Non- con­fronta­tional at­ti­tude more likely to set­tle dis­pute with HOA

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - CAMPBELL&ROSEMURGY -

win­dow treat­ments are not white).

This prob­lem was fixed, but be­cause they had not re­moved my old ad­dress from their sys­tem, the first let­ter was sent to the cor­rect ad­dress but the fol­low­ing let­ters were sent to the wrong ad­dress. How­ever, my billing state­ments have been sent to the cor­rect ad­dress.

I am try­ing to get in touch with the pres­i­dent of the board, but the man­age­ment company says they can’t re­lease her per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. Where can I file my com­plaint? A:

If you fixed your prob­lem, then the ques­tion is whether you should have been fined or how much the fine should be. We un­der­stand that many HOAs are hard to reach; how­ever, the as­so­ci­a­tion should have a pro­ce­dure in place to take care of is­sues like yours.

While you may want to talk to the pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion, you should start at a lower level. We’ve found that many of the peo­ple who work for as­so­ci­a­tions have the power to make de­ci­sions on fines and billing is­sues. So you should first start with the book­keeper for the as­so­ci­a­tion or the per­son who han­dles the bills.

You might find that this per­son is sym­pa­thetic to your sit­u­a­tion and if that per­son takes care of the billing is­sue, you’re done.

How­ever, if that per­son tells you that he or she can’t change any­thing, you should ask him or her to di­rect you to the per­son who can.

Keep in mind that if you broke the rules, you may still have to pay the fine. Your is­sue might be that you shouldn’t have to pay other fines if the as­so­ci­a­tion’s books aren’t in or­der. If the as­so­ci­a­tion did not up­date your ad­dress for no­tices but did for its bills, you shouldn’t be pe­nal­ized for that un­less you needed to have send a no­tice both to the billing depart­ment and the as­so­ci­a­tion.

We think you should ap­proach this from a non-ad­ver­sar­ial po­si­tion and work your way up the food chain. If the billing depart­ment can’t han­dle your is­sue, then speak to a su­per­vi­sor or the prop­erty man­ager. While you might have been in touch with the prop­erty man­ager, your dis­cus­sions with that per­son may not have gone well if you were up­set or got into a shout­ing match.

Ul­ti­mately, if you can’t get a per­son to speak to, you might have to at­tend a board meet­ing. Most board meet­ings are open to all mem­bers of an as­so­ci­a­tion. At the meet­ing, you can plead your case. Find out where and when the next meet­ing is and plan to at­tend, un­less you are able to re­solve your is­sue be­fore then.

Ilyce Glink is the cre­ator of an 18-part we­bi­nar and ebook se­ries called “The In­ten­tional In­vestor: How to be wildly suc­cess­ful in real es­tate,” as well as the au­thor of many books on real es­tate.

(c) 2015 Ilyce R. Glink and Sa­muel J. Tamkin. dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, LLC.

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