Problem Boards What to Do When Your Board Breaks the Rules

A condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association elects a board for a specific purpose: to navigate the ins and outs of association management on a day-to-day basis. In fact, the board has an inflexible fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the community as a whole. Inflexible! 

Surely this means that boards consistently stay on the side of good, advocating for residents, and promoting neighborly well-being, right? Well, in short: no. Sadly, humans are wildly fallible. Having sampled even a morsel of power, some find themselves starving for more. And other less malicious folks simply make mistakes, and rather than correct them, keep on stumbling down a wrong path. 

Once a board crosses over to the dark side, it can mean serious consequences for not only its members, but every owner or shareholder in residence. Infighting, backstabbing, loss of funds, declining property values, and even legal consequences may well ensue should the ship not be righted.

As Henry A. Goodman, a principal with Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC,  a law firm that has offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, puts it, “in any organization, things can go wrong; either by virtue of error in judgment, human frailty or even corruption of one sort or another.”

Therefore, it’s imperative that both boards and residents be aware of the reasons and signs that an operation has gone bad, in order to avoid the former and correct the latter as quickly as possible. 

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