Board Communications Condominium Governance Neighbor Issues

Unit Owners Informally Question Board Members in Condo Corridors

J.L. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

The president and I are new to the board. We live in a 12-unit building where the unit owners were used to freely going up to past board members doors and address whatever concerns they had. The president and I feel we have a management company that we pay and that the unit owners should address any issues with the management company instead of us. We’d like to post a note addressing the unit owners that going forward they need to contact the management company. Please let me know your thoughts?

Mister Condo replies:

J.L., since the previous Board had a very “open door” policy regarding unit owners addressing concerns, you have inherited their management style, like it or not. The way to correct it is to let all unit owners know that there has been a change in Board members and that new policy is in place. In fact, I would argue that the old policy was fraught with potential disaster, including Board members making “on the spot” decisions that could come back to haunt the association. The proper procedure for unit owners to bring their concerns to the Board is to contact the Board via the Property Management company or in writing so their concerns can be addressed at the next scheduled Board meeting. That way there is written action (Minutes) to document the concern and what action, if any, was taken. Casual conversation in the corridors of the building is nothing more than that. In a small association like yours, I would guess close to half of the unit owners serve on the Board so it is not surprising that such an informal approach was adopted. However, that doesn’t mean it was correct. I hope you can manage it to your liking in the future. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Unit Owners Informally Question Board Members in Condo Corridors”

  1. As the president of a 129 unit complex with an active board, I can’t imagine telling unit owners they cannot talk to me. Actually I don’t get that many calls. I can envision a situation of too many calls or late at night etc. There are a couple of residents that let go to voice mail. It comes with job, just like that of a legislator or town council member.

    With a bit of board education there should be no risk of making a decision on the spot. Worse would be making decisions without all sorts of input from owners. A withdrawn inaccessible Board is not a formula for good decisions and a successful community.

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