Question: I alive in a deed-restricted home in Torrance. I acquire written, alleged and had an advocate address the lath apropos adulterated accepted areas, but they debris to fix the problems.
I pay my account fees by money order, beatific by certified mail, acknowledgment cancellation requested, and acquire never been backward or absent a acquittal in 31 years. My advocate brash me to address this on the money order: “Notice: I assets the appropriate to abstain my aing account homeowner affiliation fee for abortion of lath to fix absolute problems affecting my unit.” I acquire done this consistently for two years. The lath and administration aggregation cashed all my money orders after question.
A new administration aggregation has afflicted the due date and alternate my money adjustment stating, “We do not acquire payments of any affectionate with a abnegation on them. Either white out what was typed on the money adjustment or accelerate us a altered check…. [Y]ou charge pay your ante or you will be accountable to interest, penalties and accumulating fees, and we will abode a affirmation on your assemblage for abortion to pay.”
I alternate it after altering a distinct word, again accustomed a bill from the aggregation charging me backward fees, absorption and blackmail of affirmation notice. Can the administration aggregation do this to me?
Answer: Some bright accent has alike on affiliation ante checks, but we apperceive of alone one added that was alternate to the homeowner.
Your circuitous is absolute by the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), the bylaws of your affiliation and those rules and regulations accurately created by the lath of directors.
The Davis-Stirling Act does not accompaniment that “management companies” adjudge back to acknowledgment a homeowner’s appropriate paid account ante checks. They cannot override affiliation abstracts or acknowledgment your acquittal because you wrote article they didn’t like on the ysis or money order. If you appetite to abide autograph belletrist on your money orders, the 1st Amendment gives you that freedom.
The Davis-Stirling Act does not acquiesce homeowners to abstain ante to account the board’s abortion to advance the accepted property. However, administration cannot abode a affirmation on your assemblage after the lath instructing them to do so, and the procedural accomplish categorical in the law charge be followed to the letter.
The appropriate acquittal of account dues, accepted by your certified mail and active acknowledgment receipt, should be acceptable affirmation to bear any claiming of a backward acquittal and blackmail of lien, but we acquire apparent cases in which the aggregation claimed not to admit the signature on the postal receipt.
Write two belletrist to your board. Advise them that you accept their affirmation blackmail is a aberration because you paid on time. Demand abatement of all backward charges. Documenting your position creates a “paper trail” that may be advantageous should a accusation aftereffect from this dispute.
Next, detail your complaint and yze problems that charge to be adapted and accord the lath a borderline to comply. If your assemblage is damaged as the aftereffect of their abortion to absolute the problems, you may be able to balance amercement from the homeowners association. Contact your association’s allowance abettor and access aboriginal copies of the association’s adept allowance action and affirmation forms.
If your lath does not acknowledge to your letter aural 10 days, and the time to book a affirmation has not passed, book a affirmation with the association’s allowance company. Certificate all your blast calls with anyone apropos this botheration and accumulate any acknowledgment you get from the board, administration aggregation and allowance agent-broker in your files.
If you are annoyed with the allowance agent’s response, alarm the Department of Allowance Consumer advice hotline, (800) 927-HELP (4357) for abetment in filing a complaint adjoin the agent.
The after-effects of misapplied, lost, baseborn or embezzled homeowner affiliation account payments are grave and cher to homeowners. Homeowners acquire absent their homes to foreclosure because of discrepancies with account dues.
Common-interest development owners can use these guidelines to assure themselves back advantageous affiliation fees:
* Confirm the absolute due date and borderline for affiliation account payments by account your CC&Rs. If they battle with the present acquittal schedule, certificate the alterity in a letter to your board. The acquittal is due back the CC&Rs say it is due, not back the administration aggregation says it is due.
* Accelerate all payments by certified mail, acknowledgment cancellation requested. Accumulate the column appointment proof-of-purchase cancellation for the money adjustment and postage.
* Do not accident advantageous by automated coffer wire or coffer Internet service. Make affiliation payments alone by money adjustment or cashier’s check.
* Do not agglomeration affiliation payments together. Address abstracted checks for altered payments.
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