- A pattern of signing unfavorable service contracts which were never reviewed by legal counsel and which now bind the association for many years without any possibility for early extrication.
- The failure to routinely and consistently enforce important provisions in the governing documents.
- A disorganized jumble of association books and records which makes swift and successful document inspections unlikely.
- Large delinquencies which have not been properly handled.
In terms of cleaning up the problems inherited from a previous board, the following steps can help put a healthier pattern in place:
- Have association counsel review all existing contracts; renegotiate when possible and send out termination notices for those no longer desirable contracts where are up for renewal or for which a verifiable breach exists.
- Just because a previous board has failed to enforce certain use restrictions does not mean subsequent boards are forever barred from doing so. A new board can undertake a process known as "republication" which allows you to once again enforce overlooked restrictions by sending out proper notice of your intention to do so. Please speak with your association attorney to discuss the proper steps to take in order to accomplish this republication process.
- Work to digitize your books and records, create an association website if you don't already have one or update the one you do have and upload those newly digitized records to your website. The more organized and transparent you make your operations, the easier your board's job will be.
- Large balances are much more difficult to collect than small ones. New boards should discuss their existing collection policy with counsel and decide what is and is not working. You want to strike the right balance between not allowing a delinquency to balloon out of control while not being too harsh in terms of your policy. Speaking of counsel, assess whether or not your current attorney is proceeding expeditiously with your collections or is part of the problem.
Change is usually not easy but in the association context, it can make a world of difference when it comes to the board's ability to move critically important projects forward and resident satisfaction.