I own a condominium, which I rent out, in a 230 unit community. I have owned this unit for 15 years, and it has always been a working class complex. I have it professionally managed, as I live 3 hours away.
The unit has always been occupied and produced reasonable cash flow so I've been happy with it until recently.
The HOA board has contracted out management to a local HOA management company. It's been the same management company since my purchase.
The problem is that the owner of the HOA management company retired and sold the firm to one of his employees about a year ago. Ever since then, our complex has gone into serious decline.
- Amenities which we (owners) pay for aren't being delivered. For example, the pool is "temporarily closed" but we still pay a pool service fee
- Maintenance which we pay for which is contracted to bad vendors. For example, there is "daily cleanup of the grounds" however there is now constant litter all over the exterior of the property
- Drug dealing has now started happening on the property. There is a security company which we pay for, but they don't seem to do anything
I do not attend the HOA board meetings since I live far away. I don't know the board members, how many units they own, or if they see things like I do.
I have contacted the HOA management company and gotten "we agree and are working on improving the property" platitudes. I have also been in contact with the local police about the crime increase, and they said they can't do much besides respond to calls.
Any advice out there on what I can do? I prefer to hold the property and not sell.
Sorry, to be the bearer of bad news, but you need to start attending HOA meetings. Run for the board. Do a mailing out to the other owners, to get them on board with making the HOA perform. The condo's HOA fees are probably being diverted into someone's pocket.
One of the BP podcasts deals with this situation. The lady interviewed had just this problem, and she ended up on 3 HOA boards -- but her investments were protected.
Being 3 hours away i can understand if you can't attend the meeting.
What you should have done is contacting the HOA board instead of the HOA management company.
Since the board is the one that held the meetings and the one that responsible of hiring and firing the HOA management company. (of course by voting)
You should be getting regular newsletter from the boards and usually it has their names and contact info.
Does the condo have a website? look for the board info there too.
and start calling the board.
@DewiWarmus I've asked the management company for the board contact information. The monthly meeting minutes have the name of board members who attend, but no contact information or position information.
@BettinaF. My property manager will attend the next HOA meeting and raise my concerns on my behalf.
Wish us luck!
"I prefer to hold the property and not sell."
Why ???????????? This is a investment not a personal home that you are tied to. Smart investors know better than to hold onto a declining investment and won't waste their efforts flogging a dead horse or HOA in this case.
You may prefer not to sell but that would be a major investment mistake. The property is in decline and will likely not come back. Worse times are ahead.
As a investor you must gauge the market and know when to fold. Now is the time to unload and move on to greener financial markets.