What are the responsibilities of a board of directors?

Having a good board of directors is key to ensuring the smooth running of any cooperative or condominium. Without the board, any condo or co-op would be unable to function, and the happiness and satisfaction of owners and residents hinges on the board’s management of any number of different issues - yet many associations struggle to recruit directors, leaving vital positions vacant.

Often, this is due to residents being unsure as to what exactly board members do, or worry that volunteering will land them with an unwanted amount of responsibility and demand too much time. This doesn’t always have to be the case: a well-organized board manages its business efficiently, with the support of experienced legal representatives, and respects its directors and owners alike.

Here are some of the main responsibilities of condo and co-op boards:

  • Building and grounds maintenance. The board is responsible for the upkeep of the condo or co-op. This includes hiring staff with appropriate qualifications and ensuring that they are well-treated.

  • Enforcing by-laws and rules. The board ensures that rules are fairly and uniformly applied to all residents. It is also required to follow the rules set out in article 9-B of the New York Real Property Law, often known as the Condo Act.

  • Financial management. It is essential that directors handle finances transparently and responsibly, with respect for owners’ investments. This means taking reasonable steps to seek less expensive resolutions to problems, such as inviting tenders for staffing and maintenance contracts.

  • Representing owners and residents. Above all, the board represents the interests of its residents and should always act in good faith. It is required to address complaints, communicate and explain its decisions openly and on a regular basis, and avoid the influence of bias or personal agendas.

Managing these responsibilities is key to ensuring that any condominium or cooperative remains a pleasant place to live for its residents. Volunteering for the board can be a way to give back to the community, as well as a chance to become more involved with the decisions that shape your immediate environment.