I live in Florida, and my HOA recently got a 12.5% increase. (From $400 to $450/annually) The HOA Managing Agent refuses to provide me with a detailed breakdown as to why the fee went up. This is her response:
The increase is mainly due to over $10,000.00 in bad debt which thus far has been uncollectible. There was also an increase in the landscaping contract due to fuel cost for 2023 is $3,960 .Thank you, on behalf of the Board of Directors, for your understanding. The HOA dues have not been increased in over 12 years and just about everything else has increased including utilities and we may expect an increase in insurance this year as well.
So…as a resident I think I’m entitled to a detailed breakdown of these charges or am I being too demanding? 12.5% increase in one year seems steep to me. And “bad debt” ? What does that have to do with me or the rest of the residents?
350 homes in my community x $50 increase = $17,500.00/annually.
Where is the rest of this money going?
Have you been to the HOA meetings? I’ll bet they discussed it there. Our HOA has a handful of people who get all uptight at fee increases, but who haven’t been to any meetings or bothered to vote. I have little sympathy for them.
Wow, to have no increases in 12 years is remarkable. I would accept this increase and move on. Unfortunately everything is more expensive these days.
You should attend the next HOA meeting. Most HOA’s are required to give members an annual treasurer’s report. Or you can ask for copy of the minutes and treasurer’s report from the last annual meeting.
A $50 increase over 12 years sounds like a bargain to me. The uncollectable debt is likely deadbeat ex-owner/members and unpaid fines.
The short answer: the HOA board voted for it to go up.
Who do you think owns the HOA? It’s you and your neighbors!
No. The meeting are always in the evenings when I’m at work, therefore I cannot attend.
Yeah what do my neighbors and I have to do with bad debt?
It is a plane simple community with not much upkeep, a 4% increase every year for the next 3 years is more acceptable than a 12.5% right now…all I’m asking is for a detailed breakdown of the expenses.
Your HOA (owned by you) is owed the debt. If the debt can’t be collected, the HOA can’t spend that money. If it needs that money to pay for stuff, it has to get it from somewhere else.
Frankly, the management company screwed up in giving you “bad debt” as a reason. It certainly wasn’t only one thing. The board probably didn’t want to make other budget cuts that might have been another way to avoid the increase, and maybe didn’t want to spread the increase out over several years. The management company should have just referred you to the board meeting minutes.
If you really want to know, reach out to a board member and ask about it. But drop the part about the management company “refusing to provide you with a detailed breakdown as to why the fee went up,” because that isn’t even their job. The financial reports of the HOA should help you understand, but ultimately the board made a decision.
That will be in the financial statements, and you should be able to get them. But they won’t say anything like “this increase pays for X.”
Ask for that day off, or ask one of your neighbors to go and fill you in later. You knew there was an HOA when you bought the house. If it matters to you, make sure you figure out how to attend.
Every primary residence that I have owned and almost every rental property is in a HOA community and I have always received an annual budget for the following year that shows changes for the specific line items. I think this is something you can ask for because it would have to been voted on by the board to adopt.
Read your CCRs and HOA bylaws. Those will lay out what you entitled to see/receive and how the dues are determined and approved. You should also look at Florida’s HOA laws and regs. They are different and more specific than most states.
This is one discussion and there are many more on the web.
The bad debt is probably your neighbors noit paying up their dues.
State law likely specifies what records you have a right to see, the timeframe in which your requests must be provided, and the amount they are allowed to charge for copies.
In Arizona only a very few HOA records are subject to privacy: financial or health information relating to members, employees, contractors (and their employees); advice from an attorney; anything else that Arizona law requires to remain confidential.
Even if you cannot attend meetings, you should be able to obtain copies of board and annual meeting minutes. While you may not be able to discover who or who all owe money (the bad debt), you should be able to find out the total amount owed to the HOA, and how long the debt has been accumulating. Once you have more specifics, speak to the treasurer (not the management company), and ask your questions.
Steve, I’m sure you know, Florida has many HOA’s that charge that amount, and higher, PER MONTH. I live in coastal NC and my annual fee is $375. My local buddies get all worked up over a $10 increase and I just smile. My HOA has to maintain a boat ramp and keep canals dredged at a certain depth. That’s cheap as HOA fees go.
@SonoranSilkies Thanks for this. It is helpful!
@jimtoo Thanks for that link and the suggestion.
i found a small condo community of about 10 families, mostly women who had concerns about fees. The management was done by a woman who lived there so it was in her best interest to keep fees down. There were no lawns as it was wooded, and the buildings were under 20 yrs old. No middle man here, and fees were 50 bucks a month.