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Q&A: Removing an Uninvolved Board Member

Q&A: Removing an Uninvolved Board Member

Q. One of the members on our condo board appears to have run for the position just for the sake of getting his name on the ballot — and to his own surprise, it seems, he won! Since he took office, he attends meetings only occasionally, and when he does attend, he manages to turn every discussion into an argument. It’s getting harder and harder to get anything accomplished at our meetings. If someone wants to get a board member off the board, how do they go about it and what percentage of the unit owners do they need? Also, are subtenants or renters allowed to vote? 

                    — Frustrated Volunteer

A. “I will address each of the two questions in turn,” says Gary Daddario, a partner in the law firm of Winer & Bennett in Tyngsboro, MA.  “First, as to removal of a board member, this occurs pursuant to the terms set forth in the association’s governing documents.  In Massachusetts, a removal provision will typically appear in the Trust, while a New Hampshire association may find such language in the bylaws of the association.  In either case, the provision will set forth: 1) the circumstances under which removal may occur; 2) the notice requirements; 3) any process afforded the subject board member (e.g. hearing or opportunity to be heard); and 4) the required vote for the removal to occur.

“The second question pertains to voting rights.  Voting rights are appurtenant to the unit and, therefore, are a right associated with ownership.  Thus, under normal circumstances a tenant or other unit occupant who is not the owner does not possess the voting right associate with the unit.  That said, in accord with the applicable statute and the association’s governing documents, a unit owner could provide their voting right to another by way of a proxy.”

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