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Old 08-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


My parents live 3500 miles away so they bought a small condo right down the street from me for when they visit.

It's a gated community but the gate is majorly broken and has been broken since before we closed on Jan 4. 2010.

I've called the management corporation a few times and they just keep saying "oh we had to order parts" . Mind you it's AUGUST 6th right now!!!!!!!

I'm just wondering if there is anything I can say that'll motivate them to actually replace the gate.

If there is something somewhere that states that they actually can't keep charging the same fees i can't imagine a better motivator....

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


That is all going to depend on the sud. restrictions that are in place. I have seen some that states that no dues may be collected until repairs are made and some that touch on special assessments on costly or large repairs. I am not an attorney but I believe that if the restrictions mention or advertise as a gated community charging HOA dues, until the gate is fixed, it isn't a gated community therefore can't charge dues. On another hand, be very careful flexing your muscles around developers. Sometimes there are very large muscles behind them.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


Depends upon the bylaws of the HOA
Fees are usually spelled out to some degree
They usually must submit a yearly "expense report"
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


i would read over your bylaws, but i doubt there is anything in it that would allow you to pay less. if your community is indeed advertised as a gated community you could probably shame them into fixing it with a call to your local newspaper or tv station. they live for these stories. If it's a 55+ all the better, they really love keeping Grandma and Grandpa from being scammed
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:08 PM   #5
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


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I'm just wondering if there is anything I can say that'll motivate them to actually replace the gate.
Most likely not. You have no standing to say anything. Now, your parents do but you? no.


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If there is something somewhere that states that they actually can't keep charging the same fees i can't imagine a better motivator....
Nope. If you want to figure out what can be done, get the HOA bylaws and settle in for a nice evening of reading. The bylaws will tell you how the board functions and the requirements of each officer.

and, just like in government; if you don't like the people in charge of the system, replace them with people more to your liking.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:32 PM   #6
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


Is this a builder "controlled" HOA or a private HOA operated by the owners themselves?

I live in a townhouse group that is controlled by a selected Board of Directors of the owners. Our biggest problem is the owners that are obcessive about lowering monthly fees at the expense of maintaining or increasing the value. Fortunately, many are dying off so the children will get additional benefits instead of a burden of trying to get rid of a property decreased in market value.

Our situation is very unique because we own the land under our 4 unit, 2 story building and also the land surrounding our individual units. The HOA is responsible for the architecture of the exterior of the unit and landscaping, but the HOA is responsible for the exterior/building maintenance insurance, lawns maintenance, snow removal and maintenance/replacement of the exterior portions (roofs, siding, gutters, etc.), but the owner is allowed to landscape but must water the lawns and shrubs. The fee just went up to to $140/mo. and several people were shocked at the $5 increase.

My point is that there is a wide range of HOAs and situations and are very often dictated by local/state laws when it was established.

My only gripe is when the association would not cover the damage to my plants by the bears and deer, but at least we rarely have coons around.

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Old 08-09-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


I skimmed through the condo documents before we closed... looks like a lot of fun! The worst part is my parents don't even care, it just bothers she cr@p out of me that they obviously don't care .... to make things even funnier they actually posted a note on the gate warning about "increased violence" in neighboring towns and to please be safe .... WTF!!

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Most likely not. You have no standing to say anything. Now, your parents do but you? no.
LOL, OK. I'll re-phrase the question: Is there anything I can have my parents call and say?
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:30 PM   #8
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


Remember one thing, everything you do against the association is paid for by it's members. When the association has to consult an attorney to deal with legal issues stemming from complaints, that money comes out of the fund. The board of directors can elect to raise the association fee to pay for those costs or replenish the fund.

We had a situation in which one of the members decided to start rallying some of the other members of the association against the security cameras we installed on the building. This person was actually the main reason why we wanted cameras because she was breaking many rules. In the end, we raised the association fee citing the extra costs of the attorney and all the members had to pay extra, now that woman is an outcast in our community.

I have a question for you, CoconutPete. If the gate is broken, why would you expect the association fees to be lowered? If anything, the fees might have to raised or a special assessment might have to be initiated to fix the gate. As an association, you are all responsible for the community. When something goes wrong, you have to pay for it, you can't profit off of it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:30 PM   #9
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


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I have a question for you, CoconutPete. If the gate is broken, why would you expect the association fees to be lowered? If anything, the fees might have to raised or a special assessment might have to be initiated to fix the gate. As an association, you are all responsible for the community. When something goes wrong, you have to pay for it, you can't profit off of it.
I think you might have misunderstood what I meant. When the gate is broken I would expect the association to fix it. Since it' August and the gate broke in 2009 it's obvious that they have just abandoned the project.

What I was hoping for was that there was some sort of rule that stated gated communities could charge X and non-gated communities could charge Y. That would have allowed me to make a phone call and say "Hey - at this point it's obvious you will not be fixing the gate so I will be paying You this amount in association fees instead form now on" The only thing I was hoping to accomplish was getting the gate fixed I have no interest in taking anyone to court and I'm usually at the front of the line of people making fun of the fact that you can sue ANYONE for ANYTHING in America - I was literally just trying to get them to fix the gate.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:35 PM   #10
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


Pete -

It all depends on what kind of a development it is and who controls the direction of expenses for maintenance, improvements and other financial decisions that get passed along to the individual owners.

If it is an association controlled by a board elected by the owners, the board is responsible for expenditures and hires an association manager to keep the books and find possible alternates and suppliers of services for routine items (snow, lawn, gutters, etc.). Being on the board is a thankless voluntary job because you get all of the complaints about what have been done long too late.

If the association is for a large building or complex, it may still be controlled by the developer, etc.

HOA associations vary widely depending on the laws when they were organized and how much is rerquired for the residents.

I live in a small group of 30 year-old townhouses with about 50 different owners (2 story and4 units in each building each using one corner of the building) and uniquely we each own the land under and around our units and the association is responsible for lawns, gutters, snow plowing and shoveling, mail box selection and establishing the owners flexibility. If work (maintenance, improvements to be done or development enhancements). The other end of the spectrum is a large development that the unit owners (often absentee) pay an association a monthly fee that is adjusted annually by the costs. Also we have a reserve fund that is targeted at 5% of the average unit values.

Find out what kind of an association it is to help you know where to "push" for work/improvements.

Dick
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:12 PM   #11
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


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Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
I think you might have misunderstood what I meant. When the gate is broken I would expect the association to fix it. Since it' August and the gate broke in 2009 it's obvious that they have just abandoned the project.
I understand what you meant. What I am saying is that maybe they don't have the money available to fix it, so instead of the members paying LESS, they might have to pay MORE.
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What I was hoping for was that there was some sort of rule that stated gated communities could charge X and non-gated communities could charge Y. That would have allowed me to make a phone call and say "Hey - at this point it's obvious you will not be fixing the gate so I will be paying You this amount in association fees instead form now on" The only thing I was hoping to accomplish was getting the gate fixed
Again, my point is if they don't have the money they can't fix it. Your threat is not going to change that, all it may do is prematurely raise the association fees.

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Being on the board is a thankless voluntary job because you get all of the complaints about what have been done long too late.
You bet your ass. It's funny how the people who complain the most are the ones who will never volunteer to help out and who always want more done yet complain even more when we raise the fees.

This isn't aimed at you, CoconutPete. I'm talking about some of the ladies who never stop leaving me voicemails
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


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Originally Posted by Proby View Post
I understand what you meant. What I am saying is that maybe they don't have the money available to fix it, so instead of the members paying LESS, they might have to pay MORE.

Again, my point is if they don't have the money they can't fix it. Your threat is not going to change that, all it may do is prematurely raise the association fees.
You are making a big assumption, which is that they don't have the money. If they don't have the money, the board should step up and at least come clean to the residents. Ignoring the problem is the worse coarse of action. I am a board member on my HOA, and quite honestly if the board isn't putting away money to take care of unforseen problems, they are not doing their jobs and should be replaced. If there was some other major issue that ate up the emergency funds they should communicate this to the residents. If this was my HOA, i'd be upset by this situation, if it's accurate as the OP describes it.

If you are paying to live in a gated community, and the gate's broken, that's a problem. Someone at least owes you an explanation. i don't think that's too much to expect
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:09 PM   #13
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


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You are making a big assumption, which is that they don't have the money.
Well of course, that's why I said: "maybe they don't have the money available to fix it"

It was meant to be one possible reason.

Quote:
If they don't have the money, the board should step up and at least come clean to the residents. Ignoring the problem is the worse coarse of action. I am a board member on my HOA, and quite honestly if the board isn't putting away money to take care of unforseen problems, they are not doing their jobs and should be replaced. If there was some other major issue that ate up the emergency funds they should communicate this to the residents. If this was my HOA, i'd be upset by this situation, if it's accurate as the OP describes it.
You are making a big assumption that they haven't done all of this. For all you know, they could have. The thread starter isn't even a member of the association or the community.
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If you are paying to live in a gated community, and the gate's broken, that's a problem. Someone at least owes you an explanation. i don't think that's too much to expect
Who said that it was? The association is telling the thread starter that they are waiting on parts.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:28 AM   #14
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


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You are making a big assumption that they haven't done all of this. For all you know, they could have. The thread starter isn't even a member of the association or the community.
I don't dispute this at all, but the tone of your response seems to almost be attacking the OP for even thinking that he and/or his parents,( he used the word "we" so it is possible that he has a finacial stake in this property as well) has the right to expect some sort of action. In my mind, 8 months waiting for parts is unacceptable on one of the main features of a "gated communitiy". My assumption is this is B.S., or someone is asleep at the switch....

As I said, I am a Board memeber on my HOA ( as it sounds like you are), and if we were a gated communitity, and had a gate that had parts that could be backordered for the better part of a year, I'd be leading the charge to make sure something was being done, and that my community was well informed and had a voice in the course of action. Because he has made it clear that his parents at least ARE memebers of this community, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that there is no clear plan to fix this problem, other than to sit and wait for the part to come in, or that any other plan was being properly communicated, which is wat led to the original post.

Again, it's a gated community, without a functioning gate. I understand that stuff happens, but if this went on for 8 months, as a dues paying homeowner I'd be p.o.'d . Your post seemed to suggest that he was ridiculous in thinking he (or his parents) should be upset by not getting what they paid for, and that taking any action was going to risk causeing a dues increase. If that was your message, I have an issue with it. if i misread, or misunderstood, please accept my apologies. We have board members on our HOA that tend to ridicule each and every complaint that comes in, so maybe your comment about the old ladies leaving you constant voice mails struck a nerve with me....
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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Can a gated community charge higher HOA fees than a non-gated one?


The dues there are LOW compared to neighboring communities and frankly I would not care at all if the dues increased due to having a new gate installed - it would show that people were doing something .....

I can't quite judge the tone in here either, it almost sounds like "your name isn't on the deed, GTFO" in some places but since I am the caretaker of the place I think it's reasonable to be upset over a broken gate in a gated community taking 8 months to repair.....

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