One of the things that the I.O.G. wants to return to the Icon Brickell is a sense of community. A feeling that we are neighbors who share this amazing development we call home. The overall feeling of our community is a reflection of Owners but in particular the Board of Directors and the staff servicing our community. When the people feel that leaders are reclusive, cold, despondent, and hide behind attorneys, then we end up with a sense of isolation, distrust, and unhappy owners and residents.
The actions of Board of Directors permeate the fabric of our association staff and that translates into how owners and residents are treated. Unfortunately, our boards appear to prefer living in a hostile environment of “us versus them.” During a recent board meeting on November 10th for Tower-2, the board’s lack of attention to details was put on full display. One item of business was a collection issue for a unit owner. The facts of the situation are as follows:
- A unit changed owner about a year and a half ago.
- The previous owners had H.O.A. fees auto-deducted from their bank account.
- The previous owners did not stop the auto deduct payment when they sold their unit.
- The current owners never set up a payment method. They never received a non-payment notice.
- The previous owners discovered the mistake recently and requested a refund.
- The association is now trying to collect a year and a half’s worth of fees at once from new owner.
- The current owner asked the board for a small payment plan to bring their account up-to-date.
There were three parties at fault here. First, the previous owners should have taken steps to stop payment. Second, the current owner should have taken steps to start H.O.A. payment process. Finally, the management team should have taken actions on the change from previous owner to new owner.
Please remember that the unit owners were not denying their mistake, nor were they seeking to reduce the amount owed. They simply asked for a short period to bring their account up-to-date.
The third and most important and the least held accountable is the management team. The management team is custodian of our records and they have an obligation to maintain accurate records that reflects the current ownership of the owners. They are responsible for new owner orientation meetings, Issue resident cards, assign security FOBs, and review all moving ins and moving outs. Therefore, all reasonable people can see the management team failed and contributed to length of time the current owners were allowed to go without making a payment.
The board voted 5 to 0 to deny the unit owners payment plan request. The board took zero responsibility for the failure of their administration to catch this before it became an issue. They placed the entire blame on the owner. The board and the association act as infallible and the owners are disenfranchised. The Board members did not even consider the worst case scenario: What if the new owner sold their unit and moved out before the problem was discovered! We all would have had to pay for the Board’s mistake.
Icon Owners Group recommends the board take decisive actions as follows:
– Update management procedures to avoid similar mistakes.
– Inform Tower-1 and Tower-3 to alert them of the potential problem.
– Review existing payment plans to ensure there are not similar mistakes occurring right now.
– Allow a payment plan without penalties.
We want all our neighbors to be treated with respect.