J.Z. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
How do you deal with a hostile board and an apathetic community?
Mister Condo replies:
J.Z., I am sorry that you are dealing with either. Hostile Boards are usually hostile because the community is underperforming. There typically isn’t enough money for repairs and maintenance. Everything they would like to do costs money and they would need to levy Special Assessments in order to do so, making them seem even more hostile. An apathetic community is another problem. Depending on the reasons for the apathy, there isn’t too much to be done other than to engage them and get them to act at some point. Apathy may come from contentment or it may come from lack of information and or interest in the community. Whatever the reason, it can be quite frustrating when you feel that you are the only unit owner interested in making changes and finds the Board’s hostility is aimed at you. There are two things you can realistically do. The first is to get yourself elected to the Board. In an apathetic community, you shouldn’t find too many challengers so getting elected may be relatively easy. Of course, you will be expected to roll up your sleeves and work with other Board members. Perhaps a first-hand glimpse into their world will help you understand their hostility and give you a chance to get involved and make a difference. The other choice is to do nothing and see what happens. If the community has become unpleasant to live in, I am sure there are others where the Board isn’t hostile and the fellow unit owners aren’t as apathetic. Whichever you decide, I wish you all the best!