Office of the Board Bridges the Gap Between Condo Owners and their Boards

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The transparency revolution started by owners of community associations has finally made its way to a unanimous Florida Legislature.  The Florida Senate just voted 37-0 in favor of a bill that imposes criminal penalties on condominium board member violations such as electoral fraud, theft of funds, conflicts of interests and failure to provide access to condominium Official Records.  This is just the start in Florida condominiums with 150 or more units.  The next requirements will be in HOAs and other community associations of all shapes and sizes, not just in Florida but throughout the country. Illinois is another state where unit owner groups …

Boards Need To Watch their Records and Managers – Another HOA Theft by a Georgia Property Manager

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If Board Members have unfettered access to their organization’s records they have an opportunity to keep an eye on their trusted advisors like property managers. The risk of thefts like this diminish substantially. If you’re a Board Member you should consider the last time you reviewed your organization’s financial records without having to ask the trusted advisor for a copy of some document which could be modified. Board Members who have fiduciary duties should have access to their organization’s records whenever and wherever they require and when convenient for them. Office of the Board instantly solves your problem. Read more …

Volunteer Fire Department Treasurer Embezzles over $1.1 million – Record Keeping a Mess

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Board Members who misspend is one thing. This Palm Beach, Florida group of Board Members used their association’s money as their own personal piggy bank and now have to face the music in criminal court. The Whitehall Condominium’s owners now have to figure out how to make up the $500,000 plus that the Board Members dissipated. Another instance of members not keeping watch of their Board Members. This treasurer got caught but only after $1.1 million was gone. Members need to keep an eye on their Boards and Officers. Particularly treasurers who have access to the money. It starts at …

Members have to Demand Board Keeps Required Records or Lose Their Shirts

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Board Members who misspend is one thing. This Palm Beach, Florida group of Board Members used their association’s money as their own personal piggy bank and now have to face the music in criminal court. The Whitehall Condominium’s owners now have to figure out how to make up the $500,000 plus that the Board Members dissipated. It is alleged that an estimated $357,200 was spent by the Board Members on their own personal expenses. The members sat idle while the Board Members spent association money on themselves. Records weren’t kept so its hard for the owners to piece it all …

Outgoing Board Treasurer Taking Financial Records, Etc. Should Never Happen

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With an Office of the Board in place, this would never happen. All too often volunteer Boards do not have control over their financial and other organization records from a Board-centric position. In this instance, a condominium Board treasurer resigned and took the organization’s financial records, checkbook and other official records. That treasurer was the custodian of the organization’s records. The advice given is essentially start from scratch and get your organization’s lawyer involved to threaten and if necessary start a lawsuit. None of that risk and expense would be necessary if the condominium had its own Office of the …

Personal Liability of Private Club Board Members

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Board Members of private clubs can be held personally liable for civil rights violations or for personal injuries suffered because of negligence or intentional misconduct. Today is the day for Board Members and their General Managers to implement proactive measures like best practices and procedures and protective environments for them to communicate and conduct Board business. Board Members deserve the best protection available. Board Members can be sued and named in lawsuits by damaged parties and subjected to personal discovery into their decision-making, actions, inactions, etc. For example, private club Board Members who engage in conduct that violates another’s civil rights can …

There is no excuse for Board Members to blindly trust each other

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This time a treasurer of a Florida homeowners’ association decided to use her association’s bank account as a personal piggy bank. From 2003 when she became treasurer till 2015 she and her son took $123,000. Once again we see these situations throughout the country where volunteer Board members do not have unfettered access to association records and are not satisfying their fiduciary obligation as Board members. Board members should make sure they have such access and regularly review the records. Thefts like this could be prevented or at least discovered early and minimized. There is just no excuse for Board …

Volunteer Board Members have more Risk than they may appreciate

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This time, a Board President of an Idaho homeowner’s association took $20,000 from his association. This type of thievery happens every day in all different types of organizations. It happens in community associations like this one, churches, private clubs, nonprofits, etc. Whether you’re a volunteer board member in a condominium, religious organization, nonprofit or some other type of organization, you have the same fiduciary duty to look out for the best interest of your organization and all of its members. When you sit back, do not review records and prepare for meetings, miss meetings, etc. you are creating risk for …

Private Club Boards need Seamlessness

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Often “private club boards of directors really don’t understand their roles in the club’s governance. In reality, good governance starts by building a board, a board with members who can work together for the betterment of the private club and its members and working toward the elimination of mistakes.” Boards need seamless transitions with new directors able to pick up and govern from right where the outgoing directors left off. There is no excuse for the risks and inefficiencies in private club Board governance now that Office of the Board exists. Read “How Do Boards Avoid Mistakes and Find Solutions?”

Board transparency requirements are increasing. Boards need to be ready.

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There is increasing pressure towards Board transparency and member entitlement to records. This is yet another example. A New York City Appeal Court’s recent decision addressed in the article requiring greater access to Board records and the right to make paper and electronic copies of records subject to a confidentiality agreement is a huge transparency shift that Boards have to be prepared to deal with. Read this Article from Habitat Magazine.