Condo Board Lacks Board Members… and President!

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E.H. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

We have no president nor do we have enough board members. What do we do?

Mister Condo replies:

E.H., I am sorry that your modest-sized community cannot find leaders from within the rank and file. Typically, condos and HOAs are governed by volunteer leaders that are elected by association members to make the important business decisions that guide the association to success. A lack of leadership can be catastrophic as the community effectively has no representation, leaving all of the day to day operation up to the management company, if you have one. Otherwise, association services stop in short order as there are no officers to collect common fees and pay vendors. It is only a matter of time before vendors with claims against the association bring a lawsuit and the courts can order a receiver to govern the community. A receiver is a court-ordered guardian of the association. It is usually an attorney who charges the community his hourly rate and then dictates all facets of the community association governance and fees. Typically, the books are reviewed and a new common fee structure is mandated. Unit owners do not get a say in these fees or how the community is run until such time as the receiver relinquishes control back to the community via a new court order. As you can imagine, this is a dire measure and one to be avoided if at all possible. If you have enough volunteers to satisfy the requirements of your condo governance requirements, you can easily avoid this “worst case” scenario. If none of them wish to serve as President, I need to ask why they would serve at all. The President merely presides over the Association. It is no more difficult to serve as President than it is to serve as a Board member. The President usually has the additional responsibility of signing documents on behalf of the association and running the meetings. Neither of these tasks should prove daunting to anyone who is already willing to volunteer to serve on the Board. If existing Board members refuse to step up, it is time to find new volunteers. Spread the word within the community and see if you can’t find at least one volunteer willing to lead. Also, be sure to fully support whoever decides to do so. It seems to me they are doing the community an awfully big favor by agreeing to lead. Good luck!

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