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Subject: written approval/consent of the BOD
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NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 7:53 AM  
Our Bylaws refer to receiving a written approval of the BOD on several occasions. On some occasions they refer to written consent. Is the BOD responsible for providing that written approval/consent or the Homeowner for not receiving it after it was approved by the Board? Is written approval/consent any different from a verbal approval of the BOD which is recorded in the minutes? Does anyone has a sample that you use in your HOA?
NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 7:55 AM  
Posted By NatalyaR on 06/28/2012 7:53 AM
after it was approved by the Board?




after a certain matter was approved by the BOD
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


06/28/2012 9:49 AM  
Natalya,

Our Association requires written approval/authorization for any exterior changes.
There were several times past boards provided verbal approval to the homeowner.
To be honest, sometimes files also get lost.

When I served on our Associations architectural committee, knowing verbal approvals were inappropriately provided in the past and the likelihood that some files were lost we decided to correct this issue by creating written documentation as needed. We did this by:

1) Identified all exterior changes to a lot
2) Searched past committee minutes for any notation of approval.
3) Searched all BOD minutes for any notation of approval.
4) If approval was located in the minutes, we wrote a memorandum for the Architectural file and sent a copy to the member.
5) If approval was not located, the committee would determine if it was likely the change would have been approved (based on apparent age of the change, guidelines, precedence on other approvals and common sense). If the committee determined it would likely have been approved, we wrote a letter certifying the approval for the files and sent a copy to the homeowner.
6) If approval was not located and the committee determined that the approval would likely not be granted we wrote a letter to the member explaining that the governing documents required written approval and that there was no written approval for the change in the files. We requested that the member provide the written documentation or remove the change.

This corrected the issue. By the way - every letter asking for written documentation resulted in the member removing what was changed with zero comments directed to the committee or board. This gave the committee members confidence that they had gone about the process properly.

Hope this helps,

Tim
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:919


06/28/2012 10:02 AM  
> Is the BOD responsible for providing that written approval/consent or the Homeowner for not receiving it after it was approved by the Board?

Are you asking what happens if it's lost in the mail?

I expect the rules say that a review of an architectural change is required, and that the BOD will provide it in writing. If that is the case, only a foolish homeowner would go ahead without having first received, and then filed, a written approval.
NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 10:54 AM  
Tim, thank you. In the past i've never received any letter of approval from the Board. Only once i received an e-mail from our Property Manager. But this is not what our Bylaws say, our Bylaws specifically indicate the BOD as the Authority... It is for future reference.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


06/28/2012 10:56 AM  
The minutes where a proposed change was approved would be helpful but usually leaves a lot open to interpretation.

A written approval of a written request would be far better than minutes that give verbal approval. One of the problem with minutes is that they seldom give a detailed account of what the motion was or preceisely what was approved.
NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 11:10 AM  
Fred, no specific situation... Assume, it was never mailed...Is it enough for the Homeowner to get an approval that is recorded in the minutes and he has a copy to prove? Our Bylaws are clear that Homeowners have to have written approval. Is it legal for the BOD to come after the Homeowner saying he is at fault for not receiving a written approval?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


06/28/2012 12:24 PM  
Posted By NatalyaR on 06/28/2012 11:10 AM

Is it enough for the Homeowner to get an approval that is recorded in the minutes and he has a copy to prove?




Approved minutes are an official record of the actions of the Board or Committee.
If the minutes show that the action was approved - irregardless of the type of follow up (written or verbal) to the member, the action was approved.


Posted By NatalyaR on 06/28/2012 11:10 AM

Is it legal for the BOD to come after the Homeowner saying he is at fault for not receiving a written approval?




Records get lost.
Associations lose records and so do members.

For a Board to request a copy of the authorization if their records don't show any certainly passes the common sense test.

For a homeowner to respond, I don't have a copy of a letter but I do have a copy of the minutes of the meeting documenting the boards approval is certainly a more than reasonable response.

For the board not to accept the minutes as documentation of the approval would have every member question any documentation cited in the minutes. That is to say - if the change authorized in the minutes isn't true, can you prove that the raise in assessments documented in the minutes are true? What about the violations? etc. etc. etc.

In my opinion, the board that doesn't accept it's (or the committee's) own approved (not draft) minutes as written documentation is likely to lose if the issue ever went to court.

Tim





NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 12:53 PM  
Thank you very much, Tim!
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


06/28/2012 2:00 PM  
Just remember I am not an attorney and I do not work within the legal profession. I'm offering advice based on information contained within your postings, research, personal experiences and (hopefully) common sense.

You might also want to pose your questions to Virginia's Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman. They are not a legal authority but they may be able to assist you in understanding what is or isn't required as their office understands it.




TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


06/28/2012 2:01 PM  
Darn lack of edit function.


Natalya, ignore the suggestion to check with the ombudsman office. For some reason I thought you were in VA when I posted it.


Tim
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9320


06/28/2012 4:39 PM  
Nat

Is the issue that the BOD did or did not issue you a letter of something that you claim they did, but neither you nor they can find such?


NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 6:13 PM  

A written approval of a written request would be far better than minutes that give verbal approval. One of the problem with minutes is that they seldom give a detailed account of what the motion was or preceisely what was approved.




Larry, it's a good point to have a written request. So, if there was only a verbal request, no one should worry about a written approval from the BOD, right?



Just remember I am not an attorney and I do not work within the legal profession. I'm offering advice based on information contained within your postings, research, personal experiences and (hopefully) common sense.




Tim, I do realize that but your comments and advise help me to see a picture clearly and I prefer to use attorney's help after I get all facts straight...


Natalya, ignore the suggestion to check with the ombudsman office. For some reason I thought you were in VA when I posted it.




No problem!


Is the issue that the BOD did or did not issue you a letter of something that you claim they did, but neither you nor they can find such?




For example, can the BOD insist that some HO did not obtain a written approval and blame that HO for not obtaining it although it was approved by the BOD and the minutes reflect the fact? The letter was never mailed simply because the BOD thinks that it is the Homeowners responsibility - to obtain that approval. How? It is a mysterious question to me...

FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:919


06/28/2012 6:20 PM  
>The letter was never mailed simply because the BOD thinks that it is the Homeowners responsibility - to obtain that approval.

That doesn't make sense to me.

It is the homeowner's responsibility to GET approval before proceeding with an architectural change. In a significant matter a sensible person makes sure to have it in writing. If it should have been mailed, and it wasn't, then a followup was in order.

I fear this is another one that is not going to end well.
NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/28/2012 6:36 PM  
Posted By FredS7 on 06/28/2012 6:20 PM
>The letter was never mailed simply because the BOD thinks that it is the Homeowners responsibility - to obtain that approval.

That doesn't make sense to me.

It is the homeowner's responsibility to GET approval before proceeding with an architectural change. In a significant matter a sensible person makes sure to have it in writing. If it should have been mailed, and it wasn't, then a followup was in order.

I fear this is another one that is not going to end well.




I never said anything about an architectural change. So you are saying that HO have to go and BEG the BOD?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


06/28/2012 7:39 PM  
Posted By NatalyaR on 06/28/2012 6:13 PM


So, if there was only a verbal request, no one should worry about a written approval from the BOD, right?


For example, can the BOD insist that some HO did not obtain a written approval and blame that HO for not obtaining it although it was approved by the BOD and the minutes reflect the fact? The letter was never mailed simply because the BOD thinks that it is the Homeowners responsibility - to obtain that approval. How? It is a mysterious question to me...




OK now I'm confused.

If we are talking architectural requests and if there was no written request, the Board, in my opinion, should have never entertained the request. For anything brought to our board, the written request is entered into the minutes as an attachment.

GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


06/29/2012 1:43 AM  
Natalya anything and I do mean ANYTHING that requires the Board's approval should be in writing and so should the response. How else can you prove they OK'ed it? For that matter how else can you prove you asked??????

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
NatalyaR
(Alabama)

Posts:55


06/29/2012 5:08 AM  
Glen, it's never been done in the past, NEVER. I have e-mails (OF APPROVAL) from our former Property Manager and some communication from a former Secretary, but I did not receive anything from the Board when I had requests...
By the way, in 2009 I took our whole file and communications with the BOD (back when we had issues about the sky lights) to the attorney who wrote our ByLaws and after reading it he says "(I let you guess what he said )" He determined it was a personal issue, since everything else can be corrected and you just move on... Oooops, I am sorry except that there are some people that just don't want you to come out clean, they enjoy controlling and humiliating you.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


06/29/2012 7:50 AM  
Posted By NatalyaR on 06/29/2012 5:08 AM
Glen, it's never been done in the past, NEVER. I have e-mails (OF APPROVAL) from our former Property Manager and some communication from a former Secretary, but I did not receive anything from the Board when I had requests...




Natalya,

The Property Manager and Officers are agents for the Board. If you have e-mails of approval from them, then this is the same as receiving written notification from the board.


BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


06/29/2012 9:09 AM  
I think an approval has to be more than "something" was an approved. By that I mean if it appears in the minutes merely that my request was approved, or if I have an email or letter from a PM or an association officer saying that my request was approved, that is meaningless without some documentation stating exactly what was approved. Without that, we might be able to agree that "something" was approved, but there could be disagreement as to "what" was approved.

In other words, my request should be in writing and dated, so that the approval can be stated as "your request for xxx dated xx/xx/xxxx has been approved, or something similar. Even better, the original request should be returned to the requester marked "approved" and signed and dated by a person authorized to do so. Then there is not simply a statement (in writing or otherwise) saying that a request was approved, but written documentation that a specific request was approved.
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