Q: The board of directors of our association is not doing its job. Overgrown landscapes, boats and broken cars in driveways, and homes in need of painting are some of the many challenges in our community. What can a homeowner do if his board of directors and management company are ineffective? – Margaret
A: The board of directors of your community association must maintain common areas and enforce rules and regulations. This is not an easy task and many associations are hiring a property manager to assist.
Board members have their own lives, jobs and concerns. Even so, by volunteering to take a leadership role in their community, board members must fulfill their responsibilities.
The first step to getting your area back in shape is to communicate your concerns to the board.
Gather other members who think the same way and ask to meet with the board.
You can also sign up to announce your grievances at your next board meeting. Give specific examples and maintain a professional and helpful tone as you do so.
If that doesn’t work and enough of your neighbors agree with you, you can vote for the review. If you succeed, you can remove some or all of the board members and replace them with volunteers willing to do the job.
Another possibility is to run for the board independently in the next elections and improve the work of the board from within.
If all else fails, you can sue your board to get them to abide by the rules and properly uphold the grounds.
Litigation is costly and time-consuming, and often the losing party pays the winner’s attorney’s fees, so this option should only be used as a last resort.
Another option is to move to a community that is more in line with your standards. Your neighbors may be fine with the way things work and don’t want things to change.
Finding the community that’s right for you may be your best bet.
(Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and is certified by the Florida Bar Council as an expert in real estate law. He handles real estate, business disputes and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Florida. He is the chairman of the board of The Real Estate Section of the Bar. Broward County attorneys. He is the co-host of the weekly radio show “Legal News and Review.” He often advises companies around the country on general issues and trends in Florida real estate. www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.)
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