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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 1997 | JILL LEOVY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A group of southeast Valley residents is protesting Ralphs Grocery Co.'s newest acquisition plans, saying the chain's growing dominance of their neighborhood is unwelcome and a little unnerving. "Studio City is being taken over by Ralphs," said Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Assn. The 2,000-member group wrote a letter of complaint to state Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren this week, seeking to block the proposed merger between Ralphs and Hughes Family Markets.
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BUSINESS
April 13, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Thinking this would be cost-effective housing, I bought a condo in the Riverside County area. Since then I've asked the board to repair my unit's balcony railing numerous times to no avail. Six years later, I received a notification that the balconies on all 96 units must be repaired, costing each owner more than $3,000. I have no say in the way things are done around here. This homeowner association has wasted thousands of dollars on repeated cosmetic primping like painting, parking lot slurry seal, landscape and more.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 1994
Re "Homeowners Groups a Love-Hate Affair" (Sept. 19): I read your informative article with great interest. Members of the board run for election often unopposed. Most residents are apathetic and do not attend meetings unless they have a personal agenda. More often than not, the directors are untalented. In our case, our reserves are too low (28%) and maintenance is less than minimum. We have unchecked termite infestation and many of our roofs leak. When I questioned our reserves, insurance and code violations, I was booed and denounced as a troublemaker.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Our manager refuses owner requests for documents, causing our association to be sued several times a year. Each time she comes to court as a defendant, she brings her so-called evidence and answers, "Your honor, see Exhibit X. " She overloads on exhibits, most of which are contrived for the purpose of that hearing. Her main strategy includes putting on big exhibit head notes supposedly explaining what each exhibit consists of, but when the exhibits are scrutinized and read, they have little or nothing to do with what is head-noted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1993
Where was Gideon Kanner (Valley Commentary, Dec. 5) living in the '50s? Not in the Valley, or he'd remember that many parents of young couples he's so sorry for couldn't afford to live in convenient locations like Beverly Hills and Hancock Park. We bought small homes in the Valley and spent large sums of money over the years to improve them. We also made "onerous commutes" to work downtown, sans freeways, in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Ventura Boulevard. We did it for a better way of life for our children.
NEWS
October 28, 1988 | DIANNE KLEIN, Times Staff Writer
"Wha' did he do now?" "He bought an American car." "Herb, some of us might be happier in an unplanned community." --radio commercial for the Mercury Sable It was poisoned goldfish in Palos Verdes, untrimmed bushes in the city of Orange, a basketball hoop in Newport Beach and dog droppings in Pomona. Catalysts for suburban catastrophe, each and every one. That doesn't mean that reason wasn't tried, you understand. It just didn't prevail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 1994 | Dana Parsons
Don't you love it when outsiders describe Californians as laid-back? They'd have everyone believe that "Do Your Own Thing" is our unofficial state motto. Maybe it used to be like that. But this place has become about as laid-back as Stalag 17. Maybe it's just Orange County. Lord knows, we all live here to escape anarchy and to vote Republican, so why complain about the latest chapter of the Control Freak Chronicles? Why even be surprised?
BUSINESS
May 20, 2012 | By Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian
Question: There are five directors on our homeowners association board. If the vote on an item is two yes, two no and one abstention, what is the outcome: yes or no? Answer: Yes or no? Neither. The matter is unresolved because it did not receive a majority of votes. Tie votes prevent a board from taking any action on the motion. Glassman is an attorney specializing in corporate and business law. Vanitzian is an arbitrator and mediator. Send questions to P.O. Box 10490, Marina del Rey, CA 90295 or email noexit@mindspring.com .
BUSINESS
August 15, 2010 | By Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian
Question: I am a condominium owner. Our homeowners association is being sued by a former gardener who claims her firing was an act of sex discrimination. What are the ramifications of this lawsuit for me? Will an insurance policy cover me for any financial loss? I also suspect there may be a political battle going on involving the present board, a former board member and the property management company regarding this problem. Who is liable for damages? Answer: Sex discrimination is a serious charge if it can be proved in court or by some sort of settlement agreement between the affected parties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 1997 | KIMBERLY BROWER
Dan Callahan, it seems, can't win no matter what he does. The Donegal Lane resident wanted to plant pepper trees on his property in 1988, but his homeowners group, the Connemara Property Owners Assn., instructed him instead to plant queen palms. Those palms have since grown a story high, and the association, fearing they had grown too tall and obstruct the views of other residents, ordered him to pull out the trees.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I'm the president of our homeowner association mainly because no one else wants the job. We live in a prestigious area of Los Angeles and have fewer than 30 units. Because nobody wants to be on our board we hired a management company. They're not a California company. Their head office is out of state, and we've never seen or been to their California place of business and do not know where it is or that they even have a California office. A management representative came and picked up our files and documents, including owners' personal information and accounts, and gave us their P.O. box number.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Our association board allows the manager to control all the homeowners association notices that owners are supposed to get. The manager picks and chooses who will receive notice of meetings, elections and other important issues. Sometimes she puts these vital notices in a locked glass case, way at the other end of our huge complex, takes a picture of them as proof the notices were put up, then orders the security guards to remove those same notices from the case after the snapshot.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Our board is very lax when it comes to financials. We don't get timely information, and the information we do get from management and our treasurer is so sparse that owners and the board alike don't have any idea where our association stands. Is there some kind of format that financial statements must follow? Answer: Civil Code section 5305 pertains to standards used for preparation of review of the association's financial statement. It states that unless the governing documents impose more stringent standards, a review of the association's financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles by a licensee of the California Board of Accountancy for any fiscal year in which the gross income to the association exceeds $75,000.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Is our homeowner association's board obligated to disclose legal actions to titleholders? Does the board have a duty to disclose the costs of legal fees incurred for such legal actions, or do we owners just sit back and wait to be slammed with several thousand dollars' worth of special assessments months or years later to cover those fees? Our pro forma annual report is sparse, so how can owners protect themselves from something like this? Answer: Owners should never sit back and wait to be slammed with assessments.
BUSINESS
December 15, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I own a house and my mom owns a one-bedroom condo in the same homeowners association development. We want repairs made and we're frightened because our board directors constantly threaten owners; if we violate any of their rules or governing documents they'll fine and then sue us. Those threats are reduced to writing by the board's voracious attorney, who threatens to send us invoices for legal fees. Our properties are not in trusts and we're unsure how to proceed. What are the costs of setting up a trust and will a trust protect us from litigation by the association?
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I have been on my homeowners association board for two years. All communication between the board and the attorney goes through the association's manager before distribution to the board. I just discovered the manager has been withholding communications the attorney has written to the board. I've also found instances where the manager regularly emails the association attorney stating, "The board wants" and "The board would like you to," when in fact the board never discussed such matters.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: The new board is trying to cut down unnecessary expenditures, but our homeowners association has a law firm on retainer and a management company on contract. Periodic audits unearthed what looks like duplicate and excessive billings for telephone conversations and communications between the attorney and management company owners and employees, also billings for attorney and management attendance at association activities. We have not asked either the law firm or management company to partake in these communications or activities.
BUSINESS
August 23, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Looking to buy a home, we found a single-family residence only to learn it had a homeowners association, so we looked at condominiums. Each had different documents. With the HOA fees on top of our mortgage payments, the house and condo became unaffordable. We want to buy that house but don't want to be part of the association. Can we remove it from the HOA? We're not understanding the concept of these developments and associations. We're at a loss what to look for when buying property.
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