Elizabeth's Landing Community Association
Posted in the Severna Park Forum
#1 Jul 31, 2009
Does anyone have any opinions or thoughts on the HOA with Elizabeth's Landing Community Association (in Pasadena, near Rivera Beach). I am thinking of buying a townhouse there, but I have heard some strange things about the Association and the Management company that runs it. Thanks to anyone who replies!
#2 Jul 31, 2009
I lived there for several years, the community itself is nice but the Assc. is very bad at best. They really don't do any thing but fine home-owners for little things and they worry about minor upkeep than anything major. They don't get involved in any disputes with neighbors. Unless you owe them money, they are pretty quiet (what I mean is if there is no monetary benefit for them, the heck with you).
I tried to get a Financial Statement when I lived there (Forecast vs Expenses) but all they would give me is the budget. I found that to be odd. I was glad we moved.
#3 Jul 31, 2009
i used to live there for 7 yrs and the association is not good they told me that i elligally erected a shelter it was a little tikes log cabin and that i had to remove my kids power wheels they were not aloud to have them but i liked the community and miss my house but the association is not a good thing, allthough there were new people running it when we were leaving check it out and c if pam is there if she is there dont do it.
#4 Aug 1, 2009
The Manager of the association is Diane something, she is a real bull. The President of the association is incompetent and quite old. We went to a few meetings when we first moved in, but its like a little club, with the President, Manager, and all the board members. We are in the process of moving now and our front steps are broken from some ice storm in 94, yet they claim we must fix it, eventhough the three previous owners did not and they claim they'll take it from our Escrow.
#5 Aug 3, 2009
Thanks all....I appreciate the insight thus far. I keep hearing strange things about the Association, which makes me wonder if it is worth it.
#6 Aug 23, 2009
If leaves/old grass/limbs are cluttering the gutters/street curbs, and storm drains, it is the homeowner's responsibility to clear them. Yet, the main street going through the community is cleared, maintained, beautified by the lawn service. Much more attention is paid to the main street going through the community than the streets leading to our homes.
#7 Aug 24, 2009
Jim, et al,
In terms of the neighborhood itself, we like it. Nice neighbors, relatively quite for a row home community, and cleanly for the most part.
The Board or the HOA itself is very impersonable, unreasonable, and doesn't communicate well will the residents. In the two years that we have lived there, I feel like it’s the residents versus the HOA in some respects. None of my immediate neighbors have any respect for the Association…originally I thought it was just me and/or my family.
Just to give you a quick example…we moved in to our house at the very end of Aug 07, and at settlement it was stated that the seller had paid through the end of Sept for the HOA dues. We settled a check to him for the difference.
We get through September and by the middle of October, we received a letter from the HOA stating the we have not paid our dues for September or October, and "these dues must be paid immediately or our file will be sent to the lawyer for collection, where in the costs could triple with fees." I am paraphrasing of course, but we were never even told what we owed or if dues were paid monthly, quarterly or annually. Nice welcome.
I called the very next day, and was berated by the manager, Diane Gersham who proceded 'explain' the purpose for the monthly dues. I tried to explain that we were paid through September and we did not know the due date for October, however we planned on paying and that I would use the drop box (given that it was only mid-month). I understood that it is our responsibility to make payments, and we certainly planned to, but we never received any details initially. Now here is the kicker, I drop off the October payment on the 19th (Friday) using the drop box; we did not pay September because we had documentation that seller had already paid.
On November 14th I received a letter from Michael S. Neal (lawyer for ELCA), stating that we owe approximately $182 for the September and October dues (meaning it was sent to the Lawyer after we paid October).$276 in fees, plus November and December's payments of $90 or so each (so that we are clear through the end of the year). I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
We had only been in the house a few months, and already we are going into debt with some lawyer from OUR community. Not too mention, after Diane Gersham yelled at us the first time, she could have said that they had no record of the seller paying September and that you must pay and work that out with your agent. She never responded to the question as to whether they had the Sept dues or not.
We have had other issues, but this is how my ownership began in Elizabeth's Landing. We paid whatever they said we owed, because a neighbor of ours warned us that if we didn't pay all the dues and fees right-a-way, we would be summoned to court. And true to their word I did a quick search on the Anne Arundel County court website and if you search on Elizabeth's Landing, there are many pages of the Association suing people in the community, very many.
I am not trying to sway your decision at all, I think the neighborhood itself is nice. We enjoy our neighbors, and there are a lot of kids, so that makes it nice for our kids. I just feel like the Association could do a better job of communicating things to the residents. They do a lot things that in terms of common sense, just don't seem necessary or practical.
#8 Aug 24, 2009
And it seems from my two years here, that the Association is responsible for nothing. It doesn't matter what it is, its YOUR responsibility. The was a water pipe break on my street and my neighbor who's house it happened, called them just to find out what the pipe was and can they actually shut it off, and the manager (Diane Gersham and the President) screamed at this poor girl "IF ITS ON YOUR SIDE OF THE CURB STOP ITS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY." That wasn't at the time a concern for her, she just want the geiser of a break to stop if possible. The owner wasn't even trying to put up a fight, she just wanted the water to stop.
#9 Aug 24, 2009
Did that happen on Annis Squam harbour? I live on that street and the same thing happened in December, and the owner couldn't get it to shut off, another neighbor and I were trying to help and a board member claimed it was the owners responsibility eventhough the pipe was installed sometime in the 90's by the community (contracted out).
#10 Aug 25, 2009
Wow. No this one was on Houlton Harbour, but from the sounds of it, it was an identical situation. The community changed the water pipe system to each unit, and the older pipe broke and the owner had no way of shutting it off, and in fact, it was no longer servicing the house. It apparently just had a boot on it and I would imagine after 15 years or so, it just gave way.
#11 Aug 25, 2009
Very bad HOA. That is all I can say.
#12 Sep 16, 2009
Looks interesting, all of a sudden the policy has changed...did anyone in ELCA get that notice or was it a board only decision????
Revised policies as of September 2009:
Here it is in text format:
11. Waterline breaks. ELCA and the County will determine who is responsible for paying for
all waterline breaks that do not fit into the following policies:
A. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break between the external water cut-off and the
water main of any unit in Elizabeth’s Landing will be paid by Elizabeth’s Landing Community
B. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break on common ground will be paid by
Elizabeth’s Landing Community Association. The expense of any repairs for any waterline
break on county property will be paid by the County.
C. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break between the external water cut-off and the
foundation of the unit will be paid by the owner of the unit. This policy applies no matter
whether the unit owner or the Association contracts for the repair.
If a unit does not have an external cut-off, or if no external cut-off is found, then the following
D. The expense of any repair of a waterline break or other problem that is located at a point
where the line feeds water to only one unit will be paid for by that unit owner.
E. The expense of any repair of a waterline break or other problem that is located on the
property of the unit owner and is at a point where the line feeds water to more than one unit will
be paid for by Elizabeth’s Landing because it is considered to be a common line.
Looks like they added D and E to protect themselves yet again, because here is the old version in text format:
11. Waterline breaks. ELCA and the County will determine who is responsible for paying for all waterline breaks that do not fit into the following policies:
A. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break between the external water cut-off and the water main of any unit in Elizabeth’s Landing will be paid by Elizabeth’s Landing Community Association.
B. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break on common ground will be paid by Elizabeth’s Landing Community Association. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break on county property will be paid by the County.
C. The expense of any repairs for any waterline break between the external water cut-off and the foundation of the unit will be paid by the owner of the unit. This policy applies no matter whether the unit owner or the Association contracts for the repair.
Never trust the HOA. Never!
#13 Sep 23, 2009
The BOARD must love Diane Gersham, because she is a bull. A real Brute. NO matter what you say, your wrong.
#15 Sep 27, 2009
I don't live in EL, but I know alot of people that do.....when we were looking for buy a house the ONLY reason we didn't buy in EL is because of the HOA - they are HORRIBLE!!!!! Stoneybrook Village which is just up the street from EL - MUCH better....they don't run there community like a nazi training camp, like EL does!!
#16 Sep 29, 2009
No doubt. My family has had a few dealings with her, none of which have been nice; and they are usually little issues but she makes it into a battle. I think the County Executive John Leopold lives there, so you'd assume someone good would be in charge of the community. I have often thought about shooting him an e-mail to get his take.
We all understand she has a job to do, but whenever you disagree on something minor or just ask a question she reads the riot act and quotes directly from the by-laws of ELCA. Its crazy.
I would love to know if there is anything the residents can do it make a dent in the board and HOA. I know they have meetings but residents are only permitted in a few of them and the board seems to control everything like a special little clique.
#17 Oct 7, 2009
Thanks again everyone, we really appreciate the feedback. At this point we have decided not to buy the particular house we were looking at. Unfortunately, the owner was unable to meet the HOA's needs on the inspection, eventhough we offered to assist or fix it for him when we bought it. They were pretty stern with him, it was ugly. He's trying to do the right thing and get out of his house before he goes bankrupt and they won't approve it. Amazing how he wants to sell, I want to buy, and the Association is holding the proverbial cards.
There is another house in Elizabeth's Landing we are looking at, however with this experience and the feedback we received, it is very doubtful we would move into that community. Thank you all again, if anyone has anymore opinions we'd still appareciate it.
#18 Oct 16, 2009
I saw our lovely manager out earlier in the week, it must be inspection time again! Please make sure your window boxes and railings comply with all by laws.
#19 Nov 10, 2009
I have lived in the community for 12 years. I like both my home and the community, I feel safe living there. I agree with all the comments about Diane, the Manager of the HOA. She lacks personality and customer service skills. As for the President of the Association, she refers to herself as the "top dog around here", what a power trip! There is a sign posted at the beach area which addresses the rules, one of which is no dogs in the area. Guess who regularly walks her dog in the area and on the pier? Yes, top dog! In regard to the inspections: at times I have thought they were "nit picking" but overall I think it pays off. I have driven through other townhome communities who are reported to have less strict policies and I must say it "shows".
Election for board Members: You are asked to cast a ballot before you meet them. Each candidate presents a brief bio in the newsletter and you are asked to vote based on the presentation.
My suggestion to all EL residents: make yourself heard! Attend meetings! There is power in numbers! Impeach the current board members and President.
#20 Jan 8, 2010
I think he works for Robert's Plumbing of Pasadena, so you know he is an expert, who else would Diane cite as a source?
Conflict of interest I reckon!!
#21 Feb 25, 2010
I like the community, it is very nice and clean and the townhouses are great. The HOA on the other hand is not so great. Although I've only lived here for a short time, I have had a few run ins with the association, one specifically when the inspections came out. My house was cited for my neighbors repairs! When I called the office, I spoke with Diane and informed her that she cited my house for things that were my neighbor's problems, not mine, she would not admit that she was wrong. I couldn't believe it. She told me that she needed to come back out and double check to make sure and she'd call back. When she called back, she still wouldn't admit that she made an error instead she cited my house for more repairs that didn't even need to be done.
Like Black Rock Harbour said above, no matter what you say, you are wrong!
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