The “Con” in the Condo Board

It’s not all glam…

Owners of condominiums and co-op units have a lot of reasons to join their homeowners association board, especially if they want to participate in decisions that affect the monthly budget and the future value of their home. The caveat is that almost everyone who has participated in meetings of condominium association can share a horror story about the experience.

Lisa Robinson, an agent for Riverside Property Management, had a particularly unpleasant experience.

“A unit owner failed to pay a special assessment because not be notified in a timely manner about a construction problem,” said Lisa. “After that the unit owner sent dozens of emails  threatening to sue because I had sent him a delinquency letter explaining the amount owed the condo association. Fortunately, he sold his unit before it became a lawsuit. Several other delinquent owners have treated me like I was the bad guy when I confronted them about late assessments.  I was hired by the association, so I can imagine how it would be if I lived in the community. ”

Members of the condominium board often experience harassment from other owners who do not understand who are the volunteers, residents, employees paid by the association, etc.  And other owners just have not gotten over that experience of the college dorm and take issues into their own hands (Resident Advisers).

“I am happy to be a link between a resident in need and the management company, or to help a neighbor in an emergency, but people need to understand that members of the condominium board are volunteers from the community, not mothers in the home. ”

Phone calls about disputes between neighbors are the worst. Do not get caught up in personal conflicts.

Another common complaint among members of the condominium board  is that very few homeowners are willing to serve on the board or even attend an annual meeting. In a condominium building of 100 units , approximately only ten to fifteen owners are usually present at the annual , with only a handful who attend regular meetings.

In many neighborhoods, condominiums are filled with a mixture of elderly residents who have lived in the building for decades and owners that are young and single. This generation gap can create a conflict when it comes to changing the management model of a condominium or the introduction of a new procedure such as e-mail of the minutes from the last meeting.

Like the board meetings of the community, a problem with the building or the residents can make the monthly meeting short-hour debate, giving potential members a bad taste for what their future may hold if join the board.

Despite the problems outlined in this piece, becoming a board member of your condominium building has its benefits as well. You may simply want to do some research on the personality of the people living in your building before diving in.

As always, there are people that stand up and serve…and there are ALWAYS the ones that only have “lip-service”.  As a Community Manager, I have learned to take it all in stride and turn that conversation around.  The common goal is to increase the value of the property-BOTTOM LINE!

Written by: Lori Miles, CAM

Riverside Property Managment, Inc.

(678) 866-1436

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