A Board's Moral (and Legal) Obligation Responding to Shareholders and Residents

Picture this: a co-op resident has a problem with his neighbor who plays loud music into the wee hours. He contacts his board of directors to see what he can do about this issue, but no one calls him back. Thinking maybe he just fell through the cracks, he calls again. Again, no response.

Eventually, the shareholder begins to suspect that his board doesn't care about him. Feeling ignored, he seethes for a while. When it's time to vote for a new board of directors, he chooses against the original members, feeling as if his needs are not being met.

One of the major complaints residents and owners have about their boards is a lack of communication. Residents may feel as if no one returns their calls, responds to their letters or invites them to meetings. If residents and owners feel ignored, boards can assume it will only be a matter of time before they are voted out of office in favor of a more accessible, chattier governing body.

The purpose of this article is to help boards understand the importance of maintaining clear, open communication with residents and to offer ideas on how they can improve communication in their own buildings.

What to Share—and NOT Share—with Shareholders

Sometimes a board or a management team might not want to jump to respond to a resident's complaint. The reason for this is simple: some information cannot be shared with non-board residents.


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  • Very helpful article, balanced and thoughtful. This is exactly what an Association Board of Directors needs to know as topics likes these can easily be disagreed upon ultimately causing further problems. Thank you.