HOA Life: What's Your Story?

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Every day we hear from HOA members who share the same struggles. When they call, sometimes their first comment is "you've probably never heard this before." Well we have. And so have you. Share your thoughts, and let's make our community a little bigger. If you live in an HOA, you have a story to tell and insights to share.

Why did you join the board? How has education changed the way you look at your community? What problems are you facing or have you overcome? What makes your job important, enjoyable, painful, or hilarious? Share it with other homeowners.

We are part of a unique community - so let's use it! Send an email, log in to leave a comment below, talk to us on Facebook, or tweet with the hash tag #HOAlife. We'll share some of our favorites.

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We are a small community of 24 units. Five of the units are not owner-occupied.  The owner-residents of the remaining units are unable and/or unwilling to serve on the Board and the same four or five people have been serving for a number of years.  We are thinking of instituting a 'break' on dues (5% to 10%) for serving on the Board.  
We're not actually sure this is legal but the membership won't approve a budget that increases the dues so that we can hire a professional management compny.
Also, we are an older building without much in the way of resources (financial or human) and our residents expect instant action when therre is something serious (you know, like a spot on the carpet in the common area).
Any ideas????  Thanks, Kathie

The difficulties that you describe are very common, unfortunately. I would point out two things: compensating board members is not legal, and a "break" on dues is probably compensation. I would steer clear of that option. Also, provided the board has mailed out the required financial disclosures, the board can raise the annual assessments by up to 20% without approval of the membership.

If you are a member of ECHO, I would encourage you to come to one of our upcoming board-training events in the East Bay or in Santa Clara. And again, if you are a member, call us at the office and we may be able to direct you to some additional educational resources. Good luck to you!

Thanks for your help.  We (as a Board) are going to try to attend some of your seminars.

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we are a 10 units condo. we have a president that is voted in by herself and reinstated with the franchise tax board. while she claimed to be president, our hoa was suspended with the tax board from 2009 to 2016. She collected to the hoa money and we never received a monthly statement, we have unpaid bills, we don't have annual meeting. We believe she embezzle the money.  We voted her out with 8 of the owner signatures and she still not stepping down.  how can we get her name off from the franchise state board. do we have to get a lawyer for this? We want to hire another ligit hoa manager to manage our fund and hoa. please help

Hi I havea problem with the two other board directors. Board of 3.   I was put into the position when I applied for the call for Board.  I was told the two previous board members are president and treasure.  I had no opportunities to hold an offiical title.  I did not know one thing about HOA I just wanted to get involved as the place has been neglected for years. 
After receiving the first set of financials I was outted by the other two board members, when I put them on the defensive.  (I really did not mean to, but it was very easy with out any effort)  I was incensed after I received incriminating and ignorant responses from the president and treasure.  (Lets just call them L2).
It has now been 5 months and L2 will not talk with me, work with me, respond to my calls or text. 
The CAR runs the Association and gives L2 all advice they need, even bad advice.    Another thing the CAR does is pay all the bills as well as herself generously   $1785.00-$200.00 Hr.........
It is my belief L2 has no idea of what CAR is doing nor do they care.
I have rallied for support and have many HO on my side, but I want to know:
1.  how I can get L2 out and myself in as President?
2.  What is the process to get the CAR and managment company Out?
3.  How do I stop the bleeding from the managment company to keep them from draining what little we have in the accounts?  (Reserves is 2%)
4.  How do I get, a name change on the accounts?
5.  Do I need a lawyer?
Please help. ( I have many more questions)

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