Every now and then, and a condominium or homeowners’ association will have one owner who questions everything. Questions range from the Board’s ability to implement rules and regulations to the funding of reserves. Of course the Board should not ignore Owners, but they should also know when and what they should deal with. It is important for the Board to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the answers to the questions raised, but at the same time they must be aware that sometimes it is necessary to just let the issues fall into place.
Make no mistake that when a request for records is made, the Association should follow all of the requirements set forth in the Florida Statutes and the Condo or HOA’s governing documents rules and requirements. If questions arise that the Board is unsure of, then they should contact their attorney to resolve any doubts they may have.
However, when the Board has a solid working knowledge of their Association, and when issues such as an Owner declaring the assessments are too high, that they will not pay part of the assessments since they perceive a problem , or even if they think the rules and regulations are not valid, sometimes it is best to just not respond and wait for an official challenge or violation of a rule. Now of course this is a fine line, as some items require specifics as set forth in the Florida Statutes or the governing documents, but once a Board feels comfortable in their knowledge of the subject matter, they should try to refrain from partaking in a letter writing “battle” with an owner as it can lead to higher attorney fees and an increase the hostility of the owner.
These situations really do need to be treated on a case by case basis, and if the Board is ever in doubt, they certainly should contact their attorney for legal advice, but the Board should also be aware of what are valid issues versus an Owner who thinks then know the law and makes demands that are unfounded.