What if board pres­i­dent uses HOA re­sources?

Hir­ing per­sonal at­tor­ney first step to solv­ing prob­lem.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - BUSINESS - By Gary M. Singer

Q: The pres­i­dent of our com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion has been putting in ex­tra land­scap­ing and im­prove­ments in the com­mon area in front of his town­home and us­ing com­mu­nity re­sources to do it. I tried call­ing him out on it at a board meet­ing and was ig­nored. What can I do to stop this? — Lor­raine

A: All board mem­bers, in­clud­ing the pres­i­dent, have a fidu­ciary re­spon­si­bil­ity to the com­mu­nity. This means they are in a po­si­tion of trust and must act with care and loy­alty within the scope of their au­thor­ity. The pres­i­dent most cer­tainly can’t treat him­self to bet­ter con­di­tions and ameni­ties than the rest of the home­own­ers.

As with all things re­lated to com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions, you must first re­view your as­so­ci­a­tion’s doc­u­ments to learn the specifics for your neigh­bor­hood. The pres­i­dent and all of­fi­cers serve at the plea­sure of the board of direc­tors and can be re­moved and re­placed by the board. Un­less fur­ther ac­tion is taken, the pres­i­dent would still be a board mem­ber un­til he is voted out of of­fice or oth­er­wise re­moved.

A re­call elec­tion could be held if enough peo­ple in your com­mu­nity want to vote him off the board en­tirely. Most re­call elec­tions in­volve get­ting a spe­cial form signed by a ma­jor­ity of the home­own­ers and then cer­ti­fied by the ex­ist­ing board, which re­moves and re­places the of­fend­ing mem­ber.

The sit­u­a­tion may rise to the level of em­bez­zle­ment or theft, and there could be crim­i­nal reper­cus­sions. If other board mem­bers are con­cerned about this and in­ter­ested in re­mov­ing the pres­i­dent, then it would be ap­pro­pri­ate for you to use the as­so­ci­a­tion’s at­tor­ney. But if you don’t think board mem­bers have any de­sire to re­move one of their own, you would need to hire your own at­tor­ney.

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