HOA problems and issues are compounded by unethical and incompetent community managers. The Maryland Homeowners Association is a great resource for finding help.
Locally, in Damascus, MD, the Preakness Dr HOA has had its share of problems and controversy. For almost ten years, MTM Management Associates served the Preakness Dr HOA until 2007.
The HOA Board voted unanimously to NOT renew and to terminate with MTM over a number of unresolved issues that involved the firm not coordinating with the Board, sending out violation letters to homeowners without informing the Board, using CAI community management credentials in violation of the CAI ethical code, and refusing to give an accounting of funds collected from homeowners.
During the firms tenure, and as board members changed, the firm did not do its part in maintaining consistency and acting as a competent advisor. John Devine, an employee of Lockheed Martin and past HOA president, actually gave an HOA easement right of way through the HOA common area to a non-hoa property owner who ended up building a house that was serviced by a sewer easement through the HOA common area. The resulting house was upland of the Preakness Dr HOA and has caused nearby residents to experience substantial flooding in their yards and around their property.
One of the main issues for residents is that the easement grant was done without proper board procedures (no board member vote or notice given to the community).
Two key provisions in the new Virginia Community Manager Licensing Law:
-The manager has an established code of conduct for the officers, directors, and person employed by the manager regarding conflicts of interest
- All services provided with associations are in writing
It's time we pushed for licensing of community managers in Maryland.
1. MTM did not renew their contract due to one nutty board member
2. There has been no property damage to homes due to a signed easement by the board.
3. Board was given monthly financials and audited by a company used by the HOA prior to MTM.
4. The negative comments were posted by a board member who assaulted the owner of MTM who subsequently had a Peace Order issued against John Montreal.
5. This board member was eventually thrown off the board but continues to post negative comments. He continued to be disruptive at HOA meetings until a group of concerned owners finally put him in his place.
6. Montreal has cost the association over $12,000 in legal fees for his childish and vindictive actions.
7. For my self I called the owner of MTM and he was more than willing to address the comments by Montreal. It was quite enlightning.