Q. I live in a 96-unit condominium building and have served on the board of our association for 16 years. There are nine of us on the board, seven of whom (including myself) are at the age where we’d like some of the younger owners to consider serving. In the last five or so, not one owner has offered to run for the board; the two younger ones we do have were recruited (i.e., coerced) into the role. My questions for you are; What exactly happens when the older of us are no longer able to serve, and no one else offers to serve on the board? Is there somewhere in the rules where a situation like that is spelled out? Is a situation like that handled through the courts?
If things are going well, owners seem to think their board will just continue to be there to get things done. I would like to have written, confirmed information to present to them to let them know what could possibly occur if they don’t start to show an interest in contributing to the future of their association.
—Veteran Board Member
A. “Unfortunately, the level of apathy that you describe among the unit owners in your community is all too common,” says Roberto C. Blanch, a shareholder with the law firm Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A., which has offices in Coral Gables, Plantation, and West Palm Beach. “Owners become complacent when a community’s board of directors is doing its job effectively, and volunteering for board service is often perceived to be a daunting and thankless commitment for many individuals who lead busy lives and do not wish to take on new responsibilities.
“There is no magic bullet solution for the problem of apathy among a community’s owners. The most effective remedies typically stem from implementing and maintaining long-term strategies to encourage board service. Your current board should consider the following measures: