Conflicts often arise in homeowner’s association (HOA) when a board member fails to follow the rules that govern the association. It is important that the board abide by the governing documents of the association, including the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R) and the bylaws. The CC&R set forth the rights and obligations of the owners and the association. They also describe the HOAs enforcement procedures, dispute resolution process and restrictions on owners. The HOA’s bylaws set forth the structure and mechanics of managing the HOA, such as establishing meetings, voting procedures and officer appointment procedures.
The board is expected to comply with the bylaws and CC&R of the HOA. Even minor violations, like holding a meeting on a different day than the day stipulated in the documents, can have unwanted consequences. If a board member does not follow one rule, it may damage his credibility with members. Other owners could become suspicious that other rules are not being followed. Also, if the board fails to conform to the rules, it might be more challenging to enforce regulations against owners. If the rule is really too onerous, then the board member should work to amend the rule. And if he cannot get the necessary votes to change the rule, this might suggest that the owners prefer to keep the rule.
In general, the rules that are most problematic are those that are visible to other owners. Restrictions on pets, parking, noise and storage rooms tend to create the most controversy when a board member violates them. When disagreements between an owner and board member transpire, it is helpful to involve the HOA manager. The manager may be able to explain to the board member that there is a problem in rule adherence and encourage the parties to work out the disagreement. If the rule violation concerns the finances of the HOA, then the board member must be confronted immediately and told that his conduct must cease or further action will be taken.
Boards are inherently self-policing organizations. For the most part, this system works well. When there is a problem and a board member disregards a rule, the owners can speak up by not re-electing the board member. In some situations, fixing the problem is as easy as educating the board on the rules of the association. Some owners and board members are not entirely familiar with the rules of the HOA and the obligations of the board.
The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at http://www.markweinsteinlaw.com to find out how they can advise you.