When I bought my home, I was told to read the association documents before I signed for my mortgage. I read them, but no where in them did it say that my dues would be raised whenever the board felt like it and I would have no say in it - three times in 18 months and one of those times included paying for a shed to store bird feed for birds the DNR doesn't recommend feeding.
The documents also didn't say that the board would not be allowed to talk to us, would not have control of the financial assets of the organization or wouldn't even be the signers on any contracts.
The documents also never told me that the board's alliance would be solely with the management company and they wouldn't care how the management company treated us. Note that as we are not allowed to talk directly to the board, we'd have to tell the management company to tell the board we are being inappropriately treated, even when the conduct of the management company put the sale of one person's home in jeopardy - as if that makes any sense to anyone but them.
The ethical issues, conflict of interest issues, and even legal issues in how the board conducts business is extensive, but they do it because they can. The board chair was strutting like a peacock at the annual meeting when he told us how he manipulated a vote to raise our dues because someone told him there was a new law that allowed him to vote on behalf of members who never gave him a proxy was breath taking. There is no law and there were no other board members interested in honesty and truthfulness, either.
When I asked why none of the information we get ever has the board's name on it, the response was "we pay the management company to do the mailing". You pay them to lick the stamps, not sign the letters.
Like our board, many association boards don't grasp that they are supposed to be running a legally compliant nonprofit organization. They also don't grasp how to do that or what that means.
I know there are lots of excuses and rationalizations for why things are the way they are, but those aren't helpful.
We need a third party resource that is available for accountability and to be able to advocate for homeowners.
Thankfully, we have the support of members in the legislature to help put that in place.
Your story matters, too.
Come join me.
There is a better way to do things, and together we can make a difference.
Feed coming soon