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Old 09-07-2010, 08:58 PM
 
172 posts, read 306,306 times
Reputation: 47

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I won't go into great detail, but I plan on attending my association meeting in two days to bring my complaints to the board's attention. I am disgusted with the way this business is ran. An example would be the club-house attendant smoking a cigarette at 9:35 telling me the pool and facilities are closed (hours are until 10pm), watching tv the whole time he is on the clock, etc, etc... My question is: what is the most professional way to address the board while getting their attention. So far I am thinking I will contact the BBB and print out my complaint, make sure I write down all of my valid points, and present myself professionally. I know there are many people on this board that have been in the same position. Please give me your insight, thanks in advance.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:48 PM
 
41 posts, read 48,029 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaptrex View Post
I won't go into great detail, but I plan on attending my association meeting in two days to bring my complaints to the board's attention. I am disgusted with the way this business is ran. An example would be the club-house attendant smoking a cigarette at 9:35 telling me the pool and facilities are closed (hours are until 10pm), watching tv the whole time he is on the clock, etc, etc... My question is: what is the most professional way to address the board while getting their attention. So far I am thinking I will contact the BBB and print out my complaint, make sure I write down all of my valid points, and present myself professionally. I know there are many people on this board that have been in the same position. Please give me your insight, thanks in advance.
Let me preface this by saying that in the past I've worked as a concierge at two different downtown condos - basically part-time weekend jobs - to supplement the income of my regular M-F job. So I have some limited experience/knowledge here.

Re: the clubhouse attendant telling you that the pool was closed at 9:35p when it is actually open until 10p, this could easily be resolved by speaking to the condo manager. "I wanted to use the pool around 9:35p. Clubhouse attendant told me it was closed. As you know, the facilities are open until 10p each evening. Could you please see that this doesn't happen again?"

Do that and the problem will be resolved. The condo mgr. will speak to the clubhouse attendant and will make sure that it doesn't happen again. Pretty simple stuff.

As far as "watching TV the whole time he was on the clock," trust me, condo employees are allowed to do that when residents are not around. I worked on nights and weekends. In a typical 8 hour shift, there *may* have been residents around me for 30 minutes (yes, it's an incredibly easy job). As a result, the condo furnishes a small TV that is mounted behind the desk, if for nothing else, to help pass the time when no one is around and nothing is going on. You turn the TV off when a resident is addressing you or if you are doing something for a resident, but other than that, you're free to use the TV when nothing is going on and no one is around. I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem with that, but apparently you do.

If these are your biggest complaints about your condo (and it sounds like they are - since they are the ones that you chose to voice), I'm not exactly sure what you intend to accomplish by "contacting the BBB" and then presenting your BBB complaint to the condo association board.

My educated guess is this - you bought this condo in pre-construction. The developer low-balled you on what the quarterly assessments were going to be (don't feel bad - ALL Sarasota condo developers do this). Now, you're moved in and the quarterly assessments are 4x - 5x what the developer said they'd be.

You'd sell the condo, but it's worth 70% of what you paid for it - so that's not an option, either.

You made a lousy investment and now you're upset each and every time that you scratch one of those condo assessment checks. Believe me, I "get" that.

But you're incapable of accepting that it was the result of a lousy investment on your part. Nothing is ever your fault, is it? It's the condo board's fault, it's the developer's fault, it's your Realtor's fault for selling you the condo, it's your bank's fault for approving the mortgage. Hell, it's the $10/hour clubhouse guy's fault - it's a travesty that the condo manager and the board doesn't care if he watches TV during downtime - G'd dammit - you're getting hit with insane condo assessments and because of that, this guy should be cleaning your condo and shining your shoes in his downtime.

I've read you like a book, haven't I? Trust me, it's pretty easy to discern between condo owners who are comfortable with their purchase and condo owners who are upside down and cannot afford the assessments.

I'm still laughing at you wanting to file a complaint with the BBB. Not only will it not accomplish anything, but by you doing it, it will likely further reduce the resale value of your condo (it's a well-known fact that people who buy re-sale condos look for and avoid condos where there is evidence of unrest by the residents - when I worked as a concierge, I was frequently approached by both potential buyers and Realtors, asking me to divulge info about any potential unrest going on among residents and the board).

Again, I understand about you being upset about the clubhouse attendant telling you that the pool was closed when it wasn't. But that's a problem that can EASILY be resolved with a 5 minute conversation with the condo manager. You sound like a drama queen.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
3,254 posts, read 3,269,571 times
Reputation: 2611
Swaptrex, your condo is not a business. It is an ownership structure and you have as much right to speak at a meeting as anyone else. You don't need to go to BBB and it probably is inappropriate anyway. I am on the board of my condo, we follow an agenda, and we have a time set aside for owners coments. Before the meeting, ask them if they do the same, let them know you'd like to speak, and wait until that time. The board is probably made up of unpaid volunteers who were willing to do the job because no one else would do it. :-) Don't give them a hard time and don't make it accusatory or political. Just bring up your concerns and ask them for action. It will probably be a simple thing.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:18 AM
 
14,642 posts, read 27,910,819 times
Reputation: 5110
but for those two complaints it would seem much simpler to just go to the manager of the condo if there is one...and ask for an explanation of why you could not use the pool -- and why the attendant was smoking ON THE JOB--which I find to be much more of a problem than watching TV when there is probably not that much going on...
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
5,735 posts, read 8,331,184 times
Reputation: 989
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaptrex View Post
I won't go into great detail, but I plan on attending my association meeting in two days to bring my complaints to the board's attention. I am disgusted with the way this business is ran. An example would be the club-house attendant smoking a cigarette at 9:35 telling me the pool and facilities are closed (hours are until 10pm), watching tv the whole time he is on the clock, etc, etc... My question is: what is the most professional way to address the board while getting their attention. So far I am thinking I will contact the BBB and print out my complaint, make sure I write down all of my valid points, and present myself professionally. I know there are many people on this board that have been in the same position. Please give me your insight, thanks in advance.
I think you should write down your complaint / suggestions, and hand them out to those that attend the meeting, and put it/them on the agenda with the board, that way they will address them. Put a different hand out for each item you want addressed, and don't group them, because that just allows the water to be muddled, and each won't get the separate attention they need.

Being frustrated, and wanting to take away the TV is a side issue that is not relevant to the swimming times. Keep it separate. I actually see it as a benefit to who ever is hired to help them pass the time. Otherwise you may not have anyone take that job! They certainly aren't over paying that attendant - who is there to keep some order and prevent vandalism, and reduce insurance costs. If you make this a major issue - the swimming issue won't get the merit of the discussion it should.

Again, other issues should be addressed independently and on their own merits. I don't think you're HOA dues are the big issue here - you didn't bring them up. Good Luck. Again hand out a print out of each issue separately, it will attract attention, and others will contribute their thoughts for each issue as well. And, let us know, if you do this - that it work. Others sometimes want to address the commitees as well. Thanks - BH
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Ohio/Sarasota
820 posts, read 1,234,477 times
Reputation: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRQ14 View Post
Let me preface this by saying that in the past I've worked as a concierge at two different downtown condos - basically part-time weekend jobs - to supplement the income of my regular M-F job. So I have some limited experience/knowledge here.

Re: the clubhouse attendant telling you that the pool was closed at 9:35p when it is actually open until 10p, this could easily be resolved by speaking to the condo manager. "I wanted to use the pool around 9:35p. Clubhouse attendant told me it was closed. As you know, the facilities are open until 10p each evening. Could you please see that this doesn't happen again?"

Do that and the problem will be resolved. The condo mgr. will speak to the clubhouse attendant and will make sure that it doesn't happen again. Pretty simple stuff.

As far as "watching TV the whole time he was on the clock," trust me, condo employees are allowed to do that when residents are not around. I worked on nights and weekends. In a typical 8 hour shift, there *may* have been residents around me for 30 minutes (yes, it's an incredibly easy job). As a result, the condo furnishes a small TV that is mounted behind the desk, if for nothing else, to help pass the time when no one is around and nothing is going on. You turn the TV off when a resident is addressing you or if you are doing something for a resident, but other than that, you're free to use the TV when nothing is going on and no one is around. I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem with that, but apparently you do.

If these are your biggest complaints about your condo (and it sounds like they are - since they are the ones that you chose to voice), I'm not exactly sure what you intend to accomplish by "contacting the BBB" and then presenting your BBB complaint to the condo association board.

My educated guess is this - you bought this condo in pre-construction. The developer low-balled you on what the quarterly assessments were going to be (don't feel bad - ALL Sarasota condo developers do this). Now, you're moved in and the quarterly assessments are 4x - 5x what the developer said they'd be.

You'd sell the condo, but it's worth 70% of what you paid for it - so that's not an option, either.

You made a lousy investment and now you're upset each and every time that you scratch one of those condo assessment checks. Believe me, I "get" that.

But you're incapable of accepting that it was the result of a lousy investment on your part. Nothing is ever your fault, is it? It's the condo board's fault, it's the developer's fault, it's your Realtor's fault for selling you the condo, it's your bank's fault for approving the mortgage. Hell, it's the $10/hour clubhouse guy's fault - it's a travesty that the condo manager and the board doesn't care if he watches TV during downtime - G'd dammit - you're getting hit with insane condo assessments and because of that, this guy should be cleaning your condo and shining your shoes in his downtime.

I've read you like a book, haven't I? Trust me, it's pretty easy to discern between condo owners who are comfortable with their purchase and condo owners who are upside down and cannot afford the assessments.

I'm still laughing at you wanting to file a complaint with the BBB. Not only will it not accomplish anything, but by you doing it, it will likely further reduce the resale value of your condo (it's a well-known fact that people who buy re-sale condos look for and avoid condos where there is evidence of unrest by the residents - when I worked as a concierge, I was frequently approached by both potential buyers and Realtors, asking me to divulge info about any potential unrest going on among residents and the board).

Again, I understand about you being upset about the clubhouse attendant telling you that the pool was closed when it wasn't. But that's a problem that can EASILY be resolved with a 5 minute conversation with the condo manager. You sound like a drama queen.

You must have read something from the OP I did not to be making those assumptions.

Anyway, keep in mind that YOU are the HOA. If you have an issue with the rules not being followed, bring it to the attention of the HOA president. Does the president know that the pool closed early?

I'm not sure the BBB is the way to go. You file a complaint with the BBB against the HOA, you are essentially filing it against yourself. And I am not even sure they would take a complaint against an HOA.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
1,645 posts, read 1,791,738 times
Reputation: 767
Having issues with the way a condo is run is not cause to "complain" or "file grievances." It is cause to simply bring the issues up and try to rectify them. Don't sound threatening or difficult; just say "there are a couple of things I feel we definitely HAVE to get cleared up..." and present the issues.

If they are not taken seriously, make your point a little more strenuously.

If they are not taken seriously then, let them know you take it very seriously and would consider a formal complaint.

If still not taken seriously...fine, go make a ruckus.

But if your default mode is to immediately say

Quote:
I am disgusted with the way this business is ran.
and
Quote:
So far I am thinking I will contact the BBB and print out my complaint
without first trying to reason with them, you will only end up alienating yourself from your neighbors.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:22 PM
 
172 posts, read 306,306 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRQ14 View Post
Let me preface this by saying that in the past I've worked as a concierge at two different downtown condos - basically part-time weekend jobs - to supplement the income of my regular M-F job. So I have some limited experience/knowledge here.

Re: the clubhouse attendant telling you that the pool was closed at 9:35p when it is actually open until 10p, this could easily be resolved by speaking to the condo manager. "I wanted to use the pool around 9:35p. Clubhouse attendant told me it was closed. As you know, the facilities are open until 10p each evening. Could you please see that this doesn't happen again?"

Do that and the problem will be resolved. The condo mgr. will speak to the clubhouse attendant and will make sure that it doesn't happen again. Pretty simple stuff.

As far as "watching TV the whole time he was on the clock," trust me, condo employees are allowed to do that when residents are not around. I worked on nights and weekends. In a typical 8 hour shift, there *may* have been residents around me for 30 minutes (yes, it's an incredibly easy job). As a result, the condo furnishes a small TV that is mounted behind the desk, if for nothing else, to help pass the time when no one is around and nothing is going on. You turn the TV off when a resident is addressing you or if you are doing something for a resident, but other than that, you're free to use the TV when nothing is going on and no one is around. I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem with that, but apparently you do.

If these are your biggest complaints about your condo (and it sounds like they are - since they are the ones that you chose to voice), I'm not exactly sure what you intend to accomplish by "contacting the BBB" and then presenting your BBB complaint to the condo association board.

My educated guess is this - you bought this condo in pre-construction. The developer low-balled you on what the quarterly assessments were going to be (don't feel bad - ALL Sarasota condo developers do this). Now, you're moved in and the quarterly assessments are 4x - 5x what the developer said they'd be.

You'd sell the condo, but it's worth 70% of what you paid for it - so that's not an option, either.

You made a lousy investment and now you're upset each and every time that you scratch one of those condo assessment checks. Believe me, I "get" that.

But you're incapable of accepting that it was the result of a lousy investment on your part. Nothing is ever your fault, is it? It's the condo board's fault, it's the developer's fault, it's your Realtor's fault for selling you the condo, it's your bank's fault for approving the mortgage. Hell, it's the $10/hour clubhouse guy's fault - it's a travesty that the condo manager and the board doesn't care if he watches TV during downtime - G'd dammit - you're getting hit with insane condo assessments and because of that, this guy should be cleaning your condo and shining your shoes in his downtime.

I've read you like a book, haven't I? Trust me, it's pretty easy to discern between condo owners who are comfortable with their purchase and condo owners who are upside down and cannot afford the assessments.

I'm still laughing at you wanting to file a complaint with the BBB. Not only will it not accomplish anything, but by you doing it, it will likely further reduce the resale value of your condo (it's a well-known fact that people who buy re-sale condos look for and avoid condos where there is evidence of unrest by the residents - when I worked as a concierge, I was frequently approached by both potential buyers and Realtors, asking me to divulge info about any potential unrest going on among residents and the board).

Again, I understand about you being upset about the clubhouse attendant telling you that the pool was closed when it wasn't. But that's a problem that can EASILY be resolved with a 5 minute conversation with the condo manager. You sound like a drama queen.
Let me get a few things straight, since you're the king of assumptions. First off, you couldn't be more wrong about me being angry about a "bad investment" simply because I rent the condo. However, I still think that I should be treated with respect. It sounds as if you're describing yourself, and your own personal experience. Why else would you waste the time to type all of that?

Secondly, I understand there is down time, looks like lots of down time. That is absolutely fine if the attendant wants to watch tv while nothing is going on, but is it justified for said attendant to watch tv and text while I'm addressing him about a concern? As far as talking to management, I've done this four times already with no changes being made. It took us over 3 weeks to get our mail-box key, and when we did receive it our electricity bill was late. That's one of many examples I have of how serious they take their job.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:26 PM
 
172 posts, read 306,306 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big House View Post
I think you should write down your complaint / suggestions, and hand them out to those that attend the meeting, and put it/them on the agenda with the board, that way they will address them. Put a different hand out for each item you want addressed, and don't group them, because that just allows the water to be muddled, and each won't get the separate attention they need.

Being frustrated, and wanting to take away the TV is a side issue that is not relevant to the swimming times. Keep it separate. I actually see it as a benefit to who ever is hired to help them pass the time. Otherwise you may not have anyone take that job! They certainly aren't over paying that attendant - who is there to keep some order and prevent vandalism, and reduce insurance costs. If you make this a major issue - the swimming issue won't get the merit of the discussion it should.

Again, other issues should be addressed independently and on their own merits. I don't think you're HOA dues are the big issue here - you didn't bring them up. Good Luck. Again hand out a print out of each issue separately, it will attract attention, and others will contribute their thoughts for each issue as well. And, let us know, if you do this - that it work. Others sometimes want to address the commitees as well. Thanks - BH
Very helpful post, thank you. I guess I should have mentioned that I am a RENTER and not an OWNER. I know some will say that I do not have a say in anything, but I beg to differ.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
3,254 posts, read 3,269,571 times
Reputation: 2611
Swaptrex, I just read what you wrote about being a renter not an owner. I can't say for certain but you may find that your condo may only allow owners to participate in the meetings. However, that is not to say that your lease does not afford you rights but you may have to go through your landlord rather than thru the board. Think of it this way...the owner has rights and, thru our lease, temporarily assigns some of those rights to you. I'd still suggest that you be nice about it, either ask to talk at the meeting or with the management rep who should be there at the meeting, and see where it takes you. If you must, approach the landlord and ask him/her to talk to the management company on your behalf.
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