a response.
As some of you might know, in
our banana republic, the Board plays a musical chair with the presidency. They rotate
the members. We just found out the previous president is out as president, but is
still a board member. The new president is one of the two illegal board members.
This has even more ramifications. The president is the one that signs on new loans,
contracts and worse : foreclosures. How can a property be foreclosed with the signature
of a non-homeowner? How can a loan be signed with the signature of a non-homeowner?
This puts all of us in a legal
bind. There have been many homeowners who have been punished financially and even
lost their homes because of the wrongful actions of its Board. Let hope we are not
one of them.
We now know as of 2008 , one board
member (who still is one), was there when the two illegal board members joined in.
We have no reason not to believe the other ones joining later on not knowing about
it. When it all comes down to responsibility and obeying the rules and regulations
, there is no excuse for not knowing. Remember, having a deed on file is the requirement
to even attend the Board meetings , let alone being on the Board. It just seems
like with their last decision of a no decision , that friendship trumps our laws.
We are currently examining our options to see how best to proceed in removing the
No decision yet!!!
Looks like the Board had a meeting couple of days
ago. The request for the removal of the illegal Board members had been submitted
weeks ago. Lets keep in mind , the deed for those members should have been on file
before they first got on Board. Lets also remember the redacted files that we requested
to be sent to us unredacted. The result of the meeting: NO DECISION. So in other
words, as far as this Board is concerned the bylaws mean absolutely nothing to them.
Friendship or other unknown reasons take precedent over bylaws. The fact that all
decisions past , present or future could contain huge liabilities for unsuspecting
homeowners mean nothing to them. We put Tina on notice that as the representative
of her company she is aware of this blatant violation of the bylaws. With all the
awards they have received over the years and the owner of the company also aware
, they are in effect accepting the situation and have not canceled their contract
with us on a 30 day notice as stipulated in our contract with them. For the Board
we are examining our options to see what can be done in this obvious sham of a situation.
Again, this is what happens when common man is left to its own devices. Friendships
can trump bylaws. Real homeowners and their interests are set aside.We will keep
August 25, 2014
We called and did a follow up on the illegal "board
members". Please remember everyday that these two nonhomeowners are acting as board
members, could spell a huge liability for every one of us. This is a liability that
could be retroactive . The Board doesn’t seem to care. They knew from the beginning
, that they should have never been allowed to serve and yet they gave them seats
at the table. They even did executive sessions! They beat legitimate homeowners
all with the blessings of other Board members. We also let Tina and the management
know that at the latest since August 8th ,2014, they have been aware of this and
put on notice. No law-abiding management company should be a party of this blatant
violation of our bylaws. We were told the owner has also been notified since that
date. We will see how this progresses. This is most troubling . The common man is
putting everybody at risk. The termination of these two nonhomeowners should have
been immediate as requested in our certified letter. Why were they allowed to sit
at the table anyway?
Most of us have been to the homeowners meeting. We
also have received letters and notifications from the Board posted on our doors.
There have been people who had wanted to attend the meetings but were banned because
they were not owners. In fact one requirement of running for the Board has been
that a copy of the candidate’s deed must be on file. One thing we always assumed
and never questioned , was the Board members homeownership themselves. One very
intuitive mentioned that to us very recently. We were told that some were not actual
homeowners. We did a title search at County Clerk and we found out the homeowner
was right. Two “Board members" were not actual homeowners. There were no deeds under
their names. These are long-standing “Board members” who have made many decisions
, cast many votes and continue to do so. This also means that legitimate homeowners
lost to non-homeowners in the Annual Meeting voting charade where, independent monitoring
of the election is not allowed. Lets not forget that the Board found only one homeowner
that ran for the 3 spots available last year and could not fill the other 2 spots
. In other words the Board wasn’t able to put a respectable face on the election
that we all pay for. Could this be that homeowners know the game and the Board has
problem finding candidates? We also found out that the only homeowner who ran last
year was also not an actual homeowner! So to sum it up, last year, a non-homeowner
lost to another non-homeowner and the real homeowners watched from the sidelines!!
The election here is truly a joke. We sent a certified letter to the Board asking
the two individuals be removed immediately. This could bring serious liability issues
. All votes could be questioned. All decisions could be questioned.Because of the
shenanigans done here with the voting and proxies , we are now in unchartered territory.
The Board must have known and let them participate and even win. We truly don’t
know what can happen, as this is the height of irresponsibility, however one thing
for sure: The two individuals need to get off the Board immediately before putting
exposing all homeowners to needless risks. The following is the letter sent to the
Board on August 13. It has been editted with names deleted.
August 9, 2014
We posted here several times regarding the homeowners
in Florida whose condos were forcefully being taken away by a developer. The developer
wanted to take advantage of a Florida law and buy the properties at a now reduced
price. The law stated if 80% of homeowners sell , the rest have to follow. The condos
once worth over $300K were going for $75K, a huge loss for a homeowner that had
bought its unit within the past 3 or 4 years. .Its every owner’s right to hold on
to their property for as long as they pay their tax, mortgage and maintenance fees.
They should not worry about another elements and forcefully sign their deed away.
After the case got the attention of the media, now apparently the developer has
withdrawn its application for termination. This is good news, but developer setbacks
are usually never final. July 20,1014 About 2 months ago , we heard that the board
president was no longer there . Apparently he had resigned. This was just a rumor
and we didn’t care to call Tina and verify. After all,, who cares about a Board
that its president was not even at the meeting when he was elected about 4 years
ago? Who cares about the makeup of a board that elects its member by votes that
can’t be verified, or only has one bids on many jobs. The latest letter , suddenly
announced a new president. For most homeowners , this came as a surprise but for
a big number that we know, nobody cared. They stay on Board and lawyer up and spend
our money to defend their elections that cannot be confirmed independently and then
hire many contractors with only one bid. No others would need to apply. They then
,when they can raise our maintenance fees. Who knows what happens in a bunch of
common men who form a banana republic. We just have to do our own checking by auditing
and going over the individual checks issued by them.
The homeowner fight
in Florida, not of their own making continues
We posted a follow-up on June 29th , which was a follow-up from Aril 6 posting.
It showed how an investor was trying to take properties away from homeowners at
rock bottom prices. Units that had been appraised for over $300,000 were being taken
away from homeowners for about $80,000, because that’s what the homestead value
or county value showed . Now there are some other condominiums that are trying to
repeal the law. With a determined investor, options are very limited. This is true
in Texas too. Please read the postings for complete details.
Cats and dogs
We all received a letter form the Board full of advice
on everything including cats and dogs . The letter talks about city regulations
and that you should always put leash on your dogs and using phrases like “ no exceptions”
and “that means you” . This letter has been approved by the Board before being sent
out. That’s why it is so amazing that couple of Board members who have dogs, have
never been seen putting leash on their own dogs. This is the height of hypocrisy,
to threaten homeowners with fines and blaming them for being irresponsible dog owners,
while at the same time doing the same thing. This is the continuation of what we
have here which is common man , in the form a of Board member making laws for everybody
else but not themselves.
June 29, 2014
Earlier in April 6 posting, we talked about a condo association that was taken over
by an investor in Florida. The investor using a state law, was trying to take over
all the condos and turn them into apartments. Some of the condos were purchased
recently . The price the investor was offering , was causing huge financial damage
for those homeowners , resulting from the fact that the offer would not have come
close to paying what was owed to the banks. This means they would owe deficiencies
to those banks , because if they accepted the money the investor was offering ,
it would not cover the money owed to the banks. We just found out that the investor
has just filed a lawsuit against those homeowners, citing the Florida laws. This
law was amended in 2007 to make it easier for condominiums to be terminated. It
needed more than 10% of homeowners to object. Before the law one homeowner could
stop the termination. We don’t have such an anti-homeowner law in Texas, but investors
won’t run out of solutions in getting their projects going as we have listed numerous
examples in this site.
The first $150K condo for sale
We just found out about a homeowner who put their
2-bedroom condo for sale with the asking price of $150,000. This, with construction
around us , barely getting off the ground. If you are planning to sell your property,
as favorable it is to have a jump in values, you have to remember what you can replace
it with. If Galleria living is what you are looking for, it would be best to consider
what your options are. If you are not in a rush to sell , and with this being a
seller’s market , you might be advised to consider getting more for your condo located
currently in prime area of Houston and construction not even close to being half
way done, but supposedly being done by January 2015. We have also heard of some
2-bedroom condos listed above $100,000. It would all depend on your own particular
situation and your wants and needs.
This is what 2620 and 2630 look like now. Building is pretty much all over . The
latest news we have heard is that 2640 will be next to be demolished as part of
the 4 building construction. The County as one of the main renters over there will
be moving over to 2650.
Real estate agents
As you might be aware, we have recently been receiving
advertisements regarding specifically selling our properties.There is no mention
of buying anywhere. These advertisements have been in the forms of mail and posting
on our bulletin boards which until now with an unwritten law, were forbidden. They
usually would have been taken off about 15 minutes after they were put on to send
a message that only Board can put messages there. However, for some reason, these
ads are being accepted by the Board. Our message remains the same. Unless you are
in a hurry to sell, or you ask $100K for your 1 bedroom ,or $150K for your 2-bedroom
or $200K for your 3-bedroom, its best to hold on. The construction nearby is just
getting underway. These condos would look a whole lot better and in a greater situation
location wise, after the construction is finished. With limited research available,
and as far as we can tell based on other condos in similar situations, people who
hold on to the very last can expect to get the most for their condos, but situations
May 2, 2014
As posted here earlier, we have been asking for the
original insurance files for Hurricane Ike to be sent to us, unredacted and unopened
direct from the insurance company. After asking with emails to the management company,
we sent a certified letter to the Board asking them to us directly from the insurance
company. They had this ridiculous assertion that the ones we got , indirectly ,
was a result of copy machine malfunction all 500 pages or so! We are posting a sample
here again to refresh your memory. In this recent letter, we asked to send us a
brand new one , direct from then insurance company. This letter was sent in March
, 2014 , well ahead of their April monthly meeting. They had their April meeting
and we are now in May. Its safe to assume they don’t want to send that to us. This
adds to the fact , that the election cannot be monitored independently, the contractor
in reality is only one and the energy company was the only one solicited and is
one floor above our management company. Lets stand together that with this lack
of competitive bidding and lack of transparency, we don’t pay more in maintenance
fees this coming year.
Apartments across the street
As many of you know, we are the only apartment complex
between Burgoyne and San Felipe , that is multi-owned. In this hotbed of construction
activity, the latest rumor is that the apartment complex across the street from
us, could be next to be sold . The area is about the same size as ours. Details
are not known yet but we will keep you posted when we know more.
April 6 ,2014
Another bully tactic by an investor
This is what is happening in Florida. Apparently
under a law passed in 2007 if the mortgages are under water, the biggest owner can
buy the rest of the units whether they like it or not (it didn’t specify the percentage
ownership). The HOA is dissolving itself and basically lying doormat for the biggest
owner which is a company. The law has never been used and this is the first time.
More interesting is that, it was not indented to be used for solvent condos as this
is one. Now presumably this does not apply to us, but it shows that a big investor
, with many resources can find ways to get what they want. It also brings up some
questions: Do we have in Texas a similar law? Would it matter?
The company that lost the bids
We finally heard from the owner of the company that
lost the last 3 bids . Let us remind you that he is the owner of a company that
only has an answering machine and we could not find any websites associated with
his company. Since then however, we could find a website for him. He acknowledged
that he had placed a bid and well, he is basically on a 3-bid losing streak with
us. He sounded very nice. 1. why does the Board puts out the bids valued at about
$75,000 for only 2 companies? 2. why doesn’t the Board , announce its intentions
in a newsletter and with at least 5 verifiable bids so interested homeowners will
be able to check and verify?
As posted here , the new job at B & C buildings
cost over $23,000. It was correct. The company doing it did about $75,000 bid with
us in the last 4 months or so. It was virtually a one bid job. The owner of the
company that lost the bidding war finally contacted us and we talked to him and
he verified the other bid. Let’s not forget the winning company has a website with
no links. The company that lost the bidding war has only an answering machine and
no website. We are not talking about the quality of work, but the question is, why
does the Board get bids from companies who don’t even have the basics of advertising
down in this day and age? Why does the Board just get 2 bids and it seems to be
the same companies?
A new Board member?
As we all know, in the last Annual Meeting, the only
candidate running for the 3 vacant spots , lost again and the incumbents also won
again. A reminder: the Nominating Committee was not successful in finding 3 candidates,
only 1. Homeowners have caught on to the games being played here. The lone candidate
was told by a Board member with 100% guarantee that if he runs again he “will be
on the Board”. It was not “may be”, or “you might “ , or any degree of uncertainty,
but “you will be the Board”! Well , from a Board that self-elects itself and won’t
allow homeowners observing the elections from start to finish , we can expect that.
This is what happens when Texas laws favor HOAs and a common man (and in our case
underwhelming and unqualified group of people in our view) is left to its own devices
to interpret and implement the laws . Just as an update, the B building’s driveway
repair will start soon. The same company is doing it and has a potential to do about
$75,000 worth of business with us , in just 3 months without finding a need to advertise
its services fully , to the outside world. Tina update: In just one short month
we had 9 homeowners sign on the website for her removal. Apparently, the dissatisfaction
with her services run quite high with the comments we get that accompany their signature.
We expect many more in the coming weeks and months. Lets hope she gets the message
and go somewhere else.
Board's attempt at transparency
Over 2 months ago and via certified mail, we asked
the Board to release the insurance documents relating to Hurricane Ike. To refresh
your memory, the documents we had received was 80% redacted and totally unreadable
and therefore useless. One Board member attempted to address the issue in the Annual
Meeting but was quickly cut off. Later on in the meeting , we were told it really
was not redacted and it was a copy machine malfunction, i.e. an imaging problem!
There are about 500 pages in that document. The Board yesterday tried to sound responsive
and sent a message that we had really received it and if that was not good enough
we can send you another copy . Other words the same copy of what you see below plus
cost for copying! We let them know, the only acceptable copy would be from the insurance
company itself , directly to us and unredacted. We cannot trust any paperwork from
an entitiy that at the first step does not let homeowners monitor elections paid
by them. Lets see if the Board has nothing to hide and will send us a READABLE and
UNREDACTED copy of this insurance document to be reviewed by our experts. We are
not holding our breath on that. An example of what we got. Is this a copy machine
It was a one-bidder after all
As we try to get to know the vendors that do business
with our association, we started examining each contractor one by one. One of these
companies , as stated in an earlier posting, was a company that had won the bidding
war against the biggest provider of gas in Houston! We called that ridiculous and
insisted on seeing both bids. We finally did and just found out the contract from
the biggest provider did not even exist! That means it really was another one-bid
job as we had suspected all along . No response from the manager as to the conflicting
emails yet. We will keep going through these checks on a quarterly and individual
basis and keep getting to know our vendors.
More on driveway repair
We just found out that the cost for driveway repair
was a little over $25K. Together with the gutter and fascia repair on 2121 this
has amounted to close to $50K in contracts given to one company. Ofcourse we had
the usual loser who only has an answering machine and just like last time has not
replied to our phone call. It kind of reminds us of our elections that we already
know the result. By the way we have had a good number considering the time , signing
up for Tina's removal. We are still getting calls from homeowners that she hasn't
returned their phone calls or ignoring their request for various issues on our property.
A gang sign just painted on our condo sign was just renamed being "tagged" , whatever
Who is repairing our driveway?
As we have documented on this website, we found there
were two companies that have been solicited by the Board for the gutters on 2121.
One with a website and no links and the other with no website and only an answering
machine. We could not get the latter to return our phone call. Its interesting that
a two-time loser in the bidding process , in at least the last 2 bids , is not interested
in somebody potentially taking up their cause. The winner as far as we can detect,
has been doing our contracting jobs since at least 2008. In the last 2 jobs with
the second one being the driveway. No other bids were needed. Its like watching
the reruns of a bad movie. We know what happens at the end. Why would the Board
do business with a company that has only a website with no links ? Why would the
Board even solicit bids from a company that has no website?
January 22, 2014
Meeting last night
Well, we had another predictable charade last night.
The turnout was so low that they actually started the meeting without the quorum
required for this meeting. When asked Tina later on , she said the quorum was established
later on as homeowners started walking in after the meeting got started. Nevertheless
the incumbents won again. There was only one homeowner who ran . The Nominating
Committee could not even find 3 candidates who were interested to run for the 3
available seats for the Board, only 1. In other words homeowners have gotten to
realize that an election that cannot be monitored by interested homeowners , is
not a fair election at all. The maintenance fee , as many of you know already, was
not raised. That is a good thing. In fact , for the last 4 years the fees have only
been increased a total of 2%. One homeowner had taken upon themself to call a developer
as to whether they would be interested in buying our property. In other words the
homeowner was inquiring not just its own , but for the entire 270 units. The number
$55 per square foot was thrown around. This means for a one-bedroom the price could
be around or less than $40,000. This could translate to the tax value and even homesteaded
value of the property. We don’t believe the action of this homeowner was right.
It presents a picture of desperation and fire sale mentality for our property. The
property can survive for now and even a few more years from now in relatively decent
shape with patched up and minor repairs. Homeowners who hold on longest can expect
to get the most for their property. They ,for sure don’t need anybody to negotiate
for them. We believe the price per square for our property with the special situation
that we are in is around $150 per square foot not $55, which brings about $100,000
for one bedroom and $150,000 for a two bedroom. Let the developer approach us and
not vice versa. Even the homeowner said it was low. The result of this initial pricing
could bring an extra $2 ,$3 or may be even $5 per square foot but not much more,
which is still well below the market value of our property. This lowball offer could
also alert other investors and sensing desperation, set . a low price for our property
and convince some to think it’s the real value and sell. This is the result of a
homeowner negotiating with a savvy and seasoned investor. For our part ,we have
stated that even though, Concerned Homeowners believe $100,000 to be the price of
one bedroom but to consult real estate specialists on their own and find out how
much they can get for their property, if a developer steps in. The Board tried to
address the issue of Hurricane Ike. Please refer to the previous posts as to our
letter to the Board requesting an unredacted and unopened copy. The explanation
was that it could be an image problem resulting from the copy machine! We extended
an open invitation to come and inspect the 2 inches thick document and see for themselves
how about 500 copies could have image problem. We won’t hold our breath for anybody
checking it out or give us such a copy. On a curious and short-mentioned note by
the Board , it was stated that ,personnel from the management company walk the property
frequently. The conversation, was very shot-lived. We ask the homeowners to please
email us or even call us at 713-498-0364 if they see anybody from the management
company walking the property. If emailing , please document the time and the name
of the representative. The petition to remove Tina has gotten many homeowners to
sign up. Because of some comments they left, we extended the removal to the management
company as well. As stated by some, its better to start with a new management company.
Lets not forget they raised their fees 2 years ago as well. The Board did not even
shop around to cut the costs and find another management company then.
Another one bid job?
As many of you have heard and read time and time again, we have complained that
the association just takes one bid for contracting jobs. As we are expanding our
research, we just found out that the gas has two bids with an explanation. We inquired
from the manager and we found out that the other bidder is the well-known company
that provides gas to most of the city. So according to her, the actual provider
of gas, lost the bidding war to a company that is pretty much a broker in the energy
field. Our gas provider company is located one floor above the management company.
Ike insurance documents:what is in them?
About 2 years ago, we asked for the insurance documents
relating to Hurricane Ike, to be released to us. About 6 months later and after
many back and forth , we finally received them. The documents were examined by the
management company before being handed to us. That by itself raised some questions.
Upon examining the documents , we found out about 75% of the documents were redacted.
Last year, we started a comprehensive research as to the way the insurance proceeds
were handled. As part of the research, we asked the Board for the full file to be
released, unopened and without redactions . The management company has failed to
produce that (check older posting). We took the request to the Board with a certified
letter. They received that on December 13,2013. They have yet to answer. Its amazing
that when in 2012 we asked about the format of checks issued , they sent out 4 “newsletters”
defending themselves , all at our expense. They did not even send 1 newsletter during
2013. May be when we pursue the insurance documents more this year, we will get
more “newsletters” attacking us for asking , again paid by us.
For older postings please
click here. . .