Q. I live in a condominium village where our property values have gone in the dumper mostly because of the poor housing market. I think we helped by our recent vote. Our documents required a one-year waiting period before new owners could rent their property. We voted to increase the waiting period to two years. My feeling is that we should have reduced it to six months. Do you have any thoughts as to one way or the other?
H.S., Bayonet Point
Most renters are good neighbors. Most investor owners are good landlords. A few cause problems. An axiom that real estate people are taught is that the way you sell the quickest and at the highest price is to expose the property to the maximum of qualified buyers. When you limit who can buy, you will not receive the best exposure. It does not matter whether you have a six-month, one-year or two-year waiting period; you are eliminating the investor owner. In my opinion, your board should have established the right to qualify renters and investor owners as well as permanent new residents and eliminated the wait period.
Q. My situation has been escalating for several months with two presidents. I requested from them the statement of the expenses but always received a negative response. One problem I fear is a possible problem is that the presidents have an ongoing landscape company in our community. They hired a person that had no capability to perform as a landscaper. He has no business license, no insurance and no workers’ compensation coverage. Whenever I complain about the poor work, I get pushed to the side with no straight answer. Can you give me guidance?
Directors have no right to profit from the association unless members approve the action. The board of directors is responsible for the business affairs, not just the president. If the other directors take no action and the officers perform illegal or improper actions, then the other directors are equally guilty. As to insurance and licenses, while it is not necessarily illegal, it does put the association in a critical situation if there is an accident. While you seem to be on top of the problem, why aren’t the other members, your neighbors, aware of the same concerns? In the future, write a letter to the board of directors, not to the president. I would also suggest that you talk to your neighbors and see if they have the same concerns.
Q. I am a little concerned about the recent board meeting. We have a three-member board in which two are snowbirds. We also have a licensed manager who does a good job. The board meeting last week had one director present and the other two directors on a speaker phone. The problem was that the members could not hear the speaker phone. My thoughts were that the audience should be entitled to know what our representatives are saying. I wrote the manager with my concerns but at this date, I have not received any answer. Was I wrong to complain?
First, anytime you have a complaint or suggestion, you need to address your letters to the board of directors and not the manager.Managers only have duties as directed by the board. It would have been nice or proper to have the volume higher for members to hear the discussions. It was a board meeting and each director should be able to hear what the other directors are saying. Speaker phones are proper for absent directors to be counted as present and able to vote on issues.