Question: Our board president likes to conduct business by email. The board hasn't met face to face for almost a year.
Answer: Board business should be done at board meetings unless there is an emergency. The reasons are several:
1. Open discussion of the issues (pro and con)
2. Members can monitor how the board does business.
3. Proposals are enacted by motion, second and majority vote.
4. Actions are recorded in the minutes so all members know how and when it took place.
The exception to these rules is when items have already been approved in the annual budget and the board president or manager are merely executing the approved deeds.
Remind your board president of how HOA business needs to be transacted and that owners are entitled to an orderly process, open meetings, etc. If he is bent on doing business secretly (email, phone, door to door), run for the board and encourage other like minded owners to do the same with the objective of making a change.
Question: We have a problem with residents letting their pets wander or not cleaning up after them.
Answer: Monitoring pet activity is extremely difficult. While some residents allow their dogs to roam, cat owners are often the most frequent offenders. And roaming animals can come from other properties as well. Frequent reminders via newsletters are important. If there are quite a few resident pets and large grounds, you might consider installing pet waste stations that provide bags and disposal containers. Some cities have companies that will actually restock and pick up the waste on a regular schedule. Or the landscape contractor could include it in his list of duties.
Question: Our HOA requires board approval for structural modifications and alterations. The term "structural" is not defined within the CC&Rs. A homeowner has applied to the board for approval to remove a rear closet wall (non-weight bearing), thereby utilizing the former hallway closet space to enlarge his kitchen area. We believe that the definition of "structural" is critical to understanding whether or not the board's authorization is actually required in this situation.
Answer: "Structural" means weight bearing modifications or anything that modifies exterior appearance. But for safety's sake, the board should have an architect or engineer review all plans for wall removal and not assume that an owner knows which ones are structural or not.
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