Don't Tolerate Board Member Harassment

July 21, 2017
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Because the decisions that a board makes very rarely please everyone, you could find yourself having to prevent unacceptable behavior toward board members. Most displeased owners may focus their energies on building consensus and replacing current board members. But there are some members whose tempers will flare and who will handle their displeasure with the board in completely inappropriate ways in the short term.

You shouldn’t excuse this behavior as par for the course when unpopular decisions are made, though. Nip it in the bud. Most likely, your declaration gives each member the right to “quiet enjoyment” of her unit. This legal term means that she has the right to live in and enjoy her unit without being disturbed, harassed, or threatened by the property manager, an employee, or other members or residents. Most declarations ban members and other residents from making excessive noise or engaging in any other behavior that disrupts the quiet enjoyment of others.

But it also helps to have a “zero tolerance” clause to fall back on, that specifically deals with abusive, harassing behavior. The clause should make it clear that no one may engage in any harassing or abusive behavior or any intimidation or aggression—either verbal or physical—directed at any member or other resident. It’s also smart to ban abusive behavior directed toward guests, occupants, management, employees, and vendors.

For a model clause to add to your community declaration and/or association bylaws, and two additional steps to take when board members feel unsafe, see “Protect Board Members from Harassment,” available to subscribers here.