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Q&A: Board Member Makeup

Q. In New Jersey, is it okay for a condo association with five or fewer units to have the unit owners act as the board of directors?

                            —Seeking Clarification

A. “It is assumed from your question that the condominium association’s bylaws do not provide for each owner to have a representative on the board,” says attorney David Ramsey, chair of the New Jersey Community Association Practice Group for the Morristown office of law firm Becker & Poliakoff. “While it might have been sensible for the drafter of the bylaws to allow such a scenario, it is possible that the drafter provided for a smaller board inasmuch as not all owners necessarily want to be board members. If you are certain that all unit owners want to be able to designate one of the owners to be a member of the board, it would be a reasonably simple matter to have an amendment to the bylaws drafted that permits this and have all unit owners vote to approve it. Presumably if they all wish to serve, each owner will readily approve. I would, though, suggest allowing some flexibility in any amendment that might be drafted, in case one or more of the future owners does not wish to serve on the board. You may want to allow the size of the board to float between a minimum and maximum size, depending on how many owners wish to serve. In all events, be certain the amendment is recorded with the clerk of the county in which your condominium is located, since law provides that a bylaw amendment is not effective until recorded.”   

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