June 27, 2022 - 9:06 am
Q: (The builder) is in the process of completing (our development). They are adding 164 units in eight new buildings. We are concerned that investors will buy a significant number of these units and we will become overpopulated with renters.
I’m being told that laws have been changed, but there is no change to our covenants, conditions and restrictions to limit the number of rental units allowed.
A: Based on the six-month rental clause in your governing documents, there is no rental cap. You could have a significant number of renters. You would have to talk with the developer and see if they are willing to modify the CC&Rs to have a rental cap not to exceed 25 percent of the units.
Q:Our homeowners association is self-managed with 81 homeowners. I have lived here for 24 years. I have served on the board (six years), Landscape Committee, Architectural Control Committee and have done volunteer work in the common areas for years.
At one of the meetings I went to, in the open forum I said I have some concerns that our lawn service is ruining our common areas. We have plants dying from no water, etc.
The vice president at the time, who was running the meeting, had only been on the board for three meetings. They owned property but never lived here.
I said I was carrying water and maintaining the common area behind my house. The vice president spoke up and said, “I’m going to end this real quick. This is a warning: You are not allowed to work in the common areas without the board’s permission, if you continue to do so we will get an attorney and send you a cease and desist letter.”
I never did anything else, and three weeks later I was served a cease and desist letter. No hearing, no violation. This letter has been a thorn in my side for quite some time. I then wrote the board a letter requesting a hearing to clear my name. They told me I would have to put it on the agenda in an open meeting. A few months later they found out they were wrong. I then requested a hearing to have the letter rescinded.
The secretary at that time, who lives next door to me, came over and hand-delivered a letter to me. He said, “You are not going to like what they are going to offer you.” They made a decision without giving me a hearing.
The letter said they wanted to meet with me to tell me what they have decided. He then said they would not rescind the letter, but it would be a dead issue. I said no, that’s a slap in the face, because I did nothing wrong. He said he agreed with me and was glad I wasn’t going to meet with them.
Since then I have volunteered on a committee again. A new board member said that’s OK as long as she abides by the cease and desist letter.
I just wondered what my options are at this point to rid myself of this letter.
A: It is important that homeowners do not interfere with their vendors or take steps to fix problems in the common area. It would appear the board may have overreacted, as a warning letter could have been sent to you.
What actions you take from here depends upon the amount of time that you want to continue your differences with your association. Associations are not required to meet with homeowners when issuing courtesy or warning letters. If you were fined without a hearing that would have been a violation of the state law.
You do have the option of speaking with the Ombudsman Office to see if they want to become involved, although you may not obtain satisfaction. You may just want to drop the matter and move on as a committee member for your association.
Barbara Holland is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to email@example.com.