Previous condo board was incompetent or worse

carole602January 23, 2005

My husband has recently become President of our Condo Assn. Unfortunately, it looks as though the business has been run like an "ole boys club" as far as finances were concerned. Even to the part of there not being ANY record of the past president paying his monthly maintenance fees for two years, and for "excusing" others of paying them becuase they were "stressed" as he put it. We are NOT a rich association and have had to go to the owners a couple times in the past two years for special assessments. We have an accountant and we are wondering why this kind of thing has never been questioned. I won't go into it, but there's a LOT of moeny that seems to have NOT been deposited from the washers/dryers either. What to do? Past president has just sold his unit but won't close on it for about 3 weeks, if that matters.

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If you can prove that the past presidint did not pay his dues, then you should slap a lien on his property NOW. This will stop the closing until he comes clean with it. You cannot use this lien to deal with the other items, however. That may simply be mismanagement that requires a different avenue to deal with. The accountant most likely only needs to be responsible for a statement that shows the state of things. It is not his/her job to enforce anything and may just be reporting what he/she was provided.

In any case, consider the lien. Right now. If you don't do anything until after the closing, you won't have much leverage.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 8:05AM
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I don't know how condos work. In a co-op, the board woudl refuse to approve the transfer of the shares (the sale until all moneys owed had been paid. That's the biggest leverage you can get.

You'll really have him over a barrel, but he'll also be more likely to have the money, because he'll be selling.

Step 1 would be a visit to a lawyer to be sure you have the form of the letter right. Step 2 would be a registered, etc., letter saying, 'please show us any proof you might have that you have paid your dues.'

The other thing is, if the board "officially" (i.e., voted by the board, recorded in the minutes, etc.) "forgave" people from paying their dues, you may be out of luck.

If he did not, and it is clear he exceeded his authority, you'll need to officially notify these folks that they owe this money, and ask them to contact the board to set up a payment schedule.

Your husband is going to want to be sure he's as transparent as possible, so he can't be accused of a vendetta, etc. He'll want as many other board members as possible to be part of the process (he may legally need them to be).

And since those people whose dues were "forgiven" are still voting members, he'll want to walk a fine line between getting the money and ticking them off--the last thing you want is to be voted out again, now that you've got a chance to keep it honest.

Also, if the past president was the one responsible for the dryers, you might be able to hold up his closing for that.

Also, you could bring civil charges later, for malfeasance, etc. But the lien is the fastest way to end it quick.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 9:55AM
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