If I could go back and tell past self one thing in regards to purchasing my house, it would have been NO HOA.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for an HOA, but it’s not for me. The irony of course is I’m on the board of my HOA. I figure if I can’t beat them, I might as well see what it’s all about. Plus there are some good people on my board. So if I’m stuck being in an HOA, I might as well participate in what’s going on (or, rather, help decide where my money is being spent).
One of the things our HOA did (before I was on the board) is hired an outside company, HOA Inspection Services, to take on the responsibility of finding the violations in the neighborhood. With 700+ houses, it was way too much for one person, a volunteer no less, to do all of this. So even though I wasn’t on the board when this decision was made, I do think it’s a good idea. But holy shit, what a racket HOA Inspection Services is. I have never, ever, dealt with a company so clueless in how it operates. Either clueless or brilliant, because these guys are running some sort of scam.
But rather than take my word for it, you be the judge. Here is a conversation I had with them via email. It starts with me explaining when my violations will be fixed, and a question regarding one of my violations.
Hi! Just wanted to break down the violations and plans:
1. Fading siding: I can paint that at first opportunity, but it is dependent on my duplex neighbor. As my Heat Pump just went out last week, that will cost me quite a bit but I am aware of it. At this time it’s about money I simply don’t have as I can’t afford to paint the entire duplex (which has to be done).
2. Storm Door Hardware – I plan on purchasing a storm door this summer. It will be removed/replaced then.
3. Paint front door/baseboard/shed door – Spring.
4. Paint light post – done.
5. Black residue on stoop/landing – please provide pictures of what you are talking about.
Please contact a qualified handyman or contractor on issues that need clarification as they can best identify the issues.
The final compliance date to complete all issues is May 22, 2016.
Any unresolved issues after the said date will be addressed by the HOA board who will make a final determination regarding administrative and/or legal proceedings pursuant to the association’s governing documents. Please note, you will still receive further notices as a reminder until all issues are resolved. Thanks
You said there is Black residue on the stoop/landing. I don’t see it, I need you to show what you are referring to. I will not pay for a handyman or contractor to point out something that you say is there. That makes no sense at all. Your company is the one that identified the issues, you, not a paid handyman or contractor, would in fact be the one who needs to identify it.
I look forward to your response.
Most contractors do free estimates. We cite things that are obvious and apparent. At this point we will let the HOA board decide how to proceed further at the conclusion of the final inspection. Thanks
Then if you can’t be bothered to explain what you are citing, I won’t be bothered to fix it.
I’ll assume that it’s no longer an issue at this point since you can’t, in fact, explain what the issue is.
Hello Stewie. Another option is if you would like to discuss this issue in detail, the owners of the inspection company has a weekly podcast that is dedicated to discussing all issues related to HOA governance, etc. You would remain anonymous and get to air out your position to the inspection company directly. It would be beneficial to others who have been similarly cited.
Let us know if you would be interested. Thanks
www.HoaTalkTime.com is the podcast if you would like to listen and get an idea.
No thank you. I just need to know the issue.
It’s honestly perplexing that you write up a violation and when someone has a question on it, your response is to get a contractor instead of explaining your findings. What kind of business plan makes this acceptable? You noted the problem, but it’s up to the home owner to find a third party to figure out the violations you found? Do you really think that’s best business?
Hello. When we cite issues, we cite issue that are very evident, self-explanatory and obvious. We also provide a knowledge base with pictures of typical items for clarification like the issue in question:
If you are still perplexed about black colored substance that is ingrained in concrete, then we suggest a qualified professional who can point it out. Otherwise again, we will let the HOA board decide if they want to pursue the issue further. Thanks
If you can’t point it out, this is a nonissue. The very fact you are telling me to hire someone to come out and find something that you say is there is piss poor customer service. No qualified professional is going to come out for free to point out something a third party claims is a violation.
What kind of business points out a violation without any sort of backing evidence? The burden of proof is on you here, and it’s completely asinine that your only response is “have someone else tell you what the problem is.”
Stop emailing me unless the next email consists of photo evidence of black colored substance on the concrete.
Hello. We understand your concern and position. Again, we will let the HOA board make the final determination. This issue will stand as cited. Thanks
I see your reading comprehension skills are as lacking as your customer service.
I’ll also be bringing the complete breakdown of what happened here up at the next board meeting. I’m completely unimpressed that your company can’t answer a simple question, instead suggesting the homeowner hire someone to point out a problem you insist is there. I’m actually surprised you didn’t recommend a contractor you know who would give me a good deal, considering how truly shady this whole thing is.
But, don’t sweat it, I have been sharing this experience with everyone I know to see if this is standard procedure to, you know, tell someone they are in violation of something, then absolutely refuse to point out said violation when questioned. Every single response has been utter disbelief on your inability to provide an answer to a question. Your company name is making the rounds! So there’s that!
So here it is in a nutshell (or TL;DR):
Here’s a violation.
I don’t see what you are talking about on this part.
Hire a handyman or contractor. They’ll tell you what the problem is.
But you are the one who said there was a problem.
Listen to our podcast.
What? Just tell me the problem.
Take it up with your HOA.
That business plan is either retarded or brilliant. I’m still on the fence. On one hand, they are…just words can’t describe the stupidity of this. On the other, they charged our HOA to basically make up violations. It could go either way.
Oh, and the stoop with all the black stuff:
If you are on an HOA and are looking for a service to something like HOA Inspection Services claims to offer, do not go with them. All you’ll get is a half ass job and a lot of angry home owners. This company sucks.