Community Associations Institute - New England Chapter  
  CAI National Website
   
   
 
Member Resources
About CAI-NE
Program & Event Overview
Industry News & Forms
Sponsorship & Advertising
Why Join CAI-NE
Helpful Resources
Career Center
Media Magazine
Legislative Update

Video: This is CAI

NH - Condo Forum & Expo
November 2 2017  - November 2 2017
(Holiday Inn - Nashua, NH)
Condo Media Board Meeting
November 14 2017  - November 14 2017
()
CAI-NE Board/Annual Meeting
November 14 2017  - November 14 2017
()
Managers' Committee Meeting
November 16 2017  - November 16 2017
()
Condo Media
 
 

 
 

Expo Preview
By: Mark Einhorn, 2017 Co-Chair & Erik Simard, 2017 Co-Chair

It is hard to believe but Fall is here already and our annual conference and expo is just around the corner. The CAI chapter staff, as well as our conference committee, have been working hard all year to bring you what we hope is the best conference ever. We have speakers lined up throughout the day to educate and facilitate discussion on all of today’s hot topics facing community associations and a sold out vendor show ensures that any services or advice that your association is seeking will be on hand and represented. Whether you’re a homeowner, association volunteer or board member, or professional manager, there’s something for everyone at this year’s show.

Other Feature Articles:

  • Ready or Not, Here It Comes!
  • It Takes a Village
  • Garbage Fees - Trash Collection Is Still a Taxing Issue for Many Condominium Associations

Join today to read more... Continue >

Recent Articles

 
Capacity Crowds

Question: Although our monthly board meetings are open to owners, we meet in the vice president’s condominium unit, which is not large enough to accommodate a large crowd, or even a relatively small one. This hasn’t been a problem, since owners never attend, but it does raise a question: Does the board have an obligation to hold its meetings in a venue large enough to accommodate them? Alternatively, can we offer a conference call option if space limitations preclude in-person attendance?

Answer: Open board meetings are a good idea and a best practice industry executives strongly recommend to boards as a means of keeping owners informed, making them feel included, and demonstrating transparency. Clearly, your board doesn’t want to turn people away from a meeting you’ve advertised as open, nor do you want to cram them uncomfortably into an inadequate space.
Even if a board member’s condominium unit is large enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend, if you are dealing with a particularly contentious issue, you may want to think twice about holding it there, Richard Brooks, a partner in Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, suggests. If there is any possibility that a verbal fight might turn into a physical one, he says, “you don’t want that to happen in anyone’s living room.”
There is no legal barrier that would preclude boards from inviting owners to dial into a board meeting as an alternative to attending it, Brooks says. Although condominium governing documents typically require board members to meet in person, he notes, they don’t require owners to attend board meetings in person, or at all, (We’re talking here about regular board meetings, not the annual association meeting, at which owners must typically vote either in person or via proxy.) A conference call option for owners might be an acceptable alternative, Brooks says. But he doesn’t think it is the best practice for several reasons.
• Owners would hear what board members say, but they would miss the nuances of meaning that can be conveyed by facial expressions and body language.
• Many boards set aside a limited time at board meetings for owners to ask questions. Owners dialing in would be less inclined to do so, depriving board members of information and insights that can be useful to them.
• Perhaps most important, Brooks says, offering owners a conference call option won’t offset the contradictory message your under-sized meeting space conveys. Advertising an open meeting tells owners that you are inviting them to attend; the under-sized venue suggests that you really don’t want them to.

As a general rule, he thinks boards are much better advised to hold their meetings elsewhere on the property – in a common area rather than an owner’s unit. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal meeting room, Brooks says, noting, “I’ve seen boards set up chairs in lobbies, hallways, garages, parking lots and even boiler rooms.”

Annual Meeting Logistics

While a condominium unit may be acceptable, if not ideal, for regular board meetings, it is not an option for the association’s annual meeting, which, Brooks notes, is likely to be the only meeting most owners will attend. To encourage maximum attendance, he advises, you should hold the meeting on-site. If that’s not an option, he advises, you should pick a location as close to the community as possible. “You don’t have to rent a meeting room in a hotel,” he notes. “There are a lot of less expensive options.”
The local library is one; so is the local supermarket. Both have meeting rooms that they make available, often at no charge, to neighborhood residents. Brooks says one of his association clients holds its annual meeting in a private room in the food court at a shopping mall. The association pays a small fee to rent the room “and owners pick up coffee and pizza on their way in.”
Some attorneys will let association clients use their board rooms; some board members or owners may work for nearby businesses or volunteer with non-profits that will make their meeting rooms available, as well. “If you use your imagination, you can identify a lot of places close to the property,” Brooks says.
His favorite is the local library – because it closes at 9. “That forces everyone to stick to the agenda,” Brooks says “They know the meeting has to end when the library closes.”

 
 

▪ Common Area Maintenance
▪ Trash/Snow Removal
▪ Water Restoration
▪ 24 -Hour Answering Service
 
 

Representing Over 2,800
Condominium Associations
One Association at a Time
 
 
   

Your One-Source Solution for
Property Maintenance and
Improvements

▪ Expert Advice
▪ Cyclical Maintenance
▪ Capital Improvement Projects

 
  © Copyright 2004, Community Associations Institute (CAI). All rights reserved.
Usage Restrictions
Web Site users may not copy, reproduce, modify, use, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any way material
from the Web Site without express written permission of the CAI New England Chapter.
 
 

Brookline Bank is locally based and has a history of providing a high level of personalized service to condominium associations, management companies and other real estate-related organizations.

We are long-standing members of CAI-New England and have the capabilities and experience to deliver a broad range of financing, deposit, and cash management solutions to your association.

 
 

Dedicated to the practice of Real Estate and Condominium Law for over 30 years.

Concentrating in condominium and real estate law in MA and RI.

The Right Attorneys to Call Before the Wrong Thing Happens.

 
 

When it comes to representing condominium associations, we do it all…

 ▪ Drafting and amending condominium documents
 ▪ Handling collections
 ▪ Dealing with developer transition issues
 ▪ Negotiating and reviewing contracts
 ▪ Handling association bank loans
 ▪ Land acquisition and disposition transactions
 ▪ Representing associations as plaintiffs and defendants in all manner of legal actions
 
 


A Commitment to Your Success

One of the leading firms concentrating in all facets of condominium and real estate law

Built upon meeting the daily and long-term goals of our many satisfied clients