HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
DTalos
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:59 pm

HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by DTalos » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm

How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.

rantk81
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:12 am

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by rantk81 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:05 pm

Completely inappropriate in my opinion. But unless the amount was for an exorbitant amount of money (like, several hundreds of dollars), or unless this was a common re-occurring theme (of wasting association funds), I'd probably just let it go in this case. Not really a battle worth fighting IMO.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22280
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:06 pm

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
No knowledge or experience, but I would not object. In fact, depending on the details, I would probably support it.

Katietsu
Posts: 2497
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Katietsu » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:10 pm

Have no idea how common. I have seen flowers at a funeral home with a card from the homeowners association. Of course, I have no idea if the flowers were purchased from mandatory fees or a voluntary fund.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by criticalmass » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:20 pm

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
This is not an appropriate operating expense or reserve expense, the only two expense types many HOAs have to use.

It is appropriate for members or board members to pass around a donation envelope for those who choose to donate.

There was a post (in another forum) in the past 18 months of another HOA board that wanted to buy flowers for a board member whose family member had died.

It is not a social expense unless all members have the opportunity to participate. Also, your HOA does not want to be in a position of treating any member (homeowner) differently than any other member.

If your board does go forward, ensure that:

1. The funds used are budgeted specifically for that purpose
2. A majority of the board approves
3. EVERY owner/survivor gets the same treatment going forward
Last edited by criticalmass on Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by friar1610 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:21 pm

I was on a condo trust board - not the same as an HOA but similar. My first take was that it wouldn't be appropriate. The more I thought about it, I decided it would be OK if:
- it were a standard policy (I.e., you did it for every resident who died.
- you had a standard amount, say $50 or $100
- you limited the donation to, for examples, flowers or a charitable contribution. (But not, for example, to have masses said for the deceased as you begin getting into areas where some fee payers might object and, as a board member, you just don't need the hassle.)

You'd probably want to document it in a written policy. If you got a lot of negative feedback fro homeowners you'd probably want to have it voted on at the next annual meeting.
Friar1610

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22280
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:11 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:21 pm
I was on a condo trust board - not the same as an HOA but similar. My first take was that it wouldn't be appropriate. The more I thought about it, I decided it would be OK if:
- it were a standard policy (I.e., you did it for every resident who died.
- you had a standard amount, say $50 or $100
- you limited the donation to, for examples, flowers or a charitable contribution. (But not, for example, to have masses said for the deceased as you begin getting into areas where some fee payers might object and, as a board member, you just don't need the hassle.)
You'd probably want to document it in a written policy. If you got a lot of negative feedback fro homeowners you'd probably want to have it voted on at the next annual meeting.
As far as I know, as well, if the "cause(s)" noted for the deceased might not be the most appropriate for the HOA, then I believe the HOA could always donate to some other cause in the deceased memory as well.

Topic Author
DTalos
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by DTalos » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:31 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:20 pm
DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
This is not an appropriate operating expense or reserve expense, the only two expense types many HOAs have to use.

It is appropriate for members or board members to pass around a donation envelope for those who choose to donate.

There was a post (in another forum) in the past 18 months of another HOA board that wanted to buy flowers for a board member whose family member had died.

It is not a social expense unless all members have the opportunity to participate. Also, your HOA does not want to be in a position of treating any member (homeowner) differently than any other member.

If your board does go forward, ensure that:

1. The funds used are budgeted specifically for that purpose
2. A majority of the board approves
3. EVERY owner/survivor gets the same treatment going forward

I completely agree with your post. Regarding #3 above, currently in the HOA I am a member of, the amount donated to the charity depends on how long the deceased was a member of the HOA, whether he/she was part time or full time and other unknown reasons. The amount varies between $100 to $150. Although I disagree with this expenditure, I think all deceased owners should receive the same donation amount.

User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 5347
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Kenkat » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:44 pm

I am the Treasurer of the small (19 homes) HOA of our neighborhood. This question has come up before for us and in reviewing the bylaws of the HOA, this would be a violation of our bylaws as expenditures must be for the “scenic benefit, health and welfare of HOA members as a whole”. So we limit expenditures to landscaping and maintenance of a common entryway and required insurance for the HOA. While someone might not complain, it is not allowed so we just ask for a voluntary donation from each family and then use what was collected to buy flowers or a gift certificate to a local garden store.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by criticalmass » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:48 pm

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:31 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:20 pm
DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
This is not an appropriate operating expense or reserve expense, the only two expense types many HOAs have to use.

It is appropriate for members or board members to pass around a donation envelope for those who choose to donate.

There was a post (in another forum) in the past 18 months of another HOA board that wanted to buy flowers for a board member whose family member had died.

It is not a social expense unless all members have the opportunity to participate. Also, your HOA does not want to be in a position of treating any member (homeowner) differently than any other member.

If your board does go forward, ensure that:

1. The funds used are budgeted specifically for that purpose
2. A majority of the board approves
3. EVERY owner/survivor gets the same treatment going forward

I completely agree with your post. Regarding #3 above, currently in the HOA I am a member of, the amount donated to the charity depends on how long the deceased was a member of the HOA, whether he/she was part time or full time and other unknown reasons. The amount varies between $100 to $150. Although I disagree with this expenditure, I think all deceased owners should receive the same donation amount.
Thanks! Please note that I didn’t say “board member,” I said member. Every Owner in an HOA is a member of the HOA. It is unlikely that someone is a part time HOA member, unless they buy / sell property frequently there.

Board members should not receive any special treatment, donations, gifts, handling, or anything in kind that all HOA (not just board) members do not receive.

It sounds like your board could be on thin ice. Ask your legal counsel for specific guidance in your state. Also check if your municipality has an HOA ombudsman or oversight position if you believe your board is not spending appropriately. They can make misbehaving HOA boards very miserable until they resolve their mistakes, without you having to spend any legal fees yourself.

bob60014
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by bob60014 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:56 pm

Totally inappropriate.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22280
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:59 pm

My opinion is that it is (or may be) appropriate to provide this for current or former board member - and not the general membership.

LarryAllen
Posts: 1142
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:41 am
Location: State of Confusion

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:02 pm

Totally wrong in my opinion and I would be bothered and not a lot of stuff bothers me. The HOA should be stewards of money only. It's not a feel good group.

mouses
Posts: 3905
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by mouses » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:03 pm

I would suggest they send a nice card.

My first impression was, heck, flowers, do it, but I can see "charities" I would not want my money going to support.

I don't think board members should be treated differently from other members.

Gill
Posts: 5765
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Gill » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:08 pm

Another vote for this being totally inappropriate and beyond the scope of a homeowners' association. You might consider proposing an amendment to the by-laws prohibiting such expenditures.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

drawpoker
Posts: 2722
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:33 pm
Location: Delmarva

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by drawpoker » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:30 pm

rantk81 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:05 pm
...... I'd probably just let it go in this case. Not really a battle worth fighting IMO.
Agree. If you raise an objection, or attempt a change in the bylaws, you will quickly be labeled a troublemaker and a misfit. And you still have to live there.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22280
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Tough bunch! :greedy

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 17591
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Watty » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:01 pm

Probably not totally appropriate but if it is only a occasional hundred dollars or so I would let it go. I have been on a HOA board and it is a pretty thankless task so I tend to give them a lot of discretion on small stuff like that.

If you feel strongly that this should be stopped then you can run for the board to help decide this in future years. At least in my HOA pretty much anyone that wants to be on the board can get on the board and we usually have to actively recruit people to get a full board.

If you are in some sort of senior community and this is a frequent expense then that might be a different situation.

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3739
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Steelersfan » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:42 pm

Out Bi-laws would permit it if we took a formal vote and recorded it in our minutes. If the member, serving on the board or not, had provided valuable service to the association it could be appropriate.

On the other hand, we would never do it. We'd just request money from the current board members and they would step up. I know because we've done it in the past.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 3027
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:13 pm

I am an HOA board member. I would oppose such a motion. For a valued owner (say, one who had done much as a board member) I would contribute to a private collection.

Such an HOA donation would be against the spirit, and possibly the letter, of the organizing documents.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5782
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:27 am

I agree that this is not appropriate and I doubt many by-laws would legally allow this. Of course, boards often do what they want as no one is going to sue to stop you from spending $100. In most associations this is such a small amount that I wouldn't lose sleep over it. If the HOA wanted to do such a thing, they could ask for unit owners to donate toward flowers.

junior
Posts: 885
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:14 pm
Contact:

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by junior » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:32 am

If you sued then the HOA money would be used to defend the lawsuit, so you are not going to benefit. Seems you should let it go.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by criticalmass » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:08 pm

junior wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:32 am
If you sued then the HOA money would be used to defend the lawsuit, so you are not going to benefit. Seems you should let it go.
That’s why a homeowner in this situation should find out if the local or state government has an ombudsman or regulatory office that looks after HOAs. They can really take a misbehaving board to task and make them miserable until they mend their ways without any lawsuit needed.

If folks let misappropriated funds go because of the price or some other arbitrary factor, at least find out how much misappropriation is acceptable to the HOA and all owners.

Goal33
Posts: 1019
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Goal33 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:11 pm

You can thank them for their membership of the association in the next newsletter. I would not want my HOA spending money on this.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

Mjar
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:18 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Mjar » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:36 pm

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
Its not appropriate unless written in the bylaws of the association. To me sounds like there might be one member of the board has found a way to not pay for something they want to do that others don't care about. The only way I could see this as acceptable is if they were the HOA president for a while and did good for the association. This opens up for more "reasons" to use the funds on other things that don't meet the criteria of the association to put under the social bucket. I would even lobby to remove the social bucket and lower the cost of the monthly/yearly dues by that much and when you have the annual party, people who want to attend pay, people who don't pay don't attend. Its what we do for our block party in our association.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 9833
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by celia » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:33 pm

It depends on how the HOA is incorporated and what their goals are. If they are a non-profit, the board has a fiduciary duty to use all funds for the goals (mission statement) of the organization.

I am on the board of a non-profit and missed one meeting when they discussed buying flowers for a member who had died. That's nice, but is not consistent with the mission statement of the organization and some members would not want their money to be used for that. (What would the organization do if a dozen members died in the same year?) We ended up with the person who purchased flowers reimbursing the non-profit for the amount that was spent.

Unfortunately (fortunately??) I am sometimes the treasurer and responsible for filing forms with the state and IRS. I also fill out a long questionnaire when we by liability insurance. So I am aware of what things might come back to bite us. I'm probably thought of as the "grinch" on the board who insists we do things correctly, but my signature is on the legal forms and I don't want to be liable for something we shouldn't be doing.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 9833
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by celia » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:46 pm

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
...but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
How is buying flowers or donating to charity akin to an annual party where members get to know each other better (which is itself good so that they look out for each other's properties when the owner is not there). A party promotes interaction, puts the participants in a good mood (with food and beverages), and helps participants feel like they belong to the group. How does a donation do that?

How does a donation build community? Maybe it helps a third-world community or a researcher community (that is working on fighting a disease), but it does not build the HOA community.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22280
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by dm200 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:49 pm

What about an employer that sends flowers or remembrance in the case of current employees, spouses of employees or long time retirees? Would you folks object as well?

Topic Author
DTalos
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by DTalos » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:41 am

celia wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:46 pm
DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
...but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
How is buying flowers or donating to charity akin to an annual party where members get to know each other better (which is itself good so that they look out for each other's properties when the owner is not there). A party promotes interaction, puts the participants in a good mood (with food and beverages), and helps participants feel like they belong to the group. How does a donation do that?

How does a donation build community? Maybe it helps a third-world community or a researcher community (that is working on fighting a disease), but it does not build the HOA community.
I don't know and I completely agree with your statements. I was told that by a Board member who has a position as a Board member for over 20 years. Ironically, in the case of three of the last four members that have died where contributions to a charity were made in their memory, their spouse or family put the house up for sale immediately after their deaths. So much for building community.

User avatar
8foot7
Posts: 1664
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:29 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:10 am

It would seem to me the way to satisfy this would be for the HOA to buy flowers to plant in the common area in memory of the member.

User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 3847
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:50 am

DTalos wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm
How common is it across the United States for HOA's (Homeowner Associations) to use association funds to donate to a charity or to buy flowers for the family in memory of a recently deceased owner/member of the HOA? I don't think this is a proper use of HOA funds as not every single member benefits and some might be opposed to the certain charity, but the HOA Board considers it a social expense, akin to the annual party and that it builds community.
Our HOA has a "Sunshine Committee" that sends birthday cards, condolence cards, and flowers when appropriate. They have an annual budget. It seems perfectly appropriate to me. (I'm the Treasurer for our HOA.)

If you don't think that is a good use of the HOA funds, then you should bring it up at a board meeting or annual meeting and propose a change in the Bylaws to prohibit this practice. If you get enough homeowners to agree with you, then you can stop it. You might propose that the practice be changed to a voluntary contribution fund.

If your real beef is "the certain charity" then you might consider being part of the committee that decides which charities are appropriate.
Don't be a lemming.

User avatar
JamesSFO
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by JamesSFO » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:54 am

We did it in our HOA when a long-term ~15+ year board member passed. ~250 home community with a $1M+/year budget and this was like a $100 expense. Strikes me as both (a) reasonable and (b) of such nominal value relative to the budget that who cares.

Jags4186
Posts: 3907
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:01 am

Pass an envelope around, donate the money as “from the members of the XYZ home owners association”.

I suspect that you will not get as much as you think you would this way which is why you are trying to run it through HOA funds. If this is the case reach into your own pocket and make up the difference if you feel that strongly.

I suspect any of the neighbors who would do something of this nature are already doing it...no reason to duplicate effort or force effort upon those who don’t want to participate.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by criticalmass » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:48 am

JamesSFO wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:54 am
We did it in our HOA when a long-term ~15+ year board member passed. ~250 home community with a $1M+/year budget and this was like a $100 expense. Strikes me as both (a) reasonable and (b) of such nominal value relative to the budget that who cares.
If nobody cares about someone spending the money, then why not ask everybody to contribute directly instead of forcing “contributions” by raiding the property maintenance funds? Perhaps the $1M budget will shrink by applying expense controls and policies; where there is sloppy spending in one case often leads to finding sloppy spending elsewhere. Is there written guidance for this type of event, and is there a defined number of years someone is on a board to entitle donation compensation?

I’ve been on an HOA board, but would never want to remembered with someone taking operating or reserve funds. It’s not a nice gesture when it is taken or forced.

User avatar
JamesSFO
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by JamesSFO » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:02 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:48 am
If nobody cares about someone spending the money, then why not ask everybody to contribute directly instead of forcing “contributions” by raiding the property maintenance funds? Perhaps the $1M budget will shrink by applying expense controls and policies; where there is sloppy spending in one case often leads to finding sloppy spending elsewhere. Is there written guidance for this type of event, and is there a defined number of years someone is on a board to entitle donation compensation?

I’ve been on an HOA board, but would never want to remembered with someone taking operating or reserve funds. It’s not a nice gesture when it is taken or forced.
Because focusing on the big rocks matters, if I'm trying to manage a $1M budget, I focus on the $100K expenses and try to trim those first.

To each their own.

Goal33
Posts: 1019
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Goal33 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:12 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:49 pm
What about an employer that sends flowers or remembrance in the case of current employees, spouses of employees or long time retirees? Would you folks object as well?
No, I would not object to that. That builds good will for the organization and is good for business. The HOA does not need this type of good will and it will not improve the HOA's ability to continue to collect revenue.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3739
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:01 pm

It appears these contributions have has been going on for a long time. I suggest the OP ask around and see if others share his opinion. Go the annual meeting and request a discussion among attendees.

To put some context, let's image a 50 home association. Two people die per year (that's probably too high for a 50 home community). If the HOA spends $100 on one and $150 on the other, that's $250 per year. Divided by 50 owners that's $5 a year, or just over 40 cents a month.

Change the number of owners and number of deaths per year to get your own estimate and how much it's worth fighting over.

Note - if it's a violation of state law or the HOA Bi-Laws then that's a different matter. But there's no indication it is for his state or his HOA.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 17591
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:13 pm

If you are file a complaint about it not being in the bi-laws or try to amend the bylaws that that would likely getting layers involved and the legal fees could quickly be larger than the cost of the donations.

The best thing to do would be to start attending the board meetings and informally making your views known.

bmelikia
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:23 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by bmelikia » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:22 pm

Well. . .I guess if the board had already voted and approved that such a "fund" can exist then it sounds like it would be acceptable - not something that I would approve of but if the board approves then I guess it is what it is. . .

As a side note - my wife was in a HOA prior to us getting married - she no longer owns the property and we have no desire to go back to an HOA ever again
"I would rather die with money, than live without it...." - Bogleheads member Ron | | "The greatest enemy of a good plan, is the dream of a perfect plan." | -Bogle

beardsworth
Posts: 2135
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by beardsworth » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:42 am

I'm the past president and current treasurer of a small HOA where my wife and I have lived for 15 years.

The association always personally greets new residents with a housewarming gift, typically a houseplant in a decorative container. And we always send funeral flowers when a homeowner passes.

Yes, it's "a community-building exercise," as current jargon describes such practices. More specifically, it's the simple human kindness of treating others as we would wish to be treated, welcoming those who have joined us and honoring (and comforting the families of) those who have left us.

In the overall picture of our finances, it's a small amount of money, well-spent, needed only intermittently, and no one in the neighborhood has ever objected to it.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

Post by criticalmass » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:24 pm

beardsworth wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:42 am
I'm the past president and current treasurer of a small HOA where my wife and I have lived for 15 years.

The association always personally greets new residents with a housewarming gift, typically a houseplant in a decorative container. And we always send funeral flowers when a homeowner passes.

Yes, it's "a community-building exercise," as current jargon describes such practices. More specifically, it's the simple human kindness of treating others as we would wish to be treated, welcoming those who have joined us and honoring (and comforting the families of) those who have left us.

In the overall picture of our finances, it's a small amount of money, well-spent, needed only intermittently, and no one in the neighborhood has ever objected to it.
That sounds a bit different than the OP HOA situation, where the board is honoring some former board members with money, but not all residents receive equal treatment of dues funds.

I echo the earlier sentiments about not wanting to return to an HOA ever again.

Post Reply