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Trace Lofts Still Doesn’t Have a Homeowners Assocation

By March 5, 2008

Trace Lofts

I’ve been living at Trace Lofts for six months now and we still don’t have a home owners association. This has annoyed me but I work 60+ hours a week so its not like I have a lot of free time to read our 200 page public offering package to figure out what needs to happen.

Fortunately a resident more proactive than myself organized a get together a few weeks ago. We spent most of the time venting about issues around the building wishing they’d get fixed. Coming out of the meeting we resolved to meet with the developer (Ted) and Madrona, the management company, and figure out next steps.

Tonight we had an hour and a half meeting (the manager in me bristled at such a long inefficient meeting) which was well attended by residents (~25%) but proceeded without Ted. Madrona did a good job answering the many questions of residents (can we turn up the heat in the halls?) and I pushed and pushed for us to get on with figuring out forming a board but a number of residents seemed particularly concerned by what we’d lose if we formed a board. The main concern seemed to be that right now Ted was footing the bill for some things and that this would come to an end when the board was formed. Of course Ted isn’t paying for anything he doesn’t have to and Madrona is doing the bare minimum to keep our building’s lights on because they are receiving no guidance on what to do and can’t act without guidance.

The next step is to send a letter to someone to say we should form a board. I own this next step but can’t find the relevant section in the 200 pages describing exactly what needs to happen to form a board. Of course I’m finding this frustrating since at my last condo, The Meritage, the developer and management company (CWD) organized this meeting quickly and efficiently. Ted seems to be in no such hurry. Madrona describes Ted’s position as he doesn’t want a board to form so he can tell prospective buyers of unsold units that they still have the opportunity to sit on the board. Personally, I think he should start with some of the traditional incentives like closing cost credits or paid HOA dues.

Any advice or comments on homeowners associations for those of us new to condo management would be appreciated. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering how this all works.