Members who are unhappy with board decisions (or indecision) or management can do any or all of the following:
1. Remain Silent
Be part of the silent majority... say nothing and do nothing and hope
the problem resolves itself. Things run in cycles so sometimes this strategy works. You just have to be patient.
2. Use Open Forum
. Address the board in open forum
Be respectful and clear in describing your position. The board may not
be aware of the problem and bringing it to their attention should
get results. If you are hostile,
rambling and make unreasonable demands or threats, the board will label you as a nut-job and reject your request.
3. Write Letters
. If the board does not respond to your open
forum request, follow-up with letters. Do
this because the squeaky wheel gets
the grease and boards don't like paper trails that create
potential liability. Keep your letters respectful and
business-like. Do not engage in personal attacks or exaggeration.
. If the open forum and follow-up letters don't resolve the problem, try internal dispute resolution
. Even if IDR does not work, it keeps the issue in
front of the board and it exhausts your friendly attempts to address the
. If IDR is unsuccessful, request alternative dispute resolution
. This is more costly since it normally involves attorneys.
6. Run for the Board
the above actions don't resolve the issue or you don't want to involve attorneys, run for the board
people who will). First, examine your motives. If the
reason you want on the board is to get something for yourself at
the expense of the community, that would be a conflict of interest
which could lead to a breach of your fiduciary duties
7. Recall the Board
. You can launch a recall
of the board. This is a drastic measure
and very disruptive to the community. It may permanently
damage relationships with neighbors and create life-long enemies.
Hence, your issue should be sufficiently serious that it cannot wait until the next annual meeting.
. If none of the above works or you're in a hurry
to lose money and make enemies, you can sue your association. You should be prepared that lawsuits are lengthy, expensive, emotionally
draining and unpredictable. So carefully weigh the cost of litigation
against the hoped-for benefit... and then weigh it again. If you're suing
to punish the board because of a perceived sleight or to prove a point,
you're one of the crazies.
. If you live in a dysfunctional association, sell your
property and get out before they cause you financial and emotional ruin.
Look for a home in in a good association
. Most associations are well-run and one will be a good fit for you. Or find a single-family home that's not in an association.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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