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Can condo association charge owners $25 for not attending meeting?

Posted on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 08:20 AM
  
  
  
  

I live in Iowa in a townhome community with 60 units. We are about to have our annual meeting. We homeowners were informed that if we did not attend the meeting or submit a proxy by March 30th. we would be assigned a fee of $25 which would be added to our monthly dues. Can this be legally enforced?

COMMENTS

Not unless its in the By-Laws

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 8:29 AM by Dan


In our PA Condo, the Board can pass such a R&R. It takes effect in 60 days during which time it can be overturned by 75% of the owners. 
 
I think the language should say 'may' be assessed. That gives Board flexibility. Someone is away or in hospital, claims mailed it, etc. 
 
In reality, your Board is probably trying to assure an 80%+ turnout.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 8:54 AM by verda


-=-= 
 
Such a fee/charge/fine wouldn't stand a prayer of passing in MA. I can't believe that folks anywhere would stand for this.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 9:00 AM by Frank - MA


I have never heard of charging a fee for those who cannot attend meetings. We have some elderly people with health issues who didn't attend our last meeting.Weather it can be legally enforced is anyone's guess but I sure would not pay it if I were ill and unable to attend.It is just greed on the part of the association to charge a fee.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 9:10 AM by Mari


Wow! Great idea. But I can't see it passing the Membership or legal scrutiny.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 9:11 AM by Peter Spencer


March 30th??? You mean September 30th?

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 9:27 AM by JT


I doubt this can be enforced. Even if the board has the authority to make new rules, if the CCRs do not contain a restriction regarding attendance at meetings,then the board cannot legally enact such a new rule. However,if only one or two members complain about this rule, the board may try to enforce it. You should try to get a majority of the members to issue a complaint.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 10:38 AM by mary


Wow! Sounds like a government ploy to get more money in the till. Check the docs. Cannot imagine such a thing being legal. Sounds more like extortion.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 10:39 AM by R


File a consumber fraud case against your board. See your local attorney general for the process.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 11:12 AM by Don


And God only knows where that money will end up. If in fact you do have to pay the non attendance fee, I'd ask to see the financial statement so the members won't be lining some greedy individuals pocket.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 11:26 AM by Michael


Wake up folks! If a quorum does not come to the meeting, no business can be done. Do you want that? It's that simple.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 11:54 AM by Larry


I vote with Larry. My guess is that the penalty is meant to motivate people to participate so that a quorum can be obtained and an election conducted per law. NOTICE THAT YOU COULD HAVE SENT A PROXY AND AVOIDED ANY FEE!!! SO DO THAT ALREADY!! I've been on our HOA BD for many years and getting owners to make the effort to participate is probably the single biggest, most consistent problem we have. Few are willing to put in any work but want all the benefit of having others shoulder their responsibilities as HOA owners while they complain about whatever they don't like. The fee may or may not be legal, but I'll be checking into it for sure!

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 12:56 PM by meg


Meg, you seem to be supporting extortion tactics.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 2:19 PM by Lynn


Covenants normally provide that fees are related to costs and that all fees are uniform with each lot. Your association can write any rule but they run the risk of litigation - Something I would evoke if this happened to me.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 2:51 PM by Alan Williams


There are better ways to get owners to vote. 
 
Here is one Iowa law concerning enforcement of board decisions (assuming your townhome community is organized under the same law as condos). 
499B.15 
2. If the form of administration is a board of administration, board meetings must be open to all apartment owners except for meetings between the board and its attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation where the contents of the discussion would otherwise be governed by the attorney-client privilege. Notice of each board meeting must be mailed or delivered to each apartment owner at least seven days before the meeting. Minutes of meetings of the board of administration must be maintained in written form or in another form that can be converted into written form within a reasonable time. The official records of the board of administration must be open to inspection and available for photocopying at reasonable times and places. Any action taken by a board of administration at a meeting that is in violation of any of the provisions of this subsection is not valid or enforceable. 
 
So ask for the minutes.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 3:03 PM by JT


You are overlooking that you can also submit a proxy. Anyone can do that sick, out of town,or otherwise. Your board wants a quorum so they can do business. Unless you're on your deathbed you can put your signature on a proxy. Don't be so damned negative toward your board all the time. They are your neighbors and you put them there.

posted @ Friday, September 21, 2012 9:37 PM by Jim


I am on the board of a small 14 unit complex. We can't get our owners to show up for meetings either. We ask the owners who cannot be there to please send in their proxy's so that we have a quorum so that we can even have a meeting and conduct business. They won't even do that! My guess is the "fine" is trying to motivate people to attend either by proxy or in person. When people don't attend and there isn't a quorum it is very frustrating not to be able to take care of business and sometimes the business is urgent. I would bet the people whining the loudest about the fine are the people that don't show up for the meetings and complain the loudest about what is and isn't being done. Being on the board and volunteering your time is the most thankless job there is.

posted @ Saturday, September 22, 2012 11:44 AM by Michelle


Amend your bylaws to have a number of board members equal to the number required to have a quorum at a annual meeting. Then all you'll need is for the board to show up.

posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2012 8:01 AM by R


MEG: You hit the nail on the head. I would love to pre-charge all homeowners a $50 fee and return it to them in exchange for attendance at a voting meeting or return of a proxy. We are lucky to get 20+/- people out of a 130 unit association to show up. The board members go door to door to talk about proxies but you would think we were delivering a sack of dog droppings on them. We do mailings with proxies in advance but most of the letters get thrown away before being opened. Paranoia and apathy are their worst enemies because we could save so much wasted funds if we had a 90% vote power (and 90% of our owners are healthy, literate, and ambulatory enough to vote).

posted @ Wednesday, October 03, 2012 2:28 PM by Renee


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