Just One Big, Happy Family...? Remedies for Dysfunctional Boards

Finding the right balance of involvement between HOAs and condo boards and residents can be like maintaining a healthy relationship with a significant other—you want to be compassionate, responsive and attentive, but not too needy, nosy or aggressive.

With our busy and hectic schedules, associations and boards might run the risk of being apathetic and disinterested in the status and well-being of the building, leading to unbalanced reserve budgets or broken lights in common areas.

While this lethargy can be an annoyance to those who would like a more dynamic and proactive voice regarding the comfort of their home, the opposite side of the spectrum can also be cause for serious concern. An association or board that oversteps its boundaries, intrudes on the privacy of individual residents and pushes the legal envelope can cause internal sickness, leading to tension, arguments and the end of what should be a long relationship life span.

Power to the People?

Board powers don’t have to be a mystery, as Jane Bolin, founding partner of Peyton Bolin PL, a national association law firm with offices in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey, explains.

“The association board member powers are actually subject to their governing documents, which include the declaration, the bylaws and the articles of incorporation. And also [Chapter 617], which is the Corporations Not for Profit statute in Florida, governs organizations. [Board member powers] are also subject to [Chapter] 718 or [Chapter] 720, whichever chapter may apply to them—[Chapter] 719 if it’s cooperatives.”

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