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We have paid over $39,000 for nothing. That is money from our operating fund that is gone and we received nothing for it.
We are obligated to pay an additional $58,620. Snow or no snow.
Source: Nov.-Dec. 2019 Transaction by Vendor Report
Source: 2019-2021 Snow Removal Contract
",,, all such Storm Water Management System shall be kept in good working order and repair at all times. The Association is perpetually responsible for maintenance of the Storm Water Management System. This obligation shall run with the Property and be binding on the Association."
Retention pond still not repaired and not functioning.
Retention pond still not repaired and not functioning.
No action taken, pond not functioning.
When asked about the retention pond at the Budget meeting the Board announced it will be waiting to "look at the problem with the new management company."
Source: November 9, 2019 Budget Meeting
September 13, 2019: Grounds & Safety Committee meeting minutes--
"The crack in the small pond ended up being 20 feet long ... it appears that the crack may be extended beyond what was capped, so the pond is still leaking water."
Vendor contract indicates a "documented 8' X 8' sinkhole." HOA paid $4,850.
Source: Vendor contract, June, 2019: "Excavation of 8' X 8' documented sinkhole."
Retention pond stops functioning; we have a large, dry hole at our main entrance.
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IN THE LATEST "BOARD BRIEF" IS INCORRECT AND MISLEADING:
"The Board has reached a successful settlement with the unit owners who filed a claim relative to clear cutting the bank behind their units. The HOA had been negotiating all of the secondary cuttings with [the landscaping company] to assure consistency throughout the community and the area referenced in the claim was part of the negotiation"
Here are the facts:
If you are a Sewickley Ridge homeowner and would like to see the documentation pertaining to the homeowner's Association Claim, click on the button below to request the information.
October 2019: Claim was submitted by three residents because of neglected common element with 5-foot weeds, overgrowth, tick infestation, and allergen producing plants.
No clearing or maintenance was performed during the entire 2019 growing season.
They produced facts, governing documents, anecdotal evidence, and photos in answer to the Board’s denial of the claim.
January 2020: The overgrown sloped area identified in the claim will be clear cut three times during the 2020 and subsequent growing seasons.
Definition from the Declaration (page 4): “Maintenance” means maintenance, preventive maintenance, repair and replacement and “Maintain” means maintain, repair and replace.
Article 3.3, Maintenance Responsibilities, in the Declaration (page 6) states “the Association shall be responsible for Maintenance of the Common Elements.”
Statement of Claim Settlement
We have been asking for the development of a maintenance plan for three (3) years. Not conducting regular inspections of common and limited elements, including roofs and siding, is a violation of the Declaration.* The HOA is responsible for [preventive] maintenance of roofs and siding.**
*Source: Declaration - Article 3.3 (e), page 6
**Source: Declaration - Article 3.3 (c), page 6
**Source: Declaration - Definitions, page 4
Still have not happened...we've been asking for 3 years.
No records or reports...in violation of the community's Declaration.
STRATEGIZE ALL YOU WANT, YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANY RESULTS UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY START DOING THINGS.
(March 2019) Board Response to Residents' Requests for Inspection and Maintenance Records and Reports:
"The Board has appointment (sic) an Asset Management Project Team (AMPT) who currently is working to develop a strategy and process for inspection of the areas of individual units for which the HOA has maintenance responsibilities. Once this strategy and process is finalized and approved by the Board, an implementation plan which will include the time frame, the companies and/or individuals performing the services and the costs of the inspection services will be shared with all residents."
"ASSET MANAGEMENT PROJECT TEAM" -- TEN (10) MONTHS AND STILL STUCK IN "ANALYSIS PARALYSIS."
The "Project Team" was appointed 3/26/2019. August 20, 2019 and the "Team" posts three new documents on the HOA website. We have lots of documentation and impressive busy work -- but still no actual inspections or preventive maintenance performed.
Spreadsheets are nice. How about actually doing something?
Wouldn't time and effort have been better spent on actual constructive, tangible activities and improvements? Like maybe, having roofs and siding inspected? Or start performing proactive, preventive, and restorative maintenance?
The HOA Board can (and should) be held accountable by HOA members for failure to conduct preventive maintenance or repairs. Planning to act in a reactionary way, instead of a proactive way, is risky and irresponsible
(August 25, 2019) Here's a suggestion for the "Asset Management Project Team":
Establish a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
Once you’ve determined which items are reserve components, it’s time to establish a preventive maintenance schedule. Associations should always establish a preventive maintenance schedule.
If associations do not maintain the components on the reserve schedule, they will not attain their full useful life. Consequently, the components will need to be replaced earlier and the replacement cost will need to be collected over a shorter period of time. This could result in possible special assessments.
The Board is unable to provide any reports and documentation on proper inspections and proactive, preventive maintenance of our units' roofs and siding performed in the last three years. Which leads us to believe such activity was never initiated or completed.
The Board is required by Article 3.3 in the Declaration to conduct timely inspections and preventive maintenance for each unit's roof and siding. There may be a fiduciary breach of the "duty of care" if there is neglect in the enforcement of governing documents and/or neglecting to maintain the HOA property.
Thousands of dollars have already been spent repairing roofs and siding. These roofing problems could have been addressed and evaluated as Construction Defect-Related Transition Issues. A professional transition inspection would have assessed whether any construction defects existed through poor workmanship or defective materials.
Based on the above facts there could be a breach of fiduciary duty due to the failure of the association to sue the developer, declarant or general contractor for construction defects where the unit roofs and siding were improperly constructed.
Fiduciary Duty to Act
Fiduciary Duty of Care
This requires the Board to perform the duties it is obligated to carry out.
HOA Board members must obey applicable laws and their Governing Documents.
A breach of fiduciary duty involves a willful violation of the duty imposed by law.
No inspections, no proactive or restorative maintenance performed, no inspection reports, no insurance notices sent to homeowners, and a failure to act to repair a storm water retention pond (that has not functioned for over 10 months).
Why are homeowners fined for not "following the rules?" While the list of Board violations keeps getting longer...
"(a) Except as expressly otherwise provided herein, the Association shall be responsible for Maintenance of the Common Elements and the costs of such Maintenance shall be borne by all Unit Owners.
(c) The roofs and exterior walls of Homes shall be Maintained by the Association.
(e) the Association shall, through a qualified independent contractor, inspect all Common Elements and Limited Common Elements on a regular basis as reasonably necessary, for the purpose of determining the condition of the Common Elements and Limited Common Elements and need for Maintenance work.
Reasonably detailed written reports of such inspections shall be prepared by the independent contractor and submitted to the Association, and copies shall be made available to all Unit Owners."
"The Board shall promptly furnish to each Unit Owner written notice of the procurement of, subsequent changes in, or termination of, insurance coverages obtained on behalf of the Association, in compliance with the Act."
Note: No written notices were sent to homeowners for three years, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
"... all such Storm Water Management System shall be kept in good working order and repair at all times. The Association is perpetually responsible for maintenance of the Storm Water Management System. This obligation shall run with the Property and be binding on the Association."
2017: The Board claimed it was carrying out a fiduciary duty to the Association by engaging in a legal dispute with fellow homeowners based on information provided by TOA.
Why did the Board spend over $51,000 of our HOA money in a legal dispute against one resident?
The fiduciary duty the Board claimed to be carrying out should pertain to the protection of all homeowners. Enforcement should be applied equally and fairly throughout our community.
Fellow homeowners, decide for yourselves:
Was the cost to our HOA worth it?
How did the Board’s decision to pursue biased and expensive legal action against a fellow resident benefit and protect the homeowners of Sewickley Ridge?
How did this legal dispute serve the best interest of the Association? Was it really necessary?
Or did arrogance, ego, and resentment overpower common sense and good judgment?
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of TOA or the Sewickley Ridge HOA. I do not intend to be offensive towards anyone who reads this opinion, if anything written can be perceived as hurtful to any community or person, I apologize, that was not the purpose of my writing it.
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