By: Matthew Davis, Davis Leary PLLC
Many of you recently received an undated and unsigned letter from MJ Management claiming to be working on a resolution to our current situation for the entire community and demanding that you pay $93 per month for maintenance. There are a few things you should know, and a few questions for you.
The following serves as a response (shown in blue) to several misleading and inaccurate statements in the letter, (shown in italics).
“The Homestead Management Team has been working on a sensible resolution to our current situation for the entire community, while striving to maintain the Golf Course and the Common Space. Due to the ongoing litigation against 18 Paradise, MJ Management LLC, and Homestead property owners, maintenance fee negotiations are at a standstill. Effective January 2021, the maintenance fee will remain $93 per month, or the 1-time fee of $1000.
MJ Management and 18 Paradise are not working on a sensible resolution. The only sensible resolution is to let Homestead owners maintain their own common areas and control their own HOA. Homestead homeowners have no financial interest in the golf course and are not required to support it. The work that MJ Management and 18 Paradise want to charge you $93 a month for is negligible. A fair estimate of those costs is way under $93 per month per parcel. 18 Paradise has complete control over your restrictive covenants, and they have not been updated since 1992. MJ Management and 18 Paradise want your money, not a sensible resolution. They make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year off your maintenance fee, and they see no reason for that to change. Do you agree?
Fact Check: There is no current litigation against Homestead property owners as stated in MJ’s letter. As a matter of law, class members cannot be held liable for damages or attorney fees in a class action. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or lying.
“For bookkeeping purposes, anyone who has not paid their 2020 dues in full, will be subject to a 12 % per annum, beginning February 1, 2021. Through January 2021, there will be a final grace-period to pay outstanding balance, interest-free. And, instead of payment coupons, we can now track maintenance fees by addresses. So be sure to include the address attached to the payment. Send fees to 115 East Homestead Blvd. Suite C.”
According to MJ Management, the worst that can happen to you is that you might have to pay interest on past due amounts starting in February of next year. The Court will have a thing or two to say about the lawsuit before then, and 12% interest on $93 dollar payments is not much money. You don’t need to do anything now, and the best advice might be to wait and see what happens.
“A seven-member Advisory Board has been formed and is meeting to make recommendations to MJ Management. The un-elected Board was assembled to comply with State Law, and as a starting place for our current situation. Within months, we will hold elections where you, the Homestead Community, will vote in members making the official elected Advisory Board.”
The “Advisory Board” is a myth. The letter says that an “Advisory Board” was created “to comply with State Law.” That is wrong. The applicable “State Law” is the Common Interest Ownership Act (RCW 64.90) and RCW 64.90.525 specifically requires notification and consent by all homeowners. Furthermore, the Lynden Ordinance allowing Planned Residential Developments requires a homeowners association, not an Advisory Committee. This is your neighborhood and your homes. You should be making decisions, not giving advice to Mick and Josh about how your neighborhood will be run. Do you want 18 Paradise to run your HOA, or do you want to make your own decisions?
“We have a community website through which you can contact us, in addition to letters, phone calls, or email. The website is homesteadgolfclub.com, and once there, click on “Homeowners” tab for general information.
The Website is not a “community” website. We all know what a community website is. It is a website created and run by members of a community for their common interests. On the other hand, homesteadgolfclub.com is a website created and controlled by 18 Paradise to promote its golf course. You can book a tee time, sign up for email offers, and see a list of upcoming golf course events. There is a “Homeowners” section if you could call it that. Some of your neighbors have created a real community website. You can keep up to date on the lawsuit and the neighborhood at homestead-hoa.org. As it develops, it will have more and more opportunities for input by Homesteaders. It is run by Homestead owners for Homestead owners and always will be. Which serves you better?
“As we move into 2021, we will look to the Advisory Board to represent you, the homeowners, to holding us accountable, protecting your property values, and keeping our transactions documented and transparent. The Advisory Boards responsibilities will soon be posted under “Homeowners” tab on our website homesteadgolfclub.com.
For those who prefer all correspondence to be through mail, contact Olivia at email@example.com, so we can keep you updated.
What to expect in 2021. The Advisory Board was hand-picked by Mick and Josh from people who support their position, and now they say this board represents you? They do not even say who is on this purported Board. They also say the Board’s responsibilities will be posted on their website. Apparently Mick and Josh think that they get to decide what responsibilities their so-called Board will have. It is not even clear that Mick and Josh will be around in 2021. We understand that their current agreement with 18 Paradise ends on December 31, 2020, and we don’t know if it has been renewed. If 18 Paradise or MJ decide not to renew, at that point MJ can walk away with all money they have collected from homeowners, with only the lawsuit to rein them in. If they do renew, all that MJ Management and 18 Paradise are promising for 2021 is more of the same treatment we’ve been getting. Is that what you want?
Stay up to date by joining the HOAG email list: firstname.lastname@example.org