Summary

A 79-unit condominium association held a meeting to remove the directors from office and elect new ones. The president objected to the meeting, the procedure and the notice, but since the association followed the documents and had more than half of the unit owners vote for the removal, the directors were removed.
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As Condominium and HOA attorneys, we often receive questions from our clients dealing with all the issues that can get in the way of conducting a successful annual meeting. Most often, it is the issue of not being able to achieve a quorum of owners in attendance—which stymies the Association’s ability to hold Board member elections, approve the budget, and take other important actions to further the HOA’s business for the coming year.  So what happens if an Association’s Bylaws calls for annual board elections, but the Association does not hold elections for a number of years?  Is there a Board? Does the Board have any authority? A recent case addressed these issues, and the court’s findings might surprise you.
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From years of experience, unit owners and board members can justify anything. Board members who take compensation for serving on the board or who make sure that their building is always first in line for repairs can find relatively legitimate reasons for everything they do – e.g. they are saving the association money by doing the job that a property manager would do but for only ½ of the pay.  Of course, these same board member who complain about all of the work they do on the board also fight like hell when someone runs against them.  If your association has such a board member, and you don’t believe that you can have them removed before the election, then they must be defeated at the annual meeting.  It will be a battle, so prepare: have the short sentences that explain why you are running (the theme of your election), say what you will do, not what the current volunteers are doing wrong, and go get proxies and enlist others to help you get proxies from everyone. 
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Associations often struggle to get sufficient members to fill their Board. The common perception is that it is too much work.  It’s not, but there is work involved.  However, if you are organized and willing to share some of your time, you will quickly learn that many of the issues repeat themselves.  If your association has a manager, then your real job is to manage the manager.  If you don’t have a property manager, then the owners define your job as EVERYTHING.  We have put together this list of the issues that commonly arise so that you can see that you won’t be bored:  assessments, banks, contractors, dogs, electricity, fires and feelings, gas, heat, ice, jokesters, kites, leaves, mail, nails, pools, quality issues, roofs, streets, trouble, upset people, voting, water, extra stuff left by the garbage, your neighbor, zoo animals allowed by the FHA as emotion support animals – so essentially the entire alphabet. 
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