Rents, Rules and Regrets: Continuing the Discussion

Comments have continued to roll in regarding several recent issues including the new rent increase for 2013, new regulations and clashes between factions.  The comment below is from “Outraged.”  We will use his/her statement as the jumping off point for further discussion on these matters.  Just  use the “comments” button below.     —PG

FROM “OUTRAGED”:

“I do not rent my home out for the 7 months I am not in the park, however we homeowners (2nd class citzens) should be able to do with our properity as we want.

We need rules but not to the extreme such that people will shun the park. The board is killing sales!

What about our 3 mo. renters? A lot of them have become buyers in the past. Get rid of the 1 mo rule.

And we thought the previous manager was bad.

The mistake in buying shares with so few share buyers  is showing , isn’t it?     Raising the rent is nonsense.

We are in the looking stage for another place.    Get your heads out of the sand.

Thanks to the Forum. You at least are keeping us semi-informed.”

Editor’s Note:    Thanks for the semi-compliment.

18 thoughts on “Rents, Rules and Regrets: Continuing the Discussion

  1. Many residents who are not shareholders feel like second class citizens, however, from the onset of this business deal, the Co-op Board should have tried to keep these homeowners happy. They are the ones that can make or break this deal. If people start looking elsewhere,those $525 monthly payments will definitely be missed when paying that mortgage payment.

    The 135 people who invested the lump sum were the investors in this business deal whereas the park renters are a very important part of this business commitment.

    We do not want residents leaving their units and heading for the hills. The Co-op should show where another raise is necessary and take a look at the economy.

    NOTE: The homeowners who did not buy in had their own reasons.

  2. I only hope Gavin’s Ace Hardware has enought For Sale signs this season. Homeowners want and need answers. A Co-op Board needs to listen to the PEOPLE. Isn’t that teamwork. Not “This is it. Like it or lump it”. We once had comradery and surely had respect for all. Where has all that gone? .

  3. We seem to be sitting back and doing whatever the Park tells us we must do but aren’t we missing something here? They need us to pay their mortgage and there are a lot more of us than there are of them. Imagine holding back our lot fee money until they agree to negotiate with us?

    They could take our homes after 3 months probably, but let’s face it,I doubt if they could really go without our money for that long. What would they do even if they could last without it for that long, with all of our empty homes? Seems to me like the ball is in our court here.

  4. “Doing Whatever:” A boycott would be good for no one. Do you really want to threaten to leave your Florida home and give it to the Co-op? Would you do that over $25.00 per month? Not too smart.

  5. Doing Whatever: Of course homeowners need to be respected and to be heard. Two years ago we were all homeowners with a desire to enjoy fun in the sun. We (homeowners) are the forces to make this business plan work. Without us even for a month or two could make a difference. We do have to have some leverage. Working together to make Tropicana enjoyable is the answer.

  6. Does anyone know if the Co-op Board has officer changes this year? Unfortunately, Paul works so hard to inform us of changes, ideas, imoprovements, but over the summer months we did not hear much from Management or Board for the Co-op. I thought there might be messages from time to time to inform us. Same old, same old. Just a chosen few know what the heck is going on.

  7. Maybe those homeowners who are unhappy with how the Co-op board is running things need to talk to your friends who are voters, i.e. shareholders. Let them know you are unhappy and why. This is how you can have a say in what happens.

    We elect three new board members this March. Voters may want to elect some new members to the Board.

    Changes will happen, but all residents need to stick together. Shareholders don’t have much say in matters either.

  8. Editor’s Note

    “Unhappy Shareholder” and “Homeowner:” Thank you for bringing up the subject of the next Co-op election. The bylaws spell out the election rules. You can find those bylaws on the Co-op web site in the shareholders section. The bylaws require that the election is to be held on the third Monday of March, each year.

    Each membership certificate provides for one vote, even if two names are on the certificate. For anyone who owns two certificates, he has two votes. You do not have to be present to vote. There is a mechanism for proxy voting. We need to find out those details, because some shareholders will not be in town for the March meeting.

    It’s unfortunate that the Co-op doesn’t give us all an earlier “heads-up” about the election which is only about six months from now. The Board is obligated in the bylaws to notify everyone no later that 60 days prior to the election, but perhaps they should consider sending out the particulars sooner than that, so voters can discuss issues and candidates with each other while they are in the Park, or even on this blog prior to the election.

    Perhaps a town meeting, pre-election, maybe in February, could be held to allow candidates to discuss/debate issues and take questions from voters.

  9. Unhappy Shareholder: That would really rot my socks. If I invested the $59,000 and hoped for answers and still have no say in matters. Elect someone that will work with the shareholders and listen to ideas.

  10. On September 30 the editor posted “Business Plan” comments and asked if someone could provide details from the Co-op business plan which may help to clarify and answer some of the questions as we move forward.

    The posted comments have generated much discussion, BUT, no one has answered his question. Does this mean there is no formal plan, or is it just not shared with shareholders?? How can we expect to sell a share or a home with a share to a prospective buyer when it appears there is no business plan available for them to review prior to purchasing?

    During the park purchase process, no less than 25 emails were sent to residents by the chearleading group adamant in purchasing the park. It also became evident after the purchase many important pieces of the puzzle were not included in those emails. Shareholders made a $60,000 investment and now feel like mushrooms since the sale was completed.

    I believe that the friction evident in many of the above resident comments, which is counter- productive to a harmonized community environment,could at least be reduced by simple forthright communication by the Co-op or Newby (what are we paying them for?). IE explain reasons for rent increase (just to pay the mortgage won’t fly), future plans, improvements, and the time frame expected for these to take place. You might be surprised how understanding people are!

    I, like most other residents in the park, have family or friends either retired or nearing retirement looking for a place in the sun. Unfortunately at this time I cannot recommend Tropicana as a viable option.

    Perhaps my neighbor was right when he said “Buying a share was the best investment I NEVER made”??

    Tropicana Co op – There still is time for communication.

    Extinguish the fire – It is spreading

  11. We wholeheartedly agree with “snowbird”!! We are still waiting for some answers to our asked questions! We never heard anything from the board/co-op this season until the demand for more money next Jan.

    How can we work together with anyone when we don’t know what’s going on or are able to even find out……Is it to much to ask for justification for the increases?

  12. Editor’s Note: I did hear from a knowledgable shareholder who expressed doubt that such a plan document actually exists. Clarice can’t say now because she is on vacation.

    You might refer back to a post dated September 30 where the subject of a business plan was raised. Evidently some elements of a plan were discussed at the last meeting of the Co-op Board. Just scroll down till you get there (all posts are in reverse chronologic order—the latest item is on top) —Paul

  13. I agree with Snowbird. Why can’t a Co-op Board member provide information on the Tropicana Forum blog or in the Social Club news letter. I would like to see some off-season information about the work and plans for 2013?

    The last information we received was about clearing of growth in the ditch along Poinciana, repairing streets with asphalt, and edging and adding gravel to the storage lot. Please – that’s it since April. It doesn’t take much time to pick up trash, and there are probably only 60 people there.

    Why is the increased rent necessary? And don’t forget, let’s negotiate. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

  14. Only a choosen few knew all the information prior to the sale of the park even took place and they are still the chosen few who are making the decisions. Time for new blood, ideas, and solid communication. We are tired of being manipulated like a puppet.

  15. We are homeowners who rent our lot. We have 3+ years before we can be down there full time and had planned on seasonally renting out our unit to offset the monthly payment.

    I’ve gone over the new rules, which take effect Oct. 1, 2012, many times, and nowhere is the seasonal renter issue mentioned, unless management is referring to the “15 consecutive days or 30 total days per calendar year” thing on page 6. I hope not. If so, then add in the lot rental increase… we are really frustrated.

    As lot renters, are we being naive to have expected to have had some input into these decisions that have a severely detrimental effect on our limited checkbook? Have we no recourse (other than selling, of course)?

    After reading over these posts back to April 2012, I remember seeing an entry from a member of the Tropicana Homeowners Association who, in effect, said “Big deal– rent increases are a fact of life.” Spoken like someone with a sizable pension.

    We didn’t go into this with idea to make money; it was to be an investment for our future, just a way to get started on the rest of our lives.

  16. “Better Shape” comments the rent may have increased 14.8% but the park is in better shape than when the residents purchased it. Two pools are working, but if we have two pools shouldn’t that be a no brainer?

    The Co-op section of the September-October Newsletter listed work which has continued during this low-activity time: Clearing the growth in the dtich area along Poinciana from Coral to Plumosa; repairing streets with asphalt; edging along more of the streets; pool repairs; electrical repairs to the entry gate and lights; repairing electrical to the backgate; adding gravel in the storage lot area; and general on-going maintenance.

    The listing of the above all sounds like general on-going maintenance. This is necessary maintenance not anything special to brag about. Big deal. Again, why is the $25.00 fee necessary and what is the game plan? The above mentioned is expected and no hoopla …….

  17. The blog has several places that residents have been commenting. One source September 27 “Bulletin from Home Front”: (11 people commented) September 30 “Co-op Business Plan” (21 people commented) Then on October 7 “Rents Rules and Regrets” (17 people commented). Sharing facts can help us work together. Keep it up …….. residents

    Editors note. Lately I have been trying to put all relevant comments on the post “Rents Rules and Regrets” in order to avoid confusion. But thank you for helping me get organized. —Paul

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