Tag: Meeting Minutes

When Is a Closed Session Appropriate?

Closed sessions are among the most frequently abused governance tools in community associations, according to Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. “I frequently see boards conducting discussions in closed session where the topic really should be reserved for open session,” he says. Richardson says closed sessions…

Closed Session Dos and Don’ts

Closed sessions are among the most frequently abused governance tools in community associations, according to Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. “I frequently see boards conducting discussions in closed session where the topic really should be reserved for open session,” he says. Read on for some…

A Vivid Example of Why You Need Good Records

Poor recordkeeping can undermine the results of even the most amiable and productive board or membership meeting. When a meeting is contentious, insufficient records can prove even more disastrous. A community in Pennsylvania learned that the hard way. A trial court described the community as mired in utter chaos, nonstop disagreement, and a continuing power struggle…

Records Matter: A Bizarre Case Study

Poor recordkeeping can undermine the results of even the most amiable and productive board or membership meeting. When a meeting is contentious, insufficient records can prove even more disastrous. A community in Pennsylvania learned that the hard way (Pocono Mountain Lake Forest Community Ass’n v. Swift). Who’s the Boss? A trial court described the community…

How Neighbor Disputes Can Lead to Association Liability

Community associations often prefer, understandably, to take a hands-off approach to disputes between owners. This week we explain why, under a federal regulation issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that approach could backfire big time. Abuse and harassment among owners is on the rise, says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of…

Are Community Associations Liable for Harassment between Owners?

Community associations often prefer, understandably, to take a hands-off approach to disputes between owners. Under a federal regulation issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), though, that approach could backfire. Association Liability for Owner-on-Owner Harassment Abuse and harassment among owners is on the rise, says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of California…

Defining Board Officers’ Duties

While serving on the board of a community association is a volunteer position, board members can get very invested in it. It’s not uncommon to hear about board members who overstep boundaries. That’s why it’s important to be able to gently—or in some cases, more firmly—remind a member who’s taking over duties that aren’t part of her position about the board members’ official duties and why it’s important for everyone to play his or her role.

How Business Judgment Rule Can Protect Association from Lawsuits

Typically, if decisions made by the board turn out well, members are happy. But if the decisions lead to unforeseen costly expenses to the community, some members might sue, regardless of the board members’ good intentions. That’s why it’s more important than ever that your board’s judgments be the result of a sound, deliberative decision-making process. If they are, there’s a much better chance that courts will defer to them in case of a lawsuit.

Take Four Factors into Account When Deciding Whether to Use Electronic Recordkeeping

You know that organization is one of the keys to association management success, especially if you’re in charge of a larger community or one with many members. If you did an annual spring cleaning this year, you might also have realized that you need to cut down on clutter in your office, which might include boxes of association records—which can get sizable if they include accounting records, membership lists, meeting minutes, and other important papers—that the association has accumulated over the years.

Get Association Ready for Management Transition

Buying a home in a community association is a serious investment, so many homeowners and members live in their units for an extended period of time. Although it sometimes seems like an on-site association manager is part of the community because she’s on the property continually, this is a job and, at some point, the manager or the management company will inevitably leave. The question that concerns owners and the board of directors at that point is whether the transition to a new manager and company will be smooth and productive.