- Community Residents & County Executive
- United States of America
The methodology used to transfer control of the governance of any Community Association from the developer to the owners often determines the long term success of the Association.
Ideally, the transfer should occur through an extended transfer process during which the owners gradually become involved in the Association’s operations and decisions. The Developer Board continues to make decisions for the community, without notification.
Many of these decisions work in the favor of the developer and not the residents.
There is growing concern from all of the sub-communities within the Master Association of The Chaddsford, that the developer is reluctant to institute the aforementioned transition process. Coupled with the lack of managerial oversight, direction, communication, and overall disregard for the entire community by Meredith Management, we understand that you as the developer may fear that we as unit owners will interfere with building and marketing efforts and thus threaten your overall profitability.
As a group of individuals who have signed this document we are aware of the fiscal and legal burden which accompanies the acceptance of responsibility for our Association. We understand the transition process and the benefits gained from a successful transition, and desire to be a party to the activities going on within the Association. Meredith Management has not provided us with budgetary information supporting the raise in assessments.
There was not clear communication as to how this process was concluded; being that State law has maximum increases for Homeowners Associations in the State of Maryland. Whereas it’s possible that this process was followed correctly, efforts by many of the individuals who have signed this document have been forwarded by management and in turn have greatly impacted the perception of K. Hovnanian and the developer board within the community. Experience shows that a well planned transition combines owner education and the gradual transfer of control. Again, this results in well run Associations. By us, as owners, being kept in the dark and Meredith’s refusal to educate and/or acknowledge issues brought together by all the sub-Associations, no one is addressing or seems concerned about the interest of the people who have sustained the financial infrastructure even in a deteriorating market by buying a K. Hovnanian home. Please note that both parties benefit from a successful transition and early owner involvement. You, the developer, benefits by gaining a good reputation; we as owners learn about every facet of the Association and the operations. This knowledge typically is provided by the management company but Meredith has not done this effectively. It is possible to match the community’s needs with the Association’s financial capabilities if we as owners can be included. The result of any successful Community Association is a credit to the developer and ultimately a sound investment for the owners therein.
Successful transition requires advanced planning, none of which was provided to or spoken about by Meredith Management. This should have occurred with the initial planning of the project and carried through until we, as unit owners, are in complete control of the Association. This involves all phases of the development process. We understand that this process may be time consuming and we also understand that K. Hovnanian has entrusted Meredith Management for this purpose. If they had followed through and done what they were tasked to do, and to a certain extend what we as homeowners have paid them to do, eventually dividends would have returned for all involved.
It is this, coupled with the raise in assessments without explanation, which also included the reduction and pool hours from the 2008-2009 pool season as part of the service package provided to us with this increase. Additionally, the hours of the pool operation leaves a lot to be desired and was thought of without the consideration of the homeowners involved; no communication or survey were otherwise requested and when inquiries were made to the managing agent it was advised to the individuals who hold signature within this letter that this was the decision of the developer. It is with this that we formally request that K. Hovnanian Homes begin to add owners to the Board of the Master Association in incremental levels. Although there may need to be further discussion about the actual percentages as it relates to the homes (for instance whether the first owner/director should be elected at 25% or 33% or whether final control should occur at 51%, 75% or 80%) we do understand this is outlined in the governing documents, but with the utter mismanagement and lack of communication and consideration in regard to this, procedure needs to be given as the one in place is not a sound one. We are ultimately willing to adhere to professional conduct regardless of whose representative controls the majority of the votes. We simply desire input into the lives that we lead day to day within the community as homeowners with the Chaddsford and the sub-Associations. Thus, the developer controlled Board should conduct formal meetings for all the sub-Associations to attend, maintain meeting minutes, and Meredith Management should provide said meeting minutes upon request as it is their legal requirement. What this results in is conducting the Association’s business as a business, not as a monopoly or anarchy as Meredith has done and pointed the finger at K. Hovnanian as part of this. The addition of a non-developer committee or quasi Board should not affect the manor in which the community operates but simply advisory input by way of an ad hoc committee of unit owners or “interim Board members” to provide the body of unit owner’s representation when decisions are made without the consensus of those who reside in the community.
We feel that we can make some substantial recommendations to the developer and at minimum monitor activities of the Association’s operations since the managing agent that the developer has selected chooses not to do so. There is no investigation, evaluation, recommendation, or communication in many aspects of the community’s day to day activities. We are utterly disappointed and have come together in order to make this request to K. Hovnanian Homes and Meredith Management for immediate change. If you are unwilling to work with us in this manner, we have come together as owners to represent our own interests regardless of this response. We are planning to meet to determine what the issues are those that affect the community as a whole and which ones are individually problems not being addressed by the Management Company and/or developer. We plan to meet at the Association’s clubhouse, another homeowner’s home or a nearby public meeting room.
We will distribute an agenda in advance and assign a person to take notes. We will make sure to invite you all to our meeting but the expectation is that the lines of communication are open to our needs and the full scope of the Association’s operations as mandated by law. Please consider this communication as a general indication of the owners concerns and dissatisfaction with the current state of the community and furthermore with the management thereof. We ask that you respond to us in kind advising if you wish to cooperate with the suggestions within this correspondence and/or explanation to the issues raised. We understand that to a certain extent the developer may have overlooked the planned program but we cannot determine legitimate reason for the management company to let this go on without oversight. Your prompt and immediate response to this correspondence will go a long way in removing an air of mistrust and allow us to continue to work cooperatively with owners within the Association management and yourselves. We are ready, willing, and able and prepared to assume responsibility to protect the investments of our home but we hope that by coming to you first we can do this cooperatively in everyone’s best interest.
Residents of the Chaddsford Community Association
The Chaddsford Community Petition petition to Community Residents & County Executive was written by Katedra Nixon and is in the category Neighborhood Living at GoPetition.