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List of Illegal Actions of HOA/COA Boards

Typical Violations of HOA Boards List of illegal actions of HOA/COA Boards that I am personally aware of. UPDATED 5/8/2023 adding additional issues from members in comments.

This is a list of illegal actions of board that I am aware.. I am sure there are more law violations that Board Members commit, that I have not remembered or maybe personally not seen yet. This is a compilation from my own experience and from others I have communicated with.

I would like to make a second part that lists bad actions of Board Members due to bad laws.

Please contribute to both lists in the comments and I will add them. This is something that all Attorney’s General and all legislators should be aware of.

Allow their faction members to use resources of the HOA without paying for them, such as excavators, lawn mowing equipment, plumbing and electrical supplies, etc. Faction meaning the members that support that particular Board Member(s).

Attempting to enforce non-existing covenants or falsely accusing members of violating covenants

Avoid charging their faction for dues, assessments, covenant violations, etc. (secretly or blatantly)

Board changing covenants, or other governing docs without following proper procedure.

Board changing fines outside of covenants.

Board taking actions outside of procedure outlined by law and governing docs.

Concealing expenses in inappropriate line items of financial statements

Create covenants that would increase a person’s environmental impact. For instance, restricting solar panels, electric car charging stations, food gardens, or xeriscaping of forcing tree topping, or limiting types of plants.

Excessive attorney fees.

Excessive fees and fines for trivial matters. Example parking in the street, grass too high. Fines $100 per day, fines without warning first and time to comply.

Failure to create or adequately fund reserve account or falsely minimizing reserve study.

Failure to follow due process

Failure to follow generally accepted accounting practices, failure to audit books periodically.

Failure to insure the common property, or inadequately insuring it. Not disclosing the coverage level/deductible/changes to owners, so they can adjust their home/condo policies accordingly.

Failure to maintain common property

Failure to check for license and insurance /background check for vendors

Failure to follow Business Judgement Rule –

-Breach of fiduciary responsibility.

-Breach of loyalty and care.

Failure to notifying members of meetings as required by law and showing agenda in those notices.

Family members of management company being voted in by the developer and investors votes to the board so they can keep control of the board.

Falsifying documents and meeting minutes.

False journal entries in reserve account and financial records.

Falsified financial statements to cpa for irs return

Filing lawsuits against members, by just a few board members, no meeting, no quorum, no vote

Filing lawsuits they are unlikely to win, and then stalling then dropping just to intimidate opposing members

Filing false police reports to conceal illegal or unethical actions of the Board

Forcing members into mediation as a penalty. Members cannot recover mediation fees

Giving bids to family or friends vs what is best for members and/or forcing members to use specific vendors.

Giving email list to members supporting one candidate but not giving email list to others

Illegal foreclosures.

Illegal trespassing on member’s properties.

Instructing HOA attorney to only speak with certain members of the Board and not to other Board members or other members.

Misrepresent to government officials that they are representing the majority of the HOA members on political, or government project issues, when they are not.

Mis-use of insurance funds given to the HOA to repair building damage for another purpose and not fix the damage

Misrepresenting the covenants to members

Misrepresenting the laws to members

No w9/1099 for vendors

Not accepting payments from homeowners who are late so they can foreclosure on their homes.

Not allowing members to speak at meetings and calling the police on members when they speak out and having them removed from the meetings.

Paying vendors for work not done or overpaying vendors.

Refusal to enforce covenants on members of the controlling faction

Refusing any proposed motions that contradict controlling faction

Refusing to allow members to see list of covenant complaints

Refusing to enforce covenants.

Refusing to file insurance claims, manipulating owner to file claims with their insurance company, even after the owner’s insurance company denies the claim and assigns fault to the HOA.

Refusing to follow any reasonable due process, or parliamentary procedure.

Refusing to follow governing documents

Refusing to follow vote of members (moratorium on enforcing covenants)

Refusing to give HOA financial documents to members

Refusing to report actions of a committee

Retaliation against those that oppose them.

Secret meetings of Board

Selectively removing voting ballots

Special favors. Waivers, Variance to some and not others

Threatening and harassing members who oppose what they are doing.

Trustees/Directors making decisions that benefit themselves or a small group, to the detriment of the majority of the community.

Refusing to include certain motions in the minutes of the meeting, or other actions of the Board

Unequal enforcement, selective enforcement.

Unfair elections, unequal treatment for candidates, Board gets the votes as default if not directed to another individual in their proxies, Board’s advertising for their own candidates in HOA newsletters or social media sites, or not letting members know about who else is running until the meeting. How can you put proxy’s out with the candidate slate.

Using attorneys to research and present to small claims court by letter.

Using employees to harass opposition

Using weekly newsletter, facebook page and website to politically degrade rivals

Usurping authority, attempting to enforce county ordinances not in covenants

Vendor bidding; unfair bidding practices to benefit friends of board members.

Violating county or other laws, then voting to use money of the HOA to pay for the fines.

Violating freedom of speech, example: code of civility that authorizes a fine for any “communication” including body language that may offend a board member, volunteer or community member including on social media, refusing to allow members to speak at meetings, refusing to allow opposing board members to speak, allowing only certain members to speak, only allowing certain members to attend board meetings in person. Filing law suits or threatening to file lawsuits against members for speaking negatively about the HOA including but not limited to social media. Retaliation for speaking or writing negatively about HOA, Board Member Actions, Board Actions or Employees actions.

Bad Laws that Encourage or Allow Bad Actions by HOA Board Members or Property Managers

No penalties in the laws for Board Members or Property Managers that violate the laws.

Allowing Developer employees to be on the Board, or to work for the HOA.

Allowing only one board member allowed to speak to the management company and/or the attorney.

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