How to Handle Board Members who Violate Rules

Question: What are my options as an owner if the board and management company refuse to enforce one of the rules? I’ve filed an official complaint and they refuse to act. It’s a board member in violation.

Answer: “One of the rules” is a bit vague. Not all rules are created equal nor carry the same importance of enforcement. But assuming the rule in question is a flagrant violation like parking an illegal vehicle, harboring a killer pitbull or adding an unapproved addition to his house or condo, then you indeed have the right to question what is going on. A board member who thinks that rules only apply to others should not remain on the board for obvious reasons. Foxes guarding the henhouse seldom serve the chickens.

Your next move might include a petition signed by a significant number of owners, say, five to ten, who agree with you. The petition should describe the specific violation and the need to correct or cease and desist. If that does not have the desired effect, a letter from an attorney might do the trick. Board members have personal liability for their HOA actions and some have been subject to sizeable fines from the court for failure to heed that fact. Lastly, you have the right to run for the board to start making a difference. It’s often easier to make changes from within than without.

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