A unauthorized charge at time of property sale, no notification was given.
I purchased a home in Oasis South Subdivision at in August of 2008, the HOA was handled by * * and later transtitioned to the homeowners. The homeowners association then transferred the managment in late 2013 to Rose City Property Managment. I sold this home today 08/29/14, and on the settlment was a charge for $300.00 from Rose City Property Management to transfer the property to the new owner. This charge was never revealed through any correspondence with Rose City Property Management, I never signed a contract or received a statement revealing there charge. I contacted them, and very abruptly was told I should have been notified by the Title Co. or my real estate agent and it should have been paid by the buyer. However, I contacted them before placing the home on the market to request and email stating my fees were current and paid for 2014 and was never notified of this fee. Therefore I did not disclose the fee that I was never made aware of and simply forwarded the email to my agent as sufficient proof that I had no liabilites against my property and that the buyer would only be responsible for the prorated amount of prepaid HOA dues at time of closing. Therefore it would have been immoral, and suppose illegal to attempt to force this fee unto them although it was forced up me. The owner of the business has been extremely vague in the explanation of this fee, and told me I was notified when I purchased the home, which was not possible as they were not the management company at the time. When I explained this she then informed me that she was in her legal rights and did not have to notify me.
I wish to have the $300.00 charge refunded to me, as I feel that the fact that is was not disclosed and that my only option was to delay the closing on the sale of my home and possibly lose a buyer was not a plausable solution.
Mr. * contacted RCPM and asked if his account was current and we informed him that there were no outstanding assessments due. RCPM receives telephone calls daily from owners wanting to know if their account is current. When we inform owners that they are current this means that they do not owe at that time for monthly, quarterly or yearly association assessments and/or fines, etc.
A resale certificate fee is not an assessment or part of an owners fee that would be due on their account, therefore this would not have come up in conversation. RCPM tried explaining to Mr. * on numerous occasions that the association's Boards of Directors review contracts as needed. Our management agreement is with the association and the Board of Directors for Oasis South (who are elected by the owner's of the association) make the decisions on behalf of the association. In our management agreement, we have listed all our fees. The Board acting on behalf of the association agreed to this term as well as all other terms of our contract. Each homeowner would not be involved in this negotiation.
RCPM informed Mr. * several times that the title company he used is responsible for disclosing closing costs for the sale of his home. His title company is more than aware that we charge a resale fee. A resale certificate is required per state law and was established in September of 1999 in order to protect the buyer when they purchase a home in a homeowners association. Most often the cost of a resale certificate fee is paid by the buyer, since it is for their benefit. But the fact remains that this cost is to be decided between the seller and buyer of the home. It is the responsibility of the realtor and title company to inform the buyer and seller of the resale certificate and any fee associated with it. Legally, RCPM cannot get involved with the closing costs on any home nor the negotiation of closing costs. We are unable to speak, as to why the Title Company did not disclose the resale fee to the buyer and seller prior to the closing. Note, that * * was provided the resale certificate which clearly indicates the $300.00 charge on this certificate eighteen (18) days prior to the closing of Mr. Talbert's home. He should have been informed prior to closing that he would have to pay this fee and why the buyer would not pay this fee just as he would negotiate his other closing costs.
Per Texas State Law, we are required to respond to a title company within ten (10) days of the resale request. We are reporting on the physical property and any outstanding association assessments, liens, fines, etc. on the property and any legal issues that the association may be associated with. This certificate along with the association's insurance, financial records, etc are returned to the title company.
RCPM does not ever contact a seller regarding their title company's request for production of a resale certificate. We receive dozens of resale requests on a daily and/or weekly basis on all our associations. We provide the information requested by the title company to the title company. On almost all title company's request to the management company, there is a question like the one on from Mr. *'s Title Company's request that is as follows:
"Are there any transfer, initiation, or additional assessment fees that will need to be collected at closing?" We list our price for the transfer/resale fee on this form as well. In Mr. *'s case his title company had all of this information on August 11th. Mr. *'s closing was August 29th, which means the Title Company had this information far enough in advance to advice him and/or the buyer of this closing cost.
RCPM informed Mr. * that if he was charged and had to pay any fee, resale or otherwise, during his closing that he was not made aware of prior to closing, that he must contact his title company since, again, it was their responsibility to disclose all closing costs prior to his closing date.
Please be informed as well that RCPM has charged a resale fee for production of the resale certificate for the last five (5) years and we have never received this complaint from any buyer or seller on any of our other association's that we manage previous to Mr. *'s complaint. RCPM has never informed an owner or buyer of the resale certificate or resale certificate fee. This would be the responsibility of the Realtor and/or Title Company.
Rose City Property Management, Inc.
I remain of the opinion that I should have been notified by RCPM of any fees associated with the agreement made with our HOA president. They had stated that I signed a contract when I purchased the house but that is inaccurate as they were not the HOA management at the time I purchased. I am unwavering that I should have been sent a contract when they took over stating expected fees. I feel others have not complained because when they purchased their home it was revealed to them. The fee is understandable, the fact that I was not made aware until I was selling the home will never be acceptable to me.
Final Business Response
Again, I am sorry this has happened to Mr. * but his title company and realtor were the responsible parties in informing him of his closing charges. It is not the responsibility of the board of directors to send the owners a copy of every contract that they enter into. Did Mr. * receive a copy of the contract for the landscape company or the chemical company that the board of directors entered into a contract with and that each homeowner pays each month as part of their assessments. Again, Mr. * must go back to his title company to receive any compensation as they were aware of the fees and should have had this all worked out prior to closing of his home.