Page 11 - New Jersey Cooperator January 2019
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sented some boards with non-resident   members,” says James A.  Slowikowski,   a partner at law firm Dickler, Kahn,   Slowikowski, & Zavell Ltd., which has of-  fices in Chicago and Arlington Heights,   Illinois. “Sometimes the member lives lo-  cally, but is not a resident in the associa-  tion. In other instances, the members are   snowbirds, and as such they are ‘absent’   for several months at a time, but other-  wise live at the property.   “I think there is only a slight differ-  ence between those two types of non-  resident board members,” he continues.   “The snowbirds generally think like   resident board members. The main dif-  ference I often see is that the snowbirds   often will want to put off projects or cer-  tain business until the spring, when they   will be back on site – and that’s usually   in proportion to the number of snow-  birds serving on the board. When one or   more are away, board business tends to   be conducted only as needed. On the oth-  er hand, some things may be addressed   sooner  than  they  normally  would,  such   as working on the annual budget before   those snowbirds depart for the winter.   So the timing of when things get done is   what is most affected – not the substan-  tive decisions, so much as when those de-  cisions are made.”  The full-time non-resident board   member presents a   different  dynamic  than the  seasonal   absconder.  “They  typically reside lo-  cally, but just not   on the property,”   Slowikowski contin-  ues. “Strictly speak-  ing from a legal per-  spective, all board   members have  the   same duty to act in   the best interests of   the association, and   residency  should  not matter. But from   a practical perspective, we do see some   differences as to how they approach their   duties.   “In my experience, the non-resident   board members tend to approach the op-  eration of  the association as a business;   they are protecting an investment. And   that business should be financially stable   and sustaining. This type of board mem-  ber is typically not as concerned about   funding  reserves,  paying or adopting   special assessments,   or borrowing funds   as needed. They will   want the parking lot   repaved, rather than   simply patching pot-  holes; while resident   board members, on   the other hand, may   have more concern   for day-to-day oper-  ations, and how the   enforcement of rules   and regulations af-  fect residents’ daily   lives. They tend to be more in touch with   smaller maintenance projects that can   have immediate effect on those at the   property, and are more likely to want to   keep assessments lower – even when as-  sessments should be raised – as they may   not possess that investor mentality.”  Nothin’ Goin’ on But the Rent  Non-resident board members may   see their units as assets to be monetized.   These individuals are likely to want to   rent their apartments to maximize their   investment.  “Many associations prefer owner-oc-  cupied units, so in instances where con-  flict arises, it’s typically between those   who live there and those who do not, but   who want to rent,” notes Marc H. Schnei-  der, a partner with Schneider Buchel LLP,   a law firm in Garden City, New York.   That said, there are clearly shared mo-  tivating factors between both those who   live on-site and those who live elsewhere.   “Ultimately, I feel that everyone involved   has the best interests of the community at   heart,” says Elysa D. Bergenfeld, a partner   in the Community Association Practice   Group at Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C.,   in Princeton, New Jersey. “The board   members may see different things from   NJCOOPERATOR.COM  THE NEW JERSEY COOPERATOR —  JANUARY 2019    11  “The board members   may see different things   from different perspec-  tives, but ultimately they   all care about the prop-  erty values, their neigh-  bors, and the well-being   of the community.”  —Elysa Bergenfeld  continued on page 16  Making a Difference. Every Day.  Exceptional Service is Our Mission.  As New Jersey’s property management industry leader, we know what it takes to    create great communities that residents are proud to call home. We start by putting    the right teams in place – local property experts who deliver our best-in-class solutions,   along with genuinely helpful service, to enhance the property values and lifestyle of    those we serve.  That’s how we make a difference, every day, for great communities like yours…  · Luxury High-Rise Towers  · Condominium & Homeowners Associations  · Lifestyle, Large Scale & Active Adult Communities  21 Christopher Way, Eatontown, NJ 07724   1099 Wall Street West, Suite 282, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071  800.310.0326  |

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