What to do when HOA is not doing their job?

17 Replies

Hey BP. I had a friend post this on the facepage. (Facebook). They are renting the home and the landlord has called and complained to the HOA multiple times about the trash not being picked up. Trash pick up is part of the HOA fee -which isn't cheap. They are, as you can clearly see, not doing their job. This is also in Florida and so you can imagine heat, humidity and trash don't mix well. My question is, what can they do in this situation?

Sue the HOA?

Stop paying HOA fees?

Remove the trash and then bill the HOA?

I would really like to give them advice on what they should do because this is absolutely unacceptable. I've always thought what the procedure is when the HOA doesn't do what you pay them to do. I'm curious what the BP community has to say

I'd check the State laws regarding HOAs, if there are any... and see what you can do.Then I'd pick up the trash and dump it as the HOAs office.

He should alert the local news to shame them. Then he should join the board to change things. 

Ha! I like the idea of dumping the trash at the HOA office!

This post has been removed.

@Account Closed ,

In certain places, avoiding HOAs would eliminate entire counties from one's farm area. With so many new developments going up and having HOAs, avoiding them is like cutting your own throat.

Condo HOA fees can be exhorbitant, yes. Condos are an investment choice.

HOAs are units of government (and, as such, are a necessary evil), and HOA fees are taxes, even if they're not recognized as such by the IRS.

Facts of life in the REI business...

David J Dachtera

Is there a head office you can complain too? If that didn't work I would go to the Real Board and complain there. 

This post has been removed.

@Account Closed ,

Can't speak to any specific area other than here where I am, but here the choice for a subdivision is between an HOA or an SSA (Special Services Area) which is a line item on your property tax bill.

Consult your legal counsel about HOAs and their stature.

David J Dachtera

@Luka Milicevic ,

Not sure what I could add to what others have said, other than to add my vote to see about getting a violation filed by the municipality against the HOA. Maybe that will bring other enforcement agencies into the fray and and produce a more permanent result than the "squeaky wheel" approach might.

My $0.02...

David J Dachtera

This post has been removed.

HOAs are a contracting party, just like you were dealing with a contractor or a vendor. Failure of an HOA to listen to the Bylaws or CCRs may be grounds for an individual lawsuit for damages. Although suing one's HOA generally results in bad blood down the road, and is generally a last resort. There may be some Code Violation Agencies you can report this activity to which will start with fines; as this likely violates local code.

Talk with a local LL/T attorney for more information, as they routinely handle disputes between Owners and HOAs.

I would not, however, recommend dumping your refuse on the steps of the HOA office, as that could result in liability.

DISCLAIMER: NONE OF THE ABOVE IS LEGAL ADVICE, BUT INTENDED SOLELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. IF YOU HAVE LEGAL PROBLEMS, GET LOCAL COUNSEL.

you should contact the health department. 

@Luka Milicevic

This is a simple solution - the property needs more garbage pickups and/or bigger containers. However, the city and county inspectors may not approve larger containers and many waste management companies determine the number or size of containers based on the number of units. Your HOA might be at the mercy of the waste management company and/or city/county.

Second, anytime you increase service you increase cost - maybe the budget is already really tight and the board doesn't want to take on an extra expense. That extra expense would cost EVERYONE more, potential tenants as well. While I can see this is a real problem, it doesn't necessarily mean someone isn't doing their job. Too bad recycling laws aren't prevalent in other parts of the country like they are here in Seattle. We actually have problems with recycling overflow, we now produce more if it than we do garbage. 

Lastly and most importantly, you can't stop paying your HOA fees. That is usually prohibited in the governing documents. That won't solve the problem anyway.

Originally posted by @John Anderson:

It is a shame that people will buy were an HOA is.

It is a shame that people will buy where Florida is. 

I live in a new community and definitely has HOA. Every night the water runs over the street like river and I called the HOA and told them this is a huge stupid waste and need to be stopped. I called the manager of HOA for 3 continual weeks and finally it be changed.

The developer put HOA on the plan for gov. permission. The developer finished the building, left, and left HOA to community without continue supervision and regulation. Typical gov. thing.

Send the picture to Health Department or directly CDC or EPA department.

I suspect that there is likely a high rate of delinquent members not paying their HOA fees and there is simply not enough for the collection fee. It's an ugly spiral that feeds on itself. They're likely going to have to contract their own service temporarily.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here