S.M. from Bergen County, New Jersey writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
What can be done when the Vice President of the condo board took 2 HVAC units, owned and paid for by the association, sells them to 2 different unit owners without any authorization. She received payment, made out to her NOT the association. After being questioned about this she proceeded to contact the vendor and ordered replacement units which are now on back order. She had no authorization to do that. Unfortunately, the majority of the board are her puppets. What can be done?
Mister Condo replies:
S.M., I am sorry that you find yourself party to such an egregious action by a condo Board member. There are a few things that can be done but there is a much larger question here about volunteer leaders at your condo association. Board members are bound by the governance documents and need to perform within those limitations. You are alleging theft on the part of the Vice President in the action of selling association-owned property for personal profit. However, you are also alleging that the Vice President is making good by replacing the allegedly stolen air conditioners but that the units are on back order. As far as any authorization for these transactions goes, the entire Board shares in the responsibility of making sure business is conducted correctly at the association. By claiming that the majority of the Board are the “puppets” of the Vice President, I must assume that the general membership of your association is voting her and her “puppets” into office term after term. If that is the case, the membership is only getting what they deserve. Volunteering to run for the Board is the right of every unit owner. You are all shareholders in the corporation that is your condo association. You can’t elect bad or incapable leaders and then complain that they are bad or incapable. You can replace them with competent and trustworthy individuals who will have the best interests of the association at heart. Until that happens, shenanigans like the one you have described will likely continue. Good luck!