May an HOA Manager Break A Tie on the HOA Board? Or Give Legal Advice?

Here is one more blog today. Trying to make up for lost time (it goes by so fast, doesn’t it)?

Question from reader: “You are probably very busy – I will try to be brief. I am on a homeowners board. We have 4 board members. We are divided between 2 who don’t want natural wood blinds in the windows and 2 who think any neutral color is OK, especially since 10 owners bought natural wood blinds already, including one board member. We just tried to revise our CCR’s and when we did 2 of us thought we OK’s brown color in window treatment and 2 disagree. Currently it states white off white, beige. the property manager has taken charge and will send violation letters to offenders (making me wish to resign.)  Does she have the deciding vote?”

Answer: No, the manager does not have the deciding vote and also should not be giving legal advice as to interpreting a problematic or unclear section in the CC&Rs, if there truly is one and the board disagrees on the interpretation. Glory Hallelujah!  Finally I can give a simple answer!!

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4 Responses to May an HOA Manager Break A Tie on the HOA Board? Or Give Legal Advice?
  1. Mary Thorndal, Esq.
    March 8, 2016 | 4:33 pm

    Thank you Thank you!
    As a practicing attorney in civil litigation, primarily malpractice law, I am so grateful to find your site with the nuts and bolts of Davis-Stirling Act since I was just elected to serve on a Board. I will relish diving into your archives. But, I had trouble signing up for your newsletter–can you please confirm that I made the list? Thank you. Regards, Mary

    • Beth Grimm
      March 26, 2016 | 6:11 pm

      Thanks Mary. I appreciate the good words. I don’t keep the list, but if you try to go in and sign up again I think you will get a message that you are already signed up.

      New issue coming out soon,

  2. mike
    March 22, 2016 | 5:06 pm

    I live in Floridia and own a condo . The problem is that the management company never made sure as well as our property mgr. that we had general liability ins. An incident happened in 2014 someone got and now is suing the association. We just found out that we had lia insurance for 2012, 2015, & 2016 but not for 2013 or 2014. do we need to sue our management company the board thinks that the management company should take care of this problem because they are at fault and work with the lawyer from the injured party. What do you think the association should do Thank you for your time

    • Beth Grimm
      March 26, 2016 | 6:09 pm

      This is a question for Florida law. However, in California, most management contracts indemnify (protect) the manager meaning if the HOA sues them, the HOA D&O liability carrier has to defend them. And also, in a question like this someone will be asking – where was the Board when this occurred? A board has an obligation to review the HOA policies at least once a year, and in California there is an obligation to disclose information related to the policies. I suspect there may be similar laws in Florida but I don’t know. At any rate it sounds like the board, as well as the manager, were “asleep at the wheel” on this matter.