Here are 4 easy steps that will allow renters and other people who do not have a significant financial stake in the Pine Hollow subdivision to be eligible to hold a position on the Pine Hollow HOA Board:
- Declare or amend the Bylaws so that any “property owner” is eligible to be a Board member. Most people would hail this as a way for ensuring only those who had a significant financial stake in Pine Hollow could be a Board Member. Not so. This change to the bylaws would expand the definition of who can sit on the Board. No longer would a person have to be a member of the Association, meaning a homeowner in Pine Hollow. Now it would merely be necessary to a “property owner.” Any property in the subdivision, no matter how small or inconsequential would count. What seems to be an innocent change actually expands who is eligible to be on the board. Now for step 2…
- Find a person who is willing to deed you a trivial pieces of property within Pine Hollow so that now you are eligible to be a director. Think that this is not possible? Think again. This type of deed transfer is more common that you think. Pine Hollow green belt property is not solely owned by the Association. There is property owned by others who have no interest in the Subdivision and the value of these tracts are only a couple hundred dollars. From time to time these insignificant Pine Hollow properties have been deeded to individuals so that they could be eligible to serve on the Municipal Utility District (MUD) Board when they did not otherwise own a piece of property within the MUD to legitimately serve on the MUD board.
- Be appointed to the Board, or be elected, without revealing that you are not a member of Association and that you are eligible to run only by virtue of owning an insignificant property within the subdivision. One might think that individuals serving on any Board where this deceptive practice has happened would not endorse or allow this practice. That appears not to be the case. A few years ago MUD#18 asked the Pine Hollow HOA Board to deed a piece of property that the Association owned to a person who did not live in the MUD so that the individual could continue serving on the MUD board, despite having moved out of the MUD zone. While the Pine Hollow Board voted against the request, apparently the tactic has not been forgotten.
- When your term is up, deed the property back to the original owner. By doing this, the original owner gets their property back (the practice is called a “reverse deed”) and can continue use it again if an opportunity arises. One can even obscure the fact he even owned this property by back dating the property transfer.
These steps have been used many times by various people to put their choices on to various MUD districts throughout the years. Most residents have no idea that this is possible, and the procedure is completely legal.
But just because something is legal doesn’t make it right or in the best interests of the homeowners of the HOA.
So think twice if you are asked to approve a change that allows “property owners” to serve on the Board. And think twice more if someone runs or is appointed for the Board without declaring whether they are a homeowner in the Association. It is possible it is a non-homeowner who was deeded a small parcel of land simply to create eligibility.