Subdivision and Condominium owners who believe they escaped high school politics and cliques when they graduated from those fine institutions are often in for a rude surprise later in life when they run afoul of their local Condominium or Homeowners’ Association. The customary shenanigans are alive and well in many “Community Associations,” and they have the body count to prove it.
Author Thomas Sowell hits the nail right on the head:
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
This is precisely the situation with Community Associations. In Michigan, the Board Members pay no price for making decisions or taking actions which have little utility apart from flexing their muscles and oppressing their neighbors.
The fact that Board Members for Associations in Wayne, Oakland or any Michigan counties must run for re-election annually is no deterrent to bad behavior. Few people have the time or inclination to participate, and the general neighborhood electorate rarely votes or is sufficiently informed to “throw out the scoundrels.” Such replacements, even wholesale replacements of an entire Board, have occurred, but it takes massive effort and commitment to mount and then succeed at such an undertaking.
Of course, not every Community Association is out roaming the quiet countryside looking for neighbors to subjugate. Rather, there are enough abusers out there – and we have opposed many on behalf of clients – have far too often made their power plays which benefit no one but themselves. These abusers are frequently supported or even pushed into misbehaving by the “Managing Agents” hired to handle the day to day affairs of the Community Association. These Managing Agents act less as an advisor and more as an echo chamber when such disputes arise.
Happily, there is legal recourse for those who have suffered at the hands of an overly aggressive Community Association. Community Association Boards who are inclined to abuse their neighbors rarely take the time to carefully follow the rules imposed upon them. A timely effort to push back before the matter reaches the litigation stage is the best recourse. Failing that, there is the very real prospect of contesting the matter in Court. LAMBERT LAW remains committed to assisting those who have suffered at the hands of these out of control Association Boards.
Caution: This article provides general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should contact LAMBERT LAW, 407 6th St., Ste A, Rochester, MI 48307 (248) 642-7774 if you are seeking specific legal advice regarding the topics discussed above.
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