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Community living: When doing work, voluntarily or for compensation, make sure board approves

Board must approve work before it's done

Q: I live in a community and for years I have provided a service and I have been compensated with no prior approval. The last time I submitted my charges they were rejected by the president. Appealing to the board has resulted in no response to settle the matter. How should I proceed to settle this matter reasonably?

A: Just because you received pay for work in the past does not mean that you can charge for current or future work without approval. Laws and legal responsibilities have changed. If a board does not require vendors and contractors to have current and proper insurance and have proper licenses, the board opens up serious liability exposures. Any independent contractor must have workers' compensation, liability and property damage insurance.

In addition, the board must file IRS tax reports and maybe retain withholding tax. Any time you do work, voluntarily or for compensation, make sure the current board approves the work.

Candidates for board are hard to come by

Q: I am a secretary for a condominium. Our annual meeting is coming up and we are looking for new board members. You know how difficult it is to have members volunteer. Nobody wants to take responsibility. Can a treasurer have two positions, such as also being a president?

A: Too many members fail to serve their association. One solution is to engage a management company. Management can perform day-to-day duties assigned by the board to function without directors' direct supervision, thereby allowing more free time for the directors.

As a manager, I have been assigned almost total duty to operate the association within the powers granted by the board. In one case, that meant only one board meeting a year, with the caveat of providing a one-page report a month to the directors. This way the board was aware of the major problems but only met to approve the budget and assign my duties. I have managed other associations that held board meetings every other month and others that met quarterly. In other words, I as the manager did all the work and only reported the problems to the board. I am sure that if you explained the situation to members that did not volunteer and suggested they would have the daily work done by a manager, more would volunteer.

Can condo association ban pizza delivery?

Q: I live in a condominium with concierge and security service. All guests and vendors must register at the front desk. Our board has just instituted a policy that forbids residents from having pizza delivered to their unit. They cite security. Does the board have a right to forbid who comes to my unit?

A: Normally I would say that the board does not have the right to restrict guests and services including pizza and other food delivery. Although they may have a right to require them to register, they should not restrict certain services. Apparently, there was a security issue that has the board concerned. You need to find out why the decision was initiated.

I would suggest that you send a letter to the board and ask why they restrict pizza delivery. You may wonder why I always recommend a letter. A hard copy of a request details concerns and questions. It is more detailed than a phone call or face-to-face meeting where emotions or distraction can be a hindrance.

Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115. Please include your name and city.


Community living: When doing work, voluntarily or for compensation, make sure board approves 09/01/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011 12:26pm]
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