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Resident Vs. Board Requests for Information Can Become Flash Points

Jack has heard talk that the board has voted to continue a contract with the poorly-run lawn care company the association has contracted with for years. Rumor has it that damage was done to a window by a careless worker and a complaint has even been filed.

As the unappointed spokesperson for the condo owners, Jack has spoken numerous times to the association board president (Eric) about this issue and has asked to see the current lawn service contract and the complaint. Jackhas yet to receive any of the records he has requested and is getting more convinced that something does not add up.

Eric, the condo board president, is at his wits’ end. The pressure is on at work and his job as president of his condo association has gone well beyond a part-time commitment. He has wanted for years to step down from the board but no one seems to be willing to step up to take his place. To make matters worse, the condo troublemaker, Jack, is stirring up rumors and getting the community up in arms about the lawncare service.

On numerous occasions, Jack has cornered Eric to “discuss” his lawn care complaints. Eric has tried to explain to Jack that the owner of the lawn service company they contract with has been ill and because of this, things have fallen through the cracks. Eric has also stressed that prior to this past season the lawn care service has consistently been of good quality and at a reasonable price.

Now Jack is requesting the lawn service contract information, as well as a complaint that was filed against a lawnservice worker, which is now entering litigation. Eric continues to stall Jack in hopes he will just let this issue go.

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4 Comments

  • This is the 21st Century! The "Internet" is now available 'freely' (Libraries, etc.) whereby every citizen in the Country has access to a computer! Every Community that has a Home Owners Association should have their own website and message board. ALL BUSINESS of the Community can be posted on that message board, where every HomeOwner can cast their "informational" vote on issues 24/7 365 days a year!
  • This looks like what I like to call "hunker down mentality" by a board. A member asks to see something that they are legally allowed to view. The board gets defensive and “hunkers down,” giving up nothing without a fight. The lack of transparency then results in more requests for information/documents (which the member is legally allowed to see) with more stalling. Eventually, the information is given up, a review of it is made, and low and behold, some mistakes are found—which now leads to more problems. Boards need to know what they must provide to their members and provide it in a timely manner. Good government requires transparency, honesty and following the rules. If board members aren’t wiling to do this, they should resign immediately.
  • Eric the trustee should be happy and willing to turn over lawn care documents to Jack the dissatisfied unit owner. Maybe Jack will step in and volunteer his time to solving these problems. Let him become part of the solution rather than keeping him on the outside and being another part of the problem..
  • My condominium association waived their condominium fees; in some cases, for the last 30 years! The board was in violation of the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 183A, Sec., 7: 'no unit owner shall waive their condo fee or receive an offset'. Ten years later, they finally sent a statement saying, " the board is responsible for their own condo fees." But, they continue to refuse giving me proof of their alleged fees or any materials proving they have finally started paying taxes or started filing 1099's. This is a perfect situation of a self-managed board that perpetrated illegal acts for their own self-enrichment personal immoral purposes. The Massachusetts statute does not protect the rights of a unit owner who does not have the resources to hire a lawyer for discovery of documents already allowed by law...... I am not a lawyer nor should I need a lawyer to see my records. There is a larger concern to be addressed here. I am a unit owner who refuses to give up her Constitutionally Protected Free Speech Dissenting Opinions! Most boards are not as criminally invovled as my board of trustees are.. They hired a management company now to make my gathering intelligent materials even more difficult. Other than a lawsuit, in this situation: who is the party being harmed? Good luck Folks!