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Q&A: Unresponsive Board

Q. Each month the board of directors holds a meeting to go over finances, work in progress and other subject matters. All members are invited to sit at these meetings. These meeting are held at a board member’s home. We are told to inform the board if we would like to attend. One woman asked to attend a meeting (there are other members going) and she was told that she cannot attend because they have too many residents going to the meeting.  She was also told that she was allowed to speak or bring up her outstanding issue and that they will get back to her later.  My question is, if a member is in good standing, can the board refuse to let him/her attend? Also how long does the board have to answer a question of a member?

                                  —Feeling Left Out

A. “Questions asked by unit owners to members of the board must be answered by the board within a reasonable time,” says Daniel M. Lopez, an Associate at the Westford, Massachusetts firm of Perkins & Anctil. “What is reasonable will vary, and will depend upon the complexity of the questions which are asked of the board. The more complex the questions are, the longer the board will have to answer them. The board is under no obligation to answer questions which are unrelated to the association.

 “As for a unit owner attendance at board meetings, there is no statutory requirement that unit owners be permitted to attend board meetings. In Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 183A is an enabling act which allows different condominium associations to set their own rules and regulations. Therefore, unit owners should look to their association’s condominium documents to determine if there are any rules allowing for the attendance of unit owners at board meetings.”

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