Wednesday, August 05, 2009

HOA gripe session

I am president of my HOA. Last night I had someone stop by my house to pay their dues (four months late) and to complain about my Vice President's lack of tact in collections. I'll concede right away that my VP is probably not tactful when he goes to collect. Do his job for awhile and you'd lose any tact you had, too.

But let me continue on to the rant by saying this: If you don't like my VP getting upset with you then PAY YOUR DOGGONE DUES ALREADY!!!! You see, the problem with these people's complaints about my VP is that they're simultaneously proving it works. They hate my VP, but they pay their dues. They didn't pay after the two overdue notices and the regular reminders in the newsletter. They paid after someone appeared on their doorstep and got cross with them.

Yet they want me to drop the tactic that seems to work. Why does this not make sense to me?

Another standard complaint is "Why make such a big deal over $40?" (Our HOA dues are really low!) Well, how about this? Why are you making such a big deal over $40. Just pay already! Are you suggesting that you would pay up immediately if it were a lot higher? I don't think so. Why am I making a big deal over $40? Because 95% of the neighborhood have already paid up, most of them without complaint or any extra measures on our part. These people should not be made out to be chumps by the other 5%.

I've also now heard "My lawyer friend said I don't have to pay until the end of the year". Has your lawyer friend read our CC&Rs? Is your lawyer friend going to pay your dues for you? Shut up about the lawyer friend. I have a lawyer on retainer who says you have to pay, and if you don't I can charge interest and slap a lien on your house for the overdue amount plus legal fees. You wanna go there?

I might. It would be easier for me to just turn this all over to lawyers and bill collectors. We might get on your doorstep and get in your face. They'll ruin your credit rating and make you pay $260 minimum for a $40 bill. Which do you prefer?

Don't give me the "hardship" sob story, either. I'm unemployed. I paid. I know people with health problems. They paid. I requested in the newsletter for people to let me know if there are problems so we can work something out. Very, very few have taken me up on it. We can work with you, but we're not mind-readers.

There is a soldier in our neighborhood who will be on deployment when dues come around next year. If anyone has a good excuse to dodge dues, or at least put them off, it's him. But does he? No. He's made arrangement with his family to pay while he's gone. And he's told me almost a year in advance. I know his situation, and should his family forget to pay I will not be making a big deal about it. Neither will my VP. We will wait patiently until he gets home. Heck, I may even cover him myself.

Anyway, I am sick to death of people who think the rules don't apply to them and get mad at us when we insist that they do. Pay your dues, people. If you don't like my VP then stop ignoring our mail notices. Pay on time or tell us why you can't and when you will. Ignore us and we'll be forced to make it hard for your to ignore us.

Yes, it's a big fuss over $40. But you started it, not us. There are 80-90 other responsible people who we have to stand up for. It's not fair to them for us to let you get off.

Grow up and be responsible.


Dan Stratton said...

Somebody needs a nap. :-)

Seriously, though, these people are nuts - self righteous whiners who don't want to live up to obligations they agreed to when they moved in. Kudos to you and your VP for doing the job they wouldn't step up to do.

The HOA should pay to make up little cards with the URL to this post that you and the VP can hand out to those that won't pay so they can read it at their leisure and save your blood pressure.

Thom said...

I won't argue with you about the nap.