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Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Subject: Appointing someone to represent your Home
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RobertaS2
(Michigan)

Posts:61


07/15/2019 3:43 PM  
Can an elderly person or someone who is ill or out of the country appoint someone in their family or an attorney (limited power of attorney) to represent thier vote and property for that person?
AugustinD


Posts:2051


07/15/2019 4:41 PM  
Check the HOA's/condo's governing documents (especially, the Bylaws) for what they say about "proxies." Every HOA and condo about which I have read has a provision to assign a proxy to someone else. I do not think the person to whom the proxy is assigned has ever had to be a member of the HOA or condo. If the HOA/condo has no provision for proxies, then contact the management and ask if a POA can vote on behalf of the ill or absent member. Be ready to have the ill or absent member prepare specific written authorization for the POA to vote on behalf of the ill or absent member.
RobertaS2
(Michigan)

Posts:61


07/15/2019 6:24 PM  
Thank you for your reply. Let me get more specific. I own my own property in my HOA.
In the past, my husband, not on the deed (and we don't want to put him on the deed) was a past Board president, vice president, and board member for nearly 18 years. No problem. But when the current board went b.a.d., he reran for the board. This ruffled feathers from the board and the HOA lawyer (an oily sort), first demanded to see our marriage certificate (I know: how weird) and when he realized that I could produce it, he then redetermined that if my husband was not on the deed, he could not run or be on the board. Bylaws call for "owner-members." This also happened to disqualify a thirty-five year old resident-son whose parents own (technically) the deed and want (for personal reasons) not to put him on the deed. Also, this affected an owner's family who had severe dementia. Locally, we have spoken to several lawyers who think that having a stake in the home qualifies enough to run for the board. I am curious if there are opinions on this.
AugustinD


Posts:2051


07/15/2019 8:24 PM  
-- I do not believe a POA for a HOA member can lawfully serve on the HOA Board in the member's place. No way no how. This is based in part on other experience (outside the HOA realm) with POAs. POAs are typically quite limited.

-- I do feel a POA can be assigned a proxy for a HOA member (for voting in members' meetings, not board meetings) and possibly attend open board meetings (as the member's representative) in the member's place.

-- That several attorneys opined that anyone with 'a stake in the home' qualifies enough to run for the board is interesting. Are these HOA attorneys? Because HOA law is pretty specialized.

-- If there's no ambiguity in a Bylaw, then the courts look for the "plain meaning" of the Bylaw. The Bylaw says only "owner-members" may be on the board, right? Within the Bylaws or Declaration, is there a definition of "member" that, say, includes immediate family of an owner? If not, then I disagree with these several attorneys.

-- Bylaws are typically very clear about who can serve on a Board. Sometimes they do allow people who are not members of a HOA to serve on the HOA Board. But this is not how I read the phrase "owner-member."

-- Bylaws are also typically very clear about who can be an officer (president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary). Sometimes non-members are allowed to be officers.

-- I admit that, even if I liked your husband as a director and the President for some 18 years, I would not be happy to learn that he appears to not be qualified to be on the board.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:535


07/16/2019 7:50 AM  
According to Ohio law (and per our attorney), the owner of the unit may appoint anyone they choose to act in their behalf for specific things. This happens all the time when the owner is an LLC. The named person is acting as an agent for the owner, but this does not give them the full rights of membership. Many proxies also specify a date beyond which the proxy is no longer valid.

Also in Ohio, the legally married spouse of the person whose name is on the deed is considered to be an owner with full rights. This would give the spouse the right to serve on the board. However, this does not apply to "common law" spouses, partners or immediate family members of the owner. Might be useful to see if Michigan laws are similar.
RobertaS2
(Michigan)

Posts:61


07/16/2019 1:38 PM  
Thank you! Very interesting. Do you know where I might

be able to look that up about Michigan?
Two of the lawyers that our neighbors spoke with, both from New York, that felt family members could be appointed.
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