Month: March 2015
The provisions in an association's governing documents help keep its community uniform, orderly, and safe, partly by setting requirements that members must meet when they wish to improve their property or make changes to their homes. Most associations have what is known as an architectural review committee that fields requests for changes and determines whether they should be allowed.
What should you do when your association's board doesn't act in the best interest of the community, fails to treat homeowners fairly, or doesn't conduct business ethically? A board member code of conduct can eliminate unprofessional behavior by providing for the removal of corrupt board members and including information that board members can use as a guide for acting in the best interests of the community again.
Although many elderly members in your community are capable of living independently, sooner or later you may have an elderly member who has trouble coping with day-to-day concerns, such as managing money or keeping his unit tidy. An elderly member who has trouble coping may neglect normal upkeep in his unit. Oversights can lead to property damage and safety concerns.
Ideally, association boards would act in the best interest of the community, fairly treating homeowners and ethically conducting business to further the interests of the community. Unfortunately, board members sometimes stray from the mission statement and purpose of the association, using the “power” of being on the board to stack the board with friends or members who will side with them when it comes time to vote on issues.
With the proliferation of social media, YouTube, and photo-sharing websites, it may seem like personal information is everywhere—and easy to get. But in an era of what some people call “oversharing,” association managers need to remember that members still are entitled to some measure of personal privacy. You could be faced at some point with a member’s request for a membership list. Prepare yourself for this request by having a plan for protecting the association when it divulges that information.
Facts: A homeowner made improvements to his community’s common area that weren’t approved by the association. The homeowner was fined. He later declared bankruptcy. The association filed a “proof of claim” against the homeowner. The homeowner objected to the claim. A California bankruptcy court ruled in favor of the homeowner after it determined that the association’s claim was time barred under the state’s statute of limitations for that type of claim. The association appealed.
Facts: Twenty-eight of the more than 1,000 units in a community were purchased by one homeowner. The homeowner leased the units to renters. The homeowner claimed that the renters were responsible for paying the monthly assessments for their respective units. For several years, monthly assessments weren’t submitted by the majority of the homeowner’s units. The monthly assessments were $35 when the homeowner purchased his units; they were increased to $45 and then $50 by the board of directors over the course of several years.