Q&A: This Board’s Gone to the Dogs
Herrick partner Deborah Koplovitz was featured in a column in Cooperator News responding to a reader who asked if a condominium board is making decisions without member approval and against the rules.
Deborah broke down the reader's plight into four talking points: "What is the proper process for board decisions in your condominium? When can a board expand its membership? Are there limitations on a board’s authority to make certain decisions, such as transfer of units owned by the board and authorizing repairs without unit owner approval? And how can the board composition be changed?"
She highlighted three major factors that the reader should consider, citing "(1) New York’s Condominium Act, found at Article 9-B of New York’s Real Property Law; (2) the specific bylaws and declaration for your particular building; and (3) judicial doctrines, such as the business judgement rule." Deborah advised the reader to investigate the building's bylaws outlining the powers and duties of board members and which repairs require unit owner approval.
Deborah concluded, "Over the last 20 months, bear in mind that some boards have had delays and other issues holding annual meetings due to COVID. If that is the case in your building, and you are unable to gather enough unit owners to petition the board, rather than viewing yourselves as 'being stuck,' it may be more advisable to seek information from your board about their reasoning for any delay and their goals. Once you have the facts, you may find that a solution reveals itself."