I.K. from Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
What happens to the management of a condominium when there are not enough board members to serve? Does management of the association get turned over to the State? Does this vary by state? I live in Illinois.
Mister Condo replies:
I.K., rules about condo governance do vary from state to state. You would be well advised to check with your local chapter of CAI (http://www.cai-illinois.org/) or a qualified attorney for a more detailed explanation of what can happen. I can give you a brief overview of what would likely happen if your condo had no governing body.
There are certain matters that are the responsibility of the association; maintenance of the condo and common grounds, insurance, tax reporting, and such. Without a governing body, these things start falling through the cracks and before long a lawsuit would be brought against the association. It could be a vendor looking to get paid for previous work. It could be a homeowner suing over lack of maintenance or insurance. Whatever the cause, lawsuits end up in court. If the association did not defend itself, it would lose. The court could order a receiver (very likely an attorney) to take over and begin dissolving association assets to make good on the debt. This receiver would function as a governing body over the association and unit owners would find themselves responsible for the bill, including the receiver’s cost for service, which would likely be quite significant. The receiver could order special assessments, increased common fees, whatever it took for the association to conduct its business.
In case you couldn’t tell from my description of what would happen if no volunteer leaders came forward, it isn’t a pretty picture. It costs unit owners dearly when there is no volunteer governing body. It is far better for the community to manage itself than to have the court appoint an outsider to do the job. Of course, your local laws may vary but I’ll bet their spirit, intent, and end results are quite similar. Best to rustle up some volunteers. Good luck!