A.R. from New York City writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
There are two men on our board of directors. One is a dictator and has been handling our books for 25 years for no pay. The other person simply co-signs the checks to pay bills. No one wants to volunteer to be on the board. As a result, this is becoming a rental facility. Is it legal to only have two members on a board of directors? Can the dictator bring lawsuits in court? Our By-Laws state that we must have a minimum of 3 people on the board to function. Does any agency cover issue like this? What can we do?
Mister Condo replies:
A.R., if your by-laws state that your association needs three volunteers to function and there are only two willing to serve, then the association is operating in default of its own governance documents. That being said, the two volunteers seem to be doing everything that they need to do in order for the association to function, albeit poorly and to the point where only investors seem interested in owning and renting out their units. I am not aware of any agency that handles issues such as these although you, and/or any other individual unit owner could volunteer to run for the Board and be the third Board member. Further, if three new volunteers came forward and ran against the two sitting members, you could theoretically wrangle back control of your association. No single person has the right to run the association as a “dictator”. However, if there are no other volunteers to serve on the Board, this “dictator” is the only thing keeping the association running at all. You kind of have two choices here. Get yourself and fellow unit owners involved and on the Board or sit back and watch as things continue the way they always have. Your third choice is to sell your unit and purchase into an association that is better run and governed. Good luck!