J.P. from Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Elected trustees are taking actions opposed by a majority of owners and claiming a fiduciary responsibility. Actions which require extraordinary special assessments.
Mister Condo replies:
J.P., when condo Trustees or Directors overstep their authority and make decisions or spend money that they aren’t entitled to spend under the association’s governing documents, the usual remedy is for the unit owners who are unhappy with this behavior to call them on it and/or bring a lawsuit to prevent the action. However, lawsuits are expensive and the end results of these decisions are usually what have to be taken into consideration before deciding to sue the association. If a majority of owners are in opposition to the actions these Trustees are taking, the majority could simply vote them out of office or hold a recall election to remove the Trustees in question. Your governance documents detail the procedure for doing this. The more common approach would be to find Trustees willing and able to serve to replace the current Trustees at the next annual election. If it can’t wait until then, stronger measures may be needed. Even the levying of a special assessment has a proper procedure. If the Trustees aren’t following the proper protocol, the assessment can be challenged (again, in court). Sounds like it might be time for you and your other concerned unit owners to speak to an attorney to see what steps you should take to protect your rights as unit owners. Good luck!