Real Manage Difficulity obtaining finacial records Austin, Texas
*UPDATE Employee: RealManage's response
I own a condo in the Travis Oaks Home Owners Association
Real Manage(RM) took over management of the property in 2009.
Once they took over things started to go from bad to worse.
When they first started I sent in information to have an ACH payment from my bank account and it took them three months to charge my bank and when they did finally charge it I got a nasty notice in the mail indicating my payment was late and I was being charged a $25 fee for being late and another fee for over thirty days. When this information was brought to the board's attention I received a letter indicating that Real Manage had made a mistake on the accounting and to not worry about it and it will be adjusted. It took over six months to resolve the issue of this problem and this was the first six months of them being on the property.
Then the next year an owner paid her dues and Real Manage misappropriated these dues and the manager we had right after this was discovered was either fired or quit. This owner sent RM copies of her cancelled checks RM dilly dallied and did nothing and while this was going on they charged her fee on top of fee and she went round and round for a year and she finally had to involve an attorney to get it resolved. The board was of no help as when it was brought up at a meeting the board president kept screaming "it's in litigation it's in litigation!" It was never in litigation as it never got that far and when it was addressed again to the board they said it was an old matter and was not worth their time to deal with. When the owner finally got it resolved RM and the board made no apology and made it out to be her mistake and that she is a crazy old woman and made a big deal out of nothing and her dues were stolen as they were cashed.
For three years I have tired to get copies of financial records as when I have received financials at board meetings and pointed out discrepancies they were never addressed and I wanted to see if there were other problems. RM has indicated that all of our records are digitally recorded. So to me this sounds like it is something very easy to get the information. No far from it as they post very basic information on the web portal. There is no expense report or copies of the bank statements posted at all. When I have asked for copies of the bank statement I am told that I will have to come to their office and I will have to pay a fee to get a copy of the bank statement and the cost is at RM's price. When I made several requests I was told that our records were not separate where I could sit down at a computer and look at them and when I asked does that mean our money is comingled with another company's money I never got a response. I had to hire an attorney to write a letter to get copies of the financials and when he sent them the letter their attorney responded asking really stupid questions to try and stall. When my attorney showed up at their office to obtain the records he was told that there were 6000 pages and it will cost $600 and they would not let him look at anything until he paid the money so if any of the information was fluff that was not needed we had to pay for it.
When it comes to meetings they never inform the owners of meetings and new laws were put into place to avoid this and our manager kept telling me the laws do not apply to our HOA and they are not required to give any notice of meetings and that the board is well within their rights to have an "executive meeting" where no owners are allowed to attend. This is not the case as an owner is allowed to attend any meeting due to the open records act.
A concern I have is that the board is supporting the management company and when this information is brought to their attention I am told to leave the meeting or they won't answer my questions or they are out of scope. So if I ask the board "Do we have a bank account?" and I'm told that is out of scope and to leave the meeting or thrown out. Is that really answering the question?
I believe fraud is going on and that the board members are getting paid off as when issues are brought to their attention at meetings they try to ignore it and act like it's not important or that I'm just an over zealous person and worry about stuff too much. I guess wondering how a group of people spends money for an entire condo shouldn't be something I worry about so if the board decides to fix up their unit with our money that is ok or they decide on repairs that owners didn't want or repairs that are not needed.
Real Manage is very irresponsible as when repairs are done they hire their own people that are unlicensed and when asked about pulling permits the board and management indicate that permits are not required when I have contacted the City and verified this and the board president even told the City that they didn't need permits as he doesn't work for the City but knows the permitting laws better than the people who work there. When they have to do a repair and turn water off we are lucky if we get a weeks notice sometimes it is a day before notice. When we have to turn water off we have to give at least a weeks notice and inform all of our neighbors in our building (as our water cut offs are locked) Then the day you need to have the management company come out to turn the water off they show up several hours late and they indicate it's not their responsibility that they are late so you have to pay extra time for a plumber.
The whole feeling is that we as owners are just told to pay up and don't ask for anything as you won't get anything and any laws do not apply and this is a dictator ship and just follow us and don't make any waves.
I have gotten the financial records after costing me over $600 and I will be going through them with a fine tooth comb and I am also contacting the Attorney General of Texas to file a deceptive trade case and contacting the IRS as I believe the accounting that is done on our property is illegal as if they don't have a bank account how do we know how much money we really have so they are profiting off of us illegally and the IRS needs to audit them.
The bottom line is Real Manage does everything to help themselves dip deeper in the cookie jar and the brain wash the board or give them some of those cookies to allow them to defraud the owners.
Our records are to be available to owners during the management's normal business hours. Why do I have to pay for records that are electronic as I just want to look at them. So does that mean they will charge the IRS for records or even the Attorney General for such records?
Do not use them as a management company as they are the worst company I have ever encountered.
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