Should Violators Do Voluntary Service in the HOA or Condo Assn?

Apathy is a huge issue for homeowner associations. No one wants to do the work. It’s a thankless job. Still, some step up to serve. The motives are sometimes misguided though. See the following email from a reader: 

Our HOA is forming a committee to update the CC&R’s. Getting volunteers is very difficult.  We have one owner who has volunteered for personal reasons, but this owner is in violation.  It is stated in our documents that those in violation cannot vote and lose pool/spa priviledges etc.  Shouldn’t we tell this owner he cannot serve on the committee because of his on going violation status?”

 Some HOA and Condo boards have to weigh the evils, a shortage of board members or accepting service from violators of the rules or CC&Rs. Neither is a good choice. All I can say is that if there are CC&R or rule violators serving on the board or committees, it tends to lead to problems in enforcing the governing documents because all the violator has to do is point to the other violator on the board or committee and cry “inconsistent enforcement.” There are some situations where it might work, for example, a board or committee member that is behind in assessment payments but is making payments to catch up based on a payment plan approved by the board, involved on a board enforcing a pet or parking restriction. Still, this is not optimum.

 If there are no qualified members willing to serve, this is the kind of thing that happens. Perhaps it is time for a “call to service” (a frank letter to owners) letting the owners know what kinds of serious problems can result from a lack of willing and qualified volunteers 

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