My question is in regard to the complaint/violation process and maintaining confidentiality.
I’ll use the example that Owner “A” submits a complaint to the Board about Owner “B”. The Board (through whatever investigation necessary) determines that a violation has occurred, and “B” is notified of their violation (as well as the dispute and/or resolution process).
Is the Board or Management Company ever under any obligation to relay to “B” that it was “A” who submitted the complaint, even if “B” requests that information?
It’s my understanding after the Board investigates a complaint and determines that a violation exists, it is irrelevant who actually submitted the complaint (and in my example, “B” would never need to be told that it was “A” who complained).
Thank you in advance for your thoughts/opinions.
This is a good question for owners and board members to consider. For ongoing property violations such as parking, architectural improvements, landscape care it makes sense for the Board to verify the complaint then proceed according to their adopted policies. Photos of the condition could be used as evidence in the event of a hearing or legal proceeding.
In this instance the identity of the person lodging the initial complaint is not material to the case. However, if the violation is the result of behavior of the resident or pet, the evidence may not be easy to document & present. In this case the person making the complaint may be required to be a witness to the action and therefore the identity must be disclosed.
The best practice is for the board to clearly state their intentions in the enforcement policy.
I hope this helps with your current circumstance.
As a Board Member I’m being told by other Board Members that Board Members should not canvas the neighborhood for violations and then report them to the Management Company. Their reason is that it opens the Board to Legal actions. I thought that was one of the duties of the Board Members is to report violations to the Management company who can then send out violations notices after agreed to by the entire Board. This is in response to parking and pool rules. Members of the Board want to hire outside companies to monitor these items causing additonal cost to members. We only have 112 Units.
I see no problem in board members canvassing the community for deed restriction violations, although I would encourage them to charter a committee to perform that function. The more “eyes” there are, the more consistency there will be in uniformly enforcing the association’s governing documents. If there is a concern about personal liability, consult with the association’s legal counsel, be sure to have both general liability and errors and omissions insurance policies in effect, do not exceed the power and authority of the board as detailed in the governing documents, and always be reasonable, compassionate and empathetic.
What can you do when the bylaws and CC&R’s are not followed?
- Carolyn, Alabama
The Board of Directors are charged with administering the governing documents of an association. These include the State of Alabama Statutes, the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, CC&R’s and any Rules and Regulations. Boards are appointed by the developer until the Control Period expires as set forth in the bylaws or the CC&R’s. The board members are then elected by the members of the association. The board should adopt a covenant and rules and regulations enforcement policy that includes a periodic onsite review of the covenant and rules by a committee or management company. The policy should include actions to be taken if a violation is noted. Usually a warning letter setting forth the violation and a period of time to bring the violation into compliance. Additional letters can be sent. Fines, If allowed, can be levied. Hearings can be held by the board or a committee appointed by the board. Ultimately legal action might be required.
Alabama Chapter of CAI