Just One Big, Happy Family...? Remedies for Dysfunctional Boards

Finding the right balance of involvement between homeowner associations, co-op boards, condo boards and residents can be like maintaining a healthy relationship with a significant other: you want to be compassionate, responsive and attentive, but not too needy, nosy or aggressive. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch too.

With our busy and hectic schedules, associations and boards might typically be more likely to be apathetic and disinterested in the status and well-being of the building, leading to unbalanced reserve budgets or broken lights in common areas.

While this lethargy can be an annoyance to those who would like a more dynamic and proactive voice regarding the comfort of their home, the opposite side of the spectrum can also be cause for serious concern. An association or board that oversteps its bounds, intrudes on the privacy of individual residents and pushes the legal envelope can lead to tension, arguments and perhaps, the end of what should be a long-term relationship.

Power to the People?

The powers of an association or board don’t have to be a mystery. As Attorney Matthew L. Moodhe of the law firm of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit in Buffalo Grove explains, “Board powers are outlined in various statutes and the association’s governing documents. Depending upon the type of association or organization, the board powers will be spelled out in either the Illinois Condominium Property Act (ICPA), the Illinois Common Interest Community Act or the General Not for Profit Corporation Act. Additionally, the organization’s governing documents including the declaration, bylaws and rules and regulations will delineate the specific powers of the board of directors. It is imperative that board members make themselves familiar with their responsibilities and authority.”

That being said, board powers can differ between homeowner associations, co-ops or condos.


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