Board Do’s and Don’ts for 2015 Being a Great Board Member or Trustee

Often, the best, most successful boards and communities share the same combination of habits and traits; all the while, the worst, most fleeting share the same, as well. Case in point: there isn’t tremendous mystery in what actions make certain communities successful…and others complete failures.

“Whether you live in a small, close-knit neighborhood, a luxury gated community, a high-rise in the city, or a beach-front condo, your HOA board will need to stick to some fundamental principles in order to be successful,” says Billy Rudolph, director of corporate communications for Associa, the nation’s largest association management company.

In order to operate communities in fair, functional, and solvent manners, leading management experts contribute advice to assist the boards of New England to better understand what they should—and should not—do.

1. Do stay on point. Sticking to an agenda is fundamental. Rudolph says that board members, trustees and residents often have individual and personal agendas to present at meetings, making it difficult to remain on topic, and causing them to run for hours on end. If there’s an agenda and a time limit for other business, then it becomes easier to keep the meetings timely.

“Successful boards have a continued history. In other words, they have board members who can go back and remember why decisions were made, and they have a trail of those in their minutes,” says Charles A. Perkins Jr., Esq, a senior partner with Perkins & Anctil in Westford, Massachusetts. “You want stability as much as you can, and you want to run professionally. You should think about employing some rules of order. Roberts Rules of Order is well beyond the layman’s ability to use, but you can adopt rules that are not difficult. For example: shareholders will have fifteen minutes to spend before each meeting.”


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  • Knowing what is expected of them and their role is very important for anyone on a board of trustees. I know that I like it when I can tell that the people on the board know what they're talking about. I'll be sure to look for the good attributes you discuss next time I need to vote for a trustee.
  • what rights do a co-op board have to change rules that affect all shareholders does it have to go to the floor for a vote on it
  • My condo board wrote an " instrument" for the direct purpose of keeping me from allowing individuals from renting my condo who are former addicts. Then took me to court and used this "instrument" to control who I have renting my unit. They now have the power to approve or refuse my lease after being an owner sense 1992. Is this legal and how can I fight this without having the cash to hire an attorney?