This is bad enough when the HOA all gets along, but there is one member of my HOA who seems to have a pathological hatred of the treasurer, and has never, ever gotten along with anyone in that position, simply because he sees dues as something to get out of paying and the property as a burden that he'd rather not deal with. (he owns quite a lot of property around the city).
While I won't go into detail about every single thing he's done to aggravate me and the previous treasurers (including every single dues payment coming with a passive-aggressive greeting card with some snippy demand or another, and being completely unresponsive to any messages I send in response), this most recent exchange is worth noting.
Some people have been getting progressively later with paying their dues, and this month a couple of people completely forgot. On top of that, when one of them remembered, she sent me checks for the next few months, postdated, which is a huge hassle for me to deal with (it's already hard enough keeping track of who's paid and how much people owe, but then having to do forward-budgeting and keeping separate sets of checks is just annoying). So, I sent a message to the mailing list that I set up a few months ago:
I understand the appeal to sending postdated checks in order to pay a few months' worth of dues in advance, but that just makes a lot more work for myself and increases the likelihood I might make a mistake in depositing or tracking them. If you would like regularly-scheduled monthly payments to go out, please consider using your bank's automatic bill payment service - it would make things a lot easier for me.I also sent specific messages to the members who hadn't paid their dues, as well as to the one who had sent the postdated checks.
I got a couple of responses to it, mostly positive (thanking me for the reminder and so on), but a couple days later, I got this one:
Is this email for me or for some one else ?So I replied:
It's a reminder for the whole [address] HOA. I've been having trouble with some people sending postdated checks recently and forgetting to send their dues entirely. It's better to just remind everyone than to single a couple specific people out.His almost immediate response:
I prefer to know exactly to whom you are refering to instead of blind messages, always the solution to a problem is going straight to the point instead of going around, this is a serious business not a game.He never seems to treat his HOA membership as anything but a game, but I replied with this message, to which he has not yet responded:
I am not treating it as a game. I am simply sending a polite reminder to the entire HOA, because everyone could use a reminder. It wasn't a blind message, as it was sent to the HOA mailing list that I set up earlier ([mailing list address]), which anyone can send messages to.I'm not too far out of bounds with this, am I? This is a pretty typical exchange with him, and I try my hardest to stay polite with him (usually rewriting every email I'm sending to him three or four times to make sure I'm being diplomatic).
I am simply trying to do what's best for the HOA. I don't want to see anyone's dues checks get lost or forgotten due to inattention, and everyone can use a reminder now and then. The particular people who were causing problems this month also got emails specifically to them, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't give everyone a polite reminder. Further, others have sent me emails thanking me for this particular reminder.
In general, when there is an issue, it's best to keep everyone in the loop. If you have any suggestions for how I could better keep people informed of HOA issues, feel free to email them to [mailing list address] and we can all discuss it as a group.
Given his prior history, I won't hear from him again until he sends his next dues check, which will come with yet another snippy message asking me for something that I've already provided (such as the monthly HOA balance sheet, which I always send out as a PDF on the first of the month) or asking when the next HOA meeting will be (I keep on trying to schedule them, and nobody ever responds, and if I do just categorically schedule one, nobody ever shows up — especially not him).
I'm pretty sick of this crap. The whole HOA is a complete mess right now, and sometimes I'm tempted to just sell my condo (and eat the loss — apparently the market value of my property hasn't gone up at all in the two years since I bought it) and go back to renting for a while. Home ownership isn't really worth it, at least not around here, and not in a condo situation, and I'm sick of all the work that has to keep on happening both on my unit and on the building and which nobody ever seems to want to take care of. Everyone has Big Plans but nobody ever seems to want to act on them, or take the steps necessary for them to take place.
And meanwhile, I'm also stuck on something other than the top floor, so I get to hear all sorts of noise late into the night from my upstairs neighbors (who insist they're being quiet and not stomping around and not having parties that go until 2 AM), and I just don't enjoy owning this place at all.
My sister had the right idea with ownership: she waited until she had a 20% down payment (meaning she could afford a more expensive place with the same monthly payment because interest rates were lower and there's no insurance on her mortgage), and made absolutely sure she had a top-floor unit. What she ended up with is a quite nice home that's in a two-unit building, meaning there's no HOA, and the other building owner just owns it as a guest house that they're never in, so they get all sorts of peace and quiet. She also bought in a neighborhood that is quite affluent, and just got lucky with her (relatively) low purchase price.
Most of my friends have an even better idea, though: just rent and let someone else deal with all this nonsense. And they generally pay way less per month than I do in interest anyway.