As volunteers to your community associations, you know that while board meetings are essential for conducting association business, they can be tedious if poorly run. Many of our board members complain about attending board meetings and ask us how they can be run more effectively. Here are a few tips we have compiled over the years...
We are often asked the question of how to handle a rogue or absentee board member or officer of the association. If relations amongst the board members get to a breaking point, the board may decide it is time to attempt to remove the “problem child.”
Our firm represents the Association as the corporate entity. Our client is the corporation. The elected Board of Directors or Board of Trustees make decisions on behalf of the Association (the corporation) in the form of voting, which directs the manner in which we represent the Association.
Having a leader on your board is certainly a benefit to the Association. All boards need someone who takes the lead and gets things done. A good leader ensures that the board functions properly and that decisions are made by a consensus of the group.
A rogue board member is not a leader, but instead someone who insists on total control, makes decisions independently, and ignores the input of others.
One constant in condominium and homeowner association law is the issue of vendors and contractors. At the very least, associations are responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, and repair of the common elements. Often times, there may be pools, patios, and clubhouses that associations must manage as well. This means that there will be vendors, contractors, and suppliers. Most of the time, the relationship runs smoothly; but, every once in a while, there’s a hiccup. Sometimes, it’s more an explosion than a hiccup. In any case, how boards and property managers handle disputes with vendors can either spell long-term pain for the association or it can mean a relatively simple affair.
Many of our clients have asked our office about insurance responsibilities of the Association and individual owners. When a casualty occurs, the first step taken may be to check whether such act is covered. It is important to understand the requirements of your Association to make sure that the property is properly insured before a casualty occurs.
Question: Ourgoverning documents require that owners use gas grills, temporary pools, and patio sets in their backyards and that they not use them in their driveways. For years, there has been one owner that continually sets up shop in their driveway at the beginning of each summer, complete with a patio set, a grill and a blow-up pool.
Never on their back patio, because they like to congregate with the other neighbors! Not only is it unsightly for them to have an outdoor kitchen in the middle of their driveway, but it also violates the rules.
Last year, we started fining them for each week that the grill and patio set were out in violation of the documents. Not a lot, but $25 per week. It still didn’t deter them, and they now have a balance on their account. We have pictures to document each week it was out.
As the Board, were we within our rights to fine them? Can we increase the fines?
As your legal counsel, we become part of your team, providing the legal component to your business decisions.