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Does it break any laws to step down from a condo board before there is a replacement?

Washington, DC |

I am on the board of a small condominium association. I would like to step down. The property management company has informed me that I cannot legally leave until there is a replacement. Is this true? I would never have joined if I had known I would be locked in.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

The answer you were given is unlikely...however, review the HOA Bylaws that will give you a definitive answer as to appointment and resignation of board member's. More likely is that you can resign at any time and the board may be required to convene a special meeting to appoint a successor.

My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.

Posted

Yes, that is correct. Consult the HOA bylaws and it should have such contingencies established. I have not heard of that situation though that is not in my area of expertise. I do know that there are always droves of people willing to join a board, so finding a replacement won't be difficult.

This is only an Avvo answer. I am not getting paid to give this response and am basing this response only on the information provided to me in the above question.

Posted

I find that hard to believe. What if a board member dies? Read your bylaws, there should be contingencies there.

Posted

Maybe against the rules, but not illegal. You ought to have a local attorney review your documents...
Did you sign something when you joined?

(1) I may be guessing. Do not act or rely upon this info; (2) We have not established an attorney-client relationship; and (3) If you insist I tell you something upon which you can actually rely: don't eat yellow snow.

Posted

Let's start with your question: Does it break any laws? Of course not! At its most fundamental level, you cannot be required to perform any form of labor against your will, including volunteer board membership. We abolished slavery quite a while ago. Let's re-phrase your question: Could it violate some civil duty you have if you resign? That seems rather extremely unlikely, but I can't possibly know what civil duties you've given yourself. We give ourselves civil duties in contracts and other obligations (including torts and estoppels), and I haven't interviewed you to determine what contracts you might have entered. One place to look for such obligations might be employment contracts or the condo bylaws. I'd be utterly shocked to read bylaws that gave you such an obligation. I've never seen anything like that in any condo bylaws I've ever read, but it is theoretically possible. Here's a trick: The property manager told you that you can't legally leave. Ask him/her why. Demand that s/he cite authority. For that matter, do that in a written request, so nobody can deny you asked and they didn't answer. Add a few choice phrases, and I've just described a lawyer's demand letter. Get a lawyer to write one for you. We do it all the time.

Reading an answer on the Internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are represented by me when we have both signed a retainer agreement (on paper or electronically) and some money has changed hands. Usually, you will have been asked specific questions about your situation and all potential conflicts of interest will have been resolved. Until then, you have no more right to rely on this answer than if you read it in a novel.