By | Board of Directors

Homeowners associations that govern condominiums and other common interest communities function through the efforts of volunteer directors, officers, management agents, and employees. The officers, management agents and employees play key roles in the operations of a homeowners association, but the directors are responsible for making the decisions as to how the association conducts its business. Thus, while certain responsibilities of an associations directors may be delegated by the board to officers, management personnel and employees, at the end of the day the directors still have the ultimate responsibility for properly fulfilling those responsibilities.

Because operating a homeowners association is like operating a business, and there are many different facets involved in running a business, it is critical that those who serve as directors are well informed about many different things including the content of the associations governing documents, applicable state and federal laws that must be complied with, and the hierarchy involved in the application of the laws and the governing documents.

Homeowners Association Directors Must Play by the Rules

Although the responsibilities that are vested in the directors of a homeowners association are imposed on all of the directors who must act through appropriate collective action as a board, and not at the direction of any one individual director, occasionally a homeowners association will find itself paralyzed by a dysfunctional board that is unable to properly conduct its business because it is being controlled by one person who does not play by the rules. Such a situation typically occurs in smaller homeowners associations where it is difficult to get members to serve as directors, but it can also occur in larger associations. In either event, the association finds itself in a position where one person, who is also frequently elected the president, has served on the board for many years and by virtue of his or her seniority and familiarity with the operations of the association, has taken over control and is not challenged by the other directors. As a result, other well intentioned volunteers who have been elected as directors find it difficult, if not impossible, to properly operate the association and ultimately lose interest. As the situation perpetuates itself and over a period of time, required board meetings and/or annual membership meetings do not take place, minutes are not maintained, reserves are not maintained, required annual reporting does not take place, and the association ceases to function as required by applicable laws and the associations governing documents.

Getting Control Over Directors Who Refuse to Play by the Rules

There are various alternatives that should be considered when it comes to getting control over an officer and/or a director that is not playing by the rules and, as a result, is disrupting the proper functioning of the associations board of directors and the operations of the association. In some situations, control over the person can be obtained by action of the remaining directors through such things as:

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