A completely avoidable fight is taking place among members of the Waterford Village HOA board, as the association’s president is refusing to allow an audit of the HOA’s finances. There are also questions as to whether or not the HOA’s taxes have been filed correctly.
The Gateway Sun is intentionally leaving out the names of the people involved for the time being in the hopes they sort out their differences without having their names show up in Google searches for years to come. And that’s because the situation has devolved to the point of accusations, confrontations, and according to two people: a restraining order against the HOA president’s husband.
According to a Waterford Village HOA board member, the president is preventing the audit because the president says that Alliant Property Management believes an audit is unnecessary.
Indeed, annual audits are only required under the Florida statutes when an HOA has revenues in excess of $500,000 per year.
However, the board member isn’t asking for an audit every year. He just wants one done every few years to make sure the books are straight and the tax returns have all been filed.
The Sun attempted to contact the HOA president but they did not return our phone message. We also attempted to contact Waterford Village’s CAM at Alliant to find out why (or even if) she was against the audit, but they weren’t available.
In addition, the board member says he has asked the CAM for information relating to the association that he is entitled to have under Florida law, but the board member said the CAM is refusing to provide the information requested. The board member told the Sun that the CAM denied the request because the CAM felt the board member had no valid reason to have the information he requested.
But in Florida, no valid reason is necessary. Any homeowner can inspect HOA records for any reason, or no reason. The Florida statutes require the CAM to prepare the information for inspection within 10 days of receiving a written notice.
It isn’t clear why the CAM is being uncooperative, but it’s fairly common for a CAM to side with an HOA president over a board member when there’s a dispute among the board.
We will be following this situation closely to see if the board members are able to resolve their differences.
Ultimately, the issue of whether or not there should be audit should be easy to resolve. If a majority of the board members – or a majority of the homeowners – want an audit then there should be an audit.
And the issue of finding out whether or not the taxes were filed is even easier to resolve. Any homeowner can send a written request to the CAM stating that they want to see the taxes, and the CAM must make them available for inspection within 10 days. That’s the law in the Florida.
While it’s pretty common for HOA board presidents to be unreasonable, it’s extremely rare to find a president who doesn’t go over and above when it comes to financial transparency.
Usually HOA presidents will trip over themselves trying to prove just how transparent they are when it comes to the association’s money.
Why this HOA president is refusing an audit is baffling. I mean, yes, they do cost money – but I think most homeowners would agree it’s money well spent.
An association of Waterford Village’s size likely only has to produce a list of HOA expenditures every year for the members. But is performing a routine audit every 3 years really asking too much?
To be clear, the board member did not accuse the president (or anyone) of any financial misdeeds. He just wants to make sure all the money is properly accounted for and the HOA members know exactly what they’re spending money on.
If I was a homeowner in Waterford Village, I would want an audit performed every few years as well.
Especially now that I know the HOA president doesn’t want one.