AZHOC - Arizona Homeowners Coalition
Voice for homeowner rights and justice.
azhoatruth@gmail.com
Login

HOA Board Member Conflict of Interest?

I am a member of the HOA board in the community where I live. I have owned a home there for 16 years. It was recently discovered that there is extensive damage to my sewer line and foundation from a common element tree that was planted by the association shallowly (less than two feet) and inches from my structure. I filed an insurance claim for with my Walls In insurance company and the blanket insurance policy managed by the Board of Directors and Property Management company. The day after I filed the claim with the general association policy, the Board President called an Emergency Executive Board meeting and recused me from attending due to alleged “conflict of interest.”

1. Can the HOA Board President recuse a Member from an Emergency Executive Board meeting for any reason without a vote of the board members?
2. Can the Board vote to remove me as a member for filing an insurance claim on damages to my home?
3. Are minutes required for an Emergency Executive Board Meeting?
3. If a Board member is recused or absent from an Emergency Executive Board Meeting can that member have access to the minutes?

Thank you for your help and support!

5 Responses

  1. Cathy Lawson

    Marianne,

    Here is some information that may or may not be helpful.

    To respond to your questions in order:

    1. The President of the Board is the only Board member permitted to call an Emergency Executive Session and if the subject of the meeting is in regards to another Board members behavior, they are permitted to request the meeting without that particular Board member.

    2. The Board does not have the power to remove a Board member, this must go to a vote of the homeowner’s in the Association.

    3. Minutes of the meeting should have been taken.

    4. Again, if the subject of the meeting was in regards to another Board members actions, the Board can vote to not release these notes.

    I have a few questions for you. You mentioned that you reported your tree issue to the homeowner’s insurance company. Had you filed a complaint with your Board or Property Manager prior to filing a claim with the insurance company? Was the Board negligent in taking action regarding your tree?

    As a Board member, you’re probably aware that anytime a homeowner reports an issue to the HOA’s insurance company it is due to the Board or Property Manager ignoring the homeowner’s complaint. It is a last resort when a homeowner cannot get the Board to take action on a serious issue. You’re also probably aware that reporting to the insurance company can create huge financial challenges for the Association. I’m sure you must have a paper trail and communication with your property management company or the Board that will show you exhausted all possible avenues prior to reporting the issue to the insurance company.

    I hope this was helpful.

    1. dennisl

      Cathy,
      While i thank you for taking the time to respond to Marianne’s questions two of your responses are absolutely incorrect. The board members are elected to those positions by the members or unit owners of the association to represent them. as such no other board member president or otherwise or by vote of the board itself has the power to exclude any other board member from the conduct of business of the board. From your perspective, you are saying that the board can discuss a concern about another board member and exclude him/her from that discussion without giving the board member an opportunity to defend himself or herself or give their own perspective on the issue. What country do you live in you must have gotten your information from AACM’s or CAI’s community manager training programs. You sound like a community manager. Relative to the minutes of the executive session once again your response as a board member you are entitled to any and all community records including executive session minutes whether they involved discussions about you or not. Those minutes would provide evidence against the board for violating the law and would only be excluded from a member of the board to hide that fact and suppress their wrongdoing. To protect the board or the community manager.

      Your comments and concerns relative to the reporting to the insurance are valid and real, and i would always recommend that homeowner address their claims to the board or community manager first , but I’ve seen far to many cases where all their notices and request go unanswered and as such the ability of any homeowner to makes claims against the associations insurance company is absolutely necessary. For the most part once a claim is submitted by a homeowner the insurance company will contact the association and ask them if they want to pursue this claim. This gives the association the opportunity to do the right thing and live up to their responsibilities and address the common property issue with their own funds. Besides the deductable issue any claim submitted by an association will most likely result in a premium increase in the future.

      Dennis

  2. dennisl

    Marianne,

    An emergency meeting of the board (executive or open) can be called to address an issue that cannot wait the 48 hours required to notice the meeting. The board must record in the minutes the reason the emergency meeting was called and include provide the minutes of that meeting at the next session of the board.
    To your specific questions,
    1. A member of the board is a member of the board and cannot be excluded from any meeting of the board. If there is a financial conflict of interest to be decided then it is the responsibility of the individual board member to declare the conflict before the issue is decided but under Arizona Law (as stupid as it is) the board member is allowed to participate in the discussion and vote on the issue. This clearly shows that no board member can exclude another board member from a meeting because the fist board member wants to talk about the other board member.
    2. Under Arizona Law a board member can only be removed by resignation or by recall vote from the members that put him or her there. So no the board cannot vote to remove any other board member.
    3. Yes minutes are required for every emergency meeting executive or otherwise.
    4. As a board member you are entitled to access to all meeting minutes including executive session minutes.

    Dennis

  3. Cathy Lawson

    Dennis,

    I am a Board member not a property manager. I always thought that if someone was the subject of a conversation, the President had the right to exclude them from the conversation. I will verify your information and stand corrected if indeed I find your information accurate.

    1. dennisl

      Cathy,
      I apologize for insult of assuming that you were a community manager. You cannot believe anything that a community manager says about HOA law of basic good practices in running a community. If the board is to discuss any issue relative to an individual member for privacy purposes they are allowed to hold that discussion in executive session and not in a open meeting but as a fundamental issue of fairness you must allow the individual whether that individual in a board member or an association member the opportunity to defend themselves and provide the board with both sides of an issue. Otherwise only one side is presented to the board and it is nothing but railroading that individual. You can discuss a personal issue in executive session but you can also invite the individual into that discuss as fundamental common sense and fairness. They can be excluded from any other legitimate business the board has in the executive session but they must be given an opportunity to face their accusers and defend themselves. This is still America even in the HOA world. Please also remember that only five types of issues can be discussed in executive session of the board and you must identify precisely which of those 5 issue pertain to each and every executive session emergency or otherwise. Discussion of any business that is not identified in the 5 exceptions in executive session is a violation of the Arizona Open meeting law for HOA’s ARS-33-1804. The law also requires both board members and community manager if any doubt exist to always default to open meetings and not closed sessions. You will never hear that from a community manager or even an attorney but that is exactly what the law requires, I know because i put it into the law in 2016.
      Dennis

Leave a Reply to Cathy Lawson Cancel Reply