Q&A: Can Management Prevent You From Running For the Board?

Q Our Queens co-op recently had elections. I wanted to run for the board, however management stepped in and told me that I was unable to run for the board since I am months in arrears. Is the management company allowed to tell me not to run?

—Aggrieved Candidate

A "It depends,” says attorney Aaron Shmulewitz of the New York law firm of Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, LLP. “ The question does not indicate whether the building is a cooperative or a condominium; the corporate affairs of co-ops and condominiums are governed by different statutes. However, neither set of laws contains any statutory prohibition against a delinquent owner running for, or serving on, his or her board. The next question is whether such a prohibition has been adopted in the building's bylaws (or, if it is a co-op, its certificate of incorporation). Some buildings' bylaws—more often in condominiums than in co-ops—do contain such a prohibition. If the writer's building's bylaws (or, if a co-op, possibly the certificate of incorporation) contain such a prohibition, then he or she would be barred from running for, or serving on, the board; if no such prohibition is stated in the governing documents, he or she would not be barred."

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