HOA Quorums and Proxies
All condominium unit owners in Massachusetts must be members of an association with an election process. The establishing documents of a condominium should specify the process. A quorum is the minimum number of members that can conduct the HOA's business. In some cases, a voter or unit owner will designate someone else to be a "proxy" and cast his or her vote. The specific rules related to HOA quorums and proxies should be found within the bylaws for your condominium. The experienced real estate attorneys at Pulgini & Norton can help Boston condominium associations, owners, and developers draft appropriate HOA bylaws, handle disputes, and otherwise conduct their business.HOA Quorums and Proxies
A quorum must be met in order for an HOA to conduct its business. However, it is not uncommon for there to be low attendance at an HOA's voting meetings. In some states, the details of the election process may be legislated, but in Massachusetts, election procedures are set forth in the rules of the condominium. Serving on the board is often a voluntary choice. This makes it important to have sound rules for the size of a quorum and the possibility of a proxy vote.
Generally, the bylaws will include specific definitions for "quorum" and "proxy vote." They will also specify how a voter or unit owner can designate the proxy. Often, this is by a signed letter or form. In some cases, the voter is able to indicate a person to be his or her proxy and direct that person's vote, while in other cases, the choice can be left up to the person acting as proxy.
The size of the quorum should be based on the number of units. When there are a small number of units, 51% is a common quorum. However, when there are a large number of condominium units, it may be necessary to adjust the quorum because it is difficult to reach a 51% quorum. Dropping the quorum in large condominiums can result in more action being taken in connection with such matters as repairs and maintenance.
Similarly, HOAs should be cognizant of how their rules related to proxy voting may affect their ability to conduct business. It may be important for an HOA to mail out a proxy ballot that assigns a proxy to vote on behalf of an owner for pre-approved agenda items, assuming a quorum is reached. In some cases, it is possible to draft the bylaws such that absentee ballot or mail voting is permitted in some or all cases. When a bylaw states that the meeting is to be in person, it is necessary to use proxy ballots.Discuss Your Responsibilities as a Property Owner with a Boston Attorney
It is crucial to retain an attorney to draft the documents to establish a condominium, or to buy or sell a condominium unit. How the rules related to HOA quorums and proxies are drafted with regard to a condominium can make a significant difference to your living experience, such as how quickly repairs and other important issues are handled. The property transactions lawyers at Pulgini & Norton can help people in the Boston area understand their rights and obligations. We also represent clients in Waltham, Weymouth, Braintree, and other cities in Massachusetts. Call us at 781-843-2200 or contact us via our online form for a consultation.