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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 2/10/2006 6:45:58 AM EDT
Charlotte Condo Leaders Cut Off Water To Non-Paying Members
http://www.wral.com/news/6895394/detail.html

UPDATED: 8:38 am EST February 10, 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A condominium association empowered by a new state law squeezed two homeowners who haven't paid more than $2,000 in dues by turning off the water to their units.

In what may be the first such effort in North Carolina, The Princeton at Southampton owners' association cut off the water supply to both condos to force payment of homeowners' dues after dozens of notices and a certified warning letter, association president Michael Kan said.

"We thought this was better than kicking them out of their houses onto the street," Kan said. "It's also quicker and saves us money."

The tactic became legal last month when legislation governing the state's 13,000 homeowner associations went into effect, said attorney Richard Vinroot, who advises the association. The statute allows associations "to suspend privileges or services" for a homeowner who falls more than a month behind in paying dues.

North Carolina attorneys who specialize in homeowner association law said they know of no other places in the state where services have been cut off. One said she would advise against the practice.

"If landlords can't cut off people's water if they don't pay their rent, I don't think associations should either," said Tina Pace, a Raleigh attorney who specializes in homeowner association law. "If someone isn't paying rent, you evict them. If they're not paying dues, you foreclose on them."

But filing for foreclosure can be time-consuming and expensive, Kan said. A foreclosure would cost the association at least $1,000. It cost the group about $300 to cut off water, which will be charged to the delinquent homeowner.

The delinquent Princeton at Southampton homeowners each owe more than a year's worth of the community's $112-a.m.onth dues. Three other delinquent homeowners paid up, Kan said, after learning their water could be cut off.

One of the homeowners whose water was turned off, Greg Gulledge, said he hasn't paid his dues for more than a year because the association hasn't replaced a missing shutter on his condo. The other homeowner could not be reached Thursday.

Kan said the association first heard about the shutter this week and a work order has been placed.

Having no water won't get Gulledge to pay, he said.

"Why should I pay for services I'm not receiving?" he said. "I won't let them take my house, but I'll live without water for a while. If I have to call a water company to bring me 50 bottles a day, I'll do it."
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:55:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 6:57:16 AM EDT by Hellhound]
Happens pretty frequently to apartments here in the city of ATLANTA, yo!

ETA: The cutting off of water. I have seen reports about electricity, gas, etc... Then the city comes in and makes everyone move, usually gives them about 48 hours.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:56:02 AM EDT
This realy doesn't show anything bad about condos, what blows is Homeowner Association, which tend to cause more trouble than they are worth.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:56:33 AM EDT
Sounds like a good reason to abide by the rules. They chose to live there, they agreed to follow the rules.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:57:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
This realy doesn't show anything bad about condos, what blows is Homeowner Association, which tend to cause more trouble than they are worth.



Yup, this is nothing specific to condos.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:57:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photokirk:
Sounds like a good reason to abide by the rules. They chose to live there, they agreed to follow the rules.



+1 exactly! they should turn off the power too
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:59:51 AM EDT
Good reason why I never buy a house where you have to be part of a home owners association.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:00:33 AM EDT
I will never again buy a house where HOA covenants are in place. Another tool of fascism.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:03:34 AM EDT
Why should I feel sorry for the deadbeats who don't pay their fees? Those fees pay for water, electricity (for common areas), maintanence, grounds keeping, etc. Every dollar they do not pay is a dollar that the other people have to pay.

I joined my condo's board so I didn't get screwed by the busybody ninnies. Believe me, running a small condo association (30 units) is a major PITA.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:05:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 7:06:11 AM EDT by dolanp]

I joined my condo's board so I didn't get screwed by the busybody ninnies. Believe me, running a small condo association (30 units) is a major PITA.


Ugh, I hate the busybody ninnies. They have no life and if they got their way there would be "Children at Play" signs every 5 feet and the speed limit would be 2mph. They are always wanting to waste money on something dumb.

Yet they will raise hell if someone tells them to maybe not let their kids play out in the street.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:06:19 AM EDT
Tool of fascism? WTF? You sign an agreement to pay your dues/taxes/rent/whatever - if you don't abide by your agreement, then I don't give a rat's ass what happens to you.

These people were given dozens of warnings and opportunities to pay, and they didn't. My Give-A-Shit meter doesn't work for people like that.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:26:35 AM EDT

$112-a.m.onth dues

From the three condo associations I managed, that's a reasonable price. When you include outside maintenance, insurance, outside repairs, (usually)cable, trash pickup, and water, it simply costs that much. You'll spend more money that that with a house. Just trash pick-up around here for a house now costs $50-$75/month by itself.

I will never again buy a house where HOA covenants are in place. Another tool of fascism.

What? It's a condo. You have to have some sort of shared maintenance and upkeep. Of course it has to be paid for. Again, you'll pay more out of your pocket if you have a house.z
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:43:03 AM EDT
I agree with a few of the above. Why should I feel bad for people that dont follow the rules. I live in a condo and knew the rules about the HOA before I moved in and I am sure that they did as well.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:54:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
This realy doesn't show anything bad about condos, what blows is Homeowner Association, which tend to cause more trouble than they are worth.



HOA and condo's are a given, but you have a valid point. Also, it's not legally possible as far as I know for a HOA to cut off water to a single family home, that's between the homeowner and the water company, the condo HOA can because, well they can. Someone would have to tresspass illegally on your yard to shut your water off and then again you can turn it right back on with one of those water valve keys.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:58:51 AM EDT

$112-a.m.onth dues


That's cake around here ... the newer buildings in Philly generally start at $350-400/mo for condo fees. The more expensive ones go up to $900/mo (Rittenhouse Square).

As for the people in the article, it has nothing to do with a condo. Same as if you didn't pay your water bill in a regular home.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:06:15 AM EDT
Sounds good to me. My brother lives in a tiny condo complex--about 6 owners. One of them is a total deadbeat.

Fees in many condo associations can be $500 or more a month.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:20:07 AM EDT
"One of the homeowners whose water was turned off, Greg Gulledge, said he hasn't paid his dues for more than a year because the association hasn't replaced a missing shutter on his condo. The other homeowner could not be reached Thursday.

Kan said the association first heard about the shutter this week and a work order has been placed."

Seems like He did not want to pay for a 'service' he was not getting.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:27:55 AM EDT
At our last association meeting, we suggested raising the fee from $105/month to $125/month. One woman freaked out stating that she would have to "take out a loan to pay the fee." These are nice condos (about $175,000) too, but some of the tenants have been there so long, that the condo is paid off and all they have to pay is the fees and the taxes.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:32:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wraith:
Seems like He did not want to pay for a 'service' he was not getting.


Usually, repair work is one very small part of the fee. The majority of the fee goes to the insurance on the buildings and the water/sewage/garbage bill.

There are ways to redress grevances without withholding fees. My guess is that the "shutter" complaint is BS and used as an excuse for him to be a deadbeat.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:51:27 AM EDT
Maybe a stupid question, but:

If you are either the owner of property in/near a housing development, and you build on it (or buy an existing house in that area).

Unless there is already (in the sales contract when you bought it) requirements to join the HOA, they cannot force you to join?

And, say there is an older house in the (new) neighborhood. The 80 year old owner sells to you...he didn't want to join the HOA, so never joined when the new neighborhood went up around him. Even though the house is in the middle of the neighborhood, there is (again) no way to make you join?

Thanks!!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:29:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AFARR:
Maybe a stupid question, but:

If you are either the owner of property in/near a housing development, and you build on it (or buy an existing house in that area).

Unless there is already (in the sales contract when you bought it) requirements to join the HOA, they cannot force you to join?

And, say there is an older house in the (new) neighborhood. The 80 year old owner sells to you...he didn't want to join the HOA, so never joined when the new neighborhood went up around him. Even though the house is in the middle of the neighborhood, there is (again) no way to make you join?

Thanks!!




HOA convenants are tied to the land a house sits on and recorded as part of the deed, sort of like an easement. Some HOA are set up to expire after 30 years or when a majority of HOA "members" (homeowners) vote to have it dissolved. But to answer your question a HOA can't force someone to join if HOA covenants aren't part of the deed.

That' being said, buying a house that's part of HOA then bitching about HOA regulations doesn't get any sympathy from me, just like buying a house near the airport and bitching about the noise.
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