TANGLEWOOD HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION OF SEBRING INC.
SEBRING FL 33872
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES FOR NOVEMBER 21, 2012
Meeting was called to order by President, Don Toth, at 10:00 AM in the Tanglewood Rec Hall bingo area. President Toth led the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call was taken by Jim Child. Present: Don Toth, Gladys Nealon, George Weyrauch, Garland Wampler, Bob Cartwright, Jack Nelson, Bill Evans and Jim Child. Excused from the meeting was Merritt Wiley. Number of residents in attendance was approximately 350. Board members acknowledged receipt of the Secretary’s minutes from the Board meeting of October 17, 2012. A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes, all approved.
Don Toth explained that the purpose of this meeting was to review with the Board and all residents present, the current status of the rent negotiations and he proposed to postpone the individual committee reports until next meeting. A motion was made and seconded to dedicate this meeting to review the status of the rent negotiations. All Board members approved.
Don Toth reviewed the duties of the Statutory Committee as to their arrangement and conduct of meetings with the park owner to discuss unreasonable rents, unreasonable rules and decreased services without a reduction in rent, all described in the FL statutes 723. The second purpose of this committee is that in the event that agreement cannot be reached at these meetings the committee is to arrange for a joint mediation with a mediator assigned by the state of FL.
The Statutory Committee has met with representatives of Hometown America on October 22 and November 23, 2012. Based on a review of Hometown America’s analysis of comparable parks and the committee’s own analysis of comparable parks, the committee asked for a moratorium on rent increases for the next two years.
Hometown America was requested to supply justification for proposed rent increases in writing, with comps.
President, Don Toth, reviewed the findings of the HOA study of comparable parks and it was concluded that Tanglewood’s current rental rates are in excess of comparable parks by 25%.
Hometown America has offered a reduction in increase from 3.9% to 2.9% with no commitments beyond 2013. This has been rejected and the next step will be to request mediation.
The steps toward mediation begin with the approval of a minimum of 51% of affected residents.
Board Member, Jack Nelson, reported on the Statutory Committee’s negotiations. Other parks in FL were in recent years, receiving 0% to 1% increases or a flat $5.00 to $6.00 per month increase while Tanglewood has and continues to receive 3.9%. Jack explained the steps and costs of going to mediation, including the fact that the mediation would not be binding on either party. If no satisfactory conclusion can be reached the next step would be court action.
Board Member, George Weyrauch, indicated that the most common feedback from residents in his neighborhood indicates fears that the 3.9% was signed for in initial purchases. George reports that his review of the documents shows that residents signed for increases up to 3.9% and that 3.9% is unacceptable year after year.
Don Toth stated that his understanding of FL. statute 723 is that rents can be increased based on first, comparables and second, increases in costs to operate the park. The park owner will have to demonstrate reasons for an increase in costs. The HOA would like to work with Hometown America to assure that rents are fair.
Board Member, Garland Wampler, stated that the committee’s research demonstrates that if residents had zero increases, it would take 13 years to have rents comparable to similar parks.
President, Don Toth, asked for questions from the floor:
Q. The rent increases in the Outback have been 5%, not 3.9%. Will these negotiations include the Outback?
A. Yes, we are attempting to represent the entire park in these
Q. Home prices have dropped so fast in Tanglewood, faster than other home markets, we feel trapped.
A. Yes, that is exactly why we are in negotiations over rent.
Q. Will rent increases be paid into an escrow account after January 1?
A. No, we have decided to not ask to have rental increases set aside in escrow to avoid possible litigation.
Q. Could we not ask that increases be tied to Social Security increases?
A. We are concerned about tying into any cost of living or CPI related index as the CPI in 1980 went up about 14% and we are already approximately 25% higher than comparable parks.
Q. Can we have a lifetime lease?
A. Our lawyer explains that all leases in FL are lifetime leases and that what we would argue for is a transferable lifetime lease.
Q. My agreement states that my increase of 3.9% is calculated on my base rent at the time which was $410 per month. However, my proposed increase from Hometown America is based on my current rent of $505.
A. We have brought this up with our Attorney and it will be addressed in mediation.
Q. The 51% required signatures, is this 51% of everyone in the park?
A. The 51% is of those receiving rent increases but some increases fall on other date besides January 1. We are attempting to get 51% of all residences so that we can negotiate for the whole park.
Q. Can the committee use help in getting the required signatures?
A. Yes, we need help, see anyone on the Board. We only have 20 days left.
Q. Can we have a membership drive?
A. Other parks we have visited have a newsletter for the association which is distributed to members. This seems to encourage membership.
Q. Will the dues statement be mailed out to members or to everyone in the park?
Q. My rent has gone up 5% per year and this year it is projected to go up 26%.
A. We will be representing all residents in these negotiations.
Q. I found that the HOA has a website, does everyone know this?
A. We have included the website on the dues statement.
Q. What is the deadline for signatures?
A. We have about 20 days remaining; they must be completed by December13.
Q. What is the basis for membership?
A. All homes with a HUD certificate, about 1040 homes.
Q. Can anyone explain the rule of 72?
A. The rule suggests that if we take the percentage of increase divided into 72, it would give us the number of years it would take for our rent to double.
Q. What constituted a premium park in the comparables?
A. Premium parks were based on amenities: real lakes with lake access and/or golf courses incorporated into the park.
Q The value of Tanglewood is based largely on its volunteers.
Q. Why mediation?
A. Mediation, while not binding, is an attempt to work things out fairly without the cost of litigation.
Q. We were told that the 3.9% would be a max.
A. That is why we formed an association.
Q. What would be the time of mediation or a lawsuit?
A. Mediation would take place most likely by early 2013. A lawsuit would take
more than six months.
Q. Can we all pay the same increases?
A. The HOA only covers homes with a HUD certificate.
It was moved and seconded to accept the quote of $477. from Bogus Printing for the dues notices.
TREASURER’S REPORT BY BOB CARTWRIGHT
Beginning balance for October 1, 2012 was $6,529.86. Deposits from October 1 thru October 31, 2012 was $60.00. Expenses for that time period was $449.63. Balance as of October 31, 2012 is $6,140.23.
A motion was made, seconded and approved to adjourn the meeting.
Jim Child Vice President