Condo Association Board Scenarios New Members Encounter


There are many good reasons for you to join your Association’s Condo Board.  Some are purely selfish, others are for your community.  One of the greatest challenges when you join a Condo Board is learning how to be an effective Board member.  While there are certain steps you want to take no matter what, another important issue for you to consider is the situation you are diving into.  Here are three common Condo Association Board scenarios you may find yourself in, and how to handle them.

Situation Normal

If everything is awesome, your job is is to make it even better.

A normal situation is defined as things are more or less OK, or maybe even great.  There are no major issues facing your Condo Association that must be urgently taken care of.  This is the best case of the Condo Association Boardscenarios.  

Signs the Situation is Normal

  • Up-to-date reserve study; actions are being followed.
  • Upcoming major projects are well-defined, or at least on the radar; finances are sufficient.
  • Management is competent and gets the job done.

Actions for You

Rampant Corruption

Corruption is not awesome.

If you know there is or was rampant corruption on the Condo Association Board, it is the most stressful and intense situation you can find yourself in.  You need to take stock of the situation, find your allies, and begin the long slog of improving your community.

Signs of Rampant Corruption

  • Actual confirmed corruption.
  • Unusually high miscellaneous expenses.
  • Poor financial management systems.
  • Contracts are not bid in a competitive manner.
  • Board members do not carry out their fiduciary duty and seem to be steering business toward their friends (overtly or covertly).

Actions for You

  • Find friends – fast.  Figure out who is trustworthy on the Board and who is not.  First and foremost, you need to secure a majority so you can affect change.  If you must, recruit Owners to your cause.
  • Begin cleaning up the finances.  Audit your fiancnials with a neutral third party and institute best practices for financial controls.
  • Rebid your Management contract, if applicable.

Special Assessment

The Special Assessment is the middle ground of pleasant and pain for Condo Association Board scenarios.  It also is one of the more common issues.  In this case, your goal is to guide your Association through this challenging time as painlessly as possible.

Signs of A Special Assessment

  • Major projects are required, but insufficient funding is available.
  • The Association has passed or has tried to pass a Special Assessment.
  • The Association is not adhering to a reserve study.

Actions For You

  • Make sure all work has been peer reviewed – don’t go running into expensive repairs without a second opinion to confirm they are needed.
  • Explore different options for paying for repairs – you may be able to be creative and ease some of the pain to Owners.
  • Look for new revenue streams for your Association to help raise money.
  • Be prepared for tough decisions and to do what’s right as opposed to what’s easy.

Go in With Eyes Open

There are a variety of different Condo Association Board scenarios that you may be getting yourself into when you join the Board.  These are just examples of some of the biggest three to anticipate.  Do your homework before you join the Board and get ready to lead your Association to a better Condo life.  

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