A.A. from Morris County, New Jersey writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The New Jersey Condo Act requires boards to have open board meetings when binding votes are made. Would a change to the fine schedule (adding items) be considered a binding vote? Approval of an annual budget? What is the “penalty” if there are no open meetings when binding votes are made? Are the results of those votes valid and enforceable?
Mister Condo replies:
A.A., I am neither an attorney nor an expert is New Jersey Condo Law so I can only offer friendly advice here. For a legal opinion kindly contact a locally qualified attorney. From a friendly standpoint, I can tell you Boards are comprised of folks that you elect. These volunteer leaders need to be elected and reelected to continue to serve on the Board. If you don’t care for how they perform, you can simply elect new leaders. The term “binding vote” typically refers to an agreement that binds the association. Take a management contract, for instance, which binds the association to hire and pay for a certain period of time. I am unaware of any penalties for Boards that don’t follow the rules but, typically, unless their actions are legally challenged, Board votes are considered valid and enforceable. Of course, if a homeowner decides to sue the Board because they didn’t follow the proper procedure, it is possible that the actions of the Board could be thrown out. This does require a legal action; it doesn’t happen on its own. Again, this is friendly advice and not a legal opinion. Hope it helps.