Q: There are five board members in our condo; I am the President. One of the elected board members is a major problem. He disrupts every board meeting by bringing up irrelevant – and sometimes ridiculous – issues; he pounds the table to get attention, and basically makes it very difficult to conduct our business. Any suggestions? Doris.
A: This is a problem in many boardrooms. People are human, have emotions and get angry. However, not everyone can control his/her emotions and often violence occurs.
In most association legal documents, board members are elected by the membership and can only be thrown out of office by that same membership. However, board members typically elect officers ( President, Vice President, etc) and can also remove them from office – but not from the board. So, the very first thing would be to take away any official status that board member may have – especially if he/she happens to be the Treasurer.
You can also mount a campaign to have that board member removed as a board member. Your bylaws spell out the process. And either as President – or as just an owner – you have the right to try to get the requisite number of votes so as to remove that board member.
If, for example, you are dealing with a difficult situation, as President you can create a small committee (say 3 or even 4) to discuss those issues. Here, that committee could meet privately (subject of course to any restrictions or limitations in your condo law and your condo bylaws) and exclude that board member.
Finally, some associations have actually taken an obstructive board member to court to obtain an injunction so the board member would have to behave. Failure to do so might be considered contempt of court, which I doubt that owner wants to face.
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Q: In a recent question, a condo owner was disputing his HOA’s claim that he was in arrears. You advised him to have all his cancelled checks available to show his payments.
I have my HOA fee paid automatically by my bank and they only keep a record of the automatic payment checks they’ve sent out only for the previous year. If I do write a check, the bank doesn’t return my cancelled checks anymore. The bank has a photo copy of the cancelled check, but it also only keeps those records for a limited time. What should I be doing to assure that I have a record of my payments, even after the bank has disposed of their copies of the checks they sent?
I read your column every week. Thank you for your advice. BRS.
A: Since your bank only keeps checks for a limited period of time, you might want to ask the bank to send you copies on a periodic basis. For example, if the bank keeps then for only one year, then every six months they should send you copies of your checks.
But if you are not concerned about your community association challenging your payments, then perhaps this is academic. You have your monthly-quarterly bank statement and that shows a specific amount being paid every month. That should be sufficient to prove you made the payment on a timely basis.
And of course, the old fashioned way: make a copy of the check, and hand deliver the check to management and have them hand -stamp your copy of the check as “paid”.