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How can condo association confront secretive board members

Posted on Fri, Jun 08, 2012 @ 08:25 AM

I was president of our self managed condo association. I resigned because I could not agree with the other two officers and they used the 2 vs 1 vote to do things. They are good friends and live across the hall from each other. My resignation was accepted two months ago and since nothing has happened as far as my replacement or even the other residents be notified. I have been telling them myself when I'm asked about condo business. They did deny me any access to condo records or business and got my master keys within 24 hours of my resignation letter. The residents are concerned that they are going to do what they want until officially confronted. What steps can we take?



I'll be following this blog also

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 8:38 AM by

Options 1) talk to them advise them of the law 2) keep talking mention your options of suing them personally for willfully violating state law 3) vote them out 4) in some states there are ombudsman or state agencies that will attempt to intervene. 
You cannot withold dues in lieu of their misbehavior. 
You probably should not have resigned to keep an eye on them. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. (rescind your resignation?) ... Run again?

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 8:50 AM by john_mastro

In a heat of passion, I, too, resigned from BofD. A few knew and encouraged me not to. I merely sent an email to the board and said "I rescind my resignation..." Resignation was never officially accepted (no vote taken), position never posted, and I took my seat at the next meeting -- and was welcomed with open arms.  
Question: Only three board members? Is that stated in your by-laws? We have five and prez only votes to break a tie.  

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 8:56 AM by revaro

You have a typical problem. A few folks just enjoy the new found power. They feel that they are superior to the other residents. In my case the board continures to hide and divide the community since our declarant has a couple more units to sell and they are his best friends. They want no negative publicity. 
Sue them individually! Get the process started now!

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 8:57 AM by dennis

First let me slap your hand: 
One should never resign for the reasons you stated. While Board members may seldom agree with one another, it is a democracy and the majority rules. Unhappy with your fellow Board members, get over it and get the association's business done. 
Somehow three Board members seems insufficient for a self managed condo association. If it is insufficient, then the owners need to call a meeting to change the bylaws. 
The members can call for a special meeting, assuming it is documented that they can do so, and recall the remaining two Directors or take whatever action they deem necessary as long as the meeting has a quorum and there is a vote. 
The toughest part is going to be getting the owners involved.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 9:08 AM by Ron

You're suposed to be operating a non-profit business not a personality clash. Get your head screwed on srtaight and use your governing documents. Contact an attorney for a free consultation. Have him write a letter to the board ($100) and if necessary cc all owners of your association ($100). Stop to the B-S and get on with what your Board was elected to do: "the business of the association"! Your two board members are being childish and way out in left field according the the CC&R.GR

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 9:23 AM by GR

You don’t mention what you disagree on. Do they want to spend a lot of money and you don’t? Or the other way around?

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 10:14 AM by Kay Borden

You did not mention how large your Association is. The purpose of a Board of Directors is to run the Association's business in a professional manner for the benefit of every owner. Your CC&R's should provide the guidelines for doing that and what the responsibility is of each elected officer. It sounds small with only three officers on the Board. Not everyone is going to agree on important matters but finding the best solution for the Association membership is part of the job. There are times when "Compromise" is better than winning or losing because it is not a matter of me versus you but what is in the best interests of our members. Good luck.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 10:54 AM by Daniel C. Garcia, BFA, CMI, MAM

WHATS DONE IS DONE! you are now not a member of the board. I would create a letter to all members of the association and explain the matter. Review your bylaws and see if you can challenge or dismiss the current board by a membership vote

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 11:20 AM by Rick Davidson

You should no have quit! Dumb idea because you do not get to see the condo bills or anything associated with being on the board.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 12:35 PM by Victor

Definitely I agree you could have stayed and talked to the unit owners and created a united front and remove them. Check your condo docs, there are always provisions for removal of board members. You also left them open to appointing another one like them. I have been fighting my board, they are doing illegal maneuvers, but we are their mercy because there is no agency that really does anything. YOu might take back our resignation and get a vote to remove these two...You would be surprised how much the owners will back you if they have someone who is willing to step up. This is the game plan for people to get fed up and quit or give up because they get tired of the fight. Don't give up...

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 1:20 PM by Marianne Guiliani

Get all the homeowners to demand copies of the Meeting Minutes including Phone Meetings. Making them accountable will help and may get them to realize they are not a party of 2. In our association the 3 officers often make emergency decisions, but as an officer I hold the other 2 to keep things voted upon in meetings.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 1:35 PM by Jane Maule

I guess I am not understanding what the real problem is. Are you mad because the remaining board members don't vote the way you want them to? Have you ever tried to get another homeowner to join the board to offset the vote? Would you rather have the remaining board members vote against their personal beliefs just to satisfy you? If their votes go against rules and law then you must step up to the plate and monitor what they are doing and get other people involved too.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 2:37 PM by Renee

what can I do if the president on the board is harassing me and watching everything I do and getting to personal about my sale of my property???

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 2:46 PM by anna smith

IMO, about the only thing you can do is get a group of members together and confront them at the next board meeting. Find someone who would be willing to accept an appointment to the board. Let the board members know that this person is willing to be a board member so they can't say they haven't filled the position becase they can find anyone willing to serve. 
Some of the posters here has suggested suing the board members. But, what would you sue them for? In your msg you don't state what they are doing that you think is wrong. Have they violated any state laws or not acted in accordance with the gov. docs? Hindsight is always 20/20 and I'm sure you're sorry you resigned. You can always run again in the next election. If the majority of the members are not pleased with these two board members they can be voted out when their terms are up. If they have violated the gov docs and/or state law they can be recalled.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 3:07 PM by

You don't say what state you're located in, but in CA it is now against the law for ANY HOA BUSINESS requiring a vote (except in emergency situations) to be handled outside a public meeting, meaning "phone meetings" are illegal. You must rally support from other owners and attend meetings in order to expose whatever bad behavior may be occurring. I agree with both Renee and Rick Davidson...get organized and take action to do whatever is necessary to get things running properly: recalling the remaining BD members, hiring legal help, and running a slate of other owners as BD candidates. There were similar problems in my HOA, and myself and the other "minority" BD member took on the fight to oust the people who had run the HOA for many years until they got to feeling they had little or no real opposition and felt they represented the majority, which they did not. It was a bruising surprise for them to be voted out of office, and have their policies and MO roundly rejected by more than 60% of our community. But let's face it, until the majority is willing to step up and be counted, the minority can rule with impunity. (Look at national politics these days!) It takes courage, stamina, perseverance, and above all good, honest, accurate communications to create change, but it can happen. Your courage can give courage to others. BTW, we invited the old BD members to participate in community meetings we held,which is important, but they were so stunned they declined. All this was not a lot of fun but it was essential for everyone's sake to hang in there and follow through. "Democracy is not always pretty" as a friend of mine says, but it beats the alternatives. Best of luck to you!

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 3:41 PM by meg

HOA records are open to all owners upon written request. Check your covenants about Board member responsibilities and hold the board members responsible for their duties. Start a petition or get proxies and take action. Get legal advise if you have the funds.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 7:35 PM by Linda

In what state is your Association located? Most HOA's don't know owners have the right to request certain documents and financial records. You need to check your condo docs and your state condo laws to see exactly what you are entitled to. You should still receive the monthly financials, they may make you pay for the copies, minus the delinquency report, and you would still be able to question any expenditure. Look on line and see if there is an attorney in your area that specializes in HOA's and go to their website you might be surprised at the information you can get for free. Your Association should have a "Request for Documents" policy in place. Just because you are no longer on the board does not mean you can't be active.

posted @ Friday, June 08, 2012 8:11 PM by Kathy

Following up on what Kathy wrote; all of that is well and good but in many states such as NE the only legal remedy for the unit owner when the board does not comply with document requests is to sue (this is stated in state law). Possibly small claims court would suffice and one can ask for and be entitled to a court order and damages (court costs). The court would try to get the parties to arbitrate first. The a letter threatening this action or a court summons might be enough to get compliance. I would first try to enlist other owners to sign on first.

posted @ Saturday, June 09, 2012 3:53 AM by john mastro

ll condo owners have the right to read all information, see all incoming and out going money, at request! Regardless where it is at.. This could end up with a law-suite. Find a lawyer that will do it probono! It does not take an expeseive one to so this.. They do not have their heads in this or are missed informed..

posted @ Saturday, June 09, 2012 6:38 AM by Donld Holdorf

Everyone should re-read the OP's message. All he said is that he resigned from the 3-member board because his vote was always different from theirs. Maybe the other two member have better sense than he does! We only know what he tells us which is next to nothing. Please stop with the knee-jerk reactions and suggesting legal action, etc. There is no basis for a lawsuit based upon what he has told us.

posted @ Saturday, June 09, 2012 11:16 AM by mary

My comments were based on his statements and question: "They did deny me any access to condo records or business", and "The residents are concerned that they are going to do what they want until officially confronted. What steps can we take?". If he does research on his own and is aware of his bylaws and state condo laws he probably will not have to seek legal advice on his own because once the current board and the HOA's attorney are made aware of any issue they should respond. Advising ny owner, especially in a self managed situation, to learn as much as they can on their own is not a knee jerk reaction. Yes, after doing my research I would do send the Association board and their attorney a certified letter stating my issues and request a response. He may also bring it up in a regular meeting so it becomes part of the formal minutes (which he is probably entitled to have a copy of anyway). Legally the attorney should respond, and in he will advise the board members based on their bylaws/state laws and work together to resolve all concerns.

posted @ Saturday, June 09, 2012 1:05 PM by Kathy

Hi Kathy, 
My msg was intended for those who've recommended filing a lawsuit. One person suggested having an attorney write a letter to the BOD; saying what I'm not sure. I re-read your msg and think you gave very sound advice. As you stated, because he did not say what state he's located in we don't know what records the members are entitled to. Some states have very little in the way of state laws -- if any at all, in which case it all depends upon what the gov. docs say. It would be great if the OP gave us a little more infoso we could address his concerns more intelligently.

posted @ Saturday, June 09, 2012 9:44 PM by mary

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