board member overstepping

Dealing with board member overstepping can be a delicate situation, but with the right solutions and best practices, it can be effectively managed. In this article, we will explore various strategies and approaches to address board member behaviors that exceed their authority, violate boundaries, or exhibit misconduct. By implementing the following recommendations, associations can maintain a harmonious environment and ensure the proper functioning of their board.

  • Board members should adhere to proper voting protocol to avoid disputes and ensure majority decisions.
  • Familiarity with association documents is crucial for board members to understand their authority and limitations.
  • Architectural decisions should focus on aesthetics, while permits and enforcement should be left to the appropriate authorities.
  • Regular assessment raises are necessary to maintain the financial health of the association.
  • Private communication with owners should be avoided to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

These key takeaways provide a glimpse into the solutions and best practices that will be discussed in detail throughout this article. By implementing these strategies, associations can effectively manage board member overstepping and foster a productive and harmonious environment.

Understanding Proper Voting Protocol

Proper voting protocol is essential to ensure fair decision-making within a board, and addressing any opposition from a board member requires open discussions and majority decisions. Board members should vote in accordance with established rules and avoid email voting, as it can hinder thorough discussions and deliberations.

When a board member casts a vote in opposition to others, it is crucial to have a constructive dialogue to understand their concerns and perspectives. This allows for transparency and fosters a collaborative environment where all board members can actively participate in the decision-making process.

improper voting

In cases where a board member’s opposition persists and a resolution cannot be reached through discussions, it may be necessary to call a duly called meeting. This meeting provides an opportunity for all board members to participate, voice their opinions, and ultimately make decisions based on the majority vote. This ensures that the board operates in a fair and democratic manner.

Importance of Proper Voting Protocol

Having a clear understanding of proper voting protocol is crucial for maintaining transparency and accountability within a board. By adhering to established rules, board members can avoid any potential conflicts of interest, misconduct, or breaches of authority. Proper voting protocol not only strengthens the decision-making process but also upholds the trust and confidence of the association’s members.

Benefits of Proper Voting Protocol
1. Ensures fair decision-making
2. Promotes transparency and accountability
3. Prevents conflicts of interest
4. Upholds trust and confidence of association members

Familiarity with Association Documents and Authority

Board members must familiarize themselves with association documents, such as governing rules, regulations, and declarations, to avoid overstepping their boundaries. These documents outline the purpose, structure, and limitations of the association, and understanding them is crucial for board members to fulfill their roles effectively.

Rules and regulations should be reasonable and clearly defined, ensuring that board members have a clear understanding of their authority. Declarations or covenants should explicitly provide the authority for making rules and restrictions, ensuring that board members do not exceed their mandates or act outside the scope of their responsibilities.

By being well-versed in association documents, board members can make informed decisions and prevent misunderstandings or inappropriate behavior. This knowledge enables them to navigate the complexities of governance, protect the interests of the association and its members, and maintain a harmonious community.

association documents

Key Points:

  • Understanding the purpose and authority of association documents is vital for board members.
  • Rules, regulations, and declarations should be reasonable, clear, and provide the necessary authority.
  • Board members should avoid overstepping their boundaries by exceeding their mandates.
  • Familiarity with association documents helps board members make informed decisions and prevent misunderstandings.
Association Documents Importance
Governing rules and regulations Provide guidelines for board member actions and decision-making.
Declarations or covenants Outline the authority and restrictions for making rules and restrictions.

Architectural Approval and Enforcement Boundaries

When it comes to architectural approval, board members should prioritize aesthetic decisions while avoiding micromanagement and leaving permits and enforcement to the relevant authorities. By focusing on the visual aspects of requests, boards can ensure consistency and maintain the overall aesthetic appeal of the community. It is important for board members to remember that their role is not to oversee the technicalities of permits and enforcement but rather to evaluate the aesthetics of proposed changes.

By adhering to this approach, board members can avoid overstepping their boundaries and violating the authority of other entities responsible for permits and enforcement. This not only helps maintain a harmonious relationship with these authorities but also protects the association from any potential legal issues.

Table 1 below provides an overview of the steps board members can take when evaluating architectural approval requests:

Step Description
1 Evaluate the proposed aesthetic changes.
2 Ensure the changes comply with existing association rules and regulations.
3 Refer any permit or enforcement matters to the relevant authorities.
4 Communicate the decision to the requesting owner or submit it for further review.

By following these steps, board members can effectively handle architectural approval requests, respecting the boundaries of their authority while ensuring a visually appealing and harmonious community environment.

Architectural Approval and Enforcement Boundaries

Board members play a crucial role in maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the community, but it is important for them to understand their limits. The focus should be on evaluating the aesthetics of proposed changes rather than getting involved in the technicalities of permits and enforcement. This helps in maintaining a cordial relationship with the relevant authorities and protecting the association from any potential legal issues.”

Assessments and Financial Responsibility

Boards have a responsibility to raise assessments when needed to ensure the financial stability of the association and prevent potential abuses of power. It is crucial for board members to understand the importance of maintaining adequate funding levels. This not only helps cover ongoing expenses but also allows for the necessary reserve funds to address unforeseen repairs and maintenance.

When assessments are not raised when needed, it can lead to financial strain on the association and result in deferred maintenance, decreased property values, and potential legal issues. Board members must exercise their fiduciary duty by carefully evaluating the financial needs of the association and making informed decisions regarding assessment increases.

board member power abuse

Consultation with specialists, such as financial advisors or reserve fund experts, can provide valuable insights into determining the appropriate funding levels and planning for future expenses. By seeking expert advice, board members can ensure that the association is financially secure and able to meet its obligations.

Impact of Not Raising Assessments When Needed Solutions and Best Practices
• Financial strain on association • Evaluate financial needs regularly
• Deferred maintenance • Consult with financial advisors or reserve fund experts
• Decreased property values • Make informed decisions regarding assessment increases
• Potential legal issues • Plan for future expenses and maintain adequate reserve funds

“Proactive financial planning and responsible assessment raising are key to ensure the long-term stability and growth of the association.” – Financial Advisor

By prioritizing financial responsibility and taking necessary actions to raise assessments when needed, board members can demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of the association and protect against potential abuses of power. It is important to maintain open and transparent communication with homeowners, providing them with a clear understanding of the reasons behind assessment increases and the benefits they bring to the community.

Proper Communication with Owners

Individual communication between board members and owners can lead to misunderstandings and should be avoided, with discussions reserved for properly called meetings. When board members communicate individually with owners, it can create confusion and give the impression that decisions are being made on behalf of the entire board. This can lead to inappropriate board member behavior and even legal issues.

To ensure transparency and fairness, it is crucial that board members communicate with owners in a consistent and organized manner. All discussions and decision-making should take place during properly called meetings where all board members have the opportunity to participate and contribute. This way, all owners have an equal chance to express their concerns and opinions, and decisions are made collectively and in compliance with governing regulations.

By adhering to proper communication protocols, board members can establish trust and maintain a professional relationship with owners. It also helps prevent misunderstandings and minimizes the risk of board members exceeding their mandate. When everyone is involved and engaged in the decision-making process, it fosters a sense of community and ensures that decisions are made in the best interest of the association and its members.

board members privately communicating with owners

Reasons Solutions
Can lead to misunderstandings Communicate in a group setting to avoid misinterpretations
Gives the impression of speaking on behalf of the entire board Reserve discussions for properly called meetings
Increases the risk of inappropriate board member behavior Follow established protocols and guidelines
Minimizes transparency and fair decision-making Engage all board members and owners in the decision-making process

In conclusion, board members should prioritize proper communication with owners by avoiding individual communication and conducting discussions in properly called meetings. This helps prevent misunderstandings, inappropriate board member behavior, and exceeding their mandate. By actively involving all board members and owners in decision-making, transparency and fairness can be maintained, ultimately leading to a harmonious and well-managed association.

Seeking Expert Advice

Board members should not hesitate to seek expert advice when faced with complex issues, as it helps make informed decisions and safeguards against potential problems. Consulting with specialists or professionals who have expertise in specific areas can provide valuable insights and assistance in navigating challenging situations.

By seeking expert advice, board members can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that may not be readily available within the board itself. This external perspective can shed light on alternative solutions or considerations that may have been overlooked, ultimately leading to more effective decision-making.

Additionally, engaging experts can help protect the association from legal and financial risks. They can provide guidance on compliance with laws and regulations, ensuring that board actions align with the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other relevant legislation.

When to Seek Expert Advice

While it may be tempting for board members to rely solely on their own judgment or the advice of fellow board members, there are times when outside expertise is crucial. Some instances where seeking expert advice is advisable include:

  • Legal matters: When dealing with complex legal issues or potential liability, it is wise to consult with an attorney who specializes in community association law.
  • Financial decisions: Engaging a certified public accountant or financial advisor can provide valuable insights for budgeting, reserve funds, and investment strategies.
  • Major projects: When undertaking significant projects such as renovations, construction, or land development, seeking the expertise of architects, engineers, or construction specialists can help ensure the successful completion of the endeavor.

Overall, investing in expert advice can save time, mitigate risks, and contribute to the overall success of the association. Board members should recognize the value of seeking outside expertise and proactively engage professionals when needed.

Compliance with Fair Housing Act & ADA

Board members must ensure that their actions and policies align with the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act to prevent unintentional violations that could have legal consequences. Both acts are designed to protect the rights of individuals and prevent discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discriminatory housing practices, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities or imposing different terms and conditions of housing. Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public accommodations, including housing communities, to be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

To comply with these acts, board members should review their association’s policies and governing documents to ensure they do not inadvertently discriminate against protected classes. It is important to consult legal experts specializing in fair housing and ADA compliance to ensure that policies, rules, and restrictions are in line with the requirements of these acts. This will help prevent potential legal disputes and protect the rights of all residents within the community.

Inadvertently Violating Fair Housing Act & ADA

Key Points Actions to Take
Review policies and governing documents Ensure they do not discriminate against protected classes
Consult legal experts Ensure policies are aligned with Fair Housing Act & ADA
Educate board members and residents Regularly communicate the association’s commitment to fair housing and ADA compliance
Implement reasonable accommodations Assist residents with disabilities to ensure equal access to facilities and services

“It is essential for board members to be proactive in understanding and following the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and ADA. By doing so, they can create an inclusive and welcoming community where everyone’s rights are respected.”


Board members must be diligent in ensuring compliance with the Fair Housing Act and ADA to prevent unintentional violations. This involves reviewing policies and governing documents, consulting legal experts, and educating board members and residents on fair housing and ADA compliance. By taking these actions, board members can create a community that fosters equal access and fair treatment for all residents.


By implementing the best practices and strategies outlined throughout this article, boards can effectively manage and address board member overstepping, promoting a healthier and more cohesive association.

Improper voting can lead to conflicts within the board. It is vital for board members to adhere to proper voting protocols and avoid email voting. In case of opposition, open discussions and duly called meetings for majority votes should be encouraged.

Misunderstanding the purpose and authority of association documents can result in board members exceeding their mandates. To prevent this, board members should familiarize themselves with governing documents, ensuring rules and regulations are reasonable and clearly defined. Declarations and covenants should provide explicit authority for making rules and restrictions.

When making architectural decisions, board members should focus on aesthetic considerations and consistency. It is important to avoid micromanaging and leave permits and enforcement to the appropriate authorities.

Boards should prioritize raising assessments when needed to safeguard the financial health of the association. Failure to do so may be considered a breach of fiduciary duty. Consultation with specialists and establishing reserve funds are advisable to determine appropriate funding levels.

Board members should refrain from privately communicating with owners as it can be misconstrued as speaking on behalf of the entire board. Actions should be taken only in duly called meetings or when duties are consistent with policy.

Seeking expert advice is crucial when faced with complex issues. Board members should actively consult outside experts to ensure informed decision-making, protect the association from potential liabilities, and uphold the interests of the community.

Lastly, board members must ensure their actions and policies align with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even unintentional violations can have legal consequences, so it is essential to stay compliant with these regulations.

In conclusion, maintaining diligent and informed board members who understand their authority and limitations is essential for effectively addressing board member overstepping. By implementing the best practices and strategies discussed, associations can promote a harmonious and well-managed community for all members.


Q: What should board members do if there is improper voting?

A: Board members should have a discussion and, if necessary, call a duly called meeting for a majority vote to address opposition.

Q: How can board members avoid misunderstanding the purpose and authority of association documents?

A: Board members should be familiar with the governing documents of the association and understand the limits of their authority.

Q: How should board members handle architectural approval and enforcement?

A: Board members should focus on aesthetic considerations and consistency, leaving permits and enforcement to the appropriate authorities.

Q: What should boards do if they need to raise assessments?

A: Boards should raise assessments when necessary to ensure the financial health of the association and consult specialists if needed.

Q: Is it appropriate for board members to privately communicate with owners?

A: Board members should only act when convened in a properly called meeting or carrying out duties consistent with policy to avoid misconstrued communication.

Q: When should board members ask for expert advice?

A: Board members should seek advice from outside experts when faced with complex issues to ensure informed decision-making and protect the association from liability.

Q: How can board members avoid inadvertently violating the Fair Housing Act and ADA?

A: Board members should ensure that policies and actions align with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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